Are there any classic components that you prefer to newer products?

In the June issue of <I>Stereophile</I>, another classic component is reviewed (the Eico HF-81 amplifier). Even though they don't measure up by today's standards, many audiophiles prefer certain classic designs. Are there any classic components that you prefer to newer products?

Are there any classic components that you prefer to newer products?
Yup, here it is
28% (33 votes)
Yup, there are several
51% (60 votes)
Nope, I go for newer stuff
21% (24 votes)
Total votes: 117

Allen's picture

Nakamichi Stasis amps.

Karl Berquist's picture

Dynaco ST-35 power amplifier.

Paul Jones's picture

Quad ESL-57.

bob's picture

I voted "no," but I still have my 29-year-old double stacked Advents (a "D'Appolito array" before it had a name?) still rockin' after all these years. I'm desperately saving up for a pair of what will probably be Vandersteen 2CE Signatures, or maybe something else in that price range. Until then, I still like what I get out of my vintage speakers.

Skip Osborne's picture

Tuners dating from the '70s, a time when classical stations roamed the Earth, are generally better than current specimens, and far better when you factor in the cost. Go eBay, young man.

OvenMaster's picture

Yamaha CA-1010 integrated amp and Yamaha T-80 tuner. Used vintage gear is the only way to fly if you don't have thousands to spend.

Scott Dahnke's picture

I only buy the vintage stuff

Tal's picture

Where to even begin? There's tons!

Dan Janesko's picture

Dual 1000 and 1200 series turntables, SX-50 series receivers, and any Bozak speaker.

Acoustic's picture

Yup: amps and tuners. Though I like the speakers from this era.

DAB, Pacific Palisades, CA's picture

Nostalgia is nice

Michael Patterson's picture

As for "classic," I usually go for the early/mid '80s amplifiers (Cello Duet 350, for example) because of pricing. With tube designs the high-end amps from the '60s are a favorite. I own a Lafayette LA 550, and it sounds fantastic on my Apogee Duettas, although not very loud.

Mark Hardy's picture

All of my speakers are vintage (Klipsch, Altec, Allison, DCM, AR) or DIY. Amplification is vintage, mostly tube (Eico HF-81, Sherwood S-5500II, Fisher 500C) or quasi-DIY (Bottlehead SET). Tuners are vintage, mostly tube and mostly mono (eg, Sherwood, Eico). Sources are more or less modern.

James Jankovich's picture

There is lots of very nice new stuff, but in the last few years I've added some vintage McIntosh. The C27 and MC2125 will stay forever, they have no sound of their own and are easy to maintain. In my opinion, older "S" tonearms are sometimes better than the new types.

Bill Benedict's picture

Too many to list, but SAE gear comes to mind.

Lee Scott's picture

Most of the higher-end pieces from big-name brands of the '70s and early eighties (pre-1983) sound better to me than anything available today, except for top-end boutique stuff like Krell that I can't afford. I only buy vintage gear any more. It is more affordable, sounds better, and is easily brought back to like-new condition, unlike modern gear that usually has to be thrown out after a few years. Vintage gear is much better value-for-money, in my opinion.

Grumpy's picture

Sansui TU-X1. Show me a "today's standard" that even comes close to measuring up to this beast of a classic tuna.

Todd A.  Phipps's picture

Most modern gear that is superior to classic/vintage gear is unaffordable by mere mortals. And there's nothing like finding a bedraggled waif of a component at a thrift or yard sale and restoring it, giving the hobby a "hands-on" aspect that the consumer electronics industry has all but eradicated. Vintage and DIY: a hard combination to beat!

Dr.  Spiff's picture

Anything built before 1980.

Hudsonek's picture

QUAD 34/405/FM4/ESL-63.

D.  Newman's picture

I am huge vintage audio fan but understand that very little of it even comes close to the best of today's equipment. THe advantage does go to older equipment when it comes to bang for the buck.

Mike Jarve's picture

Many of the classic H/K twin-powered receivers and some of the older Trio-Kenwood gear (L-07M, L-09M, L-07C). Despite their deficiencies, some of the older Altec and Dynaco bookshelf speakers are simple pleasures to listen to for non-critical listening.

Steve's picture

Receivers. These new plasticky, cheeseball receivers that weigh 6lbs are junk.

David Williams's picture

I have new and vintage gear. Fully refurbished by a pro (like member Echowars of, the best vintage products sound close to the current stuff, enough so that system synergy can make a bigger difference than the age of the design.

Edwin Guillot's picture

Even though most of the classics can't compete against the best of today, for the price you pay, they blow away anything you can buy today at even twice the price.

Rick Warren's picture


Anonymous's picture

Some. I like my Pioneer SX-450 more than the SX-750 I gave to my ex. I don't miss my Project 100As at all, though

Solomon Stewart's picture

Sansui integrated amp au919 and sony receiver str 6800.

rickon66's picture

Nikko NR-1019, Most any vintage silver Pioneer.

Arve's picture

Audio Research SP-10.