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Vintage 70's Stereo Equipment
Confessions of a Scrounger
How to Find, Sell, Fix and Enjoy the best of Vintage Stereo

by Mark Gallagher
feedback / questions >>>  mark@gallagher.com

 

Vintage Stereo - 70's

 

1970's vintage stereo

Vintage system above: Marantz 2330b receiver, Thorens TD-165 turntable, Thorens TD-126 turntable, Frazier Model Seven speakers, and Akai GX-266D reel to reel tape deck.

Project: The original goal of this project was to recreate a stereo system similar to the one I owned in college in the early 70's and later sold when I needed the money after college. Stereo components of the 70's were big and heavy with metal fronts and  lots of knobs, switches and lights. Visually, these systems were way superior to the black front, digital read-out systems of today. And these systems were loud - designed to play rock music of the era.

Now it is an ongoing hobby to find, test, fix and enjoy stereo equipment of that era.


Latest Finds / Projects:

These are my latest finds:

Sansui AU-717

Sansui AU-717 integrated amplifier and TU-717 tuner from 1977.  This amp is one of the best sounding amps I have heard. I had it restored with all new caps and other work.  It sounds fantastic with my Rectilinear speakers. 


Sansui 4000 receiver from 1970

Sansui 4000 receiver from 1970, 45 watts per channel and one of the sweetest sounding receivers I have ever heard. I use it with my Dynaco A-25 speakers below.


Dynaco A25 speakers

Dynaco A-25 speakers, these are the relatively rare version, the A-25VW, made in the USA, late 70's, I replaced the ugly brown grill cloth with new grill cloth from Parts Express.  These sound identical to the regular A25, one of the best speakers of its time at an affordable price point.


These are rare JBL speakers from 1970, found these locally from the original owner, Summer, 2011..

JBL Aquarius

JBL Aquarius II from 1970. (one tweeter in front and two midrange and woofer in back)


Found these Klipsch speakers on Craig's List locally for $160.

Klipsch KG4 speakers (late 80's): 3-way speaker with passive woofer in the back.  These speakers sound terrific. The KG4 are off the radar for many vintage stereo collectors and sell at much lower prices then the heritage line. But I think they sound as good as the more collectible models. 

 


Love this turntable and it sounds fantastic.

Thorens TD 126 turntable

Thorens TD 126 Electronic with Stanton 681EEE cartridge. (late 1970's)

Note, I had it serviced by Evan and he replaced the stock white bulbs (that illuminate the square button controls) with blue LEDs giving the turntable a more modern look.  I think it looks very cool.

 


Recently picked this up from a second hand store, a record changer pulled from and old console. Price was $4.

Cobra-Matic record player from Zenith Console

Cobra-Matic record changer from Zenith console (circa 1962) made by Voice of Music Corp.
I plan to restore it, replace the needle and use it to stack 78s and 45s.  Love the look and design of this record changer.

 


How to Clean Records with Soap and Water  < < <  new

How to Clean Records

 


No, it's not a stereo.

It's an IBM Selectric II Typewriter I found at a garage sale for $10 and it works great.  I love the look and feel of this machine.

I am a good typist and the feel of this keyboard is sweet.  No, it has little  practical utility, but I love this puppy.

IBM Selectric II Typewriter

IBM Selectric II Typewriter (late 70's)

 

IBM Self Correcting Tape and Typing Element

The famous IBM typing element and self-correcting feature - the white correcting tape in the photo above actually pulls the type off the page to make corrections - a clever advancement on the old white-out method of correcting a typed page.

 


I've discovered tubes !! 

There is no going back. The music sounds richer, fuller, more beautiful when produced by gear using tubes..

Fisher 50b tuner from 1961, I just picked this up on Ebay.  It's fully restored and ready to run.  I always wanted a Fisher.  I'm one happy camper.

 

A look inside the Fisher 50b tuner. 

 

Pilot 245A amplifier (pulled from a console) and the Fisher 50b tuner, this pair sounds fantastic together. The Pilot is on loan to me from a friend. 

 


Current project - record some classical albums to tape on this Reel to Reel tape deck from the 70's.


Akai reel to reel

Akai GX-266D Reel to Reel Tape Deck - Originally sold for $900 in late 70's, this deck is big and sounds excellent. Records in either direction and has great, solid clicking noises when you push the play / record buttons. Large white VU meters. I paid $320 for this unit from Ebay in 1999 and paid an additional $100 to a local service dealer to bring it up to spec.  Recordings from this unit sound very nice.

 


AR 4X speakers from about 1968 (purchased for $20 on Craig's List, April 2008)
These were beat-up and stained some odd grayish brown color. I decided to sand the cabinets.

AR 4X speakers

Start sanding the cabinets to restore them to original pine unfinished look.

 

AR 4X speakers - sanding

Sanding about done.

 

Speakers with Watco Danish Oil

Applied some Watco Danish Oil Finish (natural)

 

These are about done - removed and cleaned the original grill cloth with soap and water.
Now restored to the original pine cabinets, this was the least expensive model of the 4X sold in the late 60's.
They sound great.

 


Recently, I've been looking at vintage radios from the 50's and 60's

RCA Victor Transistor Radio

RCA Victor AM Transistor Radio, Globe Trotter, Model 3-RG-81, 8 transistors. Picked this radio up at a Goodwill for 99 cents. Love the look of this radio and it works great.  It dates from the mid-60's.

 


Zenith Tube Radio

Zenith AM/FM Tube Radio (Model G730W) from the 1950's. This radio has 7 tubes and works very well. I use it as a daily runner for listening to talk radio. The human voice has a warm tone with this radio. I paid $7 for this radio at a local thrift.

 


Marantz 2330b Receiver

Marantz 2330b receiver in wood case (I recently restored the wood finish with Howard Restore-a-Finish - walnut)

 

Marantz 2330b receiver - inside

Inside the 2330b

My beloved Marantz 2330b receiver (circa 1979). There is no receiver more beautiful.  But I burned out some output transistors testing my Infinity speakers, so I had all eight replaced by a good tech (see photo above, the transistors are in the middle of the heat sinks at the bottom of the photo).  I originally bought this receiver on Ebay in 1999 for $175.

This  Marantz produces 130 watts per channel (see stats on this receiver). Originally sold in late 70's, this puppy weighs 48 lbs. and has the classic Marantz metal face, a  metal push button or knob for every conceivable function, blue lights and it came with a walnut wood case.

 


Sony Trinitron TV

Sony Trinitron TV with 19" screen made in 1982. My latest Goodwill find for $20.  I cleaned the outside and inside and this thing looks like new. Love the clean design of this TV. The picture quality and color are excellent.

 


Lava Lamp

Lava Lamp next to my Dual 1228 Turntable and Carver preamp
(garage sale purchase, September 2007)

 


 Allison CD8 speakers

Allison CD-8 Speakers (circa 1985), three way speaker with woofers pointing up.
Purchased at a local garage sale in August, 2007 for $40.  These speakers sound excellent.
Roy Allison designed many of the most popular AR speakers in the late 60's and 70's before founding his own company. Allison speakers are "off the radar" of a lot of vintage collectors, so you can sometimes find them at low prices. They were high-end speakers when sold in the 80's.

 

Allison CD 8 speakers

The convex tweeter and midrange drivers of the Allison CD-8 speakers.  These speakers play with outstanding dispersion.

 


Rectilinear III speakers

Rectilinear III speakers (highboys) from about 1975.  Picked these up at local garage sale for $50 in Sept. 2007.
Great speakers, full range, terrific east coast sound, I love these speakers.  I replaced the capacitors in the crossover (with help from friend Bob) and they now sound like new - big sound, but smooth and accurate.

Rectilinear III speakers user manual:  page 1page 2page 3.

 

Rectilinear III drivers

Rectilinear III speakers (highboys) with the grill cloth taken off -
four tweeters, one midrange,  one 12" woofer and one port.

 


Sherwood S-7100

Sherwood S-7100 receiver from the early 1970's.  I love the look of this receiver.  Picked it up at a church-sponsored garage sale for $15 (July 2007) and I lubricated the controls and switches with Deoxit, cleaned the outside and inside and it sounds very good.  Love these vintage Sherwood receivers.

 


Thorens TD-165 turntable

Thorens TD-165 turntable (early 1970's)
Made a deal with Evan from Madison, Wisconsin. I traded my Infinity RS-II speakers to Evan and he took my old Thorens and totally overhauled, repaired, lubricated and updated the turntable and installed a Dynavector 10x cartridge. It sounds fantastic and is now my main turntable connected to my Carver electronics and Rectilinear speakers.

 


B&W DM14 speakers

B&W DM14 speakers (circa 1979).  I sold these on Craig's List for $225 (August 2007). They were great speakers, but I have too many speakers right now, so they had to go.  Beautiful wood cabinets and 3 drivers. I purchased these on Craig's List in 2006 for $250.

 

B&W DM14 speakers

B&W DM14 speakers (grill cloth off)

 


Altec 601 duplex speakers

My best find of 2007 - Altec 601-8D (12" duplex) speakers in Acousti-craft kit cabinets, circa 1975.
Fantastic sounding vintage Altec speakers, this was a very lucky find for me. Purchased at an estate sale in Wheaton for $150 for the pair in June, 2007.

 

Altec 601-8D speaker and Acousti-craft cabinet

Back of the cabinet is open to see the Altec 601-8D driver and crossover in green metal box, one port is seen, this is an Acousti-craft kit cabinet that would be purchased separately and assembled by the owner. I added some gray weather-stripping so the back panel would fit better.

 

Altec 601-8D speaker

This is the speaker in the cabinets above - the Altec 601-8D duplex speaker
("duplex" means the horn tweeter is combined with the woofer into a single speaker)

 


JBL L26 speakers

JBL Decade L26 speakers. Purchased these on Craig's List for $50 for the pair in July, 2007.

 

JBL Decade 26 speakers

JBL Decade L26 speakers with grill cloth off - two way speaker from mid-1970's

 

JBL woofer surrounds

The woofer surrounds needed to be replaced.  I found a repair kit on Ebay for $25 and replaced them myself.

 

Recap of JBL L26 speakers. I replaced the old cap in the crossover with new caps - a Solen 8.2uF.  I left the old cap and just glued the new cap on top and cut and soldered the two wires connected to the stock cap to the new caps. This recap improves the sound definition and spaciousness of the JBL speakers and the total parts for this project from Parts Express was about $15.

 


Klipsch Chorus Speakers

Klipsch Chorus speakers (circa 1989), I sold these on Craig's List for $480.  I love these speakers, but I have too many speakers right now.  These were connected to my Super T Amp and a CD player.

 

Klipsch Chorus Speakers

Klipsch Chorus speaker with grill cloth off, three way speaker, two horn drivers and 15" woofer - a big, loud speaker.

Chorus Specifications

frequency response 45Hz-20kHz3dB
power handling 100 watts maximum continuous (1000 watts peak)
sensitivity 101dB @ 1watt/1meter
nominal impedance 8 ohms
tweeter K-79-K 1" (2.54cm) Phenolic diaphragm compression driver
high frequency horn 90x40 Exponential Horn
midrange K-57-K 1.5" (3.81cm) Phenolic diaphragm compression driver
mid frequency horn 90x40 Exponential Horn
woofer K-48-E 15" (38.1cm) Fiber-composite cone
enclosure material Medium density fiberboard construction (MDF)
enclosure type Bass reflex via fonrt-mounted port
dimensions 39" (99.06cm) x 18.5" (46.99cm) x 15.5" (39.37cm)
weight 89 lbs. (40.4kg)
finishes Walnut Oil, Walnut Lacquer, Oak Oil, Oak Lacquer, Finished Black
built from 1987
built until 1990

 


Large Advent speakers

Original Large Advent Loudspeakers (circa 1972) in walnut cabinets.
I sold these on Craig's List for $100 in August, 2007.

 

Advent Loudspeakers

The two-way drivers of the large Advent speaker, the woofer is not original but a replacement built by Jenson to exactly the same specs as the original Advent woofer.  The "fried egg tweeter" is original.

 


Sherwood S7200 receiver

Sherwood S-7200 receiver from about 1972.
Picked this up on Craig's List for $40 (May, 2007) and I had it completely serviced by a good tech including alignment of the FM tuner. It works great.  The early 70's Sherwood receivers have a warm, tube- like sound, although they are solid state. This unit puts out about 35 watts per channel.


Dual 1228 Turntable

Dual 1228 Turntable - this unit dates to the late 1960's. I did not need a second turntable, but I could not keep myself from bidding on this unit when it came up on Ebay in 1999. I love the look and feel of these old Duals. I put a new stylus on the Shure M91ED cartridge that came with the turntable.

 


How to Clean Records with Soap and Water  < < <  new

 

Related Links:

AudioKarma Discussion Forum (vintage stereo) Parts Express (great source for audio parts),  Turntable Accessories,
Audio Product ReviewsTurntable belts and cartidges,  
The NeedleDoctor,    Music Direct (records and record supplies)

Comments / Questions : mark@gallagher.com

Last updated: 2013

 

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