Good Question: What do you consider to be high end vintage gear?

Discussion in 'Vintage Gear - Top Performers' started by BilboBaggins, Jul 27, 2015.

  1. gagelle

    gagelle AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Central Valley, CA
    I have tremendous respect for Julian Hirsch. He turned me on to my first hifi system in an article on "Best Budget Systems." It consisted of KLH 6 speakers, a Lafayette receiver and a Dual turntable. (I forget the models.) He informed a whole generation about the difference between real hifi and crap.

    I still miss those KLH 6 speakers. I could never afford the AR3A speakers. In the early 70s, for many, the AR3A speakers were the holy grail. I did have a pair of Rectilinear speakers but I don't remember the model. I used them with the KLHs for a 4 channel system.
  2. HiFiThor

    HiFiThor Active Member

    I think the Teac 3340s was high end enough for McCartney to mix SGT Pepper's, at least I think I read it somewhere.
  3. HiFiThor

    HiFiThor Active Member

    My Pioneer Spec-1 and Spec-2 have served me faithfully for the last 40+ years. Although one audiophile once quipped to me that the only thing on a Spec-1 pre-amp that was any good was the stepped volume control.

    I have also enjoyed my Magenpans and Dhalquist DQ-10's.
  4. Ds2000

    Ds2000 All About every cool stereo component. Subscriber

    New York City
    JVC offered a very high end combo in the early 80's, the M-L and P-L10 amp and preamp IMG_0906.JPG (amp shown.)
    And let us not forget Stax. They produced some of the best vintage high end gear from 1976-1990. IMG_0855.JPG (DMA-X2 shown.)
    Add in the Onkyo M-510
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
  5. just dave

    just dave vintage rules!

    Oak Forest ILL.
    Why do we have to come up with a definition for what's high end and what isn't.If someone wants to talk about a piece of gear that they feel is high end and doesn't fit the definition, so what.If I like it or know anything about it I'll chime in.Maybe we'll learn something about a piece that really should be here that we didn't think so before.
  6. twiiii

    twiiii Super Member

    Let me tell you about a Bose 901. At 22 watts rms it will shut down due to over heating in less than 10 minutes and its distortion can't be read over 7000 Hz because the unit will instantly shut down at full power. The pre-amp has its short comings, too. Yamaha has never built a top of the line piece.

    Vintage means tubes, and tubes means Mcintosh, Marantz, and a few Citation Pieces. 95 % of the speakers you chose are dynamically challenged, so take them off the list. EV Patricin, JBL Harkness and Paragon, Altec Carmel and Capistrano, Bozak B400 and B410/310 Concert Grands, Klipsch Kornerhorns with a Cornwall center were great live concert reproducers. Don't forget the largest Tannoy . Frazier made some great ugly speakers. AR speakers were just a fad, but couldn't be considered being capable of reaching live performance parameters. Most speakers today are still dynamically challenged and most of the ones that aren't require 1000 watts. Something is just wrong. You'd think after 60 years or so speaker manufacturers would start being honest with the Hifi consumer. To replicate live performance a minimum of 115 db peaks is required. That requires 400 watts for a 90 db sensitivity rated common speaker of today. $$$$$$$$$$$$ and don't for get you want less than 2 % distortion. I mean folks are worried about amps with less than .02% distortion, you would think they would demand the same from their loudspeakers. It just proves what a sharp marketing department can sell th the general consumer. Though I can appreciate the sound of a Martin Logan or Manaplanar, even the fabulous KlH 9s in multiple pairs, when it comes to producing live concert levels they are just toys.

    Most HT systems are a poor representation and can't come close to levels generated in movie houses let alone actual every day listening experience. A slammed door on a car rr trunk lid will give most HT systems a heart attack. Sound created my Clint Eastwoods most powerful handgun can't be equaled or tolerated in the home. A pipe bomb or a 80 mm Howitzer just isn't possible. Ever stood at the end of a runway when the Blue Angels or Thunderbirds take off?
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017
    motorstereo likes this.
  7. whoaru99

    whoaru99 Epic Member


    No, but I have when B-52s and B-1Bs were doing alert takeoffs.

    And, I had the job of standing or laying literally inches from jet engines at full power during my time in AF as a Jet Engine Mechanic. When the B-1Bs came in the technology changed a bit. But, for the B-52 and KC-135 engines, a run at the test cell where I worked involved hand checking the engines for air leaks. And, for trim adjustments, simply old school throw down a creeper and scoot under the engine at full power and turn the trim screw with a plain old screwdriver.

    To compare that to any stereo system is quite a stretch. We never got into the specifics of horsepower and all that, but I've seen reference to the typical engine used on a B-52 as being around 20,000 horsepower equivalent (and by today's standards that's a pretty small jet engine). There are eight of them on a B-52. Assuming for discussion the horsepower thing is reasonably accurate, that's 160,000 horsepower or almost 120 millon watts. :)
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2017
  8. eastbrown

    eastbrown Active Member

    fairhaven, ma
    I don't know about that, But my Sony STR-DA9000ES does a damn good job of that.
  9. tuned_in

    tuned_in New Member

    Nice looking setup
  10. HarmanKardon

    HarmanKardon Tubes still smell funny Subscriber

    Schwarzwald, Deutschland
    No Bang&Olufsen yet in this thread? :idea:

    There is a lot of high end vintage Beo stuff - here are some of them:

    Beogram 4000 (4002/4004/6000)
    Beomaster 6000 (the first series)
    Beomaster 4400
    Beovox 5000
    Beolab 5000 (a real real Collector's item, I don't have it...:( )

    ... and so on and on and on...
  11. HarmanKardon

    HarmanKardon Tubes still smell funny Subscriber

    Schwarzwald, Deutschland

    Another High End legend:

    Arena T9000

  12. Son_Chad

    Son_Chad AK Subscriber Subscriber

    JBL 4355. The last 43xx series. Holy grail. :jump:

    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017 at 5:58 PM
    Ds2000 likes this.

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