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Used Integrated amplifier Pls Help

Wharfedale EVO4.4 Speaker

sandip_d

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Hello Members,
I have come accros many used integrated amplifier such as Denon PMA-860, Technics SU-V6/8, NAD 3020, Rotel 931, Luxman 100, Yahaha A-492/950, each priced @ 6-10 K. I could find some information @ Rotel, Nad, Technics but nothing @ Denon & Yamaha and Luxman. Offcourse I will audition them before buying. Can anybody pl. guide me /provide me more info regarding their selection. Any help will be highly appreciated.
Thanks.
 

dinyaar

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Hello Members,
I have come accros many used integrated amplifier such as Denon PMA-860, Technics SU-V6/8, NAD 3020, Rotel 931, Luxman 100, Yahaha A-492/950, each priced @ 6-10 K. I could find some information @ Rotel, Nad, Technics but nothing @ Denon & Yamaha and Luxman. Offcourse I will audition them before buying. Can anybody pl. guide me /provide me more info regarding their selection. Any help will be highly appreciated.
Thanks.
Hi sandip,
Am terrible with model numbers. The older technics amps were very good and so was the Luxman. The Nad is something of a legend but its a very low power amp so u may not be satisfied, the earlier rotels were in a different league to their current offerings and the Yamaha i would keep as my last option.
Basically i guess u have to see the condition of all the used amps and as u are going to audition them i feel u cant really go wrong. What are the speakers u wish to drive? Is ur room large?
Generally better to buy from the owner(if possible) as dealers are known to refurbish and even palm off defective units.
Regards
 

soundsgreat

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Hi,

Dinyaar is right be very careful with the used Hi-Fi guys !

Technics used lot of STK chips in their amps so try to avoid them since you are buying a used amp if conks for any reason it would be impossible to repair( as the STK chips are very very difficult to get)

My suggestion is choose from NAD(if power is not an issue) or Rotel.

Here's a review of the 931 read it,may be this will help you.
Rotel Integrated Amplifier RA-931 Mk.II Review [English]

Regards.
 

ranjeetrain

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Whatever you buy, be extremely careful and examine thoroughly before buying. As repairing these amps in India is, well, nothing needs to be said.
 

Anil kumar

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Please consider NAD 3020, it's an excellent option. NAD 3020 is the first integrated amplifier built to sound like a hi-quality amplifier. It was itroduced between '78 and 79, and quickly became the most famous and sold amplifier in the history of HiFi. The NAD 3020 had a power rating of 28 watts @ 8 Ohms (20-20 KHz), well designed phono stage & good driving capabilities even under heavy loads. It's still being sold on ebay for $160. Own a piece of history.

interesting links:

NAD 3020 - Listening test

http://www.audioreview.com/cat/amplification/integrated-amplifiers/nad/PRD_116008_2717c














Hello Members,
I have come accros many used integrated amplifier such as Denon PMA-860, Technics SU-V6/8, NAD 3020, Rotel 931, Luxman 100, Yahaha A-492/950, each priced @ 6-10 K. I could find some information @ Rotel, Nad, Technics but nothing @ Denon & Yamaha and Luxman. Offcourse I will audition them before buying. Can anybody pl. guide me /provide me more info regarding their selection. Any help will be highly appreciated.
Thanks.
 

Kamal

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Re the NAD 3020-
I agree with Anil, I had it on audition for a couple of months at my house.
Its a well built ,musical amp & performs beyond what its modest output specs wld imply.You wld not feel any lack of power & dynamics if you were to pair it with spkrs with a sensitivity of 88db & up.
Provided you keep it well, it would have a good resale value whenever you decide to upgrade.
But,before taking the plunge, test it thoroughly.
 

dinyaar

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Hi,
U can also always use it as a pre amp if and when u decide to upgrade. In my opinion it will sound the same or better than the current Nad pre @ 38K!!!
Regards
 

square_wave

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Hi Dinyaar,
I wish to disagree with you here.
From my personal experience with two nad integrateds ( c320bee and c350 which I owned once) and a c 270 power amp/pre, the pre sections from Nad are their Achilles heel. The pre?s sound a bit grainy. The power sections are pretty good. If you replace the preamp of a nad integrated with something decent you have a nice upgrade.
I once tried replacing the power section of my older c350 with a rotel and a c270 power amp while using the amps pre. There was no obvious upgrade in sound quality. Only the power and control improved. I then replaced the pre section with a custom made tube preamp. Total Bliss !
 

dinyaar

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Hi Square wave,
I am totally with u on the preamps from most budget manufacturers being the weak link while the power amps are decent.
All i am saying that the Nad integrated used as a pre will sound as good as the dedicated Nad preamp C162 at least to my ears. Had the C162/272 combo plus had an old C352 and had experimented myself and could not tell the difference. Now the 3020 is used by many as a preamp as they feel its a clean sounding preamp and better than the Nads of today.
Regards
 

ranjeetrain

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I have a question about its build quality. Was it designed to last 30+ years? Will the volume and other controls still work reliably after about 3 decades of service?

Though it was/is a legend in its own, I feel there is a risk involved in buying an amp that old.
 

Anil kumar

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Most of the vintage amps were built well, controle pots do suffer from severe oxidation and corrosion. DEOXIT is the answer. DeoxIT is a fast-acting deoxidizing solution that cleans, preserves, lubricates and improves conductivity on all metal connectors and contacts. DeoxIT dissolves the contamination and protects the surface

I recently bought 3 amps on ebay, they are built like a tank with solid milled alluminium knobs. Construction quality is top class. Just have a look at my vintage amps...PIONEER SA9100 was top of the line model in 1973, it still looks like new. It sells at ebay for $200, even today, sounds awsome...my towers handles them with great difficulty. It has extremely broad frequency response of 7 to 80,000 Hz.

As long as it's not abused, there is no problem, it can serve for years.


Anil

I have a question about its build quality. Was it designed to last 30+ years? Will the volume and other controls still work reliably after about 3 decades of service?

Though it was/is a legend in its own, I feel there is a risk involved in buying an amp that old.
 
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dinyaar

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Hi Anil,
Great amps and in great condition! How would u compare the sound to the modern mid budget integrateds? I know these are built like tanks so build quality is not a concern at all.
Regards
 

ranjeetrain

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I agree, in old times amps used to have a good build quality on average. But nothing lasts forever. Since you bought them off ebay (outside India presumably) they can be assumed to have been taken care of well. But in the hot, humid and dusty Indian conditions? Well, not everyone cares (or can care) as much. Specially if it was a budget gear. And if it was not really looked after very well, it can well turn out to be a bad buy. Though I see no harm in buying amps 5-10 years old, anything older than that, well, need to be very careful while buying it. Biggest problem being lack of maintenance support, should you need it. Not everyone knows how to hold a soldering iron :)
 

dinyaar

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Ranjeetji,
These amps are actually sought after by collectors. I know a few in bbay who have a few vintage sansui,kenwood,luxman etc and they do play up from time to time and u will need to know a little more than just holding a soldering iron!!! I guess Anil sees it as a hobby and has the skill,knowledge, dedication to keep them running. Not my cup of tea 4 sure!
In fact i borrowed a kenwood from a friend and ran it on a B&W 704 and the loud thuds that came through the speakers everytime i switched inputs was enough to deter me. I also found that particular amp lacking in detail and pretty dull!!!
Regards
 

ranjeetrain

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Dear Dins,

I do agree its a nice hobby and a very passionate one too. It feels so good when you hold a 30 years old amp in your hand. That sentiment was fully expressed in that one sentence Anil wrote earlier, "Own a piece of history". And I fully agree with that. Its like having a 1940 model Rolls Royce. You want to have one, even if don't/can't use it much :)
 

Anil kumar

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Yes there is a great difference in sound quality. These solidstate transister amps differ in sound. Vintage Marantz sounds warm like tube amplifiers. My Yamaha CA 610 is sweet sounding compared to Kenwood. I had Onkyo amp bought new in 1998, sounded crap....flat like am radio. I did compare with modren amps like Marantz & Denon....they sound flat, they do not sound like vintage Pioneer & Sansui. Sansui AU 717 is a real beast, even today it's sells at $400. I had no chance to compare with NAD & Rotel. Check the attached pic.

AU 717 is a true ?DC? direct-coupled amp design. Not even one coupling capacitor is used in the circuit path or the feedback loop. Thus those factors which determine dynamic response, namely slew rate, transient response and TIM or transient intermodulation, are greatly improved. Frequency response now extends from DC (zero Hz) to an amazing 200kHz. A precision phono equalizer with eight transistors per channel. It keeps RIAA equalization inaccuracy within a nominal +-0.2db over a wide 20 to 20 000Hz range & twin power supply assures clean sound. Vintage sound is an addiction.

some vintage sites:

http://www.hifivision.com/general-chit-chat/425-sites-vintage-specifications.html

Hi Anil,
Great amps and in great condition! How would u compare the sound to the modern mid budget integrateds? I know these are built like tanks so build quality is not a concern at all.
Regards
 
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Kamal

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Well, the one that I auditoned was old all right but everyone of the buttons/switches/rotary controls was functioning first class-abs noiseless.
I guess they did care for quality& durability even then...
 

sandip_d

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Oh the feedback really overhelmed me. Thanks a lot folks. Thanks for inputs on Rotel, Nad 3020 and all other models. Mr Anilkumar happens to be collector of vintage gear. I saw your DIY speakers. They are fantastic. Sausui A-717 is also on my wishlist. Any info on Pioneer A-400. Thanks & I appreciate the response of menbers. Pls do keep posting.
Regards
Sandip
 

Rajiv

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Hi
Anil,your amps look fantastic.

I agree with you the Sansui AU717 is a great amplifier and will beat most of the newer amps .A friend of mine had one driving a pair of IMF tls50 loudspeakers.The sound was simply fantastic.


I am attaching a picture of my Luxman M4000 power amp.I have had this amp since new (1978) It was designed by Tim De Parvicini of EAR fame,when he worked with Luxman.The amp sounds far better than some highly priced modern gear.

I use it to drive my Infinity RSII loudspeakers,which present a very difficult load but the Lux handles it with ease.

I am posting a link to a reveiw of Jean Hiraga's new speakers .I really like the last line "There's hifi and then there is music."

6moons industryfeatures: Munich High End show 2008


Regards
Rajiv
 
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square_wave

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Awesome stuff Anil and Rajiv.
That sansui and pioneer models are classics....:) Good to see someone taking so much care of them.
 
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