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Vintage receivers were expensive when new

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by satellite, Jul 16, 2017.

  1. melofelo

    melofelo Addicted Member

    Messages:
    6,043
    Location:
    london, uk
    a bare bones rega brio..minus all lovely vintage details we covet like machined knobs, wood casing , steel chassis, shielded transformers, a zillion hand soldered parts on individual circuit boards, and enough weight to inspire confidence that no plastic was used in the interest of cost cutting or cheap mass production.. will set you back £600 in today's money...
    I'm sure the parts count outside and inside compared to a budget 70s Sansui makes the inflation adjusted figure actually seem cheap...
    https://www.whathifi.com/rega/brio/review
     

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  2. fdrennen

    fdrennen Organist in Residence

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    That seems kind of low where was this Mississippi?
     
  3. Bodyblue

    Bodyblue AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Umm how old are you? Do you understand how an average works?
     
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  4. c5corvette

    c5corvette AK Subscriber Subscriber

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  5. qjm101

    qjm101 New Member

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    Minimum wage in 1975 was $2.10/ hr. which is $84 a week.
     
  6. electronjohn

    electronjohn Plug it in & see!! Subscriber

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    I'm in the "system price" camp...a 221, a BSR & a pair of speakers would likely have sold for $299.99 back in the day.
     
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  7. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Gimpus Stereophilus!

    Messages:
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    Which is what it was in 1975. $84 a week, on 40 hour weeks. Minimum wage in all 50 states, yes. Remember, the average 1975 30 watts/channel receiver was around $300 list price, a decent basic Japanese belt drive turntable was around $150 on the low end with a cartridge, a pair of basic two way speakers were around $200 new on average in this era, so a decent HiFi on the average end around $650-$750. Add $150-$200 for a decent cassette deck with Dolby B and CRO2 tape capability.
     
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  8. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Gimpus Stereophilus!

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    And they're not to the same quality in build, longevity, or in sonics. And no conservative engineering inside, and disposable. A Pioneer SX 1010 or SX 1050. Marantz high end, Sansui 9090 or their like still often works today, can be repaired and maintained, and are gaining in their worth. No way you can build that quality today for less than the inflated price in today's money. Can't compare cost cut to something with quality. IC afllicted, cheaply built, and poorly built does not measure up. All the IC, robotics in the world not withstanding. The Japanese and Asian economy of the 1970's was a lot better for quality than it is today. People in general demanded better quality when they bought HiFI then, it was a far more important part of people's lives. The vinyl revival is making it thought of again.
     
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  9. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Gimpus Stereophilus!

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    For the record, my McIntosh MA 5100 integrated amplifier cost that when new in 1967. The nearest to it you can buy new is around $6500 today.
     
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  10. fdrennen

    fdrennen Organist in Residence

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    Yes I do my memory tells me that the "average" income was higher, C5corvette's chart seems better a median income at that rate was $254/week I was earning about $200 which was too low.
     
  11. WaynerN

    WaynerN Super Member

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    Location:
    Minnesota
    That is a fine chart, however, the vintage Marantz receiver was built in the US, while its modern day counterpart is built in China. Labor is the factor that caused many US companies to either fold (Soundcraftsmen, SAE, others) or move off shore (or partially move off shore).

    A "bean counter" chart doesn't cover all of the bases, and (IMO) is itself, inflated.
     
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  12. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Gimpus Stereophilus!

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    Only the Model 18 and 19 receivers were USA built. No others. The 18 and 19 are the last links to the original Marantz Company pre SuperScope with Saul Marantz and Sidney Smith's input., with the tuners having Dick Sequerra's design. They competed with McIntosh's MAC receivers directly. No other Marantz receivers did so. As the new post 1968 Marantz covered a wide range of price points, not just the high end. After the Model 19, Marantz became being known far more as a middle class manufacturer, competing with Sansui, Pioneer, Sony, Trio-Kenwood, and Yamaha's early efforts in the US market.
     
  13. WaynerN

    WaynerN Super Member

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    Perhaps true of receivers, however my 1974 Marantz 3300 preamp was built in California, and so was my 240 power amp.

    All of the receivers I once had (2220, 2230, 2250....) were designed in the US and built in Japan. So there was some US indirect labor added to the price of each unit (perhaps per unit is a very small number).
     
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  14. freQ(*)Oddio

    freQ(*)Oddio We tried to talk it over but words got in the way Subscriber

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    true, my dad made $80 - 90 a week full time job 40- 50 hrs a week around 1977
     
  15. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Gimpus Stereophilus!

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    Your early 1974 Marantz separates were the very last US Built Marantz electronics. After the 3300 preamp and the 240 power amp, Marantz Japan took over the electronics production. Designed in the US, built in Japan added around less than 10% of the labor. But added quality and kept costs down. Marantz Japan was formerly Standard Radio.
     
  16. restorer-john

    restorer-john Super Member

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    The bottom line is this, the little Sansui receiver (and likely tt/speakers) cost approximately two weeks average wages in 1975, which made it expensive. The absolute best way to compare how expensive something was is to reference it to an average wage at the time.

    The fact that two weeks average wage today could buy a hell of lot more than a 221 (plus spks), means, obviously, that HiFi was more expensive in relative terms than it is today.
     
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  17. Johnny 007

    Johnny 007 Active Member

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    I hate to go off on a tangent, but in my opinion, the so-called "inflation" calculators don't do a very good job. That's partly because the government wants it that way.

    As for the cost of Sansui stuff in the 70s? I bought a new Sansui AU517 amp in 1978 from a place in San Diego that was going out of business. I think I paid around $300. At that same time, my rent in Pacific Beach (1bedroom apt) was $200. A new Micro Seiki turntable was $179, and some used Magnepan speakers were $800. A nice used VW bug was $1200.
     
  18. the skipper

    the skipper Super Member

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    Dunno if this is relevant but in late 1967 I paid $280 for a 20 (rms) wpc Fisher 200T and right out of high school I was making maybe $1.50/hr.

    No matter how you slice it, that was a pretty penny then.

    If you want to make an apples to apples comparison, use the minimum wage for that era to keep things even.

    http://money.cnn.com/interactive/economy/minimum-wage-since-1938/index.html

    Now, as for costs of equipment, Radio Shack offered a fairly wide range of brand name equipment in the 60's.

    http://www.radioshackcatalogs.com/
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017 at 9:41 PM
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  19. elcoholic

    elcoholic Just Nevermind Subscriber

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    Inflation calculators, for a lot of reasons, just don't work for consumer electronics. For example in '76 I bought a Yamaha CR-600, B&O Beovox M-70 Speakers, B&O Beogram 1900 turntable and a pair of Yamaha HP-1 headphones. At $2500 this was an expensive system, not available through the usual deeply discounted mass-market outlets of the day. There's no way that system would be worth anywhere near $11,000 in 2017 dollars. The headphones are probably the closest. $200 for TOTL orthodynamic headphones converts to $900 which today gets you very good, if not TOTL, ortho's today
     
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  20. twiiii

    twiiii Super Member

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    4,102
    Since 1975 the purchasing power of the american family has dropped over 5%. So whether you made 160 a week in 75 or you make 1000 a week today the average non supervisory worker has less buying power than he did in 75. All I can remember was At the time I was making about 5% more than the average family in come. . Today I make more than 10 % over the average, So guess I'm ahead. Everything is paid for. And there is money in the bank. Not so in 75.
     
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