Friday, February 16, 2018

68. Marantz 2230B AM/FM Stereo Receiver from 1976

Only 30 watts per channel, but more than enough for a bedroom system. Not a whole lot of info out there on this one. There's tons on the 2230, but not the 2230b. The 2230 has pre out/power in, the 2230b does not. That's sad. Anyway, I replaced the old lamps with some blue LEDs and it's a looker! Here's a picture of mine:

67. Acoustic Research AR XB1 Turntable from 1972

The AR XA had a real wood skirt, whereas the XB had vinyl veneer that looked like wood.
They are essentially the same turntable. The XB does have an arm lifter though and there are style differences, but they are basically the same. Nice and simple. In 1972 they sold for about $90, which is roughly $540 today. Here's one that I fixed up and sold to a friend:

66. Harman Kardon 930 AM/FM Stereo Receiver from 1972

With 2 Phono, 2 Aux and 2 Tape inputs, the 930 gives the user lots of options! Only 48 watts per channel, but that's more than enough for most people. It was priced at $480, which in 2018 is almost $2800. I bought it from a nice couple and gave it a good cleaning. If you decide to go after one, do know that the green dial only stays on white you have it in tuner mode. If you switch it to Phono, the pretty green display goes away. Here's a picture of the one I briefly owned.

Friday, May 19, 2017

65. Pioneer PL-510A Direct Drive Turntable From 1976 - 1978

This is a really nice turntable that flies under the radar. It doesn't get the same attention that the Pioneer PL-530 does, but both tables have the SAME tonearm! The PL-510A is a totally manual table. It features two pitch controls, one for 33 and one for 45. This means you don't have to adjust when going between 45s and 33s like you do with tables that have only one pitch control. It's simple a dependable. It has a quiet motor too! The only real issue with these old tables is that often times the pitch control pots get dirty and they need a shot of Deoxit to get them right again. Back in 1976 these sold for $199. That's about $875 in 2017 dollars! Here's a picture of mine, it's currently serving in the garage system:

64. Pioneer SA-9100 Stereo Integrated Amplifier - 1973 - 1975

This was the top of the line integrated amp from Pioneer back in 1974.
It was rated at 60 watts per channel into 8 ohms and had three sets of speaker outputs.
This model came with a ton of great features. Get this, there were three separate volume controls on the back for "Phono 2", "Aux 2" and "Speaker B". It had lots of flexibility. 2 Tape, 2 phono and 2 aux inputs means you can hook up lots of components to this wonderful amp. It's very sturdy and I love the solid feel of it. The stamped face of it. All 40 pounds of it. A true throwback to a time when quality was king. Here's a picture of the second I've been lucky enough to find.

Friday, March 18, 2016

63. Yamaha CR-840 Natural Sound Stereo Receiver Made in Japan From 1979 - 1980

The simulated dark wood case and silver face with greenish lights are so attractive! It features a nice tuning section and 60 watts per channel of Yamaha power. So far I have nothing to complain about, which is a nice change. I have not had very good luck with Yamahas. This is maybe my 3rd or 4th Yammie receiver and it's been a good one. Back in 1979 it would run you $500, which today is over $1600. I like it. I have it hooked up to a pair of JBL 4401 speakers and use it for my 2nd computer set up. Here it is:

62. The Pioneer PL-71 Turntable Made in Japan 1974 -1975

This is the 3rd one I've owned. It's also the roughest one I've owned of the three. The 1st one was mint, this one was abused. I had to take it to Bill Ennis the "Turntable Daddy" in Charlotte to get it running properly. In 1974 they were $300. That's about $1450 in 2016. I have about $330 invested in this one. They are just beautiful. Real wood is rare on Japanese turntables. Here is a picture of my 3rd PL-71:

61. Rega Planar 3 British Turntable Built From 1977 to 2000

This is one of the most popular turntables ever. One of the longest running too. It's so popular that it has it's own Wikipedia entry:

There is already so much info available online regarding this low priced high performer, I'll simply skip to mine. Here it is with an acrylic platter and a green vinyl pressing of Starfish by The Church:

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:

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.