Vintage Stereo Receivers ~ Tuners ~ Amps ~ Preamps
(1978) 35 WPC $175 (pristine)
This mid-sized Sony STR-V3 was part of their late 70's line-up of receivers with the decidedly "industrial" design. The series was topped off by the very powerful STR-V7.
The V3 was introduced around 1978 and has the classic 70's Sony styling with its low key sophistication and lack of over-the-top eye candy. From the baby V1 all the way to the top, these were built to last...much rather classy than brassy .
Selling abundantly in Europe, not as much in the US and not at all in Japan - this first "STR-V" series was export-only.
The green lamps glow across the entire front AM/FM panel and the twin analog meters. The brushed aluminum knobs make an upscale and sleek impression.
The build quality and performance is very, very good and easily compares to the other big names during a time of stiff competition.
The Sony STR-V3 produces a conservative 35 watts per channel into 8 ohms. The green glow and chrome frames are carefully balanced with the different finish textures, real class. The interior design is very impressive with its good sized toroidal power transformer, excllent FM tuner, inputs for one turntable, 2 tape/aux, etc.
At 31 lbs, it's fairly heavy for its size and has beautiful real wood side panels with walnut veneer.
As with all our equipment, the inputs/outputs, knobs, switches, etc function correctly and the cosmetic condition is excellent.
Nothing to add here, Sony is one of the most famous and well known, global electronics companies in history.
('73-'78) 100 WPC (stereo) $1200 (rebuilt power supply) updated copy below
One of the most powerful receivers from Marantz' best era, this 4300 receiver is in absolutely excellent cosmetic and working condition. Rebuild and servicing info is noted below. Also available (as an option) for this receiver is the Marantz SQA-2 adaptor (full logic decoder). Sorry, no shipping available on this Marantz.
As you will notice in the photos, this unit comes with professionally built, custom piano black gloss laminate case that is beyond gorgeous. Photos do not fully show the beauty of this case. The receiver fits perfectly into the case. Stunning!
Labeled as a "quadradial" (capable of 2 or 4 channel output) it really punches out some juice in stereo mode. Modestly rated at 100 watts per channel in stereo (40 WPC x 4 in quad) there is proven testing that shows the 4300 to put out way more.
Another 4300 that was restored included this information:
"It is generally accepted that the highest power Marantz stereo receiver from this era is the 2325 at 125 watts per channel. They top out on the test bench at around 160 watts per channel. Although the 4300 is rated at 100 watts per channel it actually tops out on the test bench at just over 175 watts per channel in stereo making it the higher power of the two." ~Classic Audio October 2016
(Note: The Marantz 4400 quadradial had 125 WPC but didn't match the 4300 in total watts at clipping and the 3385, released later in mid '77, pumped out 185 watts per channel, making it the most powerful of all)
This 4300 was very recently serviced in January 2020. That started with a complete disassembly, primarily to replace all the outputs. Additional servicing included checking all relays and boards, bias spec set @ 35V and 2 rounds of deoxit for all pots, switches, etc. The unit was then reassembled, powered up for 24 hours yet the sinks were only slightly warm to the touch...it's all good.
It also has all new lamps, new vellum behind the glass and a pristine faceplate. The Marantz SQA-2 adaptor (full logic decoder) and a copy of the owner's manual are also included.
A few very cool features in the Marantz 4300:
1) The built-in "Vari-matrix" switch lets you synthesize 4-channel sound from any 2-channel material. And the Vari-matrix Dimension Control lets you change the apparent size of your listening area from an auditorium to a small club by recovering ambient information lost in ordinary stereo playback.
2) The Marantz "Quadra Power" bridging circuit assures total flexibility for stereo or 4 -channel operation. More than twice the rated 4 -channel power per channel in the stereo mode for top performance.
3) The tuner section of this receiver
has a Phase Lock Loop FM Multiplex Demodulator. This sophisticated Marantz integrated circuit
locks precisely on the FM sub-carrier signal. The results: maximum separation (40 db at 1000
cycles) and minimum distortion
(under 0.2% in tuner).
Combine all this with the beautiful blue glow and polished knobs...it's a prime example of one of the best of the vintage receivers from the Golden Age of Hi FI.
Tuning range: FM, MW
Power output: 100 WPC (stereo), 40 WPC into 4Ω (quad)
Frequency response: 10Hz to 30kHz
Damping factor: 40
Input sensitivity: 1.8mV (MM), 180mV (line)
Signal to noise ratio: 80dB (line)
Dimensions: 490 x 146 x 386mm
Weight: 61 lbs including case
Years: 1972 - 1978
What can we say that hasn't already been said about Marantz? A lot of changes have happened to the company since the 60's and 70's when Marantz was THE brand of choice for audiophiles around the world (second only to McIntosh of course). Until the mid 80's, Marantz was still a highly sought after name but, with the company being sold so many times, eventually, like so many other famous names, they gradually declined in popularity.
Kenwood Basic M2
('83-'85) 220/320 WPC $400 (no shipping)
Obtained from the original owner, this Kenwood Basic M2 is in excellent cosmetic and operating condition (this is not the 2A) It comes with a large, custom fit, solid timberwood case. Dimensions are 20" W x 16" D x 8" H and it weighs about 45 lbs (including wood case).
The M2 is highly regarded as having a slightly cleaner, clearer sound than the M2A .
Although very powerful, it's extremely simple in design. Everything works perfectly as it should Including all lights and controls. The M2 features DLD (high dynamic output) and the option of Sigma Drive.
Bench tested at a minimum of 220 watts per channel RMS into 8 ohms but it puts out a whopping 320 watts per channel into 4 ohms. The much hyped Sigma drive capability is simply a way of squeezing more power from the amp but it's not really necessary because you will still get great performance from the M2 without it.
The amp is very well built and, unlike many other similar amps that only handle one pair of speakers, the M2 has outputs for two pairs of speakers (A and B) plus a headphone jack. There are front gain level controls for right and left channel along with digital meter range and peak hold time options.
All in all, the Basic M2 is a very well respected high current amp with mega power to spare. The power cord and a copy of the owners manual is included.
Frequency response: 1Hz to 200kHz
Total harmonic distortion: 0.004%
Damping factor: 1000
Input sensitivity: 1V
Signal to noise ratio: 120dB
Speaker load impedance: 4Ω to 16Ω
About Kenwood (Trio)...
Established in 1946 as the Kasuga Radio Co. Ltd. in Komagane City, Japan, in 1960 the company was renamed Trio Corporation. In 1963 the first overseas office was founded in Los Angeles.
In the early 1960s, Trio's products were rebranded by the Lafayette Radio Co with a focus on CB radio.
An importer of Japanese-made electronics Radio Shack (Realistic, Tandy Corp) was A&A Trading Co., and a bilingual Japanese-speaking manager from there established a company that would be the exclusive importer of Trio products.
The name Kenwood was invented by Kasuga as being the combination of "Ken", a name common to Japan and North America that had been tested and proven acceptable to American consumers in the name of Kenmore appliance (Sears) \, and "Wood", referring to the durable substance as well as suggesting a relation to Hollywood. The brand recognition of Kenwood eventually surpassed that of Trio's, and in 1986 Trio bought Kenwood and renamed itself Kenwood. Eventually, Kenwood merged with JVC in 2008 as JVC/Kenwood.
HH Scott 370R
(1979) 60 WPC $300 (pristine)
Getting harder to find and especially in such pristine condition as this one, this very excellent HH Scott 370R is a rare bird...it's truly a vintage beauty.
This one is a one-owner unit in excellent cosmetic and working condition. At 37 lbs, it's a heavy and solidly built receiver. In our opinion, it's one of the very best looking and best built receivers to come from Japan in the late 70's. Rated at a very conservative 60 watts per channel, the 370R is not afraid of driving 4 ohms loads either because it pumps out nearly 82 watts per channel in 4 ohms.
Unlike the competition back in the day (like Pioneer, Sansui, Yamaha, Sony, Marantz, etc) HH Scott did not pout a lot of money into marketing. They did much less advertising in the 60's and 70's and relied mostly on excellent reviews and word of mouth. The name is not as well known except to those who know the true build quality of Scott electronics.
The first thing that grabs you is the gorgeous design...huge aluminum detent tuning and volume knobs, function flip switches, aluminum block selector knobs, four well lighted easy to read meters, beautiful silver face design and real walnut veneer side panels.
Some of its features include:
~Triple tone controls (bass, mid and treble)
~DC configuration OCL power amp section with crazy low distortion (0.05%)
~Four gang FM tuner section and all silicon dual-gate MOSFETs for wide, low noise signal and superior FM reception that pulls in distant stations with ease...even without an antenna!
~Four meters: dual wide range power meters calibrated in watts plus signal strength meter and center channel tuning meter
One of the most elusive of the late 70's receivers from HH Scott, the 370R is a definite high value, collector quality receiver from the great lineup of HH Scott in the late 70's vintage history.
About H.H. Scott...
Hermon Hosmer Scott held many patents and was instrumental in the birth and development of high fidelity sound equipment. HH Scott, the famous name by which he and his firm were so widely known, became one of the top two respected names in consumer high fidelity (and later stereo), the other also bearing its founder's name, the very famous Fisher Radio. HH Scott was one of those highly respected companies in HiFi that spent relatively little on advertising but in the audiophile community they were well know regardless.
integrated amp ('77-'80) $TBD
Rarely seen and much appreciated, this Setton AS-3300 integrated amplifier is in excellent cosmetic condition and sounds absolutely way more powerful than its VERY conservatively rated 55 watts per channel.
The AS-3300 has an incredibly solid construction compared to the majority of the other integrated amps from that era. It's got a schematic diagrams painted on the top of each piece, detachable computer grade power cord, thick solid glass windows and designer metal knobs. The sound is clean and very powerful, and has a very warm sound when connected to very good speakers.
For more detailed information, there are many online discussions about the AS-3300. We wouldn't go so far as to repeat the phrase "holy grail" when describing this gorgeous piece of vintage history but...it definitely belongs in any classic collection of fine audiophile gear.
In the mid 70's the Frenchman Jacky Setton decided to develop a small series of receivers and amps, which immediately gained a good reputation through internationally awarded reviews. Although Setton was based in New York, he had "research" centers all over the globe - he was French in the first place and the French distributor of Pioneer, among other things. It's been discovered that Setton units were designed in cooperation with both Lafayette and Pioneer. As for the noble exterior design, with all of the oval elements, Setton commissioned French designer Alain Carre (from the fashion house Pierre Cardin) to produce the elegant look now associated with Setton products.
(1977) 75 WPC $400 (mint, one owner)
In absolutely mint cosmetic and working condition, this one-owner Hitachi SR-903 is a fascinating beast...one of the best receivers to come from Hitachi during the best era for vintage HiFi. Shipping is unavailable because these units are very difficult to find, especially in such superior condition as this one.
Besides the fact the SR-903 was the top of the line in 1977, what else makes this receiver so special? On the outside, it looks like the "typical" unit from the 70's, it's what's inside that's different...
Because of its "Class E" topology, the SR-903 packs a wallop at close to 160 watts per channel when the non-clipping additional power rail is automatically activated when the music gets hot. It's a "regular" 75 watts per channel in standard form but can handle spikes in output power that would cause a normal Class-AB amp to clip. Besides the Class-E design, Hitachi used primarily Hitachi parts. Simply put, it has a 3rd rail which allows additional voltage swings and increased peak power output at certain frequencies.
During one of its tests in 1977, Stereo Review magazine best explained this exclusive circuitry "uses a low power and a high power output stage operating together.. At low signal levels the lower power stage drives the speakers. The transition to the more powerful output transistors .. Takes place smoothly at the point where it becomes advantageous to do so... ...Class E delivers much higher overall efficiency than a conventional device, and this brings immediate dividends …in reduced weight, size and power consumption."
Also in 1977, Audio magazine, in another test said: "The SR-903 employs what Hitachi calls Class E power amplifiers. Two groups of output transistors per channel are used; one group handles low-level signals while the second group "switches in" for high-level information. The idea is not entirely new, but the execution is; it results in lower operating temperatures, a worthwhile increase in the "music-power" capabilities of the amplifier and certain attractive economies in the power supply and heat sink."
The point they're talking about, of course, is where certain portions of the music you listen to demand more than the rated output to sound like they should. So when your music really gets thrilling, Class E cuts into a standby amplifier. Then, for just a moment, the SR-903 can pump out a lusty 160 watts per channel - without clipping.
Much later on (during the 80's for instance), NAD and Carver's magnetic field power units used this same topology as well as many other Japanese manufacturers. Unlike the Carver, the SR-903 does not suffer from bad voltage swings due to a clumsy power supply. In other words, the SR-903 is one very stable beast that sounds great.
This series from Hitachi was later changed to "Class G" or "Dyanharmony" but it's all the same thing...just marketing advertising.
ThebSR-903 has the always desirable twin VU meters and function lights which casts a warm inviting glow in low light. It has plenty of features including a very nice mid-range attenuator, which isn't commonly found very often in any receivers or amplifiers in comparison to just the typical bass and treble. Of course it has the usual phono, aux, FM/AM and 2 tape inputs with loudness, high and low filters and stereo/mono buttons just like any receivers from the era.
This is a very nice sounding receiver and it's very well built. It sounds really clean and dynamic... an excellent sounding piece of vintage history.
Unknown to many people, Hitachi (like Sanyo and Toshiba) were major Japanese tech firms that either directly built systems for other electronic companies or had Hitachi high end parts (like output transistors) inside the competitors products. Class G is just one example of Hitachi's leadership in vintage audio technology. Power MOS FET amplifiers, R&P 3-head system cassette decks, Uni-torque turntable motors and gathered-edge metal cone speakers are just some of the others. There's a lot more. Hitachi of Japan was one of the companies that made their own filter caps, transformers, etc...in-house. They also supplied many other famous names with Hitachi-made components (like Pioneer, Sony, even Marantz used Hitachi parts.)
NAD 2200 amp NAD 1020 preamp
('85-'89) 100 WPC $380
In excellent cosmetic and working condition, this NAD 2200 amp is highly respected for many reasons. The included NAD 1020 preamp is pristine and fully working as well.
Here is the review from HiFi Classic Magazine:
"Despite its conventional appearance, the NAD 2200 was radically different from other stereo power amplifiers in its design and performance, some aspects of which border on the spectacular. It carries a relatively moderate power rating of 100 watts per channel into 8-ohm loads from 20 to 20,000 Hz with no more than 0.03 percent distortion. In size, weight, and price, it is similar to a number of other good 100-watt amplifiers. Not surprisingly, it followed the NAD tradition of giving its amplifiers conservative power ratings and the ability to drive low-impedance speaker loads without difficulty (the clipping power output is specified as 140 watts into 8 ohms or 200 watts into 4 ohms).
Read the rest of the review here: http://www.hifi-classic.net/review/nad-2200-546.html
NAD 1020 specs:
Frequency response: 20Hz to 20kHz
Input sensitivity: 0.09mV (MC), 1.25mV (MM), 80mV (line)
Signal to noise ratio: 72dB (MC), 75dB (MM), 94dB (line)
Output: 80mV (line), 15V (Pre out Max)
About NAD (New Acoustic Dimension)...
NAD Electronics is a brand name of an electronics firm whose products include home HiFi amplifiers and related components. The company was founded in London, England, in 1972 by Dr. Martin L. Borish, an electrical engineer with a PhD in physics. Its most famous product is the late-1970s NAD 3020 an integrated amp designed by Bjørn Erik Edvardsen, which was highly regarded by various magazines in Britain. NAD's philosophy is to include only genuinely useful features for aesthetically understated designs when compared to other competitors' products. NAD was one of the first audio manufacturers to outsource the manufacturing of its products to electronics factories in east Asia. NAD was acquired by the Danish firm AudioNord in 1991 and subsequently sold in 1999 to the Lenbrook Group of Pickering, Ontario, Canada