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howie1
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join:2003-04-08
Antarctica
kudos:4

4 edits

1 recommendation

The Good Old Days - Early '90's Pioneer Receiver

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VSX-D1S Rear Panel

Remote
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Top View

Front
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Marantz 2500 Stereo Receiver (1977)

Pioneer SX-1980
 

Pioneer SX-1980 - Cover Removed
 
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Kenwood KR-9600 Stereo Receiver (1977)
I just pulled my old Pioneer VSX-D1S receiver out of mothballs and I had forgotten just how many I/O jacks this thing actually had. At the time (1990-91), it was Pioneer's flagship receiver and I thought I'd share a few pics for those who are too young to remember the old, fairly heavy (33 lbs.) and quite large (16"D X 16.5"W X 6.5"H) Japanese-built stereo receivers of days gone by.

Before this, I used a Kenwood KR-9600 (1977). That was even bigger and heavier, weighing in at 53 lbs. It had 2 huge rack-mount type handles on the front panel to facilitate lifting and moving it (see above). If I recall, Pioneer also made one at that time that was just as big and heavy.

[EDIT] After a little research, I found the Pioneer SX-1980. This had to be the heaviest consumer stereo receiver ever made (see pics above). This behemoth weighed in at a whopping 78 pounds!

The Marantz receivers of the same time period were also a desirable aquisition. The Model 2600 stereo receiver, which sold for $1600 in 1977, can fetch up to $4000 today.


jmacd27
Premium
join:2001-05-13
Toronto, ON

1 edit

1 recommendation

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Aiwa Tape deck
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FM tuner

Speakers
 
I was just back home up in Toronto a couple weeks ago and I left all my old stereo stuff at my cousins when I moved to Florida 5 years ago.

My cousin has my old 1988 Denon PMA 1520 Integrated Amp at his house and is using it to drive a pair of Infinity speakers. I bought it along with the matching Denon DCD 1520 CD player, they could be hooked up with a optical cable. At the time it was one of the only Amps the had optical/digital inputs.

He also has my old Magnum Dynalab tuner and a Aiwa dbx Tape deck and a set of Celestion speakers. I think the stuff all cost in total about $6000-$8000 back in the late 80's.

I am still torn about selling the stuff, I know I'll probably never use most of it again but I like to hope I'll find a use for it some day. Maybe for my 1 year old son to use in his room in 10 years from now lol.


howie1
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join:2003-04-08
Antarctica
kudos:4

2 edits

Adcom GFA-555II
Yeah, Denon made some really nice stuff. That is some setup!

BTW, I used my Pioneer VSX-D1S's pre-outs to feed 2 Adcom GFA-555II power amps, each bridged to 600W mono. I recently sold them for $300 each (were $750/ea brand new). They powered my 901 Series VI's to earth shattering levels. LOL
--
N.Y. Giants - Super Bowl XLII Champions


jmacd27
Premium
join:2001-05-13
Toronto, ON

1 recommendation

I still think the older stuff was made better. I have a Denon AVR 3808CI I use for my home theatre, it has 7 channels @ 130 watts, my old Denon 2 chanel integrated amp above was 120 watts per channel. Both of these amp weigh about the same at 35 pounds. I would think that the new AVR with all the additional amps and circuitry should weigh more.

My old Denon CD player and Aiwa Tape deck both weighed about 15 pounds each. Current CD players don't weigh more than a few pounds.


howie1
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join:2003-04-08
Antarctica
kudos:4

2 edits
reply to howie1
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I temporarily hooked up the old Pioneer and my original Sony D5 portable CD player (the world's first) and it sounds as good as the day I bought it (listening to Supertramp's "Breakfast in America"). I'm gonna start using this stuff again.
--
N.Y. Giants - Super Bowl XLII Champions

gallowsroad

join:2004-08-09
Jenks, OK
reply to howie1
Do you know what "GFA" stood for when Adcom released its first amplifier?


howie1
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join:2003-04-08
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1 recommendation

said by gallowsroad:

Do you know what "GFA" stood for when Adcom released its first amplifier?
Good F**king Amplifier? LOL
I know they originally were made and located here in East Brunswick, New Jersey but think they moved to CA at some point.
--
N.Y. Giants - Super Bowl XLII Champions

gallowsroad

join:2004-08-09
Jenks, OK

1 recommendation

said by howie1:

said by gallowsroad:

Do you know what "GFA" stood for when Adcom released its first amplifier?
Good F**king Amplifier? LOL
I know they originally were made and located here in East Brunswick, New Jersey but think they moved to CA at some point.
Great F**king Amp, to be precise. The GF prefix wound up on most if not all of their components. My old boss in a hifi service/sales (total repair genius - those pics of the old receivers I know intimately take me back, having cleaned many of them up for resale) shop knew one of the early Adcom guys, and loved to remind us what the letters meant.

It created a bit of a problem, as I'd be talking to someone about an Adcom piece for sale and say something like "it's a really great fuh...er, amp!"

One of our techs went to work for them while they were still in Jersey but eventually left, not happy with the work environment. He never elaborated on what he meant by that.

I always admired them for swimming against the tide of black in audio gear and offering their components with white face plates (been many years since they did that).
--
Ha ha haaaaaaa....ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

- John Lydon, last Sex Pistols show


howie1
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join:2003-04-08
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Thanks for the interesting story!
You jogged my memory a bit and you're absolutely correct in that they were offered in white as well as black. Adcom also had a fan option where the cover could be replaced with an air-cooled version. I kept mine in a cabinet (smoked glass front) and aided ventilation with a couple of fans I installed myself in the top rear of the cabinet. The rear heat sinks were huge and the thermal overload protection never kicked in in the dozen or so years that I owned them.
--
N.Y. Giants - Super Bowl XLII Champions


drjim
Premium,MVM
join:2000-06-13
Long Beach, CA
kudos:3

1 recommendation

reply to howie1
An SX-1980!!!
I'm STILL kicking myself in the behind for selling mine!
Really a wonderful piece of gear.....
--
One man's Magic is another man's Engineering.


howie1
Premium
join:2003-04-08
Antarctica
kudos:4

1 edit
reply to howie1

Sony D5 Portable CD and Discman D35
Here are 2 more audio goodies from 1984 and 1990. The one on the left is a Sony D5 portable CD player (1984) and as far as I know was the first portable CD. At the time, I also purchased the hard case/battery pack (EBP-9LC). It holds either 6 regular alkaline C cells or 6 rechargeable C cells, which can be charged using the regular 9V DC adapter, included with the D5. The other is a Discman D35 from 1990 (all metal) and as you can see, has a few more features than it's older brother. It used a built-in rechargeable battery pack and/or a snap-on battery holder (attached at the rear of the unit) which holds 2 AA cells.
--
N.Y. Giants - Super Bowl XLII Champions


howie1
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reply to drjim
said by drjim:

An SX-1980!!!
I'm STILL kicking myself in the behind for selling mine!
Really a wonderful piece of gear.....
Man, you should've held on to that one! It was a beauty...
--
N.Y. Giants - Super Bowl XLII Champions


drjim
Premium,MVM
join:2000-06-13
Long Beach, CA
kudos:3
Yeah, and to replace it would cost me about $2k!
I've been looking into getting an SX-1280 as they seem to go for more what I'm willing to spend.
--
One man's Magic is another man's Engineering.


howie1
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join:2003-04-08
Antarctica
kudos:4

3 edits
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Pioneer SX-1980 (1978)
said by drjim:

Yeah, and to replace it would cost me about $2k!
I've been looking into getting an SX-1280 as they seem to go for more what I'm willing to spend.
I'll keep my eyes open for you too... I love the old stuff.

[EDIT] Here's a review of the SX-1980:

"The Pioneer SX-1980 is quite possibly the most beautiful looking receiver ever made. At
270wpc, its more than a receiver, its an assault weapon! I had it hooked up to a pair of
Bose 901 series IV because they're just about the only speakers that wont burst onto flames
when you crank up the 1980. If you listen to classical music, dont bother reading this. The
SET and tube lovers should surf elsewhere. But if you love hard rock, at rock concert
decibles, and dont mind cops knocking at your door, snag one of these monsters off ebay! If
the price is too steep for you, you cant go wrong with the SX-1280 or SX-1250 at 160wpc. My
1980 died around 1995. While I now own McIntosh equipment, I still bought an SX-850 on ebay
simply for it's looks.

Product Weakness: Will cause small speakers and lab rats to explode!
Cops will know you on a first name basis.
Product Strengths: Ultimate hard rock machine."


»www.audioasylum.com/cgi/m.mpl?fo ··· review=1

--
N.Y. Giants - Super Bowl XLII Champions


breadman
Premium
join:2001-01-30
00001

1 recommendation

reply to howie1
My dad picked up a Pioneer SX-1250 a few years ago and it was collecting dust till he picked up some Cerwin Vega 15" monster speakers off craigslist recently.. that combo will rattle his house and his neighbors house. Its amazing how old quality electronics sound.


drjim
Premium,MVM
join:2000-06-13
Long Beach, CA
kudos:3
reply to howie1
My favorite site for Big Iron:
»www.silverpioneer.netfirms.com/
--
One man's Magic is another man's Engineering.


howie1
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join:2003-04-08
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4 edits
reply to howie1
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Here's another:
»www.electricalhobby.com/monsterr ··· versite/

[EDIT] There's my Kenwood KR-9600... the third from the top. It looks like someone removed the big handles (they used allen head screws). I still have this monster but the output transistors are blown.

I'm gonna drag out this bad boy and post a pic.
--
N.Y. Giants - Super Bowl XLII Champions


drjim
Premium,MVM
join:2000-06-13
Long Beach, CA
kudos:3
If it's only the output stage it should be repairable.
FET's or Bipolar?
--
One man's Magic is another man's Engineering.


howie1
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join:2003-04-08
Antarctica
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said by drjim:

If it's only the output stage it should be repairable.
FET's or Bipolar?
Not sure... I'm gonna fork lift it out of storage and look.
--
N.Y. Giants - Super Bowl XLII Champions

gallowsroad

join:2004-08-09
Jenks, OK

1 recommendation

said by howie1:

Not sure... I'm gonna fork lift it out of storage and look.
You're not kidding about the fork lift. All of those 70's era Japanese receivers are stupidly heavy. For a while I was the guy who sold our used gear on the Web, back in the late 1990's/early 2000's, and getting one of those safely shipped across the country is no small task (we did all our own packing for shipment). Transistors are still available for most of those old receivers, if you are interested in getting it working again.

It's too bad that FM radio programming in so many places is so lousy - those same companies made many outstanding tuners that not only worked well, but looked very cool. (No disrespect intended to the Magnum Dynalab posted further up the thread - doesn't get any better than that these days).

For a while all of this older gear was quite inexpensive, until about 1998 or so, when the market for that era of big receivers really made a come back and they were suddenly selling for thousands via audio web sites (like Audiogon) and Ebay.

My past audio addiction (affliction?) included literally hundreds of pieces of gear over the years, though I've settled down to a very modest 2 channel system these days.
--
Ha ha haaaaaaa....ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

- John Lydon, last Sex Pistols show


howie1
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join:2003-04-08
Antarctica
kudos:4

4 edits

1 recommendation

reply to howie1
Click for full size
Kenwood KR-9600 (1977)
Here it is... (shown with handles, which come in quite handy when moving this 53 lb. monster). There are about 50 screws holding the top on so I'll locate the manual to see what type of output devices it used.

It seems they're still quite popular. This guy supposedly sold the three he had (in good working order, I assume) for close to $600.
»www.randallareed.com/Kenwood_KR_ ··· 9600.htm
--
N.Y. Giants - Super Bowl XLII Champions


jmacd27
Premium
join:2001-05-13
Toronto, ON

1 recommendation

reply to howie1
Click for full size
said by howie1:

Here are 2 more audio goodies from 1984 and 1990. The one on the left is a Sony D5 portable CD player (1984) and as far as I know was the first portable CD. At the time, I also purchased the hard case/battery pack (EBP-9LC). It holds either 6 regular alkaline C cells or 6 rechargeable C cells, which can be charged using the regular 9V DC adapter, included with the D5. The other is a Discman D35 from 1990 (all metal) and as you can see, has a few more features than it's older brother. It used a built-in rechargeable battery pack and/or a snap-on battery holder (attached at the rear of the unit) which holds 2 AA cells.
I had a couple of portable cd players as well. My first was the D-25, I wore that one out and then bought the same one as you, the D-35. I then bought a Mini Disk player, the MZ-R2.


howie1
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join:2003-04-08
Antarctica
kudos:4

4 edits

Pre-Out/Main-In Links
said by jmacd27:

said by howie1:

Here are 2 more audio goodies from 1984 and 1990. The one on the left is a Sony D5 portable CD player (1984) and as far as I know was the first portable CD. At the time, I also purchased the hard case/battery pack (EBP-9LC). It holds either 6 regular alkaline C cells or 6 rechargeable C cells, which can be charged using the regular 9V DC adapter, included with the D5. The other is a Discman D35 from 1990 (all metal) and as you can see, has a few more features than it's older brother. It used a built-in rechargeable battery pack and/or a snap-on battery holder (attached at the rear of the unit) which holds 2 AA cells.
I had a couple of portable cd players as well. My first was the D-25, I wore that one out and then bought the same one as you, the D-35. I then bought a Mini Disk player, the MZ-R2.
Nice... I always wanted a MD player but just never got around to buying one.

Just an update on the KR-9600. I had given this to my brother about 2 years ago and he told me that there was no output... He asked if I wanted it back and I said yes, thinking at some point, I'd get the output transistors replaced. I was just checking out the rear panel and it seems I had removed the pre-out/main-in links at some point (see above) so I'm guessing that's why it didn't work for him. Tomorrow, I'll link 'em up and try it (and keep it, of course). LOL!

[EDIT] That was it...
A few of the switches/controls need an internal cleaning (contact cleaner) but otherwise, this thing sounds fantastic! I had forgotten how good these '70s high-power receivers can sound.

They even have forums discussing these things:
»www.audiokarma.org/forums/showth ··· t=100508
and I learned that "Deoxit" is the best thing to use on those switches/controls.
--
N.Y. Giants - Super Bowl XLII Champions


royphil345
Premium
join:2004-12-10
Lakewood, OH
kudos:3

4 edits

2 recommendations

reply to howie1
My 380 WPC Carver A-760X and some vinyl does it for me... The computer has a nice M-Audio sound card and is controlled by a long-range RF wireless mini-keyboard. It's on a network and can stream audio or video files from this computer. It also works as a TIVO-like DVR using SAGEtv software and comes in handy for converting vinyl to car CDs or mp3s.

Deoxit is actually better for connectors. A contact cleaner / lubricant or TV tuner cleaner (Radio Shack still sells it) is better for switches and particularly pots. It will help keep them from wearing and protect the contacts from air... It will take them much longer to oxidize and get "scratchy" again. Just make sure whatever you buy says it's safe for plastics. There are some contact cleaners out there that aren't.

I wouldn't push these old units too hard. They're definitely old enough to probably require a good going over to get them performing to spec. Electronics, particularly electrolytic capacitors can start to drift out of spec after only 10 years or so. With the parts count on some of those old receivers, you'd have to find a dedicated tech. Probably someone who specializes in restoring the '70s stuff.

gallowsroad

join:2004-08-09
Jenks, OK

1 recommendation

said by royphil345:

I wouldn't push these old units too hard. They're definitely old enough to probably require a good going over to get them performing to spec. Electronics, particularly electrolytic capacitors can start to drift out of spec after only 10 years or so. With the parts count on some of those old receivers, you'd have to find a dedicated tech. Probably someone who specializes in restoring the '70s stuff.
This is excellent advice. An old unit that has been languishing in an attic or basement (or even kept in climate controlled storage in its original packaging) may appear to work flawlessly once you put it back into rotation, but issues such as those outlined above can offer nasty surprises.

An old receiver can suddenly croak because of a cap popping off or cracked solder joints, etc., and can conceivably take other gear, especially speakers, down with it when it goes. Anyone planning on returning one of these monsters to regular use should have it checked out by a tech who is familiar with this gear.
--
Ha ha haaaaaaa....ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

- John Lydon, last Sex Pistols show


drjim
Premium,MVM
join:2000-06-13
Long Beach, CA
kudos:3
Probably safe to bring it up slowly with a variac if you have one big enough. I've done that a lot of times with old gear that's been sitting for years.
--
One man's Magic is another man's Engineering.


EliteData
EliteData
Premium
join:2003-07-06
Long Island,
kudos:7

1 recommendation

reply to howie1
thanks forthe pics eveyrone.
those are some serious units.
they certainly do not make them like that anymore.


Ctrl Alt Del
Premium
join:2002-02-18
kudos:1
reply to howie1
Click for full size
How about some classic speakers.

Magnepan Tympani 1D (big whites) and RTR Electrostatics (small blacks).
--
less talk, more music


EliteData
EliteData
Premium
join:2003-07-06
Long Island,
kudos:7
said by Ctrl Alt Del:

How about some classic speakers.

Magnepan Tympani 1D (big whites) and RTR Electrostatics (small blacks).
and the console tv thats no longer made.

gallowsroad

join:2004-08-09
Jenks, OK
reply to Ctrl Alt Del
said by Ctrl Alt Del:

How about some classic speakers.

Magnepan Tympani 1D
I've rebuilt many old Maggies.

It's a challenge, to say the least.
--
Ha ha haaaaaaa....ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

- John Lydon, last Sex Pistols show