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Old Gems (Audio Gear)

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  • Old Gems (Audio Gear)

    We all have audio gears that we're fond of. I figured it'd be fun to start a thread for us to discuss and share our old gems. I'm always open to learning new things and maybe find new gems that I may want to find and acquire.

    I'll start. I was given a Yamaha DSP-A1 receiver when I was in high school, by my friend's parent. They were upgrading to a newer Yamaha receiver and didn't know what to do with the old unit. I ran the DSP-A1 with some Bose cube speakers for a while, then some cheap Polk Audio R50 until I got through college and started making money. Long story short, 15 years later, I still have the DSP-A1 sitting in my home office. I've gone through at least 5 receiver and never got the musicality that I liked about the DSP-A1. I've gone through different brands (Denon, Onkyo, and Pioneer Elite) of receivers. Then I went to receivers with external amps, which I was much happier with than just the receiver powering my speakers.

    Fast forward to this week. I acquired a pair of Klipsch Forte II. I hooked up to the Pioneer Elite SC-25 that I have, didn't like the sound. Then tried the SC-25 with a Hafler DH200 amplifier, it sounded much better, but still left more to be desired. Then I went to My Onkyo TX-NR5009, it sounded good, but still missing something. Then I went from the Onkyo to a HK Citation 5.1 amp, this was a very enjoyable setup.

    Finally, I decided to carry the DSP-A1 into the theater room and hooked it up. The unit has been sitting untouched for 3 years. I forgot how great this unit sounds. I was in love all over again. It also made me really miss it and regret neglecting it. I ended up jamming out for close to 4 hours last night. I'll probably leave the unit hooked up for a while.

    Feel free share some of the gears that you're very fond of. It can be anything from speakers to electronics.

  • #2
    For me it's my Marantz 2252b. Sounds really nice all by itself but now I only use it as a pre/tuner. I use a Hafler DH 220 for power that I rebuilt with the Quaco kit. This combo really works for me.

    I'm in the middle of rebuilding a Harmon Kardon Citation 16a, and my fingers are crossed that it'll be my new amp. We'll see, the Hafler has a place close to my heart because it came from my brother.

    From where I sit,,,, Vintage gear RULES!

    Let's have fun out there,,,,, Mark


    • #3
      I love old Marantz 1060, 2275 etc... I am also quite fond of Crown DC300A Series II amps. I remember in high school in the early 90's... I could pick up old Marantz amps and receivers from pawn shops on a regular basis for $25-50... Now they sell for a lot of money.


      • #4
        Coincidentally, I just bought the DSP-A1 from ebay few weeks ago. I paid about $90 shipped, for one in very good condition with the champagne/rosewood finish, and I've always thought that was such a bargain.

        Having both the NAD T773 and Yamaha DSP-A1, I need to say that those beefy flagship receivers from the 90s perform especially well in stereo application. They used to cost around 2k back in the time, but now could be found for about $200.


        • #5
          I have a Pioneer receiver, 25 wpc I think, that I purchased in the early-'70s and it's still going strong. I use it in my workshop to drive a pair of speakers I built in the '80s for workshop duty. The receiver is fully featured with controls.

          Edit: I didn't remember the model number of this receiver, so I checked and it's SX636.
          Last edited by Paul K.; 01-28-2017, 09:17 AM.


          • #6
            I love my Sansui G8000, 125W/ch @8Ohm, recently recapped.

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            • #7
              I have a Yamaha DSP E1000 sitting in my basement. It was an early soundfield processor, meant to supplement a stereo receiver via pre out main in or tape loop. It has five additional amp channels for a total of seven. I never had decent speakers or space to do it justice. At least I took the batteries out of the remote.


              • #8
                I have a Proton 930 Receiver I bought new. It's rated 30Wpc into 8 ohms but I just found a review that said it was designed to drive loads as low as two ohms with high current and they measured 66 watts into 2 ohms. I pulled the picture off the net so I wouldn't have to clean off my desk. It's the front end of my computer system.

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                • #9
                  Almost all my gear is old except for the speakers (DIY of course!):

                  Pioneer SLD-1 turntable with Ortofon MC1 cartridge (about 35 years old), The Ortofon is a high output moving coil design, great detail in the sound.
                  Yamaha RX596 stereo receiver (25); and a
                  Yamaha 5 CD player (about 15 years old).

                  I also had a British Connoisseur BD2a belt drive turntable (ancient!) but the suspension system died and couldn't be repaired. A shame, it was lovely.

                  The Pioneer/Ortofon combination still sounds great and the turntable even has fine speed adjustment to cope with poorly cut bootleg LPs.

                  While old and lacking sub output or pre-outs etc, the Yamaha receiver has a really nice sound and about 80watts per channel RMS. It's also built like a tank and has really hefty heat sinks and power supply.

                  Until this old stuff eventually croaks, I'll continue to enjoy the sound!



                  • #10
                    Both of my two channel systems are vintage and simple. I have a Carver C-2 pre-amp with a M200t amp and a Hafler 100 pre with a DH220 amp. I want to be buried with them.
                    Last edited by Neis; 01-28-2017, 04:14 PM.


                    • #11
                      Almost all of my stereo gear is what would be called "vintage." There is one piece though which I bought new and still have, a Sansui AU-7500 integrated amp. I was just out of college and needing to establish credit, Surprising thing is that aside from the occasional cleaning of contact surfaces I've never had a moments trouble from my little Sansui. Today I have (2) AU-9500's and a pair of CA/BA amps, all bought when going prices were much more reasonable than today.
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                      • #12
                        Purchased in 1974 and still going strong: HK11 Pre-Amp and HK12 Power Amp driving AR3a's. Sold the AR turntable years ago.


                        • #13
                          Just a reminder ... many, many older operating and service manuals are available at

                          You sign up with a user name and password (no email required, no verification). I never had a problem after signing on to this site.

                          You can select "database" and zero in on your equipment, select type (e.g., integrated amp, stereo receiver, etc.), select make and model no. That doesn't always work so you can use the search pane. I've find that 9 out of 10 times, there is some documentation.

                          Here's a pic of the Sansui AU-7500 schematic from the combined operators/service manual (it's much larger and clearer in the doc from the site)


                          • #14
                            Back in 1974, I bought a pair of power amplifier kits from Southwest Technical Products Corporation (SWTPC). They were the model 207A, also known as the "Tiger .01's". They were given this name because IM distortion was said to be less than 0.01 percent at the full 60W RMS power output from 20-20KHz. . My brother Steve assembled and soldered the kit for me.

                            They worked well and sounded great for years and years. Up until 2009, when, all of a sudden, during a moderate power playback session, one of the two front panel power meters "pinned" hard right. One-half of the full B+ power rail was sent to my 12 inch woofer (44 volts DC). I quickly jumped out of my listening chair and hit the power switch!!

                            Needless to say, the T0-3 style power output transistors had blown. So I re-built the amp with new capacitors, resistors and power output devices. Should be good for another 35 years! Dan Meyer would be proud!

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                            • #15
                              Bill- that's a neat little amp! I like the vintage look to it!
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