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. 


I had a Marantz 2270 back in ’76-’77. Sounded fine! Soon I bought separates (AGI 511, GAS Son of Ampzilla, Mitsubishi DA-F10). I should have kept the 2270 for use as an FM tuner. Now I think the vintage receivers/integrated amps are fine sonically. The old gear offered good to great sound per dollar. Today’s over-hyped over-priced stuff - NO!

Had a Sansui 90-90 ( I think ) in the late 70's sold it and went to Carver  separates  5 years later. The Carver blew the Sansui away. Really made my 901's sing.

Listen to any audio professional who has made a name for himself as designer and manufacturer, Mark Levinson or John Curl for example, they've all been on the record saying the ascension of advancing design and manufacturing technologies has led to much better overall quality of both the parts and thus the end products. Vintage gear has a certain easy laidback sound that I can enjoy, but head to head with an upper end Levinson or even Parasound system quickly reminds one what hifi sounds like.

Great question 

I have a set of the pioneer Z series separates in my main setup. 
Specs aside and ears alone this setup for $2,000 would turn heads 

in todays market. All four pieces have been refurbished.