Saturday, August 16, 2014

54. Pioneer SX-980 Receiver 80 WPC from 1978.

I had this one about a year ago and sold it. I liked it. Powerful, strong bass, very dynamic. 80 watts per channel of old 1970's Pioneer power.

The prices on the two main lines of Pioneer receivers are getting crazy. The 1976 line ends in "50". For instance, 750, 850, 950, 1050 and 1250. The 1978 line ends in "80". For instance, 780, 880, 980, 1080, 1280 and the big daddy that continues to elude me, the 1980.

Here's a pic of my old Pioneer SX-980:

Friday, August 15, 2014

53. Onkyo TX-8500 MKI 110 WPC Monster Receiver from 1978

I picked this up a few months ago and flipped it. It wasn't bad, but I have too much gear. It was nice, mellow and clear. The 110 WPC were more than enough. A few years later Onkyo updated the TX-8500 with the release of the TX-8500 MKII. This model was upgraded to a digital tuning dial and 160 watts per channel. Needles to say, the MKII sells for more than the MKI, but if you're looking for the most affordable way to join the 100+ WPC club, I don't think that the TX-8500 MKI can be beat, $200 to $300 bucks. This is a picture of the one I owned for a short time.

Monday, February 3, 2014

52. McIntosh C26 Preamplifier From 1968 to 1977

Nice little preamp. VERY simple to get to the pots for cleaning. In fact, I don't think I have ever worked on an easier to service piece of equipment. The pushbuttons, pots and bulbs are all extremely easy to get to. In 1977 the last of these went for $450 which in todays dollars equals a little over $1700.  These don't get a lot of love from the audiophile community, but that's because after decades, vintage equipment can get out of spec. Capacitors go bad. I believe that I'm just lucky to find one that's in great shape. The guy who sold it to me said it was restored. I think it sounds great. Check out the split pic of the back and front below.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

51. BEWARE of What Can Be Found in a Ported Speaker or The Horror of What I Found in a Cerwin Vega AT-12.

I picked up a pair of Cerwin Vega AT-12 speakers at a thrift store. The foam on the 12 inch woofers needed to be replaced. I paid less than $20 for the pair and got a streak of lazy in me and decided to part them out rather than invest the time in fixing a pair of speakers that I'm not going to use anyway. So I pulled out the tweeters, mids, crossovers and lastly, the woofers. That's when I saw THE HORROR! Apparently, the savage who owned them before me stuffed his USED condoms in it. There were more than what is pictured. Then again, maybe he didn't own them. Maybe they belonged to his girlfriend or boyfriend and when they weren't looking, he stuffed the used rubbers in the Vegas. Either way, this is the WORSE thing I have discovered inside a pair of ported speakers. Here's a picture:

Saturday, August 24, 2013

50. JBL Model L96 Speakers from 1982

JBL L96 speakers. They are just fantastic! Back in 1982 they cost $800 a pair. In today's dollars that's about $1936. They are extremely well made. About 50 pounds each. The bass that these 10 inch woofers generate is stunning. The woofers feature a 3 inch voice coil that allow them to really pump. I bought mine a couple of weeks ago and it's one of the best purchases that I've ever made. Before these I was using a pair of JBL L100 Centuries and the midrange was so forward that I was getting a headache from them. The L96 are much nicer.

Here's a picture of mine:

49. JBL 4401 Control Monitors from 1984

These are fantastic, accurate little near field monitors. These deceptively heavy rascals put out an amazing amount of bass for their size. Nice wood cabinets, great quality. It would be hard to imagine better speakers at the same size. Very revealing, great soundstage, crisp highs, non fatiguing. These are so much better than what the vast majority use for their computers.

Here's some info on them from JBL and Lansing Heritage:

Unfortunately I haven't found any information on what their original cost was.

Here's a picture of mine:

48. David Hafler DH-110 Preamplifier from 1985.

I just got this preamp and hooked it up to my rebuilt and modified Dynaco ST-70 (also designed by David Hafler). Available as a kit, it was and continues to be popular due to it's upgradability and quality. It may be the best preamp available for under $200 in the used market today. I think it retailed for about $450, Anyway, I am very please! I can't wait to upgrade the phono section. It is now in my main rig. Here's a picture:

Sunday, July 28, 2013

47. JBL Aquarius 1 Speaker From 1971

Available in walnut or satin white finish in 1971. A 10" woofer, 5" mid and 2" tweeter. The woofer and mid have a panel in front of them to disperse the sound in an unconventional way. I have no other information on this unusual speaker. Here's a picture of mine: (I wish I had two of them)

46. Pioneer PL-530 From 1976 Painted with a Texturized Bleach Stone Finish

The fake wood ultra thin vinyl was peeling badly. So I figured that it would be fun to try something new. I went for a distressed crackle effect and wasn't satisfied with it at all. I then went with the same finnish I had previously applied to a PL-518. I think it turned out okay.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

45. Pioneer HPM-100 Speakers, Stacked Head to Head.

What kind of weirdo does this sort of thing? Um, me. Look at the picture. I have them stacked with the top pair upside down so that the tweeters are closer together. What's that you say? "That's not too weird"? Oh yeah? Well I have both pair stacked on top of a third pair that don't work. Now that's weird.

Monday, April 29, 2013

44. Vintage 1965 Thorens TD-150 Turntable with Rega RB300 Tone Arm (1984)

I just got it back from Bill at Ennis Audio. The Thorens TD-150 is truly a sleeping giant. The original AR suspension turntable was such a great and simple design that the good people at Thorens couldn't help buy rip it off and creat the TD-150. Six or seven years later Linn Sondek would totally rip the TD-150 off and make the LP12. Rather than drop a grand on the LP12, I think I'll stick with the TD-150 and an improved arm with a few mods and not be able to hear the difference. I'll take the money I saved and buy some vinyl. The old TP-13a tone arm has gone and been replaced by a Rega RB300. More base, nice and clear, an improvement! I am using an Ortofon FF 15 XE MKII and couldn't be happier. I'll post more info later, but for now, here's a picture of my "new" main table giving the Crow's August and Everything After a spin:

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

42. My Modified DYNACO Stereo 70 (ST-70) from 1959

The Dynaco ST-70 is the most popular tube amp in history. Over 350,000 were sold. God bless David Hafler. 35 Watts per channel of stereo sound in 1959? Just stunning. This is my first tube amp. I picked up a trashed ST-70 for $100 that had the original irons in good shape. Audiokarma's Big Bill and Fasterdamnit put in a new board and tubes after I sanded off all the rust that I could and gave the chassis a crappy paint job. The guys did a great job with it and gave it back to me on Christmas day. I was so surprised when I got to Bill's house and heard my amp. I couldn't wait to get it home and hook it up to my restored JBL 4311 speakers. I had it going for 7 hours straight and loved every minute of it. Here's a pick of my Dynaco:

41. Pioneer PL-518 Direct Drive Turntable from 1978 to 1979

Wow, this is a great turntable! It is built like a tank. About 21 pounds. Extremely accurate. This is what Vinyl Engine has to say:

"Pioneer has developed a 16-pole, 24-slot DC servomotor for the PL-518, one that provides exactly the same high signal-to-noise ratio and low wow/flutter as that used in the more expensive PL-520 model. This motor's magnetic circuit is twice as strong as conventional direct-drive types, a fact which contributes greatly to its improved resistance to torque ripple caused by uneven magnetic force.
Its switching frequency is also doubled, to 13.3Hz. Together these mean improved load characteristics, more accurate platter speeds at all times and, ultimately, better tonal quality results from your records.
You will find that few if any turntables in this price range offer such outstanding performance specifications: the signal-to-noise ratio achieved by the super-silent DC servo direct-drive motor is a high 73dB or less, while wow/flutter is an excellent 0.03% or less, and will stay that good over long years".
I completely striped it down and used Fleck Stone to paint the base. After letting it dry thoroughly, I put several coats of clear coat on it. I cleaned the bearings and oiled them. Now this is one of my favorite tables and it's in my Pioneer rack. Here's a picture of my PL-518 about to give Weezer Blue a spin:

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

40. Sansui 9090DB Receiver from 1975

Beautiful and highly sought after, this heavy beast (52 pounds) is capable of 125 watts per channel. The two phono inputs sure makes for icing on the cake. Having a midrange control to go along with bass and treble is really cool. This is common with Marantz, but it's nice to see that other manufacturers did it too. I wanted to restore it, but had to sell it. Maybe one day I'll come across another one of these and keep it to rattle my garage. Here's a picture of my departed 9090db:

Sunday, November 11, 2012

39. Thorens TD-165 Belt Drive Turntable 1972 to 1976

This is a nice entry level table for Thorens, which can get kind of pricey. I use it every day. I currently have an old Empire 2000 E/III on it. The Empire is a bit brighter sounding than the Shure that's on my Thorens TD-126. I'll be able to alternate between the two tables based on what records I'm playing because the McIntosh I'm using has two  phono inputs. I really like the Thorens stuff I've been able to play with so far. Here's a picture of my TD-165 giving Death Cab For Cutie's Transatlanticism a spin:

38. Thorens TD-126 MKII Belt Drive Turntable From 1976 to 1977

This is my main turntable. I have a Shure M97xe mounted on it right now.
So far, this has been my favorite table. The build quality is amazing. I've had it modified by Bill Ennis, gold plated jacks and such. Very nice. Germans make great turntables.

37a. 1961 JVC Delmonico 1225U Stereophonic AM/FM Phono

When I got this thing it was dead. Big Bill From AudioKarma brought it back to life. It's not a total restoration, but it's totally functioning! It took him hours to get the turntable working and the tuning section back to life. Testing the tubes and replacing the bad ones, this thing is working like a gem now! There are four speakers in it. Two in the front and one on each side hidden by a wooden flap. On the left side you can see the outline of the flap that hides the speaker. By opening the flap a certain amount, you can direct the sound a bit. Very cool! I gave it to my mother. She is having a ball listening to her Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Ray Conniff records. This Delmonico is just what she wanted. She was a teenager when this was new, so it's great for her. Thanks Bill!!!

37b. The 1961 JVC Delmonico 1225U

37c. Another View of The 1961 JVC Delmonico 1225U

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

36. McIntosh MA-6100 Integrated Amplifier From The 1970's

70 watts per channel
Just picked it up tonight! Cleaning the pots and hooking it up. Can't wait to give it a good cranking! I'll post more info latter. Here's a pic:

This thing sounds great! I took it apart and changed some bulbs. I cleaned all the potentiometers. Hooked it up to my recapped JBL 4311 speakers and it sounds wonderful. I can't overstate the INCREDIBLE built quality!! Seriously. These things are built to last. As small as it is, it's very heavy. This is just amazing craftsmanship. To think, this is a "low end" McIntosh. Makes me wonder what the "high end" ones are like.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

35. McIntosh Mac 4200 AM/FM Receiver From 1985

You'd have to hear it and see it to really get how wonderful it is.

75 Watts into 8 ohms
100 Watts into 4 ohms
.02% Total Harmonic Distortion
5 Band Equalizer
Solid wood sides
40 pounds
The build quality is just stunning!
It sold for $2890 in 1985 - 1987.
In 2012 dollars, thats about $6000!
Here's a picture of mine:

Friday, March 2, 2012

34. Harman / Kardon Citation Sixteen 16 Amplifier 1974?

I believe that this is a 1974 model.
It blasts at least 150 watts per channel into 8 ohms.
Made in the U.S.A.
I'm loving it!
I use it with a Pioneer SPEC 1 Preamp and a pair of Pioneer HPM 100 speakers.

I just got it back from Bill AKA "Turntable Daddy". He did a recap on it.
If you're in the Charlotte NC area, he does great work.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

33. Pioneer Stereo Preamplifier SPEC-1 from 1975 to 1980

 Back in 1975 this fantastic piece of equipment actually cost $500! In 2011 dollars, thats over $2000! It was built with the best parts available to compete with Preamps that cost far more. This is a real workhorse, whether in the home or studio. It's still a fine preamp today. A collectable? Sure, but I am using mine everyday. Not because it's got a cool vintage chic, but because it is a quality component. True high quality always wins. Over 30 years later, they still sell for $500... used. Here's a picture of mine:

32. Marantz Model 125 Stereophonic Tuner from 1976

This is one of the best solid state tuners ever made! It sounds as good as it looks.
Back in 1976 this sweet tuner retailed for $339.95. In 2011 dollars, that would be a little over $1300. Wow! Now that's an expensive radio! Here's a picture of mine:

Saturday, January 21, 2012

31. Pioneer SX-1250 Monster Receiver From 1976

I had the power filter capacitors replaced on this brute, They are the size of beer cans!
Replaced the caps on the power board as well. At 165 watts per channel, this thing is STRONG! Heavy too! About 65 pounds.  They don't build them like this anymore. Great sound, incredible build quality. This is one of the best receivers ever made. Here's a picture of mine:

Saturday, December 3, 2011

30. JBL 4311 WX-A Control Monitor Speakers From 1974

Back in the mid to late 1970's these were extremely popular in recording studios.
Rockers would listen to the playback on these. Wonderful speakers for listening close up or as they say "near field". I have them on my computer desk with a nice Marantz 2235B receiver. The turntable that I'm using in this set up is my Pioneer PL-71 with an Empire 2000 E/III cartridge and original stylus. I am really liking this set up!

29. Marantz 2235B Receiver From 1977

This is a sweet little receiver! Made in 1977, it puts out 35 watts per channel.
Total harmonic distortion is at .25%. It weighs about 26 pounds. There is an optional wood case for it that I wish I had! It is my current desktop receiver. I am using a pair of JBL 4311 studio monitors with it right now. I am enjoying this set up!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

28. KLH Model Seventeen 17 Speakers

This is the second pair that I've owned. I regretted trading away the first pair. They were in wonderful condition! Screw on badges and beautiful grills. It was a deal I had to make, especially being that with the cash and speakers I was getting a Pioneer RT-909. Anyway, this pair sounds as good as the first pair. I love 1960's KLH speakers! Henry Kloss was a genius!

Friday, May 13, 2011

27. Acoustic Research AR-2ax Speakers

Just picked these up tonight! The cabinets are in very good condition. Both grills have the screw on badges. The pots need a good cleaning, but they sound pretty good! Not bad. The AR-2ax had two runs, 1964 to 1970 and then after some updating, from 1970 to 1976. Back in the 1960's, they would run you about 120 bucks, which in 2011 dollars is about $876.00. The pair I have in the picture below are from the second run. I love old American speakers!

Now if I could only find a pair of AR-3 speakers!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

26. Pioneer RT-909 Reel to Reel Deck from 1978

I always wanted one of these! I got one, then sold it. It had bad pinch rollers, new ones were $90 and a guy made me a great offer for it, so I let it go. Back in 1978 these decks went for $900. Today that's about $3000. One of the very best consumer level decks ever made.

Monday, January 24, 2011

25. Kenwood KT-8300 Tuner From 1976

I picked this beauty up with the box around Christmas and sold it a few days later. It is a highly sought after audiophile tuner. I hooked it up and it worked fine. I don't think that it pulled in stations better than the tuning section of my SX-1280, but "experts" love this tuner! They can be found on ebay for $100 to $200.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

24. Kenwood KA-9100 DC Stereo Integrated Amplifier From 1977

This was Kenwood's top of the line integrated amp in 1977. It put out 90 watts per channel with a total harmonic distortion of .03%. Very nice! Two inputs for phono are a nice touch. Lots of headroom. Very desirable. These rascals go for $300 to $500 on ebay, which is where this one is headed. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

23. Yet Another Pioneer PL-71 Falls Into My Hands!

I paid $100 for it. It has no dust cover or cartridge or stylus. Still, not bad considering the condition it's in.

Friday, November 12, 2010

22. Kenwood KA-6100 Integrated Amplifier and KT-6500 Tuner From 1978

First the integrated amp. The KA-6100 features 50 watts per channel and a THD of .03%. Twin power meters and dual power supplies. A nice amp! I used it for a few months and sold it. This is a great example of a quality amp that isn't super popular, so it's available for under $50.

The KT-6500 Tuner is as good a tuner as I've ever used. It is wonderful. Pulls stations in so clearly! I actually didn't even hook up the antenna for a week after I picked it up. I'm not kidding. It's a great tuner.

21. Technics SA-5270 Receiver From 1977

This line of Technics (Panasonic) receivers are just plain beautiful! I swear the light just glows on these. I've had a couple of them and they feature a good tuner section and above average looks, great fit and finish. The series includes: 5770, 5570, 5470, 5370, 5270, 5170 and 5070. The 5270 was on the lower end. It featured 35 watts per channel and a total harmonic distortion of .3%. It retailed for about $280 back in 1977, which in today's dollars is roughly $1000! You can get one for under $50.00 easily.

Monday, November 8, 2010

20. Pioneer SX-1280 Monster Receiver from 1978

I am in a great mood! I recently picked up this badass and hooked it up in my main rack. It replaces my Elite Receiver. I cleaned all the potentiometers and removed the years of cigarette smoke residue off of it. Dear God does it sing! A minimum of 185 watts per channel and a maximum total harmonic distortion of .03%. Back in 1978 this freak of Japan cost $900 and in 1979 it was raised to $950. What does that translate to in 2010 dollars? about $3000. They don't make them like this anymore. It weighs in at under 70 pounds.  Very loud and very clean. This is not only the best piece of equipment I now own, but the best I've ever owned. Not for value, but for performance.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

18. Pioneer CS-911A Speakers from 1975?

Not sure of the year on these or the cost, sorry.
Okey dokey then!
These monsters weighed in at 50 pounds each.
They could handle 150 watts.
These 8 ohm, 4-way badboys featured six speakers in each cabinet.
I wonder if they were trying to challenge Sansui to see who could jam the most drivers in a cab!
Anyhow, we have here a 15 inch woofer, 2 four inch mids, 1 three inch tweeter and 2 two inch super tweeters in each cab!
Mid range and high range adjustments help turn up or down the brightness till it's just right for that Led Zeppelin revival that you know you're going to fall into the next time Grey Goose is on sale.

I had this pair for about a year before I traded them to a buddy for I don't remember what.
I do remember that they could take one hell of a pounding!
Rock on!

17. The Marantz 2220 Stereophonic Receiver From 1973!

This 37 year old beauty still works great! Nice warm sound that is great for a bedroom or an office. It not only sounds good, it looks good too. The dial and meter light are a GORGEOUS shade of blue.
This picture does not do it justice.
It features a modest 20 watts per channel.
Total harmonic distortion of 0.9%.
It weighs in at about 26 pounds.
Back in 1973 it retailed for about 300 bucks, which in today's dollars is about $1400.

16. The Woofer with Masonite Ring of The Original Advent Large Loudspeaker

Here's a picture of what an original Advent Large woofer looks like. As you can sort of see, the foam surround is reversed from what you're used to and is curved inward, not outward. Clearly visible is the masonite ring to which the surround is attached. A one of a kind.

15. The "Fried Egg" Tweeter of The Original Advent Large Loudspeaker.

This is an odd thing. When you first see it, it looks like someone stuck a little grill in some melted wax. That and it sort of resembles a fried egg. Although this thing doesn't look as though it could possibly sound good, it does! Seen here in the original orange, I have seen it also in green.

14. The Original Advent Large Loudspeaker with Walnut Veneer

Identical to the speakers you see in the picture for the post number 13, except for the different color fabric which was NOT from the factory, but a home made attempt to replace the worn out cloth. That and the wood trim around the front of the speakers. I've had two pair of this style of Advent large. They of course feature the same 10 inch woofer with the masonite ring and same fried egg tweeter on a masonite plate off set from an aluminum plate.

I rather like the black cloth!

13. The Original Advent Large Loudspeaker by Henry Kloss

I've been waiting to do this one as it's going to be in four parts. Posts 13, 14, 15 and 16 will cover the original Advent Large.

I have had more of these than any other type of electronica/audio equipment so far. God, I do like these speakers. You can NEVER EVER go wrong with a pair of original Advent Large. I've had 7 pairs of these during my life. At the moment, I have none.

38 pounds, 100 watts, 8 ohms. So what's so special about them?

They sound great! I think it's like a right of passage for every audiophile to get his or her hands on a pair at some point and time. Deep bass and ultra smooth highs! They are a joy to listen to. Designed by Henry Kloss, they had a 10 inch woofer in a 12 inch frame. What?  You see, the first generation of these used a masonite ring to adapt the 10 inch woofer to a 12 inch woofer basket. The tweeters in the first generation were the amazing "fried egg" dome-cone tweeters on masonite plates that were off set on aluminum plates. All this changed as they were revised into many variations over the course of more than  two decades.

God bless Henry Kloss (pronounced "Close")

This is a picture of my last pair. I re-foamed the surrounds and sold them for $100.00

Thursday, October 7, 2010

12. Yamaha NS-10T Natural Sound Monitors/Speakers

6 ohm 2 way speakers. They sound nice. Very clean with no color at all. They are unforgiving. You don't want to use these with a reel to reel or cassette. Every imperfection in the source is revealed with these.

Nice little speakers that are a WHOLE LOT cheaper than the pro series NS-10M Yamahas.
NS-10M's can go for $400 to nearly $1000. You can pick up a pair of NS-10T's for $75 to $100.

I don't know what the MSRP is for either model of those two 1980's gems.

Oh yeah, I forgot to add that they were made in the U.S.A.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

11. Pioneer SA-6500 II Integrated Amplifier and TX-6500 II Tuner

30 watts per Channel. Not powerful by any stretch, but a good sound. I opened it up and cleaned the pots. After that it was nice and smooth. The tuner was really nice. Even without an antenna hooked up it was pulling in stations nice and clear. I used it for about a month last year before moving it on to it's new owners. If you get a chance to pick either of these up, do it. You should get both for under $100 together or just the Amp for $50 to $75.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

10. Pioneer PL-A45D Turntable 1973 With Box and Manual Like NEW!

I have an absolutely GORGEOUS PL-A45D! I bought it from a guy for 50 bucks. It had been used a little bit. I mean a little bit. I swear, this 37 year old turntable looks new. I am using it in my Pioneer Elite rack and I love it! Since Pioneer didn't make a turntable for their Elite line, no harm in using this one in the rack.
 It is a stunner! Here's a picture:

9. Pioneer SX-3700 Fluoroscan Receiver from 1980

Now this is an interesting receiver that is languishing in my closet. BEAUTIFUL blue digital tuning and meters! Total harmonic distortion was a wonderful .02%. Back in 1980/1981 this 45 watts per channel rascal cost $375, which is about $1000 in 2010 dollars. Here's a picture of my dusty back up:

8. Pioneer SX-434 Receiver From 1974

This was the bottom of the barrel for Pioneer's receiver line in 1974. This thing cost $189.00 back then, which is about $834 now. It had an underpowered 7 watts per channel. I bought it cheap and sold it cheap.
Here's a picture:

7. Pioneer SX-737 Receiver From 1974

I sold this receiver to a friend a while back. It put out 35 watts per channel with .5% total harmonic distortion. Back in 1974 this thing cost $400. In today's dollars that's about $1768.00! Nice receiver but the pots are hard to get to for cleaning. here's a pic:

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

6. Pioneer CT-F9191 Cassette Deck From 1974

I had two of these. I sold one on ebay for $100 and the other is in my vintage rack. In 1975 it retailed for $450.00. When you adjust $450 for inflation, the 2010 price would be $1,823.51. This is a great deck!
It still  holds up. Fantastic quality! Here's a picture of the one I sold: