01 December 2010

wall of sound - low budget

Last month I told of the destruction of my old Kenwood amp.
After a failed attempt at reviving it a mini-ghetto blaster took its place.
It was obvious a more substantial replacement was needed,
so after a quick look on craigslist found a cheap deal.

quadraflex reference 450r

The guy had this Quadraflex Reference 450r and a Pioneer sx-750 for sale,
and I chose this one.
It seemed cleaner, had I studied it a bit more I think the pioneer would have been the better choice for $50,
but oh well.
Surprisingly this thing is from about 1982, and at first it sounded like it.
After finding some magic electronic cleaner spray the scratchiness in the "pots" disappeared.

Pot's? what's that?
Well I didn't know either until spending way too much time researching old stereo equipment.
Pot's are potentiometers,
which are basically the dials which control volume, bass, treble etc.

I had no idea that stereo equipment was such a huge hobby, or actually addiction,
until looking up different receivers and integrated amps that I saw for sale.
Almost all searches pointed to this forum-
Audiokarma Home Audio Stereo Forums
which has an astounding 90,000+ members,
and has a huge range of information on specific components and problem solving.

There are people that rebuild these old pieces,
replacing the actual caps/capacitors is an almost normal thing.
I had no idea.
The reason why is some of the best equipment was made during the 70's,
known as the 70's receiver wars.
This is when most of the brands that make crap today were just starting out.
Much like the automobile manufactures,
stereo manufactures were building some really high-powered components with the relatively new
solid-state technology that had began replacing the old tube stuff.

technics sa-1000

For instance, in '77 this thing was made by Technics (panasonic) and had 330 watts per channel.
Funny thing is remember those speakers I showed you?  This was the matching receiver!
My parents actually had this model and I remember playing with it as a little kid.
(Actually it was probably the next one down, the sa-800, which is really similar in looks.)

If you're still reading this and want to lose a couple hours, check this site out...
The Vintage Knob - Online vintage audio museum, forum and image bank
This is when the brands were really pushing there stuff,
almost going broke trying to make there stuff the best.
Sansui, Marantz, Pioneer, Technics, Kenwood among others made some really cool stuff back then.

Ok back to my stuff!
weak wall of sound

So this is my current shop sound system.
In my new frenzy I found some old sansui sp-1500 speakers,
which actually sound kinda tinny compared to the big technics,
probably because they have double tweeters and midrange speakers!
Together though they match well as the technics are really bass heavy.
I wouldn't want to be my neighbor thats for sure!

sansui sp-1500

Even though I'm on the lookout for one of those 70's receivers,
my main problem is the music played from that old Imac was geared to the old kenwood.
Since most of my music is Grateful Dead bootlegs or soundboards from this place,
Lossless Legs - Index
there is a huge range of music tones from show to show,
so really it's a good reason to swap some different versions of the same old songs!

Anyway if you think I'm crazy check out this guys setup...

Quad Bobs Sansui Insanity

I'm just starting!


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