Best Receiver?

I’m setting up a second system with a set of stand mount speakers and a nice Garrard 301 and want a tuner built in, rather than an integrated amp. Of all the receivers, vintage and more recent, what’s the best sounding? I always thought those massive Marantz etc looked great but didn’t sound particularly good. Anyone have experience with something that sounded great?


Years ago, I had a Pioneer that sounded good; It looked good too with wood sides. It finally burned out and I replaced it with a Harman Kardon that I'm really fond of. I still use the Harman Kardon today to drive my Altec Lansing Voice of the Theaters. This has turned into my secondary system although I cannot fault the sound. My primary is Conrad Johnson with Theil speakers, also very good sound.

Vintage sansui G.  pioneer sx. 

Nad. Yamaha cr. Realistic sta 2100d.  Concept 16.5. Fisher 500c. Marantz  kenwood.  Can't go wrong with any if these vintage receiver's 

Fisher's for tubes (my favorite is the 400)
Marantz 18 or 19 for SS ( I prefer the 18)

The end~

You can't go wrong with any of the McIntosh receivers, old or new.  That being said I had my Pioneer SX-828 restored to factory specs for my 2 channel listening pleasure and I couldn't be happier.  I bought it new in 1974 and it's been in continuous use since then, great tuner and decent phono input.

Another vote for the already mentioned McIntosh 4100.  The 1700 is excellent, as well.  Luxman R-1070 or R-1120 are great, too, but so is the R-115 or R-114.  The last two aren’t classy looking, but sound wonderful.  I listen to a good deal of FM, to the point that I spent a couple thousand putting up a serious tower and antenna with signal amplifier and rotator.  With it, I can listen to stations almost 140 miles away.  I’ve used all of those receivers except for the Luxman R-1120.  On the hunt for it now.