old vs. new , wich one is better?

In the last year or two my impresion is that there are more and more people buying old audio amps, preamps, turntables,etc. When you ask them why, they say that is because some old products were build with such a quality that is impossible to be replicated today, not because the technology, but -for example- actual cost limitations and the way the comapnies are managed today (profitability as their main focus).
what I would like to read from you is if in your experience as critical listeners, in some cases the old and best (for their time) Sansuis,Pioneer, Mcintosh, Dynaco, or others, could be better than the actual amps, preamps, turntables, etc. and if you agree, what products in particular and why, what do you find in the old ones that is absent in the new ones.
Thanks for your comments, I think this could be interesting.
as always, this is personal preference in listening, i have been around audio since i bought my first sal marantz tube gear in the 50s. the 60s brought to me advent speakers, 70s dalquist speakers, threshold amps, 80s ,vandersteen, audio research,90s ,cary tubes with jm labs, totem, aerials, and i loved it all, just like i loved my lp collection, but limitations were always present. not that cds , computer digital has pluses over lp, tapes, but the quality of product that you can buy reasonable today is incredible. i just bought a new entry level marantz player, entry level nad amp and moderately priced speakers, monitors at that, and i am blown away for under 1,000.00 , added a real good set of calbes and i am in love. no , i loved all the systems i owned, or they owned me, but it has always been abought listening to the music...ill take todays product from anywhere, i remember the big japan surge in the 70s with televisions, sony who? , china who? ,not that chinese or japanese equipment is better , that is personal preference, america has always lead the way, along with england....but ill take todays product anyday...keep listening.....dwhitt
I would avoid early SS, in general before about the mid 80s. Classic tube equipment can sound better than it ever did with new parts. Caps, resistors etc are drastically better now than in the past. I have been at it since 62 so have seen most of the history myself. Old is not necessarily either good or bad, but remember that older equipment MAY be in need of parts replacement. The best now is better than it has ever been but cost levels can be very high. I myself, in equipment for which I am not a dealer, pursue a course of buying top grade components from say 8 to 15 years ago. They are much cheaper than current ones and will not give up much if anything in sound quality. Very good old beats mediochor new in almost every case and will likely return your investment when you want to change. But remember , the first rule in buying equipment is that there are no rules, every purchase is a special case.
Often you can get the best of both worlds, old and new. Take the tube Cayin products, which are built in China from top quality current components, but the design is vintage HK, Marantz and McIntosh. I have a few Cayin products and have compared them in my system to rebuild Mc's and HK units of the same design. The Cayin have the edge, and they are a great value with super service in the USA, if you need it. In summary, it is the design, executed with top materials that wins.
Being 60 myself I can say that is old fart talk.
EVERYTHING was better (if you listen to old farts)
I can say NO WAY!!
That old stuff was ok. But new stuff really IS better.
It may cost more than some of that old crap.. but it is way better quality.
I agree with many of Stanwal's points, most of all his last one. My story: not ages ago, I bought an SS head amp and SS pre with built-in phono made 30yrs ago. It was not cheap, but was less than a third of original price. My gut is that while I spent about 30% of their original price in local currency terms, it would cost 3-4x original price to get that quality now, if not more (the mfr's repair tech for these pieces says "5x original price for the headamp, 3-4x for the pre"). Is there a better headamp mad now? Maybe. I have not run across one. Is there a better pre+phono made now? Most likely, but I don't want to spend that kind of money. Do I think I got better bang for buck than buying new? Absolutely.

In turntables, I am sure that a few of today's top turntables are among the best turntables ever made. I can't afford those. I can, however, get most of the way there with "old" turntables.

I expect that the quality relationship may break down with "old tube amps" vs "new tube amps." For one, Chinese-manufactured redesigns of classic circuits are good bang for buck. For another, excellent old tube equipment is not cheap.
Great!!! .... thanks to all for your valuable input, looks like we have consensus about that old amps/preamps are not better than new ones but.... what about turntables?, do you consider we saw the best 3 or 4 decades ago?; will be great to know your opinion about this topic.
There are some very fine 30yr old tables. I daresay one can get excellent bang for buck with some of those tables. I certainly enjoy mine. For superbucks, one could purchase a currently-made table which would probably beat any of them, but it would cost many multiples more, perhaps orders of magnitude more.
Thanks T-bone, different from the amp/preamp situation, I consider that in the TT area no important improvements has been made thru all this years: audio companies are selling the same technology with a much higher prices and 21 century designs, but thru the used market we can have today the best of the 60's - 80's period at a very rasonable prices. Same happens -in my opinion- with cartridges.
Stanwal is right. He sums it up quite nicely. I would add that replacing old coupling caps and installing V-Caps in their place can be a huge improvement but they need as much as 300+ hours break in time before you recognize their full potential. I'm not a dealer and have no affiliation with the company that sells V-Caps. The Russian caps on ebay are dirt cheap and the reviews rate them well for their price. V-Caps aren't cheap but they are perhaps the best out there today.
What happens to specific components as they age? What are the effects of dust and smoke over the years? Any techs out there who have seen a lot of stuff?
.... and dont forget about old/new turntables comparison.
better is subjective. having listened to old (depends upon definition of old). personally, since parts were different in the 60's, 70's , etc., the comparison between old and new is like comparing apples and oranges.

so, what does this mean ? there are definite differences sonically between amps, pres and speakers from the 60's to 80's and products in production in 2010.

i prefer the sound of the 60's to what is available today.

the older products had frequency response anomalies which according to some had a pleasant character--attenuation above 5000 hz and a peak in the upper bass.

the newer products are less inaccurate in frequency response and seem more resolving tham the older products.

its all a matter of taste as has been indicated in previous threads.
Thanks for your responses.