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New Gear vs Vintage Gear

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Posted (edited)

*Should say MY new gear vs vintage gear. Out of curiosity played an album on my current stereo and same album on previous stereo from 1980. I’m relieved that I didn’t waste money. Was surprised at how much better the new stuff sounded. Night and day difference. Just had the Yamaha CR-1020 professionally cleaned/Re-capped/ brought into spec too.  
 

C6A07B38-2B92-4DAD-A185-5827A1FE610C.jpeg

AEEF533D-247F-4CC9-AD03-60B326A76931.jpeg

76CAEA54-30C2-45FB-B10A-A4672563C72E.jpeg

Edited by salbake
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This is potentially good information, but it looks like your '80's setup is poorly setup compared to the new stuff. Any chance you can swap something out and compare? That being said, my money is on the new stuff.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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That’s fair. I had the Cornwall 1s where the IVs are now for about a year and they did sound better than the basement setup haha. Definitely not lugging them back upstairs though. To my ears the ones definitely benefit from being in corners (yes I know, Cornwall, Corner or Wall. I have the Manuel that came with the ones and it says they’re better in corners too). 

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Your 'modern' setup is very nice and high end, of course.

 

There's a lot of 'vintage' gear out there from the 80s that is still worht while. I tested my 1972 heresy speakers with an Onkyo A-05 amplifier (1982), which can be bought for less than $50 nowadays, and it sounds better than my modern Marantz. 

 

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9 hours ago, baron167 said:

it looks like your '80's setup is poorly setup compared to the new stuff.

 

9 hours ago, salbake said:

That’s fair.

Placement alone could contribute to that conclusion.  Old system has a suck out on the right as well as IMO speakers way too close together for proper imaging and soundstage.  Your Yamaha CR-1020 is a very nice piece and could rival many modern moderately priced integrated amps of today.  With that said, it does appear that your beastly McIntosh amp is on another level.

 

Enjoy,

 

Bill

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Posted (edited)

Old McIntosh MC240 still much desired and pricey along with all their old tube gear. But then they are tube gear which SS amps have been try to mimic since invented. One thing that has changed in SS gear is at one time the designers were trying to best each other on spec's, lower distortion, more power, etc and now many are trying to make gear that sounds best instead. Measurements are just a tool and do not necessarily mean an amplifier will sound best. Many of the old SS gear will sound dry and sterile compared to the modern offerings. Just compare some of the descriptions by reviewers of new equipment vs the old reviewers who relied on specs more on how a piece of gear sound. Mosfets, which have curves like pentode tubes, are being used more in amplifiers in the newer offerings over BJT's as well. 
 

Edited by henry4841

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Your hero, Nelson Pass, fully knows that no matter what he designs, triodes sound better than any solid state device he can find. 

 

He has expressed this privately, to someone I know, in their phone conversation.

 

People often go, where their bread is buttered.

 

 

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11 hours ago, salbake said:

I have the Manuel that came with . . . 

 

Is he documented?  Does he have the manual?

 

Your experience is interesting.  What matters most is that you like what you have.

 

In the 70s, any quality “component” stereo system sounded way better than a Zenith, GE, Magnavox, Yorx, etc.  The Pioneer receiver, Dynaco A25 speakers and Dual turntable I purchased in college were a major leap above the foregoing.  Today, we’re splitting hairs trying to distinguish between quality components, but it stands to reason that new quality will improve upon vintage quality.

 

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8 minutes ago, DizRotus said:

 

Is he documented?  Does he have the manual?

 

Your experience is interesting.  What matters most is that you like what you have.

 

In the 70s, any quality “component” stereo system sounded way better than a Zenith, GE, Magnavox, Yorx, etc.  The Pioneer receiver, Dynaco A25 speakers and Dual turntable I purchased in college were a major leap above the foregoing.  Today, we’re splitting hairs trying to distinguish between quality components, but it stands to reason that new quality will improve upon vintage quality.

 


haha that’s funny. Not sure if that was an autocorrect, or me being drunk. Either possible...

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34 minutes ago, Jeffrey D. Medwin said:

Your hero, Nelson Pass, fully knows that no matter what he designs, triodes sound better than any solid state device he can find. 

 

An assertion like that requires corroboration. Otherwise it's just hearsay.

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Posted (edited)
48 minutes ago, Jeffrey D. Medwin said:

Your hero, Nelson Pass, fully knows that no matter what he designs, triodes sound better than any solid state device he can find. 

 

He has expressed this privately, to someone I know, in their phone conversation.

 

People often go, where their bread is buttered.

 

 

I consider Nelson to be the premier amplifier designer for the last few decades if you mean hero. I have never heard of your hero's until you joined the forum. There are other designers I follow as well as him. He has stated many times his thing is SS but he does have tube amplifiers in his home he designed. Many consider his SIT-1 and SIT-2 as good as a SE 300b amplifier. I have not purchased one because I have a SE 300b amplifier and like tube gear but do play a lot with SS amplifiers. The market is SS these days so I blame no one for being successful for the market. You are confrontational with most on this forum who do not follow your advice of which I have no desire to do. I prefer SE tube amplifiers but not everyone has horn speakers and need more power for their speakers. That is the big reason the market is now SS and that and the younger audiophiles think transistors are better than tube being that they are a newer device. All this being said I do not think there will ever be a market of what you believe and design.  Complicated designs with multiple components when fewer is better in my world. Some may like you philosophy and decide to build one of your circuits but it will not be me. When it comes to tube or SS amplifiers I am of the school of less components is better. More components do not add anything to the sound but may do the opposite.   

Edited by henry4841
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17 minutes ago, henry4841 said:

I consider Nelson to be the premier amplifier designer for the last few decades if you mean hero. I have never heard of your hero's until you joined the forum. There are other designers I follow as well as him. He has stated many times his thing is SS but he does have tube amplifiers in his home he designed. Many consider his SIT-1 and SIT-2 as good as a SE 300b amplifier. I have not purchased one because I have a SE 300b amplifier and like tube gear but do play a lot with SS amplifiers. The market is SS these days so I blame no one for being successful for the market. You are confrontational with most on this forum who do not follow your advice of which I have no desire to do. I prefer SE tube amplifiers but not everyone has horn speakers and need more power for their speakers. That is the big reason the market is now SS and that and the younger audiophiles think transistors are better than tube being that they are a newer device. All this being said I do not think there will ever be a market of what you believe and design.  Complicated designs with multiple components when fewer is better in my world. Some may like you philosophy and decide to build one of your circuits but it will not be me. When it comes to tube or SS amplifiers I am of the school of less components is better. More components do not add anything to the sound but may do the opposite.   

 

 

I disagree with you , on many levels.   !!  When I get back home, later today, I will properly address this post. 

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Posted (edited)

Really, not surprising. 

 

Don't worry be happy. 😀

Edited by henry4841
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My gripe about new gear is the scarcity of features.  The Yamaha you show has a wonderful array of features that are incredibly hard to find in new gear these days that can make listening so much more enjoyable.  ..Like you, I have a McIntosh Integrated (MA6600) and I chose it b/c it has a Mono switch, Bass., and Treble Controls.  Heck, even a balance control is becoming less and less common.  ..And the reason often cited in audio salons is that these features force compromises to be made to the audio signal.  ..This, IMHO, is completely nonsensical.  Some of our most cherished analog recordings (e.g., Steely Dan) was made using mixing boards that had literally hundreds of signal breaks, sliders, trim pots, etc...  ..There's no way the relatively small handful of similar signal breaks needed to incorporate Mono, Balance, Bass, and Treble into an integrated amplifier is doing any audible damage.  ..But the narrative lets gear companies of the hook for including them.

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Hi Henry ! 

 

I am happy.  I just came back from an uplifting experience,  that was very helpful to me. 

 

( hint, this occurs for me on Sunday mornings ).

 

Your longer post above, is riddled with inconsistencies, that I would like to comment upon, .....several subjects..

 

As a preface, I want to point out that I can tell from the way you write, and what you say, that I am much older than you.   I will soon be 76.   Being older than you, I most likely have more direct audio experience than you have.  What follows is my own story, and then, some points to make  :

 

My experience started when I was brought home from the Hospital, late in 1944.  Mom nursed me with the original  ALTEC 604 playing classical music from NY City or Philly, in the background.  Seven decades ago, as a child,  my Dad would take me by the hand, board the train for New York with me, and he would attend Hi Fidelity shows that were put on in New York City Hotels.  ( I bet my Mom let him attend, ONLY if he took Jeffrey off of her hands for the day !! )  When the 604B came out, Dad bought one, and our Medwin family had stereo !!

 

After graduate school, the first Hi Fi I bought, when I was out and on my own, was in 1968.  A pair of Tannoy Monitor Gold 15 inch coaxials, in Tannoy GRF enclosures.  Not a bad start.  Preamp was a McIntosh C22 and amp was a Mc 2505 and a Dyna ST-70.  Early on, I was motivated and always sought to obtain the best sounding Hi Fi, I could possibly put together, within my means.   No need to go through the equipment listing, aside to say it was all top notch stuff, especially so, VS my earned income those years. 

 

POINT ONE :

 

Just because you do not know of my two audio Mentors, does not diminish them in any way.  In the history of audio, both Robert Fulton of Fulton Musical Industries, and Dennis Fraker of Serious Stereo, have been given " State of the Art " reviews, and considered top in their game.   

 

That is more than we can say about you and I, and our personal audio accomplishments, right Henry ??!!  

 

POINT TWO

 

300B amplifiers.  You talk about them as though they are the pinnacle in tube audio. This only shows your inexperience to me, lack of knowledge, and...... I sorta chuckle. 

 

300B amps are NOT the pinnacle, and they are only popular because the mass public simply doesn't get it right with speakers.  The mass public ( you ) does not KNOW that a high-quality high-efficiency speaker is needed, if you want the best sound, coming from the best possible amp. 

 

Here is your audio lesson for the day, Henry.  The 300B is beaten by the 2A3 as a Finals tube, for audio. WHY is this ? Simple, a 300B has a 5 volt filament, and it requires Direct Current heating.  The 2A3 has a 2.5 volt filament, and this lower filament voltage requirement, allows it to be run with simpler  AC excitation, which is always better sounding than DC heating. BTW, I am referring to a modern monoplate 2A3s, J.J., EML, and VAICH.

 

The best path in ultra-audio, is to START with a speaker that will play well on about 3 Watts or less .    Coincidentally, one would avoid a 5 Watt 300B amp.   The 300B amplifier is only used by those, who don't know enough to get it right first, with speakers. 

 

The next step is to find the very best 2A3 type amp available.  There is only one BEST 2A3 amplifier builder today, and that is Dennis Fraker., and his latest 2020 amps.  No one I am aware of, equals his work. 

 

POINT THREE :

 

You dislike " Complicated designs with multiple components when fewer is better in my world. 

 

You are a huge hypocrite, and are not experienced enough to in audio to even KNOW what you are talking about.  I private mailed you last week, and you showed me a Type 45 amp schematic, you were waxing so wonderously over, while listening to it.  What kind of person are you -  to be telling me about simple circuits ??  Mis-informed  !!!! 

 

This mid fi amp you were enjoying had this in the schematic you sent me,  as the BASIC audio path :

 

1)  An Input Transformer added, right after the RCA input jack, ( instead of a 2 inch piece of silver wire, going to the input tube's grid. )

 

2)  Not one, NOT two, but THREE series coupling caps, for the signal to traverse through .  

 

3)  Three active tube stages, which is an automatic loss of fidelity, as the third stage can easily be omitted, with a better result, listening-wise.

 

My amps, on the other hand, ALL have a a basic audio path consisting of two tube stages, DIRECTLY coupled, for the last dozen years.

 

And you did not have a good enough system, nor enough audio experience, to be able to tell, that the TYPE 45 tube, particularly the early ST types, not a $$$$  EML, are sonic weaklings.

 

The Globe and ST 45s were cheaply built for mass produced radios,  such , that they can not properly play the power of a piano, in the lower midrange - on down to the middle bass.  It was OK for a 1930s radio, but not good enough for ultra high end audio in 2020.  If someone waxes on about a 45 Amp, their audio experience and system just simply isn't good enough, relative to what I hear, and have built over the last dozen years. 

 

POINT THREE,  ANOTHER WAY :

 

When someone like you, or knowledgeable Maynard, critique my amps as being " to complicated" it tells me, they do NOT know what is important, and sadly lack the direct personal experience, in ultra high audio performance. 

 

They will criticize my use of sub critical chokes, paralleled resistors, double shunting, double Dennis Fraker Final Filters, and multiple cap bundles.  Yet, these individuals have ZERO experience typically, of ever hearing, or building -  ANY of this.  WHY do I add these things?  Because they improve the music's listening experience, and I know HOW and WHY to do that !!! .   In a way Henry, sometimes I very briefly feel sorry for you guys, driving Chevy NOVAS, thirty years old, and never enjoying the performance of a new mid-engine Corvette. 

 

The price of having a good audio system, is all the mistakes you make, getting there.  I have paid my dues over many years and systems .  Your path is open.  Regards and have lotsa fun.

 

Jeff 

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5 hours ago, Edgar said:

 

An assertion like that requires corroboration. Otherwise it's just hearsay.

 

Agree, hearsay.

 

Hearsay for you, but the person Nelson told that to, I have known for over 30 years, so I would tend to believe it.

 

I don't care much - what others do.

 

Jeff 

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43 minutes ago, Jeffrey D. Medwin said:

Hearsay for you, but the person Nelson told that to, I have known for over 30 years, so I would tend to believe it.

 

You are free to believe whomever and whatever you choose. Personally, I would like to hear it from Mr. Pass myself.

 

Hmmm ... I just discovered that Nelson Pass received his undergraduate degree from UC Davis ... my graduate alma mater. Small world.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Jeffrey D. Medwin said:

Hi Henry ! 

 

I am happy.  I just came back from an uplifting experience,  that was very helpful to me. 

 

( hint, this occurs for me on Sunday mornings ).

 

Your longer post above, is riddled with inconsistencies, that I would like to comment upon, .....several subjects..

 

As a preface, I want to point out that I can tell from the way you write, and what you say, that I am much older than you.   I will soon be 76.   Being older than you, I most likely have more direct audio experience than you have.  What follows is my own story, and then, some points to make  :

 

My experience started when I was brought home from the Hospital, late in 1944.  Mom nursed me with the original  ALTEC 604 playing classical music from NY City or Philly, in the background.  Seven decades ago, as a child,  my Dad would take me by the hand, board the train for New York with me, and he would attend Hi Fidelity shows that were put on in New York City Hotels.  ( I bet my Mom let him attend, ONLY if he took Jeffrey off of her hands for the day !! )  When the 604B came out, Dad bought one, and our Medwin family had stereo !!

 

After graduate school, the first Hi Fi I bought, when I was out and on my own, was in 1968.  A pair of Tannoy Monitor Gold 15 inch coaxials, in Tannoy GRF enclosures.  Not a bad start.  Preamp was a McIntosh C22 and amp was a Mc 2505 and a Dyna ST-70.  Early on, I was motivated and always sought to obtain the best sounding Hi Fi, I could possibly put together, within my means.   No need to go through the equipment listing, aside to say it was all top notch stuff, especially so, VS my earned income those years. 

 

POINT ONE :

 

Just because you do not know of my two audio Mentors, does not diminish them in any way.  In the history of audio, both Robert Fulton of Fulton Musical Industries, and Dennis Fraker of Serious Stereo, have been given " State of the Art " reviews, and considered top in their game.   

 

That is more than we can say about you and I, and our personal audio accomplishments, right Henry ??!!  

 

POINT TWO

 

300B amplifiers.  You talk about them as though they are the pinnacle in tube audio. This only shows your inexperience to me, lack of knowledge, and...... I sorta chuckle. 

 

300B amps are NOT the pinnacle, and they are only popular because the mass public simply doesn't get it right with speakers.  The mass public ( you ) does not KNOW that a high-quality high-efficiency speaker is needed, if you want the best sound, coming from the best possible amp. 

 

Here is your audio lesson for the day, Henry.  The 300B is beaten by the 2A3 as a Finals tube, for audio. WHY is this ? Simple, a 300B has a 5 volt filament, and it requires Direct Current heating.  The 2A3 has a 2.5 volt filament, and this lower filament voltage requirement, allows it to be run with simpler  AC excitation, which is always better sounding than DC heating. BTW, I am referring to a modern monoplate 2A3s, J.J., EML, and VAICH.

 

The best path in ultra-audio, is to START with a speaker that will play well on about 3 Watts or less .    Coincidentally, one would avoid a 5 Watt 300B amp.   The 300B amplifier is only used by those, who don't know enough to get it right first, with speakers. 

 

The next step is to find the very best 2A3 type amp available.  There is only one BEST 2A3 amplifier builder today, and that is Dennis Fraker., and his latest 2020 amps.  No one I am aware of, equals his work. 

 

POINT THREE :

 

You dislike " Complicated designs with multiple components when fewer is better in my world. 

 

You are a huge hypocrite, and are not experienced enough to in audio to even KNOW what you are talking about.  I private mailed you last week, and you showed me a Type 45 amp schematic, you were waxing so wonderously over, while listening to it.  What kind of person are you -  to be telling me about simple circuits ??  Mis-informed  !!!! 

 

This mid fi amp you were enjoying had this in the schematic you sent me,  as the BASIC audio path :

 

1)  An Input Transformer added, right after the RCA input jack, ( instead of a 2 inch piece of silver wire, going to the input tube's grid. )

 

2)  Not one, NOT two, but THREE series coupling caps, for the signal to traverse through .  

 

3)  Three active tube stages, which is an automatic loss of fidelity, as the third stage can easily be omitted, with a better result, listening-wise.

 

My amps, on the other hand, ALL have a a basic audio path consisting of two tube stages, DIRECTLY coupled, for the last dozen years.

 

And you did not have a good enough system, nor enough audio experience, to be able to tell, that the TYPE 45 tube, particularly the early ST types, not a $$$$  EML, are sonic weaklings.

 

The Globe and ST 45s were cheaply built for mass produced radios,  such , that they can not properly play the power of a piano, in the lower midrange - on down to the middle bass.  It was OK for a 1930s radio, but not good enough for ultra high end audio in 2020.  If someone waxes on about a 45 Amp, their audio experience and system just simply isn't good enough, relative to what I hear, and have built over the last dozen years. 

 

POINT THREE,  ANOTHER WAY :

 

When someone like you, or knowledgeable Maynard, critique my amps as being " to complicated" it tells me, they do NOT know what is important, and sadly lack the direct personal experience, in ultra high audio performance. 

 

They will criticize my use of sub critical chokes, paralleled resistors, double shunting, double Dennis Fraker Final Filters, and multiple cap bundles.  Yet, these individuals have ZERO experience typically, of ever hearing, or building -  ANY of this.  WHY do I add these things?  Because they improve the music's listening experience, and I know HOW and WHY to do that !!! .   In a way Henry, sometimes I very briefly feel sorry for you guys, driving Chevy NOVAS, thirty years old, and never enjoying the performance of a new mid-engine Corvette. 

 

The price of having a good audio system, is all the mistakes you make, getting there.  I have paid my dues over many years and systems .  Your path is open.  Regards and have lotsa fun.

 

Jeff 

I believe that you believe all that you have said. Not what I would call mainstream audio design knowledge. You should start your own company selling the designs that are far superior than established principles. I have been in the electronic filed my entire life and my age is not far behind yours. I have no desire to get in a pi**sing contest with you. Like many legends in audio I believe the SE 300b amplifier is the ultimate in an active device. At least you have enough sense not to criticize the legendary Nelson Pass which is a devotee in designing simple circuits with few components. But then you and your two "hero's" that most have never heard of know better. The reason he builds SS amplifiers this way is because tube amplifiers built that way are considered the best sounding. My SE 45 tube amplifier is just one of many I own but one of my favorites. Trust me that I have many SE tube amplifiers that are just 2 stages along with many SS amplifiers with just 2 stages. I changed some features in my SE 45 tube amplifier design from the schematic and mine does not have an input transformer. The designer of said amplifier builds and sells transformers so naturally he puts as many in his designs as possible. https://www.electra-print.com/45silver.php  He is known for his excellent transformers and not so much in his designs. I changed other things in the circuit as well. 

 

I would appreciate if you would not make your post personal. You have a right to have a difference of opinion but be a gentleman and keep your post civil and not get into personal attacks of someones electronic knowledge and hearing. You know absolutely nothing about me and my experience in the electronic field and I have no desire to brag on myself. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by henry4841
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Henry, 

 

I wasn't trying to get personal and attack you.  I was trying to explain the POINTS that I made, which were inconsistent with what you posted about me !!!  

 

Even after all is said and done, seems like you have not recognized most of my points. 

 

You still talk about a 300B amp as being ideal, which I have just explained WHY to you, it is not. 

 

My goodness, on your DIY 45 amp, you can take away the Input transformer, but you still unfortunately have THREE audio stages, and maybe at least TWO or THREE series capacitor couples !!  Why are you publicly "yanking my chain", on simple circuits ???   And we have in a 45 amp, as the Final tube itself, a tube which can't play a piano properly.   

 

I wasted TWO years of my life, building two all-out two stage DC coupled 45 amps, to discover the tube doesn't cut it.  But at least, unlike many people, I found out !!! 

 

I can tell, or better said, deduce a lot about you, from how you present yourself up here. 

 

For the record Henry, regarding simplicity, how many of your DIY two-stage 45 amp builds were directly coupled ?  You never mentioned that.   If you tell us "none", please don't ever post up here in the future about my builds being complex, especially when you do not understand what and why, I do what I do !!    Thank you very much.

 

Jeff Medwin

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7 hours ago, Jeffrey D. Medwin said:

My experience started when I was brought home from the Hospital, late in 1944.  Mom nursed me with the original  ALTEC 604 playing classical music from NY City or Philly, in the background. 

If anything, Mr. Medwin, your posts are surely entertaining!

 

I also enjoyed your similar "I've been an audiophile since Mom nursed me" thread from 2017:

 

https://hifihaven.org/index.php?threads/discussion-can-there-be-one-true-best-amp.2877/

 

The "there is only one best 2A3 amp in this world" is a bit over the top, to say the least.

 

All jokes aside, considering what you wrote - I'd sure love to hear a Dennis Fraker amp! 😃

 

 

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