07 June 2013

quad juggler

It's been a while since the last vintage audio post,
however that's not to say that i've been stagnant.
I was content with our little collection,
until a friend had asked to search for a system.
Way too much time was spent looking for something decent.
That's what happens when on the hunt for necessity.
The things that come up are overpriced or worn out.
vintage quadraphonic receivers

I came to the realization that maybe it was best
to let go of one of my own hi-powered beasts.
The only way would be to find a low-powered replacement.
Without the huge space of a large shop,
and also new neighbors,
there is not as much time to just crank tunes all night long.
vintage pioneer

One thing I had been noticing was some random quadraphonic stuff.
That's the early version of surround sound.
There's not a huge market so these receivers will linger at relatively cheap prices.
Like any other craigslist hunter,
I'll do some research about a particular unit before buying.
When this Pioneer QX-949 came up,
I figured it was worth the gamble.
pioneer cs-r700 speaker

The original owner had purchased this overseas while in the military,
sometime in the early 70's.
A common story.
He actually didn't want to sell it but his wife had set up the ad.
Bummer to split up a vintage pioneer system after all these years.
At least I got to hear it for a couple minutes with his speakers.
He wasn't about to let those go even though they were beat up.
dirty pioneer qx-949

While visiting I noticed they were cat people.
That should have raised a red flag,
as cat's love to sleep on electronic equipment.
When I got it home,
there was definitely a strong cat smell.
Looking at this picture makes me want to sneeze.
pioneer qx-949 nudie

The sound was a little scratchy.
Time for a bath.
I've learned some cleaning tricks now,
and this turned out to be in amazingly good condition.
pioneer qx-949 internals

Now to give it a real test.
The receiver was hooked up to the garage speakers.
pioneer qx-949

The sound was solid and definitely had that early transistor tone,
but dang it took another clean and lube to get the scratch out of the pots.
That circular thing on the side is this 4 way light meter.
It shoots out green light like cheerleader pom poms.
Wish I had a better shot of that in action.
pioneer qx-949 quadraphonic receiver

Besides a burnt out tuner light,
this sung like a champ for a week.
I did like the sound quality.
Not super crispy and sterile,
a smooth rounded off sound.
With about 60 watts as a 2-channel,
there was definitely enough power for the garage.
pioneer qx-949 back

The pioneer had a good style and beautiful wood.
The only thing that bugged me were the buttons.
I like cushy buttons and these were a bit sloppy and stiff.
this would have stayed had it not been for another CL deal.
Sansui QR-6500 quadrophonic receiver

The ad for this sansui popped up one weekend morning,
and it took over a day for the seller to contact me.
I thought he had already sold it and forgot to pull the ad.
This is one of the most plain Sansui quad receivers,
no VU meters and space saving levers and double action pots.
A plus is the 3-way A B & C speaker selector.
Sansui qr-6500 rear

Holey cow this was in primo condition especially for a 1972.
This had been restored by the previous owner,
and the current owner was also very meticulous.
The price was reasonable for a beat up version.
sansui qr-6500 inside

Sansui was known for their advanced electronics,
especially in quad systems.
This has separate front and rear amplifiers.
and it is possible to use as a preamp for dual amplifiers,
which may be necessary as it only has 37 watts per channel!
sansui qr-6500 tuning string

Check closely at that white tuner string.
There's at least 13 little pulleys in that little space.
sansui qr-6500

It was the Sansui's turn to get hooked up to the garage speakers.
(klipsch heresy and klipsch kg4)
The tone was perfect - clean, detailed and warm.
Definitely not a cranking amp but it can get loud,
sounding best at a chill cocktail sipper volume.
Check out the trippy 2 or 4 channel kaleidoscope light.

After a couple days it was clear the sansui was going to stay.
Later on the old owner even found the owners manual
and this cool place mat like info sheet coated in plastic.
sansui qr-6500 place mat

The pioneer was sent on down the line to someone that could appreciate it.
It was in such good condition I'd be bummed if it was accidentally destroyed,
from just sitting on a shelf as a backup.
Also I've got no interest in buying real quad records or cd's,
even though they both have a quad synthesizer mode.
It's more fun to search around for some more junk!


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