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RoadieRoger's picture
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Upgrade to Vintage Budget System
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The bulk of my Budget System was set up in 1988 following visits to the first few Bristol Hi-Fi Shows . I have a Sony 500ES Tuner , Philips CD840 CD , Sony TA FE370 Amp and Diamond 9.1`s on wall mounted Target stands . The last two are only 8 years old .   I have a second Vintage system from 1988 in a second room , Pioneer Receiver SX434 , Philips CD 160 and Heybrook Point Fives . These Heybrooks formed part of my original System with a Sansui AU G30X which I still have , although it has a fault .

So much for the history lesson but the Bristol Show has prompted me to think of changing my Amp . I mainly listen to Classic FM and occasionally a CD . My  listening is done at low volume levels otherwise my Wife complains . I have listed the following Amps and would be grateful for any guidance on reducing the list a bit .

Onkyo A9030 and Onkyo A9050

Pioneer A30

Marantz PM6004

Denon PMA 520 and Denon 720

Yamaha A500 .

I would like to keep the Diamond 9.1`s , but could swap them for the Heybrooks if needed .  

Any suggestions would be gratefully received . 

Roger

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RE: Upgrade to Vintage Budget System

I have a confession to make .I  bought the equipment mentioned above because it was awarded 5 stars in the What Hi Fi Magazine at the time without auditioning it . A no no as far as most people on here would say ! If I were to follow convention I should be going for the Marantz PM6004 or the Yamaha A500 . However since yesterday the Denon PMA - 720AE has gone down a further £50 to £199 at Richer Sounds , seems good value when it used to be £350 . Could it be that  a replacement model is imminent ? Mathewpiano seems to be happy with his, so it could be this against the Marantz .

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RE: Upgrade to Vintage Budget System

Go for the Pioneer A30. Storming amp for the money.

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RE: Upgrade to Vintage Budget System

Given your low volume Classic FM diet, I would think any on your list would do just fine. If the Denon is a bargain then grab it!  

Krell CD and amp, Michell/Rega/Grado record player, Hitachi and Sony tuners, Nakamichi cassette, SBT streamer, Sonus faber spkrs.  Sony and Samsung BDP & TVs. Qobuz > iPad > AudioPro Allroom Air One

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RE: Upgrade to Vintage Budget System

£199???  A bargain!  Furthermore, I've tried mine with my Wharfedale 9.1s and the combination works very well.  Great amp.

Rega RP3/Elys 2 - Graham Slee Gram Amp 1 - Rega Apollo R - Exposure 1010 amp - Dynaudio DM2/6 - Chord Co. Chameleon VEE3/Rumour 2 - Musical Fidelity V90-HPA - Sennheiser HD595

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RE: Upgrade to Vintage Budget System

Thank you Matthew ,nopiano and altruistic for your suggestions , I will pay a visit to my nearest RS to checkout that price . I hope it is not a case of turning up to be told `we only had the one `or `they all sold out earlier ` Comet used to be like that ! The Sony amp was only intended to be a stop-gap for the failed Sansui . I had intended to get it repaired but the first enquiry at a specialist hi fi shop wanted £50 just to open the case , so I left it and it is still in my living room under the sideboard today .I find it hard to throw anything out and still have my Midi Sony stacked System that started me off over 30 years ago  . I bought this Sony V10 Midi System which consists of 4 separates , including graphic equalisers and turntable ( remember them ? ) at Lasky`s in Cardiff without speakers and added Acoustic Research AR 18 LS `s to go with them . I gave the speakers away when I bought the Diamonds and moved the Heybrooks to my reserve system . Electronic gear is harder to throw out , for me anyway, so I hang on to it . Like my Scooters and Motorcycle , 2 are 31 years old and my newest is 10 years old ! I bought the 1982 Suzuki 250 GT X7 for my 70th birthday 4 years ago , so some of the aforementioned gear could still end up in a skip sometime in the future !!

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RE: Upgrade to Vintage Budget System

Roger, I think I'm heading in your direction, I can't throw out any of my gear bought back in 1986 from Radiocraft (Wharefdale speakers) and Panasonic (Technics separates).

One day my attic is going to cave in!

Rega Brio & Apollo + Mission 780

Sony BDP S480 Onkyo TX-NR609 Monitor Audio BX2 5.0 BK XXLS400

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RE: Upgrade to Vintage Budget System

RoadieRoger wrote:

My  listening is done at low volume levels otherwise my Wife complains .

Any suggestions would be gratefully received . 

Roger

Hi Roger, nothing to do with your upgrade . . . but had you considered listening using 'headphones' ?

CJSF

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RE: Upgrade to Vintage Budget System

Well I took the opportunity to ride the Scooter to Cardiff RS as it is a nice day and parking a car there is always a pain . I was pleasantly surprised at their alterations since last there .The place is much larger and smarter , everything is nicely displayed and the demo room is at the back of the Showroom . Sam there said to bring my Diamonds in by appointment to hook up to the Denon and Marantz .They have the Pioneer A20 but not the A30 , He said they could order the A30 and the Customer Denons would be ordered in . At the price they would be flying out and his opinion was that for £199` What Hi Fi would be awarding 5 stars , I had to agree , as price does come into it .

 I suppose there won`t be much difference in sound to me , but this boy wants a new toy and change is as good as a rest ! They say that the best upgrade is to visit the Doctors and have your ears syringed , which did happen to me last year . After years of falling for the adverts of wonder solutions which made the hearing worse , I did what the Doc suggested and used olive oil and it works .

I do use headphones , but a fault since birth has meant poorer hearing in my right ear . The Sennheiser HD 445 `s sound nice but have an intermittent fault , so Sennheiser HD 202`s could be next , they did get 5 stars !

I notice that one of the big Hi Fi Shops is also doing the Denon 720 AE for £199 . That could mean two things , the model is due to be replaced or Denon are still smarting after gettind 4 stars against the Marantz PM6004 and the Rotel RA 10 . If Rotel can make such a good Amp ., how come they can`t manage a remote controller ?

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RE: Upgrade to Vintage Budget System

The Rotel is just the latest of a long line of simple, basic amplifiers, based one largely the same track layout and components as its forbears (as is the Denon).

Minor changes/upgrades have just fine tuned these amplifiers to something the manufacturer hopes is a step forward of the last (or original) model.

Regarding remote control, a half decent one from one of the larger part suppliers will cost around as much again as a manual one. Add remote control. - This is not major money and to be honest, for £300 or even 200 I would probably expect one. Having said that, Rotel obviously thought that money is best spent elsewhere.

I have a number of Denon amplifiers/products and can vouch for their durability/reliablility. As to sound, self effacing is probably fairly descriptive. They go largely out of the way of the music and dont impose to much of their own. I sometimes prefer the 355UK, itself closely related to the 720AE, to the 1500AE which can, on occasions, be a little heavy handed.

As it stands, I dont use either at the moment but thats another story.

Good luck with your search and I hope you find something that makes you happy for a long time to come.

regards

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RE: Upgrade to Vintage Budget System

Thanks drummerman for your kind comments , perhaps half the excitement is in the chase or in my case deciding . Jonathan both my Sansui and Sony Amps came from Radiocraft , they don`t do Hi-Fi anymore , just TV`s and white goods . There is an interesting story with the Sansui AU G30X in 1988 . Every year Radiocraft had a Sale on New Years day and knowing that they had the Sansui there for £220 and it had the 5 stars , I said to the Salesman `I know you are going to reduce that in the sale for £200 after Christmas ` , I will buy it now for that amount . Did he hell , I had to wait for New Year`s Day . These days they might bite your hand off !

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RE: Upgrade to Vintage Budget System

Well I have now done what I should have years ago .  I found a repairer less than a quarter of a mile away and two days later and £30 lighter I now have my 25 year old SANSUI AU G30X Amp back in my system . It is now driving my Wharfedale Diamond 9.1`s rather than the original Heybrook Point Fives . What a lovely sound , clearer , more detailed , enough  bass even on source direct and a lovely soundstage . It`s as if a veil has been lifted on the Music when compared with the 8 year old SONY TAF 370 . The downside is that the adverts on Classic FM are also a lot clearer , it`s easy to make out exactly what they are promoting and they are even more annoying . My Wife who has acute hearing said it was a lot better too !

The Sansui is a weighty bit of kit as I can testify after carrying it to the Repairer . I weighed it at 8Kg compared to the Sony at 5 Kg , no wonder the latter wanted to skate on the polished sideboard when a button was pressed . It`s a nice feeling emotionally to put the SANSUI back into service 25 years after buying it , knowing that my proper Hi-Fi experience started with this machine .The equally elderly PHILIPS CD840 and the SONY 500ES Tuner make excellent partners too .

Thanks to joining this Forum and the subsequent Postings giving me inspiration, I feel that my Music has definitely got a lot better . Well done to SANSUI for producing some decent kit all those years ago . 

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RE: Upgrade to Vintage Budget System

I'll second that Roger, Sansui made some fantastic gear and I still have an AU-217 amp that's going a treat.  An AU-717 I had for a year or so was magnificent when it was in full swing, but it needed a few trips to amp hospital before finally dying.  Damned if I'd heard anything better though.  It stood up to amps costing over £1000.  Glad you've got your mojo back though, long may it reign!

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RE: Upgrade to Vintage Budget System

The Sansui takes two sets of speakers A and B . The handbook states that the A position gives the best sound , but then you are not able to use headphones only . So I have had to connect the speakers to the B terminals as I frequently listen when my Wife watches TV. I gathered from the repairer that a transistor in the power circuit had blown , caused by an intermittent contact .I gathered that all the components are well spaced out with components easy to replace and no modules like modern designs, where the whole assembly has to be replaced .

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RE: Upgrade to Vintage Budget System

Yep, they knew how to make amps (and a few other bits and pieces) did Sansui.  Love their older stuff.  Seriously, if you find a 217 (or a 317 which also goes quite cheaply) pick it up.  Worth a spin for sure.

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