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hakentt 9th February 2008 08:01 PM

why are old school amps worth so much?
I see broken old school amps on ebay and even blown they are worth so much. I wonder why are amps from 80s and 90s so special?
I know most of them are made in USA but that should just not be the main factor. I worked for precision power here in phoenix until they got sold to MTX and ultimatly outsourced to China. When I worked for PPI most of people that assabled amps were from east asia working for minimum wage. The craftsmanship should not differ that much in this case.

So why are broken olds school amps worth more than brand new ones that are working in same power rating???

ca90ss 9th February 2008 10:44 PM


JHelms 9th February 2008 10:55 PM

Overbuilt power supplies, simplicity in design & class.

MadMutt 9th February 2008 11:08 PM

They come from a time when companies cared.
They cared about build quality, reliability, sound.

Much easier to repair, no pissy ceramic daughter cards.
No surface mount with 'leached' end caps.

They (usually) looked like an amplifier.

If the spec's said it did 100wrms, that's what it did.

Of the amps I have owned and worked on, I have kept the older ones.

Simple amps without flashing leds and neons everywhere.

Most of the new stuff is chinese/tiawanese cheap junk that fails when pushed.

1moreamp 9th February 2008 11:10 PM

Off shore made amps aren't that cheap, except on e-bay maybe with no warranty.
You go to a brick and mortar store and check see what those cheap offshore amps sell for with dealer mark up and salesman over pricing, and it becomes apparent why American made products are is much demand.
Even in Europe PG old school amps go for bank. They used to cost three to four times what they did here in America anyway. <mostly due to import tariff's> Something we no longer have here in the good old USA.

Plus last I saw there was a slight issue of all the unemployed American's Thanks to offshore manufacturing just ask around.

Then there is the highly questionable quality issue of the final product. Only certain companies actually make offshore builders follow American standards on build quality.

A large number of companies no longer even employ a in house engineer, just sales people. So why believe in their Name, when thats all it is a name.
Following a name brand nowadays is foolish, mostly due to international manufacturing.

When you want a quality car you think German and Japanese, well there all made here in the US nowadays. Several industry's including the electronics industry have abandoned the US entirely for manufacturing, so there is a certain amount of backlash to be expected from that. IMO

I can keep all my old school amps running just fine, so why spend money in China. Why buy new amps every three years or less with some brands out there.
Any industry will tend to promote and pump business, and the easiest way is to build lifespan limited products. And IMO that whats coming out of China. Short lived products via reduced manufacturing standards.

Remember car makers could build you a car that lasts a lifetime Bentley does and so does Rolls Royce, but look at what they cost. Now apply these facts to Chinese built car audio products...DUH... it does not fit , not at all....

Plus you wanted cheap electronics in your life so you got your wish, and middle men kept their percentages, all at the expense of the product lifespan. IMO

I would rather buy and rebuild a US Made product that I can keep running on my own. I have never had a factory replace anything electronic I ever bought, so why start now just because they have margins so large they can afford to replace your blown Chinese made amp 2 or 3 times without question, and still make million doing that...

Sorry you got me started, its hard to see a great American industry get bush whacked like this one has been...

Perry Babin 10th February 2008 12:03 AM

I think a lot of it has to do with nostalgia. There were a lot of people who couldn't afford the amp they wanted when they were younger. Now that they have a bit of disposable income and still need a good amp for their vehicle, they are buying the old school suff.

It's a shame that the younger generations know nothing about quality. Virtually everything they buy is disposable. They expect to buy a new amp every couple of years. Much of the older equipment was good for 10+ years of reliable service. I regularly see old Punch, Autotek and Orion amps that have been in use since the 80s and have never needed to be repaired. Many times, when they fail the failure is from random component failure due to age, not poor design. $30 worth of parts and the amp is good for another 10 years.

JHelms 10th February 2008 12:10 AM

Back then, I was more into US Amps, ESX, Orion and such. The best old school amps I have ever used were US AMPS. If I still owned a few, I would run them today.

Today I use DLS Ultimate series. I consider them to be the best of what is available today in the mid-high end car amplifier section.

TheMG 10th February 2008 12:24 AM


Originally posted by MadMutt
[B]They come from a time when companies cared.
They cared about build quality, reliability, sound.

Much easier to repair, no pissy ceramic daughter cards.
No surface mount with 'leached' end caps.

They (usually) looked like an amplifier.

If the spec's said it did 100wrms, that's what it did.

I still have a Technics SU-Z1 amplifier from long long ago, used almost every day on the TV system. The thing is built like a tank, only plastic parts are the switches and VU meters. There was a time long ago where as a kid I used to power home made speaker experiments off of it, let's just say these were VERY low impedance lol.

To this day the only problems I've had with that amp are burnt out light bulbs (replaced them with LEDs) and worn out potentiometers.

Edit: woops, just realized this was in the car audio section. Oh well, the facts are still valid.

JHelms 10th February 2008 12:25 AM

This is the car audio section :) Guess it crosses over haha.

Perry Babin 10th February 2008 12:27 AM

I won't even work on the old US amps amplifiers unless the owner is willing to disassemble, clean the sink and insulators and reassemble the amp. They were pretty good amplifiers but the screws with individual nuts and the individual insulators added hours to the repair time for large amps.

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