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Those High-Powered Pioneer Vintage Receivers!

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Pioneer SX-1010

As the stereo market exploded in size among the college-aged consumer in the ‘60s and ‘70s, receivers became the dominant electronic component, supplanting the separate preamp/power amp configuration that was most popular among the middle-aged audio enthusiasts who comprised the majority of the market in the ‘50s thru mid-‘60s. Advances in electronic componentry, such as the widespread availability and low cost of reliable silicon transistors, made the design and manufacture of receivers feasible and popular. By combining three components—the power amplifier, preamplifier and tuner—onto a single chassis, using a single main power supply and only one cabinet, the manufacturer’s cost of production, shipping and warehousing plummeted.

 Pioneer SX-1010

Vintage Pioneer SX-1010 Receiver

Retail pricing could thus be lowered dramatically, and all this technological advancement fortuitously coincided with the emergence of the biggest population group in the country’s history (the baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964) and a sustained economic strong period that lasted almost uninterrupted for decades, from the late ‘40s right through the ‘70s.

The Age of the Receiver was upon us. And a Golden Age it was. Every year major manufacturers like Pioneer, Kenwood, Sony, Sansui, JVC, Marantz and Sherwood introduced new and better models, with more features, more power, and lower prices.

The 3 figure power barrier seemed almost as impenetrable as breaking the sound barrier.

Still, no one had cracked the “magic” power figure of 100 watts RMS per channel. The 3-figure barrier seemed like an impenetrable wall, almost foreboding and sinister, as if something horrible would befall the party with the temerity to attempt it. It was almost like the fear that aviators had in 1947 about breaking the sound barrier before Chuck Yeager did it in the Bell X-1.

There was the safety of 40, 50, 55, 70 watts per channel.  But no one dared to go to…..<gulp>….100.  Remember, too, in those days 60 per side was considered more than enough. And since the reputable manufacturers in those FTC days were rating their equipment honestly and conservatively. It was a competitive badge of honor to see how far you could surpass your “published specs” in a review in a major magazine, then quote the reviewer in your next print ad saying, “The Kenwood XYZ easily surpassed its rated power specifications on our test bench, clocking an excellent……” 60 watts RMS was 60 really, really gutsy watts RMS.

Not like today, when most popularly-priced “100-watt x 7 channel” receivers sold at department stores are 100 watts at 1kHz with only one channel driven—not over the full 20–20kHz band with all (or even two) channels driven simultaneously (which really taxes the power supply, the output devices and the heat sinks), like they had to do in 1974. And too many of today’s receivers do it at a barely-hi-fidelity THD of 1% at 1kHz--not at the 1974 usual of .5% or .2%, over the full 20-20kHz range.

If you read the owner’s manuals of one of today’s popularly-priced “100 watt x 7” receivers very closely, you’ll likely find—in small print—a real rating of something like “60 watts RMS at .5% THD 20–20kHz, two channels driven simultaneously.” This is how they can still maintain FTC compliance.

Uh…..not exactly “100 watts x 7.” Hey, there’s no free lunch. Some lightweight 22-lb wonder selling for $299 is not going to miraculously deliver 100 watts RMS x 7 channels. The typical Kenwood or Pioneer 60-watt RMS x 2 integrated amplifier of 1978 weighed more than many so-called “100-watt x 7” midfi home theater receivers of today.

See: Trading Amplifier Quality for Features:  A New Trend in AV Receivers?

Good example: The Yamaha RX-A1040 7.2 receiver. It sells for $1200. It’s a great receiver and does lots of great things. It even weighs 32 lbs, not 22. It says it’s “120 watts at 1kHz 2 channels driven at .9% THD—a THD level that would be laughed out of the room at this price level in 1976. Later on, it does say it’ll do 110 watts 20–20kHz, 2 channels driven at .06% THD—at 8 ohms. A 4-ohm continuous/RMS rating? Nope, nowhere to be seen. They do give us a Dynamic Power rating at 4 ohms—shades of 1963!—but no 4-ohm RMS rating. I guess no speakers these days are ever 4 ohms anymore, are they? Wait, there are 4-ohm speakers? But Yamaha, one of the “good” manufacturers, never rates their amplifier full-bandwidth 20-20kHz RMS 2 channels driven into 4 ohms. Inexcusable.

IM (Intermodulation) distortion? In the 1970s, every manufacturer spec’d it, and it was usually as low as THD. Today, it’s never even mentioned, and we’d hazard a guess and say that a sizeable portion of today’s audio enthusiasts can’t even define it or explain why it’s arguably more audibly-important than THD. That said, modern amps don’t really run into a lot of the same issues that older amps did and these days if the THD+N measurements come out good, then it usually implies good IM behavior. Still, in this author’s opinion, it’s good practice to measure IM, like Emotiva does.

That’s why 60 “1974 watts RMS” seems so much gutsier than 100 “2015 watts from a typical midfi AV receiver.” And that’s why cracking the 100-watt RMS per channel barrier back then was such a big deal. Especially in a mainstream receiver.

So it was in this technological and market-competitive climate that the industry’s very first 100-a-side receiver was introduced: The unforgettable Pioneer SX-1010. Stylistically, it was the top of Pioneer’s “30” series—the SX-434 through 939—but the 1010 stood on its own, both in model nomenclature and in its place in audio history.

Pioneer SX-1250

Once the Pioneer SX-1010 broke the 100 wpc barrier, the floodgates opened. Every manufacturer raced to come out with their own 100 watt-per-side unit. Kenwood, Sansui, Sherwood, they all had them, and they were all great pieces of gear. (Well, not the Kenwood KR-9400, which could be used as an “improvised explosive device” it was so unreliable. But Kenwood replaced it with the excellent KR-9600 in short order.)

Soon, 100 watts per channel wasn’t enough. It went to 105, 110, 125. The “power race” was on.

See: AV Receiver Power Ratings Trends: How and Why Wattage Ratings are Manipulated

In 1976, Pioneer once again blew everyone into the weeds, by introducing their 50 series (SX-450, 550, etc.) topped off by the incredible SX-1250, rated at 160 watts RMS per channel, 20–20kHz, at .1% THD. Not .5% or .25% (McIntosh’s old claim-to-fame), but .1% THD over the full bandwidth.

sx-1250_1.jpg 

Pioneer SX-1250 Receiver 

The 1250 single-handedly opened a new chapter in receiver history: the era of the ultra-high-powered receiver. Soon after, 160 was hardly enough to get into the game. The SX-1250 was replaced by the SX-1280 in 1978 which boasted 185 watts per channel, not at .1% THD over the 20–20kHz bandwidth, but .03% THD. Rated, advertised, guaranteed—.03%!

Then in 1979, Pioneer came out with the totally insane SX-1980, which upped the ante to 270 watts RMS per channel, 20–20kHz, at .03% THD. It weighed 80 lbs. It was 20 inches deep. It wouldn’t fit in any normal entertainment furniture.

But the biggest, heaviest, most powerful two-channel receiver ever was the Technics SA-1000. 330 watts RMS per channel 20–20kHz. .03% THD. Bigger and heavier than the Pioneer SX-1980. I never actually saw one in person and can’t vouch 100% that it actually materialized in the flesh on dealer shelves. But they announced it.

SA-1000.jpg 

Technics SA-1000 Receiver

And then, mercifully, it was over. The receiver arms race that Pioneer started finally came to a peaceful, anti-climactic end.

But man, was it fun while it lasted!

Quadraphonic Sound: The New Analog Frontier?

Kenwood KR-9940

Two-channel stereo took an interesting detour in the early 1970s into Quadraphonic Sound, or “Quad” as it came to be known. Somewhere along the line, some marketing people thought that the next step toward realistic music reproduction in the home was to have four channels instead of two, with two additional rear channel speakers, a four-channel amplifier and four-channel software.

 Kenwood KR9940 Receiver

Kenwood KR-9940 Receiver

We’ll spare everyone the excruciating details of how mangled and misdirected the marketing and product development efforts became. Suffice it to say, this was the first great incompatible format debacle in the consumer electronics industry, a preview of what was to come with Beta and VHS, PC and Mac, Dolby Digital and DTS, Plasma and LED, and on and on.

Format wars are nothing new to the audio industry and some have conclusive winners.  Think VHS vs Beta, Blu-ray vs HD-DVD, etc.

Some of these format wars have had conclusive winners and losers, like Beta and VHS, or more recently HD DVD and Blu-ray. In others, the competing formats have learned to play nice with each other and even establish some degree of compatibility, like PC and Mac computers, where they now share cross-compatibility of Microsoft Office programs and both systems can do e-mail, web surfing, etc. and communicate with each other no problem. In some instances, the less popular format has simply faded away without any real harm being done to the end user (plasma TV owners can receive and enjoy programs just as easily as owners of LED TVs can, even if plasma eventually fades off into the sunset).

But four-channel audio was a disaster right from the start, both technically and marketing-wise.

To begin with, there were three distinct encode-decode systems: two matrixed/phase-differential systems, one called SQ and the other called QS. There was also a “discrete” system called CD-4 that was LP-based, requiring a special phono cartridge with response up to 40kHz, to correctly track the “pilot signal” in the grooves of the CD-4 record and send that signal to the decoder in the electronics.

SQ would sort of decode QS records and vice-versa, but CD-4 was totally incompatible with the other two. All three systems would fabricate some kind of phony multi-channel sound when playing a conventional 2-channel LP or cassette tape.

None of the three systems were particularly great-sounding, but far and away the biggest impediment to marketplace acceptance was that the record companies didn’t have anything close to a clear idea as to which of the three systems—if any—they should back. Sound familiar (remember DVD-A and SACD)?  With the major recording labels taking a wait and see who the market winner will be before we commit to recording in that format attitude, there was no significant amount of popular software available for sale in the record stores. With no clear four-channel software winner in the stores (everything remained two-channel stereo), the electronics manufacturers were reluctant to commit to putting just a single format into their products.

A few of the mainstream electronics companies tried to get out in front of the situation and position themselves as the four-channel leader, in the hope that if Quad did become big, they’d be known as the ‘go to’ brand.

Pioneer, Sansui (who actually was a partial developer of the QS system, so they certainly had an interest) and JVC (who was involved with the CD-4 system) all had extensive four-channel receiver offerings.

But the Kenwoods were the most memorable. They had two complete four-channel families, the 6340/7340/8340/9340 followed two years later by the 8840/9940 series.

The KR-9940 was one impressive technological tour de force, a cover-all-the-bases unit that incorporated every four-channel encode-decode system there was into one top-of-the-line piece. 50 watts RMS x four channels, it could be “strapped” to 125 x 2 channels for straight stereo use. With its huge display window and impressive backlighting appearance it was a striking design, a receiver that looked and felt expensive and cutting edge.

Since the advent of digital THX-approved home theater, there have been many “super receivers” from the likes of Onkyo/Integra, Denon, Marantz, Pioneer Elite, Sony ES and others that incorporate every home theater technology there is and their huge front panels are covered in logos, switches, lights and buttons.

But all of today’s feature-laden, large, imposing-looking super receivers had their way paved for them by the multi-format four-channel Quadraphonic receivers from 40 years ago, and the Kenwood KR-9940 exemplified that genre perfectly. Hats off.

Yamaha CR-1020 series

The late 1970s–mid 1980s might be considered by some to be the last hurrah, so to speak, of the original stereo craze that began with the advent of 2-channel in 1958. Social/demographic trends were changing rapidly: the majority of Baby Boomers had left college and were now full-fledged adults, getting married, raising families and buying houses. Walkmans, boomboxes, answering machines and VCRs were taking a significant chunk of the available consumer-electronics-buying dollars, whereas 10 years prior, stereo gear was competing pretty much only with television. Music-only stereo equipment would continue to weaken and struggle in the years to come until home theater came along in the late 1980s/early 1990s like a knight in shining armor and rescued the hi-fi industry. Without the boost that the popularity of home theater gave to electronics and speaker companies, many of them would have simply gone out of business.

 yamaha_cr-1020.jpg

Yamaha CR-1020 Receiver

Despite the gloomy two-channel music times that lay ahead unbeknownst just a few years hence, the late 1970s–mid 1980s period was a great time for stereo components. Ground breaking, paradigm-shifting designs and technologies peppered the consumer landscape. The CD came of age. Components shouted “Digital Ready!” on their shipping cartons. Two-channel “Hi-Fi” VCRs brought 20-20kHz movie soundtracks into the living room for the first time, foreshadowing the home theater craze just over the horizon. The Bose AM-5 heralded in a new era in sub-sat speaker systems.

It was into this market environment that Yamaha introduced their family of elegant, beautifully-made, smooth-operating and great sounding “Natural Sound” receivers. Housed in beautiful teak or rosewood-colored wood cabinets, their distinctive, long thin rectangular control knobs would snug into the selected position with a satisfying, almost magnetic “thunk” as the knob was turned to the desired setting. Who knew simply going from “Phono” to “FM” could be so enjoyable?

Another thing that Yamaha had going for them was their singularly intelligent Loudness control. For those of you too young to remember: The Loudness control was a setting on many receivers and integrated amplifiers of the time that attempted to compensate for the diminished audible sensitivity of bass at lower volume levels. Based on research by Harvey Fletcher and Wilden A. Munson in the 1930s, the “Fletcher-Munson curves,” as they’ve come to be known, are a set of ”equal loudness” frequency response curves over the 20-20kHz audible range—in other words, how much the bass needs to be boosted at lower loudness levels to appear to have “equal loudness” to the midrange (around 1000Hz).

Fletcher & Munson Curves

Fletcher-Munson Curves

Most manufacturers incorporated a Loudness switch on their equipment that introduced a fixed amount of LF boost, so that program material would sound fuller—more realistic—when played at low levels.

The problem was that these loudness controls were fixed—a constant 7-9dB or so of boost below around 80Hz.  Whether you were playing your program material at 70dB SPL (sound pressure level) or 100dB SPL, your Loudness button was boosting the bass by the same amount. At anything above very soft playback levels, a conventional Loudness control made the bass sound boomy and exaggerated—useless.  It also could over drive the woofers in your speakers causing them to bottom out or even blow out.

Yamaha had a different and brilliant solution, a completely fresh, logical approach. It may have varied a little bit from product family to product family, but the basic Yamaha approach to loudness was this: The user would listen to some program material and advance the volume control to the loudest setting they were likely to ever use, then set the Loudness to “On.” At that point on the dial, the Loudness control’s effect would be zero, increasing in its effect as the volume was lowered. In other words, the louder the owner advanced the volume control, the less loudness compensation was applied. Hence instead of a dumb always on/off loudness control, we now had a “smarter” variable loudness. Unlike conventional Loudness circuits that applied a fixed amount of bass boost regardless of volume setting, the Yamaha way decreased the amount of compensation as the volume was advanced, going to zero compensation at the user-selected “full volume” position.

As implemented by Yamaha, the Loudness control worked beautifully, because it could be tailored to the specific listening habits of each individual user, in their room, with their speakers, according to their personal preference. “Natural Sound” indeed.

These were such nice receivers-- well thought out and with extremely high standards of performance and workmanship. Great values in their time, they still command focused attention and high prices in the used market even to this day.

 

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Recent Forum Posts:

onthebus posts on May 12, 2022 23:04
davidacookie, post: 1547155, member: 98370
This article is fantastic.

I won’t joint the discussion about which receiver should be included or not as I only experienced some of those mentioned in Hi Fi shops and by the time, I could afford to buy any of them they had been superseded by later models.

The article and the forum discussion has jumped me right back to 1974.

In 1974 I was fifteen and still in school.

We had an old Philips Radiogram; I think we called it. A bit like a piece of furniture with a radio, record player and speakers built in, nice sound when listening to 45s or 78s but it wasn’t hifi.

So in 1974 my dad went and bought a Toshiba SA300 receiver, a Sony cassette recorder\player and a UK brand turntable, don’t remember the name.

OK, I know the Toshiba can’t compare to some of the models mentioned above but the sound from it was incredibly clear even at almost full volume.

It only put out 14 watts\ ch and had 0.8% THD according to the user manual.

Just to set the scene…I lived in Dublin, Ireland.

We didn’t have basements in most houses so we couldn’t put the system there and most Irish houses had fairly small rooms so putting a 50 watt \ ch system wasn’t practical and they were relatively expensive back then.

We couldn’t turn it up any further than two thirds volume as the neighbours would complain once or twice, third time they would phone the police.

Though many years later one of the neighbour’s sons told me they used to love listening to our music coming through the walls.

For about eight years all the crowd I hung around with would gather in our house and music played all day and night, sometimes into the next morning.

I moved out in 1984 and Dad gave the Toshiba SA300 to a relative.

The volume knob had started to give trouble, scratchy noise when you changed volume, and we couldn't get replacement pots. I think they were wire wound pots and were difficult to source.

My Dad replaced it with an early Sony home theatre system and always regretted it.

The Sony was fine for music but he always complained the Sony was bad for hearing dialogue on a TV programme and we could never seem to get it right.

He was sorry he gave away the Toshiba and later replaced the Sony home theatre system with a Pioneer 2.1 receiver. He had no problems hearing dialogue on the Pioneer.

In hindsight I think Toshiba were trying to create a Pioneer “clone” although at a much reduced power output and a lower price.

A few guys on YouTube have put up videos of Toshiba SA300 receivers and they seem quite impressed with them. See links below

54724
Toshiba SA-300 L Japan 1973 - YouTube

Toshiba SA-300 Mid 1970's Stereo AM/FM Receiver Demonstration - YouTube
Thanks again for the article, I now have a Denon system and really like it..but I would love the old Toshiba
Just picked up a pretty mint SA 300 today for free from an elderly neighbour, it’s
davidacookie, post: 1547155, member: 98370
This article is fantastic.

I won’t joint the discussion about which receiver should be included or not as I only experienced some of those mentioned in Hi Fi shops and by the time, I could afford to buy any of them they had been superseded by later models.

The article and the forum discussion has jumped me right back to 1974.

In 1974 I was fifteen and still in school.

We had an old Philips Radiogram; I think we called it. A bit like a piece of furniture with a radio, record player and speakers built in, nice sound when listening to 45s or 78s but it wasn’t hifi.

So in 1974 my dad went and bought a Toshiba SA300 receiver, a Sony cassette recorder\player and a UK brand turntable, don’t remember the name.

OK, I know the Toshiba can’t compare to some of the models mentioned above but the sound from it was incredibly clear even at almost full volume.

It only put out 14 watts\ ch and had 0.8% THD according to the user manual.

Just to set the scene…I lived in Dublin, Ireland.

We didn’t have basements in most houses so we couldn’t put the system there and most Irish houses had fairly small rooms so putting a 50 watt \ ch system wasn’t practical and they were relatively expensive back then.

We couldn’t turn it up any further than two thirds volume as the neighbours would complain once or twice, third time they would phone the police.

Though many years later one of the neighbour’s sons told me they used to love listening to our music coming through the walls.

For about eight years all the crowd I hung around with would gather in our house and music played all day and night, sometimes into the next morning.

I moved out in 1984 and Dad gave the Toshiba SA300 to a relative.

The volume knob had started to give trouble, scratchy noise when you changed volume, and we couldn't get replacement pots. I think they were wire wound pots and were difficult to source.

My Dad replaced it with an early Sony home theatre system and always regretted it.

The Sony was fine for music but he always complained the Sony was bad for hearing dialogue on a TV programme and we could never seem to get it right.

He was sorry he gave away the Toshiba and later replaced the Sony home theatre system with a Pioneer 2.1 receiver. He had no problems hearing dialogue on the Pioneer.

In hindsight I think Toshiba were trying to create a Pioneer “clone” although at a much reduced power output and a lower price.

A few guys on YouTube have put up videos of Toshiba SA300 receivers and they seem quite impressed with them. See links below

54724
Toshiba SA-300 L Japan 1973 - YouTube

Toshiba SA-300 Mid 1970's Stereo AM/FM Receiver Demonstration - YouTube
Thanks again for the article, I now have a Denon system and really like it..but I would love the old Toshiba
just picked up a pretty mint SA300 today from an elderly neighbour, it’s a black faced one though. Sounds sweet. Was yours silver or black?
davidacookie posts on March 20, 2022 18:17
This article is fantastic.

I won’t joint the discussion about which receiver should be included or not as I only experienced some of those mentioned in Hi Fi shops and by the time, I could afford to buy any of them they had been superseded by later models.

The article and the forum discussion has jumped me right back to 1974.

In 1974 I was fifteen and still in school.

We had an old Philips Radiogram; I think we called it. A bit like a piece of furniture with a radio, record player and speakers built in, nice sound when listening to 45s or 78s but it wasn’t hifi.

So in 1974 my dad went and bought a Toshiba SA300 receiver, a Sony cassette recorder\player and a UK brand turntable, don’t remember the name.

OK, I know the Toshiba can’t compare to some of the models mentioned above but the sound from it was incredibly clear even at almost full volume.

It only put out 14 watts\ ch and had 0.8% THD according to the user manual.

Just to set the scene…I lived in Dublin, Ireland.

We didn’t have basements in most houses so we couldn’t put the system there and most Irish houses had fairly small rooms so putting a 50 watt \ ch system wasn’t practical and they were relatively expensive back then.

We couldn’t turn it up any further than two thirds volume as the neighbours would complain once or twice, third time they would phone the police.

Though many years later one of the neighbour’s sons told me they used to love listening to our music coming through the walls.

For about eight years all the crowd I hung around with would gather in our house and music played all day and night, sometimes into the next morning.

I moved out in 1984 and Dad gave the Toshiba SA300 to a relative.

The volume knob had started to give trouble, scratchy noise when you changed volume, and we couldn't get replacement pots. I think they were wire wound pots and were difficult to source.

My Dad replaced it with an early Sony home theatre system and always regretted it.

The Sony was fine for music but he always complained the Sony was bad for hearing dialogue on a TV programme and we could never seem to get it right.

He was sorry he gave away the Toshiba and later replaced the Sony home theatre system with a Pioneer 2.1 receiver. He had no problems hearing dialogue on the Pioneer.

In hindsight I think Toshiba were trying to create a Pioneer “clone” although at a much reduced power output and a lower price.

A few guys on YouTube have put up videos of Toshiba SA300 receivers and they seem quite impressed with them. See links below

54724
Toshiba SA-300 L Japan 1973 - YouTube

Toshiba SA-300 Mid 1970's Stereo AM/FM Receiver Demonstration - YouTube
Thanks again for the article, I now have a Denon system and really like it..but I would love the old Toshiba
tonyE posts on August 24, 2019 18:22
MrBoat, post: 1335169, member: 80705
….

I bought a 100 watt Fisher rack system in the 80's and never looked back from there. Attached to that, was some of the most enjoyable listening ever, a whole lot of experience gained with things like EQ effects, and other ways to further enhance sound. Come 2019, that experience has proven invaluable, with finding the truth and fiction with marketers today, with somewhere north of 90% of available information being complete, and utter BS.
….

Gulp… from ‘83 to ’88 I sort of stopped listening to music, even though I had a very fine top of the line Sony Super Beta HiFi and a matching Laserdisk… I dumped the audio receiver and used an all Sony ES system driving ADS car amplifiers with a BIG 12VDC power supply into my ADS L810s. I guess the sound of CDs sucked. I used my Kenwood integrated as phono preamp for my then Dual/Grado turntable.

Sometime in ‘88 I got a used Linn LP12, Conrad Johnson PV9, Audio Research D70 MkII and a pair of Acoustic Energy AE1s. I do own some classic receivers, but I don’t drive them in a serious audio system.

Once you go to separates, it's very hard to go back to an all in one. Even though my receivers are gorgeous. Heck, my High End audio stuff looks boring, specially my all black, no switch, class A FET mono amps. I bought a Radio Shack APM-200 power analog meter thingie… in very good shape. My kids think it's a hoot that the cheapest thing in the stereo, cheaper than my cheapest interconnect, is the one thing we end up looking at most.

I did own an equalizer once… it just made things worse.
MrBoat posts on August 24, 2019 16:42
tonyE, post: 1335034, member: 89479
And let's not even discuss those solid state receiver monstrosities from the early 80s. Yuck.

In spite those being mid-fi at best, they managed to match or exceed the recording quality of most popular music of that era and before. What 75% of the planet was listening to. Those Japanese engineers knew what they were doing. The least of which was bring affordable, and better sound quality to the masses. I grew up with my parents systems with names like RCA, Zenith, etc., which was so horrid that the speakers came essentially blown before the first signal ever passed through them. House brand electronics from Sears, M. Ward, Kmart etc., were what was affordable before the Japanese figured out the next step up from that, which was up and coming audiophiles blessings, truth be told.

I bought a 100 watt Fisher rack system in the 80's and never looked back from there. Attached to that, was some of the most enjoyable listening ever, a whole lot of experience gained with things like EQ effects, and other ways to further enhance sound. Come 2019, that experience has proven invaluable, with finding the truth and fiction with marketers today, with somewhere north of 90% of available information being complete, and utter BS.

ETA: With many of those systems being quite functional nearly 40 years later, it tends to discount the notion of them being low quality.
tonyE posts on August 23, 2019 23:58
Marantz 2325, 4215 Sansui G7500, Kenwood separates, etc.. etc.. that, and lots more in the closet. Those were indeed the days. Yet, as beautiful as those receivers were, stuff like Nelson Pass and Audio Research were still ahead.

And let's not even discuss those solid state receiver monstrosities from the early 80s. Yuck.

BTW- I'm really surprised you didn't bring up the Sony VFET TA-5650 and 5450! Those were (are still) likely some of the best sounding amplifiers of all time. Just make sure to replace the kamikaze diodes.
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