Vintage Integrated Amplifier Saves the Day!

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Audioholic Overlord
70/80s' Japanese integrated amplifiers were built like a tank, conservative specs, only weakness coming to my mind was the phono preamp circuits, limited SNR and a higher noise floor. But many had MM & MC capability...

Just my $0.02... ;)
I had two Sony integrated amps (TA-4650 and TA-F6B) that had plenty of S/N ratio and when I started using moving coil cartridges, I had the 4650 but no MC preamp. I could still get a decent level from it. One of the reasons I went to the TA-F6B is that it did have MC capability and more power- never had a problem with noise with either of them.

I was working at a stereo shop that also carried Pioneer and even with it's 270W/channel rating, I couldn't get enough level from an SX-1980 with the same model of cartridge for it to be usable. That DID have a noisier phono section, too. The Pioneer integrated amps were good, but I don't remember them being as quiet as the Sony and not all had preamp out/power amp in, which I wanted. Didn't always need that, but it was something I did use on occasion
 
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Audioholic Overlord
Great article. Proves what I've known for about 5 years now...that vintage gear was "made to be repaired" which has resulted in it lasting for 50+ years. There are still a few of us around that know how to fix the old stuff - it's great fun and, having been inside nearly every make from the 60-70's, I can say that they are generally very well designed and will sound as good or better than most comparably priced modern gear.
Everything was "made t be repaired" at that time but the main thing is that the manufacturers have changed their model from being willing to providing service parts to only wanting to sell finished products. They no longer authorize and train service people all over the country, partially because people aren't learning to repair electronics in the numbers they once did. Also, printing and shipping service manuals would be prohibitively expensive now- they changed to CD-ROM in the '90s and once the internet was live, to web-based training, rather than people traveling to major cities where the manufacturers had some kind of headquarters or factory service center. In addition, the new equipment uses digital circuitry, which is completely different in how to diagnose and repair- some parts can't even be removed and re-used because the heat from the iron destroys them. Small parts are installed by machine far faster than humanly possible and so much of them are surface-mount that it's just not worth the time to replace individual components, so most repairs are board and module swaps.

One thing I liked in some brands of equipment was the way they used linen cord to wrap wire bundles, rather than plastic anchors or tie wraps- it was so orderly and neat.
 
N

Norton guy

Audiophyte
You might also want to check out Tech HI FI in Hanson for repairs he is currently blowing the cobwebs out of my vintage NAD 3080 amp. Mark is knowledgeable about old and new stuff and is a good guy to chat with. He's a new NAD dealer too.
 

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