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. 


Nostalgia plays a large role in the interest of vintage receivers not the sound quality since many are not audiophiles. If the vintage buyer was concerned about SQ they would purchase a Belles Aria(an example) over a 40+ year old Marantz, Pioneer or Sansui receiver. 

 i generally agree with @jsalerno277 above regarding  as the sonic character of vintage vs. modern receivers, although "good sounding" is of course a subjective quality and many find the older stuff to be musically pleasing notwithstanding the higher level of resolution of modern gear. i also find the older stuff to synergize better with speakers of the same era. however,  i do think the prices of vintage gear have gotten out of whack--even , even considering their aesthetic virtues there's no way i'd drop a grand on a mid-level 70's marantz or sansui.

I've owned Modern gear, Tube and Solid State. Vintage gear sound better once restored, not including receivers in the list. 

Owned a Marantz PM8006, Marantz 7T Marantz 16B blew it away. No comparison in detail, bass, musical enjoyment. I heard things in the recording completely masked by the Marantz PM8006 being $1500. Your looking at 8-10k for new gear to match at least. 

Now there is a Marantz PM7200 that does class A made in 2000's Cap upgrades and upgraded the power transformer to toroidal transformer. Very special amp! 

HK430 has amazing amplifier section, Add a tube preamp into HK430 with La Scala's. you would be in for a shock. :) 


the HK430 is one of the receivers that got blown away in direct comparison w the new little Marantz nr1200. it wasn't even close.  I was disappointed because although the HK looks way retro-cool, and it does sound good for a vintage, in honest listening it doesn't hold up to even modest moderns.