The History of the Audio Receiver and Most Memorable Models

What is your favorite audio receiver brand of all time?

  • Denon

    Votes: 6 15.4%
  • Marantz

    Votes: 13 33.3%
  • McIntosh

    Votes: 1 2.6%
  • harman/kardon

    Votes: 2 5.1%
  • Onkyo

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Pioneer

    Votes: 8 20.5%
  • Rotel

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Sony

    Votes: 1 2.6%
  • Technics

    Votes: 1 2.6%
  • Yamaha

    Votes: 7 17.9%

  • Total voters
    39
davidscott

davidscott

Audioholic Ninja
I owned a NAD 7020E receiver once upon a time in the very early 80s. It replaced a Kenwood 40wpc integrated amp with Kenwood's entry level tuner. Everything was an upgrade but the power - the NAD's 20wpc could barely run my Polk 7bs at loud levels. Fixed the problem by purchasing a Kenwood basic M1 105wpc amp using the NAD as a preamp tuner. Worked great and I think the 7020 should be on this list due to its sound and versatility.
 
Phase 2

Phase 2

Audioholic Chief
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!
Analog magic!
 
M

MrBoat

Audioholic Samurai
I recently resurrected this old favorite. Especially now with all the available efficient speakers that make 45w a viable amount of headroom. This was originally coupled with a pair of pioneer HPM-60 speakers and this was a well used and cared for system until I put the speakers in the shed and a tree fell on it. The tree didn't hurt the speakers but the 24 hours of rain sure did.

Pioneer SX-780. This receiver has been in my closet for over 25 years. It is in line for a major overhaul and will be put back into use. I shelfed it due to dirty pots and just never got around to cleaning them until recently. There is a good mount of distortion overall, and early clipping from the left channel, but in it's day, this was not the case so I intend to find out where it's coming from and repair it. The service manuals for these units are quite complete.


Bought these pcb that replace the Darlington power packs as an upgrade, which is a NLA IC by Sanyo. Everything else available with that designation is suspect to counterfeit.


I voted Pioneer because they took a beating forever it seemed and sounded good doing it. It's what I started on and when I could not decide what else I wanted, I would just get another, yet more powerful version.
 
Txzick

Txzick

Audiophyte
Wow, great memories of Quad, Thx.
I sold Quad equipment for Olson Electronics (OH) while in college. I loved the Quad Reel to Reel decks, they sounded so good. R to R were the only true 4 chan source that didn't need to be synthesised. Yes, there was 8-track but hardly Hi Fi quality.
Marantz, Sansui, Technics were highly regarded. Olson sold a store brand Teledyne, don't remember if they made it or just branded it, but sounded good @ 60wpc, we sold quite a few. AR 3-way speakers, were big sellers with Teledyne Quad as system priced package.
 
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newriverrat

newriverrat

Audiophyte
A very poor picture of my H/K 430....man I loved that thing
SKM_368e19041519460.jpg

This is a much better pic from online
728230-harman_kardon_430_twin_transformer_receiver_recapped.jpg
 
J

JengaHit

Audioholic
My dad owned Pioneer, Sansui, and Marantz. Don't remember model numbers as I was just a kid back then, in the 70s. He then graduated to Kenwood integrateds. Got the audio bug from dad. Also remember my uncle's Yamaha receiver, used to drive Dahlquist speakers. Elegant and sleek.
 
Txzick

Txzick

Audiophyte
My dad owned Pioneer, Sansui, and Marantz. Don't remember model numbers as I was just a kid back then, in the 70s. He then graduated to Kenwood integrateds. Got the audio bug from dad. Also remember my uncle's Yamaha receiver, used to drive Dahlquist speakers. Elegant and sleek.
You grew-up listening to the golden age of stereo. All those brands made respectable equipment, Stereo is making a strong comeback. Surround sound is difficult to do correctly without room acoustic panels, too many speakers bouncing sound off the walls. Stereo is more forgiving for most people, by stopping the first reflection point.
 
J

JengaHit

Audioholic
You grew-up listening to the golden age of stereo. All those brands made respectable equipment, Stereo is making a strong comeback. Surround sound is difficult to do correctly without room acoustic panels, too many speakers bouncing sound off the walls. Stereo is more forgiving for most people, by stopping the first reflection point.
Yeah, I remember those components were solidly built, tank-like, and all manufactured in Japan. I'm still stuck in stereo myself with a 2.1 system. Resisting the extra effort needed to wire extra side and back speakers. Many typical rooms don't make it as easy as it looks in those speaker set-up diagrams.
 
T

tonyE

Enthusiast
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.
 
M

MrBoat

Audioholic Samurai
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.
 
T

tonyE

Enthusiast
....

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.
 
D

davidacookie

Audiophyte
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

1647814330465.png

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
 
O

onthebus

Audiophyte
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

View attachment 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
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

View attachment 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?
 
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