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  1. #1
    Indifferentist Slosh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002

    Vector Research = Rotel?

    A quick story here.

    My girlfriend's receiver died so I thought I'd be a nice guy and give her my vintage Superscope (ie Marantz) quad receiver that I had in my garage system. She just bought a new car last week so money is a little tight for her at the moment. As expected the Superscope sounds so much better than her old JVC receiver it replaced. I was a little sad to see the Superscope go but the truth is I will listen to it far more at her house than I ever did in my garage so it all works out in the end.

    So now I needed a replacement receiver or integrated amp for my garage, but since I'm running $6.00 thrift-shop Baby Advent speakers I don't want to spend any money. The only receiver my local thrift-shop had that day was a Vector Research VR-2200A. I never heard of Vector Research before and to be honest I thought it looked like a white-van special. But I looked at it anyway. It has the spring-clip speaker connectors typical of cheap '80s receivers but underneath it said 4 ohm nominal impedance minimum instead of the typical 8 ohm rating. Hmmm. . . . . so maybe this isn't the POS I thought it was. They didn't have any speakers at the store to try it out with but all the LEDs worked and the controls operated smoothly and it wasn't even dusty inside so for $10 I said why not? Got it home and no sound. $1.00 worth of fuses was all it took to bring it back to life.

    Damn, it actually sounds pretty nice. The bottom end is noticeably deeper and punchier than the Superscope. The mids and top end is a little smoother with the Superscope but all in all the VR still sounds very nice. Not a whole lot of power (I'm guessing 20 wpc based on the model number and weight) but still plenty loud for my garage.

    After a little internet digging I come to find out VR was the house-brand for Tech Hi Fi and their receivers and integrated amps were well regarded for budget gear. Then I come across a picture of this Rotel 403 receiver and can't help but notice how similar it is to my newly acquired VR-2200A. Even the back panel is the same. Of course the Rotel has a nicer faceplate and a wooden case, and presumably better internal components, but it would explain why this little VR receiver sounds as good as it does.

    When I opened up the case to replace the fuses all of the internals looked pretty generic to me. What do you think: a cheaper rebadged Rotel or just wishful thinking?

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    Originally Posted by Troy: She has that same kind of cleft-pallet, slightly retarded way of singing that so many other people find endearing.

  2. #2
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Looks like you made a good buy,nice 10.00 investment. Heres what the bluebook has;



    Manufacture Years: 1984 - 1987

    Additional Information:
    Power: 20

    MSRP: $150.00
    USED: $26.00
    Mint: $15.00
    Average: $9.00

  3. #3
    I put the Gee in Gear.... thekid's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    VB VA

    Nice pick-up.
    If you like the sound then pedigree is not really an issue IMO.

    I would not read too much into the visual similarities. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I have owned several early Realistic (Radio Shack) pieces when they were a major player in audio. In some cases it was rebadged gear from the original manufacturer but in most cases it was made by someone entirely different but with the intent of looking like the original. I had a pair of Optimus 5's which were dead ringers for my KLH 5's in terms of driver alignment etc. I don't think the model number ending in 5 was coincidence either. Howver as good as the Optimus 5's were they were not KLH 5's.
    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

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