Concerns purchasing Vintage System?

I'm looking at purchasing a system from a widow that hasn't been played in 20 years. What should I look for? What should I be worried about? I'm a newby to hi fi of the price range.
Audio Research d250
Audio Research d90
Audio Research sp10
Oracle Delphi
McIntosh MR80
Tandberg 3014
La scala
Magnepan MGIII
1. Forget about vintage 20yo planars.
2. Most vintage turntables will need belt/motor inspected
3. For electronic components, if you've never held soldering iron and multi-meter, stick to new.
Just factor in any repair and or upgrade when making an offer. All above list are all from quality manufactures that are still around. I will bet the farm that her only priority is getting it out of the house. The best with the purchase.
What you're looking at is a MUSIC system, don't let it go!

Sure check to see that it wasn't in a damp basement for 20 years otherwise not much to worry about here.
I am no expert on electronics but I can think of 3 things you should do:
1. Take the grills off of the LaScalas and look for torn or decayed surrounds.
2. Get permission to pop the covers off the electronics and look for bulging or leaking capacitors that will have to be replaced. If there are none and you make a deal, proceed to step 3.
3. Bring the voltage up very gradually on electronics using a variac.
"What should I be worried about?"

Going in, pretty much everything. That stuff is good but old.

You'll have to assess it piece by piece. The actual value could vary widely depending on condition.
thanks, so are the 20 yr old Magnepan planers toast, or just worthless to begin with?
thanks Swampwalker, that's exactly what I was looking for!
Also, is there any demand for a tape deck anymore? I have a hard time believing what people are asking for Tandbergs on ebay.
Are you looking to use this system, or just part it out for sale? Do they need to function as new, or do you just need to describe them as working?

The Audio Research components are classic and can be refurbished at the factory. The same goes for the Mac tuner, the turntable and the speakers. Shipping them back to the factory and the service can run into considerable money. Some people thought the Tandberg was the best cassette deck ever made. Unfortunately, high end cassette decks are about as complicated as consumer audio components can get and parts for Tandbergs can be hard to find. Plus there is a limited market of pricey cassette buyers.

Regardless of your intention, it comes down to price. Are you talking hundreds of dollars or considerably higher amounts?

I'll part out some of the pieces with hopes that it will cover what I want to keep.

I made an offer of $800. I figured it is a low ball offer. I'm prepared to pay more, maybe up to $2000.
The horns in a LaScala have no surrounds. Those are the only things behind the grille. The woofers will have a treated cloth accordian surround, which cannot rot. Getting to the woofers would be more trouble than it's worth. As long as you're not hearing any odd noises, don't mess with them. Regarding the electronics; just plan on at least replacing all the electrolytic filter capacitors in the power supplies, regardless of how they appear to the eye. Electrolyte dries up(impedance and ESR rise) over time, and caps often show no outward sign of defect.
Warhue come on 800.00 bucks for 3 audio research pieces. The offer of 2g alone for all 8 pieces is a steal.
I made an offer of $800. I figured it is a low ball offer. I'm prepared to pay more, maybe up to $2000.

If you get the whole package for around $800, there is no risk!!
Pass on this junk get a real system.
Have you looked at what LaScala's sell for? Those are the easiest to see if they work. Most likely they work perfectly. The rest of this gear can be sold as-is and you would still clean up.

$2000 is extremely safe to pay. I'll take it all for that? Even at $5000 you should be safe. Pay for the BlueBook quote on the AR gear in fair condition and see for yourself.
Looks great to me. I would take this for $800 in a minute.
You won't know what it is really worth until assessed properly.

If there are problems, most can probably be addressed properly in that that the companies are mostly still around. The Tandberg is a fantastic piece but likely the most problematic, but SOundsmith in NY state is historically the go to place for Tandberg repairs these days, maybe still?

Definitely check agon blue book values and pro-rate based on known and reasonably certifiable condition at any particular time.
It's all potentially very good gear. Mac supports everything they've made and Audio Classics in Binghamton is also ready to help. The MR80 is a nice tuner.

The Maggie MGIII are also nice speakers, and can definitely be serviced by the company if needed. I've heard of delamination issues with the voice coil.

Soundsmith does service Tandberg, and if you're into cassette tape, it's an excellent deck. I would take that over a Nak.

The oracle is likely a safe bet, and the AR gear, well, that's a crap shoot with old caps lurking within. Could be fine, but certainly, given the vintage, recapping will get you likely at least another 20 (or with modern caps, perhaps more like 30 years) out of the gear.

Nothing wrong with that- some folks still love shooting with their 1950's or 1960's vintage M3's
Thanks for the advice.

I haven't heard back from the lady. I expect if she picked up a phone or searched ebay, she realized it was worth getting a proper evaluation. I was banking that she would not go to the extra trouble to find a buyer. I'll keep dreaming.