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How old does your gear have to be before they are considered "vintage"?
Is lousy old gear considered "vintage", or just plain lousy old gear?
Then I moved to So. Cal. where anything over 20 was a potential antique.
for cars, it's 25 years.
of course "vintage" is more nebulous still, but I'd put electronics closer to cars than furniture. Nevertheless, I'd say the Edison diamond disc player I purchased this weekend would qualify under any definition!
For a component to be considered a classic what would be the criteria?
In my mind a classic is:
- Something that is highly appreciated and sought after, many years after it was originally produced
- Often but not always widely emulated
- Often but not always regarded as a benchmark
- Often TOTL but not necessarily
A few audio examples would be AR3a, Linn LP 12, NAD 3020, Marantz 10B and Quad ESL 57. Note that the initial cost range includes BOTL & TOTL.
What you or I regard as a classic may be quite different from what other people regard as classics.
Qualities I generally look for in equipment:
- Excellent performance at its task
- Ease of use
- Silence (no noisy transformers, motors or mechanisms)
- Long lifespan
- Appearance that pleases me (I generally prefer simple and understated but there are exceptions)
- Enduring market value to keep the owning cost down if the day comes when I want to replace it
I generally don't care if something is old or new but old classics are generally a lot more affordable than new gear of comparable quality and some of them evoke memories and the illusion that something good can last forever.
If something is outstanding enough in one area, I will accept failings in other areas. (eg Quad ESL 57's are not good looking to my eye or particularly reliable but if I could find a mint pair at a good price, I would love to have them)
Why would I consider a Marantx 7, 9, and 10 a classic but not the 8?
Build quality? Yes for all
Ground breaking technology? Yes for the 10, some for the 9
Industrial design? Yes
Sound quality? Yes
Rarity? not the 7 or 8
Manufacturers reputation? Excellent
I guess the difference is that I perceive the 8B to be more common and it is not as pretty. Also the 8B was a step down from the 9's. The 7 was made in large quantities though.
How about the HK Citation II amp but not the III tuner.
Ground breaking technology? Yes for the II
Industrial design? Yes
Sound quality? Yes
Rarity? Not really
Manufacturers reputation? Good to excellent
The difference could be the unusual circuitry in the II.
20 to 25 years, huh?
That means most of the members of this forum have been "vintage" for years!! (I'm antique, 50+)
Seriously though, this is a great hobby for us!!!
Keeps us from partying all-night with hot young women....then again, maybe it's NOT such a great hobby after all!?
I'm constantly bringing home yard sale & flea market finds....much to the displeasure of the wife (who thinks a dress or a pair of shoes over a year-old is "vintage", and needs to be replaced).
For me, and most members of this forum, finding cheap, working "vintage" gear, is OUR version of treasure hunting!!
Ahhh, the joy of finding an HK receiver, that looks like it has been used as a boat anchor, and the guy wants $100 for it.
Actually, it's the $10 Nikko's, KLH's, & Sherwood's....that keep us in the hunt!!
Good hunting everyone!!
Vintage means old enough to be significantly different in some not necessarily bad way from similar products made today.
even quality vintage although it may be somewhat lacking in the sonics department.
Crank up your talking machine, grab a jar of your favorite "kick-back", sit down, relax, and let the good times roll.
Paid $200. It's a little rough and is missing the resonator (which I scored for $46.00 on e-bay yesterday). It's a 250, which was a high end machine. Came with about 40 discs, mostly in high grade.
The diamond disc was kind of like betamax, a better sounding system with inferior software selection and incompatible tech. Part of what made it better was the diamond needle instead of the steel groove files the other companies used. So well built, my collector uncle told me he'd never encountered one that didn't still work 90 years on.
In a listening session with 78 records the acoustical recordings had a natural quality that was suprising. The electrical recordings did not have this veil lifted. I might sort of possibly equate the sound to using a passive instead of a preamp or good R to R tape instead of records, kind of, if you know what I mean.
...no electronics or "recording engineer" to muddy up the sound. The same system in reverse was what you heard. I really miss my Victrola and acoustic recordings, I wish now that I had kept them; especially the records.
Edison was the first recording engineer. To get enough energy to cut the acoustic records (cylinders or disks), his recording horns had huge openings and were also very long. When recording a vocalist with instrumental backup, he mounted the vocalist on a movable platform, and the engineer had some kind of electrical or hydraulic fadeer system to operate to move the vocalist to and from the opening of the horn.
It probably does really well at 1KHz. I'll bet THD is less than 1%.
High Fidelity once did a review of the original Edison phono. As expected, frequency response was a little limited, but 1KHz performance was surprisingly good.
Not only that, but there are no electronics to cause harshness and edginess to the music.
Had people been dafter back then, you could just hear it: the new electronic amps in phonographs are sterile and edgy. A $1000 Edison acoustical phonograph, with jewel bearings, stainless steel fittings, imported teak wood cabinet, and hyper pure aluminum bronze horn precision machined to a perfect exponential shape, will beat the pants off a phono with an electronic amp. The electronic system may have better specs, but we listen with our ears, not to specs.
Actually, I did read, in an Intro to Hi Fi book by Hans Fantel, that dating from the 20's, IIRC, people would be fooled by live versus recorded tests played behind drawn curtains.
I did several years ago at a place in Houston that specialized in selling old Victrolas and Edisons. The recording was a voice with orchestra, the orchestra sounded pretty dim and distant but the voice sounded like the guy was singing through the horn. Remarkable feeling of liveness! Horn coloration of course but still - very striking! One of these days I'm going to get one with a few recordings, just to have one.
...there was only one pickup in those days of no mixing boards and the horn was placed right in front of the singer. He or she had to literally scream into the horn as it was attached directly to the cutting head (direct to disc is not a recent invention!) and was cutting the grooves into a wax master. The marriage of the telephone transmitter to an amplifier had to be a great boon to the singer.
Yes, that's true, but what I meant by that was that it sounded almost like the guy was singing at the other end of the horn, i.e. it sounded like a live guy was just on the other end. Quite remarkable, and unexpected. Not too much noise either (as opposed to electrical reproduction where it seems like all you hear is snap, crackle, pop, although I'm sure a large part of that is the acoustical horn rolled off the noise.
...for some reason, the acoustic recordings seemed to sound better on the Victrola than they did on the 1952 Capehart. However the electrical recordings sounded better on the Capehart. BTW, watching the Capehart play both sides of the record was a show all by itself.
When Edison introduced his acoustic disk machine that played acoustic recordings in 1915, he put on a tour of live vs recorded demonstrations, and even some music critics said that they could not tell the difference. We'll go back to that in a few years when rolling blackouts and brownouts become more common.
People were daft back then, I have read many accounts of critics shunning the early electric reproducer in favor of the acoustic
type. the general criticism was that the electrics were bass heavy
...to be the end of the time period. Marantz 22xx series, H/K x30's, Pioneer SX's, ... . I've been primarily into tubes lately so I'm going back as far as the 1950's.
This topic has come up several times before. I think the majority opinion was 25 years or older. So we are now at 1982 build or earlier, so we are getting close to having vintage CD players.
Others think it has to do more with rarity, historical value or significance.
Frankly, I don't think it makes a lot of difference. Many of us have a wide range of ages in our gear. If you are serious about the hobby, like older stuff, and are considerate of others, you're very welcome to join us. Over the years, this has been the most gentlemanly (or lady-like, I guess) of the Forums; which is why I hang out here.
I would say pre 1980 would be vintage,but some here I think would consider 1975 or even earlier yet as vintage!As for would lousy gear be considered vintage?To me yes as vintage refers to a time period not
For no particular reason, I will say 20 years or older.
Vintage to me is a component that is old and you can still get parts for it, like the tube stuff.
I appreciate many SS pieces and would not part with the Dragon cassette or Accuphase T100 tuner ever. But the tube stuff sounds so nice and it is easy to work on compared to SS.
I guess the answer to the second part of your question is that a dinosaur turd is vintage, but still a turd.
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