Vintage tube guys

I was an SS guy till not that long ago on vintage Klipsch Lascala's. (now with Duelund VSF and CAST caps)

After hearing a Fisher x101d and it blowing the doors off my SS pre and amp that was a $10k (new) combo. I kept the SS system for a few months thinking I would have second thoughts. Bought some more Fishers (after taking out the output transformer in the x101d) 500c x101st and x202 none have sounded as good as the x101d (do not know on the x202 as it is being fixed right now) but all better then my SS.

My question is you do not hear much from say Marantz 7c Fisher 400c guys etc. Are they happy? I was in Audio la la land till the output transformer went. Amp was so quiet I could hear around instruments!

The Marantz goes for big $ is that becuase collectible or sound reasons? Not much talk about them either? Is that because how can you be excited over 50yr old gear!

I am thinking about Fisher 400c or 400CX, CX-2. Any happy owners out there?

I am having my tech guy check them out and told to replace anything that they need. Nothing to exciting though I just said go to Tempo Electric's site and use the top level parts available.

Thanks David I am looking into the SET route as well.

It was just the comment in Stereophile about the 500c.

"I've invested many years chasing the best cutting-edge gear our industry offers, yet I've never been more satisfied with music and audio since finding a home in yesteryear with all those dead guys with ears".

I have been to Audio Karma but to me seems a somewhat different crowd vintage for the sake of vintage. I had no old gear before the x101d except the old Klipsch. So not really a vintage person.

Audiogon seems more of a Audiophile site and that is why I was wondering was there anyone who had modern gear and went backwards???

In the Stereophile article they also said.

"I'm not an antique audio collector or an apologist for single-ended triodes (SETs). I coax great sound from solid-state and tubes. I would never go vintage because it's cool or hip. I'm gaga over vintage for the sound".

Which is what I was wondering were there any Audiophile's kind of peoplr who say I have tried everyhing and a Marantz 7C is still the best?

wwwrecords Oh I like the 500c a lot. I like the x101st (EL84 amp love that mid range) a lot as well all are better than my SS was and at chump change price! My 500c is just not as good as the x101d which is the same thing without the receiver. Might just be in better shape.

I am combing trying to find out whether to buy a Fisher 400c, CX or CXII if the difference was big as I could find no fault at all with the x101d linestage.
Dear Volleyguy,
Try posting at Audio Asylum on the SET or the Tube forum. Maybe Paul Joppa (SET'S) or Jim Mcshane (Tube Forum) will add their expertise to the question.
David Pritchard
I do not consider myself a Vintage guy, but my refrence at the moment are a pair of monoblock LeakTL12 0.1 amps, I have tried a LOT and I mean a lot of tube amps, vintage and current. I cannot say vintage is always better but some vintage models are really hard to beat once they are brought to date.
They do need a lot of parts changed to start sounding properly. I have changed all resistors for Caddocks mainly and all signal caps for Mundorf Silver-gold. the Power supply caps are the original paper in oil.
I have compared these amps to a lot of current amps also and I always liked them better.
Designs in tube amps dont really change that much, the quality of parts is important and point to point wiring, etc.

I also have a couple of Fisher amps somewhere on my closet and have tired some others, let me tell you IMHO the Fisher X100 (or X101) with the EL84 tubes is the best one.

Check out Mapleshade Audio web page...
I have vintage amps in my system - but while I have worked on more vintage amps than I care to think about, I have really very little romantic attachment to them as collector's items, or because of their past. I use them because they're better than any of the modern amps that I've used with my system.

I will say that many times, the amount of effort required to make a vintage piece truly work as well as it when it was new . . . this can be a very tedious endavour, even for a skilled and experienced technician. For example, it was pretty straightforward to get my Marantz Model 2s to "work" again . . . but to make them really come alive required lots of time measuring (sometimes out-of-circuit) EVERY resistor and capacitor to make absolutely sure they were all within tolerance . . . many had drifted. Some irreplaceable switches and potentiometers had to be removed, disassembled, cleaned, and rebuilt, and then within the first 20-30 hours of operation some extremely subtle noises became audible just above the noise floor -- these turned out to be a few solder connections that had developed tiny cracks after 50 or so years of heat/cool cycles.

So when I hear people turn their nose up at the performance potential of vintage audio gear, it reminds me a bit of those who think that all 1950s and 1960s American cars handle poorly . . . you have to absolutely eliminate every trace of the decades of deterioration before making your conclusions - and there are lots of shiney hot-rods with rebuilt engines and beautiful bodywork . . . and old, worn-out vintage suspension.