If you don't know much about vintage electronics and having a FUNCTIONAL system is important you may want to go with modern versions of vintage equipment. If it is just going to sit there and look pretty you can get anything.
I would recomend Jolida or Antique Sound Labs integrated amp.
Vintage solid state tuners shouldn't give you too many problems. I love my Accuphase T-100 but anything made by Kenwood, Pioneer, Sony, or Marantz from that same era should look nice and serve your purpose for less money.
VIntage speakers are likely to have rotten or soon tobe rotten foam surrounds. There are a pair of Spendor S3e's for sale on A'gon for $750. Look classic, sound good, reasonably priced. Or you can get a pair of Klipsch Hereesy
most any time for $400 on Ebay.
Jolida JD-202 integrated amp---$750 retail
Spendor S3e (used)---$750
$100 left for stands.
What type of sound do you want to achieve with the vintage components? Or is it really more of the vintage look that you are after?
Most vintage electronics that you will pick up will require some type of professional refurbishing ... we are talking about a thorough cleaning; parts replacement; etc. Vintage speakers will probably require replacing the surrounds, as well.
To read up on vintage components, check out the Vintage Forum at Audio Asylum
I purchased two vintage Marantz receivers (2240 & 2216B) and with professional refurbishing each one cost me about $400 total. They are great as tuners, but only adequate as amplifiers. I partnered them with current speakers and CD players.
Something to consider would be Outlaw Audio's RR2150 stereo receiver
. It features an exceptional tuner, but also a real retro look. Good thing about it though, it that it would be new and would not be a repair pit.
Thanks Bignerd100 and Rich. I have a bunch of vintage tuners and what I like in vintage stuff is that they are unique and have typically a warm sound. Especially tube versions. I am a bit of an electronics geek and have a bunch of vintage tuners so I thought I would take it to the next level and explore some of this great stuff. I want a conversation piece and to prove that the old stuff still sounds great.
Bryan, I have an all vintage system that I love. I know it wouldn't be everyones cup o tea. I have a pair of refurbished McIntosh MC40 tube monoblocks and a pair of Altec 604-8G speakers (model 17's). Think BIG. I think it truly sounds amazing for very little money. Trust me, people will notice it when they first walk in the door. If that is what you are after, along with excellent sound. With a little patience, they should be able to be found for right around your budget. And the speakers don't have a foam surround to worry about replacing. Rock, jazz, vocals, folk, it seems to do them all exceptionally well.
If you are not familiar with vintage units as you say,you better have 4K minimum for the mistakes you are bound to make.Its like saying I want to rebuild a 69 XLCH for 2K.Impossible even if your a wrench....
How about an older McIntosh Receiver? Most of the 1970s models are still pretty easy to find and parts are still available for most models directly from McIntosh. If you live anywhere near a large city there is most likely a Mac Service shop nearby as well. Pair the receiver with some older Altec or Bozak speakers and you would have a winner.
If you want to get your feet wet ... check out this ad for a Marantz 2240
. For $175 it's a good buy, as the seller is including the wooden case which alone normally sells for a $100 or so.
It will probably cost another $225 or so to clean it up; recalibrate the tuner, and replace any minor parts. I would also recommend upgrading the power cord. On the east coast, contact Bill at Music Technology
. He does a great job restoring these vintage Marantz receivers.
As I stated previously, I had been using one of these receivers for 3 years happily until some of the capacitors started to go and I opted to purchase a new Outlaw receiver. The 2240 has all the vintage things that you want ... cool blue lights; vintage silver look; the real wood case; an excellent tuner section for both FM & AM, and the rich, warm sound.
A walk down nostalgia lane. Try Dynaco ST-70 and PAS 3, AR 3a speakers, and Dual 1019 with Shure. Or, Fisher 500-C (or Fisher KX200 integrated), Large Advent speakers, and Empire 598 with Stanton. How about Harmon Kardon Citation II and I, JBL L-100 speakers, and AR TT with Pickering.
See how much fun this is going to be? A whole new world of cool stuff. And I do not have to worry about "best" anything, just what can I find and if it is any good. I am starting my search tonight. Keep the ideas coming.
Once, a long time ago, my primary system consisted of an AR Amplifier, Rectilinear III speakers, Benjamin Elac Miracord 50H (which replaced a Dual 1019) with Shure V-15 Type III, as well as an AR Tuner. I still have them all (except the cartridge), and the AR Amp and Tuner are still in service. I wish I had had some tubes in the circuits.
When I was in college, I auditioned so much other stuff, like the Heathkit AR-15, Marantz separates, McIntosh's first receiver, Dynaco A-25s, KLH 5s, the Small Advent speaker, Garrard's Zero 100, Rabco's Straight Line Arm, Thorens tables, Revox Tandberg and TEAC decks, SAE Mark 6 tuner (with touch sensor and Nixie tube readout), etc. A lot more that I couldn't afford. I remember the thrill and the lust.
In those innocent days, we didn't know about interconnects, speaker cables, power cords, power conditioners, cryogenic receptacles, traps, spikes, pucks, beaks, clocks, or other cleverness. Sigh.
For an office/den system I am using a McIntosh MC2105 Power amp and the matching MX113 Tuner/Preamp along with a MCD7000 CD player all in original McIntosh walnut cases. Other than the CD player this is a great vintage system from the late 60s/early 70s. They look just like they day they wre made. Very good sound, and with glass fronts and the blue meters, pretty darn cool looking. Plus these really hold their value. If space is a problem look at the MC2505 its the 50 WPC version and has the smaller chassis. If you really have room, go with all McIntosh separates for the Preamp C26/C28 and tuner.
I love the idea of an all vintage McIntosh system, but now I am back to higher costs. It is never easy but I definately want this to be all tube. I think I will start with amp and preamp and then add the speakers to it.
I know a great tech locally who HAD (I would have to check) a very nice pair of McIntosh MC40 tube monoblocks for $1000. That is with them serviced and freshened up to spec. He is a great guy. He doens't sell online, actually I don't think he gets online hardly at all. But he is truly an exceptional tech and has done electronics as a business for 30 years. I bought a pair of MC40's from him last year and I am very very pleased. He has alot of vintage gear that he just sits on waiting for someone to ask him for it. If interested, feel free to email me and I will give him a call and email you back with his phone # if he still has them. He had them about 2 weeks ago, so I would imagine he still has them.