Newbie Advice - New Amp Setup


I have been listening to MP3s through a giant old Nikko NR-815 for a few years, but I have dug out all of my records and picked up a Nikko turntable as well. Sound was really great for a few days, and then the right channel started rumbling and cracking, but only in the phono section.

So, now I need to get something. Unfortunately, my financial priorities must be elsewhere right now, and audio must be done on the cheap. Here are the options I am considering:

1. Buy another 1970s receiver/amp. There a couple of Sansuis in my area for around $80-$150

2. Buy a cheap phono preamp like a TCC and continue to use the Nikko, since the AUX section sounds great. If it goes, buy a budget power amp at that point.

3. Go into moderate temporary debt and buy something like the Marantz PM 5004 for $450. (this is not an option I like)

My records are mostly 80s import 12"s and LPs, like the Cure, Pil, Siouxsie, but I also have some nice older Nico, Gainsbourg, etc. as well as new reissues and 180 gram. I would not call myself an audiophile in the techy sense, but I do enjoy good sound.

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.
I own a Sansui AU717, it has been extremely reliable and has plenty of power. As for sound quality I would say it is equivalent of the Nikko. I also own a Nikko power amp ( and tuner) and liked their stuff when it was first introduced here. I think however that in your case it is sort of a lateral move. I would save my nikles and dimes until I could go to the next step up. Good luck
Thank you for the response. I wish I knew what the next step up actually was! :)

I'm starting to consider new receivers in the $300 and below range: Yamaha R-S300, Onkyo TX-8255, or Harman HK-3390. Any thoughts?
the cheapest route for you is to keep your nikko amp, which you like, and get a phono premap--you can find a serviceable pro-ject, cambridge, etc. for $60-100. on the other hand, if you want to stretch to $200-250 or so i'd look at a used harman kardon 3490, which sounds good and has modern features like remote, digital inputs, etc. buying another 70s amp would propbably be a lateral move for you + you'd probably looking at addtional repair/service costs at some point.
Thanks. I'm really to eager to just go out and buy something so I can get to listening rather than deal-hunting, so I was hoping to just go out to B&H today and come home with a new unit. Is the 3390 not good, compared to the 3490, and would you not recommend the Yamaha R-S300? A new 3490 is getting a bit too high.
i'm sure the hk 3390 sounds fine, but the hk 3490 has more power and a lot more connectivity options (subwoofer out and preouts so you can use it as a power amp or preamp in the future) + a pretty good inboard dac in case you want to connect a computer or other digital source. i haven't heard the yamaha, though i generally like yamaha amps. none of my business, but i'd really encourage you to be patient and wait until you find a good deal on ebay or whereever---you'll save 50% or more (or for the same $300-450 new price you can get a more audiophile grade used unit like an arcam or rotel). alternatively, amazon has used 3490 units for $309 (free shipping). you'll likely be unhappy if you pay full freight, then find it much cheaper tomorrow.
Wharfedale Diamond 9.0
Loomis - Since I have tiny speakers and a tiny room, and I cannot ever foresee adding more external power or a subwoofer, would the actual sound quality of the 3390 be roughly the same?
i doubt there'd be a huge difference in s.q. you could also look for an hk 3485 (older model; will be a lot cheaper), which was a good unit. enjoy.