Vintage Audio Buyer’s Guide: Busting Five Myths

For the last several years, I’ve been collecting antique audiosI’ve purchased and sold almost every 1970s Marantz receiver model and most 1970s Marantz integrated and separate amplifiers. Sansui 9090 and Marantz 2330B are two legendary monster radios that I came upon. . The old Luxmans were a treat, as well. You may find this information useful as you go on your own vintage audio trip by dispelling some of these fallacies.
“Made in Japan” hi-fi gear from 1970 to 1980 is the topic of this article.

One of the most common misconceptions about vintage audio equipment is that it is very uncommon and difficult to acquire.


Le nombre s’exprime lui- The 1970s were a boom time for stereo. By 1980, 32% of 80 million American homes had HiFi/stereo. When HiFi was popular in the US in the 1970s, there were more than 250,000 systems in use. Millions of stereos and related components sold by Pioneer, Marantz, Sansui, Kenwood Panasonic/Technics, Yamaha, and Luxman are not niche market numbers.

The absence of built-in obsolescence in 1970s audio equipment led to the decline in sales in the early 1980s. In the 1970s, cassette players and stereos were recognized for their durability and ease of use.  The 1980s market slump significantly lowered HiFi construction quality.

In the 1970s, stereos were mostly bought by males aged 18 to 24. That generation is downsizing, which means removing valued possessions from the basement and attic, including 1970s audio gear.

The vintage audio industry is predicted to peak between 2010 and 2030. To recap, a lot of vintage HiFi gear is still available.

Myth 2: The Value of Vintage Audio is only going to rise!


price declines may be attributed to two main factors:

For starters, as previously said, the market will continue to receive old audio from previous owners for the foreseeable future. Many attics and basements have yet to be decluttered and cleaned out. Facebook has 46 percent of the over-65-year-old population, which means that this gear will become simpler to locate.

To begin with, and maybe most critically, the buyer market is contracting rather than expanding. Males in their 50s and older are the most likely to purchase antique audio equipment. Sound quality, antique style, and nostalgia all play a role in buyers’ decisions. My own experiences, albeit anecdotal, represent a bigger trend in all of HiFi, not just vintage audio.

As I’ve talked to various executives in the HiFi industry, they all agree that the primary audience for high-end audio equipment is males over the age of 50. As a result, even the current high-end audiophile buyer market is dwindling. The Stereophile Magazine media kit provides data in the form of reader demographics, which show that the magazine’s audience is 99 percent male and an average age of 47.

A desire for antique or high-end audio gear may rise among younger generations as they become older. Aside from changing music tastes and smaller living areas unsuitable for multi-component systems, I doubt sales will stay steady.

In other words, with the exception of a few “Top of the Line” models, such as the Sansui 9090, Marantz 2500, and Pioneer SX-1980, prices will continue to fall as the market for new buyers contracts.

Vintage audio gear from the 1970s provides a “warm tube-like tone,” according to vintage audio myth number three.


Each antique audio brand has its own own sonic identity, and even within the same brand, there are subtle changes in the sound of certain models. In addition to speakers, turntables/cartridges, tape decks, and DACs, there are numerous more elements that influence sound style. It’s easier to notice the audible contrasts of a freshly purchased antique stereo if you listen to it in the same way every time. For the most part, it’s a matter of personal preference; there is no right or wrong. As a listener, you value clarity and depth in audio. And there are a wide variety of acoustic characteristics available.

Despite the fact that many stereo versions from the 1970s sound “warm, velvety, rich and deep,” they do not accurately reproduce the distinctive sound of a tube amplifier. Get a tube amp if you want tube sound. To properly appreciate the “tube-warm” sonics enjoyed by antique audio enthusiasts, I highly encourage you to experiment with it. Many choices are available now, including Chinese HiFi tube amplifiers, in addition to older tube hardware. Investing a few hundred dollars may let you appreciate the sound contrasts more clearly.

Is it preferable to use tubes? You, the listener, have the last say. There may be a reduction in some of the roughness in certain songs by employing tubes. However, this will result in the sound being muddled and the separation of pieces being lost, as opposed to solid-state audio, which can be more adaptable in more complicated layered music. Both of them are appealing to me. So, please, give it a go and be creative – that’s half the fun.

DeoxIT contact cleaner may be used to solve any antique audio issue, according to vintage audio myth number four.


Noisey stereo controls are a regular problem for antique audio consumers. Changing the balance, volume, or tone settings results in an unsightly scratchy interference noise.  Vintage gear’s sound isn’t necessarily definitive; it doesn’t imply you’re hearing what the maker intended.

The great sound you’ve been craving may be discovered in ancient audio gear that simply needs a good cleaning. It just took a simple cleaning to make roughly 25% of my old audio gear sound wonderful. Without the help of a vintage audio professional, only around 25% of ancient audio equipment can be revived.

If you’re just getting started with vintage audio, my best suggestion is to identify a local vintage audio professional you can trust. First and foremost, if you intend on tinkering and cleaning your own devices, be sure to read any safety warnings before you begin and remember that even when disconnected, electronics still contain enough energy to cause significant injury or death. Be cautious and know your boundaries.

Many people have the misconception that replacing the original, broken capacitors in a vintage audio system would sp

Dirty input selection switches may damage the connection to one or both channels (phone, tape, aux, tuner, etc.).

Contact cleaner may be used to clean and repair non-working potentiometers (pots) and non-working selection buttons and switches on an old stereo.

oil its warm, tube-like sound.


Is there a worldwide conspiracy to keep original capacitors from stereos at a top-secret Asian storage facility .Despite the fact that it’s an amusing but irrational conspiracy idea, it can’t be real. Yes, there are dishonest repair technicians (including vehicle mechanics). Yes. So we suggest you employ the help of a seasoned vintage servicing specialist.

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