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matthewpiano's picture
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Vintage gear
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I've got to be honest, I'm pretty disillusioned with modern, affordable hi-fi.  There is always some feeling of it not quite being 'right' which I don't get with some of the vintage gear I've used - stuff like old Pioneer SA and Sansui AU amps, even the lower end stuff.

Anyone else lean towards the vintage stuff?

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: Vintage gear

Not any more.

Too big and bulky.

I like backlit VU meters but they are still around if I were to be tempted...

http://www.teac-audio.eu/en/

I used to like the 'tone' of some old radios (Roberts and Hacker) but a Ruark is far better when played side by side.


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RE: Vintage gear

No. Loved my old Pioneer SA-706 but wouldn't buy to replace my newer set-up.

I think, as you're a piano player, you're looking for the ideal all-rounder. You, more than anyone, should know there's no such thing as the perfect set-up. A jack of all trades turns will always turn out to be a master of none.

Think you have to except, Matthew, that in your price bracket there'll always be little deficiencies. You really admire the PMC DB1is but even with an amp to justify them you'll get a little disillusioned after a couple of months.

Back to the wrinklies you'd have to buy the equivalent to a midrange/hi-end amp to achieve a similar result to your Denon. Then you have to factor in the reliability angle: If it's 30 years old how much time could you realistically get from it?

This is why I feared when you mentioned actives: You'll love them to begin with but after a couple of months your sig will change [again].

You say you're pretty disillusioned with your current bundles, but don't say which aspect of their presentation is coming up short. 

 

Amp; CDP; Turntable; Tuner; Speakers

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RE: Vintage gear

I haven't listened to them, but I'm occasionally tempted by the big old Sansui amps and older Luxman models that I see at more reasonable prices at 2nd hand dealers. If I had a bigger place I'd consider playing around with it as a 2nd or 3rd system. How vintage are we talking? Some of the kit I see from the 807s surprisingly doesn't sound too different when run through modern speakers, so are we talking vintage speakers too? 

I kind of agree with Plastic Penguin, I think that sometimes you like change for the sake of change. You probably need to take a big leap up the chain. Whether that will satisfy you for longer, I couldn't say, but at least if you do it with vintage kit you should in theory be able to get higher end stuff for budget prices. If you've got the space I'm sure Lindsayt can reccommend you some impressive speakers.

Stuff.

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RE: Vintage gear

Yes definitely. I get quite a few amplifiers to listen to and I am regularly impressed by some of the vintage gear, especially the Sansui and Pioneer amplifiers you mentioned. I also rate the Stan Curtis era of Cambridge Audio amplifiers such as the P110 and P60, a well serviced one of these sounds great. Unfortunately I also listen to a lot of more modern amplifiers which fail to inspire, the build quality is rubbish and they sound bland.

plastic penguin wrote:

Then you have to factor in the reliability angle: If it's 30 years old how much time could you realistically get from it?

 

If you have it serviced properly probably another 30 years, it will certainly outlast a modern offering as they just aren't built to the same standard now. The 70's offered some of the golden era of Hi-Fidelity, granted there was also a lot of rubbish too but that is always true.

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RE: Vintage gear

I heard some good things about old Sony ES amps, how do you rate them?

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RE: Vintage gear

Think Matthew needs to tell us what he doesn't like about his current stock before recommending any additional makes/brands.

Amp; CDP; Turntable; Tuner; Speakers

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RE: Vintage gear

Thought you were going to demo some ADMs Matthew?

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RE: Vintage gear

I would like to listen to some older vintage hifi equipment as was tempted by a few Pioneer SA and SX receivers second hand. However, the oldest I've heard is my dads NAD 3020A which sounds good and is still running.

I'm personally happy with my affordable HiFi (most of which are 5 star reviewed products) and doubt I would benefit much from changing equipment at the same price bracket and wouldn't be tempted by vintage kit - due to loss of performance over time and generally poorer spec or reliability issues. Compared to the usual ipod docks etc I feel my hifi is very good.

IMO I think things like noise in the home or outside plus neighbours/ room-house size have a much greater impact on satisfying listenability. Maybe its time for the next step/price bracket?!

HiFi - Cambridge Audio 340C, Pioneer A30, Denon TU 260L, Dali Lektor 2. 

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RE: Vintage gear

plastic penguin wrote:

Think Matthew needs to tell us what he doesn't like about his current stock before recommending any additional makes/brands.

Working with (and playing) pianos all day and regularly going to concerts, means that MP knows the power and emotion of the real thing......it's very hard to to get close to his with budget kit.....too many compromises.

I had the same problem, but found the answer in Class A, Valves and certain AB amps (usually highly biased in A) and certain "musical" speakers. The Devialet shows promise though....but the problem is, it's not cheap.

Going second hand does have it's attractions....but also its dangers.

 

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

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RE: Vintage gear

CnoEvil wrote:

plastic penguin wrote:

Think Matthew needs to tell us what he doesn't like about his current stock before recommending any additional makes/brands.

Working with (and playing) pianos all day and regularly going to concerts, means that MP knows the power and emotion of the real thing......it's very hard to to get close to his with budget kit.....too many compromises.

I had the same problem, but found the answer in Class A, Valves and certain AB amps (usually highly biased in A) and certain "musical" speakers. The Devialet shows promise though....but the problem is, it's not cheap.

Going second hand does have it's attractions....but also its dangers.

I'm with you (and Mathew?) on this, spending most of my adult life involved with live music of one kind or another seems to give you a different slant on things.

Like Mathew, I find that most inexpensive hi-fi simply does not sound 'right' to me, and strangely it all fails to 'sound right' in exactly the same way. Sure, there are differences in presentation, sometimes big ones, but the fundamental limitations remain which I think is why I (and maybe Mathew too) tend to look for different solutions particularly at the budget end of the spectrum.

Mathew is looking at vintage gear, Cno at valves and class A amplifiers (not that budget) and I find myself looking at active speakers for the simple reason that it is one way of putting together a cheap system that does not sound like the kind of everyday budget gear that is the norm.

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RE: Vintage gear

Craig M. wrote:

Thought you were going to demo some ADMs Matthew?

 

I may well do in time, but outside of my spending power for the moment and I'm not sure I'm quite ready to give up on the non-sound aspects of hi-fi.

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: Vintage gear

No remotes, that's the problem with a lot of vintage stuff. One of the reasons I didn't get on with the Electrocompaniet.

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RE: Vintage gear

davedotco wrote:

CnoEvil wrote:

plastic penguin wrote:

Think Matthew needs to tell us what he doesn't like about his current stock before recommending any additional makes/brands.

Working with (and playing) pianos all day and regularly going to concerts, means that MP knows the power and emotion of the real thing......it's very hard to to get close to his with budget kit.....too many compromises.

I had the same problem, but found the answer in Class A, Valves and certain AB amps (usually highly biased in A) and certain "musical" speakers. The Devialet shows promise though....but the problem is, it's not cheap.

Going second hand does have it's attractions....but also its dangers.

I'm with you (and Mathew?) on this, spending most of my adult life involved with live music of one kind or another seems to give you a different slant on things.

Like Mathew, I find that most inexpensive hi-fi simply does not sound 'right' to me, and strangely it all fails to 'sound right' in exactly the same way. Sure, there are differences in presentation, sometimes big ones, but the fundamental limitations remain which I think is why I (and maybe Mathew too) tend to look for different solutions particularly at the budget end of the spectrum.

Mathew is looking at vintage gear, Cno at valves and class A amplifiers (not that budget) and I find myself looking at active speakers for the simple reason that it is one way of putting together a cheap system that does not sound like the kind of everyday budget gear that is the norm.

 

I found this when demoing gear, there was always something wrong, most of the items were around about the £500-£1,000 mark so not exactly cheap, the best I found was AVI 9RSSs so thats what I bought, did not seem to have any of the matching problems the other systems had, also had a lot more clarity and dynamics.

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RE: Vintage gear

davedotco wrote:

CnoEvil wrote:

plastic penguin wrote:

Think Matthew needs to tell us what he doesn't like about his current stock before recommending any additional makes/brands.

Working with (and playing) pianos all day and regularly going to concerts, means that MP knows the power and emotion of the real thing......it's very hard to to get close to his with budget kit.....too many compromises.

I had the same problem, but found the answer in Class A, Valves and certain AB amps (usually highly biased in A) and certain "musical" speakers. The Devialet shows promise though....but the problem is, it's not cheap.

Going second hand does have it's attractions....but also its dangers.

I'm with you (and Mathew?) on this, spending most of my adult life involved with live music of one kind or another seems to give you a different slant on things.

Like Mathew, I find that most inexpensive hi-fi simply does not sound 'right' to me, and strangely it all fails to 'sound right' in exactly the same way. Sure, there are differences in presentation, sometimes big ones, but the fundamental limitations remain which I think is why I (and maybe Mathew too) tend to look for different solutions particularly at the budget end of the spectrum.

Mathew is looking at vintage gear, Cno at valves and class A amplifiers (not that budget) and I find myself looking at active speakers for the simple reason that it is one way of putting together a cheap system that does not sound like the kind of everyday budget gear that is the norm.

 

Bingo.  There is something I can't quite put my finger on.  As you say there is the same feeling of things not being quite 'right' with a lot of affordable modern gear, even where there are differences of presentation.

I actually already own some vintage gear - Sansui AU4400, AU2900, AU2200, as well as some KEF C30 speakers from the 80s that are sealed boxes and surprisingly sensitive.

I'm going to have a play with them again over the next few days.

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: Vintage gear

altruistic.lemon wrote:

No remotes, that's the problem with a lot of vintage stuff. One of the reasons I didn't get on with the Electrocompaniet.

 

Have to say remotes don't really bother me.  I rarely use the remote control any way.

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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