I have a "new" amp that is built mostly from very old parts and a design that was around since the 1940's. It is essentially two Western Electric 133a amplifiers on a single chassis. It has original Western Electric input and output transformers, original paper in oil capacitors and some very ancient plate-type resistors. The tubes are also original Western Electric 348a and 349a tubes (very hard to find). The only modern part is the power transformer. This is a fantastic sounding amp, assuming one does not need much power (pushpull amp that puts out about 5.5 watts).
I still own and use a McIntosh 2105 that I have owned since 1976. It has shown the door to quite a number of other amps that I hoped would be better. I do switch it off now with a recently purchased Audio Note Kits EL34 amp with C-core transformers, but the Mac still bests it in certain ways. A few years ago, I had the transistors replaced along with the big power supply capacitors. I sacrificed the option to have 4,8, and 16 ohm taps, and had my Mac tech install modern Cardas 5 way binding posts and new high quality gold plated input jacks. I also had the an IEC installed so that I could use aftermarket power cords. All of this really didn’t cost that much, and for those who aren’t collectors, and actually just use these amps to listen with, I would say take the plunge and try these modern modifications. The old power cord is in no way worthy of any good amp, and it is such a pleasure to now have modern 5 way binding posts instead of those crowded, corroded old strips. I just want to add that for all of those who want to pipe in and point out the technical deficiencies of this old amp, I agree! It is not even close in technical sophistication to modern amps, like the Pass Labs 250.5 that it embarrassed, but as always, the proof is in the way it actually sounds.
Magnavox 9302 PP EL 84 amp- recapped w/5 way binding posts using the pre out from a NAD 7155 receiver hooked up to Ohm Walsh 2s. Was skeptical at first given the Ohm's specs. Surprise! Put on Brian Bromberg's "Wood". Great bass. Will try a sub just to see.
You know you are old when the audio gear you bought new is considered vintage! Bought my VAC PA 80 80 with ARC LS15 pre amp back in 1994 and still going strong! Still have the original Golden Dragons tubes in the VAC
Although not necessarily 'Classic' but definitely old, I have two 1977 Phase (Blaze) Linear 400 amplifiers, an RGR model 4 preamp and four Ohm Acoustics Model F speakers. This is not my main system but in years past it brought me much pleasure and I actually never had any reliability problems with the amps.
I have a Carver TFM-35 circa 1993. I bought it brand new on eBay in 2008 for $500 as a sealed box while used ones were going for $450. I thought it might be fake until I opened it up and saw the Nichicon capacitors and Toshiba transistors. It has a sparkling yet smooth top end. I had a new Don Sachs Kootenay that bettered it but certainly did not embarrass it. I ran the Carver through a Don Sachs preamp for the past year and it was pretty holographic. Sometimes old stuff is pretty surprising.
On rotation here are a Hafler DH-220 with modified power supply. A Hafler DH-200 with qua-co driver boards. A Dynaco modified by Van Alstine Mos-Fet 250E. All are very nice and have different sonic qualities.
I built a Hafler 500 from a kit in 1973-4. Back then the kits were less than the built amps, and since Hafler was a Dynaco guy, he knew kits would sell. Replaced the on-off switch in about 1975 when the factory had us update the original one.
Had it biased the other day. Nothing has failed and it still runs like a champ. Repair person was totally amazed as it measured like new.
I recently pulled our my Harmon Kardon 730 twin powered receiver to use in office. I bought this along with the Original large Advent speakers in 1978. I used it up until the late 90's. When I first turned it on and heard the full sound of this amp, I remembered why my wife & I had liked it so much. I was going to sell it but I may get it restored instead. Though a receiver, this thing can hang with separates & surpass some without a doubt.
I am currently refurbishing a McIntosh MA 6100 that I bought new in the late seventies. I will use it to drive my JBL 65s I bought at the same time. A great match and a great second system. Old folk like vintage gear.
I’m using 2 mono-block tube amps I built from schematics published in 1958, from books my father had and was going to throw away. Switch Mode Power Supplies. Modern passive components. All RCA tubes. The finest amps I’ve heard. Class A 45 Watts/channel. Tube phono preamps.
The only heat comes from the filaments. Granite bases.
Sold 75 % of my amp collection within the last 3 years, but still have a dozen or so lying around, all being occasionally rotated in and out, most of them tweaked up a bit. ADA, Soundcraftsmen, Hafler, GAS, Yamaha Pro, Citation, Adcom, Nuforce ( STA200 )...........
I use a Sumo Polaris Class A amp (I know, they don't exist but mine does) with a Berning TF-10 preamp. Also use a Quad 909 power amp, Krell KSA150, Sumo Andromeda, Berning AE230, and Adcom 550's for subwoofers. Much too much stuff!
A pair of the original Quad ELS speakers. Together with an original Naim amp bought directly from Julian Vereker, they sit in a closet while I listen to a Sanders Sound system which is in every way better. Still I like just having them! I’ve also just sent a Decca London Gold back to John Wright for service - I brought that from England when I came here in 1973.
Right now a Nikko Alpha 130, Museatex AVC1 running Castle Durham 900’s and soon to be restored Rauna Tyr II’s. An early LSA/Columbia (Pre Denon) TT, Rotel 855 cd player, Creek phono stage, NAD analog tuner complete the setup
IN 1995 I PURCHASED AN AUDIO RESEARCH D-400 MK 2 THAT WAS A STORE DEMO. I HAVE PLAYED IT ALMOST EVEY DAY SINCE THEN. IT HAS NEVER BEEN SERVICED OR REPAIRED. I USE IT WITH AN ARC REFRENCE 3 S.E. PRE AMP THAT JUST GOT NEW TUBES. THE AMP IS SWEET AND MUSICAL, AND HAS PLENTY OF POWER. BEEN THINKING OF GETTING A NEW REF. 160S AMPLIFIER BUT CANT SEEM TO LET THE OLD ONE GO. IT'S BEEN A REAL PLEASURE OWING IT.