Vintage flagship japanese amps, late 70's early 80's, some questions...

Greetings to all music lovers out there.

Recently I started have interest in vintage amps, especially from late 70's and early 80's, I noticed that some high end gears from this era, from Luxman, Yamaha, Sansui, have a impressive built quality, the construction of the top of the line gears appears to be made to last a life time, for example: the integrated Sansui AU2000, Yamaha Centennial Series, Denon POA-8000 monoblocks...

I appreciate very much if enthusiasts of this types of gears can clarify some questions that I have:

For what I know, (maybe I'm wrong about this, i don't know) even considering this gears in impressive Near Mint condition, they still will need to be refurbished right? because 40 years old is too much for some internal components keep their optimum quality?

What are the situations that unfortunately, it will be impossible to make this equipments deliver their optimum performance? (remember that just Near Mint equipments are considered)

Anyone had the surprise of equipments from this era surpass the sound quality of modern gears, that you could not imagine that this would happen?

I know this question can falls down to subjective taste, and other objectives like recreate a sound experience from this era, enjoy the nostalgia of vintage equipments and etc...

but what about really be surprised by the quality of a 40 years old equipments don't loose in anything for the modern standards?

Thanks, all additional info that you can add about this subject are very much appreciated, best regards.


Your not doing your homework. Starting around 1980 COST CUTTING measures became the rule of the day for audio equipment and much of what was made in the 80's/90's has an inferior build quality to the 70's models...which is why stuff from the 70's continues to rise in value. Not saying everything is Junk from the 80's but a large percentage is. Also some of the companies were bought Luxman being taken over by you need to do more digging or you will be throwing money out the window.

The problem with dealing with equipment like this is that it was all built to a budget. Open them up and they look surprisingly similar regardless of brand. Shipping was the main cost- the older units in the 60s and 70s had metal chassis work with nicely done front panels. As technology changed (more ICs, particularly in the output section) and as shipping costs increased over time, metal chassis (and wood cabinetry) gave way to plastic chassis, monolithic circuit boards and controllers to manage front panel controls and inputs.

In a nutshell, the 60s and 70s stuff is easier to service from an access point of view. But these days they are so old that the electrolytic capacitors within (and there are often 100s of them in just one receiver) makes them a poor investment if quality sound is your goal. Sure- they were nice for the dollar when made (which is why they put US companies out of business) and they had good specs on paper that really hasn't changed all that much in the last 40 years, but their day has passed unless its some sort of sentimental value that drives the restoration.

This is not to say that you can't find one that still works. But 'works' and 'meets specs' are two entirely different things.
When i was saying about the 80’s gears, i was thinking about some "gems of that period", discovered recently some really interesting stuff, stuff that do not fall on the concept of cut costs in production, cheap equipments and etc, but thanks for the info about the market changes about 70’s in compare with 80’s.
The Pioneer M-22 Class A amp may be the best sounding solid state amp I have ever heard. Even though I prefer tube amps I had to buy one and have it refurbished. It's a backup to my tube amp but my goodness does it sound fantastic!!
As someone who has been through blind tests I don't believe in SS amps sounding different. That said, I own a few vintage amps/receivers (Technics SA-500/Pioneer SA-8800, M-72, SX-3800) purely for aesthetics. They sound the same as my newer equipment and I haven't had any problem with them. I do only buy refurbished vintage (the Technics I bought new), so as not to have to worry about bad capacitors, LEDs, etc.