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Greetings;

Great frillin' site!

I was involved in the audio industry from the late '70's through 1988. First by selling hi-end audio gear such as McIntosh, Luxman, Onkyo etc. and then by becoming a Professional FM radio DJ, then going into Pro Audio as an audio engineer.

So as you may imagine I have a "soft spot" for a LOT of the vintage '70's gear. Indeed so much so that when I was granted my disability settlement, I decided to "invest" in a modern hi-end stereo system. So, off I went to the "big dog" audiophile store here in Seattle and auditioned all of the "name" brand gear-Onkyo, Yamaha, Sony ES Series, Denon, etc. Not one setup had the simple warmth and clarity of sound I wanted-indeed NONE of it even sounded as good as my old '80's vintage pro level PA gear (JBL cabaret series speakers, Soundcraft 14 track mixer, Peavey CS-400 amp, Tascam 238 8-track cassette, Tascam 112 cassette, Tascam DA30MK II DAT).

Since my PA gear is in use for the band I'm working with, I still needed some home gear, and the new stuff just didn't cut it. So off to eBay I went. Lo and behold what did I see? Killer vintage gear that was right for me! I "grabbed" the following gear:  Kenwood KR-9600 Receiver, JBL L-100 Century speakers (in near mint condition!-no grills though), Sony 508ESD ES Series CD player and ONE piece of new gear.... Sony RDR-GX-7 DVD recorder.

Now the funny thing was I had actually owned both the amp and speakers before, way back in the day. So when I had the chance to get these, I jumped on it. At some point when  finances allow, I intend to get a KA-9100 amp and an old Marantz Quad receiver, but for now I'm happy. And yeah, these old dawgs STILL kick out the jams better than ANY of the new crap!

Rock ON!!
James Assad, Seattle WA

Hi,
I have a modern Yamaha system, and classic Technics system. There is no contest in terms of looks and build, and I truly believe the sound is very close too. The Technics system includes a pre power combo with built in tuner which was 55. How many of those do you see today, and at what price do pre power combo's start?? Apart from the cheap Rotels, you've got to be looking at nearly a grand for a Naim. There are plenty of classic bargains out there, but I honestly believe that paying the same price as today's equipment for classic stuff will get you better build, sound and looks.

Jason Hall


Gentlemen:
I have just stumbled onto your wonderful site, and like good wine, and beautiful women, I now find myself in an audio stupor! While in college during the late 60's and early 70's, I enjoyed the following which I still have: Roberts 1040 R-R (ah, those glowing tubes in back), Pioneer SX-828, Garrard Zero-100 (with Shure V-15 II) and Bose 901. Guys like you keep the memories and dreams alive!

Regards,
Neil
NYC, NY


Hello everyone. I just found this site and what a neat site it is. I am kind of an "accidental enthusiast" of older audio systems now, having recently acquired a Fisher CA-862 amp, CR-W862 cassette deck, FM-862 amp, and an MT-885 turntable. OK, I admit it, I got the whole setup at the Goodwill Store for $35. I had to make some slight repairs but it's fine now except for a minor turntable problem which I will correct with the manuals that I will purchase from this site. My question is this, not being too familiar with audio equipment: Was, or is, Fisher equipment good quality stuff, or should I maybe think of replacing this system with something better? I would welcome any opinions about this, positive or negative. Also, does anyone know about how old this stuff would be?

Thanks,
Russ Ashley
ashleys4@att.net


The thoughts represented here couldn't be more accurate. The audio gear of the late 60's through the early 80's was far and away superior to the mass produced disposable junk manufactured today. Like so many of the previous writers, I remember going to the local Navy PX in 1978 and picking up my first really fun piece of audio gear, the one everyone on the base had to have - the Sansui 9090DB receiver. That beast cranked out 125 WPC, had a beautiful wood cabinet and a rich, colorful display panel.

Of course you had to have a set of those classic 70's speakers too. It seemed like a contest between manufacturers to see how many drivers you could fit into one 18x24 cabinet. I think mine had 6. And of course they came with the standard lattice wood grills. They sounded good, but only when you were listening to Led Zeppelin at like 40 decibels. When my ears couldn't take it anymore, I bought nice set of classic Advents. Unfortunately, I sold my 9090 when I got out of the service. Who knew that the great audio manufacturers would sell us out? had a top of the line Yamaha set up in the middle 80's, which sounded ok, but lacked the character of the early gear.

I've since dumped all of that in favor of older, classic stuff that I've completely restored. That perhaps is the big difference - you can actually work on the old stuff. My Revox B-251 amplifier has more circuitry than the Apollo 11 command module, but it is intelligently designed and easy to troubleshoot. And boy does it sound incredible! Same goes for my Revox tape decks and CD players. My B-225 CD player sounds like a virgin vinyl record, without the pops and clicks.

The one writer was correct in saying that some high end gear is still made today. That's true, but unless you've won the latest Lotto jackpot you can't afford it. The majority of equipment for the middle class is pure junk. You can say the same for the auto industry, but that's another article! Thanks, but I'll stick with the vintage 70's stuff. Retro all the way for me.

Thanks for putting up such a great site.
Christopher Keller


This company and website is great. My owners manual, in excellent condition, was quickly sent to me. Your website really makes me glad I purchased a computer. I have told my friends about your site. They too remember the great stereo equipment of the 70's - 80's.Your site is a wonderful memory lane.

Thanks,
William Marlin


Dear Sir

I came across your site while searching for service information for my Sansui CR-M7 Audio System. This is a quick comment as I sincerely appreciate the resources on your site .

I am extremely impressed with Mr. Rick Stout's:

- vision for such a site,
- his guarantee & stress about quality and
- his philosophy of dealing with customers using a "friendly approach" as opposed to a "business-like" approach.

These days it is almost next to impossible to find anyone who is not business-like!!!! I used to be an audio-enthusiast when I was in school / college around 25 years ago - but haven't pursued that hobby since. But you are doing a great job by providing a much needed resource to thousands of audio-enthusiasts / service technicians all over the world .

With best personal regards
Nirvan A. Vithani
_______________________________________________
Labindia Instruments Pvt Ltd
Nand Chambers , LBS Marg
Thane - 400602 , India
www : labindia.com
Email : vithanina@labindia.com


Hi Rick,

I came across your site via searching for 'classic hi-fi' in Yahoo, and what a site - just goes to prove that when it comes to hi-fi stuff, the classic stuff is usually the best!!

My amp is a Sony TA-AX3 made in the early 80s and cost me 50 from my local Cash Converters store in IMMACULATE condition (no dents, marks or scratches!!) and a performance that totally knocks my mate's 5.1 system right out of the water!! My CD deck is the Pioneer PD-Z74T dual CD deck. it's nearing 12 years old, but it's still running great. I got given this by a mate who couldn't get it working - the only thing wrong was a loose screw holding the disc clamp!! My speakers and DVD deck are the only new items in my hi-fi setup, as I own a Samsung DVD-M105 DVD deck and a pair of Kef's awesome Cresta 1 speakers.

But apart from that, I have the best system in the house. My parents have a Matsui all-in-one system (nice looking, but sounds crap!!) and my sister also has a Matsui, while my brother has a cheap Venturer stereo!! :) - Kamin


Ah, yes, the late 70s and early 80s. I was able to purchase my first stereo system when I got to my duty station in Germany with the US Army. The Post Exchange (PX -- department store for the troops) had significantly reduced prices. EVERYONE was sinking money into stereo gear and I was no exception. I think I did okay on my system and I still have all of the pieces, though, some are needing repairs. This is what I had when I returned home:

Pioneer SX-3800 60W receiver (in need of serious repair!)
Pioneer CTF-1250 cassette (I just loved the little tape tuner thingy --
needs repair)
Pioneer PL-600 turntable (still in use by a brother in Sioux Falls, SD)
Pioneer RG-2 Dynamic Range expander (needs a switch replaced)
JVC SEA-80 graphic equalizer (Needs repair -- yes, the white noise generator
did exactly what it claimed)
and a Teac X-10R reel-to-reel, auto-reversing tape deck (Yes, the BIG one --
needs a capstan drive belt)

High fidelity sound reproduction technology, even in the seventies and eighties, was maxed out; you just could not improve upon 0.0003% total harmonic distortion. You cannot even HEAR that difference much less improve it! It was nothing more than a race for who could make the prettiest equipment and hang most "whistles and bells" to their line. I have to admit the Marantz equipment was certainly the most beautiful around but for my money, mere beauty did not fill the bill. In a barracks full of electronic technicians who knew this, the time, the research and the money went into speakers. As far as I am concerned, the set-piece of my system was (and is) the JBL L112 300W loudspeakers I found in the PX. I purchased these for $600 a pair at the PX in Augsburg, Germany in 1981. The audiophile magazines had priced them at $1200 a pair! I snatched those up before the packing was even off of them. As I recall the L112s were a limited edition JBL speaker system with some difference over the L110s, though, today, I do not recall what that was. No matter since they are still in service today driven by a newer 105 watt Pioneer receiver. They make DVD movies sound great! ;)

Anybody know where I might be able to find the "pop and click" (DBX) box that married up the Teac X-7, X-7R, X-10 and X-10R open reel decks? I would still like to find one of these since they did improve signal-to-noise ratio performance of the tape.

Jeffrey D. Fisher, MCP
Schaumburg, IL, USA
jfisher944@comcast.net


Hello! I'm Scott, a 21 year old college student, born near the end of the vintage audio era. I was always around good equipment growing up. My father had amassed his system during his college years in the Naval Academy, '72-'77. I always loved looking at the Pioneer receiver and Sanyo automatic turntable, and watching the little VU meters on his Pioneer Cassette Deck. My collection started when I was 12. My father and I had gone to the local garbage dump (6 dumpsters inside a fence) and were emptying the trash. When the gleam of polished aluminum caught my eye, I shamelessly crawled into the dumpster and rescued a Marantz ST-300 tuner and a Kenwood dual-well cassette deck. Both were in great shape, and after a little Lysol cleanser, they took a proud place upon my dresser.

The Marantz was missing the RCA plugs on the end of the leads, and had a dead spider in the front window, but I still use it today, and it's as good as ever. The Kenwood died after about 2 months, indicating that maybe there was a reason it was in the dumpster in the first place. I purchased a "Grand Prix" amplifier/8-track player for $5 to run them into, and I was a very happy 12-year-old. In the past years, I've added to my collection with a Sanyo belt-drive turntable ($25 at a garage sale, and some structural repair), my father's Sony reel-to-reel, my dad's Pioneer cassette deck, and a beautiful Sanyo 60-watt amplifier ($15 at the local thrift store). I also purchased a Kenwood 5-CD changer, that almost lives up to the rest of the system.

After my Sanyo amp died, I invested in the best purchase of my life: a Harman/Kardon PM-660 amplifier for $100 at a flea market. After a little high-intensity maintenance, this unit is AWESOME. I also found a beautiful Teac Z-5000 master cassette deck for $10 at a thrift store, that I love. I plan to add an equalizer to the system next, and I have my eye on a Gemini pre-amp mixer, as well. I am a devotee to vintage audio equipment, and although my main sound source is my MP3 player on my computer, I pipe even that through the h/k and into a pair of AR-6 speakers that my dad gave me. My 80-watt, $100 amp sounds so much better than my roommate's $350, 100-watt Sony 5.1 channel system.

I will be sharing copies of my manuals, and my father's manuals (he still has the boxes and Styrofoam for the pieces of his system!) with Rick here, so that more people will be able to enjoy their vintage systems more. I hope to be able to find manuals for pieces of my system here in the future, as well. Not to blow my own horn or anything, but I do repairs of stereo equipment, so if your old hardware needs a little deep-down tender loving care, I'd love to take a look at it for you. I'm in the mountain west of the US, and my website is http://kc7jxf.tripod.com (and Rick is right about keeping equipment, even if it breaks....I still have the Sanyo amp in storage, waiting for the day that I will have the spare $$$ for a pair of STK-000059 amplifier modules...)

P.S. Seekers of vintage audio equipment, would do well to road trip to South Carolina flea markets, I got my h/k there from a dealer in Lexington who had 4 WHOLE GARAGE BAYS stacked-to-the-ceiling-full of used audio hardware, most of it from the eras in question! - Scott
 


Hi Rick, I just came across your site today. My experience with audio equipment started in 1973 when my friend bought a SANSUI AU-9500 integrated amp and built himself giant speakers with 15 inch woofers! What is seldom mentioned is that sweet smell of that 70's electronics when it started to get warm. That system kicked so much ass it attracted people from all over town. It was magical and it lead me straight into the audio electronics industry where I still presently work today. I constantly had to upgrade my skills to remain employed, but I must agree that sound overall and quality are no longer what they used to be.

The proper words to use are probably that components today are "non-musical" and that whole mish-mash of surround sound? I have built many amplifiers in the past , from 10 watt class A's to 300 watt class AB/B and I still get calls today from people who would like to have one built for them. I really have no time to even consider that, but I may focus more on restoring some of those 70's receivers I may get my hands on. The 70's can't come back but some of the Hi-Fi gear can and certainly will! - Mark C.
 


I came across your website through an eBay auction of yours. I couldn't agree more with your article on 70s audio! Granted, I was born in 1982, but that doesn't stop me from blasting the vintage tanks. It all started last fall when I was looking to get a stereo, and my friend said, "Look for an old Technics, they pound." So after some research, I was hooked, more so on the design and looks of them (the 1978-79 SA-100 through 1000 series, with the 2 big volume and tuning knobs on the right side), since I never heard one in action before.

Mark Kouts' Vintage Technics site provided all the technical info I needed, and led me to getting an SA-500 off of eBay. It also came with an SU-7600 integrated amp, which ended up not working (it wasn't tested, so there ya go), and it's still sitting in a box, dismembered. I'll get around to it :) But back to the SA-500... kinda funny, I read it's rated at 55W/channel. "Hmm, that shouldn't be too bad", I thought. Boy, was I wrong. I have 200W peak Technics 3-ways, and they distort! Of course, this is when I'm running my gear that's on the tape monitor... a BSR EQ-110X (my dad has one, and I love it. I nabbed my own for $16 on eBay, BEAUTIFUL shape), a dbx-3BX Series 2 (these make a world of difference, even in the digital realm), and a Pioneer SR-303 reverb.

When I set that right on Effect 2 (between 4 and 5 on time and depth, depending on what's playing), I can get a nice, full surround-type effect...that's another thing that bugs me. I've had people question why I have the old gear, there's no surround, blah blah blah. I don't even care that much for surround, and I can guarantee my stack is louder than their stuff, or can at least get loud with barely any of the effort (I have yet to put my volume up to 1 out of 10!). Plus, it looks a lot nicer and the insane weight factor is always cool. Well, I'm rambling :) I recently won a Technics SA-700 off eBay that's gorgeous. 100W RMS/channel, dual power meters, more lights, pre-in/main out jacks, and it's only 2 steps below the monster SA-1000 (which I'll probably NEVER find). I also won a Pioneer DT-500 timer... more silver, and a blue clock readout (can't find those anymore). I'm going to upgrade my speakers, and try to get a dbx Boom Box Model 100, and I should be complete. Wait, I probably won't be...there's always something else! Just thought I'd let you know your site is great, and share my system with you.

 Ken


Great site. Rick. Thanks for your effort!

I'm 38 years old and when I was growing up I could never afford the 70's stereo equipment. Being 12 years old, a 1975 $299.00 receiver from Marantz might as well have been a million bucks. I would look at Playboy magazine BUT not at the centerfolds but at the Marantz ads! WOW, a Marantz 2250B ad was so cool.

I knew even as a young teenager that this equipment would last. When I saw the 1980's and 1990's audio equipment I just would shake my head and try to explain to people that this stuff is JUNK. The 1970's equipment is better designed, built and sounds so much better. I use to work in a 'high end audio' store in NJ for three years in college and I knew although the specs on these separates where amazing, they lacked the 'look' and 'sound' of what music should be. Too cold, too dry, too distant a sound even in $15,000.00
systems.

Now to 2002... I own a Marantz 2250B, 104, EQ 1, Pioneer SX650, SX636, Sansui 350, 6060, 8080, G55, Nikko NA690, NT790, Yamaha T560, Kenwood, KR5050, Onkyo T2000, EPI 100. Some I had as original owner, some I have purchased over the years.

Guys, just be careful of eBay. Most of the 1970's sellers know NOTHING about the units they have up for auction. They read the back of the unit and post that the receiver is rated at 120 watts.!! No joke. Please send a question to all sellers and ask them the following: Do ALL functions, lights and meters work? Is there anything missing or broke on the unit?

You will be shocked at what these 'sellers' leave out of their auction postings. Example: A Pioneer SX-750 that's in MINT condition. When I sent him an email and asked him the questions above, he said "oh BTW.. some dial lights are out and one channel does not work!!! BE CAREFUL on eBay.

The best to all. Chuck Coronato...Boca Raton FL


Aaah yes... The Marantz 1070. I worked my ass off to buy one when I was 13 years old. I traded that and my Marantz 6200 turntable for a van. Ahh the seventies. I researched the Marantz amps for months as I had to have one. My dad freaked when I brought it home. I had a better stereo than most of the people I went to Jr high with... LOL. I want one again. The ironic thing about it is that I traded the van back to the guy that bought the sound center I had bought all my equipment from.. for a... (you guessed it) another Marantz amp. This time a 1090. I loved the 1070. I have a quad Marantz now. It needs a channel fixed. Oh! But to have another 1070. The 1090 got the legendary HD 77 speakers brand new too. Dummy me... sold 'em again for another van... ugh... LOL!

Yes Amen


Hi Rick!

I was flabbergasted at the words you have put down in your web page regarding your interest in the Pioneer vintage gear!! I can relate to all the minute details of your thoughts on the subject, as I see it the same way you do. I used to think I was the only one that made a big deal about cheap black plastic garbage some call audio gear. Right on man... I think Pioneer was the coolest line of audio, as they had the silver fascia gear some weighing a ton a piece. The blue displays didn't hurt the image any either.

I have RT-909, CT-F950 and CT-F1250, CA-100, DT 510, SG-300, PL-600, PL-5, PD-5010, SR-60, and SX-V90 in the current lineup. I love all of them, as they not only play sounds we want to hear, but also keep us in touch with our past. I certainly feel that way. I remember back in '85 when I started to assemble my Pioneer empire. My CT-F950 cost me a whopping 435 doleros. You can imagine what the RT-909 did to me.... Any way, I managed to gather them all. The cassette decks need some belt replacements and general cleaning/adjustments. I have been reluctant to take them in, thinking The guy may scratch or damage them in some way. May be I'll become courageous enough to take them in one day.

I recently acquired the SR-60 and PL-600. Please tell me if you have both the Owner's and Service Manuals for the PL-600, also, I need the Owner's Manual for the SR-60. Could you respond to this note answering the above questions, and also telling me what the prices are for those particular pieces.

PS: Any color (sales brochure) catalogs of the CT-F950, CT-F1250 family of products in that vintage ('82, "83)?! Waiting to hear back from you. So long.

Regards,
Amir Ebrahimzadeh
 


Hello,

I just got done reading your ' 70's audio write-up, and let me tell you, that was f'ing beautiful... You said what I have been having notions about for a LONG time, the ' 70's audio equipment was fun, serious, and kicked butt. The new stuff is a shell of the former industry...boring...and no status attached to it...

I hang on to my old Soundesign TX model receiver, even though it is low powered, but it has that silver front panel, and with headphones it sounds 'GREAT', no matter what you plug into it. My dad bought it for me at Kmart for $100 on sale, when I was 16. Now I'm 40, and dad passed away in ' 98 from cancer...just can't bring myself to part with it. I "upgraded" to a digital Technics system in ' 86 and thought I was going somewhere...well now it needs new speakers, the receiver was fixed 3 times already, it blew a tweeter, and the cassette deck was fixed once. All at more expense.

Question: do you have an open reel player/recorder, 1/4" tape format, 8 track, at 3-3/4" IPS speed ?? I need one. Nice talkin to ya, nice website too. Now I wish I hadn't sold that Automatic Radio player/recorder, and Kenwood receiver. That would have made a great vintage system.

Charlie N
PA, USA


This message is for any Canadians in the Toronto and southwestern Ontario areas. There is a repair shop that sells old audio equipment on consignment, as well as repairs it. Does anyone have Pioneer, Marantz, Sony, Harmon Kardon, Fisher, or other such gear? Ring Audio at 742 Queen St. East, in Toronto, Canada can do repairs on this equipment. They can be contacted at (416) 693-7464. I found your site by accident, while perusing the search engine for sites on audio recording history.

I vividly recall the late l970's Silver Pioneer era . As a matter of fact, I own a Pioneer TX-9500 II tuner, which I've retained as a backup to my Onkyo T-9060. Great website. Dwight W. Poole. I can be contacted at heathj79@rogers.com. I have worked part time as a sales rep for the above company. I have many issues of AUDIO, High Fidelity, and Audioscene Canada from the early l970"s to thur mid 1980's. I owned the following Pioneer components over the years... TX-9100, SA-9l00, SX-828, SX-939, QX-8000A (used by my youngest nephew), CT-5151, RT-1020L. An old friend owned a SX-650, while another still owns his SX-450. When I tuned into your excellent site, the various photos of vintage gear caught my eye, I will definitely tune to your site again, just to revive old memories.


Hi Rick,
I just wanted to say that the service manuals that I ordered arrived today, they are just totally awesome. They will come in handy if and when these classic Pioneer quad amp and pre amp need any repairs. They give all the operating instructions and hook up diagrams, and all of the circuits with each type of resistor, capacitor, and specs for each.

I recently purchased the Pioneer QM-800A 4-channel power amp and QC-800A pre amp. I have 4 matching Pioneer CS-99A speakers, and a Pioneer TX-7500 tuner. I didn't think I would ever own this system again ,but thanks to eBay and classicaudio.com, I have it again plus more. I really forgot how good this equipment sounds, much better than the newer plastic junk... plus it looks as good as it sounds. Keep up the good work. It's nice to know that someone out there is providing a greatly needed service for those of us who appreciate classic audio. - John


Rick!

The first paragraph on your *About Rick* page just about sums it up... I remember splitting from the 'Halls of Learning' in my JH/HS days and heading downtown to the stereo shop where one could see and HEAR McIntosh (sequential power-up of course :) and Marantz racks in operation, and even a few models of the B&O line for those of the 'import' bent :)  Many a fine afternoon was spent there <sigh........>

THEN!  I saw your page about 'church happenings', and DUDE!!! That was great...  Been there, done that, and been taught otherwise ;) Like your comment about 'Dad' smacking you (me) around at times, but thankfully He does it with rather well placed ones so one get's the point rather quickly (sometimes)... All in All, enjoyed what I've seen of your pages, but must admit there is a LOT to meander through, so will bookmark it for future reading.

Now...  On to what I'm looking for :) Since I figured I'd never be able to afford a Mc' rack, I'm working on putting a Marantz set together.   So far I have the 2230 (rcvr), and the 5200 (Cassette Deck), and hope to complete the 'true' Marantz lineup with one of their PA's and a TT in the not too distant future, but until
that time, I'm looking for a CD Player and VHS VCR (used no doubt) that has the  same classic Silver-Face front and dimensions (17 5/16" (44cm) wide) as what I currently have.   Seems all that's available for what I've seen so far is 'Black Plague' models...  <yuck!>

Of course the VCR and CD are probably NOT going to be "Marantz" as the only CD that was known in the 70's were the ones in banking :) New gear would be OK (although I doubt I could afford it all @ once)-; Single CD is fine, but I'd like to have at least Stereo 4-head on the VCR. Should have the same general outline as the Marantz panels and rack-mount in the same general way.   Probably end up building my own rack with hardwood, so the units should have the same 1/2-3/4" offset behind the panel on all 4 sides before getting to the chassis cover <hmmmm...>.(hope I painted an understandable mental pic there... ) So, I ask you...  In your travels have you ever seen what I describe above ? Perhaps you might even have something akin to it in your collection ???

TIA, ttfn -n- God Bless
Bruce


Great site Rick.

Thanks for your effort! I'm 38 years old and when I was growing up I could never afford the 70's stereo equipment. Being 12 years old, a  1975 $299.00 receiver from Marantz might as well have been a million bucks. I would look at Playboy magazine BUT not at the centerfolds but at the Marantz ads! WOW, a Marantz 2250B ad was so cool. I knew even as a young teenager that this equipment would last. When I saw the 1980's and 1990's audio equipment I just would shake my head and try to explain to people that this stuff is JUNK. The 1970's equipment is better designed, built and sounds so much better. I use to work in a 'high end audio' store in NJ for three years in college and I knew although the specs on these separates where amazing, they lacked the 'look' and 'sound' of what music should be. Too cold, too dry, too distant a sound even in $15,000.00 systems. Now to 2002.........I own a Marantz 2250B, 104, EQ 1, Pioneer SX650, SX636, Sansui  350, 6060, 8080, G55, Nikko NA690, NT790, Yamaha T560, Kenwood KR5050, Onkyo T2000, EPI 100. Some I had as original owner, some I have purchased over the years.  Guys...just be careful of eBay....most of the 1970's sellers know NOTHING about the units they have up for auction. They read the back of the unit and post that the receiver is rated at 120 watts.!! No joke. Please send a question to all sellers and ask them the following: Do ALL functions, lights and meters work? Is there anything missing or broke on the unit?
 
You will be shocked at what these 'sellers' leave out of their auction postings.  EX. A Pioneer SX-750 that's in MINT condition......when I sent him an email and asked him the questions above, he said "oh BTW.. some dial lights are out and one channel does not work!!!  BE  CAREFUL on eBay.

The best to all...................
Chuck Coronato...Boca Raton FLA     ccadp@aol.com


Dear Rick,

It's quite apparent that you give your business the kind of extra effort that I also give to my business. That is why I recognize and commend your efforts and the personal touch you gave this transaction. Try not to loose that as your business grows. It's not easy... always let your genuine interest in your customers shine through as you do now. Sincerely, Allen Goodcase


Rick,
Thank you very much for the prompt action concerning these manuals. I am very pleased that it took only 4 days from the time I inquired about them until I received them. This includes two weekend day. Your response at my inquiry was exemplary. In addition, I was very happy with the manuals when I received them. They are excellent in every respect. This is the second time that I have ordered manuals from you. Each time has been a good experience. I will definitely continue to use your service. Thank you very much.
Jim Lindsay


Hi Rick!

I just wanted to let you know that I received the manuals that you sent me in the mail today! I posted 2 positive feedbacks for you on eBay. By the way, thanks for the positive feedback you gave me! The quality of the manuals is superb to say the least! I can't really tell that they are actual copies of the originals! I am very happy with my purchase and would not think twice about doing business with you again in the future!

Do keep me in mind and email me as soon as you can get a copy of the Teac X-1000R owner's manual! I just bought this reel to reel tape deck off of eBay and would really like to have the owner's manual for it.

Take care Rick! Bye!
Rafael Perez


I am so glad that I've finally found a business that deals in 70's and 80's service manuals. All the new 'hi tech' junk on the market today is but only a result of major marketing scams. I believe those who really desire to have a high quality system will go back to the tube equipment that major corporate types have so very much tried to convince us is ancient technology. All one has to do is listen. Ears don't lie, but corporate marketing types selling the latest audio gear do.

Sure, a lot of specifications of solid state amps sound impressive. THD (total harmonic distortion) specs look really good, especially for a MOSFET amp but (and this is a really big but), music and sounds (the timbre of an instrument) are realized by HAVING the harmonic distortion in the loop so to speak. The buzz word of the really killer sound of tube amps is even order harmonics. This is the major part of the killer sound tube amps put out - especially when they distort - 60s' crunch was really to die for. Take a good old simple 12AX7 (a tube) and overdrive the hell out of it and the result will be the birth of the most wonderful sound of the 60's (guitar crunch) sound. A solid state amp outputs ODD order harmonics that CLASH and sound really awful or harsh

All the solid state modeling or hi tech simulation of tube distortion could never reach the true sound of tube amplification. And what magic can be worked with the human voice channeled through a really good tube preamplifier! There isn't a solid state mic preamp in existence that sounds as good as a tube amp - again due in part to this even order harmonic distortion characteristic of the ancient technology; tubes. Enough said. One has but to listen and compare. The more people really research the inferior specifications; of yesterday's tube circuitry the more believers there will be. Music is really an art NOT a science. All the killer specs in the world still won't convince my ears that the old way isn't far better! Good listening!

Mike Haluska eBay ID ghaluska


Hello Rick,
I just sent a PayPal to you today for a Citation 12 owner's manual and tech manual. Looking forward to receiving this stuff. I have kept documentation for almost every piece of audio gear I have ever purchased but can't find the Citation 12 owners' manual anywhere the last few years. I will be happy to have a replacement for it and of course tech manuals are a boon with any of the older equipment. My vintage system is installed in an exercise room but I use it nearly every day and it is still very satisfying to listen to. This despite the fact my main system is now made up of audiophile "separates" which individually cost as much or more than the whole system I owned in my college days.

But mostly my vintage system has SENTIMENTAL VALUE because of the fact it was purchased at a time in our lives when we owned almost nothing. Wooden wire spools, orange crates & bean bag chairs seemed perfectly acceptable furnishings back then. Electricity was for the hi-fi - no TV at our house in those day & light bulbs were for those rare emergencies when you got caught without candles. But we had GREAT TUNES (Country Joe & the Fish, Big Brother, Led Zep, the Airplane and Iron Butterfly) and the right stereo to play them through (our "crib" was always full of friends in those days). I don't plan on selling this old stuff - ever.

richinchrist@juno.com
New York, USA


Hi Rick,

Thank you very much. I am interested in purchasing the SX-727 User Manual. In fact, I'm about to head out to pick up the unit from the local technician because of dimming FM dial lights. I especially want the Service Manual for the QX-8000A. I purchased a nice QX-8000A on EBAY in good cosmetic condition except that the signal strength meter light was out. When it was replaced, it was done so with a bulb of lesser strength and when I told the technician about it, he claimed that he couldn't get the original. I'm interested in restoring it to its original glory and I believe that manual will be the key. I found that if I can get the information on the original bulb (hopefully from the manual) I can get them through Bob at www.vintage-electronics.net.

I just need the local technician to install them. The reason I'm so interested in these two models is because my two closest friends growing up had the SX-727 and QX-8000A and I really liked both of them. However, I was in college at the time and couldn't afford either one. By the time I could, they were both discontinued and unavailable. Instead I bought a QX-949A brand new in 1976 which I used for a number of years. However its too big to fit in the spot I need it to be in so its been stored in its original box and packing material in a closet for the past ten years. It's in absolutely mint condition without a scratch. I even saved the original sales brochure although it's for a QX-949. Incidentally, I also have the original sales brochure for the SX-727. Since I discovered EBAY, I can obtain now what I couldn't obtain then. Anyway, enough of that. Please send me all the necessary documentation to purchase both manuals and I will send you a money order to cover both the manuals and postage.

Carmine


Yes, I did build the single ended amp in the picture and thank you for your positive comment. This particular one in the picture is a stereo, single ended power amplifier using the #45 tube in the output stage. I am enclosing the rear photo. It also uses 6SN7's and a 5U4 rectifier. Power output is 2 watts, so efficient speakers are required. But to hear a 45 into some of the older EV, Jensen, Western Electric, Altec etc speakers is to be transported into a new, 80 year old audio dimension. Assuming you don't want to rock out the neighborhood, 2 watts is plenty.

To be honest, I have made my living (?) building these and several associated pieces of gear. So my opinion is certainly biased, but well founded. I rediscovered single ended about 7 years ago and was completely stunned by it's capability to engage the listener. I had missed the boat and spent many dollars thru the years looking for a certain sound that I remembered when I was a kid. I'm not referring to rolled off or "tubey" sounding, something was just plain wrong and/or missing. The presence of the recording was not there. It never dawned on me that the "obsolete" single ended circuit held the magic, and especially with a 45. A do it yourself magazine article in 95 caught my interest and forever changed my life with regards to so called "hi end" audio.

Thanks again Rick for your kind words. I'd be indebted to be mentioned on your site. And be advised if ever in the presence of SE45's there can be no escape. You can put the email address trypower@msn.com there too if you want. I'll probably hear from all the 250 watt guys who think I'm lost in the wilderness

Jeff Korneff, 111 Thornberry Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15237, Ph. 412-486-9135,

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Rick Note - See pictures of Jeff's custom built equipment at Your Pages


Your web site, your unique business and your dedication to Vintage audio gear are all amazing. Keep It Up! MY STORY- Three weeks ago I located reels of tape I had used for my teen aged "business"/enjoyment of being my high school DJ during the early 60's. Not only did I tape the music but also the clear channel FM ramblings of local AM radio personalities who were starting to be simulcast on their FM sister stations, (before such practice was done away with). I now have hours of record intros and punny stuff from guys, many of whom still broadcast on New York's oldies station, WCBS-FM(101.1). Since my Wollensak gave out in 1964 I gave up on expecting to ever hear their patter or the clarity of these broadcasts again.

Fast forward to 2002 and eBay. Two weeks ago I was introduced to its Vintage audio auctions. Before I couldn't spell "Akai" now I are one! Actually 2 Akai's and a Wollensak 1500 Stereo deck. I can see it's a sickness but it's a great one. I never expect to have the equipment or the set-up most of you have described but, I never expect, or want, my 32 year marriage to end either. Cutting edge for me has always been 10 minutes behind the times: From traipsing thru Disneyworld with a VHS camera that required a separate backpack to be strapped to my shoulder which contained the necessary VCR and battery pack, through buying car after car the year BEFORE its model changed, I never fit quite right. Then I stumbled into reel to reel junkies and vacuum tubes. HEAVEN!!! I finally belong. I finally fit...I think?!?

Joe M'  Port Jefferson, NY USA


Rick,
You asked me to post my little email story in the Visitor Comments. So here goes... I really appreciated your offer to ship before receiving payment. I checked out your site and it is great. I totally agree with your comments regarding weight and quality of components used in the older hifi’s, most of my friends are literally staggered by the weight of my Pioneer SX-5590 and then by the pressure waves generated by the Sansui SP-8100’s. All the best, David. P.S. I looked at your photos!!!!! You must be married to the words most understanding wife... does she have a sister???

I have 6 - 7 sets of various Sansui speakers myself... Rick, I picked up the SP-8100’s for 50 after my Kenwood system speakers died of foam rot. I first purchased a pair of KEF Cresta 3 speakers but they could not deliver the sound that you actually feel in your gut when cranked due to the tiny woofers. So they had to go back in exchange for a hifi rack. When I took delivery of the Sansui’s, I tried them out on my fathers Pioneer SX-1250 and they took it further than it has ever been before. The pressure levels in his 22’ x 14’ lounge were incredible. He was so knocked back that he offered to trade me for his SP-3500’s and the 50 I paid out on the spot whilst grinning from ear to ear. My wife found the speakers to be rather less than attractive, threatening me with divorce and physical injury if they stayed in the house. So after lengthy explanation of function over fashion, she went to stay with her parents for the night thus enabling me to set them up and play all night to my hearts content.

My father thought this was all very amusing , telling me how this brought back memories of his hifi acquisitions and ensuing arguments. Then he told me he had tracked down his old SX-828 and his old SP-3000’s and that he could have them back for 10 as they had not been used in 10 years. I guess He has the bug again cause he is now talking of digging out his Akai 4000DB and his old Akai crystal head cassette deck to prove to me how good they are. I showed him a print of your collection today and he nearly fell through the floor. We both find it hard to believe there is so much vintage gear still circulating over there in the U.S. whilst there is zilch over here, it’s just not fair.

David Falder davlee@madasafish.com
Thetford, Norfolk, United Kingdom


Howdy,

Terrific website you have there. I particularly love your Stack-O-Stuff! Like yourself, I'm a fan of the 70's era equipment, and am seeking a service manual for my Pioneer SX-1280 Receiver. I know, it's one of those blasted things with the power modules rather than discrete transistors, but hey, what can I say? It's in fine shape, but I'm an electronic technician and figure that someday I'll need to tear into it.

Your webpage is very well done, especially if you just learned how. I appreciated the small links area in the upper right. Speaking of links, here's one to my page, mostly based on woodworking although there is a photo of speakers I've built. Vintage electronics are great, but I prefer homemade for the speakers.

I bought my Pioneer SX-1280 at a garage sale about 8 years ago for a whopping 80 dollars as I recall. I use it in the basement for making extra noise while woodworking. In the living room is a bizarre mishmash of equipment, with the amplification from Hafler, and pre-amp by yours truly. I'll have to dig the pre-amp out someday and snap some photos for my page, since it's a pretty snazzy piece if I do say so myself.

Hey, that's a good point you make on your page about why stereo equipment went down hill after the 70's. I'd never really thought about the high inflation and such as being a reason, but I'll bet you're right.

Larry Cook Woodywrkng@crosspaths.net USA

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Rick - Be sure to check his website fantastic woodworking projects. Tell him Rick sent ya.


Rick,

Very nicely done. I can see you put a lot of thought into your content. The very best in your venture.

t-bone, Jack Downs jdowns111@aol.com
West Union, WV USA***********************************************
Rick - Jack's post was unexpected but welcome. We have been out of touch for years, but he was (and is) one of my best friends from the late 70's. We were *Big-time* CB Radio nuts and companions in helping to start the Harrisville Division of the Ritchie County Emergency Squad. Jack is an independent businessman with Pre-Paid Legal. Be sure to check his site for information that could save you a lot of money.  Tell him Rick sent ya.


  • First stereo:  My big brother's hand-me-down 4-track cartridge/phone stereo. I still have it;-)
  • Second purchase:  My big sister's Pioneer SX-727 40WPC receiver. Cost me $125 in '80. I just recently gave it to my 13 year old son (only because I found a second one for $38 at a local antique store! :-)
  • Most expensive purchase:  A $1500 Denon AVR-3600. This baby shatters crystal! My Newest Setup (most from eBay, all Pioneer): SA-8100 Integrated Amplifier with matching TX-8100 Tuner, a pristine PL-50 turntable w/Stanton 681EEE MK3 cartridge, RT-1020L Reel to Reel, SR-202 Reverberation Amplifier, RG-1 Dynamic Processor, SG-9500 Graphic Equalizer, CT-3131 Cassette Deck, and a pristine Centrex/Pioneer RH-60 8-Track Recorder. For transducers, I picked up the following pairs: CS-77A, CS-88A, and my favorites... CS-A50s.

Unfortunately, integration must wait until a pair of teenage kittens are old enough to spend the night outside, so as to not give them 70's vintage walnut scratching posts! I love the Pioneer spec series, but it has always been too expensive for me! Cheers and Keep Groov'n!

Thomas Dryden headmoose@mooster.com
USA


Hello Rick,

Much like others' comments, I too found you via your repro's on eBay. Yes, the bug bit me as well when I was 15 in 1970. My first serious piece of gear was a SONY TC-252D reel/reel. I was an electronic hobbyist since 10 years old so I ordered this neat little 10-W x 2 pre-built chassis from Lafayette Radio Electronics and built my own amplifier (wasn't great but it wasn't bad for about $40).

I then in 1971 HAD to have what was to me (and my budget) the ultimate in speakers which was a pair of Acoustic Research AR4x's. A year or so later, I acquired a Fisher 201 receiver. I won't further bore you with the details. Suffice it to say that after 30-plus years, I have a 16 track digital recording facility in my home and I can't shake this bug. I also have a very "understanding" and enduring wife of 28 years... which is a very important ingredient to having this "infectious affliction". In closing, long live 70s audio gear! Love your site. RM

Rodger McIntyre mcintyre@noao.edu
Tucson, AZ USA


OH...MY...GOD... A kindred spirit if there ever was one! I hit my teens in the 70s and LIVED for (or at least LUSTED after) much of the "built-like-a-tank" stuff that was available then.

I've gone through several systems over the years, but it wasn't until 1999 and eBay that I rediscovered my passion for audio through the purchase of pieces I could've only dreamt of owning when they were new. The products of the 70s thru the mid 80s puts everything they're building today to shame.

Rick, you hit it on the head when he said that if something you buy today breaks, you just throw it away and buy a new one. You wouldn't DREAM of doing that with vintage equipment! I always think it's a scream when some 20-something guy eyes my system and calls it an antique. Then I turn it on and he starts listening, and one more convert is born. Long live brushed aluminum, flywheel tuning, and discrete output transistors! YEAH! And if any of you are interested, visit my site Vintage Technics Audio.

Mark Kouts
San Francisco, CA USA


What a welcome service!

I just happened to stumble on Mr. Stout's business while wandering through eBay looking for likely restoration projects. I was in the service end of the audio business off and on from 1976 to 1984 and still enjoy finding nice unwanted and dis-used pieces of equipment from that period and restoring them to original manufacturers' spec. Most of the equipment that I deal with is Pioneer, Pioneer Elite, Sansui, Sansui Vintage, Teac, Dual and JBL. I have been dealing with a fellow in Massachusetts for years for technical data that I did not have, but for the past few years, he has been difficult to get in touch with and some of the reproductions that he has sent me have been substandard and difficult to read.

I have bought two pieces of literature from Mr. Stout in the past month, operator manuals for the Pioneer SX-1980 and CT-F1250 and I was very impressed with the quality of reproduction of the original documents. He remembered, as I remember, back in the good old days when manufacturers were proud to let buyers of their equipment know what was inside their machines by providing a complete set of schematics for the equipment along with the operator's manual. The schematics reproductions for both pieces that I received were sharp and complete. I feel that Mr. Stout and I will be doing some more business as time goes by and this information gets harder to find.

I am totally unimpressed with what most of what the audio equipment manufacturers are churning out now. Most equipment is now what I term to be "disposable", in that it is lightly built , will just perform to manufacturers spec for a short period of time, and has no personality. The old 1970's and 1980's vintage equipment was built to last, and to perform to spec from the time that it was powered up until the time that it was turned off, regardless of how it was pushed. Continuous output meant "continuous output". This equipment has a warm, smooth sound and if folks that really appreciate really good performance from their equipment for a reasonable price, you really need to get your hands on some of this equipment quickly before it is all gone.

Many manufacturers are starting to built this type of quality again, but it is offered at a price that not many of us can afford to pay. This is great stuff. Find a couple of nice pieces and enjoy them while you still can. If you buy a piece and didn't get a manual with it and want to know more about it and get the best performance from it, come and see Mr. Stout. My name is Clyde Campbell, Jr. and I live in Jacksonville, Florida. Many of you Ebayer's will probably know me as altairc27. Best of luck and good listening to all of you.

Clyde Campbell, Jr.
Jacksonville, Fla USA


A very welcome site on the web!

A passionate fan and collector like all of us out there, but has taken it to the next level. My remarks can not outdo what has already been written on this site so I will just comment about my personal experience with vintage audio gear, "The REAL DEAL"!

I am now 38, and was never exposed to any of the outrageous hi end gear PIONEER produced in the 70's & 80's when it was offered new. After eyeing a reel to reel (RT-909) and eventually buying it, it all changed for me! I was bitten by the bug that was 1983. I was not sure what I had at the time. Then in '85 my cousin made a deal of a lifetime and purchased a SPEC-1 pre-amp, SPEC-4 amp & a SG-9500 eq for under ten dollars.

That is when I realized that these pieces all went together some how. It was a goal, a dream, a mission if you will to find these pieces and put together the ultimate stereo. It has taken up until now to fulfill that dream. I have had disappointments, major victories, unreal deals and all the fun you can imagine. The pride you feel when you look at these works of art, as you flip the switches and turn the knobs (Real Metal! NOT Plastic!) gives you a feeling only the true vintage fan can relate to. These beauties speak to me even when the power is turned off they create a power of their own.

Women have come and gone in my life, but these vintage models will never leave me unless I am foolish enough to let them go!  Respect & Regards Rick... as you have created a place of comradery for my obsession. Hope you are here for many years to come!

MADMARK
Mark Dillard
USA
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Rick - See Mark's unique vintage gear setup at *Your Pages*.


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