Old Classic Receivers: A Mistake to Buy?

I was contemplating purchasing a 70's receiver, as I used to love the construction and appearance of the Sansui, Kenwood, Pioneer, Marantz. However, when I ran this by an audio friend, he said, "Forget it."

He says: They sound terrible. The caps & resistors used before the early 90s' were dreadful. The electrolytics are drying up and will start crackling and substantially degrade the sonics. The switches and controls used were almost never sealed, so they deteriorate and make noise and can't be fixed even by taking them apart and cleaning them.

Tuners: He says that nearly all non-digital tuners used varactors, which go out of alignment and cause problems, so no old tuners, with the exception of the Mac MR-78 and possibly a few others, are worth dealing with.

I am tempted to believe all that he is saying is true, but I see a market for these items, and also know that people claim they are still using these pieces for 25 years.

What's the truth here? Can some of the techies enlighten me?
(disclaimer:the 4275 it is for sale).
I have a mac 4275 receiver which is from the late 80's/early 90's. It's almost laughable how good it sounds.

I also have completely stock 30 y/0 mr71 (tube), mr78, and mr80 tuners. They all sound magnificent. I bought the 71 from the original owner who only changed the tubes and had it aligned once. I can play these side by side with my hotrod scd-1 and my arc ph3 sources and they are sonically in the same general keeping (the sony rules). I'd say they sound better than 90% of the cd player's I've heard.

I do note that my 1990 denon receiver finally started to have noise with some of the inputs - probably from too many connects/disconnects. On the clean channels it sounds pretty good. Mass midfi, but good.

I would definitely stay away from the cheaper stuff.
Regarding tuners and I have tens and tens of them: The ICs found in many modern tuners can be almost impossible to repair. The MR-67/MR-71 Macs are incredible sounding tuners with gold pin Mullards or better Telefunkens and a professional alignment. I would bypass the volume control on the back of the MR-71 for better sonics. The later Mac tuners in the 70s and 80s where more about reception capability and the 90s tuners more about convenience. Its true you may want to replace some of the caps in the old MR-67/MR-71s but it is well worth it since they can not be beat for sonics from a musicality standpoint (incredible especially when you think, "my god just think how old these are") and I have had several other Stereophile Class A and B tuners. Not until you have gone through over 50 tuners can you have the confidence to make such a statement. If you have difficult reception problems then some newer designs are worth it.
i dont know. i have an old nad 3020 and sumo charlie tuner in an office system (bought in college). it sounds very good. (i also have a mac 67; in my main system; and second the above postings).

will the old receivers sound as good as new seperates? no...will they sound better than todays common receivers....my money is yes. if they break; it may be hard to repair them though.

as a last thought...i passed up a marantz receiver at a thrift shop the other day (looking for albums)...only to find it was going for 300$ on ebay for parts!!! it was 12$

someone likes their sound.

most of all....if you like the sound....who cares what anyone else thinks.

I purchased a Marantz 2216B about a year ago at an ebay auction. I was looking for a classic receiver that was in good shape and had not been abused and found one that was part of an estate liquidation on ebay and had had a single owner. I paid about $105 with included shipping costs. The receiver was manufactured in 1978. The model number in the Marantz 22XX series designates the power, so the 16B is 16 watts per channel; the 2325 would be 125 watts per channel (you get the idea.) The receiver developed (or may have had) a problem with the power cutting out and so, I spent about an additional $200 to get the power supply replaced and the receiver overhauled. The Soundsmith in Peeskill did the work and as a side note, they guarantee their work for a year. So, I paid about $300 for a 24 year old receiver ... but I always wanted to own a classic Marantz with the blue lights; gyro tuning; etc.

I use the receiver as part of a bedroom system. It is connected to a pair of Acoustic Research 15's speakers and a SONY NS500V CD/SACD/DVD player. It has also been paired with Wharfedale Diamond 8.1 (very good sounding match)and B&W 302 (uneven & disappointing sounding match) speakers. The jury is still out on the AR-15's, but they sound promising.

Of my 3 systems, this system is the most fun. It is a very musical sounding system, and probably the one system my wife enjoys listening to the most. It has an alive and natural sound with FM and CD's. The sound has presence. FM and AM reception is strong and clear and the tuner holds the signal. (I am using a $5 set of rabbit ears as the antenna.) I am pretty satisfied with it.

One shortcoming of this particular receiver is that it does not have a preamp out, so it can not be mated with a more powerful amplifier ... but this receiver is plenty loud at the 4 (out of 10) level in a 18 X 15 X 8 room.

Of the classic receivers, the 2200 series Marantz (with & without the B designation); the McIntosh SS and SS/tube hybrids (1700/1900/4100/4300); the Sansui 9000 series; the Pioneer X2X series get the most action in auctions (or at least that's how it seems to me). There are also several web-sites out there with good, useful information; i.e.: www.classic-audio)

To enjoy this side of the hobby (spending good money on equipment that was manufactured when Ford and Carter were presidents), it really helps to be a fan of classic audio (very much like being a fan of vinyl). Also, I believe that these receivers are best used as part of a secondary system, mainly because I am not sure how much beyond 25 or 30 years a piece of equipment (from ANY era) can be expected to last (I may be contradicting myself here, as my main system has ADCOM power/pre/tuner equipment that I purchased new 13 years ago).

Within prudent reason (mostly financial ... so, if my Marantz dies tomorrow, I am only out $300), the classic receivers can be an enjoyable, rewarding side hobby/project. Good luck.
I think your friend has some valid points if you're comparing them to modern multi-thousand dollar systems, but I still wouldn't be surprised if some of those old recievers sound better than some of the stuff out there. The main thing your friend didn't consider is the fact that you can purchase a top of the line, monster reciever from the late 70s (units that cost about $1000 at the time) for less than $200...sometimes much less. I think it'd be pretty hard to buy a modern system (amp, pre, and tuner) and beat it for less than $1000, and many of the new $1000+ receivers still can't compare. Today's mass-market consumer audio gear is a complete joke in comparison. I have an old Luxman system from the 70s (M2000 amp, C1010 pre, and T-110 tuner)...it's sounds nice(perfect for a bedroom, office, second system, etc), it's built like a tank, it's extremely flexible, it hasn't been hard to repair, and the tuner is still world class (and it doesn't ever shift from the signal). I wonder...did your friend actually do any listening, or was he simply basing his opinion on some technical jargon?? The brands you mentioned were great...as were Onkyo, Luxman, and Yamaha. It is a good idea to make sure the units are clean, noise free, and in good working condition before buying, but other than that they're definitely worth investigating. If audio is your hobby, I'm sure you've probably spent $150 a lot less wisely in the past.
I think your friend is speaking in theory about the electronics, but in reality if a vintage receiver is well taken care of, it will still perform well.

As far as FM tuners, the vintage analog tuners (even solid state) for the price will totally trounce any digital tuner. You could pick up something like a Kenwood KT6500 or Sansui TU-217 for about $50. They will pick up stations and sound as good or better than any digital tuner under $700. All you are getting with a digital tuner is convenience (presets and maybe a remote). For around $275 you could pick up something like a Kenwood KT8300 or Sansui TU-919 that will sound terrific against any digital tuner regardless of price.

More information on vintage tuners can be found at:


All the hoopla about 1970's-1980's receivers as having terrific sound and build quality is mostly hype. First of all, the dramatic rise in prices for these units is being driven by Ebay. Why not overpraise an old, essentially useless, piece of equipment to raise prices? Once everyone starts doing this an impression is formed that these boat anchors must sound great. A few years ago a Sansui 9090 receiver was worth maybe $60. Now, people are falling over each other to bid hundreds of dollars.

There is excellent vintage audio gear of the 1970's and 80's but it ain't mass market solid state receivers. The only use I see for these things is their phono stage if you're looking for analog on the cheap.

You want a great vintage receiver? Go find a tube Fisher receiver like the Fisher 400. Drop a couple hundred bucks in restoration and mods from an expert like the Fisher Doctor and others. I guarantee you it will blow the pants off any mass market solid state unit from that era. And it will challenge almost anything from any era in sheer musicality! And it will last another 30 years!

Don't waste your money. Sansui, Pioneer, Sony, Marantz? No way!

Let me add that the only solid state receiver from that era that sounds good was the Advent 300 receiver due mostly to an expertly designed phono by Tom Holman.
Aw geez,some of you guys, come on. These pieces are classics. Are they the best pieces in the world sonically, no. I will say that in the cases of almost all of them though, the FM section will sound better than most digital products available today under $500, so some of them could be worth a couple of $100 just from that aspect.
Then from the amp stand point, no, they are not as good as some of the better amps availabe from the last 15 years or so lets say. But at the same time, how much is being spent? If its less than $500, then in relation to a lot of whats out there under $500, it will still probably hold its own.
Then lets just talk about beauty and feel. Very few products have the feel, the quality sensation, of some of the big receivers of the 70's and early 80's. Remember touching a knob and it at least being jacketed in metal? Of it having some smoothness in its action? Of a solid clicking locking switch, something when you turned it you knew it was turned? Then just the beauty of it, opening it up and seeing honest to God transformers, caps as large as Coke cans, metal and wood cases. All of that is still available today, in separates, if you have $5K.
And then there is the just liking it. Ain't a damn thing wrong with owning it just because you like it. And a lot of people will still ooh and ah more when they walk into your house and see a classic Sansui 9090db before they will on a Cambridge Audio int amp and tuner, and 98% will think the Sansui will sound better just because of the psychoacoustics associated with it. There are a lot of people that some of these pieces wre their 1st real exposure to good sound, something other than the Zenith console in Mom & Pop's living room. And as long as there is an Ebay, an Audiogon, AudioWeb and other sites(I don't see any of these old receivers, amps, or tuners being given away anywhere) on which to sell it on, the 9090 will be worth more than the Cambridge Audio(or almost any other) piece of gear you would spend $300 on.
Go get one if you want one, and let me know what you get when you do.
I am now in the twentieth year of using and enjoying a Tandberg 2080 receiver. It was my first entry into upscale audio at the time with a cost of about $1000. I use it for all TV sound, an audio cassette deck, and CD. It now drives the Mag MMGs. That stretches it a bit, but not too bad. I have always liked its warm sound and its appearance; the wooden cabinetry mentioned by jvia, the ribbed metal knobs, and, of course, the analog tuner. Its only sign of age is a balance control which is not all it should be. Most of the time, however, it is like new. When I replace it with something else, it will then go to my study which now has nothing. So, there is probably a sentimental attachment, but it still offers quite a bit for its rather small resale value.
I just bought an Armstrong receiver from the 80's on ebay. I paid $75 for it, but it cost another $150 to get it shipped here from England. For those who don't know about Armstrong receivers, I used to sell them in a high end shop during the 80's. They are one of the finest receivers ever made. Wonderful analog tuner, incredible amplifier that rivalled the Naim Audio 42/110 separates we sold at the time, and a great phono stage to boot. In a slimline low-profile teak cabinet. They originally sold for about $700. A fine centerpiece for a great sounding system. Would make a super-nice office system with a good pair of mini monitors. Rated at 30 watts with over 3db of dynamic headroom. Something like 70,000uf in power supply filter caps. It seems they are very hard to come by these days, so when I saw it on ebay for cheap, I just had to get it. Even for the $225 I have in it, it is a steal. If you ever see one, I would strongly recommend getting it. I never heard any solid state receiver that could match it.
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It's nice to hear all of you who like old classic stuff. It appears a number of you have had little problem with your older pieces. However, what about the aging, drying capacitor issue? I mean, even Nelson Pass said the electrolytics last for 15 years and that's it. I'm stumped on this one.

I do agree that older solid state pieces are overpriced now. With the probability of component failure, not mentioning that they don't sound as good as newer stuff (sorry guys, I don't think they do for the most part), these pieces should really be bargain priced. I see people getting too much for 25 year old original solid state electronics. These parts are not of the quality or longevity level to last forever. Now, if someone had changed a number of parts inside...that would be a different story.
I like the old Heathkit receivers. Heathkit produced some of the finest of the time. Most are very easy to restore(since they were built from a kit most of the time) and they are all built like tanks. Power wise, they were under rated. You could always depend on more than the spec indicated. I remember using a AR15 receiver to drive a pair of old Acoustic Research AR3A's. It would make those VERY power hungry speakers jump off the floor and fill the room with great sound even into their <4 ohm load. They always had superb tuner sections. Unbelievably low cost for what you got if you were willing to invest a little time in construction. Later, they offered a few assembled models. It was a lot of fun building those things. I still have the AR15 and a few others around. Hard to part with history and your roots!
For a Stereo system they can not be beat!
Luxman 1120 is awesome! $ 250.00
great tuner , meters very powerful!
Tandberg 2075II or 2080 Awesome 200-250
Revox B285 Seperates killer $ 575-850.00
Marantz 2325 I think top of the line Gyrotouch Blue dial
Marantz 2500 with scope $ 900-1500

All above also include Headphone outputs and Good phono sections too!

My two favorites are the Revox and tandbergs there is a great matching Revox cd player the b225/226
The Yamaha CR220 Natural Sound receiver from 1979 has been my stereo system's main power source since 1980 when it was purchased new with a pair of Bang and Olufsen Beovox S35 loudspeakers. Early in 2000 on a whim, I purchased a new NAD C520 CD player for $269.00 after reading a UK stereo magazine praising its very musical sound, and plugged that plain grey fronted box into the Yamaha CR220's auxillary inputs. I was astonished by the clarity of CD based music through an ancient analog receiver that I'd just played LP records and cassettes on (CD's were introduced in 1982). Soon afterwards, I replaced the Monster Cable 100 interconnect and the Monster XPHP speaker wire with an Audioquest Viper RCA interconnect and Audioquest CV-4/Type 4+ speaker cables. Although only 18 watts per channel at 4 ohms, the CR220 even at 22 years old, with nearly every day playing, is one of the most clear and powerful sounding receivers I have ever heard. I recently auditioned my CR220 along with an NAD C340 amplifier and the CR220 was the clear sound winner when driving my Beovox speakers or even a pair of new Dynaudio Audience 40 monitors. Again, everyone's ears are different but mine appreciate the still great sound from this classic receiver, the vintage Yamaha CR220. I can even recall passing on a Bang and Olufsen Beomaster 1900 receiver at 30 watts/channel as the Yamaha CR220 just plain sounded fuller, louder, and yes, better. I've tried several times to "upgrade" the past year or so by getting other newer receivers or amplifiers. However, I've always gone back to my CR220 time and time again because it is so "musical" even for such an old piece of equipment. I liken a stereo receiver's unique sound quality to that of your favorite sounding guitar. I may like the sound of a Fender Telecaster teamed with a Fender Harvard Reverb, while you may prefer a Rickenbacker 330 with a Vox AC30. They may both sound equally great, but your ears may just prefer one sound over the other (or neither). Finally, in appreciating also the tasteful design of my Yamaha CR220, its silver faceplates are actually very nice to look at, while the newer black-faced, mostly plastic stereo components (Sony) are just butt-ugly and full of annoying lights and useless functions and rely upon a remote control to be of any use at all. I'm glad that I made the"mistake" of purchasing my receiver when I did, saving me from the agony of choosing new components for two decades while I enjoyed playing my music--instead of shelling out big dollars for "better" equipment. Costing about $12.00 a year over 22 years, the Yamaha CR220 at $240.00 new, was certainly no mistake to buy (or to keep).
Late 70s early 80s integrateds, recievers and analog tuners from Luxman, Sansui and Yamaha rule. They have real iron in their power supplies, discrete componentry throughout and are quite musical.

Found a Luxman 1120A reciever @ 120wpc in beautiful condition, internally soldered the pre-out/main-in and hardwired an LAT powercord. This piece will take on many higher end separates. I also run VTL, ONIX and Luxman electronics to compare. Good luck. And oh, the tuner section.
Kevziek ...
When you look at the responses to your post, the classic audio fans have been/are drawn to the classic stuff partly for the reason that you were ... (from your original post)... I was contemplating purchasing a 70's receiver, as I used to love the construction and appearance of the Sansui, Kenwood, Pioneer, Marantz. I don't think too many of us have been overly bothered by ..."what about the aging, drying capacitor issue?" I doubt that many of these items were designed to "last forever" (your 2nd post), but then again ... how many components really are ... even/especially today? There is a beauty to the older stuff that today's stuff doesn't come close to matching. Usually, there is also one aspect to the classic performance that will mean something to you (like FM performance). Is this stuff too expensive ... probably ...but if you look at the ebay auctions, it balances out. It is a hobby and if you are inclined to modify classic stuff, you are probably inclined to modify the new stuff, as well.
I just acquired a 1970's Yamaha CR600 receiver in mint condition inc shipping for 100 bux. It works perfectly; all controls..no snap, crackle, or pop. The tuner works wonderful. These old yamaha (the crx00 series and not the subsequent cr x20 and x40; the cheapening started after the 00 series in my opinion) receivers were, and are, excellent if they are in good condition.

I picked up a pair of Boston Acoustics CR8 speakers in perfect condition for 75 today. I think that Yamaha receiver and the Bostons are going to make a good xmas present for my 17 y/o son. Course, he'll probably destroy the speakers with his hip hop garbage but that is another story. I suppose if I included a Technics sl200 DJ model he'd think I was way cool.

The old Yamaha T2 tuner was great; still is. So was their C2a preamp

Let’s face it, age effects all of us, that goes for our electronics too. On the other hand, I have a vintage Luxman receiver R-1050 that I purchased new when I was in high school and it still sounds pretty damn good. Was it as good as my rouge/bat combo? NO—but when I was looking to buy an intergrated amp at the $1000 price point, the Luxman kicked but and it has a tuner and phono section to boot.

I think you can still get quality sound out of these pieces
As a McIntosh fan, I think it should be pointed out that most of the McIntosh receivers produced back in the 70s and 80s are still in use today. I know of two older 70s units that are used in second systems; and both owners enjoy using them often.
Not only do older McIntosh receivers in good condition fetch top doller in the used equipment market; but most Mac service dealers can restore the old units to "like new" condition. And the quality materials that were used in the older Mac receivers - such as machined metal knobs, glass faceplates, and walnut cabinets - makes most of today's receivers look pretty shabby in comparison.
I bought a Pioneer SX-1250 cheap. I then sent it of to a reputable Web based rebuilder of the 70s calssics, Mcintosh, Marantz Ect. All the issues that were addressed as weakneses are repalced and/or modified and then some. It cost me a little over $400 but I now have a Ballsy 165 watt reciever with a great tuner. I don't think I could have done any better.
not true, some of the finest sounding pieces can be had for a song. i have a scott 222c interg amp w telefunkins tubes scott tuners, luxman original (Japan) SS pieces, superb sounds.
caps and resistors can be replaced, no problems, many new pieces as well as new technologies are redundant, expensive rip offs and manufactured with profit in mind.

how can you compare a a 49 lincoln with an 84 caddy.!
I have an old pioneer SX1980 which my Mom bought us in 1980(she saved her baby sitting money). It I believe was part of a package that cost 1500$. It stillsounds fine except the volume control is noisy, I bought a preamp and run th power amp section only. I actually woulb be interested in rebuilding this 100lb monster, it looks it has pretty high quality parts in it. My opinion is that these types of products can be had cheaply and often sound better than things newer products that are about the same price. Now I am assuming these onlycost 200-300$
Alright I'm a novice to this forum but I like this thread
and wouldn't it be cool to have a system that is as good as
anybody that frequents this forum would expect, but looks as though it was from whatever "golden age" we all remember.
I mean how about 21st century technology in a package that corresponds to the era when we fell in love with "the sound" that made the hair on the back of our neck stand up.
Or I am I just nuts?
Thank you,
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The people that rebiult mine were Soundsmiths.
They are very good and went through mine completely offering an 18 month warranty.

I wouldnt say a mistake..but there is always a risk going with something used and old...regardless of build quality and how it performed in its heyday...I would say for less headaches, better sound, and a better value...go with a more modern intergrated amp...and add a vintage analog tuner for almost nothing...I used to have an older Pioneer SX series receiver...switched to a NAD intergrated...and the difference has been night and day...larger soundstage, much more detail, and cleaner bass....the Pioneer sounded cool in a vintage, "nostalgic" way...kind of made everything "warm and fuzzy"...which depending on your likes...can be good or bad...
I retailed the gear mentioned in the 1970s and early `80s, and still own and respect much of it today. The praise for many of the units mentioned above is deserved, even though I presently also use current Edge, Presence Audio, Manley, Rowland, Audio Note and others. Many of the designs back then were simpler inside (fewer parts), used more point-to-point OFC wiring (less circuit board paths), used less negative feedback, and often bigger power supplies. Maybe those are some of the reasons, but also, perhaps those designers knew more than we realize. And if the caps and some resistors fail- these units are still cheap to repair by any competent repair shop, as most all the parts are readily available.

Roy Johnson
Green Mountain Audio
I have an Sansui AU6500 integrated sitting in my office. I bought it new in 1974 (along with a Thorens TT, and a pair of Pioneer speakers) to take to college. The amp has been in service in one degree or another nonstop since 1974. The ONLY problem with it in all these years is the orange LED to indicate power-on, burned out sometime in the '80s. All metal chassis, iron in the PS, rugged parts/build, AND pretty good sound to boot. One of my kids will be off to college in Sept. 2003, and the Sansui is going along as the core of a small dorm system.
I have had my marantz 2500 since new, 2/78 and it's been used weekly ever since without any problems. Thats now over 25 years of pure enjoyment almost non stop. The look, the feel, the sound, the classic 70's gear just cant be beat!

Even if it died today, $1250 over 25 years I think I got my money's worth. Nothing made today will last that long or look as good doing it!

My sansui 9090 I picked up used in 1980 has been in daily use in my workshop since 1984 and only the lamps have been replaced.

I see no reason to buy new, black plastic mass produced disposable junk when my classic gear is still working fine.

Even if they die and for some reason are not repairable, they will be kept around just for their Classic Look!

Art comes in many forms, most of todays audio gear is not one of them!
Someone mentioned a Yamaha CR-600.... I have had one since 1973 or so. When I upgraded to a Luxman R1120, I gave my old system to my father who used it daily, and even managed to blow the bass/mid driver on my B&W DM4's. When he died, my daughter had it for years in her room, used daily. I now have it driving our stereo speakers for the tv sound output. Only thing that has gone over that time has been the lights once. The sound is excellent. I have used the Yamaha a couple of times on my AR-9's, and the only thing they lack compared to my updated Luxman M4000A's that I had for years was volume. Sound was excellent. They are still chugging along thirty years later. Both my Luxman M4000A's are in being fixed, but the Yamaha, overbuilt like a tank, continues to surprise me. I picked up an old Yamaha CR-800 on eBay for my classroom and it sounds just fine... except once in a while the local cable station goes funny. Does the same at home, so not just the receiver.

As for looks, I will take a Champaign Luxman any day over these numerous ugly black beasts out there. : )

Gil K in BC, Canada
I also loved the look and feel of Marantz tuners and receivers from the 70s.But your friend is right about
the repair issues associated with " solid state classics" gear.Nothing lasts forever.The old tube gear is easy to work
on and the parts can be upgraded.I rebuilt My Fisher FM100B
a few years ago and it works and sounds about as good as can be expected given the current state of programs on the FM dial.Where the tuner really shines is on the PBS stations.If you like the looks and the sound of the "classic"gear by all means buy it.But be aware of the sands in the hourglass running out and don't pay to much
for it. _scotty_
Something nobody's mentioned is the cheap phenolic circuit boards used back then. They were really junk.

So, it has now been over a year since you started this thread and there have been numerous responses generally attesting to the more than acceptable sound and/or build quality of the old classic receivers. What did you wind up doing? Did you actually purchase some vintage equipment and what were your experiences? In all candor, to date, your comments could be typified as more of the "put down" variety as opposed to any "forays into the vintage world" variety. Just curious.

Regards, Rich
I have a Pioneer SX 1250(Mid 70's era). It is used daily. It has been in the shop only once about 5 years ago. My old Pioneer sounds 400% better to me than the newer Black Plague stuff that costs three times as much. Perhaps your "expert" is totally ignorant of technology he knows nothing about.
What a great topic. I posted a question just now about the newer Marantz and Denon integrated. What I have been using as a main for the last dozen years is a lowly Denon dra-535. It just yesterday kicked the ass of another in a line of amp auditions. This one the guy had built himself, and it sounded quite good, but without the detail and power I have been used to. It seemed a bit flat also. My other main for the fifteen years before that was a Marantz 1040. That little diehard is still kickin' in the shop system. What a great overall sound it has too.

The look and feel of the older stuff is really hard to top imho. Where can I find a newer unit built like the classics, with even better sound character? And Remote! (I'm a little lazy anymore)
I do think the e-bay market has really inflated prices on some of the vintage eqpt (if you're a buyer) if you're selling it works out perfect.
This may be a little off topic but I think the comparison is worth while especially in regards to the tuner sections in recivevers or for that matter separate tuners. As a ham radio operator many years ago I ran into much of the same issues with the then new PLL /digital filtering HF equipment. Compared to the older tube/analog equipment the new stuff just couldn't process a signal as well. Yeah, you got lots of cool lights and digital readouts but that was about it. In essence what happened is that the use of digital tuning/signal processing allowed manufaturers a cheap way out. Rather than use $$$$ crystal latice filters to reject unwanted signals they could get by with cheaper but less effective IC's and software. I suspect that the much the same thing occured in stereo tuners.
Awhile back I found a receiver in a dumpster while up in Chicago. It was a Pioneer sx 1980. Well, I hauled it back home with a suitcase strap; putting the 100 lb amp in the overhead on a 727 flite to Daytona. That was a BIG job. No security back then. You know, people saw me carrying that thing and they understood why. I repaired amps before for a living, so I will hence repair this one. Power supply blown output b-plus 65v rail =0. Well this was a tricky one because many of the small components(xistors)are matched and some are not available except as substitutions; specs are not exactly the same as oem. Also all voltages have to come up together or the power supply just blows everything. This happened many times. Drawings and service manual only available in microfich and maybe unavailable. Pioneer in Atlanta (or a serv.ctr.) there can repair these units. Mine works ok even the fm works (capacitave afc cool tuning)Generally, the unit is awesome but circuit boards are old phenolics not glass, alignment is tough-you got to set bias rite or a channel will run hot and you blow speakers-not funny when they are your favorite ones. Toroid xfmr good!
I have been using a Luxman 1120A for about 6 years and never had a problem. Most of the newer stuff out there are a joke compared to the performance of the Lux. You can pick one up for less tham $300.00 in mint cond. I would buy it in a heartbeat. PS I also have a set of Yamaha C-60 amp & pre-amo and Kek C80's and a nice Yamaha C220
I purchased a Luxman 1120A new in 1982. It worked fantastically well for almost 20 years. I liked it so much, in fact,that when it finally started to "go" last year, I invested about twice what I paid for it originally to have it completely rebuilt with Black Gate capacitors and all kinds of upgraded parts. The power supply has also been rebuilt so that it is rock-stable into any electrostatic speaker. I'll take this over any receiver available today at any price.
My bedroom system for years was based on a Fisher 400 driving a pair of Infinity Monitors. (I bought the Fisher for 10 cents at a thrift store) I did not find the Fisher to have the FM sensitivity I needed so drove FM through it from an H H Scott stereo tuner. The final result was just WOW! I never tired of the sound coming through the Fisher, and while not wishing to get into the "woo-woo" area of home audio, the soundstage was such that while watching a stereo vcr ( also of course "plumbed" through the Fisher), I and my lady clearly heard and enjoyed a 360 degree soundstage. I'm not kidding about this, and I attribute this to the vcr's rendition of what I'm sure was the video's "time delay" codings on the audio track of the videotape. And in search of this phenomenon tried several vcr's. But let me tell you, when we were propped up most comfortably in bed watching a video and suddenly, so very clearly, heard pure, solid & full range sound coming from, but for the bedroom wall, sound from the sides of us and even from BEHIND us,(should be impossible, no? As the bed was solid against the wall) we just looked at each other without a word. The one thing I will say is that while I am not a member of the NRA, you or anyone may attempt to pry my Fisher 400 from my cold hands.....and if you are successful, my ghost will do its best to harass you at every opportunity. Period.
i had a marantz 2275 as a kid and sold it to my brother, he still has it. it don't keep up with my $8k worth of seperates but it still sounds mighty good and it is a loud bugger. i think the money involved in it back in the 70's was still sub $200.

as to Mr Pass giving the life of caps as 15 yrs...maybe, maybe not. there are a ton of old fender amps out there from the 50's and 60's and a bunch of them have not been re-capped. Them amps are going for stupid money
The Japanees receiviers of the 1970's will outperform ANY compination of seperate components made today regardless of price. They cannot be beat for clearity of sound.The design engineers of that era were audio perfectionists .

"The Japanees receiviers of the 1970's will outperform ANY compination of seperate components made today regardless of price"

This statement ranks up there with your "powerslam" of acoustic suspension design speakers in an another post this week. You really can't be serious ... or maybe you just have not have listened to ANY separates or acoustic suspension designs, for that matter.

In all candor, it was the Japanese receivers of the 70's that drove us to buying separates in the 80's and 90's. Even today, the Marantz 2240 receiver that I use in a bedroom system does not perform at the level of my NAD C320BEE integrated amp... and that is at least a fair comparison ... both units were/are lower priced electronics of their respective product lines.

Regards, Rich
I have an old Sansui 222 and had many other Pioneers, Sansui, etc etc...McIntosh included, and I never ever had a problem with any of them...

dont forget that many of those units were the end result of R&D budgets of millions of dollars that are unheard of nowadays...
To dismiss them as quasi door stoppers is kinda assinine and not very objective.
The tuner section of my old NAD7400 receiver continues to outperform the new one in their T751 receiver, nearly matching that of my Magnum Dynalab.
$100 spent on a couple of power caps and a thorough cleaning restored this dozen-year old battleship to as-new 3rd system service. And oh my that tuner!