Vintage Stereo Receiver suggestions.

Discussion in 'Tuners' started by Mark Davis, Mar 6, 2018.

  1. Mark Davis

    Mark Davis Active Member

    Richmond, Virginia
    I have a couple of questions. I will ask the easy one first because the second one probably has a gazillion opinions.

    1. Researching Vintage models I see a lot come with a wood case. I noticed on EBay some do not, but it looks like they would slide into a case. Was that an option or are people taking them off as they are damaged and selling them.?

    2. I am looking for a receiver between 1967 -1977. I AM NOT looking for high end Pioneer, Marantz, Sansui , McIntosh etc. I am looking for middle of the road probably 40W-80W. I have taken a liking to the Fisher models 400 and 500T but they seem scarce. I was looking at Sansui at first but have expanded to Pioneer also. I have been using Vintage HI-FI Reviews for some of my research. -

      I am looking for something in a wood case. What would the forum recommend?


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  2. rcs16

    rcs16 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Baldwin, Ontario, Canada
    Some of them usually higher end units came with wood cases. Marantz were more so into optional wood cases. Pioneer SX series had wood cases for most of them.
    At least you are in the right era, 1967 -1977 for wood cases. In the 80's on ward wooden cases became less available.
    You can look at brochures(hifiengine) of the era for a better look at what was available at the time.
    I have a Pioneer SX-950 (bought as new) and a QX-9900 both in nice Walnut cases. the Sansui G-7500 is in that imitation Cherry, it would look fantastic in a real cherry wood, maybe one day.
    I do not like recommending old gear because it is old and you know what that means, it can fail at anytime. if you are not skilled/willing to learn to service it, it can get expense, but we here at AK can try to help people fix their gear. try to find something that there is a service manual or schematics available, as it helps alot with internet troubleshooting.
    Good luck, lets see what you come up with.
  3. illinoisteve

    illinoisteve Super Member

    My early '70s Fisher 404 has a wood case, and my mid-70s Kenwood 5150 has a wood case. The SQ-quadraphonic Fisher also weighs more than a small child.
  4. rkgren1

    rkgren1 Super Member

    Yorktown, VA
    My SX-950 is very nicely finished.
    I have an SX-1000TW from around 1970 that has a very sturdy plywood case with nice veneer on it, and it is solidly built.

    I know that your are focused on Fisher and Pioneer, but there were numerous less prominent brands of that time period with high build quality.
    I have Realistic and Sherwood receivers from the early-mid 70s that are fine performers, and both have walnut veneer plywood cases.
    The Sherwood (S7100-A) in particular is very nicely finished, but its 14 W/ch is well below the point you are aiming.
    If lower-end Sherwoods like mine are very well built, I am sure that the higher end models would thrill.
    The Realistic is an STA-90, and it sounds fantastic.

    My Sansui 771 is nicely built as well with walnut veneer over plywood. It's power output is only 35 W/ch though.
    The similar 881 is at the bottom end of your stated power range.
    Sansui's prime for receiver build quality are generally regarded as single digit series.

    I would not weigh power specs too much unless you have a large room to fill with music and you already have some rather inefficient speakers that you will be using.
    I bet that I rarely exceed a couple of watts of dissipated power through the speakers in my living room system.

    Sound quality does not necessarily correlate with max. power output either.
    Nothing in my house trumps the S7100-A in sound quality in normal use.
  5. slow_jazz

    slow_jazz AK Subscriber Subscriber

    SE Michigan, Downriver....
    I've had good luck with a Sansui 4000.

    It's around 40 watts per channel. Nice wood case.

    Older unit with capacitor coupling.

    Warmer sound to it.
  6. Hak Foo

    Hak Foo Active Member

    JVC/Nivico had a lot of earlier units with nice wood cabinet designs, but most of them tend to be earlier-70s and retty modest in wattage (40wpc or less). An interesting later choice would be the R-S33 (40wpc) or R-S77 (60wpc). Although they're a bit after your date range (like '79 ro 81 or so), they were sold with wood-veneer sides and a painted-to-resemble-wood case.


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  7. malden

    malden Addicted Member

    That's a cool site you linked.

    Most early to mid 1970's Japanese receivers are well built, reliable and sound great. If you're not looking for a "monster" receiver, then for under $400.00, you can find something excellent. I think the late 1960's gear is great but may require at least some basic repair or maintenance.
  8. txturbo

    txturbo AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Austin, TX
    Pioneer SX-850 would be a great choice. Not top of the line but more than adequate to build a great vintage system.


    Wood case
    Excellent build quality
    Great looks
    Reasonable price (maybe a tad high)
    Easy to service
    Design uses electrical parts that can be easily sourced
    Many were manufactured, making non electrical parts not too hard to source
    Many available for sale at any given time
    Good tuner
    Good phono section
    Powerful bass

    Actually any of the pioneers of the 75-79 vintage are really a good choice.
    cgutz likes this.
  9. Uncle Bambi

    Uncle Bambi Funky Tut

    San Ramon, CA
    Pioneer SX-990. Beautiful walnut case, undervalued, 40w/channel, 1969ish build.
  10. Djcoolray

    Djcoolray Addicted Member

    A rocks throw from JBLM !!!!
    I’d recommend doing some reading about the companies during the seventies and the equipment that was produced. Someone could tell you to get an SX-780, SX-1250 and another gey that knows Sansui can tell you what models he likes. That’s just a drop in the bucket of the choices....because there are so many reviews online of all the equipment.

    Just a thought....
  11. kvining

    kvining Active Member

    Planet Houston
    IMO, the real bargains are in the 70's model Toshibas, its funny how Toshiba actually manufactured a lot of the components, especially the power transistors, that are used in all the other vintage silver face units and collectors turn their noses up to the Toshiba house brand of receivers. I've always thought the SA-500's and SA-504's sounded as good as any Marantz or Pioneer I've heard from the same era, which isn't surprising because the all use a lot of the same Toshiba parts. Their turntables are also excellent and real sleepers too. You can pick up a 50 watt per channel Toshiba receiver for like, 50 bucks if you're real lucky. If you've got to stick with Pioneer, there is just a zillion of the mid models available on CL and eBay, my favorite if I had a 300$ or so budget would be the SX-850, the SX-850 is a heck of a unit for the price and sometimes you'll see them on CL being sold cheap by people who don't know what they've got. They've got that 70's Pioneer sound in spades and will make any set of decent speakers rock, and their 65 watt rating is vastly understating just what one of these sweethearts will do.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2018


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  12. rickb119

    rickb119 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Northern Colorado
    I'm more than happy with my SX-850. :)
  13. gslikker

    gslikker Super Member

    Close to Alkmaar, Netherlands
    I would suggest ANY decent receiver, on driving distance, having a kind owner taking all the time to demonstrate it showing it still works.
  14. tom3

    tom3 Super Member

    So. Ohio
    A lot of the early pre 1970 units had the wood case separate, pretty popular addition so the later receivers/amps had the case as standard seems like. Lot of the early model cases were real wood veneer on plywood, later models had vinyl coverings.

    I'm a pretty hard core Sansui fan, super performers, but I'll admit the reliability pretty much sucks on those. Hard to beat Pioneer for most electronics from what I've seen over the years. Agree with the above, get a demonstration when buying if possible.
  15. KevleB74

    KevleB74 New Member

    New to the game, I’m trying to match a good vintage receiver to a set of TA-15 Cerwins, also have some vintage HED Cerwins . Anyone here a ny suggestion on a receiver strong enough to push 4 15s “tried a SR4000 Marantz and it’s a pos ..
  16. musichal

    musichal poet emeritus Subscriber

    Norman OK
    I suggest a receiver with preamp outputs and a separate power amp to match. Run one speaker pair with the receiver's amp, and the other with the power amp. Less stress on speakers and amps for cranking it up.
    KevleB74 likes this.


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  17. Doghouse

    Doghouse Member

    Manchester, England
    I'm using a Leak 2000, I bought second hand about ten years ago. Which I really like and didn't cost that much.
    It replaced a Philips 790 I bought in 1972, which failed after decades of constant use.

    In general, prices of tuner/amps second-hand have risen considerably in the last ten years due to vinyl coming back into "fashion."

    For some of us it never went out of fashion.
    KevleB74 likes this.
  18. KevleB74

    KevleB74 New Member

    Very true, seems that the vintage stuff has gone crazy. I know some are not big fans of the cerwin stuff.. some dislike Marantz.. I myself just want to be able to power the vega’s with some true power. Marantz 50watts out of a 1979 receiver just isn’t going to cut it .. suggestions on brand model that has something preamp and main power amp?
  19. KevleB74

    KevleB74 New Member

    Okay. New question. Marantz 2230 as a preamp ? Got my mitts on crown PSA-2 .. 200 Watts x2 .. can I use the marantz pre outs to run thru the crown and drive my Vega’s home ?
  20. rcs16

    rcs16 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Baldwin, Ontario, Canada
    It depends on how much you want to spend. If a 2230 has pre-amp o/p jacks, then that is what they are for, to drive ext PA's. Be careful when power up/down, since the 2230 would not be muting pre out at power up/down, could make some ugly noises.

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