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Vintage Audio (record players, hi-fi etc) Amplifiers, speakers, gramophones and other audio equipment.

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Old 16th May 2016, 12:04 am   #21
paulsherwin
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There are good buys to be had on eBay if you search for collection only items within easy driving distance. Hifi is generally quite bulky/heavy so difficult to post. Many people just want to get rid of old stuff and list it with a 99p start. You're lucky to get anything decent for 99p (though it happens) but lots of good quality stuff sells for less than 10.

In the last few months I bought a pair of Eltax bookshelf speakers for 5 and a Denon TU-560L tuner for 9. In both cases I was the only bidder. The seller of the tuner was only 5 minutes' walk away, and they threw in quite a decent Denon cassette deck which hadn't attracted any bids.
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Old 16th May 2016, 12:55 am   #22
Michael Maurice
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One turntable that is often overlooked are the Duial CS505's belt drive with pitch control, they are well built and often don't need much service other than belts and a bit of lubrication.

If you require a radio then try and go for a receiver that is a tuner and amplifier in one go.

Don't rule out 70's Leak amplifiers, there's a receiver on EBay at the moment for 89 which has been serviced, only one very small downside is that it uses din plugs for all inputs and speakers but that shouldn't be a problem as the connectors are all available.

A good turntable is the Goldring Lenco though they are fetching silly money these days, I used to have a Sansui SR212,

When buying speakers especially those from the 70's 80's or 90's is to take the front off and check the bass units to make sure the surrounds holding the cone to the chassis haven't perished.

Good luck
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Old 16th May 2016, 10:47 am   #23
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As Michael says, always visually inspect speaker drive units. Lots of people like to use speakers with the fronts removed, as they think it makes them look or sound better. When these people also have young children then the potential for damage is obvious.

There's nothing wrong with knowingly buying damaged speakers if the price is right of course. They can usually be repaired, or the damage may be just cosmetic and may not affect the sound.
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Old 16th May 2016, 12:25 pm   #24
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Once again, thanks to everyone. I've got a notepad full of ideas, makes etc and I'll be getting out and about to try to listen to things for myself. I'll be trying various ways of finding gear but ebay local looks to be a good place to start. Really, really useful advice from everyone which is most appreciated.

Any other contributions are all gratefully received
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Old 15th Jun 2016, 10:56 am   #25
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Just a quick update for everybody. I made my first purchase which is a Kenwood KA 3020 SE amplifier. I managed to get this for 25.
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Old 15th Jun 2016, 11:33 am   #26
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A decent mid market amp from the early 90s. I would invest in a can of Servisol 10 (Maplins sell it) and give all the pots and switches a squirt.
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Old 15th Jun 2016, 2:11 pm   #27
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The amp you bought looks absolutely fine. A special bonus is that the service manual is available with some light googling !

I will stick my neck out and suggest new speakers. In my opinion speaker design has come on leaps and bounds and prices are quite competitive. Add to this the fact that speakers can suffer both from ageing (they are partly mechanical after all) and are at the mercy of over enthusiastic users. I have recent experience of Wharfedale diamond 9 and 9.1 speakers (stand mounted, there are other good brands!) and for the size they give very good results indeed.

dc
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Old 15th Jun 2016, 2:27 pm   #28
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What you say is true, but there is great vintage stuff available for little or no money. I recently acquired a pair of early 70s Wharfedale Super Lintons for a bedroom system via Freegle, and they are easily good enough for a main system if the budget is tight. I also have a pair of ex car boot sale 70s Goodmans Ministers in the dining room which again would be good enough for a main system at a pinch.
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Old 15th Jun 2016, 5:47 pm   #29
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I'd agree Paul.
Whilst it's true that many modern designs are better, the difference might not be all that obvious when partnered with period or budget amps. Also there's the issue of sensitivity, i.e. how loud the speaker goes for a given input power. Older designs harked from the days when 10 watts was (and in my view still is) a very respectable power output and thus were more efficient.
My Dad has still got a pair of 1971 vintage Wharfedale Denton mk1, they still work and look good. And it was notable just how much "louder" they are than the fancy Linn speakers that replaced them. The Dentons are doing sterling service in the kitchen and he has to turn the volume down when listening there.
And the sound quality... Remarkably good. They do have an 8 inch Bass/mid driver though and I think that helps. The Tweeters are a bit off pace but not really so much that a judicious tweak of a tone control couldn't help if so inclined.
Other speakers worth looking at would be late 1990's/early 2000's Monitor Audio floorstanders. I have a pair of Monitor3 Gold that are used in a second room system and they are quite sensitive, certainly a leak stereo20 makes them go quite loud. sound smooth too. Pay up to 150 for a mint set. They are veneered in real "tree wood" which I feel is why they have lasted so long cosmetically. Oh and don't worry about "Bi Wiring" I've done my own experiments and suffice to say I didn't persist. If you get speakers with two sets of terminals just wire em up in parallel if theres no linking wires/strips.

You've got a good amp it seems. If anyone else is reading this i heartily recommend seeking out a tidy late model (all black case) Audiolab 8000A. Slightly more expensive than the crowd but built like a tank and can be easily serviced by a knowledgable technician. And Useful Tone controls for those who like them. Excellent moving magnet and moving coil RIAA stage too. Can also function as preamplifier without fiddling inside.

I reckon any decent CD player from the 90's onwards will give a good account of itself. Philips/Marantz are always a good gamble I feel but any proper mainstream Hi Fi player will be nice.

yes Paul, Denon Tuners. I have a TU260L that an ex workmate gave me! And they are amazingly capable radios. only very slightly worse than my fancy Arcam tuner sound wise and better on marginal strength signals than it.

Just my two pennorth, opinions as a wise man said are like backsides, everybody has one!

A.
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Old 16th Jun 2016, 6:13 pm   #30
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Thanks for all of your comments, everyone. Looks like the amp is not too bad a start! I'm concentrating on turntables, now. I'll also start looking at speakers. I appreciate everyone's thoughts above regarding speakers because they are definitely the part that I am least confident about buying.

Ebay is proving a useful source but I'm also visiting secondhand places etc.

Thanks again, everyone
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Old 16th Jun 2016, 6:24 pm   #31
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You can't go wrong with Tannoys. They are also super at support on used/older ones. Most Tannoys do sound a bit coloured, so if you like a clinical accurate sound then look elsewhere. Avoid Japanese speakers, they measure well but sound bland/average. Edward
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Old 16th Jun 2016, 6:56 pm   #32
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I'd have to second the Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 recommendation when it comes to moremodern bookshelf sized speakers - after using a set of custom built Dynaudio units for ca. 30 years, I picked up an extra pair of 9.1's a year or so ago on the auction website for 40, and I have to say I've been well impressed for the price.

If you're so inclined, and have even moderate hands-on skills, there's a multitude of good quality "vintage" Hi-Fi bargains to be had which often need only minor repairs.... and which, with the help of the forum, are often pretty straightforward... but, be warned, it's an 'addictive' hobby....

Alan
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Old 16th Jun 2016, 7:12 pm   #33
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Thanks, Edward. Thanks, Goldie99. I really appreciate it.
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Old 16th Jun 2016, 8:41 pm   #34
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Although I'm a big fan and have owned and used Quad equipment from the valve units through to the 44/405-2 era, their solid state amps are nothing special in stock form, and certainly do not stand the ravages of time as do many Japanese amps of similar vintage. My 44/405-2 is full of very standard, run of the mill general purpose op amps and contains many small electrolytics that often all need changing. I have gone through that process and it is notably a better amp combo. I think until people started to question their status at the top of the tree, Richard Walker's standing as a figurehead of the hifi industry allowed him to get away with making statements that we now know were ridiculous. One being that all amps operating within their capabilities sound the same. Apart from being simply not true, it rather shot himself in the foot as a manufacturer of a so-called premium product. But the electrostatic speakers were ground breaking for sure. Otherwise owning Quad gear is a kind of timeless exercise; it looks good, when 'tweaked' it sounds good and it is eminently serviceable. I love mine, but like I say, in stock form the amps will be in need of upgrading and servicing, and I'm not talking about audiophool tinkering, I'm talking about plain old restoring and upgrading very basic, industrial use, standard ICs.
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Old 16th Jun 2016, 9:17 pm   #35
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In choosing loudspeakers, take a good look at your room. Where will they go? What size can you get away with?

A larger loudspeaker starts with a considerable advantage over a small one. Whatever technology is thrown at a small one, the same can be applied to the larger one and the results can be made even better.

I'm somewhat amused by people using small speakers stood on tall stands with a lot of wasted space under the speakers. The designer would have killed to have been able to use that space productively.

If you can, go for something unfashionably big and floor standing.

I'm not saying that any big speaker has to be better than any small one, but it gives a good designer freedoms that he can never have in a small volume. The designers who understand this and know how to use it are the ones to find.

Often, to create the impression in the ear of the listener of deep bass, small units are designed to have a bump which sort of compensates for the whole thing not going low enough in frequency. The illusion sort of works on 'thud' noises like drums, but it really falls apart on bass sounds which have tuned pitch like bass guitar notes, pedal notes from pipe organs, double basses etc.

In order to reproduce a certain frequency of note at a certain sound pressure level, the volume of air which needs to be shifted each cycle can be calculated. No whizzy new materials have changed this. No amount of money can change this. Progress has made it feasible to shift a larger proportion of the volume of the cabinet, but boy does it help if you start with a large cabinet. It's like sticking a turbocharger on a small engine to get the power of a larger engine... but who said you couldn't turbocharge the larger one?

There is no substitute for cubic inches as they say.

Besides, unfashionable largeness has a very nice effect on price.

David
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Old 17th Jun 2016, 12:32 pm   #36
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Just for the record the founder of Quad was Peter Walker. When he retired control passed to his son Ross before the Chinese took over.
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Old 17th Jun 2016, 1:50 pm   #37
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I could make your hair stand on end with some of the Jap kit I've had to fix...at least you can see what you're doing inside a Revox or a Quad. And whoever makes the kit, electrolytics have a finite life. I met Peter Walker several times and can tell you he was no chancer. In fact compared to some other figures in the audio world, even at the time, he was a pillar of integrity.

If you take the whole of what he said about the audibility of differences between amplifiers, it is incontestable. It was that, if an audible difference between two amplifiers is perceived, once variables such as loudness and passband are addressed and if the amplifiers are operated within their rated power, then that difference can be explained by measurements of the systems involved. Granted, finding the relevant measurements may be a challenge, but that doesn't alter the truth of the statement.
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Old 17th Jun 2016, 1:53 pm   #38
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Back on topic please.
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Old 17th Jun 2016, 3:05 pm   #39
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Android,

A basic question to ask is how good is your hearing in terms of high frequency response?

As we get older so the highest frequency we can hear falls with age. The nub of this is that when you are in your late teens / early twenties you are potentially at the peak - so frequency responses that are quoted as going up to 20 Kc/s (KHz for the SI fans) may actually be discernible to you. This can affect your opinion on loudspeakers.
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Old 17th Jun 2016, 8:56 pm   #40
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I think Peter Walker had it right on this point as well. He said "a speaker is good or bad long before it has got to 10kHz". Factors such as coloration and overhang/resonance are of greater importance than the last octave. I must agree with Paul that some of the old Wharfedales still sound remarkably good - I lived quite happily with a pair of Bush Denton equivalents until I bought my LS3/5as, and the pair of Dentons I bought for a tenner a couple of years ago sound very pleasant. Bang for the buck, indeed.
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