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  1. #1
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    What is the meaning of vintage ?

    In reading the many post on this forum , the word vintage appears many times to describe
    what I would call average audio equipment , labeled here as vintage.
    The American Heritage Dictionary defines vintage as :" Characterized by excellence , maturity, and enduring appeal ; classic."

    It appears that most of the members of Audio Review definds all audio produced in the post 70's as vintage. I am very confused.
    I was under the impression that only a few pieces of audio equipment could be classic or
    have enduring appeal etc.

    An example is Marantz receivers , made post 1970 by Superscope and not Marantz.
    Marantz again never made a receiver or speakers. There was many companies that manufactured audio equipment prior to 1970 that I most certainly not call vintage.
    I hope you get my point.
    An excellent website and I really enjoy participating.

  2. #2
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    a relative term..

    The word 'vintage' is similar to the word 'quality' in that both are somewhat relative terms. If the definition of the word quality is 'meeting or exceeding the requirements', I suppose vintage would be 'performing beyond expectations without a modern technological basis'.

  3. #3
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    You didn't read far enough in the list of definitions. "Vintage" also means "a year or period of origin." So if someone describes a piece of equipment as "1980s vintage" they have correctly used the term to label a piece of equipment built in that decade.

    The term can also mean just "old" though most people associate the term as also implying some level of class or quality. However, the word doesn't by necessity have to mean that.

  4. #4
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    Enduring appeal

    Quote Originally Posted by melvin walker
    In reading the many post on this forum , the word vintage appears many times to describe
    what I would call average audio equipment , labeled here as vintage.
    The American Heritage Dictionary defines vintage as :" Characterized by excellence , maturity, and enduring appeal ; classic."

    It appears that most of the members of Audio Review definds all audio produced in the post 70's as vintage. I am very confused.
    I was under the impression that only a few pieces of audio equipment could be classic or
    have enduring appeal etc.
    ...


    I have seen "vintage" as applied to audio defined to be components of good quality twenty-five years or older but perhaps also including exemplary components that are a bit more recent. This mode of thought is illustrated by the name and content of the The Vintage Knob web site that is well worth a visit ...For my part, I tend to consider "vintage" to include components of good, but not necessarily only high-end, quality up to roughly 1980. Technically these components used mainly or exclusively discrete components, albeit on circuit boards rather than point-to-point wiring; however they have very few integrated circuits. For the user/collector this tends to mean that these componets are more repairable (in the hands of knowledgable technicians) than those with obsolete or proprietary ICs.


    The '80s produced a certain pinacle of style in my opinion, with certain hallmark characteristics:
    • "Silver" faceplates, (or "champagne" from some marques) versus black, (though there were some early and handsome black components from, e.g., Sansui).
    • Knobs and toggle switches versus push-buttons or (shudder) sliders
    • Analog tuning versus digital
    • Analog dials in general versus LED
    • Relatively large sized versus lower profile designs; (the latter become easier due to ICs and digital tuning).
    To me and a lot of other people, these '70s components easily have "enduring appeal".

    Defining items such as the Marantz 2275, below, as "vintage", even though made by Superscope and not Saul Marantz, in no way disminishes the relative greatness and appeal of the classic icons of audio such as the Marantz 7C, 9, 10B or McIntosh C22, MC275. These classics stand above run-of-mill vintage, of course.
    ...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails What is the meaning of vintage ?-marantz2275.jpg  

  5. #5
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    Having been "in the business" for so many years, I find it interesting to think back to the times when the American consumer readily eschewed all that today's "vintage" equipment offers. Large, analog tuning dials were replaced by digital displays (some, pretty horrible looking), but as that transfer was taking place, trying to sell a receiver with an analog scale was all but impossible. The same was true when knobs were replaced by switches: the belief, actually correct, was that electronic switches are inherently more reliable, and aren't as noisy as knobs are, but that intrinsic "feel" of heft and quality evaporated.

    I'm a bit cynical of the American consumer, as other posts of mine have indicated. None of the changes to equipment were "shoved down our throats" by audio manufacturers, but as those changes were announced, it was the consumer who readily snapped up those differences, and walked away from other, older designs, regardless of which was better.

    I readily recall helping out a retailer once who had two cassette tape decks on sale for $99.95. One, a JVC, had "metal tape capability" (the buzz word at the time in tape decks), and the other, an Akai, had ganged level adjustments: one set for line, and the other for mike (the JVC had two independent controls, and a switch between "line" and "mike"). I explained to the customer that, at least to me, the ganged knobs were of more importance since it was far easier to fade out, or fade in a level with that arrangement as opposed to the two separate knobs on the JVC deck. I also asked the customer what material he intended to record, and his answer was, "off the radio." I explained then that metal tape would offer him no benefit whatsoever (let alone the extraordinarily high price of metal tape), but, the statement, "Metal Tape capability" sold him on the JVC unit. So, did JVC "force feed" this man a tape deck with metal tape capability? Absolutely not. He simply followed the trend of most consumers: buy the latest and greatest, whether or not it makes any sense for you.

  6. #6
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    Wink What is the meaning of vintage ?

    Quote Originally Posted by emaidel
    Having been "in the business" for so many years, I find it interesting to think back to the times when the American consumer readily eschewed all that today's "vintage" equipment offers. Large, analog tuning dials were replaced by digital displays (some, pretty horrible looking), but as that transfer was taking place, trying to sell a receiver with an analog scale was all but impossible. The same was true when knobs were replaced by switches: the belief, actually correct, was that electronic switches are inherently more reliable, and aren't as noisy as knobs are, but that intrinsic "feel" of heft and quality evaporated.

    I'm a bit cynical of the American consumer, as other posts of mine have indicated. None of the changes to equipment were "shoved down our throats" by audio manufacturers, but as those changes were announced, it was the consumer who readily snapped up those differences, and walked away from other, older designs, regardless of which was better.

    I readily recall helping out a retailer once who had two cassette tape decks on sale for $99.95. One, a JVC, had "metal tape capability" (the buzz word at the time in tape decks), and the other, an Akai, had ganged level adjustments: one set for line, and the other for mike (the JVC had two independent controls, and a switch between "line" and "mike"). I explained to the customer that, at least to me, the ganged knobs were of more importance since it was far easier to fade out, or fade in a level with that arrangement as opposed to the two separate knobs on the JVC deck. I also asked the customer what material he intended to record, and his answer was, "off the radio." I explained then that metal tape would offer him no benefit whatsoever (let alone the extraordinarily high price of metal tape), but, the statement, "Metal Tape capability" sold him on the JVC unit. So, did JVC "force feed" this man a tape deck with metal tape capability? Absolutely not. He simply followed the trend of most consumers: buy the latest and greatest, whether or not it makes any sense for you.
    I agree with your position that most consumers is driven by lack of information rather than information. But than can we blame the consumer ? As Americans we read less than in the past. Mass marketing has taken the place of mass awareness. Stores such as Best Buy and others hire young part time workers , who may have little knowledge of what audio really is.
    In many cities there are few really audio stores. Even the audio stores hire mostly young uninformed employees.

    We are now living in a time of ignorance being our most important product ! After all most Americans could not tell you who our allies were in World War Two, How would you expect the Average American to make informed decisions regarding audio.

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