what do you think of vintage products?

amplifiers, receivers and loudspeakers
Mikigg14
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what do you think of vintage products?

Post by Mikigg14 » 22 Jan 2020 23:25

Hello


What do you think of today's hi-fi production? from what I read in the forum many of us are looking for vintage products to combine with new generation products, but apparently the sacred monsters are often branded 1900.

The speakers seem to have stood still, design aside, the analogue, now in fashion, does not seem to have had any particular leaps in the future, and the world of amplification, with the exception of class D, which are no longer fresh discoveries, it seems do not deviate too much from the golden era.

Indeed, it is not uncommon to hear that the old glories were and are capable of playing in an incredible way.

According to many, the materials, the philosophy, the uncompromising construction of the past, now very often is not found in new products.
It does not seem to be just a question of price, which makes vintage or second-hand an important part of sales, but more properly a question of musicality.
Forum threads are increasingly on vintage products.
In short, it seems that new productions tend to be more comfortable and versatile, light and intuitive, generally with good results in terms of musicality, but if you are looking for that something more you have to go and comb through the last century. I'd like to know what opinion you have!

Thank you

Regards

Miki

tlscapital
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Re: what do you think of vintage products?

Post by tlscapital » 23 Jan 2020 00:16

Long time sixties and seventies MONO (mostly) singles (mostly) records crate digger/collector, I was always in the quest for a better system to play them records on. On a small budget without the right source people around me to show me the path to follow, it's only "late" that I got to start and 'invest' in a proper, affordable and worthwhile gear.

Involving a lot of DIY tweaks, step-by-step 'upgrades' always selling on the previous gear to fund the next purchase. By now, only my current amp was bought "new" in 2001 (although reduced as it was exposed in the shop), my current cartridge and the turntable PSU & tachometer combo (my final, most expensive but most concluding upgrade there).

Since second hand gear can be affordable, fixable and looking like what they are; they do get my preference as well. So yes, I also prefer the look of pre 1980's and older gear even more. Only on the amplification (and pre) side I get to prefer the 'modern' solid state sonic rendition as far as I could compare. Truly a great match for "old" records I find.

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Re: what do you think of vintage products?

Post by lbls1 » 23 Jan 2020 00:23

Its a bit of pick and choose. I happen to like the new amps on the market, but IMO you have to shop speakers carefully. Its not necessarily because a speaker brand is bad, but the type of sound that it produces may or may not be to your liking. I feel that turntable choices are still a hit or miss in general.

Even with amps, you have to shop and choose carefully. Not all amplifiers or receivers are geared towards vinyl reproduction, so beware.

vinyl master
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Re: what do you think of vintage products?

Post by vinyl master » 23 Jan 2020 00:40

Vintage products are admired and desired (and for good reason) due to their looks, quality build, functionality, repairability, parts availability and affordability in many cases...While it would be nice to see more modern equipment that does what the vintage stuff does well already, those examples are few and far between unless you have a lot of spending cash to make those dreams a reality...Personally, I find you get more bells and whistles and just more "bang for your buck" generally when going vintage...This does not negate anyone else's experiences with new equipment, but it's just what I prefer... 8-[

Keep in mind that there are older pieces that are not "high fidelity", per se and newer ones that are quite well-built, as is the Technics 1200GR or SL-1500C, for example...The moral of the story is...IT PAYS TO DO YOUR HOMEWORK! =D>

Of course, as always, your mileage may vary... :-k

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Re: what do you think of vintage products?

Post by lenjack » 23 Jan 2020 01:25

Many, certainly not all, older products were built much better, and even today, will outlast many newer "plasticky" products.

Mikigg14
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Re: what do you think of vintage products?

Post by Mikigg14 » 23 Jan 2020 23:25

Hello

also I often have the feeling that vintage products, not all of them, are abundant, better built and often better repairable.
But one thing often known in old productions: a certain charm. Which too often I do not see in new products, which in fact very often in terms of design wink at their grandparents.
Then surely the prices of the new often don't help.
Even if, as mentioned, some milestones of the Hi-fi, are certainly not given away .... in fact, perhaps you first go to the contemporary

Thank

Regards

Miki

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Re: what do you think of vintage products?

Post by Sunwire » 24 Jan 2020 00:01

Unless you are spending $5000 or more (not a very exact number), I think vintage turntables are a far better value.
Phono cartridges have not advanced significantly since the mid 1980s.
To my ears, the role of electronics has been greatly exaggerated. Good amps from 40 years ago are still very good As long as capacitors are in good condition.
Speakers have advanced the most due to continued experimentation and computer-aided design.
There are good vintage speakers, but many were dreadful. Even many low-priced speakers from today are surprisingly good and, although I haven't really kept up, I imagine that higher end speakers of today are a big imprmovement over most vintage models.

tlscapital
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Re: what do you think of vintage products?

Post by tlscapital » 24 Jan 2020 12:47

Sunwire wrote:
24 Jan 2020 00:01
Unless you are spending $5000 or more (not a very exact number), I think vintage turntables are a far better value.
On that I totally agree. Although take me back 10 years onward and one would have had a hard time convincing me or detouring me from my superstitions around the idea that contemporary isn't 'better' just because it is. Since, I have learn to tweak and this lead me to let down both my superstitions and approach to it all.
Sunwire wrote:
24 Jan 2020 00:01
Phono cartridges have not advanced significantly since the mid 1980s.
Not my understanding based on my sole experience as I am a single model cartridge owner; the HO MC MONO Denon DL-102, so I've read that some cartridge enthusiasts (on here as well) openly claim that some MM cartridge of today have greatly 'evolve' to sound as good as MC's... I can believe the idea to some extent at least.
Sunwire wrote:
24 Jan 2020 00:01
To my ears, the role of electronics has been greatly exaggerated. Good amps from 40 years ago are still very good As long as capacitors are in good condition.
Components such as capacitors have greatly evolve the lasts decades. Allowing other performances in the amplification chain. Although I really appreciate the "vintage" amplification in sound performance, I personally prefer the modern solid state over anything else. Where for the rest I prefer vintage. But this is only subjective; objectively the electronics have evolve !
Sunwire wrote:
24 Jan 2020 00:01
Speakers have advanced the most due to continued experimentation and computer-aided design.
There are good vintage speakers, but many were dreadful. Even many low-priced speakers from today are surprisingly good and, although I haven't really kept up, I imagine that higher end speakers of today are a big imprmovement over most vintage models.
Yes, I agree it is true and that's maybe why I still prefer "vintage" speakers. Yet I totally respect the opposite opinion, it's just a matter of preference.

Mikigg14
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Re: what do you think of vintage products?

Post by Mikigg14 » 24 Jan 2020 13:42

Hello

honestly having had the opportunity to help out a friend in a hi-fi shop in my area, I had the opportunity to listen to many electronics and speakers.
Certainly in the shop in the treated room, everything sounds pretty good. But speaking of modern production I have not heard things to shout about the miracle.
I wanted to say that in the last few years what struck me most is counted on the fingers of two hands. But the percentage is certainly more in favor of the old production. There is no shortage of examples of well-performing amplifiers or loudspeakers of the new school, but I would say that even today I have the best memories on electronics and speakers no longer listed. if only I had the chance to take them ... :))

Regards

Miki

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Re: what do you think of vintage products?

Post by Sunwire » 24 Jan 2020 18:27

tlscapital wrote:
24 Jan 2020 12:47

Sunwire wrote:
24 Jan 2020 00:01
Phono cartridges have not advanced significantly since the mid 1980s.
tlscapital wrote:
24 Jan 2020 12:47

Not my understanding based on my sole experience as I am a single model cartridge owner; the HO MC MONO Denon DL-102, so I've read that some cartridge enthusiasts (on here as well) openly claim that some MM cartridge of today have greatly 'evolve' to sound as good as MC's... I can believe the idea to some extent at least.
I don't pay attention to cartridges that cost more than about $700.
MM cartridges of the mid 1980s were as good as MC. So, I don't see any change. Technics was the world leader in phono cartridges. Their best models were MM.


Sunwire wrote:
24 Jan 2020 00:01
To my ears, the role of electronics has been greatly exaggerated. Good amps from 40 years ago are still very good As long as capacitors are in good condition.
Components such as capacitors have greatly evolve the lasts decades. Allowing other performances in the amplification chain. Although I really appreciate the "vintage" amplification in sound performance, I personally prefer the modern solid state over anything else. Where for the rest I prefer vintage. But this is only subjective; objectively the electronics have evolve !
40 years ago, nearly all amps were solid state. So, no change there. Capacitors have improved, yes. So put new capacitors in your vintage amp. What is the "objective" improvement in amps of today compared to 40 years ago?
Sunwire wrote:
24 Jan 2020 00:01
Speakers have advanced the most due to continued experimentation and computer-aided design.
There are good vintage speakers, but many were dreadful. Even many low-priced speakers from today are surprisingly good and, although I haven't really kept up, I imagine that higher end speakers of today are a big improvement over most vintage models.
Yes, I agree it is true and that's maybe why I still prefer "vintage" speakers. Yet I totally respect the opposite opinion, it's just a matter of preference.
If you agree then why do you prefer vintage speakers?

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Re: what do you think of vintage products?

Post by pivot » 24 Jan 2020 20:47

I am going to take a little different tack on vintage vs new.

In favor of new gear, excluding the top high end hyper-expensive stuff, is automated assembly to result in lowering cost for high quality equipment. Two companies taking advantage of surface mount component assembly to increase value at rational price points are Schiit and Emotiva. I am sure there are others but I own a couple pieces from these companies. I took advantage of return privileges to give these units a careful listen. Ended up with a "Loki-Mini" and "Sys" from Schiit and a "BasX A-100" from Emotiva, all well under $500 new.

I have been at this for a number of decades. I have owned some top named stuff, both new and used. I used to work at a shop that was, in the day, "High End". The new gear I recently purchased is comparable to the best I have owned. Taking the effects of inflation in account the cost is surprisingly low.

Vintage electronics come, usually, with no warranty. Depending on age and use some internal components may be near time to replace or service. Some components may no longer be available as parts.

I am also surprised to see folks waxing lyrical about vintage Mid-Fi receivers from the 1970s and 1980s that I thought were ear-ache inducing low-value gear when new. I doubt the passage of decades has made them better.

There is great vintage Hi-Fi gear just like there are great vintage automobiles but both need to be approached with knowledge and commitment. The end user needs to decide if he or she wants something that requires "fiddling with" or they want a daily driver.

There are newer speakers that exceed performance of vintage examples. There are great budget speakers from Pioneer, Elac, KEF, and PSB. I ended up with PSB after considering my room and listening needs.

I do own a vintage turntable/tonearm which has been fussed over for decades. I like fussing over turntables.

The individual user has to make up their own mind on how to invest in gear and music. There are reasons for new, used, and vintage gear.

tlscapital
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Re: what do you think of vintage products?

Post by tlscapital » 24 Jan 2020 22:58

Sunwire wrote:
24 Jan 2020 18:27
tlscapital wrote:
24 Jan 2020 12:47
Sunwire wrote:
24 Jan 2020 00:01
Speakers have advanced the most due to continued experimentation and computer-aided design.
There are good vintage speakers, but many were dreadful. Even many low-priced speakers from today are surprisingly good and, although I haven't really kept up, I imagine that higher end speakers of today are a big improvement over most vintage models.
Yes, I agree it is true and that's maybe why I still prefer "vintage" speakers. Yet I totally respect the opposite opinion, it's just a matter of preference.
If you agree then why do you prefer vintage speakers?
Well 'advanced' or 'change' is not necessary my preference. I've heard rated 'modern' speakers in show rooms or at peoples place and although I found them impressive with presence for the acoustics and precision into parting the tracks, I did not like the sonic feel or "texture" they presented. To me they seemed "clinical" or "sterile" if I may say.

Am not a Hi-Fi but a Ri-Fi (right fidelity) guy who seeks the most in musicality from my beloved old records. My stylus is a nude large conical on a HO MC MONO transcription cartridge, so evidently I'm not seeking too much detail out of my playback sessions. Loading my speakers with marbles and tiles did give me the better focus (precision) I needed...

lenjack
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Re: what do you think of vintage products?

Post by lenjack » 25 Jan 2020 00:08

I think I know what you mean by right fidelity...true to the original, but isn't that what the original definition of the term "high fidelity" supposed to mean, granted it may have been twisted somewhat over the decades?

Mikigg14
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Re: what do you think of vintage products?

Post by Mikigg14 » 25 Jan 2020 00:34

I also agree with tiscapital, that too often modern products are right fidelity and I can say for my part as already written, that it is precisely those components that put together do everything "right" but too often when you turn them on and put a song, they don't make you stamp your foot and therefore give little emotion.
In my opinion, perhaps for high fidelity I am looking for something that transmits to me as much as possible the warmth and color of live misica. Music is emotion and not always design with the most sophisticated computers, millimeter precision, laser cutting and perfect lacquering are synonymous with musicality.
I have seen and heard amps that contain the best of the best, all right, values ​​on the record paper, but then played sound "right fidelity" and therefore sterile of emotions.
Like speakers, CD players.
After all, we use the turntable, that croaks, creaks, but is well-established, it gives back that bit of magic that often chips, digital and bits cannot bring out.

Regards

Miki

lenjack
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Re: what do you think of vintage products?

Post by lenjack » 25 Jan 2020 02:11

Define

1) High Fidelity
2) Right Fidelity
3) True Fidelity
4) Natural Fidelity

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