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Vintage Stereo Receiver suggestions.

I have a couple of questions. I will ask the easy one first because the second one probably has a gazillion opinions.

1.) Researching Vintage models I see a lot come with a wood case. I noticed on EBay some do not, but it looks like they would slide into a case. Was that an option or are people taking them off as they are damaged and selling them.?
2.) I am looking for a receiver between 1967 -1977. I AM NOT looking for high end Pioneer, Marantz, Sansui , McIntosh etc. I am looking for middle of the road probably 40W-80W. I have taken a liking to the Fisher models 400 and 500T but they seem scarce. I was looking at Sansui at first but have expanded to Pioneer also. I have been using Vintage HI-FI Reviews for some of my research. - http://select45rpm.com/pages/hifi/vintage-hifi-reviews.html#9

I am looking for something in a wood case. What would the forum recommend?

Re: Vintage Stereo Receiver suggestions.

Wood cases were really a function of the manufacturer. Some manufacturer's did offer wood cases to house their components as an option, Crown and McIntosh come to mind in this regard.

Other manufacturers used wood as the actual top cover. Once you take the cover off, the inside was exposed. The Japanese manufacturer's come to mind here, such as Sansui and Pioneer.

As for recommendations for receivers if you are only considering 40 watts and up, remember that you are actually looking for an upper middle line model. It wasn't until the mid 70's that the wattage wars started. Most of the mid level receivers of that time period were in the 25 to 35 watt range.

I consider 60 watts to be a good compromise power level. Below that and you will run into difficulty driving some of the less efficient speakers. Above that you will run into expensive and sometimes overly complex and less reliable designs. When comparing wattage figures, always take into account the load that they are quoted at and the distortion figure. In the 60's and early 70's there wasn't a lot of regulation over what a manufacturer could claim the output to be.

I am partial to Sansui as it was the first amplifier I ever bought and still have today. I would recommend their 5000 series (5000, 5000A and 5000X). For Pioneer, you should look at the SX-828. The advantages to these models is that there were a lot of them manufactured, so the prices are not too high second hand and parts units are available if needed.

Other manufacturers also made excellent units back in that time frame. The manufacturers went out of their way to create dependable, repairable units. Don't overlook Kenwood, Onkyo, Toshiba, Nikko, Akai and Teac.

Whichever receiver you plan on buying, you need to factor in that it will require a bit of maintenance to extend it's lifespan. At the least the bulbs and electolytic capacitors will need to be replaced. There are some sellers on ebay that will sell untis with a warranty that they have already refurbished. If you aren't electronically inclinded, this might be a good alternative.

Happy Listening,


Recaptcha's picture

Re: Vintage Stereo Receiver suggestions.

The wood cases were options back in the day that cost a little more money. It is all about personal preference. Sansui is good, Pioneer is good, but be careful with fisher, some of these are really low-fi. I like Luxman the best, but Lux is pretty expensive. Lux has some of the best rosewood cases of all, but once again, it's all about your taste, needs, and budget. You can't go wrong with technics/panasonic, pioneer, or really even sansui, except for sansui's compuselector systems. (yuck)

Hope this helps!

Ellies Fashions's picture

Re: Vintage Stereo Receiver suggestions.

On your wooden case questions for vintage receivers. Wooden cases came with some models but were an upgrade on others back then. The cases you see on eBay we highly suspect are salvaged from systems which did not make it this far along and are offered to upgrade or improve the appearance of restored systems.

We can't answer your second question as our vintage interests are in quadraphonic systems...

Best of Luck!