Well, I picked up my new old Onkyo A-8820, maybe not really vintage being only about 10 years old, but still, I think it's a nice find, and I think that for 60 euros, it might be the best value for money audio item I ever bought in my life.
Amp is not in perfect condition visually, there are a couple of scratches on the volume knob and front panel, but nothing major and I don't really care.
The entire front panel is brushed aluminium, two biggest knobs are aluminium as well, the rest are plastic, but look and kinda feel metallic. All knobs have a solid feel to them, not fiddly at all, especially the input selector which has wonderful solidity to it, and a very mechanical "click" when you turn it. Excellent.
The rest of the amp is typical black metal and it's in absolutely perfect condition with no scratches, same goes for the rear. Also worth mentioning, the amp is made in Japan, which is nice to see on a Japanese product.
What I like about the amp is it's appearance. I don't know if it shows on pictures, but it's not exactly silver, it's a slightly champagne color, it actually matches the T1's color scheme perfectly. The rings around the knobs on the amp are almost exact same as the ring around the grill on the T1.
Functionally, the amp is in perfect working order except for one minor thing. Sometimes, when I power it up, the relay that switches on the "A" speaker output doesn't work properly, so only the right speaker works. It's not a big deal since all I have to do is turn the knob to off and then back to A a couple of times, and then it works. Happened a few times, it's fine as long as it works, I hope the left channel wont cut out permanently. But ok, there's still the "B" set of speaker outputs, so I'm safe.
As far as the sound goes, I haven't listened to it too much yet, so I'll keep away from any final conclusions. However, what I can say now is that all the basics are good. The headphone output is completely silent up to about 90% on the knob, with both T1's and any of the 32 ohm headphones I've tried, this is actually better than my M1HPAP, which does hiss quite obviously at above 70%. It has plenty of power, it gets too loud up at around 10 o'clock on the knob with T1's, and need's just a tad more turning for lower impedance headphones. It's perfectly balanced in terms of channel volumes, so no annoying channel imbalances like on most headphone amps, not even on lowest volume settings.
In terms of sound quality, it seems pretty good. I don't really hear a huge difference between it and the Musical Fidelity M1HPAP, which cost me 11 times more. A-8820 seems pretty warm in it's signature, it has what I'd consider a slightly mellow sound (think of HD650's), with a slightly softer and less powerful bass than the M1. So with T1's it does seem a tiny bit bass light, but with something like Sennheiser HD380Pro's, it's perfect. Thankfully, it has bass and treble knobs, which do a really nice job of adjusting the tone, without distorting or making the sound messy. I like T1's with the bass setting on 3 and treble on about 1,5. It gives it about the same amount of punch as the M1. Other than that, bass and treble extend very well, the overall sound resolution, clarity, soundstage, separation, detail, etc. is very close to that of M1. Simply put, nothing is missing from the T1's sound when using them with the Onkyo, nothing that suggests that they might be underpowered, or plugged into a bad amp. Sound does seem a bit more effortless and airy on the M1, which is to expect. It just "flows" out of the headphones more easily and seems a bit more expansive in terms of soundstage, and details pop out a bit more obviously, but again, for 60 €, this Onkyo pretty much wipes the floor with anything I've ever heard anywhere near it's price. Considering that for the same money I could buy a pair of used bookshelf speakers, and for half as much a decent used CD player, it's amazing how for 150 dollars nowadays you can build yourself a very nice sounding system.