Is 1990's equipment vintage?


I think so, apparently some few are upset at this definition, and think 1990's electronics are merely "used" or "out of production."
erik_squires
What hangs on this issue? Re-sale price? The way it's categorized on websites? Who carries it? Curious about this question.
Nothing but audiophile curiosity and a desire to interact with other audiophiles.  :-)  I made the claim that a CJ Premiere 12 was the best vintage amplifier, and that was challenged in part due to being too new.

Wow thats earth shattering for sure.
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.)
I think by definition it is vintage, but many think of vintage as 70's or older...we don't want to realize how much time has gone by and how old we are...
Vintage is 1970's or older. Unless digital. Then last week or older.
But 1970's was vintage in the year 2000.  It's 2020.  Shouldn't we move the bar?
Ok, 1970 was 30 years from 2000, you have a benchmark of 30+ years. So, 1990's would just becoming vintage assuming you want to measure in years. Webster says "a period of origin or manufacture", 
My wife says 90’s is vintage... but she’s young and hot. 
^^ this post is worthless without puctures.

;-)
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. :-) 
Well, now we are arguing whether things are an antique or merely old. :-)

Bose 901's - OLD.

Come at me, bro.
Who Cares?  unless the question is asked because he has a choice of Only Three categories.
1). Vintage
2). Used
3). New

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..  
Who Cares?


Me, I care.  I'd like to ask people what they think of when they think of vintage.  Specifically what the cut off is.  Like, I think 2010 gear is NOT vintage yet.
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.
You know you're old when you bought new stereo gear in the 90's and now it's considered vintage! In the mid nineties l bought a new VAC PA 100 100 amp and ARC LS 15 pre amp and they are still working fine to this day. Me not so much
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.
90’s porsches are certainly vintage

otoh skyfi in new york posted an ad selling a ARC VT-100 Mk2 called it vintage... i shook my head... but maybe they are right
I think wolfie is referring to Vintage vs Classic, where the latter can consist of models given even legendary status. Some are indeed special and timeless.
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!
Here are my definitions:

Vintage - when one is selling 1990's stuff
Used - when one is buying 1990's stuff
Classic - when one is selling 1990's stuff on line

From a performance aspect, there are good components from every decade. I like using the labels as a marketing tool when buying/selling them.






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."
About responses.
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.
fuzztone
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.
Consensus from an audiogon thread on a real-ish topic?  No.  Muddying the waters even further with needless tangents?  Sure.
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. 
"But I’d still love to have that 53 ’vette parked in my garage."


A-Freaking-Men, @brownsfan. For me, it’s a ’68 Charger with the 426 Street Hemi engine, or a 1970 Ford Torino Cobra with the 429 Super Cobra Jet Drag Pack engine. THOSE, are vintage AND classic.



20 - 100 yrs old is vintage. Over 100 is antique.
The bar can't be stagnant. At some point in time anything that actually plays physical media as we know it will be antique. 
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.
Hello,
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.
I just sold my classic Porsche 1978 911 SC
But all is not lost as l just purchased a vintage 1973 BMW 2002tii  I'm hanging onto my vintage audio gear until it dies
I read this thread out loud and my girlfriend was near.  Her answer was "You".
I replied "stereo equipment". 
She gave it a thought and said "you".
I don't know if this is a good thing or bad! 
@jrwaudio 

I just sold my classic Porsche 1978 911 SC
But all is not lost as l just purchased a vintage 1973 BMW 2002tii I'm hanging onto my vintage audio gear until it dies


some would say only long hoods are classic... :)
@jjss49 

Some would say only the 356 are classic  :~}
@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.
Mine's ALL 'Vintage' - and let me say... gettin' a bit old too?
But... still sounding and working A OK. 
Wouldn't have it any different after now 24 years. Um! 
M. 🇿🇦 
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.. 
@brownsfan I have a pair of ADS L1290s as well. I assume you’ve spoken with Richard So? He rebuilt my mids and tops, new old parts. I love these speakers! And yes, vintage.
au-lait, Yes, I have spoken to Richard So.  I plan on sending him my mids and tweets if I can get them out.  I am working on the crossovers myself, and Richard is willing to sell me parts, but isn't exactly a wealth of information otherwise.
 I buy old sell patina. I learned that from Antiques road show and This old house.
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.
@ejr1953 
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.
thanks.
@brownsfan Yes, a man of few words. My drivers were pretty easy to get out, sticky, but nothing a little patience didn’t solve. Are you upgrading crossovers from the originals? Curious, if there is a known upgrade I’m keen to learn more.
@au_lait,  I am attempting an upgrade.  I will PM you.
1990's characterization falls into Vintage - Items that are no less than 20 years old