(Topic ID: 183364)

Vintage STEREO Club (Monster Receivers, Cassette, CD Players, Turntables, R2R)


2 years ago

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  • 193 posts
  • 58 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 months ago by xsvtoys
  • Topic is favorited by 26 Pinsiders


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    #59 2 years ago

    Great to see this thread pop up because I had just been doing some looking around about my old stuff. I found out that just like pinball there are a bunch of people who are into all of the vintage AV stuff, and they also restore them. This includes things like replacing caps, making electronic adjustments with scopes, and so forth. And, they even argue about replacing the lamps with LEDS, just like pinball!

    I have a Kenwood KA-3500 amp and matching KT-5300 tuner. I bought these in July 1976 along with some speakers, a turntable, and the ultra cool Bic FM 10 antenna box, which I think is gone but possibly might be sitting in the attic. This was a ridiculous amount of money to spend in 1976 when I had basically nothing. But now 40+ years later I have to say it is some of the best money I have ever spent. These traveled with me everywhere I went and entertained me for all that time. Sure I have a fancypants modern AV receiver in the living room, but this amp and tuner still are doing duty even today playing tunes in the garage while I work on pinballs. These are connected to some Radio Shack / Realistic Minimus-7 speakers, and it sounds great for playing FM or even playing off an iPod connected via a docking station. I also have the turntable still and use it occasionally to digitize some vinyl that can't be acquired otherwise.

    Soon I am going to work on the amp and tuner and Deoxit the pots. They are pretty crackly. I will clean everything up nicely but that's probably about it. I don't think I will get into replacing the caps unless I see something strange when I take the cover off. Everything works perfectly so I don't want to mess with it.

    I love all the vintage stuff, especially those old receivers from Marantz, Pioneer and others. The designs are so cool, way better-looking than what you buy today.

    An indication of what a packrat I am is that I still have the original receipt. But at least I am a digital packrat nowadays. I probably kept the original boxes for 20 or 30 years, but finally tossed them.

    Kenwood KA-3500 KT-5300 (resized).jpg

    Kenwood KA-3500 KT-5300 receipt (resized).jpg

    #68 2 years ago
    Quoted from Sputnik:

    ...the Cerwin Vegas are relocating objects on the bar top...

    Good one..

    1 month later
    #95 1 year ago
    Quoted from pinster68:

    BTW - if you haven't seen Dark Star, I would highly recommend it for Giger fans.

    Yep, watch that. It is amazing overall, but my favorites are the all too few scenes of him (younger) at work painting. Completely freehand airbrushing working out of his head. Unbelievable.

    1 month later
    #111 1 year ago

    I also like the vintage electronics test gear, so I have been building up some stuff to work on the stereos, pinballs, and other assorted projects. It didn't take long really to get hold of the basics, including some power supplies, a Fluke 8050A Multimeter, and a nice working Tektronic 465B scope. All bought local to avoid shipping the heavy stuff. Besides being retro-cool looking, its a lot cheaper than buying all new stuff which is all made in China nowadays.
    workbench electronics 1 (resized).jpg

    #113 1 year ago

    I read some stuff about adjusting an oscillator slug. But I'm just getting into this so I don't know much. I found this post and I am working my way through it. I've got a long way to go. So far it looks good. It's like reading one of Vid's threads on fixing pinballs.


    6 months later
    #141 1 year ago

    Here's another AV pron shot of my Kenwood setup. I cleaned everything up and it looks really great. It traveled with me for 42 years to who knows how many different domiciles and it barely has a scratch or two. I also took the covers off and hit the knobs with Deoxit, now they run smooth as silk and with no static. Everything works as it should and it sounds great.

    I had a close look at all of the capacitors while I had the covers off, and everything looked fine to me, I didn't see anything that looked suspect like leaking or bulging, so I didn't touch anything. I did a lot of reading over at the audiokarma forums and there seem to be 2 schools of thought - one that says you should take it all the way apart and change out every capacitor, and another that says if it works, don't mess with it. I'm going for the second camp. If its working, why do all that work and then possibly mess it up? Kind of like a pinball machine in this regard.

    Kenwood KR-3500 KT-5300 (resized).jpg

    #143 1 year ago
    Quoted from bob_e:

    for your tuner, some upgrades may be here.

    I did find that page before, it’s pretty cool with all of those details. As far as my specific tuner, it’s known to be a “bottom of the line” type. He covers it briefly but then goes on to say that it is amazingly good at pulling in the stations, which is what I see also. Well what the heck, what else do you need a tuner to do anyway?

    #148 1 year ago

    Ever notice how generally crappy the photos are of this cool retro stuff? If you look at all of the pics in this thread, they all pretty much suffer from issues with focus, lighting, etc. Its not so much that everyone is a terrible photographer. More so that these things are a pain in the butt to get a good shot of, sort of similar to pinball machines in this regard. You've got shiny, reflective surfaces, glass windows, and various lamps lit up which all add up to a difficult problem for a camera snapshot. I actually spent a bit of effort to get the photo just above that I posted, using a fairly decent dSLR (Canon T2i). I still wasn't satisfied with that one. Its OK, but really doesn't look all that great. The focus is marginal, the highlights are blown out, there is a terrible reflection in the tuner window, etc.

    So I tried for another round to see if I could get something better. First step was to change out the kit lens for a more serious EF-S 60mm macro lens. Then I set it up in a room with decent natural light and positioned it to minimize reflections. Here is the result. It is a better effort, but I am still not completely satisfied. However I don't think this can be improved without getting some pro-type lighting involved. It needs some well-positioned diffuse lighting to provide an even illumination of the face place. A higher level of lighting will also allow the f stop to be narrowed for more sharp focus on the depth (assuming that's what you want to go for).

    I think a different camera setup would be required for the "dark room" type photos where you have the component lit up with its own lights. This won't be a great shot with this Kenwood, but the ones with the Marantzes and similar ones with the blue-lit dials and meters look really cool IMO.

    Kenwood KA-3500 KT-5300 3 (resized).jpg

    7 months later
    #162 8 months ago

    Got a new Kenwood stack for my office. KA-7200 Amp/Preamp, KT-7100 Tuner, KF-8011 Denoiser, KC-6060 Scope. The Denoiser and Scope are pretty much just for show.

    Kenwood stack 1 (resized).jpg

    2 weeks later
    #180 7 months ago

    Now for some real entertainment ask how come some vintage receivers have connections for four speakers intended for one room.

    1 week later
    #193 7 months ago

    Yep, sometimes I listen to good ole FM radio. And sometimes I listen to Pandora via my computer. And sometimes I plug in my iPod Classic with 10,000 MP3s into the aux port and listen to that, just because I can. I love the idea of mixing the technology eras. This last is accomplished by one of these handy base stations with audio out port.

    iPod classic (resized).jpg

    The iPod Classic with 160GB hard drive is basically "retro" now. It was really something for its time, but now with 128GB USB sticks and SD cards available for a pittance there is no justifiable usage case for them (that I know of).

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