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Old 16th November 2005, 03:55 PM   #1
fazman is offline fazman  Canada
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Default Old Pioneer amps.quality as good as today?

I currently have an Acurus 5 channel amp in my home theater.
For kicks I hooked up my dads old Pioneer SA 6800 integrated amp to my main speakers. It kind of through me back a bit. It didn't go nearly as loud as my Acurus but there was a warm inviting sound to the presentation that I kind of enjoyed.
At only 45 watts per channel compared to the Acurus' 200 watts it can hardly be suitable for loud listening or home theater but it got me thinking.
What if I were to sell the Acurus and pick up a bunch more of these or similar amps, (they sell for dirt cheap on e-bay) and bi-amp my whole system. All the amps would reside in a closet so space is not an issue.
Was the quality of these amps as good as something that I have now?
Has anyone else gone this route before?
Or is it that my current stuff is more accurate and I like the sound of some of that old coloration?
Sorry if this kind of thing has been discussed before.
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Old 16th November 2005, 04:19 PM   #2
anatech is offline anatech  Canada
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Hi fazman,
Just wait until you hear some of the straight amps from the Seventies and early Eighties. There are jewels from every era. Some are still being designed as we speak.

In general, the average stereo from the mid - late Seventies was far better than what is produced now as volume stuff. Something good today will best the older units.

So doing what you suggest would involve a lot of investigation on your part. Keep in mind the older units need to be gone over to perform at their initial (new) level.

-Chris
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Old 16th November 2005, 04:49 PM   #3
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I'm presently using Sansui AU-7700 in my basement system and I can't say I'm missing GC
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Old 16th November 2005, 07:13 PM   #4
anatech is offline anatech  Canada
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Hi Peter,
Have you done anything with the Sansui or is it stock? I used to sell those at Martin Audio in Port Credit.

-Chris
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Old 16th November 2005, 07:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by fazman
and bi-amp my whole system.
This can have a greater effect on the sound than the amplifiers themselves. Have you been involved in biamping before?
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Old 16th November 2005, 08:42 PM   #6
fazman is offline fazman  Canada
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I had experience biamping in my past system and I was very impressed with the results. The only problem is now my speakers are only set up for single wire. I'll have to take the crossover out and reconfigure them which shouldn't be a problem as I'm use to doing this sort of thing.
If I decide to this then what kind of wattage should I be looking for (tweeter and woofer) to match the output I currently have with my 200 watt per channel Acurus?
Can I get away with lower wattage for each woofer and tweeter?
The other thing I guess is matching the volume levels perfectly.

Anatech, what do you mean by straight amp from the 70's and 80's?
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Old 16th November 2005, 09:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by anatech
Have you done anything with the Sansui or is it stock? I used to sell those at Martin Audio in Port Credit.
Didn't do anything yet, but I like this little amp. There are no switching noises and it's in very good shape. I just ordered service manual, so I might do some mods.

http://www.sansui.us/images/AU7700_Series/au7700_5.jpg
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Old 16th November 2005, 10:26 PM   #8
anatech is offline anatech  Canada
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Hi fazman,
I meant an amplifier without a tuner, volume or tone controls. Just a power amplifier. The circuits were normally a little more advanced over the combination units. Almost every manufacturer made a decent power amplifier at one time or another. Which one sounds the best isn't a debate, it's a war.

-Chris
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Old 17th November 2005, 03:16 AM   #9
clem_o is offline clem_o  Philippines
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Agreed - I have a Sony 333ESG, I think circa late 80's, and it does sound pretty good. Line level is very low though, as the amplifier stage's closed-loop gain is pretty high. This series has been a good seller for Sony I think, given the number of generations (ES, ES-II, ESX, ESG, ...)


Fazman, suggest using two different kinds of amps - since the Pioneer is only 45 watts (and you seem to like its 'warm' sound, use this to drive the MF and HF, and use a more powerful amp to handle the bass. Having another 45W unit handle the LF frequencies isn't going to give you the slam you want for AV. You can match any gain differences by putting a potentiometer on the higher-sensitivity amplifier.


Cheers!
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Old 18th November 2005, 11:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by clem_o
Agreed - I have a Sony 333ESG, I think circa late 80's, and it does sound pretty good. Line level is very low though, as the amplifier stage's closed-loop gain is pretty high. This series has been a good seller for Sony I think, given the number of generations (ES, ES-II, ESX, ESG, ...)


Fazman, suggest using two different kinds of amps - since the Pioneer is only 45 watts (and you seem to like its 'warm' sound, use this to drive the MF and HF, and use a more powerful amp to handle the bass. Having another 45W unit handle the LF frequencies isn't going to give you the slam you want for AV. You can match any gain differences by putting a potentiometer on the higher-sensitivity amplifier.


Cheers!
Agreed, use the larger amp for the bigger bass speakers, and use the Pioneer for the mids/highs or fullrange if you have subs.

My setup is similar to that, and uses 100W/ch front speakers playing full range to my front speakers.

My 240W amp drives 12" sub for the bass. will be replaced soon with a 300+W amp I've almost completed.

However my amps aren't old, but I agree, some older amps sound pretty good. My dad's old 50w/ch Magnavox amp has good lows and highs and plays good full range, and when we first put a Technics CD player on it, (only prev used it with cassettes and records) the treble was amazingly clear, and bass hit good, and was amazed the older amp had such a good dynamic range. Just had to use a better source, heh.
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