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Old Receivers/Amps vs newer ones

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  • Old Receivers/Amps vs newer ones

    How do older receivers stack up against newer ones? I'm not talking about today's cheap receivers, I'd like to know how today's higher quality receivers compare. i have a couple of older receivers and I am quite happy with them, just wondering what else is out there. Lets say in the $500-$1000 range. It would be interesting to know what you are listening to.

  • #2
    The only reason to go to a newer receiver is if you're using it for home theater and want surround sound processing and perhaps video source routing, and your old receiver doesn't offer that.
    www.billfitzmaurice.com
    www.billfitzmaurice.info/forum

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    • #3
      In that $500 to $1000 price range, some very respectable used amps/preamps can be found. For music I prefer a simple amp/preamp setup over any AVR I've owned or heard. If it is going to be a dual duty (music and movies) setup, it might pay to find a shop that allows you to demo the gear at your home before buying. I've bought the last two avr's in this manner.

      Brands like Rotel, Adcom, NAD, etc.have been around for a lot of years and make some very well performing gear for the price, especially the older ones. People seem to go gaga for old Mac gear.
      http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...khanspires-but
      http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...pico-neo-build
      http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...ensation-build

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      • #4
        I don't have bread in my username unlike most people in this thread, but I do enjoy quality baked goods.

        That said, from what I understand, some newer amps aren't terrible when tested. There's a car audio guy on YouTube who has one of those amp dynos and he sometimes tests home receivers. I think a couple of newer Onkyo units and some older ones like NAD and NEC. I think he just tests them in two-channel stereo mode which is sort of annoying. Especially when he has videos in which he uses a resistor bank for 4-channel car audio amp testing. But it's better than nothing. https://www.youtube.com/user/bigdwiz...query=receiver

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        • #5
          The older style silver face wood case flywheel tuning units are nicer looking and feeling than new stuff.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by djg View Post
            The older style silver face wood case flywheel tuning units are nicer looking and feeling than new stuff.
            Agreed.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Kornbread View Post
              In that $500 to $1000 price range, some very respectable used amps/preamps can be found. For music I prefer a simple amp/preamp setup over any AVR I've owned or heard. If it is going to be a dual duty (music and movies) setup, it might pay to find a shop that allows you to demo the gear at your home before buying. I've bought the last two avr's in this manner.

              Brands like Rotel, Adcom, NAD, etc.have been around for a lot of years and make some very well performing gear for the price, especially the older ones. People seem to go gaga for old Mac gear.
              Yes, prices are skyrocketing on the popular old gear but some of those that you mentioned fly under the radar and can be had much cheaper. That is good for us.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by breadfan View Post
                How do older receivers stack up against newer ones? I'm not talking about today's cheap receivers, I'd like to know how today's higher quality receivers compare. i have a couple of older receivers and I am quite happy with them, just wondering what else is out there. Lets say in the $500-$1000 range. It would be interesting to know what you are listening to.
                Unfortunately, older equipment, the really old stuff begins to develop issues especially as the internal components age or wear. Potentiometers need to be cleaned and lubed, electrolytic capacitors need to be replaced, heat sink compound has dried up and adjustments need to be made.

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                • #9
                  If you're looking at receivers, try and get those with pre-power amp jumpers. So that you can use the power amp section later (such as for surrounds) or as a pre-amp to the rest of your system.

                  That way - if the tech changes and the pre / processing part needs upgrading, you can still use the receiver (power section).

                  Personally - I try and separate processing - pre - power units for this very reason.
                  1. you're not spending on compromises. i.e. a very good receiver will be the cost of a very good pre and power amp combined anyway.
                  2. upgrade flexibility
                  3. downstream re-use (rather than discard / sell at a loss).

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                  • #10
                    We have an old stereo Yamaha RX596 receiver, about 80 watts RMS per channel, sounds great and "built like a brick - - - house". It doesn't have pre-outs or a separate sub woofer output, but that's all it lacks in comparison with more modern gear.

                    The thing is really heavy, with big heat sinks and a large 'things' inside. The only issue we've ever had - and it's over 20 years old - is that the input knob sometimes has a mind of its own and has to be moved manually rather than with the remote.

                    A newer 5.1 Yamaha we bought still sounds good but doesn't have the same level of build quality.

                    Geoff

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by AEIOU View Post

                      Unfortunately, older equipment, the really old stuff begins to develop issues especially as the internal components age or wear. Potentiometers need to be cleaned and lubed, electrolytic capacitors need to be replaced, heat sink compound has dried up and adjustments need to be made.
                      Yes, this is expected and I will get my receivers rebuilt when the time comes. I really think the good older equipment should be saved from the scrap pile if it is feasible. And really, I may have sounded naive with the questions but I don't really ever hear anyone else's system. I have no idea what everyone else has in their living room. Back in the day we always used to have friends with hi-fi systems but today, I have one friend (and my oldest daughter) that I know who even cares about good sound. I've been in it since I was 14, the year I heard my first good hi-fi and I can't seem to get out of it!

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                      • #12
                        I have a 120w/ch Pioneer receiver from 1978 (60lbs), 2005 (33lbs) and today, (19lbs). There is no question which one sounds better, a lot better and without having been recapped yet. Watts today, aren't the same as watts then.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by dwigle View Post
                          I have a 120w/ch Pioneer receiver from 1978 (60lbs), 2005 (33lbs) and today, (19lbs). There is no question which one sounds better, a lot better and without having been recapped yet. Watts today, aren't the same as watts then.
                          Must be the SX-1080. Very nice, I'd love to get my hands on one, one day.

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                          • #14
                            I am fortunate to have a 950, 1080 and 1250. A few years ago, nobody wanted this vintage stuff - too heavy and would look ridiculous driving some bose cubes.

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                            • #15
                              I wish I knew then what I do now... I would have taken better care of my Pioneer SX something or other receiver and kept it. A power supply board was consistently overheating, leading to a mini fan modification I made when I really should have re-capped the board. It was likely a leaky electrolytic causing the heat issues. Then, I should have picked and used the right type of contact cleaners for the switches and pots. In the end after years of cleaning with the wrong stuff, there simply wasn't enough carbon left in the volume pot to work, and many of the switches seemed unrecoverable.

                              I don't miss hauling that heavy sucker around, but I do miss the clean power.
                              Electronics engineer, woofer enthusiast, and musician.
                              Wogg Music
                              Published projects: PPA100 Bass Guitar Amp, ISO El-Cheapo Sub, Indy 8 2.1 powered sub, MicroSat

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