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Hi Fi Equipment!
smg
post Jun 24 2002, 20:40
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QUOTE
Originally posted by 2Bdecided
Can I suggest some real classic hi-fi? I've never heard anyone say that the 1970s were a good time for audio, so I'm bemused by the discussion in this thread!


To each is own David but before you knock 70's Hi-Fi check out some of these specs.
http://www.classic-audio.com/

fewtch let me go on record as saying I warned you about starting to dabble in 70's Hi-Fi. They all come for "retro" but always stay for the quality
Read some reviews:
http://www.audioreview.com/Receivers/Sansu...77_1593crx.aspx
Then move on to Marantz and Pioneer Sx
You won't go back!!!!

LOL

BTW....The 70's Was the decade for Quality wars among the top manufactures of HI-Fi Equipment. The 80's on, we were forced to accept the cheap underpowered tin sounding plastic models all in the name of corporate profit. After a period of time sub-standard becomes the norm and most will accept it without ever having experianced true QUALITY!!!!!
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fewtch
post Jun 25 2002, 00:07
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QUOTE
Originally posted by 2Bdecided
Can I suggest some real classic hi-fi? I've never heard anyone say that the 1970s were a good time for audio, so I'm bemused by the discussion in this thread!

On the contrary, I can't think of any "bad" times for audio... provided the money flows freely biggrin.gif.

smg: The issue of 70's audio is more complicated than that, I think. For one, what was unaffordable to most in the 1970's can now be purchased far cheaper (well within the range of the 'average income') as used gear -- and what's unaffordable to most people in 90's or 2000's gear, remains unaffordable. So it isn't an entirely fair comparison, IMHO.

Yes, I agree that the 'middle end' 70's stuff was a lot better than the junk being cranked out now, especially regarding build quality. As for sound quality, I'm not quite as sure -- sheer wattage doesn't equate to quality, and the human ear can only hear so much (as we all know from messing around with lossy compression).

After some point, what you're paying for is some elusive (probably imaginary) thing called "impeccability" -- known only to those willing to spend $5,000+ for a turntable lacking a tonearm/cartridge smile.gif.


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smg
post Jun 25 2002, 02:27
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QUOTE
Originally posted by fewtch

On the contrary, I can't think of any "bad" times for audio... provided the money flows freely biggrin.gif.

smg: The issue of 70's audio is more complicated than that, I think.  For one, what was unaffordable to most in the 1970's can now be purchased far cheaper (well within the range of the 'average income') as used gear -- and what's unaffordable to most people in 90's or 2000's gear, remains unaffordable.  So it isn't an entirely fair comparison, IMHO. 

Yes, I agree that the 'middle end' 70's stuff was a lot better than the junk being cranked out now, especially regarding build quality.  As for sound quality, I'm not quite as sure -- sheer wattage doesn't equate to quality, and the human ear can only hear so much (as we all know from messing around with lossy compression). 


I'll let you off the hook with that assumption. However check specs and not just wattage. how they were built. mine has eight transisters outputs per channel compare that with any today. Most of all listen to them. Prove is in the pudding.
look at the massive heatsinks, Massive Transformer for Pure DC power. Capacitors big a beer cans All relates to CLEAN sound. Listen to one before you say we can't hear the difference.

Sorry just passionate about 70's Hi-Fi equipment
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fewtch
post Jun 25 2002, 04:34
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QUOTE
Originally posted by smg
Sorry just passionate about 70's Hi-Fi equipment

Heck, no need to apologize for it. I'm a big fan of 60's/70's Moog synthesizer music (have paid $100's for records), & there are a lot of people who would get a good laugh out of that biggrin.gif.

(not suggesting interest in 70's equipment is funny, but maybe mine is).

Anyway, maybe I'll get into 70's hi-fi equipment eventually. The only thing is, the issue with living in a condo and not being able to crank music (period) puts a big damper on the idea of buying much equipment (there's not much extra room around here either). Generally, headphones & digital music have to suffice (just collecting gear and not really using it isn't my cup of tea). But my living situation could change sometime, of course


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godzilla525
post Jun 25 2002, 04:46
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I did some digging around the house and came up with a Pioneer SX-535 Receiver. smile.gif It needs fixed, though. One of the speaker outputs has some nasty DC voltage present. If it's a keeper, I might put forth the effort to fix it. Large power transformer and filter caps, but it only has a single pair of T0-220 output transistors per channel. sad.gif

http://www.classic-audio.com/pioneer/sx0535.html

Just pictures, but no data. sad.gif Oh well. It's gotta be better than the hybrid IC stuff they sell these days!

...One note about filter capacitors: They have been able to improve their size/capacitance ratio over the years. What really matters is if they just use thin posts that get soldered onto PC boards (weak!) or if they have beefy screw terminals and thick wiring. biggrin.gif


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fewtch
post Jun 25 2002, 04:57
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QUOTE
Originally posted by godzilla525
Just pictures, but no data. sad.gif Oh well.  It's gotta be better than the hybrid IC stuff they sell these days!

I'm no expert on audio gear (hardly even a beginner), but is there something inherently 'crappy' about IC based stuff? Again, I agree 100% on the subject of build quality (and the sterile look/feel of a lot of today's gear too), but am not convinced that something priced $500 in the 1970's sounds that much better than something new costing $1500 now (taking into account inflation).


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Cygnus X1
post Jun 25 2002, 05:14
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I have to agree with you guys here. . .70's components rock (so does the music!). My dad used to have an old Marantz amp that put out the warmest, fattest sound I have ever heard to this day. In comparison, my Yahama "natural sound" amp is colder than a witch's titties in a brass bra, even with LP's. Maybe being born in the 70's and having been exposed to analog equiptment for many years has predisposed me to prefer analog amps, though in my mind I know that digital should sound just as good.

I'll tell you what, I wanna cry when I hear a buddy say "Man, I just got the sweetest stereo" and I go over to thier house only to find a $130 Aiwa plastic-ass piece of shit pumping out that wretched Eminem fellow. I guess good sound died around the same time good music did sad.gif
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godzilla525
post Jun 25 2002, 05:18
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AHA! found some specs: http://www.classicaudio.com/value/pio/SX535.html
Heh heh. Their unit actually has the fuse cover. smile.gif MSRP $300.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

I'm talking primarily about power ICs. They replace most of the amplifier circuitry, including output stages, with an epoxy-potted module that has an aluminum backplate that gets bolted to the heatsink. I'm not too sure why they're so bad myself, but some of them tend to have very high distortion specs, and the silicon transistor chips that get placed in them probably haven't been matched with each other too well.

I have a little Pioneer SX-212 that has a hybrid module in it. I'm not sure how old it is, but it looks to be late 80's. I might even have the owner's manual for it someplace... I'll just have to do some more digging! smile.gif


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gdougherty
post Jun 25 2002, 07:20
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Just wanted to pipe in here as a recording engineer and say that while it's not necessarily a bad thing, stereo components that sound "warm" "fat" and "round" aren't necessarily honest either. The biggest inherent difference between IC and analog equipment is that analog distortion is not necessarily a bad sound, but IC does sound bad when driven into distortion.

I'm not trying to root for $130 AIWA systems, my personal taste runs into the $4000 range from brands like Rotel and B&K. I'm simply saying that modern digital equipment might sound cold and sterile playing Led Zeppelin's original recordings because 70's recordings were geared towards 70's equipment. I imagine there are a fair amount of modern recordings that would sound muddy and unclear on some older analog equipment.

Just a thought,

George
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paranoos
post Jun 25 2002, 07:58
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heh ok here's a small intro to ME before i start my post.

I'm only 20 years old (seems like most of the guys posting here are 30+) and i only started getting into higher-quality audio recently, around the time i started listening to modern rock music, mostly Canadian stuff smile.gif

Anyway, my dad has had a Marantz 2220b since my parents got married in '76. It's been sitting in the dining room collecting dust for a long time now, as my father started using my $250 (canadian dollars, folks) Sharp mini-system which sucks royal ass on the quality department. He also got some cheap "200W" speakers recently, also shit.

Just to have some fun, i took my new Sony MDR-CD380 headphones and a Panasonic portable CD player that i got a couple of years ago, hooked them up to the Marantz receiver, and played with it. I think the unit could use some cleaning as turning the volume knob can cut the sound out completely, or add static... and if you leave it just a certain way, it can cut the L or R channels. weird stuff.

I was moderately impressed with the system... nothing spectacular, as the receiver is only a 20W per channel amplifier (not that i was listening any louder than that), there's a bit of hiss in the sound, and it sounds completely flat when the Loudness button is switched off (as far as I know, it's an algorithm that boosts certain frequencies to make it sound warmer).

I wouldn't say it sounds noticeably different than my SBLive, which is a shame (either on my part, or on the equipment's). Looks quite cool and retro, and I especially like the gyroscopic tuning wheel for the radio.


That was the old, now into the upcoming...

Once I start working at my new co-op job this coming september, I will be heading down to Bay Bloor Radio, Toronto's audiophile store. They have a package called the "Challenge System", named that way to "challenge" the nasty Home-Theatre-in-a-Box systems from brands such as RCA. It's priced at $2000 canadian, and comes with 120-feet of Monster cable, which is more than enough for the fairly small room i'm setting up in, and they will deliver and install the system at my house for free.

Currently, the system includes:

Denon AVR-1602 Receiver
Energy Take5.2 speakers (4 satellites, 1 centre, 1 subwoofer... it's only named 5.2 because it's better than their previous model, the 5+1)
Panasonic DVD-RV32

as a note, Energy isn't really known worldwide... they are a Canadian company based here in Toronto... they are known to rival Bose speakers in size and quality... these speakers are quite small, but have a surprisingly large sound... I have heard demos of the system at the store, and I've read a review from an audiophile magazine that awarded it one of their Product of the Year awards.

ok ok I admit, not exactly audiophile equipment if you ask me... this is basically the lowest-end package they sell. And I think I will be getting the most benefit from the system when I have my friends over to watch a movie, which happens quite often.

Comments?
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smg
post Jun 25 2002, 19:03
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QUOTE
Originally posted by Cygnus X1
I have to agree with you guys here. . .70's components rock (so does the music!). My dad used to have an old Marantz amp that put out the warmest, fattest sound I have ever heard  to this day. In comparison, my Yahama "natural sound" amp is colder than a witch's titties in a brass bra, even with LP's. Maybe being born in the 70's and having been exposed to analog equiptment for many years has predisposed me to prefer analog amps, though in my mind I know that digital should sound just as good. 

I'll tell you what, I wanna cry when I hear a buddy say "Man, I just got the sweetest stereo" and I go over to thier house only to find a  0 Aiwa plastic-ass piece of shit pumping out that wretched Eminem fellow. I guess good sound died around the same time good music did sad.gif


I heard an interview with Eric Clapton and he said that if he were born today he would probably be a plumber because music today has "no Heart, no Soul" . Nothing left in music today but money. Erics opinion....I agree with him.
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smg
post Jun 25 2002, 19:05
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QUOTE
Originally posted by gdougherty
Just wanted to pipe in here as a recording engineer and say that while it's not necessarily a bad thing, stereo components that sound "warm" "fat" and "round"  aren't necessarily honest either.  The biggest inherent difference between IC and analog equipment is that analog distortion is not necessarily a bad sound, but IC does sound bad when driven into distortion.

I'm not trying to root for 0 AIWA systems, my personal taste runs into the 00 range from brands like Rotel and B&K.  I'm simply saying that modern digital equipment might sound cold and sterile playing Led Zeppelin's original recordings because 70's recordings were geared towards 70's equipment.  I imagine there are a fair amount of modern recordings that would sound muddy and unclear on some older analog equipment.

Just a thought,

George

You may have a point because most of what I listen to 60's 70's Rock. I'll have to experment alittle
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smg
post Jun 25 2002, 19:10
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QUOTE
Originally posted by godzilla525
I did some digging around the house and came up with a Pioneer SX-535 Receiver. smile.gif It needs fixed, though.  One of the speaker outputs has some nasty DC voltage present.  If it's a keeper, I might put forth the effort to fix it.  Large power transformer and filter caps, but it only has a single pair of T0-220 output transistors per channel. sad.gif

The Sx 525 was a lower end model. They started to Rock with the sx1050 and higher model.... It will probably cost more to repair it then to acuire one of the more premier models. IMHO
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Cygnus X1
post Jun 25 2002, 19:23
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QUOTE
Originally posted by paranoos
heh ok here's a small intro to ME before i start my post.


as a note, Energy isn't really known worldwide... they are a Canadian company based here in Toronto... they are known to rival Bose speakers in size and quality... these speakers are quite small, but have a surprisingly large sound... I have heard demos of the system at the store, and I've read a review from an audiophile magazine that awarded it one of their Product of the Year awards.


Comments?


I own a pair of Energy towers and two XL-15's for my rears, and they rock, eps. for thier size and price.

I agree with my fellow 60's/70's rock fans. . .nothing beats the sound of some older amps. Here's a quiz for you fellow classic-rockers. . . .from where is my screename derived? smile.gif
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bryant
post Jun 25 2002, 20:35
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QUOTE
Originally posted by Cygnus X1
I agree with my fellow 60's/70's rock fans. . .nothing beats the sound of some older amps. Here's a quiz for you fellow classic-rockers. . . .from where is my screename derived? smile.gif 

I noticed your screen name (and profile) before and guessed where it came from. I believe that it turned out not to be a black hole after all sad.gif , but it's no rush to judgement that it was a great album. tongue.gif
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smg
post Jun 25 2002, 21:58
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QUOTE
Originally posted by Cygnus X1


Here's a quiz for you fellow classic-rockers. . . .from where is my screename derived? smile.gif 


bryant beat me to it. So I say FAREWELL
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bryant
post Jun 25 2002, 23:19
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QUOTE
Originally posted by smg
bryant beat me to it. So I say FAREWELL

Haha! Well, I may have been first, but I was wrong. I thought that I had read that it had been determined that Cygnus X1 was actually a neutron star or some other boring thing (meaning that Stephen won the bet), but a quick web check indicated that a black hole is still the best guess. Maybe they will know for sure by 2112! rolleyes.gif
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smg
post Jun 25 2002, 23:37
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QUOTE
Originally posted by bryant

Haha! Well, I may have been first, but I was wrong. I thought that I had read that it had been determined that Cygnus X1 was actually a neutron star or some other boring thing (meaning that Stephen won the bet), but a quick web check indicated that a black hole is still the best guess. Maybe they will know for sure by 2112! rolleyes.gif

I agree the black hole theory seems to be Closer To The Heart. Anyway It's out of the Camera Eye.
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layer3maniac
post Jun 26 2002, 00:33
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I saw Rush in a little bitty movie theater in Austin Texas back in 1976. They played 2112 in it's entirety. Those really WERE the days... I still have my old Teac reel to reel and you guys would be AMAZED at how sweet it sounds. smile.gif
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Pio2001
post Jun 26 2002, 01:14
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QUOTE
Originally posted by Cygnus X1
my Yahama "natural sound" amp is colder than a witch's titties in a brass bra,


It has nothing to do with the epoch, everyone says so about Yamaha amplis.
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godzilla525
post Jun 26 2002, 03:57
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QUOTE
Originally posted by smg

The Sx 525 was a lower end model.  They started to Rock with the sx1050 and higher model.... It will probably cost more to repair it then to acuire one of the more premier models.  IMHO


Yes, It really isn't too spectacular, just 22 watts. I can easily do better than that with a few transistors, a good op-amp, and a couple of large batteries. smile.gif (My 'Headphone Amp from Hell' that I have been making is coming along quite nicely...) The tuner in the old Pioneer might be decent, and I won't have to fix the power stage to have access to it. It would take more time than money to fix it, as it's probably just a blown transistor ($2 part) or something along those lines. The hard part is desoldering and removing each component, testing it, then soldering it back in. It shouldn't be too bad with this one, but I've seen other amps with pseudo-quadraphonic effects circuits executed entirely with discretes that had to set new records in component density. :eek:


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smg
post Jun 26 2002, 04:11
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QUOTE
Originally posted by godzilla525


Yes, It really isn't too spectacular, just 22 watts. I can easily do better than that with a few transistors, a good op-amp, and a couple of large batteries. smile.gif (My 'Headphone Amp from Hell' that I have been making is coming along quite nicely...) The tuner in the old Pioneer might be decent, and I won't have to fix the power stage to have access to it.  It would take more time than money to fix it, as it's probably just a blown transistor ( part) or something along those lines.  The hard part is desoldering and removing each component, testing it, then soldering it back in.  It shouldn't be too bad with this one, but I've seen other amps with pseudo-quadraphonic effects circuits executed entirely with discretes that had to set new records in component density. :eek:


What type of headphone amp are you building. This may be a dumb question because I seldom use headphones but why? Am I missing out on something without headphones?
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godzilla525
post Jun 26 2002, 05:05
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I'm building my own because some commercially available ones make good white noise generators. rolleyes.gif (Good) headphones are better for spotting compression artifacts and subtle details in music because they filter out background noise and don't have the muddying reflection/standing wave problems that speakers do.

...Just a little one that runs on 9 volts (6 AA or AAA batteries, as two separate +/- 4.5V supplies). I use headphones a lot because I like to listen late at night when I can turn off the air conditioning, but I don't want to keep everyone up. I'd also like to bypass my main stereo and all its inner workings, including the two 330-ohm resistors that are put in series with the headphone jack.

By building a circuit with an operating voltage low (=voice-coil safe) enough (the stereo by contrast is +/- 68V), I can eliminate these series resistors and improve servo control. Right now it consists of input/amplification stage based on a NEC C4570C (audio grade, might yet look into a NJM4580) dual op-amp, but since this op-amp works best outputting 10mA into a load or less I added a current-boosting output stage made from a class AB (biased) push-pull complimentary NPN/PNP (NEC 2SD882-Q/2SB772-Q) transistor pair. I'm still a little concerned yet whether or not I have enough bias to overcome crossover distortion, but initial loopback tests with the Terratec EWX 24/96 are showing pretty good numbers. (0.03%THD, soundcard dominates S/N ratio) So quiet, I can't even tell that it's on. smile.gif

This little amp will provide a no-nonsense DC-coupled path from the soundcard to my headphones, while consuming around 12-15mA of power. That's kind of strange, because all the other ones I've built before had a power-hogging tendency toward thermal runaway. :eek:


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fewtch
post Jun 26 2002, 05:26
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QUOTE
Originally posted by layer3maniac
I saw Rush in a little bitty movie theater in Austin Texas back in 1976. They played 2112 in it's entirety. Those really WERE the days... I still have my old Teac reel to reel and you guys would be AMAZED at how sweet it sounds. smile.gif

Any UFO fans here (Michael Shenker)? I've seen them in concert twice... once back in the mid 80's, the other time in the mid 90's (they played a small, local venue in the Seattle area). Ohhhh, do they rock! :listen:

So, old Moog synth music is definitely not the only stuff I like... smile.gif


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fewtch
post Jun 26 2002, 05:39
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BTW, speaking of equipment. Remember that "unknown model" Kenwood direct drive/linear tracking turntable I won on Ebay? Well, it ended up being a ripoff -- the mechanism is shot somehow and the needle just drags across the record when the tonearm is supposed to be in the 'up" position. Also, advertised was a "brand new needle" and a large chip (with plenty of wear) is easily visible with my stylus magnifier.

So, I left a negative feedback for that seller (false description) and am now bidding on a modest but nice belt-drive Technics SL-B2, and the seller is local so I can pick it up & save on shipping. Only thing is, this is gonna take some tweaking, it's not a "plug & play" turntable... time to start thinking about a stylus force gauge and alignment protractor... rolleyes.gif ... maybe a nice new Grado Prestige Black, that should about fit the quality of the turntable.

As for the phono preamp thing, that's taken care of -- Music Hall MMF-1. Sounds pretty good to me, although the S/N ratio is not so great. Probably about on the level of the NAD-PP1. It will suffice.


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