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plastic penguin's picture
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RE: Vintage gear

matthewpiano wrote:

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?

Okay, Matt. Please don't take this the wrong way but...

You have at least 3 Sanui amps, shed-load of others plus speakers (a good few) in addition to different sources. It is nothing more than a nasty distraction. Sell the lot and concentrate on your current fav. Then after a few months of saving go and buy a vastly better amp and/or actives.

Storing all these components is far from helping. 

Amp; CDP; Turntable; Tuner; Speakers

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RE: Vintage gear

I agree with Dave (well i would do, as he agrees with me), Floydy (I think you should go in the Valve direction), and PP (ie.stop effing around with the wrong stuff -  and go once, but go right. :grin: )......music is too important to you to get this wrong.

"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

Matthewpiano, do you have the same issues with SQ when listening through headphones as you do through speakers? Maybe the room size/volume you listen at has a far greater impact than the kit - whether vintage or new? Why not get a bigger house and play you music louder! How often do people go to a concert where the vol. is low?

One reason I don't go to Hi Fi shows is that theres always a system more expensive and better sounding than the one you already own. This means your never particularly happy with the system you have.

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

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RE: Vintage gear

CnoEvil wrote:

I agree with Dave (well i would do, as he agrees with me), Floydy (I think you should go in the Valve direction), and PP (ie.stop effing around with the wrong stuff -  and go once, but go right. :grin: )......music is too important to you to get this wrong.

I honestly believe that having all this different stuff around gives you too much of an excuse to question the ability of your kit.

Amp; CDP; Turntable; Tuner; Speakers

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RE: Vintage gear

my system in 1998 was:

Marantx CD63 ki sig, Pm 66 ki sig & some Mission speakers 780 something with van den hul d102 & QED Silver

tell you what it sounded mint

Then i added a silver  SL1200

why why why did I sell it

because i got an iMac & itunes and didnt need all those boxes......little did i know what a big mistake that was

 

Michell / Icon Audio / Kudos

 

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RE: Vintage gear

What causes me to question the set-up is knowing that the music just doesn't sound right.

Tonight I've been watching a wonderful Proms concert on BBC 4, conducted by Antonio Pappano, and I felt thoroughly involved with the music - not a hint of the usual restlessness or experiencing all the phase, soundstaging, tonality and dynamic issues that thoroughly get on my nerves.  Furthermore I also thoroughly enjoyed the few tracks of Megson I played on CD afterwards.

The system?  Sansui AU-2200 amp and KEF C30 speakers.  The AU-2200 was the first Sansui I put my hands on when I got home.

I'm really starting to question the quality of some of the modern kit.  A lot of it just doesn't seem to do music.  All these small, ported speakers with frequency response humps from ports, and amps that only seem to sound half decent at certain volume levels.  Think there are going to be some changes round here.

 

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

matthewpiano wrote:

What causes me to question the set-up is knowing that the music just doesn't sound right.

Tonight I've been watching a wonderful Proms concert on BBC 4, conducted by Antonio Pappano, and I felt thoroughly involved with the music - not a hint of the usual restlessness or experiencing all the phase, soundstaging, tonality and dynamic issues that thoroughly get on my nerves.  Furthermore I also thoroughly enjoyed the few tracks of Megson I played on CD afterwards.

The system?  Sansui AU-2200 amp and KEF C30 speakers.  The AU-2200 was the first Sansui I put my hands on when I got home.

I'm really starting to question the quality of some of the modern kit.  A lot of it just doesn't seem to do music.  All these small, ported speakers with frequency response humps from ports, and amps that only seem to sound half decent at certain volume levels.  Think there are going to be some changes round here.

Could be the help/distraction of having the visuals too, even listening on my very basic TV speaker system does not bother me in such circumstances.

There is something about playing some music on the hi-fi that does it, maybe 'expectation bias' of a wholly different kind......?

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RE: Vintage gear

I see your point Dave and it is a fair one, but my experience tonight is in stark contrast to my experience of watching the Proms through the Denon stuff last week.  I'm also not that distratced by the visuals - I can't stand the sound from the TV for music. 

Obviously needs longer to see how things pan out, but....

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

matthewpiano wrote:

I'm really starting to question the quality of some of the modern kit.  A lot of it just doesn't seem to do music.  

It dosnt it does ruddy hifi if you get my drift Matthew. Theres no involvement in the music , tis just listening to boxes making a noise. Jeez i'm rubbish at putting things across in words. 

Dynamics , tonality, soundstage issues. Half decent at certain volumes , thats trannie amps all over.

Move over to the dark side or at the very least give it a try.

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RE: Vintage gear

floyd droid wrote:

matthewpiano wrote:

I'm really starting to question the quality of some of the modern kit.  A lot of it just doesn't seem to do music.  

It dosnt it does ruddy hifi if you get my drift Matthew. Theres no involvement in the music , tis just listening to boxes making a noise. Jeez i'm rubbish at putting things across in words. 

Dynamics , tonality, soundstage issues. Half decent at certain volumes , thats trannie amps all over.

Move over to the dark side or at the very least give it a try.

Are you seriously suggesting that the bulk of the affordable equipment that is endlessly discussed on this forum is actually a load of mid-fi tat?

I think we should be told........ :pray:

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RE: Vintage gear

Blackdawn wrote:

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?!

OK lets play the Spec Guessing Game.

 

I'm thinking of a pair of speakers that have a frequency response of 20hz to 20khz +/- 3dbs. They have max SPL's of 119dbs continuous and can do transient peaks up to 124 dbs. They have a nominal impedance of 8 to 16 ohms. Guess how old they are and how much you have to pay to buy a pair?

 

I'm thinking of a turntable. It has a Din B signal to noise ratio of 95dbs. Speed accuracy is to 0.001%. Wow and flutter to 0.003%. Guess how old it is and how much you have to pay for one?

 

I'm thinking of a power amplifier. It delivers 300 watts into 8 ohms and 600 into 4 ohms. Damping factor is greater than 200 into an 8 ohm load. Noise level at least 100dbs below rated output. Slew rate is 50v/microsecond into an 8 ohm load. Guess how old it is and how much you have to pay for one?

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RE: Vintage gear

davedotco wrote:

Are you seriously suggesting that the bulk of the affordable equipment that is endlessly discussed on this forum is actually a load of mid-fi tat?

I think we should be told........ :pray:

 

As if  :twisted:

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RE: Vintage gear

Matthew is absolutely right in saying that it's the music that's important.  I get the feeling that for many posters to this forum it's the kit that's important.  I suspect that if you spend say £2k on your hifi setup (and avoid stupid mismatches) you are going to get something that is perfectly good at reproducing music.  After that you can doubtless get improvements but they will cost you a lot and get you very little.

Chris

Marantz PM8005 / SA8005 / KEF R700s / AKG K702

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RE: Vintage gear

lindsayt wrote:

OK lets play the Spec Guessing Game.

I'm thinking of a pair of speakers that have a frequency response of 20hz to 20khz +/- 3dbs. They have max SPL's of 119dbs continuous and can do transient peaks up to 124 dbs. They have a nominal impedance of 8 to 16 ohms. Guess how old they are and how much you have to pay to buy a pair?

I'm thinking of a turntable. It has a Din B signal to noise ratio of 95dbs. Speed accuracy is to 0.001%. Wow and flutter to 0.003%. Guess how old it is and how much you have to pay for one?

I'm thinking of a power amplifier. It delivers 300 watts into 8 ohms and 600 into 4 ohms. Damping factor is greater than 200 into an 8 ohm load. Noise level at least 100dbs below rated output. Slew rate is 50v/microsecond into an 8 ohm load. Guess how old it is and how much you have to pay for one?

I was thinking of large Voice of the Theatre systems for the speakers, but no way can you get 20 Hz at those levels out of a horn unless you are actually living in it. Rules out Klipsch and the like too.

Off the top of my head, the only thing I can think off that would come close to that spec is the old 'Texas Bookshelf', JBL 4350s form the 70's, cost an absolute fortune in Japan, which is where most of them are.

As someone who thought turntables started with the LP12 I have to admit I know little about old turntables. The wow and flutter figures would seem to rule out both belt and idler drive, so the TD124 and Garrard 301 are out. I'm thinking a big japanese direct drive, Denon maybe.

I know little about old power amps too, the only thing I have experience of that comes close is the Crown/Amcron M600 and although I have only seen the small versions, wasn't there a massive Threshold Stasis back in the day?

 

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RE: Vintage gear

plastic penguin wrote:

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. 

 

Reliability. Generalisations don't apply here.

 

If you have speakers with latex cone surrounds, grills that keep sunlight off the drivers and prying fingers away from poking-in dustcaps and an easily removable rear panel allowing access to the crossovers, what is there to go wrong? And if you ever do decide to replace the caps in the crossovers how difficult do you think that is? There really is nothing that goes wrong with a pair of speakers like this. Not with the sort of use that you and I would give them. These are the sort of speakers that will last 50, 60, 70, 100 years or more with no servicing or minimal servicing.

 

If you have speakers with compression drivers they only have 1 moving part: the diaphragm. That part is inexpensive and easy to replace. 15 minute job if you've not done it before. 5 minutes if you have. Reliability combined with cheap, easy repairs make vintage compression drivers a good long term ownership prospect.

 

Amplifiers. If they have valves expect to replace the big valves every 5000 hours or so and the little valves every 10000 hours.

 

When it comes to capacitor replacement in valve and solid state amps it all depends what type of capacitors are used and to a lesser extent how hot they get and how close to their voltage limit they're being used. Volume pots and selector switches might need cleaning / replacement every 20 years or so. But your vintage amp might not have these in.

 

Sudden catastrophic failure in amps. It all depends. Some are more likely to fail than others. Some have protection in the event of failure. Some don't.

 

A lot a vintage gear is so affordable that if you're worried about how long it will last, just buy 2 of them.

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