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Old 10th April 2007, 03:31 AM   #1
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Default Help with vintage Marantz, Sansui etc

Hello,

I want to put together a vintage system, probably Marantz but might consider Sansui, Technics etc if I can get the right pieces.

Anyways, I am not familiar with audio from the 70's and 80's. Can anyone suggest certain models that they know are known for their good sound?

(I have searched Marantz receivers on E-bay and there is way too many to figure out what models are good and what ones are not?

Thanks for any help provided.

Kevin
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Old 10th April 2007, 03:56 AM   #2
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Let me be sure I understand this. You want to build a system with 30 year old components that you don't know anything about yet. Components that will likely have dying capacitors, dirty switches, and questionable connections. Components with custom parts, like switches, that are no longer available. You know, I hope, that "minty" on eBay refers to the fact that someone spilled mouthwash in the unit- it has nothing to do with condition. OK, it's not a crazy idea if you accept that most things will have something wrong with them, and will need service. Personally, I'd go with the top of a given line. I'd avoid receivers. I just serviced a Kenwood 500 integrated amp, and was amazed at the quality of construction. Way better than my Marantz 250 amp of about the same power. Built more like AR. The Kenwood was sort of a limited edition, whereas the Marantz is pretty common. You can't go wrong with most any Audio Research preamps and amps, though I'd avoid the ones with potted modules (expensive service) like the SP-4. Not as high end, but the Phase Linear 400 and 700 were nice amps. IMO, the big Sansui receiver stuff might be hard to service due to dense construction, but again, their separates were good. Most anything with a receiver will be dense, and the top line pieces from the majors were typically integrated amps or separates. The Technics stuff I used to own was pretty low end- I don't know what their top line products were like. This may sound crazy, but you can usually judge how well they were built by their weight. Almost all speakers from that era are toast by now, due to bad surrounds, blown tweeters, and bad caps in the crossovers. Sorry I can't be more help with specific models, but hopefully lots more will chime in, and maybe even be more optimistic on the condition of what's out there.
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Old 10th April 2007, 04:18 AM   #3
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Thanks for the insight.

I realize an older component will need some work (replace lytics, bad solder joints, scratchy switches etc).

I want to put together a good sounding vintage system. The speakers might be current but I want the amplification and tuner to be vintage. I would prefer a receiver as I would just repair/rebuild it and be done.

Specific models to look for from manufactures would be a great place for me to start looking.
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Old 10th April 2007, 05:11 AM   #4
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I just shudder when I look at all those push buttons on the Marantz receivers, and they probably sell for too much due to the name. Power and price really went together back then, with the affordable receivers being a bit wimpy. The Marantz receivers I remember from college were the ones with the horizontal tuning dial on the right hand side- go for whatever model has the most power and is still affordable. Popular, sounded good, and didn't seem to blow up. We were good at blowing things up. IMO, you'd still be better off with something like this pair-
http://cgi.ebay.com/Sansui-Amp-AU-79...QQcmdZViewItem
That way, the part density will be lower, and you don't get completely hosed if one or the other proves not worth fixing. I always liked the black front Sansui stuff from about 1974ish, but couldn't afford any of it.
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Old 10th April 2007, 08:02 PM   #5
spind is offline spind  Canada
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I have two receivers that may interest you and I am local so you could check them out if you are interested. Harman Kardon 730 receiver and Yamaha CR-1000. Lots of information on both on 'AudioKarma.org' and info for the Yamaha on 'theVintageKnob.org' I also have one of the Kenwood 500 integrateds mentioned above and it really is nice!

Send an email if interested.

Steve.
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Old 11th April 2007, 07:44 AM   #6
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Default Sansui G-7000

Sansui made some killer amps back in the 70's. I personally have a sansui G-7000 at 85W RMS it does a beautifull job of reproducing clean highs and deep bass. It is not a CHIP amplifier and uses descrete components. The outputs are Toshiba TO-3 transistors and under normal operation will last the life of the amp. But ya excellent amp. I would recommend it to anyone.
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Old 11th April 2007, 09:36 AM   #7
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you might want to look into the pioneer discrete amps and receivers, too.... their discrete transistor designs were very good, especially the higher powered ones..... their early chip amps weren't bad, but had higher distortion than the discretes. the STK0050 and STK0100 modules were a set of output transistors, drivers, and bias network on a chip, and the bias was not adjustable for crossover distortion. the chips were laser trimmed for bias. kenwoods were also very good at the time. the best japanese equipment of the time was definitely yamaha. not only well designed circuit-wise, but the boards were on plastic hinges, and the equipment was easy to work on. be careful if you have to replace any stereo multiplex decoder chips in pioneers from that era, as the mpx chips were very heat sensitive, and MUST be soldered very carefully, such as keeping the heat on each pin no longer than 2 seconds, and counting to 20 before soldering the next pin. also many of the mpx chips used then would not go into stereo mode if the STEREO light bulb was burnt out. it was used as a load in part of the mpx decoding circuit...the same mpx chips were used in some kenwoods and sansui's. sony always used their own ic's, which posed their own set of problems (availability being one of them).

marantz..... back in 77, one of those marantz receivers was the signal source on my bench..... the pro-audio shop i work at now has an identical one on the workbench (alas, not being used)..... it's hard to mistake the horizontal tuning wheel, even from a distance.....
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Old 11th April 2007, 12:01 PM   #8
teemuk is offline teemuk  Finland
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Default Re: Sansui G-7000

Quote:
Originally posted by IrishboyM4
Sansui made some killer amps back in the 70's.
What is this talk with Sansui amplifiers from 70’s being good? I have totally differing experience: I have Model 400 and it is undoubtedly the worst amplifier I have ever heard. At first it sounded pretty good but when put in comparison with my newer Pioneer I quickly found out why: The Sansui was heavily cutting higher frequencies, which made the sound “smooth” and “less harsh”. It was pleasing to listen but at the same time not very accurate. This is not a feature I respect in an amplifier: If I want less treble I can always use a tone control for that – if you know what I mean.

The whole amplifier is built and designed pretty poorly by modern standards: It is heavier than my 2x75W Pioneer (which is far from High End as well) but the output power is still only about 2x25W. The power transistors are attached to amplifier’s chassis (no other heatsink is used) and speaker terminals are worst I’ve ever seen. The power amplifier circuit is ridiculous by modern standards and sounds like one as well. The short circuit protection (amazing that there even is one) is a poor SCR "Thyristor latch", quiescent current is set with a diode string located far away from the output transistors, high miller compensation cap values used, quasi-complementary (of course), lot's of non-linear, single-transistor gain stages here and there. There are massive bunches of long signal and supply wiring running inside the chassis - all bundled together. Now, this amplifier might have been high quality in 70's, but today...
Couple all the deficiencies with aged capacitors, corroded, dirty switches and potentiometers plus crumbled and aged wiring - it's a total mess!

The only good things I can say about the Sansui is that it has a cool vintage look and that the tuner circuit seemed to be pretty good. Fixing these amplifiers should be easier than fixing modern equipment as well: The PCBs are those old and sturdy ones with thick solder on the traces and there are no PCB mounted switches jacks, biggest capacitors are chassis-mounted etc. However, there are probably over hundred electrolytic capacitors inside - plenty of them on the signal path - and only a masochist wants to replace all of them. Service manuals are difficult to acquire so one has to spend extra time tracing out the schematics. Now, if i'm not totally wrong the same things apply to most (SS) amplifiers from 70's. Even when fixed the sound quality is likely as bad as in the beginning. If you appreciate "vintage" factor more than that then these might be pretty nice amps.
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Old 12th April 2007, 03:52 AM   #9
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that was sansui's low end.......
those were the "mid fi" pieces that earned the name "Sansewer"..... sansui had a genuine high end line of components, that were well designed and sounded good.......

panasonic had the same identity crisis, and solved it by splitting off their better audio lines under the name "technics" and keeping their general consumer stuff under the panasonic brand...... panasonic already had experience running assembly lines under different brand names, since they had bought out RCA, and produced a lot of consumer video equipment under the RCA name ("competing" with themselves, often with identical equipment in both RCA and panasonic product lines)......

generally all of the japanese audio manufacturers made a high end line as well as mid- and low end lines. most of the various companies were owned by the same family, so it's no accident that each company's business plan was nearly identical to that of their "competitors"....
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Old 12th April 2007, 07:47 AM   #10
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Default Sansui G-9000DB

I second the high end sansui equipment. My father handed down his G-9000DB to me. You dont how much crap Bestbuy and CircuitCity is peddling until you hear this beast. I saw a G-9000 on ebay http://cgi.ebay.com/SANSUI-G-9000-AM...QQcmdZViewItem
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