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Vintage Stereo Receivers

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I recently bought 3 vintage Kenwood Receivers from the 70's to do complete restoration on. I popped the top off of the Kenwood KR5400 yesterday and it looks as though it was well made with quality parts. Big transformer and Elna caps. I like the looks of the vintage receivers compared to the ones being offered. But then there is not a lot of demand these days for stereo receivers. Is there anyone else that likes those old stereo receivers? I may later one post some pictures and what I did on the restoration on one of them. The KR5400 was sold as one channel cutting in and out and I believe from just a quick inspection it is the wafer switch control. They are notorious for dropping out sound. It could be something else but I believe that is all that is wrong after turning it multiple times and both channels are working now. I may just have to recap and clean everything, spit and polish. We will see. 

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I happen to like the older solid state receivers, I wish I still had my old Pioneer receivers from the late 70s. SX-680, SX-780, and SX-1080. My sister and ex-bro in law got the 1080 when I was in the navy, I found out he threw it out when one of the channels quit. I hope he hurt his back lifting it.

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The 70's and 80's JAPANESE solid state receivers and other gear were great - and built for the long haul. I absolutely love it and go out of my way to find it, repair it, and find new homes for it when I can.

 

I just put a Sanyo JCX 2400 receiver on the bench I found in an estate sale a few years ago and fired it up. Yes, I know, you see Sanyo and really don't expect much. But I could tell by what this dude weighs, it is not the plastic dog crap from Hong Kong Sanyo gear! No BSR mini changer or 8 track here....

 

I powered it up and it came on, but the output was all over the place. The pots were all quiet with no typical noise, but the output was noisy with no gain on one side and way too much on the other. So I got started by cleaning the volume pot, because I honestly was not looking forward to a further disassembly at the time This is a beefy and compact unit inside with multiple component layers inside that looks like a long disassembly for sure! And what do you know, the cleaning was all it took! It sounds great with no noise at all. And the shocking thing was the dynamic power it has,  although it is only driving my bench test speakers, a pair of Bose 201 III's. But it was very strong and surprising. The AM and FM reception were clear and very good for my somewhat remote area, and all the inputs worked flawlessly. I have seen the specs for this unit and I think they are far beyond conservative. Which is true for most of the Japanese gear in those days in contrast to the lies being told about the gear produced and sold in the big box stores today!

 

That unit is over 40 years old for crying out loud, so it is difficult to argue the design and build quality with that kind of result. And it is yet another example of the fine craftmanship from the 70's and 80's even in a lesser seen brand. And I am old enough to recall the "buy American" camp trying put down the Japanese build quality back in those days, but I these receivers have put those myths to rest. But the dirty secret is, Sanyo was an OEM for many different brands "back in the day" and we will just keep that little secret to ourselves......

 

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I cleaned the pots on my Kenwood with CRC Electronic cleaner first working them back and forth then gave them a small shot of Deoxit D5 and it appears to have fixed the drop out of one channel. The seller said the sound would always drop out on one channel after about 20 minutes and I have run it with no problem for a few hours with no dropouts. As stated previously those wafer selector switches are known to give problems. Glad I do not have to take the selector switches apart to clean as you sometimes have to do. The tuner works amazingly well, very sensitive, with a slight problem with the stereo light on the panel. Someone has wired it to stay on all the time. I will need to investigate that further. Also the Speaker selector switch is not working correctly. You have A then B then both and reverse but changing it has no effect. The A speakers still stay on and do not go off. That and recapping appears to be all that is needed. The PS caps measure slightly high in circuit which is a sign of going bad but the ESR is really low. If I decide to keep it myself I might just leave them alone and just replace the ones on the boards. 

 

Sounds really good on a pair of test speakers. Gonna recap before listening with my LS. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Very nice. They do not make them as they use to applies to 70 receivers. Especially a Marantz. Very desirable piece. 

 

The 70's receivers may not sound as good as modern higher end equipment but certainly good enough for a pleasant listening experience. I have a Wayne Colburn designed linestage and diyaudio Honey Badger 150 watt per channel amplifier that sounds a lot better than the old Kenwood but there is nothing wrong with the sound of the Kenwood. The diyaudio Honey Badger is designed to compete with A/B amplifiers costing in the thousands and Colburn is the linestage designer for Passlabs to give you some perspective. The Kenwood is perfect for a second system for bedroom with decent small conventional speakers or a primary amplifier for those on a budget with Klipsch speakers. And certainly looks a lot better than my builds. 

 

My Kenwood restoration is coming along. I did find that one of the push buttons needed cleaning as well. Should have done them when I did the pots. Found a few more small issues to address but nothing major. Working and play nicely now.  

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All I have to say is this:  H/K 430, 630, 730 or 930 twin-powered stereo receivers from the early to mid-1970's.  If you haven't tried them in good condition, you are missing out!  The old so-called heritage models of Klipsch love them!  I do too!

 

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+1

Recently had the opportunity to pick up a nice HK930 with wood case and matched it to Fortes. I am very impressed. Sounds so nice together.

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My H/K 630 and LS sure sound good together.  A vintage pairing...

 

the thought of upgrading the receiver/amp has crossed my mind... but anything significantly better would cost more than I have wrapped up in the whole system

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After reading these posts, and much deliberation in the months leading up to now, I won the bid on a HK 430 in original untouched state. Just curious about the state is will be in. The seller explained he unsoldered one capacitor to do measurements, then ordered an upgrade kit, but never got to replacing the caps. He put back the original capacitor. I asked for aditional pictures and he sent some in low resolution. Had me worried a bit, yet I bought it... Very excited about all this, hope it will play when I connect my 1972 Heresy set.

Any thougths or suggestions welcome. I'll post again here on the forum when the amp arrives.

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Yes I love those older receivers, just had two H/K 430's restored. These little H/K's sound wonderful with heritage Klipsch as Andy stated above. Next on the list will be one of the Pioneer BIG BOYS.

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3 minutes ago, rockhound said:

Yes I love those older receivers, just had two H/K 430's restored. These little H/K's sound wonderful with heritage Klipsch as Andy stated above. Next on the list will be one of the Pioneer BIG BOYS.

 

When mine arrives (can't wait...), I'll first listen to the as-it-is for a while.

I've already found an upgrade kit: https://www.audio-high-store.com/product/harman-kardon-430-upgrade-kit-audio-capacitors/ 

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54 minutes ago, rockhound said:

Yes I love those older receivers, just had two H/K 430's restored. These little H/K's sound wonderful with heritage Klipsch as Andy stated above. Next on the list will be one of the Pioneer BIG BOYS.

What all was done on your H/K 430s to restore them?

 

I have two H/K 430s.  One, I use on a regular basis with my Khorns for causal listening or tuning in to FM radio.  I don't think it sounds quite as good as it did when I got it 15 years ago, and it was not restored then.

 

 

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On 10/9/2020 at 8:46 AM, KROCK said:

My Baby!

20190331_173258.jpg.53012c0aa55b5a22e58c4bca33feb292.jpg

they sure do not make them like they used to  -----with phono and  preamp sections that are truly phenomenal -

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1 hour ago, ILI said:

 

When mine arrives (can't wait...), I'll first listen to the as-it-is for a while.

I've already found an upgrade kit: https://www.audio-high-store.com/product/harman-kardon-430-upgrade-kit-audio-capacitors/ 

Usually save a lot of money ordering from an Electronic house. Get the service manual and you will find a parts list for capacitors and order them separately. https://www.hifiengine.com/manual_library/harman-kardon/430.shtml

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42 minutes ago, Seadog said:

What all was done on your H/K 430s to restore them?

 

I have two H/K 430s.  One, I use on a regular basis with my Khorns for causal listening or tuning in to FM radio.  I don't think it sounds quite as good as it did when I got it 15 years ago, and it was not restored then.

 

 

New power supplies, new caps, new LED's, everything cleaned and polished, tuner serviced. I have not listened to it yet as I'm offshore until Nov 4th.

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I have an HK430 and it is fantastic. My first and one I completely restored with new caps and replacd some notoriously noisy transistors.

 

A 930 is on my bucket list if I ever come across one a decent price.

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24 minutes ago, rockhound said:

New power supplies, new caps, new LED's, everything cleaned and polished, tuner serviced. I have not listened to it yet as I'm offshore until Nov 4th.

OK thanks.  What did that set you back ($) if you don't mind me asking?

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