Is vintage audio better? I'm starting to look at current (modern) and non-US audio.


So comparing vantage vs modern and then non-U.S. brands - mostly U.K, France, Hungary, German,...   Does U.S. still make the best audio?  Has Europe caught up and passed brands like Audio Research, Mcintosh,...

I think current U.S. standards may be impacting the sound (RoHS) and other compliance standards.  Those modern standards may also give the edge to vintage audio. 

Thoughts?
mudbone
If you mean top level, with very few possible exceptions solid state is firmly European. As for tube equipment, there are great brands in the US, Canada, Europe, Japan and Allnic in South Korea.
Vintage is another subject.
Yeah - was hesitant to mix the discussion parameters.  Vintage vs Modern  or foreign vs domestic audio.  Both are open for discussion.
You can easily recreate the sound of vintage medium-sized domestic gear (note: NOT Vintage Western Electric/Altec/JBL from theater plunder) sound by using vintage tube circuits, tube rectification, oil capacitors, carbon composite resistors, selection of capacitors to roll off lows and highs, and target a plate operating point for richness in 2nd order harmonics. You dont even need to spend a fortune hunting for vintage parts.  Of course you cant resell them to collectors and make a fortune.
Has Europe caught up and passed brands like Audio Research, Mcintosh,...


Has the UK/EU ever been behind the US is Hi-FI products? 
If you're reasonably handy, in the case of a Lenco TT rebuild, yes vintage is better.  I've done most all that can be done to a Lenco however, while following the Lenco Heaven site about Jean Nantais' mods and upgrades.

Bob
Every country has some brilliant designers in varies areas . 
Each designer may just have a different design layout 
all depending on what characteristics you are looking for .
many old Western electric ,and RCA Williamson tube layouts 
were just improved upon as technologies evolved such as capacitors especially polycaps, and better tighter transformer windings ,and mosfets, bipolors, transistors and power supplies.Even today many.   $5-10k amplifiers use average parts ,for only  20% of the build on average actually goes into the parts ,the rest casework overhead
and markup. Meaning you can get a Lot more potential out of 
most equipment if you have the $$ to upgrade or mod it .
i have been doing this with especially Loudspeakers , 
and electronics for years .modern technology if high quality 
over $10k has much better quality parts such as Gryphon ,BurmeisterMBL I sold Audio in the UK , Smaller highend companies in Europe on average use better quality parts on average per $$ dollar spent then in the US , especially the Danish companies.
upper Pass Labs, Boulder , EsotericAccuphase,Goldman Shindo
just to name a few allexcellent products , depending on budget.
rebuilding a solid classic - dependable piece of equipment does make a lot of sence look at Modwright as a excellent example 
take a solid piece of equipment and stuff it with top quality parts 
a Huge payout in sound . I sold upgraded equipment for years .
if you plan on keeping it it makes sense on upgrades. If you like to change  equipment every few years don’t bother . When selling used  most people don’t know ,and can’t appreciate the better quality parts on paper ,and will not pay the extra freight. 
In my opinion, very few non US companies can match the best from Spectral, Boulder, Ayre, Audio Research, Conrad Johnson. The really good European stuff is at a much higher price. No vintage gear matches the best current stuff, even if one discounts the mileage all vintage gear has. It's kind of like being nostalgic for medical knowledge in the 60s and 70s.
MLA,

Love that analogy!! On point!
Thanks for the quality thoughts and opinions on this.  My question came from some stereo monitors I just picked up that I had never heard of but are simply outstanding.  They were/are $3800.00L in the UK. but because they are so unknown here, I picked them up for $500.  Audioman58 above mentioned that in his response and I think he is on point. I began thinking - what other small audio makers are out there in the UK and other countries producing killer gear, but mostly goes unnoticed here in the U.S.  That also prompted the vintage vs new question.  The preamp and speakers were new/modern and from the UK (speakers) and Hungary (preamp) - most of my experience has been with vintage U.S. audio, so I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was (not just different).