Sunday, November 8, 2015

60. McIntosh Mac 1700 Receiver from 1968 to 1973

This is an unusual receiver. It combines solid state and tubes. The amplifier and pre-amplifier are solid state, the tuner is tube. The tuning section is nice! Mine has no problems pulling local stations in clearly. It's potentiometers were dirty, but cleaning the controls was easy. Everything is laid out in such a simple way. It's hard to believe that this over 40 year old receiver is still functioning so well. All the lights still work too. Truly, they just don't build them like this anymore. I'm keeping this one. It's too cool to just let go.

The 40 watts per channel are more than enough to drive my JBL 4311 desktop studio monitors.

It retailed for $599 back in 1973. That's about $3200 in 2015 dollars. It was a great piece of stereo equipment back then and it still is now. Here's a picture of mine:

Monday, July 13, 2015

59. JVC R-S33 Super A AM/FM Stereo Receiver From 1980

This is a nice little receiver. It retailed for $345 back in 1980. That's about $980 in 2015 dollars. A strong 40 watts per channel. The sound is nice a clear. It features a 5 band EQ for tone control. It is quite pretty at night when lit up. Unfortunately the engineers decided to use a slider for the volume. That's a terrible idea. Still though, it is a nice receiver. I picked one up at a garage sale on July 11th 2015.  Here's a picture of mine:

Monday, May 11, 2015

58. Pioneer SX-950 Stereo Receiver from 1976

Strong receiver! 85 Watts per channel, connections for 3 sets of speakers. I used it for about a year and recently flipped it for $400. When it was new in 1976 it was about $600, which is around $2500 today. These are very popular receivers. The only two above it were the SX-1050 (120 WPC) and the SX-1250 (165 WPC). When you consider the features versus the price on these big three, the SX-950 was a bargain at $600. The SX-1050 would set you back $750, which todays is $3100, the SX-1250 cost $950 which today is a whopping $3900. Sure the SX-1250 had twice the WPC of the SX-950, but not twice the features or twice the sound quality. I've owned both. At a normal listening level, I don't think I could tell the difference. here's a look at my old SX-950:

57. Denon POA-1500 Amplifier & Denon PRA 1000 Pre Amplifier from 1983

The Denon POA-1500. Big glowing meters and 150 watts per channel. What's not to love?
Well, the glass keeps coming loose. Outside of that, you can run two pair of speakers, that's nice!
Back in 1983 the POA-1500 would run you $695, that's over $1600 today.

The Denon PRA-100 is a nice preamp. In 1983 it cost $495, which is almost $1200 today. This kind of gives you an idea of the quality of these components. I've been listening to them for a month now just about everyday. The speakers I've used include JBL L96, JBL L100, Infinity Kappa 7 and as of yesterday, JBL L112.

No complaints. This is just really good equipment. If you can snag this pair in good condition for less than $500, do it. They are over 30 years old, so you mileage may vary. All I did with mine was clean the pots in the pre. That's it. Heres a pic: (sorry for the reflection of my marine aquarium on the meters).

56. JBL L100 Century 1970, Love em or Hate em, they ARE the 1970's HiFi Sound

I really can't think of a pair of speakers, or any stereo equipment for that matter, that stirs emotions like the L100 Century. People either think they are wonderful or hate them. The biggest complaint is the "forward" sounding midrange. After a while, it can give you what is known as "listener fatigue". Either that or just a plain old headache! I had a nice looking pair and sold them. Now I have an okay looking pair and they are not nearly as harsh. As with all equipment this old, the capacitiors have varying levels of degradation from one to the next. This has an affect on the sound. Personally, I think they are dynamic! Listening to the helicopters in Pink Floyd's The Wall with 100+ watts driving a good pair of Century speakers is an eye opening experience. I felt that thrill just yesterday. Man, these speakers still kick ass! Here's a guide for you:

Do you like listening to the Ramones, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Beatles, Stones or any rock, post-punk, alternative, new wave, punk, grunge or metal?
If yes, then you might enjoy the JBL L100 Century experience.

Are you a lace curtain, choirboy Kenny G fan?
If yes, then you probably won't enjoy the JBL L100 Century experience.
Go buy Klipsch speakers, play a Mozart SACD and eat an alfalfa sprout salad.
You'll probably then feel the need to take a drive in your Volvo or Prius to the vegan food store for a refreshing bowl of humus for desert. Good grief, Klipsch, how sad. I hope you don't have kids...

Here's a picture of my L100s.

55. JBL L112 Century II Speakers from 1981

I just scored a nice pair of JBL L112 Century II Speakers! I've been wanting a pair for quite a while. These really are wonder 3 way speakers! The build quality is amazing. Back in 1981 these ran about $1100 a pair. In 2015 that's over $2800. Yikes! They weren't cheap. Here's a photo of the left one: