CHERRY VINTAGE AUDIO / objets d'art (Since 2014) 

CHERRY VINTAGE AUDIO / objets d'art (Since 2014) 


Page 1 Vintage Stereo Receivers ~ Tuners ~ Amps ~ Preamps

Onkyo TX-8500
Onkyo TX-8500

Onkyo TX-8500 

('77-'80)  110 WPC @ 8 / 150 WPC @ 4  $900

Pristine and rare, this Onkyo TX-8500 was one of the true, massive and powerful vintage monsters.  This elusive receiver is rarely seen up for sale these days, especially in such beautiful cosmetic and working condition as this one is.  It has been completely disassembled for extensive servicing and then reassembled for thorough testing.  All inputs, outputs, switches and buttons are functioning perfectly. 

Onkyo's contribution to the so-called "power wars" of the late 70's was the *original Onkyo TX-8500.  It was their top of the line receiver at the time and put out a very honest (and conservative) 150 watts per channel into 4 ohms and 110 watts per channel into 8 ohms. 
(News Flash: the Onkyo TX-8500 loves 4 ohm speaker loads!)

This late 70's lineup of Onkyo receivers (including the TX-2500, TX-4500, TX-6500) were, up until recently, considered under-appreciated units...but not any more.  

The build quality, performance and features of this bad boy are right up there with the best of the powerful receivers from Pioneer, Sansui, Technics (and all the rest of the big names) during the fiercely competitive Japanese audio manufacturers' scramble to outdo each other in mid-to-late 70's.
(NOTE: Although Onkyo was a little late to the scene with this monster receiver, the TX-8500 didn't receive the fanfare that the others received at the time but the TX-8500 is easily comparable.)

The TX-8500 features three tape inputs; simply choose one of the tape inputs as your designated aux input and still have two more available for a variety of potential ad-ons.  Additional inputs for two turntables and three pairs of speakers gives the receiver the capability as a brutally strong anchor for just about any HiFi system you can imagine.The dual-mono amp section was (and still is) one of the best from this hallowed era of fine vintage receivers.  Also, the tuning section is no slouch either. 

This huge guy is almost 2 feet wide and weighs a hefty 55 pounds.  The large brushed aluminum faceplate is enhanced by a wide and yet narrow window made of thick beveled glass held in place by four "industrial" hex-shaped fasteners.  There is some very minor fading on a small section of the thin silkscreen lettering on the faceplate.  This fading was common on the TX models (apparently because Onkyo's choice of lettering application was very light to begin with.)  However, the overall cosmetics of the TX lineup was popular enough to become Onkyo's trademark design in the future of the TX series. 
(*NOTE:  the second and later version of this receiver was the TX-8500MKii.  It was completely redesigned cosmetically and had more power as well.  We've had a few of each of these units over the years.  While they are both excellent units, we lean a little more towards the first model only because the TX-8500 is a "pure" analog version.  The MKii is certainly gorgeous but the "hybrid" nature of its digital/analog construction has a well known potential issue: the digital frequency station numbers can go haywire causing a constant flashing distraction and it's not an easy fix.)

Basic specs:

Power output: 110 watts per channel into 8 ohms
                         150 WPC into 4 ohms
Frequency response: 15Hz to 30kHz
THD: 0.1%
Dimensions: 22.5"W x 6.3"H x 18"D
Weight: 55 lbs

The Back story...

The design of the TX-8500 (and the other TX-xxxx units) in the latter half of the 70's was Onkyo's last ditch effort to survive in the audio world and they put all their marbles into these receivers.  Onkyo was definitely ahead of its time because they realized the importance of a good phono preamplifier.  If you compared the transient response of the phono preamps in these units to their peers, it was immediately obvious. In their earlier test, they would inject a pulse followed by a sine wave and check the dilation of the pulse into the sine wave and the phono preamps were outstanding!
The TX-8500 (et al) incorporated these design parameters so their phono sections sounded remarkably good.   They also upgraded the analog tuners with servo lock tuning and also quartz lock tuning in the TOTL. The quartz lock tuning worked remarkably well and the tuning accuracy was only limited to the quartz time base in each unit.  Keep in mind that this is pre-digital tuner days for receivers.
Then they concentrated on the power amplifiers.
The power amplifier section of the receivers rivaled Harman Kardon's receivers by achieving low tilt figures for the low frequency and high slew rate for the upper frequency response without sacrificing hum and noise like HK did.  The success of these TX-xxxx units catapulted Onkyo even higher into the audio world and enabled them to successfully compete in the crowded marketplace of the late 70's

Onkyo TX 4500 MKII
Onkyo TX 4500 MKII

Onkyo TX 4500 MKII 

(1980) 55 / 65 WPC (8ohms / 4 ohms)  $400 (pristine)

In excellent cosmetic and working condition, this Onkyo TX-4500MKii is the upgraded and "prettier" version of the very popular and earlier TX-4500.  

This was the first stereo receiver with quartz-synchronization for the FM band.  Even though its predecessor, TX-4500 was a successful Onkyo upper middle class receiver, Onkyo decided to redesign the 4500 so... the MKii version was definitely "optimized". 

Upgraded components packed into almost the exact same chassis as the 4500 resulted in an additional 10 watts more than the first version.  The MKii is rated at a very conservative (and honest) 55 watts per channel into 8 ohms and 65 watts per channel in 4 ohms (with a max of around 70 watts per channel when pushed). 

And, for the display scale, they continued the use of the popular, real thick glass. With its already desirable industrial design, this was an added expression of timeless elegance. 

The 4500MKii is a heavy receiver at about 36 lbs and, at about 23" wide, it's about 2" wider than the competition in its class.   It has reliable and solid high power; enough to drive 3 pairs of most speakers.  

The trademark look of this series, the rosewood veneer on metal along with the four hex bolts holding the front glass, gives it a "top shelf" appeal.  Onkyo was so pleased with the overall success of the TX-4500MKii that, out of the hundreds of products they designed all that time,  it was the featured receiver on the print sheets for their 70th Anniversary.

Basic specs:
Power output: minimum 60 watts per channel into 8Ω (stereo)
Frequency response: 15Hz to 30kHz
THD: 0.1%
Signal to noise ratio: 65dB (MM), 90dB (line)
Speaker load impedance: 4Ω to 16Ω
Dimensions: 23"W x 6.5"H x 16.9"D
Weight: 36 lbs

Onkyo TX-440
Onkyo TX-440

Onkyo TX-440 

('74-'76)  21 WPC   $225 (rare and pristine)

In absolutely pristine cosmetic and operating condition, this rarely seen Onkyo TX-440 receiver has an interesting back story... the early 70's, Onkyo was struggling to wrestle away some decent market share from Pioneer, Sansui, Yamaha, etc.  By 1974, their engineers began to up the ante by designing a new series of TX models that could go toe-to-toe with the competition.   Point-to-point wiring, oversized transformers and handsome faceplate designs were the key.  The TX-440 was the first model to hit the market with the new design and it offered more of everything in its price range.

Although rated at a very conservative 21 watts per channel into 8 ohms (and 28 watts per channel into 4 ohms), the Onkyo TX-440 pushed the envelope by having connections for three pairs of speakers.  This was boldly infringing on Pioneer's territory if you remember the SX-626 receiver with its relatively low power but connections for 3 pairs of speakers and two turntables?  

The TX-440's massive transformer and solid power board are clear examples of Onkyo's serious attitude about gaining market share.
The light bronze/champagne faceplate, white silkscreen lettering, fluted metal knobs, chrome pushbuttons and walnut veneer case on the TX-440 were other examples of fine design and planning.

Essentially, the TX-440 led directly to the next model that morphed into the TX-2500 (released in 1977) then eventually became the TX-2500MKii released in 1979.  From its humble beginnings in 1976, the TX-440 opened the doors for Onkyo in a big way.  Even today, some 43 years later, the Onkyo TX-MKii series of receivers are recognized as some of Onkyo's very best products and are highly desirable. 

Although it's true that Onkyo did skimp (just a little) on the later series in the TX lineup (certainly not enough to stop folks from buying them), the original TX-440 was the unit that Onkyo placed all their bets on.;  certainly top shelf parts and build quality from front to back, top to bottom.

Basic specs:
THD: 0.5%
Frequency response: 20 KHz - 30 KHz +- 1 dB
Dimensions: 18.5"W x 5.5"H x 15"D 
Weight: 25 lbs

About Onkyo...
The word Onkyo translates as "sound harmony".  Starting out in 1946, Osaka Denki ONKYO K.K. was established and they began manufacturing phonograph pickups. The CP-1000 turntable was the first product to bear the ONKYO brand.  They also manufactured integrated stereo systems throughout the years but they majored in turntables, early amps, preamps, stereo receivers and also the cassette tape format beginning in 1981 with the TA-W800, the world's first high-speed dubbing, double-cassette tape deck with a wide variety of tape-editing functions.
They hit their high mark in the late 70's with the above mentioned TX-xxxx series of stereo receivers, tuners and amps.  Onkyo kept pace with, and in some ways exceeded, the strong competition from Pioneer, Sansui, Marantz, Optonica, etc.  The stereo wars of the 70's yielded so many great products and Onkyo is right there with the best of them.
Today, Onkyo is still a global brand and their Integra series is well respected.


Adcom GFA-545-II 

stereo amp  ('91-'92)   *100 WPC  $475

This Adcom GFA-545-II is in perfect condition, both cosmetically and performance-wise.  It's a simple, sleek black box with it's only exterior design in the form of a grooved section on the upper half of the front face.   

A minimum of controls: on/off rocker switch and LED indicator, a brace of multi-way binding posts and gold-plated inputs. The only other distinguishing characteristics are three warning lights, two for 'instantaneous distortion alert' to warn you of excessive THD, IM, slew-induced distortion or clipping, and a light to indicate the awakening of the thermal protection circuit.  

*Rated at a conservative 100 WPC (8 ohms) the honest rated maximum output at 1 kHz into an 8 ohm load is about 128 watts at 121.1 V AC power input at 0.1% THD.

The 545/II has a triple Darlington output stage, a large potted toroidal transformer and large, high-grade power supply filter capacitors to provide stability with awkward loads.  Large heat sinks and adequate ventilation helps to keep it cool at all times. The output section contains 12 discrete transistors in Class AB operation.

The GFA-545-II operates noise other than the mechanical sound of the rocker on/off switch engaging. 

Basic specs:
Power output: 120 watts per channel into 8Ω (stereo)
Frequency response: 10Hz to 20kHz
THD: 0.04%
Dimensions: 5.5"H x 17"W x 12.2"D
Weight: 25 lbs

About Adcom...
ADCOM started in the 70s. Their first offering wasn’t amplifiers but phono cartridges. They were no ordinary cartridges; however, they were extraordinarily musical "moving coil" designs that extracted a lot of information from a record groove. These products were so successful that other companies asked them to begin making cartridges for them, too! And so, they became a manufacturer!

Early Electronics... ADCOM's first electronic product, the groundbreaking GFA-1 power amplifier, appeared in December 1979. It was substantially more powerful than most of its competition at 200 watts per channel and was one of the first "high current" designs available. . Again, it was an affordable and standout performer. Critical response was phenomenal and the GFA-1 became the "hot ticket" amplifier of its day, as did the successor GFA-1A.

The GFA-1 and GFA-1A were followed by a new group of matching components: the GFA-2 power amplifier, the GFP-1 preamplifier, and the GFT-1 tuner. These were also unique products. The GFA-2 power amp boasted 100 watts per channel and used high-speed output transistors and dual power supplies. The GFP-1's low-noise design won a lot of praise from record lovers and the evolutionary GFP-1A added the convenience of ADCOM's innovative dual recording/listening source selectors.

ADCOM, making you fall in love with your speakers since 1980s. ADCOM has always succeed in delivering quality sound. Being music enthusiast, they always try to achieve the best of sound they can get out of any speakers. ADCOM engineering has made mastered in developing innovative products, best class performance and great value for money. The sound of ADCOM is bold, clear which results is clean instrument sound and vocal quality.


Akai AM-2600 / AT-2600
Akai AM-2600 / AT-2600

Akai AM-2600 / AT-2600 

integrated amp / tuner ('77-'79) 60 WPC  $500/set (mint)

Obtained from the original owner, this Akai AM-2600 integrated amp with matching AT-2600 tuner are visual works of art.  This is a rare and splendid set of fine components from Akai.

Both units have been fully serviced as per our usual bench procedures.  All inputs, outputs and switches are fully functional.   All knobs, switches and the faceplate were removed for hand polishing.  We also painstakingly wired in all new cool white LEDs for both units.  As a result of our intensive servicing, this pair of Akai components are now in mint cosmetic and operational condition,

The heavy metal knobs, switches and buttons tell you immediately these guys are first class units.  The walnut veneer cases (on both units) are perfect.  All lights are brightly lit.  

As Akai's second in line to the TOTL AM-2800 for the integrated units, the AM-2600 was first released in 1977. Its specified power rating is an extremely conservative 60 watts per channel (RMS) @ 8 ohm speaker loads and 65 WPC @ 4 ohms.  

The AM-2600 has outputs for two turntables and, as expected from Akai, one of the advantages of this unit was its high quality built-in RIAA equalizer for both phono inputs. Both phono connections have 3mV sensitivity, but one is switchable between 33, 47 or 100 kOhms, with the other set at 50 kOhms.

All knob controls are detent (click-type) and it has turnover frequency buttons for both bass/treble and separate tone "off" button for flat response across the sound spectrum.  There are also two different loudness contours (-15 and -30dB attenuation).

The handsome and accurate VU power meters have a switch to adjust the sensitivity of the meters; you can listen at low levels and still observe the meter activity.

All the usual inputs/outputs like AUX, tape 1 & 2 are there as well.  The AM-2600 can handle two pairs of speakers from 4-8 ohms.  Most important is the internal main amp section protection circuit that shuts down the unit before anything crazy happens.

The AT-2600 stereo tuner is a handsome matching unit with excellent specs and a featured "Hi-Blend" switch to reduce noise.  The large heavy flywheel tuning knob gives you a satisfying feel when it smoothly glides the tuning needle across the FM dial.  Additional features include analog signal strength and tuning meters, variable FM muting and output level control.

The dimensions for both units are 17.3"W × 5.5"H × 13"D.  The amp weighs 23 lbs, the tuner weighs 15 lbs.

About Akai...
Akai is one of those wonderful companies that began all the way back in 1929, and ever since then has been one of Japan's leaders in the consumer electronics industry. Much of their hi-fi from 1977 was extremely high quality design and build, because they were also responsible for the manufacture of the components as well. They made innovative leaps with their GX tape head technology with such confidence as to provide a lifetime guarantee. They were also leaders in turntable motor drive technology so that the buyer could enjoy extremely smooth speeds with virtually negligible wow-and-flutter figures.

One of their best innovations was the AC Servo motor, which was center pole frequency generated (CPG), with center magnetic pole of equal radiation. The motor had no less than 40 gears on both the rotor and stator sides, and the flux was produced at the same time from the flow of current for simultaneous detection of 40 pulses.  Other companies soon followed Akai's technology applications. 

Akai hi-fi was so well made that you will continuously find much of it in vintage HiFi markets, and when it becomes available there is a predictable and large amount of interest. Whether it is their amps, receivers, reel-to-reel deck, turntable or speakers, they are all highly desirable to collectors and audiophiles around the world. 


McIntosh Mac 1900
McIntosh Mac 1900

McIntosh Mac 1900 

('71-'78)  55 WPC  SOLD 

In excellent cosmetic condition and working perfectly, this McIntosh 1900 stereo receiver comes with the handsome McIntosh L-19 walnut case. 

It has been completely disassembled for deep cleaning, board checks, deoxit of all contacts and testing.  All inputs / outputs / push-buttons / sliders / meters and lamps are fully functional.  Even though this beautiful receiver is 100% original and 45 years old, it's a fitting testament to McIntosh's well known and highly respected build quality.  

Vintage McIntosh gear vs the "others" is sometimes like comparing a Rolex to a Timex...this McIntosh 1900 has that retro-cool look and is one of the early "Rolex" quality units from McIntosh. 
See the *Note below for a deep dive into the backstory of the Mac 1900.

The MAC-1900 was introduced in the early ’70s and remained in the company’s line through 1978 but it wasn’t the company’s first receiver. That hard-fought honor was reserved for the 30-watts-per-channel MAC-1500 that sold for $499 in 1965. It was replaced by the MAC-1700 receiver a couple years later, which upped power output to 40 watts and filled the receiver slot until the MAC-1900 came along.

Most vintage audio enthusiasts consider McIntosh equipment to be the top of the line. It is some of the best designed and best built audio equipment made during that time period. And, actually many would argue that you would have to spend thousands of dollars today on contemporary audio equipment in order to equal the performance of restored vintage McIntosh gear. McIntosh amplifiers are some of the most highly sought after vintage audio equipment around.  Many knowledgeable audiophiles called the MAC-1900 "arguably the first 'high-end' receiver of the modern equipment era”.   

Basic specs:
Power output: 55W RMS into 4 or 8 Ohms
THD: less than 0.20%
Frequency response: 20Hz to 20kHz
Dimensions: 17"W X 16"D x 7"H
Weight: 37 lbs including case


Back in 2020, Sound and Vision did a deep dive into the backstory regarding the Mac 1900, here's the link:

About McIntosh...
Founded in 1949, McIntosh is known for offering distinguished home audio systems that deliver the ultimate experience in music and film. Offering products for two-channel stereo sound systems and multi-channel home theaters with surround sound, McIntosh continues to define the ultimate home audio entertainment experience for discriminating listeners around the world. Their iconic blue watt output meter is globally recognized as a symbol of quality home audio. 

McIntosh products are designed and handcrafted at their Binghamton, NY factory by dedicated employees who share a passion for music and the McIntosh heritage. Since their inception, McIntosh has been powering some of the most important moments in music history and pop culture. From President Lyndon Johnson's inauguration speech to Woodstock to the famous Grateful Dead "Wall of Sound," McIntosh has not only witnessed history, they have shaped it.


Soundcraftsmen A2502
Soundcraftsmen A2502

Soundcraftsmen A2502 

stereo power amp (1982)  125 WPC  SOLD

In mint cosmetic condition and completely operational, this rare Soundcraftsmen A2502 stereo power amp has recently been professionally recapped.  It has a lustrous satin black finish, rack handles and extremely accurate LED power meters that are all wrapped up in a relatively compact design.

It's conservatively rated to deliver 125 watts per channel into 8 ohm loads (20 and 20,000 Hz) with no more than 0.05% THD (or intermodulation distortion.)   Unlike most amplifiers, it is also fully rated for driving 4 ohm loads with a powerful 190 watts per channel at the same 0.05% distortion.

Tech info:
The front panel has two horizontal rows of LEDs that display the instantaneous power output of each channel (with separate scales for 8 and 4 ohm loads). The lights are calibrated for power outputs between 0.01 and 250 watts into 8 ohms (and double those values into 4 ohms), with green indicators being used up to 125 watts and red for the +1-, +2-, and +3 -dB output lights. Each channel also has true clipping red LEDs driven by a circuit that compares the input and output waveforms and turns on the light only when there is a difference, thus indicating the actual onset of clipping.

*NOTE: During an equipment report on the A2502 done by Stereo Review magazine in 1982, lab testing found the amp to hit about 153 WPC @ clipping (8 ohms) and close to 210 WPC @ clipping (4 ohms).  It seems that the large current reserve of the A2502 enables it to have exceptional dynamic headroom.

Two front panel knobs control the input sensitivity of each channel. Pushbuttons control AC power and the two sets of speaker outputs. If the internal protection circuit operates, the AC power shuts off and a red "protect" light appears on the panel. When the transistors have cooled sufficiently, operation is restored automatically.

On the back are external heat sink fins and heavy-duty 5-way binding posts for the speaker outputs (on standard 3/4" centers for dual banana plug connectors). The signal inputs are standard phono jacks, and there is a holder for the 5 amp line fuse. 

Basic specs:
Frequency response: 20Hz to 20kHz
THD: 0.02%
Speaker load impedance: 2Ω (minimum)
Dimensions: 19"W x 5.25"H x 10.5"D
Weight: 27 pounds
Original MSRP:  $649 

*Julian D. Hirsch the highly respected sound engineer said:
"(in regards to the Soundcraftsmen A2502) there was nothing electrically and audibly that we could criticize. There are a number of fine amplifiers on the market in the general power and price range of the A2502. Nevertheless, all things considered, this amplifier impresses us as one of the better values in the field.
We were especially aware of the conservatism of its ratings and the absence of ambiguity or qualifying statements in its performance specifications. This reflects Soundcraftsmen's policy that their amplifiers will develop their rated power, or better, under any operating conditions one might envision in a home environment.
Given our extensive experience with amplifiers that failed to survive the more severe parts of our test program, we were also impressed by the ruggedness of the A2502 and its freedom from the all too common self-destructive tendencies of high -power amplifiers. All of these comments, by the way, apply with equal validity to other, higher power Soundcraftsmen amplifiers we have tested over the years.
The A2502 brings their excellent qualities to a more affordable price range. The bottom line, as we see it, is that the Soundcraftsmen A2502 is a superior power amplifier, far more powerful in real (that is to say, audible) terms than its modest 125 watt rating would imply. Aside from sheer power, which it has in abundance, the A2502 is stable, electrically rugged, free of unpleasant surprises or idiosyncrasies, and priced most attractively."

About Soundcraftsmen...
Soundcraftsmen was one of America's most respected audio component manufacturers. It was established in Santa Ana, California in 1961 by Ralph Yeomans. At first the company made small tube amplifiers and receivers. In 1968, Paul Rolfes--a brilliant electronics engineer--joined Yeomans. Their first joint project was an equalizer that was introduced in 1971.

In the late 1970s, Soundcraftsmen branched out into solidstate amplifiers, pre-amplifiers and other audio equipment. Then the company introduced a masterstroke of audio engineering, the first preamplifier/equalizer and helped to forge Soundcraftsmen's reputation as being on the forefront of audio design engineering. The company's equalizers were recognized as being so good, they started making their way into recording studios.