Amps from the 1980's -- What gear holds up sonically? Reliably?

Hi Everyone,

For me, the 1980s were a real "golden age" of amplifiers. Dr. Leach’s paper on building a low TIM amplifier had been widely distributed and relied on by budding designers, and lots of boutique brands came. It was also the era of the biggest of the Conrad Johsnon tube amps as well and the invention of the MOSFET.

For me, brands I cared about:

  • Threshold
  • Sumo
  • Perreaux (New Zealand, very pretty)
  • Tandberg
  • Hitachi
  • Kyocera
  • Nikko
  • Krell (of course)
  • CJ
  • ARC
  • Yamaha (professional)
  • Carver
  • Mark Levinson
  • Amber 
  • Tandberg
This was also the speaker era of Snell and Apogee and Martin Logan. I am not sure there would be a Krell today if it wasn't for Apogee's 1 ohm speakers.

I’m curious who is still listening to these vintage pieces, and which brands you think have stood up both in terms of reliability and / or sonics ?
Accuphase would, in my view, be very high on any such list. I currently use a recapped and upgraded E-303x, and it is superb.

I believe the Aragon 2004 and 4004 were both introduced in the late 80s. Very well built, reliable amps, and a step up from Adcom GFA 555 IMO.
How about a shout for Jeff Rowland? His equipment was just tougher to see at the audio stores back then.
I had a Carver  my 1.5t,  but my first real amps were in the late 80's  B&K  M200 Sonata mono amps.....
For solid state, the Electron Kinetics Eagle 2 and Bedini 25/25. For an amp with the power of the above-mentioned Adcom 555 but with far better sound, the PS Audio 200C. Plus, it doesn't blow up speakers as the Adcom is notorious for doing.