Was there a time when silver face gear was considered obsolete?

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by Dazaa, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. Dazaa

    Dazaa Super Member

    London England
    Seeing how worthless modern AV receivers are after a few years has made me wonder, was there ever a time when the stuff we cherish now was considered worthless old junk and regularly just scrapped? An example would be the TOTL 2000's AV receivers like the Yamaha DSP-A1, four figures new, too old for the HT guys and a small following amongst the 2 channel crowd mean they're worth very little. Was there a time when monster receIvers like the SX1980 were considered outdated junk?


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  2. peerson

    peerson Well-Known Member

    Kansas City area
    What is trendy and popular today will be obsolete soon. And within a few years will be, once again, popular and be considered "Retro" and trendy. Think Bell-Bottom Jeans, Halter Tops, Hair styles, Camaros, Mustangs, the "New Beetle" from the '90s and is now discontinued and considered "Obsolete (don't worry, it'll come back in a new version in a few years), RECORDS, Tube Amplifiers, etc. There are many examples of this phenomena.
  3. DaveVoorhis

    DaveVoorhis Super Member

    Behind you.
    I suspect there might be regional variations, but when I lived in Canada in the 1980's and 90's, the 1970's silver-face gear was considered hopelessly out-of-fashion, unreliable, undesirable, and neither as powerful nor as good a sound quality as the new black-face (but not black plastic crap -- that was something else) gear coming out.

    Monster receivers -- along with tube gear from the decades before, and turntables -- were often thrown out, tossed into garages and lofts, parted out, sold for a few dollars at garage and yard sales, and occasionally hoarded by weirdos who either thought the "old junk" might be worth something some day or kept using it because they liked it.

    Or so they said... We often suspected they simply couldn't afford new gear.
    nj pheonix, Hyperion, Dazaa and 4 others like this.
  4. sqlsavior

    sqlsavior AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Española NM
    At 5:15 PM PST on April 1, 1985, the earth passed through an electromagnetic anomaly which left all souls on the planet with a distinct feeling that silver-faced gear was obsolete. Many later recovered after realizing that they were April fools. Or just ordinary fools.

  5. peerson

    peerson Well-Known Member

    Kansas City area

    Took me a long time to recover. I didn't "wake up" until about 2010. This anomaly affected many people differently.
  6. Powertech

    Powertech Well-Known Member

    South Wales, U.K.
    They could have been Audiofools?
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  7. winters860

    winters860 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Dirtbag, Ohio
    I believe they're pretty much obsolete now.
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  8. E-Stat

    E-Stat AK Subscriber Subscriber

    For brands I use like Audio Research and VTL, they have offered the choice for decades. I purchased a used ARC preamp with a silver face plate and later purchased a black faceplate and knob set. I was able to sell the silver set on ebay for someone who desired the reverse!

    Audio Research discovered preferences differ across their international user base even today.
    nj pheonix, musichal and OMGCat! like this.
  9. bshorey

    bshorey Super Member

    Gilroy, CA, USA
    You mean like now?

    When solid state gear came out, tube gear was considered obsolete. I wish I still had some of the tube gear I tossed in the 70's. As for solid state silver faced gear, I don't think it was rendered obsolete by much of the plastic faced stuff that came along, but I would argue that it's considered obsolete by the masses today, as they've gravitated towards multi channel video capable gear. Two channel stereo doesn't fit that bill for most people.

    There's a relatively small portion of the population that cherishes this stuff. The majority of people out there consider it obsolete.

    Roadrash, quiet and 62caddy like this.
  10. rebellovw

    rebellovw Super Member

    Prescott, AZ
    That corresponds pretty close to when I excitedly bought a bpc technics receiver to replace my broken Pioneer sx780. I fell victim to the bpc stacked gear era - with their helpful remotes and features.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  11. MaxxVolume

    MaxxVolume Addicted Member

    Naaaahhh....it`s all relative. Several years ago, I worked with a couple of bright young (20-ish) college guys who had been raised on MP3 players. One day, I had an eBay ad up on the computer screen, for a very nice reel-to-reel deck. They were laughing at me as if it were from the Civil War or something, they couldn`t grasp how something so archaic might actually produce good sound. I invited them over to hear my 40 year-old silver-faced system, and thoroughly enjoyed watching their jaws hit the floor as they heard a REAL system for the first time.


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  12. bobins08

    bobins08 Loving the dream Subscriber

    St. Louis, MO

    .... and the times they are a changing ...

    Yes, there was a time when Silver Faced Receivers were considered obsolete, like back in the 80's when the black plastic stuff took over. Someone must of thought the Marantz 2270 that I have was junk because they sold it to me in working condition for $50. In fact the Silver Faced stuff is obsolete right now since they do not support Blue tooth, wireless, networking, HDMI, or any of the surround HT modes ... by todays definition they are obsolete right now.

    I have a few Silver Face transistor receivers that are fun but they are not at all my best equipment or as good as todays TOTL audio equipment. I still like them and with some restoration they can sound great, look great, and be fun to use. I even have an old Fisher tube receiver that will be restored some day.

    I do think that in the future there will be people collecting stuff from the 2000's for the same reasons many here at AK love great gear from the 50's thru 70's and even 80's. The modern HT Receivers will have new challenges because they are loaded with software/firmware but we audio-freaks can get pretty creative.
  13. mhardy6647

    mhardy6647 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    They look nice, though (a nostalgia thing), so I keep a smattering of 'em around as memento mori, so to speak ;)

  14. savatage1973

    savatage1973 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    NW Pennsylvania snow belt
    I just recently put together an all new/newish Cambridge Audio system for a spare bedroom for guests to use--I intentionally bought all silver-faced models, and Yamaha is offering most of their new line-up in silver or black as well. Silver is not DEAD.
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  15. quiet

    quiet AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Most of my favorite old receivers from the 70s are dark on the front, Heath, JVC, Magnavox,,,,,,,,,,,
    The least visually appealing to me is my Marantz 2226.
    The more I look at the rack the less I'm attracted to the mono-chrome silver look receivers. Yamaha, Sony, Pioneer,,,,,,
    They may have taken a break in the 80s. But they're back!
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  16. hendertuckie

    hendertuckie Active Member

    Southern Nevada
    It's just fashion and that's nothing more than a Yo Yo!
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  17. musichal

    musichal poet emeritus Subscriber

    Norman OK
    I love ARC, and prefer the silver.

    To me, the silver-faced receivers of the 70s are hopelessly obsolete.
  18. grillebilly

    grillebilly Empty Head Subscriber

    Fairfax VA
    Yep. 70 Chevelle SS 454, Hemi Road Runners, refillable Butane lighters, steel ice chests, record players, and many other items were considered obsolete by the general public. As soon as surround sound came out the average consumer put his stereo gear at the curb. We all know how that worked out.
  19. GChief

    GChief Not well known, super member or other silliness Subscriber

    Eastern NC
    Yep, every new muscle car from the big three will spank them, handle better and get way better gas mileage. And this comes from a guy doing a 65 Galaxie.


    Edit: And my parents steel Coleman I have isn’t close to my Yeti for Ice retention.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
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  20. SA-708

    SA-708 Appalachian-American Subscriber

    NE Tennessee
    It wasn't just the colour of the faceplate. About the same time as the fashion changed from silver to black in the 80s, the old-fashioned radio dial and meters with needles were replaced with new-fangled digital-style displays.

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