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Thread: Amplifier decision

  1. #16
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    Hi Riessen-

    I think the vintage Marantz receivers/amps sound way better than most Pioneers from the same period. In fact, a few select models of Marantz amps are stellar! I (IMHO) don't think vintage Pioneers are the same caliber.

    I also think McIntosh made a few bad amps, too. They also made excellent ones, of course. Like Widget says- you get some stinkers.

    As far as there being value left in vintage Pioneer receivers- I agree (somewhat). If for anything else- they did have excellent tuners! I just wouldn't settle for one in my main system when for the same money (under $300) you can do a LOT better. For those people that swear by those older Pioneers- I wonder how many other amps they have listened to in a side by side comparison. (??)

  2. #17
    Dang. Amateur speakerdave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightbrace
    I really don't see the need for separates. Although I see the benefits when using a considerable amount of power, I use less than 4 or 5 watts at normal listening levels and rarely have the need for a high powered amp.
    One of the problems with the early solid state stuff was that the first watt was the worst. Also, there was often a massive amount of negative feedback, audible at all levels, which was later identified as one source of what was then called transistor sound.

    However, for noncritical listening at low levels just about anything will do, since perception of and annoyance at distortion occurs at absolute levels and not percentages. For this kind of listening a pretty face is often enough.

    David

  3. #18
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by speakerdave
    However, for noncritical listening at low levels just about anything will do... For this kind of listening a pretty face is often enough.
    Hi Dave,

    I agree with your entire post 100%

    I chose to quote the part I did as I need to keep reminding myself that there are many here who do just that... and some other folks who want SPL over anything else.... there is nothing wrong with either of these ways to enjoy your JBLs and Altecs... I just forget about them and sometimes make a recommendation that flat out doesn't apply to either group.

    Widget

  4. #19
    Senior Member jim3860's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Amps- Receivers?

    Great I love it when there is several trains of thought regarding an issue. Everyone here has good points. As widget says I believe he is right, As a GENERAL rule. Seperates are better because they put all there money and technology into one thing. Amp- Preamp-Processor-Tuner - etc. of course not every can afford seperates or has the space. Myself I am using a old marantz receiver 2220 for a tuner. its far better than the tuner in my $1500.00 sony da5es receiver, I use it for surround sound the latest dts es discrete etc processing for movies and DVD Audio and SACD multi channel abilitys. I use an Altec Lansing 9440 Alpha pro amp for all 2 channel stuff and as the power for my mains. It is 30 years old but blows away the newer sony for sound reproduction. Even at lower volumes the increase in quality of sound is much better than the sony is. For some reason the increase in power in the Altec amp has made a huge difference in the bass, even if i play it at the same spl. It has made albums that sounded good before, on the sony come to life with the altec. If i didndt know better I would have sworn that someone had replaced my speakers with something far better.

  5. #20
    norealtalent
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim3860
    Partial: If i didndt know better I would have sworn that someone had replaced my speakers with something far better.
    It's not the speakers, it's the speakers. Garbage in, garbage out. Great speakers reproduce exactly what they're given. Isn't that why we love our JBL's?
    Last edited by norealtalent; 01-24-2006 at 08:00 PM. Reason: punctuation, NOT spelling!

  6. #21
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim3860
    It is 30 years old but blows away the newer sony for sound reproduction. Even at lower volumes the increase in quality of sound is much better than the sony is.
    Now this is an entirely different discussion. Unless you are talking about the boutique stuff, all of the current receivers, integrated amps, and separate processors (pre-amps) suck. If you don't pay particular attention to the music, (background music) or are blowing your brains out with speed metal you may not notice a difference... but any $200 Pioneer, Kenwood, Sansui, Marantz, Sherwood, etc. used receiver from the 70s or 80's will absolutely sound better than even a $3000 Yamaha, B+K, Onkyo, Sony, Denon....

    The new stuff use chip amps and chip line sections that just plain sound bad... and if that isn't bad enough unless you have one of the better ones that let you direct some sources to stay analog, they typically digitize the signal and then convert it back to analog... From this perspective a 30 watt receiver from 1975 is flat out audiophile quality!

    Widget

  7. #22
    Senior Member kingjames's Avatar
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    Marantz is a very good receiver

    I also like Marantz receivers, owned a few in the ole day,but can't remember what model's I had. I also had a real old Technic's as well that sounded very good also.I really like all the old upper end receivers as I don't believed they skimped on the receipe's in those days. With the Monster receiver wars of the 70's there were some awesome units made, Pioneer,Technics' Hitachi,Marantz,Rotel and a few others. I am a firm believer in the saying that"If it ain't broke don't fix it". I am comfortable with the old stuff as I find it to be both reliable and well made. I have heard separates on numerous occasions and like the sound very much, but I have to be Awe Struck in order to pay all that money to replace what I have, and I wasn't. I like a powerful receiver not to blast my speakers but not to overwork it.Like they say it is better to have it and not need it then to need it and not have it (wattage).I guess some of us old folks resist change,but then I say there is no need to change after all the old stuff is the shit! Old JBL'S and old Receivers " A Match made in Heaven"

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Widget
    ...Unless you are talking about the boutique stuff.... Widget
    Yeah- that's what I really dig: Vintage Boutique! Love it!

  9. #24
    Senior Member jim3860's Avatar
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    Smile Dgital versus analog

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Widget
    Now this is an entirely different discussion. Unless you are talking about the boutique stuff, all of the current receivers, integrated amps, and separate processors (pre-amps) suck. If you don't pay particular attention to the music, (background music) or are blowing your brains out with speed metal you may not notice a difference... but any $200 Pioneer, Kenwood, Sansui, Marantz, Sherwood, etc. used receiver from the 70s or 80's will absolutely sound better than even a $3000 Yamaha, B+K, Onkyo, Sony, Denon....

    The new stuff use chip amps and chip line sections that just plain sound bad... and if that isn't bad enough unless you have one of the better ones that let you direct some sources to stay analog, they typically digitize the signal and then convert it back to analog... From this perspective a 30 watt receiver from 1975 is flat out audiophile quality!

    Widget
    HAHA. If I wanted background music I would listen to my clock radio. As far as heavy metal it hurts my head at low volumes. For those enjoy it more power to you. So to get this correct you are saying that if i want a decent preamp to go with my old Altec Amp I would have to buy one made in the 70s or 80s unless i want to spend mega bucks? Because I have been thinking about buying one. I wanted one that was capable of all the latest digital formats so i could play my SACD and DVD AUDIO Albums in 2 channel or multi channel. They really do sound better in my humble oppinion than the a cassette or regular cd of the same album. even though i still have to use multi channel analog inputs to play a multi channel SACD or DVD AUDIO.No digital connection as yet, the new HDMI cable is supposed to be able to carry a highbandwith signal though. I do want one though that is capable of shutting down all digital processing unless needed. And has balanced xlr outputs, to match the inputs on my amp. Is there such a animal available? P.S Not trying to pick a fight or start a war with you MR WIDGET, but I just tried something out, I ran rcas from my cd player to my marantz receiver and played a couple songs. it sounded pretty bad. I then used my sony receiver, It seemed to clean right up. I then used the pre outs on the sony and ran the signal to the Altec amp sounded even better. then i used a coxaial digital cable to the sony, and used the analog pre outs to the Altec WOW what a difference. much better sound. Is that because of a better connection with coax digital than the rcas? btw I think when i select 2 channel stereo on the sony it shuts down the dsps not positive though. REGARDS JIM

  10. #25
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim3860
    So to get this correct you are saying that if i want a decent preamp to go with my old Altec Amp I would have to buy one made in the 70s or 80s unless i want to spend mega bucks?
    Yes. Well actually there are good 2 channel units from the 90's and even today, but be prepared to pay a bit more for them.

    Quote Originally Posted by jim3860
    I wanted one that was capable of all the latest digital formats so i could play my SACD and DVD AUDIO Albums in 2 channel or multi channel. ...I do want one though that is capable of shutting down all digital processing unless needed. And has balanced xlr outputs, to match the inputs on my amp. Is there such a animal available?
    Such an animal exists... we have discussed this on more than one occasion, but I don't think there is such a beast that has an analog section that is as good as the better vintage gear for less than several thousand bucks...


    Widget

  11. #26
    Senior Member jim3860's Avatar
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    Thumbs up PREAMP

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Widget
    Yes. Well actually there are good 2 channel units from the 90's and even today, but be prepared to pay a bit more for them.

    Such an animal exists... we have discussed this on more than one occasion, but I don't think there is such a beast that has an analog section that is as good as the better vintage gear for less than several thousand bucks...


    Widget
    Well You have me convinced. I think I will go for the GFP-750 and use it for all my 2 channel stuff. It has balanced ins and outs and i think it will compliment the afore mentioned Altec nicely. It was a 3k amp back in 1975. It deserves a quality preamp Now for a cd player with balanced xlr outputs. I seen a esoteric brand cd player recently with those, Any thoughts on that brand good or bad? THANKS A LOT JIM

  12. #27
    Member jblfreeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim3860
    ...Now for a cd player with balanced xlr outputs. I seen a esoteric brand cd player recently with those, Any thoughts on that brand good or bad? THANKS A LOT JIM

    I am using Sony CDP-X777ES which has balanced XLR outputs...

    I must say it is very nice, built like a rock.

    So good that the new 24/192 Arcam had to go to living room.
    Sony stayed in my listening room as my everyday one.
    I am not saying Arcam is bad or anything, just that Sony is better imho.
    In fact Arcam was better than most players I've listened. Better than Azur 640C, Onkyo line, Marantz CD6000 KI, etc.

    And as a bonus, Sony matched my Technics better colorwise

  13. #28
    Senior Member louped garouv's Avatar
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    i don't understand everyone's 'obsession' with being balanced....


    i prefer unbalanced audio....



    can someone 'splain the process most gear uses to create the balanced signal... methinks that most use a transformer to invert the signal instead of having double the components....

  14. #29
    Senior Member jim3860's Avatar
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    Talking CD PLAYER

    Quote Originally Posted by jblfreeek
    I am using Sony CDP-X777ES which has balanced XLR outputs...

    I must say it is very nice, built like a rock.

    So good that the new 24/192 Arcam had to go to living room.
    Sony stayed in my listening room as my everyday one.
    I am not saying Arcam is bad or anything, just that Sony is better imho.
    In fact Arcam was better than most players I've listened. Better than Azur 640C, Onkyo line, Marantz CD6000 KI, etc.

    And as a bonus, Sony matched my Technics better colorwise
    Thanks i will look into that, A local shop sells Sony Products and they are liqudating, I might be able to steal one.

  15. #30
    Senior Member jim3860's Avatar
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    BALANCED

    Quote Originally Posted by louped garouv
    i don't understand everyone's 'obsession' with being balanced....


    i prefer unbalanced audio....



    can someone 'splain the process most gear uses to create the balanced signal... methinks that most use a transformer to invert the signal instead of having double the components....
    The reason I am looking for a preamp and cd player with balanced ins and outs is my amp has those connections. The Balanced xlrs usally have a higher sound to noise ratio. which in theory results in a cleaner sound. As to how it all works......... I dunno. Maybe a guru smarter than I will chime in.

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