How old to qualify for vintage?

As the title asks.
I'm just waiting for hifi to start using trendy marketing terms like small-batch, or artisanal. 
I'm just waiting for hifi to start using trendy marketing terms like small-batch, or artisanal.
Teo audio cables are bespoke. Kinda.

special for you!

You want 7-up or coke with that?
I think of it in different ways.
1. Tubes and idlers (hard vintage)
2. Pre-digital (soft vintage)
Hard to admit, but gear from my teen years is considered classic and vintage

With vintage turntables, do you have to decant, or can you play straight from the platter?
Doesn't hifi already employ a very liberal usage of meaningless superlatives?  Just as "reserve" has no agreed upon, or legal definition in the wine biz,  "reference" appears on many audio products that just ain't,  right?  I actually stumbled upon this site as I was searching for yet another Pioneer SX series receiver about six years ago,  and because of landing here gifted away all of my Marantz, Pioneer stuff.  (For the record I continue to have a soft spot in me head for Pioneer,  Marantz,  and Sansui receivers.)  My ex gf has both a Pioneer and a Marantz receiver in her home...

Obviously I have  a somewhat local "guy" who is capable of keeping them running.  There's always a "guy."

To the topic, I suggest that to be considered vintage a piece of gear should be at least 21 years old.  (Cars are registered as "classic" at 20 years,  correct?)  I cannot think of a piece of consumer-grade gear from 21 years ago that is anywhere near as popular as those 1970's era stereo receivers still are - but then,  I was out of the audio game for a good stretch of time.  It was searching for that Pioneer receiver that started me again.

This being suggested,  the pair of Klipsch CF-3 towers that I bought when I first moved into this house 25 years ago would qualify.  (And they still have a somewhat devoted following amongst Klipschsters currently.)  The Bob Carver cube amp that powered them would also qualify even though I forget what the model designation was.  Definitely the NAD 7020 PE receiver I had whilst living on the beach would qualify,  as well.

I believe that I may have used a Pioneer receiver along with those Klipsch, but I can't be 100% certain.  I never got into separates before finding this site,  so I am obviously dismissing a LOT of gear that contributors to this thread are still fond of.

I'd like to read about 'em.

Lessee -
my Hafler DH-200 built in 1979 (from a kit)
my Soundcraftsman rp-2240 eq (circa 1979)
my Bryston 1b-mc preamp 1979
my carver tl-3200 cd player from 1989
my infinity 6Kappas (1995)
my jvc ql-a2 furntable from 1984

all pieces work, but the carver is soon to be replaced as it has an annoying skip that costs more to repair then the thing is worth. But still, these are all classic, solid pieces that have served me well for a long, long time.
I know I’ll get a lot of grief over this.

But vintage audio really does have a cutoff year.

in the US, there is a specific term for “Muscle Car” as well. It is a car from 1955-1971. The Arab oil embargo killed the American Muscle Car in 1973. Fuel efficiency was the rule after that. But there is a rule with a reason for Muscle Car.

Same for vintage audio. But this rule seems wasted on those who aren’t Boomers. They largely don’t get it, don’t understand it, because they didn’t live through it. Instead, for non-Boomers, “vintage audio” is a term gleaned from Google, Webster’s Dictionary, or Wikipedia.

The coming of the CD is to audio what the 1973 Arab oil embargo was to the American Muscle Car. That year is widely agreed on to be 1985. From that year on, off-the-shelf building block ICs spelled the end of proprietary discrete device circuit designs and manufacturing. To make CD players mass-produced and thereby affordable, mass miniaturization became the rule. SMDs. Turntables became cheaper, receivers incorporated more licensed features, “Digital Ready” became the new buzzword.

After 1985 came the advent of cheap VCRs, WALKMAN, DVRs, and cassettes outsold Vinyl LPs. The new DISCMAN, cheap CD players. BPC became the norm.