Need Advice on choosing Reveiver/Amp [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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05-03-2009, 06:58 PM
I'm interested in purchasing a vintage receiver/amp and would appreciate advice choosing a receiver/amp. I've been reading and looking through Ebay and feel completely lost.



05-03-2009, 07:28 PM
If you'll tell us more about what you want from this component we can help better. Tell us about your budget, musical preferences, how loud you like it, room dimensions, speaker type, etc.

05-03-2009, 10:59 PM
Hi more to the point, are you seeking 2-channel, for music, or are you interested in
home theater ?

If the latter, than you will (or will need more than 1 pair of speakers), and only a
multichannel receiver/amp will support that.

05-04-2009, 05:40 AM
I want a 2-channel for music. The room it would be utilized in is about 15'x13'. Budget, for the receiver up to $400.00. Music, everything from jazz, classical, country, metal. I have no idea what direction I will go for speaker but I would like this system to have punch and warmth. I'm starting from scratch on this so any advice on other devises such as turntables and cd players would be great.

Thanks you for your help.

05-04-2009, 09:58 AM
If we just stay with the criteria of vintage receiver for $400 you could get something like a Marantz or Sansui from the 1970’s for that kind of money. The Marantz 2275 is commonly available on eBay. Those are 75 watts, which should be more than enough, for a 15 x 13 room. They look cool, too.

If you want something not so old, maybe something like a NAD 3020 integrated amp plus a tuner is a good solution. The NAD might not have enough power – depending on the volume you want and the efficiency of the speakers…which you still have the opportunity to select. Certainly some of the Klipsch speakers are efficient enough to fill up a 15 x 13 room with an amp rated at only 20-something watts.

Then yet another option perhaps achievable with $400 is Adcom separates. The Adcom GFA-535 is a good 60-watt amp that can be found for around $100 to $125. The GFT-555 tuner is around that, too. And the GFP-555 preamp is maybe a little more…say $150.

Turntables – maybe a linear-tracking Technics from eBay would be good…especially with a nice phono pramp like the tubed Bellari VP130 or the Pro-Ject Phono Box.

05-05-2009, 09:02 AM
Hi mencken.

Whatever you do, take special note on what you paid for your other components and
keep them as close to each other "value-wise" as possible.

I'll tell you why, the speakers I got was a gigantic step up from the rest of my system.
Then it was more than obvious my speakers was carrying the rest of my system. Every
expert who visited my place all said the same thing. Your imaging of the sound and music
is great, however you don't have an amp with enough power to give them enough juice.
I waited 6 years to find an amp serious enough to provide enough power to my speakers.
I auditioned so many brands and stayed with the pain of not upgrading than getting
something to obviously improve my system, without being completely happy.

$400 may not sound so much in terms of "high-end" now, but we all have different budgets
even that at one stage was very good at it's time, and $400 is still $400 best not wasted
on a bad choice. It has to be an informed one. If you buy anything from e-bay...
"buyer beware". The site is built to protect the seller, not really the buyer.

If you really must buy a used component, then at least get it from a local hifi store, one
you can walk in and audition it for yourself.

There is also the option of saving your money and wait a few months to get something
for $600, $800 etc... Let's make this very clear before we get whingers on here...
I am NOT implying that all $400 amp cannot be better than $600 etc... BUT... say if
you find an amp that really grabs you for $550, the $400 won't cut it, but you waited a
few months, hey more money is at least more options, and again if you have more
money, you have more bargaining power to get 2 components at the same time and
save more money in the overall deal.

No point rushing, it can be a waste of $400, don't let it be.

05-05-2009, 10:43 AM
While my general recommendations would be one of the receivers made in the "golden age" from Marantz, Sansui, Pioneer or Kenwood, be aware that many will, let's just say "overstate" the condition of their wares on Epay. Remember, you're talking about stuff that is about 35 years old and stuff can happen and many there don't have the chops to repair it.

I would suggest you become a member of, getting some of their recommendations and, after a while, check what the members there have for sale. Odds are much, much greater of getting a good piece of gear.

Either that, or buying from a local garage sale or swap meet. It'll still be risky, but it'll cost less.

Then again, a store that sells good, used stuff is another option, but you may pay a bit more. They generally check it out to make sure that all is copacetic inside. Here's some: or

05-05-2009, 03:04 PM
With eBay, one thing it helps to do is buy from sellers who have a long history of selling the type of item you're buying. If it's someone's first attempt at selling audio gear, they might not understand the importance of describing the condition accurately. Take a look at the feedback history of the eBay user named msshifi for an example of an experienced seller.