AUDIO AGEISM: Does older audio equipment have a better sound?

Robert Ballard, Saxophonist (1974-present) writes ...

Yes and no. in general, receivers and amps from the early 70s till around 1983 had warmer, more natural sounding lower mid range tone. This is really nice on vocal, guitar, violin, or any acoustic instrument. it also adds warmth to electric guitar. it gives a more natural tone tha the sterile, harsh sound of todays A/V receivers.

You can find New tube amplifiers and preamps that will give you pristine, warm sound far and above the high end AV amps and receivers available in the last 15 years - for literally Thousands of dollars for just the amp!

OR you can find a working Receiver or Amp by Pioneer ( SX 6. 7.9 or 10 series from the 70s) Kenwood, Marantz or NAD made up until around 1983.

From personal experience I can tell you the Kenwood, NAD, and especially Pioneer Sx 650,750, 950, 1050 and Sx 680,780, 980 and 1080 have a warmer, tubelike sound despite being solid state.

You can come very close to the tube sound at a fraction of the cost with these vintage receivers. I have been running a Pioneer SX 750 for a year now and am very happy. My total cost was $235, with shipping ( Ebay) i got a good deal.

You are taking a chance though . I had a very nice 80s Kenwood Receiver with a nice warm sound. I had to replace the power switch ( very common problem on kenwoods) and then it mysteriously started blowing fuses after only 4 months. I may have it repaired, but dont really need it since P have the pioneer.

In a nutshell, the old units can be repaired and even have all new capacitors installed for 300 to 700 dollars, and that is still less than the thousands needed to buy modern tube stuff to get similar warmth in tone.

I especially like the wood and silver look of the 750 pictured, but it can add to the cost because of the aesthetics. if they are all black, it usually means a cheaper late 80s product that probably wont have the tube sound.

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