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Putting together a Vintage Stereo system

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Re: Putting together a Vintage Stereo system

Postby mikehende » Tue Apr 13, 2021 1:38 pm

uselessoldman wrote:I would be looking at something back then that was good but I could never afford, Linn for example, not something I might have owned and used in my bedroom. Are you only going to be playing digital music files through them?

Panasonic made good stuff even then but it was never audiophile kit and Fisher speakers were never anything more than adequate and there are many far better speakers out there. I guess they might sound better than a transistor radio from back in the day but I fail to see what objective you are after? I would have have thought any half decent reasonably priced modern system would sound far better?

Ok, let me try to explain my thought process. My music collection was put together by "era" or certain times of my past life. In the late 60s we had a turntable Console and I was seeking now to get back that same sound or tone for when playing 50s-mid 70s music as I had left my Dad's house in the mid 70s.

I was always told that playing mp3's from any digital source on a retro system will defeat the purpose of getting analog sound. However, last week I got 2 retro systems, a 60s/70s Receiver and KLH Model 24 speakers which is around the same size as what our Console had. Just as I had predicted, I got the sound back or close to it for when playing that era of music.

So no need for me to have to play from my vinyl or tapes or bother with getting a digital to analog device.

For the late 70s/80s era of music, the Fisher ST-845 comes very close to the sound I had with the Receiver and speakers I had at that time but the speakers and Receiver I had was made around '78-'82 so I am now working on getting them back if I can find them.

So it's more about memories for me than quality of the sound when it comes to the oldies. This is the best explanation I can give of my music situation when it comes to the oldies. I have my DJ Rig with better quality equipment and sound to cover all music from mid 80s to present .
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Re: Putting together a Vintage Stereo system

Postby uselessoldman » Tue Apr 13, 2021 3:32 pm

I can completely understand what you mean by creating or rekindling old memories. I have had plenty an argument on audiophile forums about that unique vinyl sound against digital and its qualities or whether modern digital productions stand up to pure analogue. We all know its a serious contentious controversial and somewhat irrelevant argument regardless of what science might suggest. For those of use old enough to have been brought up with vinyl, whilst digital has its place, nothing can replace a true analogue system and sound.

There was one post that I will always remember fondly, someone asked what did they need to play Heavy Metal records. Besides the mandatory record player, I suggested a Marshall valve amp and some Vintage 30 speakers with the gain dials turned hard right. For me as its one of my fav genre, it works for me although I tend to use the QSC amp. If it were house acid or other dance/disco, I would certainly use the QSC but probably through the G12Hs.

Some would argue finding a pair of speakers that match well with a certain amp was the most important factor. But when I tried out new speakers, I found that old or modern never made much difference if any when paired with the QUAD amps but the electronics components certainly did make a huge difference. But that the difference was not always complimentary or what you were after. I had great fun experimenting. I guess I must be either to old or deaf or both no matter what effects I added to a digital signal or equipment I used , the sound of a vinyl record played on a record player always won. But the fact all those records can be stored on a small SSD as against the shelves I have full of plastic I have behind me was not up for argument, and I can choose what I want to play with the click of a mouse. For some silly reason I could never fully swap over and sell the records, many I know are worth quite a lot and I have a lot. Just holding some certain albums holds memories from my past, people from my past time and places. Some things that are irreplaceable impossible to replace.
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Re: Putting together a Vintage Stereo system

Postby mikehende » Tue Apr 13, 2021 4:08 pm

Agreed!

For me, some types of music sound better on certain equipment and speakers in particular. When I listen to Metal and Hard Rock they sound better to me on a full range speaker system as opposed to my Tri-Amp DJ Rig. Can you imagine how bad some 50s-70s tunes sound on my DJ system?

When I look at my favs like ACDC, Metallica, Def Leppard e.t.c playing live on full range systems back in the day it always sounded best to me. My thinking is the equipment the live bands played on is the type of equipment I should listen to it on.

My buds all think I am crazy as they all have only one system on which they listen to every type of music form any era.

Just like you, almost every oldie in my collection was chosen because it reminds me of a very specific time, people, place or occasion.
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Re: Putting together a Vintage Stereo system

Postby AlecSp » Tue Apr 13, 2021 7:35 pm

uselessoldman wrote:I can completely understand what you mean by creating or rekindling old memories. I have had plenty an argument on audiophile forums about that unique vinyl sound against digital and its qualities or whether modern digital productions stand up to pure analogue. We all know its a serious contentious controversial and somewhat irrelevant argument regardless of what science might suggest. For those of use old enough to have been brought up with vinyl, whilst digital has its place, nothing can replace a true analogue system and sound.
The simple fact remains that when listening to vinyl on an analogue system, you're hearing a distorted version of the original signal - mainly the limited and non-linear frequency response but also some harmonic distortion.

That's not to say it's "objectively" bad, as many ears find the sound pleasurable compared with a linear response. It might not be accurate, but if it excites you, then it's subjectively good.

And it explains why you might prefer listening to period music on suitably limited period equipment to give an experience similar to what we had in the day. But don't forget, your ears are no longer functioning the same as they did 40/50 years ago, either, so the true replication is only notional.

It's no different to me having an emotional response on smelling the "warm electronics" smell of a 70s record player.

All that said, I can't be bothered with all that pallaver. I hated damage-prone vinyls and crappy sounding cassette, and couldn't move to digital music quick enough. That, along with some decent active kit and I'm happy. Yes, it shows the weakness of some early production but, for others, lets the true glory breathe.
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Re: Putting together a Vintage Stereo system

Postby mikehende » Tue Apr 13, 2021 8:02 pm

AlecSp wrote:The simple fact remains that when listening to vinyl on an analogue system, you're hearing a distorted version of the original signal - mainly the limited and non-linear frequency response but also some harmonic distortion.

And it explains why you might prefer listening to period music on suitably limited period equipment to give an experience similar to what we had in the day. But don't forget, your ears are no longer functioning the same as they did 40/50 years ago, either, so the true replication is only notional.

Yes of course vinyl is a reproduction of tape [reel to reel] which is the best analogue sound.

I agree [to a certain extent] with my listening capabilities now at age 58 being "notional" as our listening diminishes or changes with age [according to the experts that is]. However, in the same way that my memories haven't faded, I really do not think that my hearing capabilities have changed all that much.
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Re: Putting together a Vintage Stereo system

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Apr 13, 2021 9:01 pm

mikehende wrote:Yes of course vinyl is a reproduction of tape [reel to reel] which is the best analogue sound.

TBF vinyl is a pretty poor reproduction of analogue tape, reduced bass with no sides component, more distortion and speed anomalies, crackles and hiss, distortion and all the other vinyl weaknesses added to the faults inherent in tape as a recording medium. But, I like playing old guitars through valve amps*, if it makes you happy then go to it :thumbup:

* Like Alex I won't be going back to vinyl or tape anytime soon.
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Re: Putting together a Vintage Stereo system

Postby uselessoldman » Tue Apr 13, 2021 9:57 pm

and there lies the difference, analogue vinyl lets you off with a poor recording and mix whilst digital shows every error made there is no where to hide and no forgiveness. So when vinyl is transferred to digital all is exposed and transparent.

But that opens up a new playing field for me. I can RX8 the tracks split them and add superior drummer and EZBass then some tricks with the vocals. Afterwards if I am still not happy out comes my guitars.

But seriously some vinyl's are nothing short of shocking, but then back in the day what I played them on would cause more sound distortion than any issues with the actual recordings. Now with a decent system there just bad, some are really bad, but others are really good seriously good.
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Re: Putting together a Vintage Stereo system

Postby Mike Stranks » Wed Apr 14, 2021 9:21 am

mikehende wrote:However, in the same way that my memories haven't faded, I really do not think that my hearing capabilities have changed all that much.

We all think that! :lol:

Simple fact is that your hearing capabilities have changed. It's just that it happens so relatively slowly that you don't realise it's happening.

... and as for your earlier comment about 'listening on the same setups that the bands used when playing live'... good luck with that. Back in the day, live sound systems were really pretty dreadful.... and huge!
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Re: Putting together a Vintage Stereo system

Postby mikehende » Wed Apr 14, 2021 12:24 pm

Mike Stranks wrote:
mikehende wrote:However, in the same way that my memories haven't faded, I really do not think that my hearing capabilities have changed all that much.

We all think that! :lol:

Simple fact is that your hearing capabilities have changed. It's just that it happens so relatively slowly that you don't realise it's happening.

... and as for your earlier comment about 'listening on the same setups that the bands used when playing live'... good luck with that. Back in the day, live sound systems were really pretty dreadful.... and huge!

Speaking for myself, if it is fact that my hearing has changed it still does not prevent me from recognizing the original sound of the 60s/70s.

As for the live music situation what you and others consider to be "dreadful" I consider it to be authentic as that was the real listening environment and sound. I used to be a drummer in those days in my Uncle's band so whether it was dreadful or not, to me, at that time [and now still] I appreciate it and always will. Enough said.

For you and others it consider to be "dreadful"
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Re: Putting together a Vintage Stereo system

Postby Bob Bickerton » Wed Apr 14, 2021 12:41 pm

This is a conversation without a resolution.

Technically systems were ‘actually’ dreadful compared to modern counterparts. Technically vinyl and cassette tape can’t match modern digital systems.

Emotionally - well that’s a different story all together!

Which is more important is individual choice.

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Re: Putting together a Vintage Stereo system

Postby mikehende » Wed Apr 14, 2021 1:03 pm

Good and accurate summation bob. Also worth mentioning that the pioneers/jegends of that time didn't really have much options regarding music equipment, they were limited only to what was available at that time.

Nowadays, tons of gear and many options of each type of gear is available so it's apples and oranges really.
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Re: Putting together a Vintage Stereo system

Postby uselessoldman » Wed Apr 14, 2021 1:19 pm

I was brought up watching bands live, the records were a sad substitution since they never got close to being there in real life watching them. I was also not one for listening to a full album, unless it was Tull Zep Rush, Pink Floyd or a few and very few artists who made an album worth listening to. As for the quality of tape or for that matter vinyl, we knew nothing else, it was all we had and so there was nothing to compare it to. Also who had a stereo radio back in the day? maybe our parents? we certainly never had, it was a small transistor radio under the covers late at night listening to Johnny Peel.

As for quality there is a certain beauty to rawness unclinical and often amateurish music, everyone has to start somewhere and they were easy to play along with, nothing to technical. With digital auto tune melodyne etc everything now has to be just perfect, boring as $%&.

But what matters is the song not necessarily the way or how its played. A good song will always be a good song no matter what the quality. I sit here surrounded by digital toys, but in the end I still like to lift up a guitar switch the amp on and make a racket, or use a keyboard sometimes even both. A certain pleasure in my madness
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Re: Putting together a Vintage Stereo system

Postby mikehende » Wed Apr 14, 2021 1:33 pm

uselessoldman wrote: As for the quality of tape or for that matter vinyl, we knew nothing else, it was all we had and so there was nothing to compare it to. Also who had a stereo radio back in the day? maybe our parents? we certainly never had, it was a small transistor radio under the covers late at night listening to Johnny Peel.

As for quality there is a certain beauty to rawness unclinical and often amateurish music, everyone has to start somewhere and they were easy to play along with, nothing to technical. With digital auto tune melodyne etc everything now has to be just perfect, boring as $%&.

But what matters is the song not necessarily the way or how its played. A good song will always be a good song no matter what the quality. I sit here surrounded by digital toys, but in the end I still like to lift up a guitar switch the amp on and make a racket, or use a keyboard sometimes even both. A certain pleasure in my madness

All great and accurate points too and seems we are both cut from the same cloth, maybe since we are both musicians from back then is why we see this old vs new in the same light?

In my uncle's band we did not have a mixing board or any signal processing equipment. Only a 3 piece drum set, lead and bass guitars, one mic, keyboard and Fender Amps so what you heard was only raw sound. Finance was a major issue and also getting transportation to gigs.

I still prefer live to recorded music as usually the live version's music will be different aside from the obvious.
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Re: Putting together a Vintage Stereo system

Postby James Perrett » Wed Apr 14, 2021 2:16 pm

I'm the same age as some of the main contributors to this thread but I know that my hearing has very obviously degraded from my younger days. Just this morning I realised that I could no longer hear the 12.5kHz test tone on the tape that I was transferring.

I'd also like to put in a good word for vintage audio gear. Not all of it is like the stuff that Mike seems to be collecting. To the uninformed those Fisher speakers might look a bit like Yamaha NS1000's with their three drivers stacked vertically and the white coned woofers. Now NS1000's are still very highly thought of today because they used innovative beryllium drivers and were properly designed. The Fishers probably used 3 random drivers that looked vaguely right.

Earlier this morning Hugh and Mike Stranks were extolling the virtues of the Garrard 301 which was designed in the 1950's.

Real audio pioneers used quality gear which sounded much better than much of the home audio gear around today.
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Re: Putting together a Vintage Stereo system

Postby mikehende » Wed Apr 14, 2021 2:25 pm

As mentioned the Fisher speakers I have right now is not what I am after and looking for, they are from 1984 in any case. Far as memory serves I had 15" 3-way from either Pioneer, Fisher, Kenwood or Technics brands so I am trying to track down which were ones I had between 78-82 time period and mainly for nostalgic reasons.

I was never and still not an "Audiophile" since I prefer raw sound. Yes James, there are quality vintage gear but for some it may not qualify as quality sound especially if compared to what's available today with digital or what I term to be "artificial" sound..
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