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  1. #1
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    (Pre) AMP for 'vintage' speakers?

    I am far from a full blown audiophile but enjoy listening to good quality music. I buy most of my equipment second hand (from the goodwill mostly). So far I've accumulated a set of Infinity qe, Polk monitor 7 and a newer sony 5.1 receiver/tower speaker set(I can't remember the models off the top of my head).

    I've plugged in the speakers to the sony and they work and sound fine but from what I've read, the older tweeters are fragile (EMITs and Silver dome coil). The last thing I want to do is blow them out and have to fork out cash to get them functional (I'm a student--I've not spent more than 30 on any item). Is it safe to keep running them off the sony reciever? I've also got a pioneer sa-950 at my parents place that is collcting dust. Would that be a better bet? My only issue is that the pioneer lacks channels for surround--willing to sacrifice for quality.

    If neither of these are good, I'd really appreciate some brands/models to keep an eye out for. I don't really have the money to buy a whole lot but I don't want to miss out on something.


  2. #2
    I put the Gee in Gear.... thekid's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    VB VA

    Welcome to AR!
    With alot of "vintage" speakers you do have to be careful about the power you put into them because some were built in a time where something like a 65wpc or greater amp was pretty rare. The Polk 7's came out in an era were wpc was getting a bit higher and according to Polk could be run in the 20-150 wpc range so I think you should be fine. I run my Polk 10's with a 100wpc channel Kenwood Basic and have no problem though I admttedly run them at low to moderate volumes.

    As for your choice between the Sony and the Pioneer that really is probably a personal preference. The SA line from Pioneer is respectable and for music in 2-chnnel might have an edge over the Sony. I would give them a test and see which one you prefer. If the Pioneer has been sitting awhile you should clean it up first to get any dust/dirt out and probably test it on some other speakers that you might have less interest in just to make sure it is working correctly. You would not want to have a bad receiver blow out those Polks.

    Here is a link on your Polks if you are interested.
    NAD D3020
    Denon 2910
    Denon DMD 1000
    MSB Link DAC III
    Von Schweikert VR2
    NAD 7240PE
    NAD 5240
    Hughes AK 100
    Tascam 122
    Technics SL 1700
    Rogers BBC Monitors LS3/6

  3. #3
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Analog Synagogue
    Welcome to the board. I will assume that as a student, you are living in a dorm or small/shared space of some sort. The Sony will benefit you because it can function as Home Theatre and 2-channel. It should have a 2-channel bypass button on it.

    The Pioneer would be a much nicer choice for music, if you can hook it up, do so. the kid is correct, buy a can of compressed air and blow it out. Then, power it up and allow it to warm up BEFORE hooking anything up to it.

    You should be able to rock your Polks with both amps. The Infinity's I am unsure about. Just use common sense, usually speakers will let you know when too much power is being delivered. As long as you haven't had 6 beers and several bong loads, you'll know.

    I personally run a Sony STR DE575 for my H/T. It does a decent job. I would NEVER use it for 2-channel though, but that's just me.

    There are alot of respectable vintage machines out there. Personally, I enjoy Marantz and Kenwood as I own a couple of their pieces. I would suggest watching your local Craigslist, and if something catches your eye, come and ask us about it. We can tell you if the value is there or not. Some other vintage brands include Pioneer, Nikko, Sansui, Luxman and Technics. These are quite common and usually sell for a price you would probably be able to afford.

    Hope this helps, chat soon.....Chubbs

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    St. Louis, MO, USA
    Keep in mind that vintage receivers have discrete circuitry (no IC's in the output stage) so they may not have the bloated specs but the power was in most instances better.

    Your tweeters will be fine no matter what you drive them with AS LONG AS you don't turn your receiver up past what it can do. In other words don't drive the speakers into distortion. Distortion being when the signal you hear is beginning to lose it's clarity. It's distortion, referred to as "clipping" that blows tweeters. Nothing to do with age of amp or speakers. What you heard is ridiculous actually.

    I had a pair of Infinity Kappa 7's and the Emit held up well even when I had them hooked up to a krell amp. So no fear, just use common sense while listening.

  5. #5
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Great to hear guys!

    Yes, I picked up the sony while I was in the dorms last year and it has done fairly well. But i will be getting my own rooom come the spring so I wanted to get a decent setup going.

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