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Home Audio Component Recommendations -- Opinions?  
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McMick
Joined: 2015-06-26
Posts: 147
Post 2018-08-02 05:34   [Quote] 
Sorry if there have been discussions about this before, but I tried looking for "home stereo" and "audio components" and a few other combinations in the search and it just returned a thousand unrelated posts.

I was just wondering if anyone had opinions about old vs new equipment, particularly amplifiers, what models you remember being especially good, what reproduced Frank's music most faithfully and realistically, etc.

Feel free to elucidate on speakers, turntables, cd players, amps, equalizers, or anything else a home stereo enthusiast might find useful.

Right now I have a used Sony STR-DE485 receiver and a couple of Bose "Interaudio Series" bookshelf speakers of unknown model. I think they sound like crap, at any rate. This leads me to thinking about buying a new setup and I am just looking for something that sounds great and is a good value for the money. New or used doesn't really matter to me. Thanks for the time.
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doctorzap
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Post 2018-08-02 09:24   [Quote] 
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ivester
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Post 2018-08-02 11:34   [Quote] 
The first question is: What's your budget? You can put together a nice system for not too much money, or you can put together a really fine system if you are able to invest more funds.

Rotel in particular makes some excellent source and amp components that won't break the bank. And you can pick up Thiel speakers used for not too much money. I've never been able to afford them, but McIntosh components sound great, last forever, and are mighty purty!

My own system is a Music Hall turntable, Marantz CD/SACD player, an old MacBook Plus, Parasound preamp, Rotel amp, Thiel floorstanders.
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McMick
Joined: 2015-06-26
Posts: 147
Post 2018-08-06 06:15   [Quote] 
Let's say I put together a budget of around $500. I know that will probably only buy used equipment, but since I haven't tried to buy a stereo for a long time I just wondered whether anyone had recommendations on specific brands and models of stuff that I might find useful.

Max wattage isn't a big deal, since I live in an apartment and would hardly be able to take advantage, but faithful sound reproduction is crucial. The setup I have now sounds very hollow and I don't have an equalizer to do anything about it, plus I think the speakers lack range. Plus I just don't like the fact that most of the receiver's functions are on a fucking remote controller. The last time I bothered to consider my component choices was back in the mid-80s and then I kind of fell away from it. At the time I had four Realistic Mach 1 speakers, some sort of Jensen stereo receiver with lots of shiny brushed stainless steel knobs and toggle switches, (and analog tuning with a huge dial), a 12-band equalizer (also Realistic, I think), a Phillips turntable of some sort (all the features I could want) with a new Shure cartridge (forget the model), and a Sharp cassette deck with Dolby B C and DBX noise reduction or something. It had those jumpy little analog signal meters. I don't remember my CD player, but it was pretty basic (though still expensive as shit at that time).
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ivester
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Post 2018-08-06 11:03   [Quote] 
A good source for info is www.crutchfield.com
Find the models you want and then google for the best prices.
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McMick
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Post 2018-11-30 00:01   [Quote] 
So, a little update: I'm pretty much fed up with remotes, digital readouts, etc. and I've decided to go for an older model receiver (not to mention the fact that I can get one cheaper).

What I'm looking for is a classic late 70s to mid-80s receiver, back when everything was stainless steel and featured a lot of knobs. Bass/Treble knobs are obviously crucial, and a big ol' knob for tuning. A couple of analog uV meters, a built-in phono pre-amp, support for 2 and 4 speaker arrangements WITH separate headphone on/off function, and a good amount of power (at least 25 watts per channel RMS). DISCRETE amplification would also be appreciated. I plan to hook up a 10-band EQ to this thing, so tape monitor functions aren't necessary but would be nice to have.

The problem I'm running into now is that ALL the receivers from back then looked like this, and there are so many brands to choose from, I can't tell what's good and what's garbage. I know there are a few brands that were popular then, but I also know a lot of them had started to produced some real junk that only LOOKED like it was high-quality (Pioneer, in particular, I seem to recall making some real shit stereos back then). I guess I'm gravitating toward Kenwood, but who else made good stuff back then? Onkyo? Harmon-Kardon? If I stay with Kenwood, am I safe? Or do I have to navigate through a bunch of looks-cool-but-sounds-like-shit models to find a good one?

What I'd really like is to hear from some audiophiles here who had good equipment back then (or at least, NOW have good equipment FROM back then) to give their opinions on what I should go for. If you can give me particular model numbers, that'd be really helpful. Thanks for any help.

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Tero
Joined: 2018-10-13
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Post 2018-11-30 00:24   [Quote] 
We are lucky to still have stereos! I had my amp tuner die 5-6 years back. I found one on Amazon that had RCA jacks for a turntable. It was similar to this
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/999755-REG/onkyo_tx_8020_stereo_receiver.html

It cost a little more but is 50 Watts.

If you have a hifi store in your city they do have high end stuff. My speakers are modest.

Best Buy has book case stereos with Bluetooth speakers. Yuck!

Itís not hard to find something. The Onkyo has not failed yet. My CD player is a one disc Marantz. 4 years old.

I would spend the most time with the speakers.

Good luck.
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TPS
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Joined: 2005-02-26
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Post 2018-11-30 08:09   [Quote] 
McMick wrote:
Sorry if there have been discussions about this before, but I tried looking for "home stereo" and "audio components" and a few other combinations in the search and it just returned a thousand unrelated posts.

try these;
http://www.zappateers.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=26741
http://www.zappateers.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=19629
http://www.zappateers.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=19630
http://www.zappateers.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=18185
http://www.zappateers.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=29948

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doctorzap
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Post 2018-11-30 10:51   [Quote] 
McMick wrote:
So, a little update: I'm pretty much fed up with remotes, digital readouts, etc. and I've decided to go for an older model receiver (not to mention the fact that I can get one cheaper).

What I'm looking for is a classic late 70s to mid-80s receiver, back when everything was stainless steel and featured a lot of knobs. Bass/Treble knobs are obviously crucial, and a big ol' knob for tuning. A couple of analog uV meters, a built-in phono pre-amp, support for 2 and 4 speaker arrangements WITH separate headphone on/off function, and a good amount of power (at least 25 watts per channel RMS). DISCRETE amplification would also be appreciated. I plan to hook up a 10-band EQ to this thing, so tape monitor functions aren't necessary but would be nice to have.

The problem I'm running into now is that ALL the receivers from back then looked like this, and there are so many brands to choose from, I can't tell what's good and what's garbage. I know there are a few brands that were popular then, but I also know a lot of them had started to produced some real junk that only LOOKED like it was high-quality (Pioneer, in particular, I seem to recall making some real shit stereos back then). I guess I'm gravitating toward Kenwood, but who else made good stuff back then? Onkyo? Harmon-Kardon? If I stay with Kenwood, am I safe? Or do I have to navigate through a bunch of looks-cool-but-sounds-like-shit models to find a good one?

What I'd really like is to hear from some audiophiles here who had good equipment back then (or at least, NOW have good equipment FROM back then) to give their opinions on what I should go for. If you can give me particular model numbers, that'd be really helpful. Thanks for any help.


I would stick with around 100 rms per
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McMick
Joined: 2015-06-26
Posts: 147
Post 2018-12-09 03:15   [Quote] 
So, based on Internet lore, I think I'm gonna try to pick up a Marantz receiver. Anyone have one? What do you think of it, in comparison to other stuff you've used? What models are the best? I'm talking mid-to-late 70s up to late 80s in terms of its vintage. I know there's probably some good new stuff out there, but as far as I can tell I'll get a better bargain (for the purposes intended) with an old unit.

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