Has this happened to you? How can it be stopped?

Well this question is for fun but also kinda serious too.

Have you felt the urger to buy a vintage piece of audio gear when you really didn’t need it? Have you felt that this is an addiction and how can it be stopped?

I have Marantz 2235 receiver in my office, a Sansui 1000x in my bedroom, a Realistic STA-52b in my spare bedroom and Yamaha RX-V995 in my wifes sewing room and a Yamaha RX-V690 in the garage with various vintage speakers connected to all of them. I already have two complete audio systems in my audio room.


When does the madness stop? My wife tells me I have an audio problem!?!



@juanmanuelfangioii What makes you think I can’t form a proper sentence? What I said was correct. The way I usually characterize it is that I fired her for non-performance of contract.


Fact. Vintage amplifiers have a much great lifespan than the average marriage.

“Vintage” in audio is not the equivalent as “vintage” in fine wine. The former is just a synonym for “old”.

Sure … it’s a pure nostalgia thing …I don’t share in it (for me) personally for audio, but if it floats your boat accordingly… why not ? Carry on !

I’ve evolved and advanced in this wacky hobby since it’s Jurassic era days from the early 70’s. I had the cat’s ass / kick ass college dorm system of its time with its trademark “California Sound” with boosted treble and bass …( MARANTZ 2245 receiver, JBL L100 speakers, ELAC MIRACORD TT )

It sounded GREAT to me back then . But comparatively, even a modest integrated amp / standmount speakers/ digital or TT source of today will clearly smoke it in audio performance in any A-B bake-off.

But WTF ….nostalgia has its select cohort of fans.

I too enjoy certain “classic” cars and I tool around in my classic JAG ragtop roadster on a sunny day with the sun on my face, the wind in my hair, and the bugs in my teeth.

And yes .,.I am also wilfully agnostic to its performance limitations and age-era compromises when stacked up against current model high performance rides. Not even close…. Just some misspent youth redux of nostalgia.

I don’t object to growing “old” per se, but the side effects ….




Even with my Marantz 2235? Will she need to get parts replaced... either one?

There are more destructive hobbies. I suggest you reflect about why you want to pursue this and if there are reasons beyond the adrenaline of chase or purchase that you just give into it. Develop routines in which you swap things in and out, listen to the differences, figure out what new sensations please you.

Look, no one criticizes the wine lover for wanting to try more wines, or the golf lover for wanting to play on new courses. You have nothing to be ashamed of. At all.





725 posts

“ I got rid of my wife…”

When faced with a binary choice of audio equipment versus marriage , do I get a hint of that time-honoured axiom along the lines of:

Q why is divorce expensive? 

A Because it’s worth it !

@2psyop I used to be in the same boat. Vintage audio looks sexy, and the patina of having retro / hip-looking equipment is fun. Sometimes, the gear is not too expensive, either.

But I became more interested in sound quality over time, and to answer your question, yes, parts do need to be replaced. I recapped and restored a number of amps my first decade in audio. I realized while each restore improved the unit, it became less and less worth the time to tinker for incremental improvements, and I realized vintage equipment would only get me so far. Even more so, it detracted me from enjoying the music because I then had more gear than I could play music, and I worried about what I should do with it.

I do still have the last vintage amp I restored, however, which is a Luxman L-85V. I've gifted that one to my 5 year old son, along with the Thorens TD-166MKII that I also fully restored and souped up. He probably has the best system for any kid his age.

Have you felt the urger to buy a vintage piece of audio gear when you really didn’t need it?

Not really. I don't buy vintage because its too old for me. . But I DO have a Harmon Kardon 730 twin powered receiver which I bought new in 1978 that I want to get restored. That is one fantastic receiver with a huge full  sound. I just would like to see how it stacks up to what I now have. Plus my wife & I both loved the sound.

Have you felt the urge to buy a vintage piece of audio gear when you really didn’t need it?


I bought an AR XB1 turntable because I wanted something to play my records on. After seeing a couple of YouTube videos I fell in love with the elegant simplicity of it.


Did I really need it?

No, I didn’t. There’s already far too much music available elsewhere that I could never get to hear even if I had nothing else to do.


Is this an addiction?

It is.

However, sometimes emotional needs are just as important as physical ones.

There’s not a lot worse than depression and if buying something that cheers you up, even if only for a while, helps to avoid feeling depressed, then why not?


How can it be stopped?

Well running out of time, money or space will all help.

As will the realisation that possessions can’t ever fully make up for emotional needs. Not in the long term.

Orson Welles once made a famous film on this very subject.

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Old stuff I've tried to resist buying -- stuff that was considered very good but more expensive than I could afford back then.  As time passed, I got richer and those pieces got older and more buyable on the used market.

Gave in a few times; got me a Nakamichi Dragon cassette deck and a McIntosh MR78 tuner for my music room.  And for a bedroom system an SAE 8000 tuner and a Carver M-500t amp.

When to stop?  Either when I run out of rooms or money.

It’s a hobby, not a problem unless it becomes obsessive that interferes with your mental health.  

Doesn't look like the link worked... Anyway, it was a Disney record player. The "tonearm" was plastic & shaped like a dog bone. 

@boxer12 I didn’t have that record player, but I played my Mickey and the Beanstalk record on my brother’s Fisher hifi stereo!

The only problem I see is that you aren't actually seeking the good vintage gear.....

I still have my 1978 Kenwood KR8010 receiver and it sounds great.

125 watts per channel with tone controls that make low level listening doable.

I have to keep telling myself I do NOT need to re-buy my old equipment. Such as my first system, a Marantz 2035, Advent speakers, Pioneer TT with Shure cartridge. Or my second one, a Hafler pre and amp, or my Nak tape deck (especially considering I no longer have any cassette tapes....), a B&K amp/pre, 3D Acoustics speakers (not well know, but a great setup). Mirage speakers, AR TT. Not to mention other great pieces of equipment that have gone though my hands. 

That last sentence covers the girlfriends and wives as well...

WHY , vintage gear doesn’t have the parts quality in technology to sound as good as good gear today , even more so with Loudspeakers ,there are very few exceptions.

ican see maybe a McIntosh or Marantz tube tuner, that would be it.

IHave sold for cheap several old receivers .buy for example a modern Coda, Pass labs ,Gryphon, or many other quality brands.

 high quality integrated ,or separates with a piece of digital or analog gear 

you would never look back ,buy 1 high quality  system and be done with it say   $30-$40k this would be night and day better sounding.

...makes for a sticky conundrum, imh...

Ears once sharp are dulled by the years.

That which we loved tilted our perspectives towards a better 'that' v. 'this'...?

Does the vintage draw one back to that remembered, an exciting time of the time when everything began to be so much Better?
Opposed to the now, when nuance is the name of the game...

Low $ experiment: Play on said vintage owned the album that stirred the crock, if not the soul that sent you on this journey....;)

Does it still 'work' like it used to?

Or is jaded 'n faded the new norm?

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I also have the sickness too but many of you are saying vintage doesn't have the sound of todays amps.... I have several Pioneer SX models from the 950 up and they all sound wonderful. You might try one of them sometimes... the 1250 especially sounds good. Oh, you do have to use more up to date speakers though.

@jwei : I am out of room and money (almost). I have enough gear and guitars to equip a store!

I thought a vintage Marantz Tuner equipped with a scope would be a nice "shelf filler" for my ARC, Moon, Linn, Wilson system.  After attempting to purchase two tuners that were broken, and having to have Ebay bail me out on both, I realized purchasing 40+ year old electronics was perhaps not the smartest move.  Also, using tube hours that cost $2,000 to replace to listen to FM radio probably wasn't wise either.  I bought a digital clock (not a Tice) instead.  

The receiver in the garage is a Sony.

The receiver in the office is a Kenwood.

The receiver in the basement is a Yamaha.

The downstairs system is Acoustat & Audio Research.

The upstairs system is new.

The only way to help you stop this maddness buying outdated vintage gears is you need to recognize the fact the receivers / multichannel int. amp you were buying are in fact junks compared to the modern gears.  Low S/N ratio, low current, low damping factor and high harmonic distortion.  Other than Marantz 2235 which might be collectable, admit the reason you were buying them is probably the low cost.  To me, those gears were low-fi too.  Not worthy.

I’m with you 100% brother. During Covid I assembled two McIntosh vintage tube stereo systems, which I still have and enjoy, just not enough room. I also bought a pioneer integrated amp and an adcom pre…why I don’t know. The pioneer was my modification experiment, after new power caps and various other experiments, died a quick death. Etc etc. What a hobby….

That Harmon Kardon 730 receiver was an excellent piece of equipment! Assuming it’s functioning as originally intended, I’ll bet within its power ratings, it sounds better than any receiver today & can hold its own vs many amps that don’t cost crazy $. 


I have a 1917 Victrola which works great, it is a rather pedestrian model as in the horn is internal and has two front doors that the volume control.  It is in beautiful condition and plays amazingly loud.  I bought about 300 78s.

Whenever I'm thinkin' the main system is not working correctly (not sounding its best) I play some 78s and well that clears up those thoughts real quick.



I have one great rig [I think] in one dedicated room and do not need anything else beside a tabletop Echo at all. It makes it special to me.  Just sayin.

I would think audio gear has gotten better over the years.  It all depends upon your ears.  Many of us experience high frequency loss as we get older.  I would think amplifiers have their own sound and for that matter so do speakers.  I know I have hearing loss in the higher frequencies and I would like to buy new speakers that have brighter more detailed tweeters.  The big question is do you upgrade the amplifier first or the speakers.  I would think to hear optimal sound you would have to upgrade both.  I would think as we get older we need to reevaluate our systems and fine tune things to our ears.  I for one would like to upgrade my speakers and amplifier.  However, there is also the wife factor.

Of course there are some exceptions,but most of the time women and high -end audio don't mix. I made one thing clear before the vows.  Never, and I mean never, should the words TURN IT DOWN! ever come out of your mouth.

I had the exact same problem last niight! But my wife is 76 years old, and has Dementia, so I just turned it off and went to sleep. 

Anyone who has lived through the ’vintage’ years has little or no inclination to return. Much better interest matches are available now than being tied to a Japanese design team.

I still have a Yamaha and two Pioneers (garage and shed.) They are utilitarian, that’s all.


I have a long established reputation in my area as a lover of hi fi and music. Over the years things have just come my way. Just today a guy from a local radio station dropped off a Teac X2000r, free of charge! A bag of ten inch reels came with it. More to follow. Life is good! Joe

Okay guys all great answers, some had me laughing on the floor. I do need to keep my wife, so I am just putting that out there. Also I have the understanding and reasoning to know my more recent Hi-FI gear outperforms and has much better sound than the vintage stuff BUT I am drawn into (in a crazed psychological way) the older gear. Maybe it was that big metal flat box which my grandfather kept under the bed and took out when he was fixing an old vacuum tube radio or later tube TV.... And yes I have a tube amplifier in my main listening room. 

For all of you telling me it's ok to have this addiction, thanks. I am starting to feel better about it. My wife asked me the other day, "what will I do with all your audio gear if you die, I don't even know how to turn it on?"

My vintage addiction ended when I splurge bought an Harman Kardon KH430 (which turned out to be the best sounding of the vintages, with excellent separation and imaging), a Pioneer SX 450, and a Marantz 2238 all decked out with one of those nice wood cabinets...  All beautiful pieces, all professionally refurbed... 

And they all got blown away, one after the other, by the factory refurbished Marantz nr1200 receiver that I bought including shipping and an extended warranty (which I rarely do) for $600 including tax to the door.  The nr1200 sounded more clear, more spacious, more gutsy, better imaging, quieter... plus it has all the modern hookups, including a streamer and subwoofer management, in addition to traditional tone controls and balance control... oh, and the nr1200 has a remote control as well.  The sonic superiority of the nr1200 was obvious.  

Of course, the vintage pieces are all very nice, very cool looking each in their own classy way... but the new receiver is clearly better on every audio aspect as well as functionally.  So, I sold all the vintage stuff on ebay, made some money and saved some money, and lightened my possessions load while improving the overall quality of the stuff I have kept.

Have I ever had the urge to but a piece of vintage audio gear? No, not at all.