2nd system thoughts on vintage receivers

I have a decent main system and am thinking about a bit of a "vintage" system for my bedroom. Mainly thinking about some items, I have had in the past. I have been leaning towards these models:

A Nakamichi Stasis receiver, likely the SR-3a or 4a, but open to others. The Magnum Dynalab receivers are great, but more that I care to spend on this system.

Small bookshelf speakers, perhaps Quad, but open to other thoughts,

A CD player and being a bedroom and lazy, perhaps a changer with a separate DAC

I would likely use older Wireworld Eclipse and Gold Eclipse speaker wires and interconnects that I have.

Being a 2nd/bedroom system not likely to use a turntable. For what it’s worth, I listen mostly to classic Jazz from the 50s through the early 80s and very much female singers of Jazz and Standards, Ella, Dinah Washington, Diana Krall and several others. In the evening while relaxing and preparing for sleep I do tune into a local college FM station that is mainly my type of music. (I love how young college age students respond to Jazz. I have two sons that have played brass, percussion and guitar and seem to be going down the Jazz/Female vocal route as well. Any thoughts are appreciated. A prejudice I have is for separate transistors and the like over chips/integrated circuits. I have and have owned great tube gear from ARC, CJ and the like...but not in the bedroom, unless I end up needing the heat. For what it’s worth, I am not interested in compressed or processed sources.

Thanks for any input/experience you can share.


I have a disc spinner in my bedroom. Have not played it for 20 plus years. Gave 2 changers to GoodWill.

trouble is, a lot of people have had the same idea as you, leading to rather inflated prices on the 2nd hand market..

It sounds like you are already in deep but let me say this. Vintage receivers really don't sound that good and they are old. They LOOK great but that is not why you buy good gear. There are a few good stereo receivers still being made so I suggest you check them out. 

Old vintage receivers are like old people . Past their times but don't belive  it .

For Looks go with Marantz, for sound go with a Rotel, NAD, Mcintosh or Luxman. Although Mc and Luxman look great also in my opinion. I agree with @fuzztone on a receiver though, get an integrated and add a cheap streamer. I would not go with the Nak for sound quality. Great tape decks, but not that good at CD players or receivers.

@jim5559 - So at what age are people old? My Dad at 88 complained about old people...

@jusam  - I like where you're going. My choice would be one of the Nak Stasis receivers. Some of the later/larger ones had remotes, which would be key for me, especially in a bedroom system. Not too many quality vintage receivers with remote. Otherwise, I might consider one of the Outlaw Audio receivers. Not vintage, but a quality 2-channel receiver. Lastly, there are a couple of new-ish 2 channel receivers that get decent reviews. I think one of them is the latest 2-channel receiver from Sony. It's very inexpensive. I haven't heard it, but I've seen it recommended many times on other sites. Would only buy it new, with return privileges. 

@fuzztone  - The OP stated his reason for wanting a receiver. He listens to the local college station at night. Sorry you don't have any decent radio stations. But there are still some decent independent/college stations around.

I think a fine second system can be built around a vintage receiver.  Keep in mind, though, that they are more likely to have problems due to parts aging.  If you're going this route for bang for the buck, you can just wing it and hope for the best.  The risk is that a power supply failure could go either way - it won't power up, or it could take out your speakers.

However, if you plan to maintain a vintage system, you should consider getting an estimate for a parts refresh.  Jon Soderberg at https://vintageamprepair.net might work on Nak receivers.  He worked at Threshold, so he's quite familiar with the Stasis design.  I'm sure others here can recommend other reputable technicians.

Considering you mentioned hooking them up to Quads, though, you might want to up-budget for separates.  Hopefully, tuners are a buyer's market, at least...  Another classic speaker that should work superbly in a bedroom system would be the LS3/5A design.

In my vintage system i use an accuphase p250 amp that is fed by a bliesound node 2i. The accuphase has had a total restore and has beautiful big meters and lots of power. Mc speakers are old restored McIntosh the ones that ate all wood and look like furniture. I also have the restored McIntosh eq The cables are old Audioquest volcano. Its a super clean and good looking with a warm sound


I do have some decent college radio stations where I reside. I am so sorry that you are wrong in assuming otherwise. They sound better here over internet, i. e. on streamers rather than over FM radio. I don’t have to play with antennas or analog vintage tuning, freq. drift, multiplex noise, blah blah. The receiver I have in my bedroom has a remote. You are right on about that.

Of course I bought it long before my first streamer.

@fuzztone  - Sorry, I only assumed you didn't have any good radio stations near you based on your comment:

Why a receiver? Nothin' on the radio anymore around here.

I must have misunderstood your comment.

as crazy as prices are for much refurbished vintage gear, I find if you do not look for the high power receivers, there are still some good deals to be had...,I like vintage for fun, not sure how good I really think it is...but I regularly use a vintage refurbished Tandberg TR-2075 ll receiver, mostly for local NPR classical and college station radio...

Bare in mind that some of those vintage receivers may sound better than your first system.

If I was feeling nostalgic and wanted a vintage radio… I would get some really early tube equipment (the really warm romantic kind) and go all the way. The kind of rolled off warmth is very soporific, perfect for a bedroom.

if you can't refurbish yourself, which most cannot, it's hard to know exactly what you're getting...

I think your idea is sound, and I respectfully disagree with the members here saying older gear doesn't sound as good. I own the Nakamichi SR4A you mentioned, and it's quite a nice sounding piece of gear. I also highly recommend the early Luxman receivers. I own an R1030, and 2- R1070's. These seem to be under the radar, and haven't seen the price increases of Marantz and Pioneer. Depending on the efficiency of you speakers and volume levels you expect, I can't recommend the Luxman R1030 enough. I use mine in a nearfield desk set up, and it's sound quality is unbelievable. Yes, it might need a bit of a tune up, but you could easily find a 1030 and get it back to 100% for less than $500. Pair it with some similar vintage speakers and you will have a very nice sounding system.   

I bought a Fisher 500C refurbed by AEA  for a second system in 20016 and it has been an absolute delight.

I paid for some upgrades to the phono section and tube bias section and the Fisher has been rock solid reliable and joy to listen to.

Used with hot rodded Klipsch LaScalas, Esoteric sacd/cd spinner, and a JVC QLY5F turntable.  A  really rocking system and total delight.

I love Naks and have my ZX7 coming back from Willy Hermann as I just had it refurbed.

The Fisher can show you the tube magic and hold its own against any receiver I have ever heard (and I have a re-done Marantz in the closet-due to the presentation of the Fisher)

Have fun and happy hunting.

It is highly dependent on exactly what piece of equipment. I bought a top of the line generation one Nakamichi CD Player $2,000? (so $5-6K in todays dollars) 30 years ago. I was going through my stuff last year, found it, hooked it up. I played no more than ten seconds and unhooked it and threw it away. 

I also tried my Marantz 1040 new in 1972… point to point… sounds terrible. 

I am sure there are a few. But there has been so much advancement in the high end.

I can vouch for Harman Kardon HK 330c. Not overpriced, beautiful warm sound, punches way above its 20 watts.

I have 2 nearly 50 year old Marantz amps and they both sound amazing.

But they have to be maintained, nothing last forever.

Lastly, the looks - unbeatable. Nothing like a vintage silver 70s design with real knobs. 


I had read in a number of places, first on TAS long ago, that the HK430 was the gem of that series...finally found a well refurbished 430, reasonable price, and have to agree it's the one to get...

I have had a number of them, best sounding was a Sansui G7700.   Wish I'd not sold  it now.  Hindsight fairly accurate most of the time.    Any  "vintage" should be but doesn't have to be refurbed with new caps, cleaning and adjustments at min.  I do have an HK330C om a 3rd system, all original, keeps chugging away and sounding good as evidence.

Still have my G7700 and refurbishing it myself. Ex 2-way radio tech, USAF, from the 70s. Using the Pioneer 1010, Dual 701 and BIC Venturi 6 speakers. The 701 needed a new cap on the motor board.

Fisher 500B or C sound amazing!

HK 330C was my first receiver when I was 16 years old.  The 430 and 730 are great too, some feel that the 15 wpc 330C sounded best,

Also very under the radar is Tandberg 3030.  They were made in Hong Kong so don’t get the respect like the other Tandberg receivers.  You can get them cheap, they sound great and have a great tuner and phono section.  They look great too, they just don’t fit in the normal rack as they are about 20” wide.