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. 


If we look at it from a nostalgic point of view, yes. Oh that smooth, velvety sound of the 70’s.  Just plug in an old system and it’s often not what we remember. I think there was excellent gear back then but not at common man prices. Today, you can get some quality gear for relatively cheap. 

I have fond memories of my old Pioneer when it was new- it sounded very good and the biggest point is that it never sounded offensive.  

I do not believe you can say that about lots of contemporary amplifiers.  

Another thing is that listening to vintage receivers today is not a valid impression.  

I would love to hear a vintage amplifier design made ground up all new parts.  I bet it would surprise....

I picked up a near-mint (in appearance) Sansui AU-517 integrated to go with the TU-717 I've owned for almost 30 years. It's teamed with a pair of Monitor Audio Silver 7s and the sound is unexpectedly good. Clarity and dynamics are there in spades. IMO, for lack of a better term, vintage amps seem to produce music with more 'body' to it. A Sony CDP XA20ES CD player and an Adcom GCD-700 carousel player, both running through an older MSB Gold Link DAC/Powerbase, make CDs sound the best I can recall in a long time. This little system was playing last weekend when two fellows came by to pick up a PS Audio HCA-2/Cary SL-100 combo I was selling. I retired a couple of years ago and have been selling off most of my higher-end (for me) components to beef up my savings. They seemed to be as impressed with the vintage gear's sound as with the newer amp's/preamp's sound through a pair of ADS L-810s (which was pretty sweet). My condo has a very open floor-plan in the area where both of those systems are located, and I think that was a big positive in the equation.


Well my first real setup was a Sony Str 7065 paired $259 and a AR TT with Shure cart $100 from Crazy Eddie's in Blkyn NY.i didn't like the manual TT so sold it and bought a Technics SL1350 with Shure V15 cart $400.Hooked it up to  Bose 901 s 2a which I bought used from a guy on Sutton Pl.in NYC for $315 they were a year old new they went for $575 fair traded,I got the stands and custom made stands with them.Well I was 22 just married 1973 and this system rocked.

Another +1 for @jsalerno277 

well said , thank you . 

I too am enjoying new an old systems in my home - they all give me great pleasure when listening to them . I find that when I try to mix old and new components they usually don’t put out the desired results . 
the one piece that seems to be universally able to be slotted into any system is an entry level Atma-Sphere pre-amp with SN7‘a which make everything sound good - somehow .