Nostalgia Audio

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AmpDesigner333

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Nostalgia Audio
« on: 26 Aug 2017, 08:24 pm »
An audio friend suggested a thread about purchasing/using old equipment that has poor sonic (and other) performance yet is attractive in a nostalgic sense.  One example is a cassette deck.  Consider these issues and you may wonder why anyone would choose to listen to cassette tape in "this day and age".

I'm interested to hear your thoughts on this topic.

Back to the cassette deck example....   Consider wow/flutter, limited frequency response, age fade, lack of dynamic range, tape hiss, and even the inconvenience of changing tracks/albums.

Now, what other equipment falls under the nostalgia audio umbrella?  Thanks.

uncola

Re: Nostalgia Audio
« Reply #1 on: 27 Aug 2017, 10:29 am »
vacuum tubes and vinyl records ;)  uh oh flame war started
heh but really, any old integrated amp with a thick real wooden case and LOTS of knobs and flippy switches and VU meters

AmpDesigner333

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Re: Nostalgia Audio
« Reply #2 on: 27 Aug 2017, 01:05 pm »
I have a 5-disc CD changer (SONY)....  Maybe that's "semi-nostalgia audio gear"!

AmpDesigner333

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Re: Nostalgia Audio
« Reply #3 on: 28 Aug 2017, 04:39 pm »
Does anybody else get the feeling that this topic is taboo in the audiophile community?  I'd like to know why.  There's nothing wrong with nostalgia!

MttBsh

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Re: Nostalgia Audio
« Reply #4 on: 28 Aug 2017, 05:55 pm »
Does anybody else get the feeling that this topic is taboo in the audiophile community?  I'd like to know why.  There's nothing wrong with nostalgia!

Audiophiles are addicted to upgrade-itus, and the term "nostalgia" generally conveys a sense of moving backwards sound quality-wise. So I don't think nostalgia is taboo, the audiophile community just isn't particularly interested.... they want to move forward with the latest and greatest, not backwards. That's my take anyway.

AmpDesigner333

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Re: Nostalgia Audio
« Reply #5 on: 28 Aug 2017, 07:31 pm »
Check out Steve Guttenberg's system!  All modern except one thing....
https://youtu.be/dfqoOHz4Sp4

AmpDesigner333

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Re: Nostalgia Audio
« Reply #6 on: 28 Aug 2017, 07:32 pm »
Audiophiles are addicted to upgrade-itus, and the term "nostalgia" generally conveys a sense of moving backwards sound quality-wise. So I don't think nostalgia is taboo, the audiophile community just isn't particularly interested.... they want to move forward with the latest and greatest, not backwards. That's my take anyway.
Great post! Thanks (:

OzarkTom

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Re: Nostalgia Audio
« Reply #7 on: 29 Aug 2017, 02:50 am »
I was in the Army in 78 and went to all the audio salons in Louisiana. I will never forget hearing the Aoustat X's with the DD servo tube amps for the first time in Alexandria. These are still my all-time favorite amp/speakers from that era. Steve Deckart from Decware still listens to his Acoustat 4's even today. AC member bpape still listens to his 4's today for over 35 years.



ohenry

Re: Nostalgia Audio
« Reply #8 on: 29 Aug 2017, 03:48 am »
Here are two of my favorite oldies that make me happy:

I have a late '60's Viking 8-track player/recorder that's pristine and built like a tank.  It was owned by a family member and I remember playing with it almost 50 years ago.  At 61, I can still pop in a tape and take a time trip. :D 

Surprisingly, it can image as well or better than newer formats.  I seems that Viking squeezed the best out of the old cartridges.  Bill Lear would be proud.



Also, I have a pair of pretty special Bozak Concert Grands that look and sound great.  They have been professionally recapped and rewired and don't sound like a 50 year old speaker.  I drive them with an AVA Ultravalve and have plenty of volume since the Bozaks are pretty efficient and only dip to 5.5 ohms.  Frank said his little amp would be a great fit, and it is.

Big fun with 14 drivers (4 really nice 12" woofers) in big cabinets.  It's the stuff we lived for back in the day... and today.   :hyper:

Shear Bliss VMPS

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Re: Nostalgia Audio
« Reply #9 on: 29 Aug 2017, 05:41 am »
Nostalgia audio aah could be my middle name, but hey nothing wrong with well cared for older audio. I have a mix of old and new, the new is a fresh built Classic Cherry and DAC DAC. The older a near pristine pair of just received Acoustat 1100 and the big Cherry makes it shine, same too with my large VMPS Super Tower R which I bought locally and had the Bill LeGall touch put to the 15" and 12" woofers foam, the 15" passives too. Have the awesome VMPS 626R stand mounts and finally Snell Ci speakers ... quite the herd or is it horde I forget!

Soon I will be warming my cave with my Sonic Frontiers Power 1 amp with KT-120s from either a tubed Audio Mirror preamp or Classe CP-35 ... the Cherry deserves a nap I suppose thru the winter months.

My evolution has come a long ways since my Pioneer SX-727 receiver I would say!

LarryD56

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Re: Nostalgia Audio
« Reply #10 on: 30 Aug 2017, 03:27 am »
My main speakers (which are fed by a Cherry Ultra) are a pair of Infinity RS 2.5s. Being 37 years old puts my speakers in the 'nostalgia' category. I have modded them a little by adding some film caps, silver fuses, Duelund resistors, eliminating the pots, and making the signal path shorter. I also braced the cabinet and put some stabilizing feet on them. They sound so good and are very pleasing to listen to. I maintain that the 2.5s are definitely not outdated in their sound. I do have a lot of 50's and 60's tube stuff, but the Cherry and 2.5's are a good match for my ears.

I had considered a reel-to-reel, but I'm into convenience and like to have the music I want to hear ASAP. I have two turntables, but TT's are not convenient, so they get little use. My computer supplies what I want to hear, does the job quickly, and keeps playing for hours on end. I don't like to have to work at playing music or be interrupted when an album ends. I just want to hear the music and hear it sound good.

I do have some nostalgic looking amps (Pilot 246 & 248, Voice of Music 1448, Bogen DB112, Fisher 100's, Fisher 400's, and many more), but it's the great sound I get when I rebuild and modify these amps that causes me to keep them. You just can't replace good sounding 'old' stuff. Being almost 60 years old the amps still sound wonderful and they look cool, definitely retro. People can't believe the good sound that comes out of them.


Larry D.
« Last Edit: 1 Sep 2017, 01:39 pm by LarryD56 »

AmpDesigner333

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Re: Nostalgia Audio
« Reply #11 on: 4 Sep 2017, 10:05 pm »
Vinyl has a special place in my heart.  I loved collecting records and recorded many of them onto cassette tape to listen with a "Walkman" type player.  There's something special about LPs, but NOT the sound!

The problems with vinyl were motivating factors behind CD/ digital audio.

Some of the more glaring issues with vinyl:
1. Sound quality changes over the course of the record because outside tracks have higher speed past the needle.
2. Frequency response is limited on the low end due to rumble and other factors.
3. Click/pop noises are almost impossible to avoid.  Some call this "surface noise".
4. Convenience issues (storage, limited content per disc, fragility, etc.).  Limited availability of content.  Plus, sometimes a "find" winds up being a scratched up piece of....
5. Wear.  Simply put, every time you listen, there is more degradation than the last time.
6. COST.  High quality equipment is not cheap.  There are also a lot of pieces to the puzzle, like a good table, tonearm, cartridge, and phono preamp.
7. Channel separation is poor compared to digital audio.  This hurts imaging capability.
8. Signal-to-Noise ratio is low compared to digital audio.  That hurts dynamic range and doesn't allow the "black background" you can enjoy with digital audio.

Yet, with all these issues, there are still audiophiles that insist that the sound is better than digital audio.  It's hard for them to admit that the real motivation is nostalgia, and there's nothing wrong with that.
« Last Edit: 23 Sep 2017, 06:00 am by AmpDesigner333 »

AmpDesigner333

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Re: Nostalgia Audio
« Reply #12 on: 7 Sep 2017, 04:23 pm »
 Shall we talk about tube amps?

LarryD56

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Re: Nostalgia Audio
« Reply #13 on: 8 Sep 2017, 01:54 am »
Tube amps? Sure! This is where I still have a soft spot in my heart. Probably more for vintage amps than newer stuff. I like to make the most unlikely looking amp stun the first time listeners. One of my best sounding is a re-done Voice of Music 1448 which uses 6AQ5 power tubes. I made a lot of improvements in that amp and now it spanks  many of my other re-capped vintage amps. It's very simplistic in it's original design which makes it a good candidate for fixing up. A 'wise guy' once told me to not to put my time and money into fixing up a mediocre sounding amp, but to take a good sounding amp and make it into a great sounding amplifier. The 1448 is a good amp when it's stock. I eliminated a few of it's drawbacks and now it's great little 10 WPC buttkicker. I re-did one for a guy in Mass. and he couldn't believe his ears.

 I get a lot of enjoyment out of this kind of nostalgia audio. Now I just need some great sounding efficient speakers from the same time period. Maybe buy some old cheapo speakers and put in quality new efficient drivers.

Larry D.



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AmpDesigner333

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AmpDesigner333

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Re: Nostalgia Audio
« Reply #16 on: 11 Sep 2017, 02:13 pm »
High res digital audio, when done right, sounds silky smooth and clean. No pops, clicks, or rumble.  No microphonic feedback, response down to 0Hz (DC), 120+ SNR, near zero distortion, no wear from playback, easy to store, lasts forever without degradation, and you can even make EXACT copies!  Digital audio is superior in so many ways.  Don't get me wrong, playing LPs is enjoyable, but the purpose is NOT high performance.

AmpDesigner333

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Re: Nostalgia Audio
« Reply #17 on: 11 Sep 2017, 02:30 pm »
Shall we talk about tube amps?
Issues with tube amps include high output impedance, high distortion (compared to solid state), tube wear (when to replace the tubes?), tube availability, size, weight, inefficiency, fragility, cost, etc.

This is why it's no surprise that tube lovers often have solid state amps as well.  I've talked with many who have converted to solid state after giving it "another try".

That brings me to the "sound of tube amps"....  Most solid state amps sound hard and cold compared to tubes.

There's also the nostalgia, and the glow, and the wooly bass.  Just kidding about that last one.  Hey, this is all for fun, right?

CanadianMaestro

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Re: Nostalgia Audio
« Reply #18 on: 14 Sep 2017, 11:45 am »
My folks still have their Kenwood wood console record player/stereo receiver. Must be 40 yrs old now. Still works, and the rec player is one of those stack loaders that drop 12" LPs on top of each other after each side has played trough. Don't even know what cart is there, never changed it once.

For me, I enjoyed, for 20 yrs, a cheap Sony receiver (STRD511) with a Sony 5-CD player/changer. Along with a TEAC CD/cassette player (AD400). The latter had a low-level rumble from the drive that I can still hear up close. Ouch. Book shelf spkrs from Pinnacle (AC650). Sounded great, til I got the hi-end bug!

Remember 45-rpm records? And the cheap yellow plastic rings that you slid onto the spindle? Those certainly are "nostalgic".

paul79

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Re: Nostalgia Audio
« Reply #19 on: 14 Sep 2017, 12:57 pm »
I'm all about it. My amp and preamp are the Sansui BA-F1 and the Sansui CA-F1 (1979). I find these to be neutral, very transparent, and sweet at the same time. They have decimated every single piece that has come through here.

The rest of my system and speakers are modern though.