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Sometimes, the old ways are the best

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Sometimes, the old ways are the best

Old 01-30-11, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by DavidW56
... The old receiver in the attic is indeed a Pioneer with a brushed aluminum face, milled knobs, wood veneer, and beefy toggles. It was my late brother's before me. He gave it to me a few years before he died in 1981, so it is definitely a '70's product. I think the model is something like AA1010. He bought a better unit to replace it. Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure we sold the better one at a yard sale many years ago.
Pioneer's SX-1000 series ran from 1973 to 1979, so if it is a SX-1010 it is definitely 70's unit. I believe the "silver-on-silver" (or Silver Series) started in the latter half of that decade, so if it has a blacked out face it is probably earlier rather than later 70's. Also, it is a 110W/ch receiver and one of the 1st of the Big Boys that started the amplifier "power wars" of that time. These receivers are very well regarded.

Your brother left you something very special. If it has been sitting dark and you get the urge to just turn it on..... don't. Take it to a good stereo repair place to have them bring it up properly and give it a thorough inspection.

Does it look like this?:

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Old 01-30-11, 01:05 PM
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I like this thread! Here's a pic I took for a photography contest:

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Old 01-30-11, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by bigbossman
Pioneer's SX-1000 series ran from 1973 to 1979, so if it is a SX-1010 it is definitely 70's unit. I believe the "silver-on-silver" (or Silver Series) started in the latter half of that decade, so if it has a blacked out face it is probably earlier rather than later 70's. Also, it is a 110W/ch receiver and one of the 1st of the Big Boys that started the amplifier "power wars" of that time. These receivers are very well regarded.

Your brother left you something very special. If it has been sitting dark and you get the urge to just turn it on..... don't. Take it to a good stereo repair place to have them bring it up properly and give it a thorough inspection.

Does it look like this?:

I was in an audio repair shop here in SD a few years ago and he had a beast of a Pioneer receiver in for service that was rated at 250 watts per channel! The amp had heat sinks protruding from the cabinet. That thing had to be worth some coin, and was likely a not so secret weapon in the receiver wars of the 70's. IMO it was overkill, but even so it was tres cool.
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Old 01-30-11, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by mandrake
I was in an audio repair shop here in SD a few years ago and he had a beast of a Pioneer receiver in for service that was rated at 250 watts per channel! The amp had heat sinks protruding from the cabinet. That thing had to be worth some coin, and was likely a not so secret weapon in the receiver wars of the 70's. IMO it was overkill, but even so it was tres cool.
Was it this?:





Pioneer SX-1980, 270W/channel. It was the pinnacle of the Pioneer line, and their crowning achievement in the development of monster receivers. At the time it was introduced in 1978, it was the most powerful receiver in the world.

It was their best effort, and cost $1,295 MSRP. My first car in 1974 cost $300.
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Old 01-30-11, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by bigbossman
Was it this?:





Pioneer SX-1980, 270W/channel.
Woah! Look at those caps and toroidal xformer! Like peering into the guts of a Mark Levinson.
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Old 01-30-11, 02:07 PM
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270w/channel is insane!
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Old 01-30-11, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by bigbossman
Was it this?:





Pioneer SX-1980, 270W/channel. It was the pinnacle of the Pioneer line, and their crowning achievement in the development of monster receivers. At the time it was introduced in 1978, it was the most powerful receiver in the world.

It was their best effort, and cost $1,295 MSRP. My first car in 1974 cost $300.
I believe it was, and I apparently underestimated the WPC. Look at that transformer and heat sinks! The cabinet is practically all taken up by the amp. Like I said, it's a beast. Unfortunately, Fred never fired it up, but the visual appeal was awesome enough. I am not sure if it runs Class A (probably not). Nevertheless, turning this thing on would noticably increase the rate of spin on your home's power meter. Personally, if I wanted that much power I would get a Krell, Aragon or some other separate amp(s), not a receiver as it's way overkill. Still, it's a facinating period piece.
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Old 01-30-11, 02:43 PM
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270w/channel is insane!
Not really. The salient factor is the required power for the speaker design so that transient frequencies are neither clipped nor distorted. This monster Pioneer receiver came out during the so-called power wars that coincided with very inefficient, sealed cabinet designs. It still may have been a bit extravagant. These days, many speaker designs are rather different and require far less power. The advent of chip amps is very much encouraging this. Many people mistake power as an an indication of maximum loudness or sound pressure. Low powered amps coupled with efficient speaker designs can be extremely loud with minimal distortion and no clipping.
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Old 01-30-11, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Lenton58
Not really. The salient factor is the required power for the speaker design so that transient frequencies are neither clipped nor distorted. This monster Pioneer receiver came out during the so-called power wars that coincided with very inefficient, sealed cabinet designs. It still may have been a bit extravagant. These days, many speaker designs are rather different and require far less power. The advent of chip amps is very much encouraging this. Many people mistake power as an an indication of maximum loudness or sound pressure. Low powered amps coupled with efficient speaker designs can be extremely loud with minimal distortion and no clipping.
Yep, my friend has a < 10 wpc single ended tube amp running in Class A powering very efficient Klipsch La Scala's and there is plenty of volume, and of course it sounds wonderful. He sold me a 1963 Scott LK72 int. tube amp. (35 wpc) converted to 6L6 power tubes which I have hooked up in my workshop, I will never sell this amp. Gives me extra incentive to do projects down there, as I listen to the mellow sound of the tubes.
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Old 01-30-11, 03:12 PM
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Because digital = shallow, incomplete sound reproduction compared to analog/vinyl. ... But I have had the privilege of sitting in some incredible sound rooms to hear the vinyl and CD versions of the same recordings (classical, jazz, rock) played though absolutely top-end turntables and CD players that were in turn connected to exactly the same amps, pre-amps, cables, speakers and whatever else . ... Without exception, the records sounded better.
I cannot argue against the fact that this is your experience, but as someone who has been a maniacal follower of this issue for going on 25 years, my personal assessment is this: despite the initial, restrictive bandwidth of the "Red Book" CD, the current state remains that one is not better than the other.

Red Book digital and the analog vinyl are just different. If the equipment is equal to the task, each reproduction has its respective, ascendent characteristics. The same thing that you described as being what you heard from vinyl is the same thing I can produce from my Red Book rig. My vinyl stuff comes out similarly, but with a different character. But I will admit that it took years of work, study and DIY effort to get the results on a very restrictive budget.

The same sort of argument has been thrashed to death in regards to vacuum tube and solid state amplification. In the end, each listener has to please him/her self — music reproduction is just that subjective.
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Old 01-30-11, 03:19 PM
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Speaking of simple. Here is my AR ES-1 turntable. It powered by a small DC motor coupled to a belt that wraps around the bottom of the platter. It has just one speed- 33 1/3 rpm. The platter is suspended on three coil springs. The idea of the belt is to isolate the motor noise from the sound delivery.
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Old 01-30-11, 04:49 PM
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At a fleamarket some years ago I picked up spme Stax SR 80 earphones for a few bucks. Still sounds great. My bookshelf speakers are old Yamaha NS 10 M's that must be close to 30 years old, still good speakers.
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Old 01-30-11, 04:56 PM
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I have a set of the original advent loudspeakers that I use for vinyl only. I re-surrounded the woofers and they sound great to this day. It's funny because on the back it says they can handle the output from 'any known amplifier'. Those were the days!
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Old 01-30-11, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by plodderslusk
At a fleamarket some years ago I picked up spme Stax SR 80 earphones for a few bucks. Still sounds great. My bookshelf speakers are old Yamaha NS 10 M's that must be close to 30 years old, still good speakers.
Like bikes, there are deals to be had if you know what you are looking at and have patience. About 15 years ago I was in a Goodwill and heard the sound of a good stereo system coming from the back of the store. I went back there and saw a nice KR 7400 Kenwood receiver (65 WPC) and a pair of AR two way speakers, all for $35. I jumped on it. I am still using the Kenwood (with different speakers). Remarkably, it has never been in for service. The only thing at one point that happened was on the tuner the cord slipped off a pulley. I popped it open and it was easily fixed. The speakers needed refoaming ($75) soon after I bought them. The Kenwood should have the tuner aligned, but that's about it (all the lights and switches still function perfectly). One reason I think the Kenwood has done so well all this time is that it came from the factory with a slow start circuit which causes a delay when you first turn it on, but also brings the voltage up more slowly than a typical switch.
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Old 01-30-11, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by mandrake
Yep, my friend has a < 10 wpc single ended tube amp running in Class A powering very efficient Klipsch La Scala's and there is plenty of volume, and of course it sounds wonderful. He sold me a 1963 Scott LK72 int. tube amp. (35 wpc) converted to 6L6 power tubes which I have hooked up in my workshop, I will never sell this amp. Gives me extra incentive to do projects down there, as I listen to the mellow sound of the tubes.
I am running a pair of 2A3 SET monoblocks for 2.5 watts of room shaking power. (pics on pg 1 of this thread) It does help that my Altecs are extremely efficient like the Klipsch. To me single ended triode tube amps plus efficient speakers are audio nirvana. With regard to many solid state "sand" amps I always say if the first watt sounds like **** who cares if you have 99 more.
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Old 01-30-11, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by bigbossman

Does it look like this?:

No, sorry, it doesn't look like that. I looked for the manual I thought I owned, and it's not there, and a quick look at the attic doesn't reveal the receiver, either. My wife thinks it was sold at a yard sale so long ago we don't remember it.

A few minutes of Internet search reveals that my memory is inaccurate: the receiver must have been Akai, not Pioneer as I thought. The model was definitely AA1010, and the video of this example confirms it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSaK7zByqUI

Sorry for misleading you. This Akai is identical to what my brother owned.
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Old 01-31-11, 09:39 AM
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Old 01-31-11, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Prop Man
Nice Thorens. What kind of arm do you have on it? Also, like the choice of vinyl, Blue Note is my favorite jazz label.
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Old 01-31-11, 12:44 PM
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The arm is an SME 3012 with a mono Ortofon SPU. I have another TD-124 in the same system with an Ikeda 12" arm and a stereo SPU.

I love the sound of old Blue Notes--I've been collecting and listening to them for 30+ years.
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Old 01-31-11, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Prop Man
The arm is an SME 3012 with a mono Ortofon SPU. I have another TD-124 in the same system with an Ikeda 12" arm and a stereo SPU.

I love the sound of old Blue Notes--I've been collecting and listening to them for 30+ years.
Some people don't like Van Gelder recordings, but I do. If he was good enough for Alfred Lion, he is good enough for me.
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Old 01-31-11, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by mandrake
Speaking of simple. Here is my AR ES-1 turntable. It powered by a small DC motor coupled to a belt that wraps around the bottom of the platter. It has just one speed- 33 1/3 rpm. The platter is suspended on three coil springs. The idea of the belt is to isolate the motor noise from the sound delivery.
Same principle as the Phillips 312B. Bouncy-wouncy turntable, but you could walk across the room and not bother it.

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Old 01-31-11, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by bigbossman
Was it this?:





Pioneer SX-1980, 270W/channel. It was the pinnacle of the Pioneer line, and their crowning achievement in the development of monster receivers. At the time it was introduced in 1978, it was the most powerful receiver in the world.

It was their best effort, and cost $1,295 MSRP. My first car in 1974 cost $300.
I remember there being tons of competition at a time when underpowered receivers did some major damage to speakers.
I chose Pioneer's SX-780 because of the toggles and the tuning smoothness. If I remember, Sears Audio by Fisher was selling, by volume, more than many of the individual makers. Major warfare was going on between Sansui, Pioneer, Marantz, and others. There were about a dozen "names" vying for the audio dollar, and some of the ads in magazines like Omni, etc were stunning.

The midwest had a mall audio franchise called Playback, and it was my #1 destination at any mall that had one.

Milwaukee had a record store called Radio Doctor.
You could walk in there not knowing the song, album, or artist, and if you knew a few lines, they'd find it for you.
They did so, for me, on leave from boot camp in Jan, 1978, and I still have the album. (Burton Cummings, "My Own Way to Rock")

To this day, I do not watch music videos, in general. I just don't see the point.

I mow my grass with AR's wireless headphones, the big ones.
Mainly because my Koss wireless headphones, the really big ones (IR line of sight) wore out.

Earbuds? no. Buds are for riding with or drinking. The exception being Rosebud.
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Old 01-31-11, 06:13 PM
  #173  
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes
.....I chose Pioneer's SX-780 because of the toggles and the tuning smoothness. If I remember, Sears Audio by Fisher was selling, by volume, more than many of the individual makers. Major warfare was going on between Sansui, Pioneer, Marantz, and others. There were about a dozen "names" vying for the audio dollar, and some of the ads in magazines like Omni, etc were stunning.
I chose the 780 because it was the best I could afford at that time. As I sit listening to it 34 years later while typing this, I figure I got a pretty good bang for the buck.

Ya know Robbie, these are still around and it probably wouldn't cost you more than $100 or so to snag a nice one. On the local CL, there is a fellow selling a nice SX-1250 for $450. I'm thinking of calling..... I don't know why.

FWIW, I had to go to the local stereo repair today to get a front panel bulb for the SX-780 ($4). He said he had a SX-1980 in the shop about a month ago that he reconditioned and re-sold for $1,300. That's $5 more than the 1978 MSRP, and even at that I think it was a fair price.

Originally Posted by RobbieTunes
To this day, I do not watch music videos, in general. I just don't see the point.
Not music video's exactly, but concert DVD's are worth checking out. This, to me, is the real reason for having a home theater system with the multichannel output and a HD TV. I just watched Diana Krall Live in Paris last night. Really, really spellbinding. And, there's a lot of marvelous content out there - SRV, Tom Petty, Eagles, Albert Collins, Eric Clapton..... you name it. It is by far the best application for the new A/V technology.....especially now that reality tv crap is currently king in the TV/cable world.
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Old 01-31-11, 07:06 PM
  #174  
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Originally Posted by bigbossman
...He said he had a SX-1980 in the shop about a month ago...
270 watts per channel. That thing is a beast. So big it wouldn't fit in the receiver display at the store we sold them at.
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Old 01-31-11, 09:42 PM
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A guy did talk me into watching Rick Wakeman's "The Seven Wives of Henry VIII" or something like that. It was great.

I might look into an SX-780. I have a couple of Kenwood integrated amps I could unload and make it a zero-sum game.
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