Did the Old Receivers Sound Good?

Before the high end started, we had all these receivers and integrated amps from Pioneer, Kenwood, Sansui, Sherwood, etc., all with incredible specs.  Then somehow we decided that specs didn't matter and we started moving to the more esoteric stuff from Ampzilla, Krell and whoever, but the specs were not as good.  My question is - Did the old Japanese stuff with the great specs sound better? I don't remember.  I'm asking because many seem to be moving back to the "specs are everything" mindset and I was thinking about all that old stuff with so many zeros to the right of the decimal point. 


many seem to be moving back to the "specs are everything" mindset

I`ve been reading this forum since the early 2000`s and I have not noticed this happening, at all. Some, here, use the various specs as a guide.

We all hear differently, and with different tastes. The mantra, here, has been- "let your ears be the judge" .

Then somehow we decided...

So, one day, we all woke up and decided... - no, not really.

If anything, it was a progression.

It was not that the old stuff measured well, it was a better build quality. Changes started to happen, and alot of the mentioned brands evetually made cheaper components so the mass market can afford their products. During the same time, they failed to address the niche market. Changes and improvements were occurring in speaker development that the "esoteric" market readily addressed.

FWIW, I’ve felt like the sound quality of my bought-brand-new-in-1978 Pioneer SX-1250 was bettered - significantly -  by every successive move to a newer amp I’ve made since 1986.  In order, and (as always) to my ears, the 1986 Denon 90 wpc integrated was clearly an upgrade, the Sony GS series HT receiver that replaced the Denon in 1997 was a lateral SQ move from its immediate predecessor but also clearly better than the SX-1250, and my PrimaLuna Prologue Classic tube (2018) integrated was a truly enlightening upgrade from everything that preceded it.  All of them were/are used with the same pair of JBLs (L65s) I bought in ‘78 for the SX-1250.

I love the old receivers, but seem to always be disappointed in their sound, whether refurbished or not...though some here feel they are the ultimate...

Try s pair of contemporary  speakers. That's where the REAL difference lies.