best vintage stereo receiver

Hi, looking to step back in time for a vintage stereo receiver for my home office.
I have owned McIntosh, Marantz, Pioneer, Yamaha & Kenwood units in the past.
I need a moderate sized unit that has good turner performance and smooth sound. What would you people recommend? I have been told that Sony and Techniques are out due to cheaper parts used and Marantz units are getting pricey. I will need switchable FM muting and an Aux input for CD use. Thanks
I had a used Marantz receiver and paired it with some old klipsch speakers and a linn turntable and got good sound. The Marantz is nice sounding and holds value. Plus they have a cool tuner and cool blue lights.
The Tandberg receivers were the best I've ever heard and had *very* good tuners. Look for the TR-2080, TR-2060, or TR-2045. The naming scheme indicates # channels and watts/ch. Most had very sweet rosewood cabinets, too.

I used to sell those and B&O, Yamaha, Denon, and H/K receivers. FWIW, the Denon DRA-600 and DRA-650 were very nice receivers, too. Also, the H/K units had outstanding amplifier section, lots of balls.
i agree 100% with rlwainwright on the tandberg--excellent tuners. the slightly more recent kyocera (651/851 etc.) are also extremely well built and good sounding. my personal fave, however, remains the hk 730/930, which have a sweet, tube-like sound which just strikes me as right. enjoy.
I wish I still had my Tandberg tr2080. IT was the best!
I agree with the Harman Kardon recommendation, and would add Luxman to the
list. The Marantz 2015 is a cute little bugger and has some juice with efficient speakers. I was pleasantly surprised when I listened to it. I would consider Sansui also- I have a 5050 receiver which is good looking, sounds good and can be had cheaply.
send me more info on what you have at thanks, ji
I can vouch for the Luxman R-117, very nice tuner and overall sound.
Since I owned a Toshiba SA-750 in high school(30 years ago ouch!) and it sounded as good as my next upgrade Adcom-545 and Adcom preamp. I can only assume the flagship Toshiba SA-7150(dual mono) would give any vintage receiver a good battle.
I also agree with Tandberg. I like the 2075. It puts all the other receivers to shame. Only negative is lack of inputs, but it has a warm and smooth sound not heard in other receivers and a killer tuner.
I think the Marantz 18 and 19 are two of the best (excellent tuners in both). Also, their 2270 has a that "smooth" sound you are looking for.

I use an HK 430 in my office with some Boston Acoustics A 60's. FM reception good with a simple dipole. The combo sounds pretty good. Most listening is low level.

HK, $100 serviced; A60's $60 new foam both included shipping.

Agree the Marantz is cool looking, lust after one myself! Cooler looking than the HK!

Like you, I got my first entry into the interest of audio when my (now late) Uncle had this cool audio system about 35 years ago.

The Stereo Receiver he had (if I could recall correctly) was a Pioneer SX-434. And at the time, for it to be such a small receiver, it did have balls and so forth. It rocked their house with aplomb.

About 22 years ago, I personally had an NAD 7225 Stereo Receiver (had a better tuner section and better sound than my late Uncle's more vintage Pioneer SX434). It was first used alone to drive my KEF Reference 102 Speaker System (I don't know if my Uncle's Pioneer would've/could've drove my KEF's or not... but the power ratings were not that much apart from each other (15 Watts Per Channel from my Uncle's Pioneer SX434 vs. 25 Watts Per Channel (with low impedence drive capability and high current from my NAD 7225)), and later was used as a Tuner Preamp to drive a B&K ST-140 Power Amplifier.

Also from what I recall, my NAD 7225 did have a decent tuner section as well. It was definitely a decent receiver for it time.

If I were to consider getting a Vintage Stereo Receiver today, I would consider a Vintage Marantz (classy looks, attractive blue tuner dial, excellent tuner section, and more importantly, excellent sound and build quality (which probably explains why they hold their value so well)), or a Vintage H/K (I like their 80's Models a lot.... decent tuner section (maybe not as good as the Marantz tuners, but decent) and a great amplifier section).

If I am to downsize and go back to a Stereo Receiver, either one of these would not be a bad choice, and I could happily live with either one (a Vintage Marantz or a Vintage H/K), but I would also add NAD and maybe Luxman to the mix.

Good Luck and Happy Shopping. There should be some decent bargains out there.

@ Jihley (again):

As for my choice in a Vintage H/K Receiver, it would be a 590i (very attractive, nice tuner section, robust amplifier section, and just a quality receiver all the way around).

If I wanted to, I may find one in top condition for around $200.00 or so.

Something else you could consider as well.

Good Luck....

HK 930
Marantz 2270/5
Mac 1700
Fisher 500/800
Once owned a Tandberg 2045. Very nice till the transformer failed. I also have had quite good experiences with some mid 70's Pioneer and Marantz receivers. FWIW, 35 years ago or so, manufacturers really did put out good receivers. I always thought a nice receiver in the 40-60 wpc range was the sweet spot. Then they got crazy with ever lower measured thd. To my ear, I thought receivers rated at say .3% thd had a better chance at sounding good than a receiver rated at .007% thd.
Pioneer SX1980. True, it is not moderate size, its a beast, but a beautiful one; and many of the receivers mentioned by others are not much smaller. And yes, prices for this unit in good condition are a bit crazy. But its great fun. I have one in my office paired with Rega Saturn CDP, Linn Katan monitors and Velodyne SPL. Gents of a certain age can't help but stop and give it a wistful look (glass walled offices here) then knock on the door for a listen and talk music of our youth. You want smooth and warm? All the great vintage pieces mentioned above should give you that, and the SX1980 will too (and with surprisingly good detail), but it will also absolutely rock the house, effortlessly, when the spirit moves you. Good luck.
I had a H/K 330C and a Mitsubishi DA-R8 back in the day and liked them both very much. If I went back to a classic receiver, I think I'd consider one of the larger H/K's like the 430/730/930 or later HK receivers from the early to mid 80's. Curious to hear opinions on the Carver, Nakamichi, Mitsubishi receivers and also the Revox B285 rec'r? Anyone know of a site devoted to classic receivers?
Just picked up a Luxman R-117 yesterday and I am totally sold on this baby. I have owned the R-115 before and was fond of it also but this R-117 is something else. Punch and detail are my best two words to describe it. The power reserves appear unlimited. I am driving a pair of Kipsch Heresys with rebuilt crossovers and aftermarket tweeters(CT125)and they have never sounded better in my room.

Sansui 9090, hands down.
Hi Guys, I'd like to revive this thread regards the Marantz 2015. I've taken a unit out of storage (I had honestly forgotten about the old gal) and it is nearly perfect. Frankly, it looks as the day it left the factory.

After adjusting, cleaning, etc... it sounds lovely but is being asked too much with the various speakers I have on hand. Would anyone like to offer an opinion for budget speakers that might suit this receiver? Ideally, we're looking for bookshelf units that are small enough to sit on well anchored wall shelves (I will make these shelves in my shop to fit). My reasonable limit keeping room aesthetics in mind is an 18" projection out from the wall and roughly the same with the width...a fairly good amount of real estate to work with. Also, thinking a ported speaker model to help with the low end would be favorable but I'm all ears. No opinion with brands...I've listened to a lot of brands that wouldn't make a HiFi cut and been pleased.

Thank you,
Get yourself a Fisher 400 or 500/500c tube receiver. They're beautiful. Legendary.
Have an opportunity at Wharfedale 10.1...thoughts on efficiency?
My favorite of the vintage stereo receivers or integrated is the Accuphase E-202. Great build quality and all around flexibility. I've used it to power Ohm Walsh 2 speakers, KEF Q300 speakers and KEF 103/3 speakers with no issues whatsoever.
Have you read the OP's opening statement? If you want to start a new thread, I think they'll let you.
I had Sansui and Yamaha and like them both but the Sansui was so much more transparent and faster than the Yamaha that it left an impression on me. I'm talking the Sansui 7070 against Yamaha CR-420 and CR-640.
Breathing life into a dead thread!  Agree on the Sansui 9090/8080DB.  I regret selling the Marantz 2330 I owned around 20 years back.
I gifted two receivers to my now ex-gf, a Marantz 2250B which we used in the master bedroom, and a Pioneer SX-1080 which we used in the den. 

Back in the day my first receiver was a Sansui 7070 - I couldn’t afford the 9090DB. 

Frankly speaking, they were/are all good. Not as refined as newer, current gear, but able to reproduce decent sound. Besides that, they just look cool. 

To my humble ears, IMHO, I give the nod to the Pioneer. While the Marantz is super cool with the horizontal dial and blue lights, compared to the Pioneer I found its sound somewhat restrained even though it has the bass/treble/midrange dials. I just found the Pioneer to sound more...spacious? 

One other cool thing about these brands is that they are still able to be repaired.  I have a guy...

Luxman 1120 A.  A beast with plenty of stable current, lots of inputs and a great tuner.  This will run alongside the Accuphase receivers.  Only thing to give pause is the idiot push-pin speaker wire connectors.

I had mine internally bridged (preamp out/power in).  The tech bypassed the LED power meters and a hardwired LAT International power cord replaced the captured cord.  This all made it even better.
No love for Pioneer SX-1250?
I have what some people call High End, but was totally shocked by how good a Yamaha receiver, that I bought a couple of years ago, sounds.

Its a CR-800 driving a pair of Celestion 5000 Ribbon speakers (also underrated)

The sound is smooth and detailed.
What more could I want?


I would recommend Sansui 7900Z, but cannot get to it for another few weeks (or months?) to give it to you.

Not a single Sherwood mention. Sad.
In the past I had an Kenwood, Marantz, NAD and Tandberg 2080, the Tandberg was my favorite.
+1 Tandberg 2080.  Sold mine to a collector in Norway. 
Tandberg 1070 - one of the best sounding tuners ever, either as a separate or in a receiver. Also, it's bloomin' massive, it won't go in a normal rack!

Also good receiver Marantz 2020B ,A real beauty. Not a high end but it had everything needed at the time and I still use it.
I'm going to aim in a completely different direction: The Heath/HeathKit AR-15 and its successor, the AR-1500 -- both exceptional receivers, exceptional values (especially if you were into kit-building), and serious workhorses. However, I admit, they are/were nowhere near mainstream.
I’m sure the OP has moved on, but I couldn’t read this without adding: