Vintage or budget new?

N

noob0804

Enthusiast
Hello all -
I'm trying to put together a 2.0 system for my home office on a tight budget. It just happened that my aunt recently passed and she had a pristine, never moved from its shelf, Akai AA-1150 black receiver, purchased new in 1980, that I could get for free from my cousins. It was an upper mid level receiver in the Akai lineup back then. The other route is going for a budget stereo receiver, such as the Yamaha R-202BL, which has very good reviews as an entry level receiver for less than $200USD tax included. Any opinions? Thanks!
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
If the Akai works well I'd at least start with it....free is hard to beat, especially on a tight budget. The Yamaha has a bit more amp power, but will that be important for your home office? Any features on the Yamaha you would like over what the Akai offers? What speakers are you using?
 
croseiv

croseiv

Audioholic Samurai
I would definitely give the Akai a listen. Pristine is great. Give it a good test! The Yamaha is also decent! But if the Akai works, then it would be a great addition to your set up.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Seriously, I have no life.
Hello all -
I'm trying to put together a 2.0 system for my home office on a tight budget. It just happened that my aunt recently passed and she had a pristine, never moved from its shelf, Akai AA-1150 black receiver, purchased new in 1980, that I could get for free from my cousins. It was an upper mid level receiver in the Akai lineup back then. The other route is going for a budget stereo receiver, such as the Yamaha R-202BL, which has very good reviews as an entry level receiver for less than $200USD tax included. Any opinions? Thanks!
Given that intended purpose, I would go for the Akai. Those older receivers can be good performers for situations like yours.
 
K

Kleinst

Senior Audioholic
I agree. I think looking for older higher end receivers are great candidates for office audio setups becuase you likley won't need video at all and if at all perhaps just for setup. So no HDMI is absolutely needed, no 4k, etc. And sometimes you can get those at bargain prices. In your case, FREE seems like a great price.
 
j_garcia

j_garcia

Audioholic Jedi
I found in simpler systems, picking up or using a good condition older receiver often is the best choice also.
 
N

noob0804

Enthusiast
Thank you all for your comments. That's pretty much the opinion I was hoping for. I really like the Akai brand, I think it's underrated in America. It's a shame that it went belly up. My dad had the little brother of the receiver in question (AA-1125) and it sounded really nice and quite loud in his studio with 25w per channel. 50w will be more than enough for me.
Some additional info that may or may not be of interest:
- My office is about 12'x14' and I can't place the speakers in any corner for architectural reasons. Also, there's no possibility of adding a subwoofer. It's gotta be a 2.0.
- The sources I'm going to use are an Oppo dv-980hd universal (except bluray) player that I bought new about 15 years ago - recently serviced by the manufacturer; and a WiiM Pro streamer wired with ethernet cable. I'll also probably connect an Echo Dot in case I want to play music around the house. The receiver of course has a phono input, but I'm not a vinyl guy.
- I think I'm going to get the Dayton MK442T speakers.
- If I ever need to use Bluetooth with this receiver I'll buy a $25 BT receiver, but I don't anticipate it.
- The speakers are going to be about 4' away from the receiver, so generic 16 gauge cable will work just fine.

The only downside to this receiver (for my needs) is the lack of a remote. I'll have to live with it.

I have one more question. I have a few DVD-As, if I want to play them with the Oppo, am I going to need a monitor to see the menus? It used to be connected to a TV. I'd rather not have a monitor with this setup.
 
croseiv

croseiv

Audioholic Samurai
Thank you all for your comments. That's pretty much the opinion I was hoping for. I really like the Akai brand, I think it's underrated in America. It's a shame that it went belly up. My dad had the little brother of the receiver in question (AA-1125) and it sounded really nice and quite loud in his studio with 25w per channel. 50w will be more than enough for me.
Some additional info that may or may not be of interest:
- My office is about 12'x14' and I can't place the speakers in any corner for architectural reasons. Also, there's no possibility of adding a subwoofer. It's gotta be a 2.0.
- The sources I'm going to use are an Oppo dv-980hd universal (except bluray) player that I bought new about 15 years ago - recently serviced by the manufacturer; and a WiiM Pro streamer wired with ethernet cable. I'll also probably connect an Echo Dot in case I want to play music around the house. The receiver of course has a phono input, but I'm not a vinyl guy.
- I think I'm going to get the Dayton MK442T speakers.
- If I ever need to use Bluetooth with this receiver I'll buy a $25 BT receiver, but I don't anticipate it.
- The speakers are going to be about 4' away from the receiver, so generic 16 gauge cable will work just fine.

The only downside to this receiver (for my needs) is the lack of a remote. I'll have to live with it.

I have one more question. I have a few DVD-As, if I want to play them with the Oppo, am I going to need a monitor to see the menus? It used to be connected to a TV. I'd rather not have a monitor with this setup.
Do some research. DVD-A with vintage receivers. Google it.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
I have a newer Oppo and you'd need a monitor to do menu selections on mine....not sure about the older ones. You could slip a disc in and see what the front panel allows or not....

Why those particular speakers?
 
ben_

ben_

Junior Audioholic
I really like the Akai brand, I think it's underrated in America. It's a shame that it went belly up.
Just to be clear, Akai didn't go belly up, they just don't make home audio equipment anymore. They're one of the oldest and most respected names in samplers and keyboards.
 
N

noob0804

Enthusiast
Why those particular speakers?
Good question. Here are a few reasons:
1. Audioholics budget speaker of 2019
2. I'm intrigued by the transmission line design
3. I like the small footprint
4. I own the bookshelf version and I like them, I use them with a sub in my basement

I welcome suggestions as long as the price is within range. Thanks!
 
N

noob0804

Enthusiast
Just to be clear, Akai didn't go belly up, they just don't make home audio equipment anymore. They're one of the oldest and most respected names in samplers and keyboards.
Correct, but a little further information. Akai (A/V), and Akai Professional (samplers, etc.) became 2 different companies owned by different umbrellas 20 or more years ago. Like other well known brands down on their luck, they are using the name to market different kinds of consumer electronics and appliances - that have nothing to do with the products AKAI became known for - in other regions. I should have said that just the HiFi business folded. I remember seeing AKAI flat screen TVs at Costco in the early 2000s.
 
Last edited:
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Good question. Here are a few reasons:
1. Audioholics budget speaker of 2019
2. I'm intrigued by the transmission line design
3. I like the small footprint
4. I own the bookshelf version and I like them, I use them with a sub in my basement

I welcome suggestions as long as the price is within range. Thanks!
I actually had missed the T the first time around, those do look interesting. Drop this here since I went and looked it up https://www.audioholics.com/tower-speaker-reviews/dayton-mk442t
 
N

noob0804

Enthusiast
I finally decided on the Yamaha. Getting the Akai home was too much of a hassle, I hope it ends up in good hands. I also just took delivery this morning of the aforementioned speakers. All in all this entry level system is the best I've ever had and I'm already very extremely happy with the setup. Next step is some room acoustic treatments with good WAF (she's an interior designer, so it's going to be tough ;)). I got the Yamaha on sale for $150, the WiiM pro on sale for $119, the speakers at the regular price of $220, and the Oppo I bought new ages ago... $535.78 with taxes... Thanks to all for your advice!
 
ski2xblack

ski2xblack

Audioholic Field Marshall
Room treatment probably isn't necessary. You're not trying to set up a production facility, after all. A normallly furnished room with a typical amount of domestic clutter is usually a quite decent acoustic environment. And "clutter" can be everything from bookshelves or artwork for walls, furniture, curtains/window coverings, even houseplants. As long as your wife's sensibilities aren't too spartan it will probably be fine.
 
M

MrBoat

Audioholic Ninja
"Vintage" is an odd term with the rate at which things become obsolete these days. A 10 year old preowned receiver can sell for less than budget prices and still be better (and cheaper) than vintage, just for not having fouled analog controls to deal with and to have been born in a time were measuring methods at which they're rated at are likely more thorough and accurate.

It's also possible to get audiophile quality sound from some current budget electronics and speakers, too. Budget stuff now is certainly better (sounding, at least) than the same economic class of budget stuff 30-40 years ago.

After messing with both vintage and modern electronics simultaneously in recent years, I've come to lose interest in the now overpriced collectors item realm of vintage equipment. I just quietly buy the mid class/flagships of 10-20 years ago for what amounts to remarkable value/performance ratios comparatively and often cheaper than newer, lesser quality budget offerings.

I consider the speakers the legacy component of my system that I will keep the longest. What I power them with, not so much.

When thinking of budget speakers, I look on local sales outlets for used first. I can usually find something I would want to keep longer and that will perform better than current budget models for not much more money, or perhaps even less.
 

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