24 posts / 0 new
Last post
the record spot's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 2 days ago
Joined: 13/10/2007 - 14:36
Posts: 9252
The resurgence of Vintage kit?

The sheer amount of yesteryear kit that's offered up on Ebay (and elsewhere) makes me wonder if the resurgence of old gear is down to in part the economic climate or a desire to own some older kit. The caveat is the vast amount of old tat that's offered with the odd gem that's lurking in there. Saw a great listing for an amp on the 'bay last night: "...in great condition, except doesn't work when you switch it on..."! I get what the seller meant, but it did make me smile!

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture
Re: The resurgence of Vintage kit?
the record spot:The sheer amount of yesteryear kit that's offered up on Ebay (and elsewhere) makes me wonder if the resurgence of old gear is down to in part the economic climate or a desire to own some older kit.

The caveat is the vast amount of old tat that's offered with the odd gem that's lurking in there.

Saw a great listing for an amp on the 'bay last night: "...in great condition, except doesn't work when you switch it on..."! I get what the seller meant, but it did make me smile!

I think there's alot to be said for older kit and have experimented over the years with second-hand older gear from the likes of Audiolab etc and presently own an ancient pair of refurbished AR-17 speakers that I love listening to but really don't look that great compared to modern speakers from the likes of B&W etc. But I think it's a great way to experiment and start on the road with 'proper' hi-fi if that's what you're into as well as owning a piece of equipment from a manufacturer that you may not be able to afford otherwise.

I do think it is a sign of the times tho that so much older gear is available out there but sometimes it's worth a look and as you say, there are gems out there amongst all the dross...

ÿ

mickeyjoef's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: 10/09/2008 - 10:42
Posts: 83
Re: The resurgence of Vintage kit?

This is an interesting thread, as I have an interest in alot of older equipment, which may be a nostalgia trip, or merely as a way to build a system on the cheap! I'm not sure yet. 


I'm currently using a Technics SL-1500 turntable, and to be honest I find it far more enjoyable to listen to than some well regarded modern equipment, and certainly in terms of build quality it looks like it could last another 30 years.


For me, that is part of the attraction of much older gear, especially the Japanese stuff. It feels nice to use, like a precision instrument, even the budget equipment, which unfortunately is not always the case these days, IMHO.


The sound quality can vary, as there was some awful sounding gear way back, but there were also some real gems, which can still hold their own against some current kit. As an example I had a Cyrus 1 Mk8, back in the early '90's, and I loved it, but ultimately I sold it and went "AV". I recently heard one at a neighbours, and it still sounded great!


Until recently I was using my AV amp, Yamaha RX-V2500, for both music and films, and it was very pleasant, but I bought a budget mid 80's Technics amp from a car-boot for £5.00, just to play with. i connected it up, and it just wipes the floor with the Yam, which I did not expect. I then bought a cheap pair of Gale speakers for the Yam, and now use the Technics into my Mission 750LE's as the music system. Next purchase was a Marantz CD63KI, from a car-boot (£25.00), which comfortably outperformed the Sony SCD-XB770 SACD player I also have (except on SACDs...)!


I'm currently searching for a "new", ie old but good, amplifier, and when I find it I will be truly happy!


Sorry to waffle on!


Smile


PS.


When does "Old" become "Vintage"? 20 years? 30 years?


I reckon my turntable is "vintage", but the amp and CD are merely "old".


 

idc's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 days 4 hours ago
Joined: 02/01/2008 - 15:36
Posts: 7765
Re: The resurgence of Vintage kit?

I think that the internet and ebay as the main site is responsible for liberating a whole load of hifi that was stuck in cupboards and lofts. People get attached to their kit and thankfully a lot has been stored rather than thrown away. I have yet to see anything worthwhile at a car boot sale, but online, wow!

 

DistortedVision's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 days 19 hours ago
Joined: 18/02/2008 - 00:47
Posts: 652
Re: The resurgence of Vintage kit?

I always wish I have room for other systems especially since I've always wanted a Reel to Reel player for some reason. I know Clare had one not sure if she still does.

AlmaataKZ's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 1 week ago
Joined: 07/01/2009 - 11:48
Posts: 2154
Re: The resurgence of Vintage kit?
mickeyjoef:

When does "Old" become "Vintage"? 20 years? 30 years?


I reckon my turntable is "vintage", but the amp and CD are merely "old".


 



Old becomes vintage when someone wants to sell it. Wink

matthewpiano's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 43 min ago
Joined: 23/11/2007 - 22:23
Posts: 8307
Re: The resurgence of Vintage kit?

I think the resurgence of older/vintage/classic kit is due to many factors. Hi-Fi can be a very expensive hobby at the best of times and the ability to buy good quality kit at lower prices is bound to be attractive, particularly in our present economic climate.

I think there is an attraction in feeling like you are keeping a piece of classic kit going as well. The priorities of hi-fi have changed since the golden days of Sansui, Kenwood/Trio et al and many people I talk to feel that the sheer pleasure and involvement with the music has suffered. Quite often there was probably more pressure on brands to produce ever better kit in the 70s and very early 80s - striving for lower distortion figures, better power delivery, incorporating useful features etc. - as there were so many brands jostling for the 'top-dog' position. This resulted in some fantastic sounding kit that, once serviced, can still sound fabulous today.

I'm certainly not surprised at the popularity of Sansui amps. They have long been a favourite of mine.

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

6th.replicant's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 26/10/2007 - 18:16
Posts: 2988
Re: The resurgence of Vintage kit?

Recently gave my old Arcam Alpha II amp a checkover before gifting it to a relative. Blimey, the Alpha II still cuts it IMHO - and it has tone controls.

Ahh, tone controls... Big Smile

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture
Re: The resurgence of Vintage kit?

Dangerous ground, that. I took an old Arcam Alpha 8/8P pairing to my mate's house when he bought a new Quad 99/909/11L set up. I seem to remember that the smile and delight of the new purchase sank quickly when we realised that they sounded virtually the same. They actually didn't but upon an initial listen the differences were not apparent.

EDIT I wasn't intending to upset him but for some reason taking the Arcams sounded like a good evening of playing.

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture
Re: The resurgence of Vintage kit?

IMO there are a lot of hi-fi obsessives out there who constantly upgrade in the hope of finding the "holy grail". They appear generally dissatisfied and unhappy with whatever they buy and constanly seek something even "better" They must be a marketing mans dream to be persuade by the advertising hype.

I own a dual cs 505-2 turntable and a Sony str 232l receiver. Ok I am not a hi-fi nut, I just like to listen to music. There is no need to spend a fortune and who is to say that newer gear is always better.

Pete

plastic penguin's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 6 min ago
Joined: 28/04/2008 - 10:56
Posts: 16524
Re: The resurgence of Vintage kit?
kernow10:

IMO there are a lot of hi-fi obsessives out there who constantly upgrade in the hope of finding the "holy grail". They appear generally dissatisfied and unhappy with whatever they buy and constanly seek something even "better" They must be a marketing mans dream to be persuade by the advertising hype.


I own a dual cs 505-2 turntable and a Sony str 232l receiver. Ok I am not a hi-fi nut, I just like to listen to music. There is no need to spend a fortune and who is to say that newer gear is always better.


Pete



Firstly, I think it's not about chopping and changing that puzzles me, it's more of changing for a virtual lilke-for-like and expecting a mammoth improvement. That said, every one can do what they please with their own money, and I'm genuinely happy for them: That goes without saying.


Secondly, I honestly believe that "some", not all, are unsure of the end game - what sound they are looking for: I know the sound I love but can't always convey exactly what I want, not a lack of the English language, but sometimes you just can't put your finger on the sound that really does it for you (or me) or what doesn't. I ususlly go through a whole plethora checks when auditioning: 1) Does the sound really grab me? 2) Could I live with the sound over a period of years? 3) Is it condusive with the room acoustics?... so on and so forth.


Now this brings me onto vintage gear: some of it is very good indeed and some brands are duff. It's the same with modern gear. My only real complaint about really old equipment is the reliability issue. Like anything mechanical or electrical it'll eventually "clap out", so weighing whether it's worth spending additional money on repairs and/or servicing is down to the individual. If lovely retro looks and solid sound is your bag, then vintage (like wine) is always best.


So, if you can pick up a decent make like Pioneer, JVC, Sanui, Hitachi etc etc at real bargain basement prices, and in the knowledge that it could cease to exist within a relatively short space of time, they well worth checking out or buying....

Amp; CDP; Turntable; Tuner; Speakers

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture
Re: The resurgence of Vintage kit?
kernow10:

IMO there are a lot of hi-fi obsessives out there who constantly upgrade in the hope of finding the "holy grail". They appear generally dissatisfied and unhappy with whatever they buy and constanly seek something even "better" They must be a marketing mans dream to be persuade by the advertising hype.....


Pete



_____________________________________________


With the exception of introducing new (and useful) features and genuinely superior technology, the newer kit that manufacturers make is nearly always worse than the model that they're replacing!


Of course, the marketing hype (that sells publications) makes it difficult for us to see this. What's the main reason for any manufacturer to change the model (of whatever it is) that they're selling? Publicity? Sure. That's a reason. But the main reason is cost-cutting. It generally means that they've found a way to make something that's similar and that they can sell (advertise) as being 'better' ('The latest and greatest'), when actually all it is is cheaper for them to produce!


I think that thanks to the likes of ebay (and the internet in general), more people are 'discovering' one of the truths about consumer audio. But the industry needn't worry, there's always plenty of people who steadfastly believe that newer is better (like I used to), who'll keep their profit margins healthy Wink.


 

TheLastManWithBetamax's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 09/02/2008 - 20:07
Posts: 71
Re: The resurgence of Vintage kit?



I bought vintage gear because the way it looks, all those wooden sides and big knobs, and i cant help but feel that since i listen to mostly 60s-70s stuff i want to hear what some guy in the era would have heard. And well as Noble truth 1 tells us grasshoppers...state of the art is in the eye of the beholder!




The 8 Noble Truths of the 8-Track Mind

0) Understanding one's fate leads to greater acceptance.
1) State of the art is in the eye of the beholder.
2) Society's drive is on attaining rather than experiencing.
3) In less than optimum circumstances, creativity becomes all the more important.
4) Progress is too often promises, promises to get you to buy, buy.
5) "New" and "improved" don't necessary mean the same thing.
6) "Naive" is not a dirty word.
7) In seeking perfection, has the obvious been overlooked?
Dirol Innovation alone will not replace beauty.

Tonya's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 6 days ago
Joined: 09/09/2008 - 15:04
Posts: 524
Re: The resurgence of Vintage kit?

I think the ultimate homage to retro equipment has to be the new album from keyboard wizard extrodinaire Rick Wakeman.
His latest release was recorded using all his vintage keyboards and effect units.
If you ever wondered what an original Moog sounded like through a Watkins CopyKat, then I suggest you seek out the afformentioned CD and give it a listen.


Preferably on that old HeathKit or Avantic valve job that's been gathering dust in the attic!

Mr Morph's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 hours 1 min ago
Joined: 16/08/2010 - 10:22
Posts: 206
Re: The resurgence of Vintage kit?
plastic penguin:
kernow10:

IMO there are a lot of hi-fi obsessives out there who constantly upgrade in the hope of finding the "holy grail". They appear generally dissatisfied and unhappy with whatever they buy and constanly seek something even "better" They must be a marketing mans dream to be persuade by the advertising hype.


I own a dual cs 505-2 turntable and a Sony str 232l receiver. Ok I am not a hi-fi nut, I just like to listen to music. There is no need to spend a fortune and who is to say that newer gear is always better.


Pete



Secondly, I honestly believe that "some", not all, are unsure of the end game - what sound they are looking for: I know the sound I love but can't always convey exactly what I want, not a lack of the English language, but sometimes you just can't put your finger on the sound that really does it for you (or me) or what doesn't. I ususlly go through a whole plethora checks when auditioning: 1) Does the sound really grab me? 2) Could I live with the sound over a period of years? 3) Is it condusive with the room acoustics?... so on and so forth.



That is a really good post.  Speaking as someone who completed their system 12 years ago, I'll tell you why I stopped.  Quite simply I didn't think the sound would get any better, and if it did then I could easily live without knowing.  When a system still shocks you 12 years on with any kind of music, and conveys all the emotion that was intended, it can hardly be something I've regretted.


What I ended up with was far more involving than what I had ever intended.  So I had to ask the question, 'was it a sound I wanted to lose'?  Obviously, the answer was 'NO!'.


I do believe however that a lot of hi-fi enthusiasts are 'unwittingly' trying to build a system that is universal, where any music (even the stuff you wouldn't normally like) sounds good!  But from experience, I think most people will know when to stop upgrading, although looking at some of the 'regrets' on this site, some obviously don't!  As ever, don't through away your old stuff until the new kit has properly burnt in!!!

CDP-337ESD - MDS-JE520 - TU-1800DAB - Dacmagic 2i - PM66KI - LD50DMS

the record spot's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 2 days ago
Joined: 13/10/2007 - 14:36
Posts: 9252
Re: The resurgence of Vintage kit?

Great post! While I'm occasionally accused of spouting "obscure" brands or always plugging used equipment (usually by a couple of people, the rest seem to be open minded enough to recognise/understand/accept the benefits and caveats accordingly), I'm always pleased to see posts like this the end objective never wavers and this is a great example of achieving it!

Pages

Log in or register to post comments