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Calling All "Vintage" Integrated/Receiver Owners - Page 411

post #6151 of 13406

Your memory :thumb: serves you well...


Edited by Silent One - 11/12/12 at 5:22pm
post #6152 of 13406

Wait, all my stuff is now "vintage?" What does that make me?

 

I was selling consumer-grade and high-end equipment in the early 80s and most of it sucked, just like today.

 

There were a few notable exceptions, depending on which year and what model. The Harmon-Kardon receivers weren't bad for entry-level gear. Certain of the Onkyo and Denon models, as I remember, were decent for their price. The NAD gear I have from back then is still solid.

 

I listened to a lot of chain-store gear in the late 80s and early 90s and some were decent, with the ability to actually have depth to the soundstage. Others sounded like there was a curtain between you and the speakers. These were still generally discrete-transistor power amps. I have a Yamaha from back then that still does a decent job, even though the display is shot. A handful of them had a tone-defeat switch. If they had a remote, the better-sounding ones used a motor to drive a real pot, rather than digital control.

 

There weren't many CD players that had decent response; most were so heavily filtered in the analog chain that they didn't sound much better than a Nakamichi cassette deck. Even if you got through that, most of the speakers were messed up in the crossover region and either no high end, or a completely tinny one. (I remember joking about "ESS" and how it was more of an alliteration than a company name.)

 

No, you may not have my 1979 David Hafler DH-101 and DH-200, my Thorens TD-160, nor my Walkman Pro!


Edited by jeffsf - 11/12/12 at 5:56pm
post #6153 of 13406

I was being.. shall we say satirical in that last post. Not that I wasn't trying to make a point about arbitrary cutoff dates, though that does simplify the shopping process. Mostly I was simply agreeing with Skylab that good stuff was still being made in the '80s but that one had to shop with greater care and usually spend more money. Not all the good '80s stuff was made by Mark Levinson (which fledged in the '70s). Just ask John Curl.


Edited by wualta - 11/12/12 at 7:54pm
post #6154 of 13406
Quote:
Originally Posted by wualta View Post

The Audio-Technica AT440MLa (about $175 at the moment) is the anti-xE. It's a little bright on top, but it has one of the best styli (ie, diamond cuts) ever sold. It'll bring out tiny details in your LPs. I have one and like it-- my preamp lets me dial down the slightly hot top end. No damping, though.

 

My local shop (Norman at SerTech Electronics) also suggested the Shure that Skylab recommended, but I went with this A-T.  Norman was impressed with it, and I've only been pleased so far.  I very much appreciate the suggestion, as I wouldn't have found it.

 

Norman also got a Realistic Lab 12A, which is a BSR 310X working for me.  It needed a good cleaning, lubrication and a stylus and it was good to go.  Works fine, sounds perfectly good for a commodity turntable from 1974.  I inherited it from my Grandfather, so thought I should see if it could be made to work, and it does.  It'll probably be my spare.  It also has 78RPM, and I see there's a 78 stylus for it, so it may get used for 78's, should I keep any.

 

I think this means I have five turntables in the house... maybe two too many.

post #6155 of 13406

I have just realized that I have used every connection on my Marantz 2220.

 

The Squeezebox is aux, the Marantz 6300 TT is on phono, tape monitor and tape out hook to the Mac (via an EMU 0404) or to a CD player if I care enough.  Or even the Marantz cassette player that's in the closet or the Walkman Pro, come to think of it.

 

AM and FM antennas are both connected and work, and the TT is grounded.

 

Main speakers are a cheap pair of bookshelves so it'll make noise in the room... Remote speaker has a Stax SRD7, a Marantz EE1, AND a K-1000 on it, one of which works depending on how they're set.

 

The headphone jack is the least used - ironic considering where I'm posting and how good it is - but I have driven Beyerdynamic DT990's off of it easily.  They usually live in another room, though.

 

Need more inputs, clearly.  And a bigger desk.

 

Normally, I'd start to shop around for a bigger integrated, but I've just ordered a Loricraft RCM, and that's blown my audio budget for a bit.

post #6156 of 13406

Glad to hear you like the 440MLa. Many folks find it annoyingly bright, but treat it right (keep it scrupulously clean, and keep a few loading tricks up your sleeve) and it behaves itself beautifully.

 

Not only that, but the stylus will snap right onto one of A-T's first-generation p-mount bodies, giving you an available (and relatively affordable) MicroLine stylus for that old Technics linear tracker in the closet that everybody says is worthless because it uses p-mounts.

 

My cheapskate solution for the ran-outa-inputs problem is to find an old av switch, the kind that people used to use to add a video game (or three) to their TVs. One configuration (and I've seen similar ones at Big Lots) looks like this: 

3-port-av-switch-02.jpg

And of course there are more expensive solutions-- component video switch boxes, for example.


Edited by wualta - 11/17/12 at 9:32am
post #6157 of 13406
Quote:
Originally Posted by wualta View Post

My cheapskate solution for the ran-outa-inputs problem is to find an old av switch, the kind that people used to use to add a video game (or three) to their TVs. One configuration (and I've seen similar ones at Big Lots) looks like this: 

 

 

And of course there are more expensive solutions-- component video switch boxes, for example.

 

Adcom SLC-505. Purpose-built for the job, easy to find at $50 and you can probably go even lower if you scrounge.

 

It's a passive unpowered preamp. The volume and balance knobs are bypassable, which makes it a pure switchbox.

 

I use one in reverse to rout a single source (a DAC) outward. The "CD", "Phono", "Tuner" and "Aux" buttons are relabeled with the model names of various receivers and headphone amps. Truth.

post #6158 of 13406

Added a couple of pieces this week.

 

1. Pioneer Monitor 10 headphones

2. Pioneer RG-1 dynamic processor

 

700

 

Here is everything so far.

 

700

 

Need to work on the led lights above the TT. Want to try and get them to match the "Pioneer glow". Got lucky with the lamps coming very close. It seems to be a soft yellow color. The picture frames are the same brushed silver as the 950.

post #6159 of 13406

Diggin' the Pioneer gear!  bigsmile_face.gif

 

 

Tip: I use colored "gels" -- the colored plastic sheets that cover (white) stage-lights -- scraps of that, to customize light/LED colors. Not really sure of your application there, but thought I'd mention it.

 

It can be doubled for darker, or mixed for blended colors (perforating one is interesting).

 

post #6160 of 13406
Quote:
Originally Posted by ardgedee View Post


I would be concerned by the phrase, "HP jack is driven by a separate internal amp...."
The main reason why we obsess over using vintage receivers for headphones is because on the units of interest the speaker amplifier sections are top-notch and also drive the headphones through a simple adaptor circuit.
This means that the care and attention that the manufacturer paid to the main selling point of the amp is also powering your headphones.
Starting in the 80s, when amps-on-a-chip became economical, receiver manufacturers began segregating the headphones from the speakers and giving them their own amp. Considered on a case-by-case basis, the dedicated headphone amp circuit might or might not be good, but it's easy to make sweeping assumptions about quality when a manufacturer can add this more economically than they can insert a couple resistors between the speaker output and the headphone jack.
And principally it means that the top-notch speaker amplifier section is no longer driving your headphones, and that kind of defeats the point of going to the effort of setting up the receiver just for your headphones.
As far as output levels and impedance, I wouldn't worry overly much. They're designed to handle full-sized headphones of all varieties. The two you mention using are perfectly middle-of-the-road in terms of technical requirements. Almost the only headphones that you can't really pull out of a box and plug in are IEMs and electrostats.


Nice explanation, what it is your take on the low impedance output needed for the headphones ?(that 1/8 ratio) .Headphone jacks on the vintage receivers has very high output impedance.


Edited by verde57 - 11/17/12 at 2:23am
post #6161 of 13406

Try listening. If you like it, use it. Damping factor is an important consideration but I think its importance gets over-emphasized in relation to other aspects of an amplifier's performance.

 

You have to be careful when using very high efficiency earphones with your receiver anyway. Since most good receivers have powerful headphone jacks, there can be almost no sweep available in the volume control. If your receiver has a -20 dB cut switch, that's often enough to compensate, and some head-fiers use that for happy listening with their IEMs.

post #6162 of 13406
Quote:
Originally Posted by solserenade View Post

Tip: I use colored "gels" -- the colored plastic sheets that cover (white) stage-lights -- scraps of that, to customize light/LED colors. Not really sure of your application there, but thought I'd mention it.

 

Where do you get gel scraps? I wouldn't mind having some on hand (they're also good to use as masks over too-bright LEDs), and haven't had a lot of success when searching. I suspect I'm doing it wrong...

post #6163 of 13406
Quote:
Originally Posted by solserenade View Post

Diggin' the Pioneer gear!  bigsmile_face.gif

 

 

Tip: I use colored "gels" -- the colored plastic sheets that cover (white) stage-lights -- scraps of that, to customize light/LED colors. Not really sure of your application there, but thought I'd mention it.

 

It can be doubled for darker, or mixed for blended colors (perforating one is interesting).

 

 

 

Thanks for the suggestion. Never thought of that. I will look into those.

post #6164 of 13406
Quote:
Originally Posted by ardgedee View Post

Try listening. If you like it, use it. Damping factor is an important consideration but I think its importance gets over-emphasized in relation to other aspects of an amplifier's performance.

Seconding this. Complicating matters is the old headphone "standard" of 120 ohms output impedance at the headphone jack. Most headphones of the day were designed for this. Modern headphones, maybe not. If you think an impedance mismatch or too-low damping factor is affecting the sound of your headphone, you can always try driving them directly from the speaker outputs, which have output impedances measured in tiny fractions of an ohm. There's a catch to this, but it's something you should check your vintage amps for anyway: DC offset, which is the [unwanted] presence of DC at the speaker terminals. A few millivolts won't hurt a speaker, but it might pull the diaphragm of a sensitive headphone out of its linear region, so before hooking any headphone (except ones with sensitivities usual to the 1970s, like orthos) to speaker outs, check for DC first. Do it anyway. It's a good quickie check of the internal health of your vintage amp.

post #6165 of 13406

The Sansui deal never worked out, so I went after the Pioneer. I picked it up today!

 

700

 

 

I can't get over how big it is...the Marantz is dwarfed by it. And power? Wow, I'm amazed.

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