I recently was given a pair of Denon speakers from the 80s and a
Seeing as its going on almost 30 years old, i'd start looking for new components unless you *really* like sound you were getting before you started having these problems. Consumer electronics are only built to last so long, and even those "overbuilt" components eventually malfunction and fail. Just my opinion, but if I were you i'd start saving for a new system, there are some great values to be found today in HiFi if you do your research. Hope that helps. :) sp70.
P.S. I'd also see if I could bring those components to a friends system and test each to see which is the malfunctioning one (so you know which to replace first!)
Yeah, first thing you need to do is troubleshoot them.
A couple things to consider:
1. The Creek - while well reviewed for its price range - isn't worth more than $100. If it is what isn't working right, you need to decide whether to spend more money to fix it (maybe find an independent repair person that will charge less), keep it for sentimental value, or sell it for parts/repair.
2. The Denon speakers - It's hard to tell without a model, but Denon isn't exactly known for speakers or for anything above upper mid-level components. Check the woofer surrounds to see if they're deteriorated - this could be a problem, although it shouldn't cause crackling (maybe voice coil rub could cause that, I don't know). More likely if the speakers are at fault for crackling a driver may be blown, or the crossover may need overhaul. In either case, it may not be worth the repair for you - but other people who love working on vintage stuff may be interested (or even fix it for you cheap).
While there are many fine vintage pieces of gear - my newest stereo components are from the early nineties - these aren't exactly desirable (or repairable) compared to much of what is out there. Spend some time looking at the Audiogon classifieds or the Audiokarma forums to see what you may be interested in, if you are still looking at getting better vintage gear.
Oh, and those "overbuilt" components - McIntosh amps, etc., etc. always have a plentiful supply of parts for repair. Adcom would be a good choice on a budget for such durable components - especially their amps.
Speakers, unless damaged through abuse, rarely suffer any effects over time other than the crossover components aging. Replacement parts are easy to find for them as well. Oh, and speakers (especially at the consumer level) have advanced very little in the last twenty-thirty years. Good used vintage models will always outperform new speakers at a given price point.
bit off topic, but I think one of the great things about audio gear is - you can fix them !!
Well, at least in many cases. Most stuff I own/use is not worth fixing once it brakes.
I have purchased two new Macs while repairing my speaker amp three times
I forgot about the dirty pots thing - that is one of (if not the) most common thing to go wrong with old receivers/amps. Try turning the knobs back and forth a bit - you might not even need deoxit (if bad connection at a pot is the problem). If you do need to use deoxit, also work the knobs back and forth to clean the connections better.