What hangs on this issue? Re-sale price? The way it's categorized on websites? Who carries it? Curious about this question.
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Yeah, no worries about the motive to interact! Just musing out loud about your question -- what might the label imply or be connected to in our various ways of thinking. I suppose I proposed a couple and I’m interested to see what other people post (of substance). (Some people just interject to see their words in print, I suppose.)
Let's distinguish between 'vintage' and old junk. Let's use 1990 as an arbitrary curt-off date. This is by no means exhaustive, but this is some equipment I consider vintage, collectable, and worth restoring.
Any American-made tube gear - Vintage High-end.
Any separate components - Vintage
Any Marantz receiver with a black glass, turquoise light tuner and 'Gyro-Touch tuning' - Vintage.
Pioneer, Kenwood, Sansui, receivers - Old Junk
Any Thorens, B&O, Dual or Higher-end Technics, Denon or JVC DD turntable - Vintage.
Pioneer. Kenwood (Except KD-500) BIC Turntable - Old Junk
Any Tandberg, Revox, TEAC, or Sony Reel-to-reel - Vintage
Akai or Dokorder - Old Junk
There are way too many speakers to list, but certainly Large Advents, Dahlquist DQ-10, ADS, especially the 810, JBL (the bigger the better), Altec (15" woofer + horn), Klipsch, Quad, any LS3/5a, Harbeth, Spendor, are vintage loudspeakers.
Feel free to add or be insulted. :-)
Who Cares? unless the question is asked because he has a choice of Only Three categories.
Look at the item Regardless of Age, the Power Supplies in older will never math the newer, plus the Quality depending on what you have..
I have many much older equipment and will keep repairing should it fail, one example is a Jeff Roland Coherence SS Pre Amp Circa 1997 and Still have trouble finding something equivalent that is not a zillion dollar's.. Just my Opinion is all..
If I am selling it to you, it is vintage. If you are selling it to me it's old.
In the antique world, generally accepted 50+ years to be vintage.
In the wine world, that is just the year it was made.
For me, most electronics are never vintage, they are just old, except certain turntables, Nakamichi cassette decks and the odds speaker.
Vintage isn’t JUST the number of years it’s been around. It’s that, plus the build/design philosophy that puts the gear in a special catagory.
Pretty hard to put any gear chock full of off-the-shelf integrated circuits into its “own” catagory. Hard to give it accolades for originality!
Vintage gear has its own creative signature of sound, design, build, character, due to its design without large scale use of ICs.
The definitive cutoff year for originality without IC design crutches is 1985: The year CD players ushered in large scale use of mass-produced large ICs.
Before purchasing my starter-audiophile system earlier this year, my stuff was in the “old junk” category: A 1991 Sony AV receiver that I have given to my nephew; a pair of Jensen loudspeakers from the late 1980’s, likewise given to nephew; a Kenwood linear tracking turntable that doesn’t work right but I still have; a Technics cassette deck from ‘80’s — still have but don’t use; a 1993 Pioneer CD changer that I still use. After giving the Sony receiver away, a guy gave me a Fisher tuner from the early 1980’s and I use that. Old stuff can still be useful, if not quality vintage.
Not a bad topic Eric. 👍🏻
Think my 1999 BMW (E36) is a 'modern classic'- I still regard it as modern but most people call it 'that old car'- get cheaper 'classic' insurance on it as it's over 20 years old
Is the Pioneer KEHp9700r head unit, dab and mutichanger vintage/ classic? High end in it's day and still sounds awesome. See 80s/ 90s Alpine stuff described as vintage
Like to think my Technics RSBX747 cassette is a classic (much more reliable than my DenonDRM24 and friend's Nakamichis- still going strong in fact)- what about the SUa900? Well regarded back in the day I seem to remember. (have the 800 as that's all I could afford)
I agree with Panzrwagn in principle, but disagree on some details. There are more highly sought-after 1970-era Japanese electronics than the Marantz models he mentioned...Sansui 8 Deluxe and most AU/TU separates, Pioneer’s SX1010, SX980 and siblings, and their SA9100/TX9100. Sony had some very good items. Kenwood did have a few contenders too, besides the KD500...tuners in particular. Most companies turned out models that today seem like old junk, but every one of them also made a few standouts. I’d grudgingly allow 901 Series II into the club. But IMF, Ohm Fs, Snell As, and AR3a, KLH 6, etc. too. Yeah I’m from Boston!
How can a Tandberg R2R be classed as vintage? Except (in the unlikely circumstance) if it still functions.
More likely landfill.
Nagra (even 2010 Erik) YES!
Of course YOU "care."
Not sure any other purpose of answering a rhetorical question.
Everyone has unique takes on politics and religion too.
For the record I’m not interested.
That’s why we’re collectively called individuals.
How can a Tandberg R2R be classed as vintage? Except (in the unlikely circumstance) if it still functions.Lotsa Tandberg decks are still working, especially 10X and TD20A. Those that can’t be repaired don’t usually get discarded, but are disassembled for parts.
My TD20A runs like a top, though it does require occasional service. Soundsmith is expert at these. The TD20A remains one of the best-sounding audiophile decks ever.
I'm currently trying to restore a pair of ADS 1290/2 speakers, mid to late 80's vintage. I consider them vintage. Why? Well first of all they are old. They afforded a very musical presentation. They used parts, especially in the crossover, that are frankly awful by today's standards. They got around the limitations common to that time by cleaver design--without the benefit of computers. Artisans with golden ears. For me that is the kind of stuff that segregates old junk from old treasures.
I am old enough and been an audiophile long enough that there were items from every decade since the early 60's I really coveted but for what ever reason (usually money) didn't acquire. I almost always think of those components as vintage gear and occasionally spend some money on them. Sometimes it pays, but usually it doesn't. NOS tubes would be an example of where technological advances can't always overcome lost art. But for the most part, vintage gear can't compete apart from the coolness issue. My 2020 Civic Si is by every measure a better car than a 1953 Corvette. But I'd still love to have that 53 'vette parked in my garage.
allenf1963, I hear you! It was 1970, I had my first car which was a 1957 Chevy Bel Air, black with a Hurst shifter (what a chick magnet), and my buddy, whose dad ran a GMAC office, told me about a Z-28 he could get me for cheap. Real cheap. My dad said, look-you are in high school and next year you are going off to college. You get one car. You want the Z, then sell your 57. He was right, and I kept my 57. But that is the kind of stuff that kicks off one of these nostalgia binges. Vintage for me usually involves unrequited coveting from my younger days.
This one threw me so I googled it. I don’t agree with it with antique car needs to be 100 years old. I thought when a car was 25 it became an antique. At least that’s what the DMV records it to be. Here is what came up when I googled it. An item should be at least 100 years old to be defined as an antique. Generally speaking if the item is no older than an antique but not less than 20 years, it falls under the term vintage. ... It generally implies a vintage of at least fifteen or twenty years. For example, clothing from the 1980s or 1990s could be retro.
@jrwaudio My first car was a 1971 BMW 1600-2. Back then Bimmers were so rare that, when you encountered another on the approaching side of the street, drivers would flash their headlamps to say "hello".
I'm a "1950's model" and tell my wife the advantage of being married to one is that you can replace the parts and repair it...while the "newer models" you throw it out and get another one.
Used, vintage, new? Does the age really matter if you get satisfaction out of the gear you own and play?
Many items I own I guess are vintage aged, Krell KSA150, Martin Logan CLS speakers, Day Sequerra FM Studio tuner. Older gear for sure but much better sounding in my opinion than some of the crap they tout as high end nowadays.
All I’m saying is that my gear makes me happy when I listen to it and new or old is irrelevant when I’m in my favorite chair spinning a vinyl disk. Heaven if you ask me.
This is actually a Blast - looking and reading the folks, including myself that just wanna vent and escape bibble babbling on this forum..
RE: Vintage - and my previous comment, moreover the folks mentioning their cars too!
I Love it! have Bimmer's 85' 92' 96' 03' and a 98' Van, 2000 Jeep, 2001 Volvo, 2000 Lexus RX300 that's sorta my daily driver..
Not sure if cars are considered "Vintage, the ones I have?" Only reason on vehicles to be I suppose is they can be considered Historical and the tags are cheaper, yet insurance could be more.. Ah, what a Hoot.. talking about the definition of Vintage.. It lightens my day actually..
Perhaps no parallel, but I own cars that are classic (1950s-early70s - there weren't any later classic 1970s cars after 1972 as the whole decade sucked in the auto area) and first decade 2000s which are now just used cars but not yet classics. Vintage means a lot older with cars than it does with audio gear.
Yes I remember lights being flashed at me in my BMW 2002 from oncoming 2002 owners
When l would go to parties back then the subject of cars would come up. I would be asked, what car do you drive? I would reply a BMW and then they would ask yeah but who makes it??? Just like when l tell people l own a VAC amp and they would say, what's a VAC???
To OP’s question, NHT classifies their first generation 1990’s line as “archived”. Next gen Speakers are their “classics”.
So my opinion is If it’s old and has special charm then it qualifies as worthy of being vintage.
What is special charm? With some JBLs it’s their ability to pound out bass. Marantz, yeah ...the flywheel. Kharman Ghia shows that butt fugly is a special charm. Phase Linear’s special charm - it must be good if it weighs this much.
Crazy Eddie’s charm was a store that looked like the back of a warehouse. My charm, musta been that Nik-Nik or Huckapoo shirt that attracted them.
if you don’t know some of the things I’m referring to I’m sure there are memebers on this forum that can enlighten.
Erik, your opening line didn’t have much umph but this thread developed nicely.