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  1. #1
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    Buy New or Vintage???

    I am going back and forth. I have Ebay watches on two receivers that interest me, one new and one from the 1970's. The new is a Harman Kardon 3490 and the vintage is a Pioneer SX-1010. I've read lots of older posts, both items are in high regard. I will be using the receiver I choose with a pair of Klipsch KG 4.2 speakers. Any advice to steer me? I am at the point of a coin toss to decide. If there is a better choice or opinion I'll listen! Thanks.

  2. #2
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Go with the HK.

  3. #3
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    What he said!!!!
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
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  4. #4
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
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    Can there be a third option? Can you buy used but not vintage?

    First off, I have a set of 4.2's that I still keep in my bedroom system. Personally, I love them so much that I really had a difficult time upgrading a few years ago. It's tough to find a speaker as dynamic as the 4.2's. I like a couple of things about that HK model you're looking at. The main thing is that HK will use high current amps and your 4.2's will really like that a lot. I've used a lot of Denon products with mine and have always had favorable results even though they don't require too much power to get loud. I'm guessing you will have similar results with the HK. I also like the fact that you will have access to a phono input with the HK. If you don't already spin records, you could (and probably should way before you use an Ipod connection (what a waste, IMO).

    Still, I'd be on audiogon looking for integrated amps that fit my budget. You won't get all the whistles and bells that the HK offers but I think you potentially end up with better overall SQ. My opinion is that it's a sure thing. Most don't seem to offer a phono input of course but you'll be happier with a dedicated one anyway.

    Best of luck,

    jc
    "Ahh, cartoons! America's only native art form. I don't count jazz 'cuz it sucks"- Bartholomew J. Simpson

  5. #5
    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    I love vintage and have a load of it myself. Aside from a CD changer, my office/gym/mancave system is all 35 year-old vintage. ...and I have other stuff I don't use daily, some with tubes. ...and I'll probably scarf up more interesting stuff if it falls into my lap.

    But, when buying vintage, you must keep one thing in mind: It's old and could most ikely benefit from some loving attention.

    Power supply caps can get leaky, tuners drift out of alignment over time, DC offset may be off, controls may be intermittent, etc, etc... Not to mention there' no remote control*. It doesn't hurt to have a GOOD tech look at when you get it.

    Newer may not have the knobby analog silver/champagne panache and it may or may not have a phono stage*, but it is new and guaranteed.

    So, when comparing the two, keep these things in mind

    * hey, that's important to some

  6. #6
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    Depends what you like. Some people like vintage stuff and some like the new stuff. I like both but more to the vintage style! In your case I will go with the Harman Kardon! The Pioneer receiver is 100w and it looks good but the HK is much better and I think you will like it more!

  7. #7
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    Unhappy Woudln't buy either

    Quote Originally Posted by packbasket
    I am going back and forth. I have Ebay watches on two receivers that interest me, one new and one from the 1970's. The new is a Harman Kardon 3490 and the vintage is a Pioneer SX-1010. I've read lots of older posts, both items are in high regard. I will be using the receiver I choose with a pair of Klipsch KG 4.2 speakers. Any advice to steer me? I am at the point of a coin toss to decide. If there is a better choice or opinion I'll listen! Thanks.

    I wouldn't buy either .. no yet heard a receiver that would make me swap from separates.

    Cheers

    Uzzy

  8. #8
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    Thanks to all for the advice. It does trigger an interesting debate that I am sure has been written here many times previously. The response is fairly even in both directions, but I do have to take the maintenance issue into consideration as I am not one to update a vintage piece internally myself.
    I am only interested in 2 channel, the HK 3490 does have phono inputs and both claim to put out about 110 to 120 wpc.
    I prefer vintage, I have an older twin powered HK 730 with a pair of A/D/S L-8e's and love the sound in a bedroom set up.
    I am looking to replace a Denon AVR 3082 in my main set up, as I no longer care about home theatre, just music. The Pioneer SX 1010 or HK 3490 are what I have narrowed it down to...and I just can't get past the quality craftmanship of the vintage for the money spent.
    If I could find a refurbished Pioneer all cleaned up I would probably jump at it.
    Is this HK 3490 a middle of the road piece, or lower end? The reviews are great, and I'm assuming HK have not lost their quality over the years?
    I'm still holding that coin! Unfortunately both are not an option at present...maybe someday. Neither? Doubtful...

  9. #9
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Go with the HK, its put out a peak of 45amps of high current so it has a decent power supply and it probably is considered middle of the road for a 2ch receiver which are getting harder to find. It has bass management with dual sub outs and preamp out so if you ever decide to get a separate amp you could use it as a preamp. Another receiver to consider is an Outlaw RR2150. It sells for $699 from http://www.outlawaudio.com/products/rr2150.html You may be able to find one used for a good price.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  10. #10
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    Buy new or vintage? If you have the space and some extra funds, try both. Experimenting is part of the fun.

  11. #11
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by packbasket
    If I could find a refurbished Pioneer all cleaned up I would probably jump at it.
    .
    Check your local Craig'sList or similar networking tool, mine is always jammed full of classic Pioneer in mint condition.

    farfromphile
    Buy new or vintage? If you have the space and some extra funds, try both. Experimenting is part of the fun.
    He clearly stated he did not have the funds for both. Oh and welcome to AR!!

  12. #12
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    Oops, must have had a brainfart at the part where he said both are not an option. Sorry bout that. But, with some patience and time, you can have a new and a vintage for fairly cheap. I have a near mint, reconditioned Pioneer SA-7500II I got for $125 with shipping, and a new Yamaha RX-397 2 channel for $130 with shipping, both from ebay. They both aren't TOTL amps, but well worth that money. To me anyway.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by packbasket
    I am going back and forth
    OR, you could simply go used...

  14. #14
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven
    Go with the HK, its put out a peak of 45amps of high current so it has a decent power supply and it probably is considered middle of the road for a 2ch receiver which are getting harder to find. It has bass management with dual sub outs and preamp out so if you ever decide to get a separate amp you could use it as a preamp. Another receiver to consider is an Outlaw RR2150. It sells for $699 from http://www.outlawaudio.com/products/rr2150.html You may be able to find one used for a good price.
    Good suggestion re. Outlaw, BR.

    Vintage equipment has it's charms, but if it's performance you want, quality new equipment will win out. The Outlaw receiver has features not available on any vintage piece and has been well reviewed.

    That said, nice 50-60 wpc vintage receivers can be had for <$350 or integrateds for <$200 -- an even better deal. Personally I would favor pre-1980 Marantz, Sansui, or Kenwood. Pioneer, Yamaha, Sony, Technics are OK too.

  15. #15
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by packbasket
    I am looking to replace a Denon AVR 3082 in my main set up, as I no longer care about home theatre, just music. The Pioneer SX 1010 or HK 3490 are what I have narrowed it down to...and I just can't get past the quality craftmanship of the vintage for the money spent.
    If I could find a refurbished Pioneer all cleaned up I would probably jump at it.
    Is this HK 3490 a middle of the road piece, or lower end? The reviews are great, and I'm assuming HK have not lost their quality over the years?
    I'm still holding that coin! Unfortunately both are not an option at present...maybe someday. Neither? Doubtful...
    Dood, that's hilarious assuming that you have a simple typo : ) I am using a Denon 3802 in my bedroom system too. Now to be fair, the 3802 isn't the end all of all receivers. I honestly don't think it's as good as the 3300 it replaced when it comes to 2 channel. There are some very good receivers out there. The Arcam is awesome, but it's also 5 grand.

    Still, I don't really know what you will gain by moving to the HK, at the very least I think it's a lateral move at best. Denon/Klipsch makes a nice combo, imo. Denon to HK, no way on earth I make that move financially or sonically. I basically use it 'cuz I had it lying around and for a bedroom system it's more than capable but all in all, it's still a lot of fun to listen to. Truth be told, it's part of the best vinyl system in my house.

    I still think you're gonna be hard pressed to find a receiver that's going to make any appreciable difference in terms of SQ. At any rate, whatever you end up with I hope you have some fun with it.
    "Ahh, cartoons! America's only native art form. I don't count jazz 'cuz it sucks"- Bartholomew J. Simpson

  16. #16
    Phila combat zone JoeE SP9's Avatar
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    I'm with daveuzuk. Get an Adcom GTP-450 and a GFA-545. the 450 is not bad for a tuner preamp and the 545 will drive anything. The GFA-545 can drive Apogee's. They are known as the worst load ever. They dip down to 1 Ohm. Also the GTP is remote equipped. It does not have a phone preamp. The GTP-500 does, That would raise the cost to $500.
    Total cost around $450. You can find both on Audiogon. If you don't like them you can sell them at no loss. Adcom gear will give you a taste of the high end.
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    Rear/HT: Emotiva UMC200, Acoustat Model 1/SPW-1, Behringer CX2310, 2 Adcom GFA-545

  17. #17
    Forum Regular luvtolisten's Avatar
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    I would go with the HK or Outlaw. Vintage is nice, but you'll sooner or later have to fiddle with it. You can be enjoying your music,now, instead of waiting for parts, or having to cross reference them etc. And you WILL miss that remote. Bass management is a also big plus.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Clark
    Dood, that's hilarious assuming that you have a simple typo : ) I am using a Denon 3802 in my bedroom system too. Now to be fair, the 3802 isn't the end all of all receivers. I honestly don't think it's as good as the 3300 it replaced when it comes to 2 channel. There are some very good receivers out there. The Arcam is awesome, but it's also 5 grand.

    Still, I don't really know what you will gain by moving to the HK, at the very least I think it's a lateral move at best. Denon/Klipsch makes a nice combo, imo. Denon to HK, no way on earth I make that move financially or sonically. I basically use it 'cuz I had it lying around and for a bedroom system it's more than capable but all in all, it's still a lot of fun to listen to. Truth be told, it's part of the best vinyl system in my house.

    I still think you're gonna be hard pressed to find a receiver that's going to make any appreciable difference in terms of SQ. At any rate, whatever you end up with I hope you have some fun with it.
    Thanks Jim. Yes it was a typo I do have the Denon 3802. After going with a vintage HK in another set up, I just wanted to eliminate the Denon. It was really the beginning of this whole thought process of vintage being better quality and warmer sound. The whole "retro" appeal, looks etc; Hence the SX 1010 search. So I guess I was trying to get past the maintenance needs of these old receivers, and wondering what contemporary 2 channel audio would be a good match with my Klipsch speakers.
    I may very well keep the Denon, hold off on the HK and just keep on the lookout for a refurbished Pioneer monster.

    Thanks for the welcomes and all of the good advice. This is a great forum.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by packbasket
    Thanks Jim. Yes it was a typo I do have the Denon 3802. After going with a vintage HK in another set up, I just wanted to eliminate the Denon. It was really the beginning of this whole thought process of vintage being better quality and warmer sound. The whole "retro" appeal, looks etc; Hence the SX 1010 search. So I guess I was trying to get past the maintenance needs of these old receivers, and wondering what contemporary 2 channel audio would be a good match with my Klipsch speakers.
    I may very well keep the Denon, hold off on the HK and just keep on the lookout for a refurbished Pioneer monster.

    Thanks for the welcomes and all of the good advice. This is a great forum.
    That is hilarious...I just realized from an earlier post that you are running the Denon with the 4.2's?

  20. #20
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by packbasket
    That is hilarious...I just realized from an earlier post that you are running the Denon with the 4.2's?
    Yep, listen to it every day. It's made up of various pieces that I used to run in my main system but have since upgraded. It's not worth a ton on the used market but hey, it's paid for, right?

    Bedroom system:

    Denon 3802
    Klipsch KG 4.2's
    Kenwood KD 770D TT
    Rotel RQ-970BX phono preamp
    Nakamichi LX-3 cassette player
    Onkyo DX7555 CDP
    Pioneer DV525
    Vizio SV370XVT

    I do understand the appeal of vintage gear, I have a vintage system in the basement that I love too. Always on the look out for a better piece though! My problem is that I never actually sell any of it, I just keep piling it up!

    jc
    "Ahh, cartoons! America's only native art form. I don't count jazz 'cuz it sucks"- Bartholomew J. Simpson

  21. #21
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    I do understand the appeal of vintage gear, I have a vintage system in the basement that I love too. Always on the look out for a better piece though! My problem is that I never actually sell any of it, I just keep piling it up!


    I know that feeling, and my wife even more so. I pick up a receiver at a yard sale and can hear her saying "What are you going to do with that" I mumble about selling something else etc....it never happens.

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