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Forte I Receiver Recommendations - Modern or Vintage


DougM
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11 minutes ago, billybob said:

Try it first before sending off...

 

I will. I think a restore on a R-117 could get pretty expensive. We have a great repair shop in Austin but he was joking that they charge the same rate as an auto mechanic.  Cheers to them tho, the cost of living here is bananas.

 

Edited by DougM
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I had a R-115 driving my Chorus 1's & it was PLENTY of power (couldn't get it past 10-11 o'clock on the dial or things would fall off shelves & ears start to ring like a concert...

 

It also has "pre-amp out" jacks so I am currently using it as a pre-amp b/c of the remote controlled volume & my Yamaha M-60 as the amp b/c of the "dancing" front power meters visual impact. 😃

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16 hours ago, Chorus1 Fan said:

my Yamaha M-60 as the amp b/c of the "dancing" front power meters visual impact. 😃

Haha; that's why I just got a Yamaha M-45. Love those LED's ... got the same on my Kenwood Basic M2A (highly under-rated power amp at 225wpc). Think the Yamaha M-45 will be more than sufficient to drive a pair of JBL 2446 compression drivers :) 

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Took Emile up on the R-115 and it sounds fantastic with the Forte I's. I think they benefit from the extra power over the Pioneer SX-727. .  Been enjoying TV, CD, FM, and vinyl on it. Output seems pretty balanced to me, and I'm not often turning on loudness or increasing bass which seems tighter and improved. Had a great time listening to Art Baker's Lee Perry tribute yesterday on Jamaican Gold. 

 

Now I kinda want to find an SX-850 to try. That thing is massive though and won't even fit in my current Pangea turntable/receiver stand. 

 

Any comparable Sansui receivers in particular known for a great pre-amp section like the SX-850? 

 

 

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3 hours ago, DougM said:

Took Emile up on the R-115 and it sounds fantastic with the Forte I's. I think they benefit from the extra power over the Pioneer SX-727. .  Been enjoying TV, CD, FM, and vinyl on it. Output seems pretty balanced to me, and I'm not often turning on loudness or increasing bass which seems tighter and improved. 

 

 

Leave the loudness off, but try the bass @ "1 o'clock" & the treble @ "2 o'clock" for cd's & vinyl

 

The R-115 & R-117 are known to sound "warm" (tube-like) for solid state gear. Don't forget you can also use it as a pre-amp & connect it to a bigger amp for more headroom...

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13 hours ago, billybob said:

Yes, was wanting some feedback from a seller on the 115. Sounds like it could power my Epic 1s.

With these below test numbers I bet it can.

 

Lab Tests

The R-115's power output at clipping into 8-ohm loads at 1,000 Hz was 105 watts per channel, well above its 70-watt rating. Into 4 ohms, the output was 148 watts, and into 2 ohms it was a potent 210 watts. The dynamic power output during a 20-millisecond tone burst was 170 watts into 8 ohms, 275 watts into 4 ohms, and 350 watts into 2 ohms. The 8-ohm clipping and dynamic headrooms were 1.77 and 3.85 dB, respectively.

 

Bill

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On 8/28/2021 at 4:54 PM, absolve2525 said:

I have an R-115 and it's great sounding. As with the 117, it will probably need maintenance however. I had to replace the relays in mine. I'm a big vintage Sansui fan also, if you come across any of them. Good luck! Keep us updated 

 

Any opinion on the Sansui 881? I have a lead on a well maintained unit but it's $650. 

 

The Luxman still sounds really good but I'm missing a little of the wow factor I got listening to vinyl on the SX-727. 

 

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That's a nice top of the line Sansui, but price is a bit high in my opinion. Unless it's been completely rebuilt with new capacitors. The 8080, 9090, G8000, G9000 are the more commonly sought after since they have more power. The early model Eight and Eight Deluxe are sought after also. I do have a 221 from that series, and it amazes me how good it sounds for a little guy! 

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14 hours ago, absolve2525 said:

That's a nice top of the line Sansui, but price is a bit high in my opinion. Unless it's been completely rebuilt with new capacitors. The 8080, 9090, G8000, G9000 are the more commonly sought after since they have more power. The early model Eight and Eight Deluxe are sought after also. I do have a 221 from that series, and it amazes me how good it sounds for a little guy! 

 

"The original capacitors are in good working condition and tested well, so they have remained. A dim build test was initially performed to verify no shorts were present - there were not. Fuses have been replaced, just to keep things updated. None of them were blown or charred. Lights have been replaced. All wiring has been checked for burns and any breaks. Solder joints have been checked. All pots and switches have been cleaned numerous times with Deoxit. DC offset was tested and is within spec. Line outputs, RCA inputs and onboard power inputs have all been cleaned with 99% alcohol and then coated with Deoxit Gold. A very thorough cleaning was the final step to ensure the appearance was as good as new."

 

x0x0's, G's, eights, and the Pioneer SX-850 all seem like great options but the prices get crazy! I don't love the 881's looks, but it does seem to have a reputation for warm sound like the SX-727 I'm trying to improve on.

 

Here's some pics of the potential 881's inside.

00J0J_aWflurAD9Sqz_0t20CI_1200x900.jpeg

00Y0Y_3agvHmLa5Pz_0t20CI_1200x900.jpeg

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Looks good inside! I can't really say if it's a step up, since I've never heard one. I have read that some 881 units have a hum that is fixed by tightening the transformer bolts, I believe. I was just reading about that on the Sansui forum on the www.AudioKarma.org website. https://audiokarma.org/forums/index.php?forums/exclusively-sansui.39/ You can always post there for more input from Sansui fans. I'm sure it's a nice sounding unit. You could always look into their integrated amps, which I would consider a step up for probably the same money. These usually need to be checked out also, however, for corrosive glue that needs to be scraped off the board in some spots. Not a big deal. Anyway, good luck and let us know what you end up with! 

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  • 1 month later...

I've owned my Fortes since 1988, and the best they've ever sounded was with a McCormack DNA-1 Deluxe and McCormack TLC-1 passive preamp.  There was a punch, realism, and detail from that set-up - which included two Hsu 12" subs dialed in perfectly - than I had heard with my previous Carver setup, or since with HK, Rotel, then back to McCormack, but with an Anthem Processor for HT duty.  I've gotten a lot of that life-like sound back with purchase of a different DNA-1 Deluxe, but something about that passive preamp getting out of the way and letting the music get through cannot be repeated with modern processing, at least none that I've sent through the pipeline.

 

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I didn't take the plunge on that 881. At $650 I figured I could easily surpass the price of the RR2160MkII should the 881 need any work. I use my receiver daily so reliability is a concern.

 

The Outlaw comes with a 30 day trial period (amongst other modern amenities) so I pulled the trigger on one today. Very curious to see how it sounds, though it wouldn't surprise me if I still ultimately prefer the damn SX-727. 

 

In the meantime if anyone in the Austin area is interested in the R-115 let me know! 

 

 

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DougM, 

 

Placement is very inportant with all of the rear passive models in order to get as much low end as possible. And it does differ from speaker to speaker.... My first set of Forte's are the only ones I have kept... I have had other sets that I have sold that just didn't seen as good. As far as a reciever/amp. I probably stay away from any Home theater receiver for 2 channel.... Unless it's a Marantz or Anthem. I had a Yamahe MX series amp /pre amp that I liked a lot. I now run a Mac C 48/MC 152.

20211029_114832_copy_1950x1462.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

10 days with the Outlaw so far, probably 30 hours of run time across inputs. Receiver pulls a lot of dynamic range off CD's with that optical connection. It also has the ability to run Apple Music high res lossless off an iPhone or iPad thru it's DAC (though it requires 2 separate cables, a $40 dongle, and a wall charger). Phono stage is also very good. Outlaw App works well on my iPhone for seamless connections to TuneIn stations. 

 

Hard choice. The Outlaw is much, much cleaner, but not sure it elicits the same feeling for me with these Forte I's as the damn Pioneer. I'm often adding significant bass thru both the eq boost and the bass control with the Outlaw, where a single click of the loudness would suffice with the Pioneer.  

 

Still curious about a Sansui 881 or an Eight but still not excited to pay what they're going for right now taking into consideration that they're 50 year old electronics and all.

 

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