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Agree with Newbee on the ARC 115. It is very powerful ( 100+/ch) ), throws a big soundstage, and has resale value as it is considered one of the best sounding amps they ever produced regardless of price. Yes, I'm biased ( excuse the pun ) as I have one for sale. $1,400 plus shipping & PP if interested. It will also heat your room nicely in the winter.
Best Audio Systems from the 1980's:
Speakers: Boston Acoustics A40
Stereo Receiver: NAD 7120
Turntable: Technics SL-B1 + Shure Magnetic Cartridge
Cables: Kimber-Kable (Entry-Level)
Mid-Level (and this has resembled MY system, to a point, that is after I have upgraded from my first system (which I have assembled back in 1983)):
Speakers: KEF Reference 102/w KUBE (and I actually owned these)
Stereo Receiver: Nakamichi SR-4A
Turntable: Thorens TD-147 + Grado Cartridge (of equal vintage, and price approximate)
Compact Disc Player: Mission DAD-7000
Speakers: Infinity IRS Beta
Power Amplifiers: Mark Levinson No. 20.5 Monoblocks (Ribbon Towers) + Mark Levinson No. 23 (Woofer Towers)
Preamplifier: Mark Levinson No. 26 (w/Phono Board Installed)
Turntable: Oracle Delphi Mk V + JMW 10.5i + Benz Phono Cartridge
Cables: Audioquest, Cardas, MIT (take your pick -- or make your own pick)
To me, these set-ups pretty much represent the best Hi-Fi the 1980's had to offer, and to me, they also represented the golden age of audio as far as I am concerned.
Yep, I remembered the Nakamichi Dragon too. I never owned one though, because they were expensive back then. But I did loved that deck, though.
I did purchase a Nakamichi Tape Deck back in the late 1980's. I bought the mid-priced BX-300 back in 1987, and used it for more than 15 years.
And about the ReVox Linear Tracking Turntable?!?!?! I actually knew someone personally who had one. My boss had one in his system. And that was one COOL ASS turntable. That bad boy sounded REAL GOOD too. He had his hooked up to a Hafler Preamplifier and Power Amplifier, Klipsch Cornwall Speakers and an NAD Tuner. That was a great system too. Too bad he wasn't the one who inspired me to get into this great hobby that we love so much.
No.... my second cousin did that decades ago. I didn't remember what his components was, but it was definitely SOTA for the early 1970's, and he a Reel-To-Reel Tape Deck in his system too. He was a Drill Sargent in the Army for some 20 something years, and he got his system from overseas when he was in the service.
Talking about going back down to memory lane.
Two of the best speakers I’ve ever heard were from the 80’s: Duntech Sovereigns& Apogee Duettas. Very different & both excellent. Conrad Johnson Premier One sounded way better than the Levinson amps to me but couldn’t drive the Apogees 2 ohm impedance, needed Krell amps for that. Also the Proac EBS speakers were very nice as well as the better Thiel models.
Motif MS50 or MS100 w/MC7 or MC8 preamp
cj MV50, MV75A1 w/ Premier 2/3 preamp or PV5
Perreaux PMF 2150/ SM2 pre
Superphon DM220 / Revelation Basic DM preamp
PS Audio 2C+ / IVH preamp
B&K ST140 / Pro 10 preamp
Moscode 300 / Minuet/Minuet in A preamp
Counterpoint SA8/12/20 w/ SA7, SA3, SA5 preamp
Berning EA230 or EA2100 w/TF10 preamp
VSP Labs TransMos 150 amp / Straightwire II preamp
Acoustat TNT 120/TNT 200 w/TNP preamp
For Speakers: Vandersteen 2C, Thiel CS2 and many others will land you in the 80’s.
Nothing says the eighties like a full complement of ReVox gear. This is a stack that I restored and put together for fun a few years back. Sold all of it off except the B77 reel machine. Also built a full Pioneer Spec stack, but that’s seventies. As far as linear trackers go, the ReVox was good, but a Technics SL-10 was better, had a pile of those I refurbished and moved on. Bonus points if you can find the rare cast aluminum feet/stands that hold it at an angle.