Sound of vintage Sansui vs. Marantz vs. Pioneer

Discussion in 'Exclusively Sansui' started by crouse, Dec 31, 2012.

  1. crouse

    crouse Poorly known member Subscriber

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    I figure this has been discussed before but I would like to hear what people say about the "typical" vintage Sansui receiver sound vs the "typical" vintage Marantz receiver sound vs. the "typical" Pioneer vintage sound. Being new to this, I'm trying to get all the input I can.
    Thanks!
     
  2. AudioJoe413

    AudioJoe413 Well-Known Member

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    Here is my take.
    Pioneer has a relatively clean sound with a little more emphasis in the upper mid range and low high end. Experience here comes from sx850 and sx980. I also have an sx 1250, but havnt had much time to clean it up and listen to it.
    Marantz has a darker, more mellow tone in the midrange and high end with a warmer bottom end. Some would say tube like, my personal experience is with a 2235b, a 2245 and a 2265b. The 2265b is a little clearer in the midrange and high end.
    Sansui to me, is a great combo of both. Nice clean yet beefy bottom end with a pretty clear midrange and high end. My experience here comes from a 5000x and a 9090.

    Purely my take on first hand experience.
     
  3. crouse

    crouse Poorly known member Subscriber

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    Thanks. Gives me a good start.
     
  4. JohnVF

    JohnVF Lunatic Member

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    Pioneer is glassy and etched, Marantz is swirly and imprecise, Yamaha is flat and finnicky, Sansui is just right.

    How's that for my last post of 2012? :).

    Oh, and Accuphase is like Sansui but even better.
     
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  5. drabina

    drabina AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I think people can try to describe the sound to you but in the end, it is you who has to make a decision on how each of the receivers sound like. I had my share of Marantz, Sansui, Pioneer and other receivers and kept Marantz and Sansui. Not because they are the best but because I like their sound. And that's based on only few particular models. I haven't heard them all so there may be a Pioneer receiver that I will like better than my Marantz or Sansui gear that I currently own.

    If you are new to the hobby, try to find AK members that live close and are willing to let you audition some of the gear they own.
     
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  6. pdm4606

    pdm4606 Super Member

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    your sound

    Really depends on your setup and taste.
    I was using a Yamaha M-50 power amp for years. Then it up and died.
    Blew a cap on the power board. I setup my old Marantz 1060 as a power amp that is rated at 1/5 the power. Boy was I blown away. The marantz is 40 years old and never has been mod.
    The lows were much neater. The mids were smoother and the highs were less but nice. My wife who has basically a tin ear heard the difference and preferred the marantz.
    My speakers are a series connection of AR18 and JBL2045 on each channel. I like the nice voicing of the 2 in series.
    My pre is a dynaco PAT 4(mod).
    TT is an old belt drive ROK from 1956 that is mod. with a ROK tonearm that is mod.

    Paul
     
  7. Sam Cogley

    Sam Cogley Last of the Time Lords Subscriber

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    You forgot Kenwood. ;) I personally find them something like Sansui with a dash of Marantz stirred in.
     
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  8. avionic

    avionic " Black Knights" Subscriber

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    Also depends on which forum you post this type of question in...:scratch2:

    You been smoking corn silk again? Or got a good start on the New Year celebration. :D
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2012
  9. bluesky

    bluesky Addicted Member

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    Sansui or Marantz.

    Nothing wrong with Pioneer, Yamaha, Kenwood, Marantz, or Scott, but I'd rather have a Sansui.

    Are you going to get a 30+ year old amp? Chances are you will have to restore it. Work that into the budget.

    All these amps/receivers are older which is a 'primary concern' for true sound and stability, it's just a fact of life. Restoration is a primary concern. And who's going to do it??? And where is he/she located? Will you have to ship it? These old amps are heavy, it's $40-$50 one way if your going to ship it.

    Which one to get? Whichever one 'functions stabily, operates the best, and sounds the best to you. Has the amp you are going to buy 'stock' or has it been messed with by unqualified techs?

    Sansui's got the 'sound, the transformers, and the power'. I prefer Sansui.

    It all depends on how you are going to use it and exactly what your musical tastes are. Do you need Watts RMS or is it for easy listening, not a lot of watts required. What speakers are you going to be using? What type of TT and Cart are you using? If you got a great tt/cart, you want a great vintage amp with a deep sound. 70 Watts RMS is a good working number. It's got power. You can crank it, if your into that.

    What will you be listening to primarily?

    Yamaha(s): Nothing wrong with the old Yamaha(s). They sounded great and were BIG sellers back in the day (era early '70s). Yamahas Rocked!! And sounded great!! Everyone loved Yamahas. Maybe they didn't buy one...but they liked them a lot!! But honestly I really don't know 'how Yamaha(s) aged'. Haven't heard a Yamaha in since 1972.

    Do you want an amp or a receiver? Sansui's 9090 and Gs are muscle machines. The AU-717 has a sound that is unreal, a really real 'deep' sound, a true workhorse, like a live-on-stage sound - same with the AU-919, and both sound outstanding with records. The TU-717 is an audiophile grade tuner. Great combo. But...they have the dreaded glue problems on the boards, which many older amps have, so during a restoration the glue will have to be removed and componets eated away replaced.

    All the older 70's and early '80s amps will need a total restoration sooner than later. Which is expected. If you have a good vintage tech in your neighborhood, that's vital.

    Which ever one sounds the best to you.

    I really do miss my old AU-717. Still have the TU-717. I'm presently using a '87 Sansui AU-X901 'Vintage' (130W) and love it. It's an audiophile sound but still have the sound of the older circuits. But it's younger brother, the AU-X701 'Vintage' (100W) is a really nice amp too and sells for about $250 used, which is a real good deal. Saw one sell for $94 once! That guy got a super deal!. It's a great amp for a very lower price if your on a budget, and it's '87, so it's newer. The X901 sells for $500+. Both are top quality throughout.

    If your on a real limited budget...even the '87-'89 Sony receviers sounded pretty darn good really. Suprisingly so.

    Don't be in a hurry to buy, take your time, do your 'research!!!", and get the right one.

    Hope this helps.

    Good luck! :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013
  10. automojo

    automojo OurBandCouldBeYourLife Subscriber

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    I agree it's all about taste, and add proper speaker matching to the mix.
    Personally I prefer H/K over all the aforementioned products, as IMHO they have plenty of power to drive most any speaker, yet still have the detail and finesse of a small amp.
    In particular the PA2400, and Sig 1.5, and Citation 22/HK870 to a lesser extent.
    The Pioneer SX-X50 series has a much different sound then the SX-X80 series (and similar vintage amps), and the older series seems to work best with similar vintage speakers IMHO.
    I really like my recapped Sansui TU-717, not so much the amps/preamps.
    Marantz, IMHO always had a certain voicing you either liked, or didn't.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013
  11. bluesky

    bluesky Addicted Member

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    Marantz did have a certain voicing. Yeah, you eather liked them or didn't.

    They sounded ok. But there was certainly better.

    I'm not a Marantz guy, but not knocking them. Marantz and Scott were the 'very early' (60s) good amps and receivers.
     
  12. JohnVF

    JohnVF Lunatic Member

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    I'm just being difficult. The A-1 I had was one of the best vintage integrateds I've heard, and I'd love to own a B-2. Or one of my favorites of all time, the BX-1s.
     
  13. crouse

    crouse Poorly known member Subscriber

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    Good advice. I'm using Klipsch LaScalas, so I am thinking something known for it's "warm" sound would be nice. To be honest, this is mostly driven by nostalgia, but I do want to get something that would sound nice with the LaScalas.
    Thanks
     
  14. automojo

    automojo OurBandCouldBeYourLife Subscriber

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    Citation II or V.
    When restored, these will give any modern tube amps a serious run for their money.
    The II is tube amp that can actually can drive some power into the lower frequency range without breaking a sweat.
    The V isn't bad, but can benefit from Jim McShane mods.
    Actually the Cit 12 would be a good choice as well.
    These are all fairly bullet proof designs.
     
  15. Transconductor

    Transconductor Active Member

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    +1 good one.
     
  16. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

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    I have Sansui AU717 and 719, 8080DB, and a Pioneer 737.

    The 717 or 719 have the top spot in my ear. Well balanced and smooth. The Pioneer is a little too "bright" for my liking. The Sansui 8080DB falls somewhere in between, leaning to the Sansui side, naturally.

    I wouldn't bad mouth any of them.
     
  17. larryderouin

    larryderouin Do I get Food, Med's, or more gear this Month? Subscriber

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    Right now I'm running a 2000 on SP-2500's. Don't need Loudness, and Tone controls are Bass -2, Treble Flat. Rich Lush Mid Range, and High's that don't feel screechy! Same with my 1000A only on a scale writ LARGE! I'm running the tubes at just under 33ma for 14.5w per tube and my neighbor comes over to listen to jazz or Big band stuff on it. My FISHER 800C doesn't have that effect on him. It's more laid back even on the same speakers.

    My PIONEERS' (x2x,x3x, x90) all sound thin, and tinny compared to the sui's. But there are things I listen to that I like the PIONEER's running, rather than any others. So I roll receivers rather than tubes.

    But the Sansui's get the most airtime.

    Larry
     
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  18. sony6060

    sony6060 Super Member

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    A serious run, but not out run a properly set up tube type Citation II. :D
     
  19. Sam Cogley

    Sam Cogley Last of the Time Lords Subscriber

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    I have the same feeling about the Pioneer gear I've heard. There's nothing wrong with the sound, it just doesn't resonate with me for some reason.
     
  20. wcf720

    wcf720 New Member

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    Each has its own personality, some good, some not so good

    Because what you ask is purely subjective, here’s been my experiences for several of the sets I own and have rebuilt.

    All of the receivers in my collection are extensively rebuilt; Elna Silmic’s in the signal path and Panasonic FC’s elsewhere. I typically will leave capacitance the same, but in certain areas increase the rated voltage. 1uf Tanalums replaced with film parts. So, that said, my methods of rebuilding are carried throughout all of my receivers in a similar fashioned.

    Remember, everybody has a different listening environment, different electronics, and certainly different ears! My test system consists of a said receiver with an older Teac CD player, Dual 1219 with an Audio Technica Shibata tip cartridge. Speakers are a set of lower end Definitive Technology Bi-Polar floor speakers. All this in a bedroom sized living space. None of it good, none of it bad…

    Pioneer SX-1250; LOUD. It certainly has the most punch of all my 70’s receivers. The tuner is pretty good for sensitivity/selectivity. Sound, aside from getting loud, is more machine like to me. Decent bass, perhaps a bit shy on the low end, and shrill on the high end. I love this receiver, but it’s never in the rotation very long as it seems to fatigue my ears faster than others.

    Tandberg 2080; love it! FM performance is the best of all I own. It has the lowest bass extension of all I own. Seems to run out of steam quickly, but it also has a power supply without the capacity of others. All around, a very nice sounding set, good lows, smooth and inviting sound to my ears.

    Marantz 2270; inviting sound! I like this receiver, and Marantz sold tons of these things in the 70’s. I think I read it was one of the most successful receivers of the day. I like the sound, tight bass, smooth mids, and just right highs. This receiver has a warm and soothing sound about it, I hate to use the phrase “tube-like”, but it is. FM sensitivity is so-so, but if you’re in a major city, shouldn’t be a big deal, but you’re not going to DX with it! Not easy to rebuild, but a great performing set many people love.

    Sansui 9090DB; one of my favorites. Sexy looking and good sound. I won’t use bigger words to describe the 9090DB, it’s certainly not great, but there are a lot that are worse in my opinion. I save this for last, because it always seems to end up back in my system as the most run receiver. It doesn’t have the best low bass extension as the Tandberg does, but it’s controlled and tight. Its mids are sweet to listen too, and it provides nice highs, not mechanical like the Pioneer, nor will it scare the dogs away in your neighborhood. The 9090 is loved by many, performs well in all areas, and it’s never disappointing to listen too! Another set that is plentiful!

    To conclude, I like all of my receivers, but for different reasons. Each has its own personality and character. Some things each do well and some not so well… I have several different models of Marantz, Tandbergs, Piioneers, and Sansui’s. All rebuilt, and I keep coming back to the Sansui as one of my favorites. For me it’s hard to pinpoint any one model that does everything well, or is a favorite… My suggestion is to build an opinion based on what your ears say to you, what visually appeals to you, and where your budget allows you. There are a lot of Marantz fans, as there are Pioneer, Tandberg, Kenwood, etc… It wouldn’t be fair to say one is better than the other, period. But it is fair to say that some have parts that you cannot get, making it a little more challenging to fix. All of the 70’s sets are old, and will need a rebuild. I would not put much time on any set without some service work first – they are time bombs waiting to fry potentially un-obtainable parts. Plus, rebuilding with today’s parts puts these sets back to better than new. Parts today, even the cheap ones are likely better than what was available in 1975!
    It’s a fun, and addictive hobby, start small, and grow from there!

    Happy listening!!
     

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