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Calling All "Vintage" Integrated/Receiver Owners - Page 800

post #11986 of 17121

I sure would like to listen or own a G series Sansui…  

post #11987 of 17121

what's interesting to me (and something that i've come to realize over the last couple of years after auditioning a few current integrated amps, such as the anthem 225, the marantz pm 8004,and the cambridge audio 651-A), is that the headphone output section in these newer amps left me disappointed. compared with the h/p out from an amp 20-30 years old!


i took the trouble to audition all three of the above amps the same way:  took my rotel rcd-1520 cdp, three or four cd's which contained music that i was very familiar with (played a couple tunes off of each cd, listening carefully to certain sections of certain songs (which could have been bass-light, or bass heavy or sibilant-sounding or a bit distorted or whatever.  i used these cd's as "test" records).


i remember taking my grado rs1-i headphones (admittedly "colored" / "warm" on bottom, and an overall "bright" headphone in the upper registers).  if i were to do this again, i would've taken my 701's (a much more "neutral" h/p, but my thinking at the time was:  "if this amp can't reproduce the bass and upper-midrange through these grados, then i know it won't through the 701's."


were there differences between these amps?  to quote sarah palin:  "you betcha!"


most people would probably be surprised to hear how different just these three amps sounded from each other (with everything else in the listening chain being equal, even down to the interconnects, and even the song order that i listened to the cd's every time out).


the first guy at the shop where i listened to the anthem (very nice piece of gear, by the way and seemed to be very well-made.  a quality piece).  but, he said after i had told him that "this amp just sounds a bit too polite.  way too polite for my taste.  detail, yes.  absolutely.  but, not much impact at all.  "distant" sounding (on a "foreward-sounding" headphone!).  very, very refined-sounding.  but just a bit too refined-sounding".  he said:  "you know, this amp will sound much better through a quality set of loudspeakers."


well, i do most of my listening through headphones, plus anthem made a point in their advertising to point out the "separate headphone amp circuit" engineered into this amp. i'm not technically-minded, and certainly not an audio engineer, so i wouldn't understand exactly how they implemented the h/p out into this amp even if they explained it to me, probably.  but, what encouraged me was seeing as how they devoted space in their advertising to go into some detail about the headphone output, period. "ah! the h/p out is not just an afterthought in this amp.   the engineers were thinking about it from the beginning."  i was encouraged.  then, i listened, and found the output to be "anemic" sounding.


if anthem had allowed more (current output?), and then maybe incorporated a "high-low" switch to go from a higher-to-lower setting...in other words, if this integrated would've had more slam and "weight" (along with the impressive level of detail that i heard), then this piece would've definitely been a winner.


but... so it goes.  i think, personally that the lack of good quality h/p outs in a lot of modern, mass-market audio gear explains why we started to see specialized companies making amps specifically designed for headphones.


and why we're seeing a return (among some of us) to older, vintage amps and receivers.  (it doesn't hurt that a lot of the older gear looks good, either.   but, she can't just be pretty, she's got to "put out", too).   

Edited by terry parr - 3/11/14 at 7:13pm
post #11988 of 17121

I think that slam, impact, punch (your verb here) are defining terms for the vintage audio years.  My Pioneer sx-1250 has slam that rivals (and in some cases exceeds) that from my Rowland Model 1s.  Considering the Rowlands can push 240+ WPC (bridged) that is no small accomplishment.  Even my diminutive Sherwood S-7100A leaves nothing to be desired from the HP out.

post #11989 of 17121

That's certainly a fact. One spec I don't really have to care much about for speakers is sensitivity. I just keep turning the knob and they keep getting louder until they (hopefully don't) pop.

post #11990 of 17121
Thread Starter 

I'm with you there. I recently picked up a vintage pair of electrostat hybrids(acoustat spectra 11). Those are known to be a bugger to drive at around 88db.  I replaced the woofers with some dayton rss315HF which are even harder to drive at 86db(after doing so serious butchering to the already complex crossover and bias unit). But these monsters are no sweat for my mac rig. But I will say that I can now finally see the meters dance like they should.:wink_face: 

Edited by moodyrn - 3/12/14 at 5:14pm
post #11991 of 17121

Latest addition, a Pioneer SA-8800. The faceplate if virtually mint, and the cabinet has some very minor nicks, and one small corner of the veneer missing on the lower left front. The fluoroscan meters look good, but the Power On light is not functioning though.


No scratchiness in the controls at all, and the headphone jack sounds pretty darn good. I'm almost considering using it, and selling off the Asgard 2.


post #11992 of 17121

^^^^Gorgeous! Thats a cracking amp you've got yourself. And I'm not surprised that you are preferring it over your hp amp. 

post #11993 of 17121
Indeed, that's a very fine amplifier ! Congrats. I want a 9800 someday biggrin.gif
post #11994 of 17121

:blink: But... where would you put it? 

post #11995 of 17121
Originally Posted by Silent One View Post

:blink: But... where would you put it?



I think he still has space to spare. :evil:


As for me, I need a new rack.  :ph34r:

post #11996 of 17121
Oh if I got a really nice one I would find somewhere for it biggrin.gif
post #11997 of 17121
Originally Posted by wotts View Post

I think he still has space to spare. :evil:


As for me, I need a new rack.  :ph34r:

If I just have to have problems :rolleyes: let them be 1st world... "I got too much gear" kinds of problems. :tongue_smile:

post #11998 of 17121
Thread Starter 

Beautiful amp! I loooove the looks of those both inside and out. As for the 9800, with what I currently have, there isn't much out there that I have a desire for. So the want list is very short. But on that list is the sa-9800. I had a line on one for 450.00 about a year ago which was at that time the current going rate, but I didn't jump on it fast enough. Since that time, the prices have almost doubled. Even beat up ones been going for 600-700.00 which is a bummer.:(

post #11999 of 17121
Yup. There was a completely restored one with a new solid walnut cabinet on AK about a year ago and I am still mad at myself for not buying it. I keep hoping whoever bought it will decide to sell it...
post #12000 of 17121
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post

Yup. There was a completely restored one with a new solid walnut cabinet on AK about a year ago and I am still mad at myself for not buying it. I keep hoping whoever bought it will decide to sell it...

I know exactly how you feel. I kick myself for not contacting sooner about a mint condition Marantz 4270 with wood case for $300. I hope they're happy whoever waltzed in and got it. Ha :/
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