The History of the Audio Receiver and Most Memorable Models

What is your favorite audio receiver brand of all time?

  • Denon

    Votes: 5 14.7%
  • Marantz

    Votes: 12 35.3%
  • McIntosh

    Votes: 1 2.9%
  • harman/kardon

    Votes: 2 5.9%
  • Onkyo

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Pioneer

    Votes: 7 20.6%
  • Rotel

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Sony

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Technics

    Votes: 1 2.9%
  • Yamaha

    Votes: 6 17.6%

  • Total voters
    34
K

Karen Molinares

Audioholics Social Media Coordinator
Ratings
13
#1


In this editorial we examine 10 of the most memorable audio receivers from the last 50 years. We cover everything from vintage two-channel to the more recent multi-channel surround AV receivers.

We discuss the evolution from tubes to transistors, power ratings and the FTC, social, economic, and demographic changes that have occurred in America since the 1960’s and how this has impacted the receiver market. Our listing doesn’t necessarily reflect the “best” of the best but there is no arguing these selections certainly left a lasting impression.

Read: History of the Audio Receiver and Most Memorable Models

We look forward to hearing your comments and alternatives that you feel should have been included.

Please vote for your favorite receiver brand in our poll too.
 
H

Hobbit

Full Audioholic
Ratings
132
#2
Ohhh gosh, I had one of those Marantz receivers back in the 70.... The thumb tuning knob rocked!
 
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Alex2507

Alex2507

Audioholic Slumlord
Ratings
9,807 70 8
#3
My introduction to rec'rs was pretty H/K-centric. That didn't stop me from enjoying the article one bit and I'll end up going back to it to better fill out my understanding.

I think I had one of the Pioneers. Maybe a 626? That was before things got out of hand. I think I sold it for 100 bucks worth of meat. It currently handles background music duty in a butcher shop. Rock solid FM tuner on that thing. I have to check old posts or go buy some meat to verify the model.

I'm currently using a couple of Yammies and but yearn for one particular Denon that's still a little to expensive for me. So even though I haven't owned a Denon, they still get the vote.

Those B&K rec'rs though ... :)
 
BoredSysAdmin

BoredSysAdmin

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
5,878 22 38
#4
Unlike 10 random speakers list, this article is a great read and I enjoyed reading it. Thank you
 
B

BWguy

Junior Audioholic
Ratings
2
#5
I also really enjoyed the article. I had a Pioneer 727 in high school and loved that unit. That was my initial entry to stereo. As Alex 2507 mentioned, it had a great tuner. I think it is now packed somewhere in my brothers basement. I am going to have to have him dig that out and Fire it back up.
 
walter duque

walter duque

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
868 2
#6
I would have to say my Marantz 4400 with Dual 701 TT. Purchased in 74 or 75 in Iwakuni Japan for $650.00. It was rated as the worlds most powerful receiver. I think it was 125 watts X2




First component system (sony) early 70's, had 2 power amps with that one. Still in use today.

 
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highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
3,291 9 15
#7
I started with a Pioneer SX-525 and when I took it to a local store for their McIntosh amplifier clinic, the graph showed that it was capable of 13 ground-pounding Watts at 1%. Kinda deflated my ego. really good tuner, though. Right after I started working for a stereo store, I bought a Sony TA-4650 integrated amp and used the Pioneer for its tuner. Much better and, even though it was rated at 30 W/ch, all of the magazine tests put the actual output at 56W/ch under the FTC test conditions.

FF to last Summer- I was doing a pre-wire and the guy had someone from BB's Geek Squad come over to consult about the equipment. She didn't state average power per channel, peak, RMS, one channel driven or anything sensible like that, she stated the power from ALL channels, added together. She told him it "had" 1250 Watts, or some such BS. I called her on that and she didn't like it, at all. I don't care. When he walked away, I said "You know 1250W is more than one and a half Horsepower, right?". Looked at me like a dog watching TV.
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Warlord
Ratings
5,432 22 9
#8
Fun read!

I can't fault your selection, but at the same time would have liked to see mention of:

Harman Kardon (I coveted the 930:)). They had exceptional square wave response for the day until you got into high dollar separates (better than lower-level Marantz separates for instance).


Heathkit. My dad had built his Heathkit system and I can't begin to count the hours I spent looking over their catalog.


Quad. How could you not show some of the scopes and funky joysticks!:cool:

Pioneer QX-747



Marantz 4400:




JVC 4VR-5406 w/Joystick:

I never had or heard quad sound outside of the audio store, but it sure was fun to watch the implementations!
 
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Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
5,163 11 6
#9
Thanks for that entertaining and well written account of stereo receivers.

My first receiver was a Marantz 2230, bought in 1973. It delivered an honest 30 wpc. I still have it now, although, I use the preamp and tuner parts, and added an external amp.
 
walter duque

walter duque

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
868 2
#10
Fun read!

I can't fault your selection, but at the same time would have liked to see mention of:

Harman Kardon (I coveted the 930:)). They had exceptional square wave response for the day until you got into high dollar separates (better than lower-level Marantz separates for instance).


Heathkit. My dad had built his Heathkit system and I can't begin to count the hours I spent looking over their catalog.


Quad. How could you not show some of the scopes and funky joysticks!:cool:

Pioneer QX-747



Marantz 4400:




JVC 4VR-5406 w/Joystick:

I never had or heard quad sound outside of the audio store, but it sure was fun to watch the implementations!
I have never seen a Marantz 4400 with a black faceplate. I still have the quad module in a box somewhere. At the end of "call me the breeze" the O-scope made an infinity symbol.
 
Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
2,975 10 12
#11
I had a Marantz 2270 that I purchased new in 1970-something. Damn, that thing was beautiful. I liked the horizontal tuning wheel too. When I bought it I over-spent on the 2270 and was using inexpensive speakers, I think Dynacos... I really can't remember... and the combination worked fine. The speakers gave out before the 2270 did. Later, when I switched to ADS speakers, because Jack Renner of Telarc used them to monitor his recordings, the Marantz wasn't up to the task. The 2270 had a measured weakness into 4 ohm loads. The Adcom pre-amp/GFA-545 combination I bought sounded *a lot* better into the ADS speakers, and I sold the 2270. I'm sorry I did; the 2270 would make a nice conversation piece now. I noticed a bar in Portland had one in their vintage sound system, and people occasionally looked at it and pointed.

My brother, always one to one-up me, bought the Marantz 2500. Even though a receiver that huge, hot, and heavy is arguably dumb, it was a tour de force in its day. I wonder if he still has that thing tucked away somewhere...

Hidden in a closet in my house, in a factory box, is my old Marantz 2110 tuner. I don't listen to FM anymore, except for NPR in a car, but I couldn't bring myself to sell the 2110; it's too sexy for words with that all that metal and that oscilloscope staring at you.

The other sexy thing I sold that I now regret was my absolutely mint Crown CX822 7.5/15 tape deck. When 3M stopped making 456 tape I gave in to a friend who wanted it. That deck was cool. I even had a factory walnut case. Sigh.
 
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P

PlatinumEars

Audiophyte
Ratings
6
#12
Sansui G-22000 - still in service since 1981 with upgraded power cord to 3 prong hospital grade....that's it. It still is more involving than anything I've heard from current amps under $30K. Tuner pre-amp on top, amplifier section on bottom, but can be coupled into one integrated unit. 220 Wpc 8 ohms 0.009% THD & IMD 5-20,000 Hz.
Sansui G22000 Receiver.jpg
Sansui.JPG
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Warlord
Ratings
5,432 22 9
#13
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Warlord
Ratings
5,432 22 9
#14
Hidden in a closet in my house, in a factory box, is my old Marantz 2110 tuner. I don't listen to FM anymore, except in for NPR in a car, but I couldn't bring myself to sell the 2110; it's too sexy for words with that all that metal and that oscilloscope staring at you.
C'mon man, it was an era of audio gear eye-candy. Don't make a statement like that without pics!
 
walter duque

walter duque

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
868 2
#15
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
3,291 9 15
#16
I have an old Kenwood KR-3130 receiver in my basement workshop, with a pair of JBL L18. It's not bad, but when I connected my Sony TA-F6B integrated amp, the speakers really came to life. The Kenwood is pretty dark-sounding, but it's useful- good tuner, enough power for use in a small place and I mounted a patch panel at the back of the bench for speaker binding posts, Tape Play/Record and Pre Out/Power amp in. I have done absolutely nothing to it to keep it working and I bought it used over 15 years ago. It has a mono line out jack, too- the manual states that it can be used when the speakers are places extremely far apart. I also have late-'70s Sony STR-5800 receiver in my garage, which has been outside since I found it (literally) at the trash cans next door to my parent's house. When I plugged it in, it was "Lights on, nobody's home", so I had a rectifier replaced and it's still working. I liked these when they were new and I was working at a stereo store and I've had it for over ten years.
 
Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
2,975 10 12
#17
C'mon man, it was an era of audio gear eye-candy. Don't make a statement like that without pics!

Thanks for the pic. I'm waiting for TLS Guy to tell us about the Quad FM Tuner now. They'll be 27 8x10 color photographs with circles and arrows...

:)
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
5,163 11 6
#18
I'm waiting for TLS Guy to tell us about the Quad FM Tuner now. They'll be 27 8x10 color photographs with circles and arrows...:)
But it will only work on British FM broadcasts.

If I remember correctly, in Europe, the FM radio stations broadcast on frequencies with even numbered decimals, as in 88.0, 88.2, 88.4, etc. I assume the UK was the same.

In North America we use the odd freqs: 88.1, 88.3, 88.5, etc. If you had a tuner with a manually turned knob or thumb wheel, it didn't matter where you were, but if you had the digitally tuned kind, you were up the creek.
 
J

John Sully

Audiophyte
Ratings
4
#19
I skipped the receiver stuff until the mid 80's. My first system was Dynaco, a PAS-3X, Stereo 120 and FM-3. Upgraded to a Hafler DH-101 and two bridged Stereo 410's, FM-5 for radio. Hey, I liked power.

First receiver was an NAD 7240PE, bought when I moved into a place too small for the big boy system.
 
Robert Jahnke

Robert Jahnke

Audiophyte
Ratings
1
#20
No Sherwood?

My first receiver was th Sherwood S-7100 which I bought in '71 along with AR 6's. I was in HS at th time and if only those fabulous components could talk... That receiver later became THE biggest selling receiver of all time! Also, at th time Sherwood's S-7900 (60w/ch) was at th top of Consumer's Union's list of receivers for a few years running. I'm new to this Page, but I absolutely think Sherwood deserves th same respect given to all th other brands mentioned here.
 

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