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 Post subject: Reliving the past...
PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:32 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 12:20 pm
Posts: 2223
Location: Toronto, ON, CA
What do you have when you started off with this hobby? I started off with a pretty humble system consisted of a Sony D303 discman, a (pretty worn out) Thoren TD125, a NAD 302 and a pair of Mission 760i. It was the best I could afford at the time and it sounded great compare with what I have before. Sadly, none of these pieces is with me anymore.

Although I have moved on but call it a nostalgia or whatever I am thinking of reliving the past lately just for the heck of it. Instead of browsing some "hi end" brands here on CAM I am searching CAM and Kijiji for NAD, Mission, etc. I am considering putting together a budget system with NAD 302 and Mission 760i at the center but with a budget USB DAC (e.g. from Schiit) and may be a cheap used TT (Rega?) with a new budget MM cart.

It sounds like fun to me and it shouldn't sound too bad I hope. Even if it sounds like crap as a whole, may be it will let me appreciate what I have right now by comparison. What do you think? Have you ever considered doing something like this? Or you think I am a fool and should save the money and effort?


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 Post subject: Re: Reliving the past...
PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:45 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2012 4:17 pm
Posts: 2303
Location: Winnipeg, MB, CA
I did this for my daughter. She is all about the nostalgia, as are many millennials, so for around a grand she has a pretty decent vinyl set up. the speakers however are Totems as I had them as spares. This works better for apartment living where every square ft is precious so a larger pair of vintage wouldn't work.


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 Post subject: Re: Reliving the past...
PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:15 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:19 pm
Posts: 342
Location: Eastern Passage, NS, CA
A bit of effort and searching on your part, I think you can build an excellent system this way. Vintage NAD, Pioneer, Sansui, Thorens, AR, Technics, Luxman, Kenwood, Lenco, Rega, Marantz, Mission, and the list goes on, and on. You could build a killer system for less than a thousand, and it won't sound like crap.

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 Post subject: Re: Reliving the past...
PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:27 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 8:18 am
Posts: 6325
Location: Toronto, ON, CA
I actually went back to a more basic system like that made of good entry components similar to one of my early systems. Difference is that these are all new components and I have spend money on power, isolation and wire to make the best of these components.


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 Post subject: Re: Reliving the past...
PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:39 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 28, 2013 2:37 pm
Posts: 2027
Location: Port Ryerse, ON
Once nostalgia gets its grip on you, it's hard to shake. I had a pair of Chartwell LS3/5A's years ago and regretted letting them go. A couple of years back I noticed that Falcon had a kit that was advertised as being closer to the real thing than anything else. I had my finger hovering over the "buy" button, then I decided to wait. Was this speaker really that good? Do I really need it? Do I have the time to build it?

Then, the company discontinued the kit just as I was getting interested again. The assembled version was being sold for crazy money, and there was no way I was going that route. I was saved! It was nostalgia that was driving my emotional connection with this speaker.

One thing about buying cheaper gear from your past is you're going to expect less than the main rig. In that regard, it may sound better.

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 Post subject: Re: Reliving the past...
PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:49 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2015 4:49 pm
Posts: 312
Location: Coquitlam, BC, CA
My first components were for car stereos, I had one system that was amazing, for 1981.


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 Post subject: Re: Reliving the past...
PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:15 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2014 7:22 am
Posts: 102
Location: Guelph, ON, CA
QuadESL63 wrote:
What do you have when you started off with this hobby? I started off with a pretty humble system consisted of a Sony D303 discman, a (pretty worn out) Thoren TD125, a NAD 302 and a pair of Mission 760i. It was the best I could afford at the time and it sounded great compare with what I have before. Sadly, none of these pieces is with me anymore.

Although I have moved on but call it a nostalgia or whatever I am thinking of reliving the past lately just for the heck of it. Instead of browsing some "hi end" brands here on CAM I am searching CAM and Kijiji for NAD, Mission, etc. I am considering putting together a budget system with NAD 302 and Mission 760i at the center but with a budget USB DAC (e.g. from Schiit) and may be a cheap used TT (Rega?) with a new budget MM cart.

It sounds like fun to me and it shouldn't sound too bad I hope. Even if it sounds like crap as a whole, may be it will let me appreciate what I have right now by comparison. What do you think? Have you ever considered doing something like this? Or you think I am a fool and should save the money and effort?


I started with an old, mid 90s harman kardon AVR with older 80s B&W bookshelf speakers, a Denon DVD player for CDs, and a completely stock Pro-Ject Debut Carbon.

I actually felt so strong about the original setup I went and picked up another harman kardon AVR and threw together a system with a set of Mission 737 R speakers - if you liked NAD with your 760i try an h/k if you get a chance!


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 Post subject: Re: Reliving the past...
PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:29 am 
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Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 12:54 pm
Posts: 4672
Location: Dodge City, NB, CA
System in the garage uses Technics separates that I bought in the early 80's and the one in the hobby room uses a Realistic STA-115 receiver and Energy C3's, both of which I bought new. Both systems sound plenty decent for their intended use.


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 Post subject: Re: Reliving the past...
PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 2:04 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 12:20 pm
Posts: 2223
Location: Toronto, ON, CA
Nothing is set in stone yet but it will most probably be a NAD (integrated) and Mission (bookshelves) combination. Like I said it is a reliving of the past - the experience I have with a decent audio system with NAD and Mission components.

What I have not made up my mind is the digital and analog sources. My D303 is dead (can be powered up but can't read CD) and the number of budget USB DACs available now for computer audio means it is time to move from a CD based system to a PC based one even if I wanted to relive the past (I do have spare CD transport and CD players around so I can use them with the budget DAC for discs I have not ripped). I am looking at (used) DACs from Schiit, iFi, etc. for now. I can use my Macbook Pro when I want to listen to music, or I can use my old MSI netbook. I also have an old Sony or ASUS laptop as digital file source at my disposal.

The MM phono stage on the NAD 302 is not bad so I will look for a used TT. But even if I settle with something other than a 302 (e.g. like a 314 available now on CAM) from NAD I will still be interested in a TT. I can use the direct drive Denon from my second system or I will get a used non-suspend belt driven one. May be an used, entry level model from Music Hall, Rega, Pro-ject or NAD (Rega based?)?

Also I don't want to break the bank so to speak. I wanted to have it done eventually well within $1K - this is part of the "reliving the past", too. Hope I am not too ambitious on the budget.


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 Post subject: Re: Reliving the past...
PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:33 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 5:42 pm
Posts: 1443
Location: Toronto, ON, CA
Ooooh I love a good trip down nostalgia avenue.. :lol: I started in the game with Pioneer SX650 a pair of Keesonic Kubs (still have them) and a rather nondescript Taya turntable (belt drive). It didn't last long before upgraditis took hold.. and I moved on, and I swung into a Dynaco Pat5 and Stereo 120 that I bought from an audio buddy.. the turntable soon became the original Rega Planar 2 (with the wood trim frame and Lustre arm) .. the Dyna stuff moved on in favour of a NAD 3020.. because.. well EVERYONE had to have one ! which I ended up using the 3020 as a pre-amp for a Hafler DH200 when I got my Mission 770's (I got lucky with one of the "good" versions)
I've moved in what I consider a major elliptical orbit, swinging - in many ways - back to something more comfortable spot. The systems are perhaps less ambitious than what I was pushing towards,.. the satisfaction level is greater, and I stress less about finding total nirvana.. ultimately just wanting systems that sound really fine with a broad range of music, and if I don't get the last gasp out of it.. well, that's ok.. because at least I'm not loosing sleep over it :shock:


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 Post subject: Re: Reliving the past...
PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:14 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:04 am
Posts: 5
Location: Scarborough, ON, CA
I'm getting ready to sell a turntable and I came across the original receipt for the entire system I purchased in 1976 in the TT manual.

I remember picking this equipment up from the store with my buddy's new van.

We took the equipment home, set it up and played Crime of the Century to show us what the system could do.

My good friend purchased his system from the same dealer at the same time.

We thought we could get a better deal if we purchased together.

In hindsight he was much more knowledgeable than me.

He bought a Dynaco 70 integrated tube amp, Ariston RD11 and Hedgeman speakers.

If I sell the TT the only thing I still have is the Sansui 881.

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Reliving the past...
PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:55 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2014 7:22 am
Posts: 102
Location: Guelph, ON, CA
QuadESL63 wrote:
Nothing is set in stone yet but it will most probably be a NAD (integrated) and Mission (bookshelves) combination. Like I said it is a reliving of the past - the experience I have with a decent audio system with NAD and Mission components.

What I have not made up my mind is the digital and analog sources. My D303 is dead (can be powered up but can't read CD) and the number of budget USB DACs available now for computer audio means it is time to move from a CD based system to a PC based one even if I wanted to relive the past (I do have spare CD transport and CD players around so I can use them with the budget DAC for discs I have not ripped). I am looking at (used) DACs from Schiit, iFi, etc. for now. I can use my Macbook Pro when I want to listen to music, or I can use my old MSI netbook. I also have an old Sony or ASUS laptop as digital file source at my disposal.

The MM phono stage on the NAD 302 is not bad so I will look for a used TT. But even if I settle with something other than a 302 (e.g. like a 314 available now on CAM) from NAD I will still be interested in a TT. I can use the direct drive Denon from my second system or I will get a used non-suspend belt driven one. May be an used, entry level model from Music Hall, Rega, Pro-ject or NAD (Rega based?)?

Also I don't want to break the bank so to speak. I wanted to have it done eventually well within $1K - this is part of the "reliving the past", too. Hope I am not too ambitious on the budget.


If you can find one, used Cambridge Audio DacMagic or DacMagic 100 units pop up time to time, one of the only pieces I regret selling. Also heard good things about Schiit as well.

A newer, used TT would be a good choice but the Denon is probably closer to the era you're shooting for.

A 1K budget is doable, provided you're not going to mod the table (I couldn't leave my Pro-Ject stock) or go down the cabling rabbit hole...interested in what you put together!


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 Post subject: Re: Reliving the past...
PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:40 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2007 9:41 am
Posts: 3799
Location: Ingersoll, ON, CA
First system: Pioneer SA 6500
B.I.C Turntable with an Audio Technica Cartridge (it had a yellow body).
Smaller Advent Loudspeakers
I believe the Advents are still in use today after a re-foam or two.

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 Post subject: Re: Reliving the past...
PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:23 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 1:58 pm
Posts: 102
Location: Summerside, PE, CA
cminor7b5 wrote:
I'm getting ready to sell a turntable and I came across the original receipt for the entire system I purchased in 1976 in the TT manual.

I remember picking this equipment up from the store with my buddy's new van.

We took the equipment home, set it up and played Crime of the Century to show us what the system could do.

My good friend purchased his system from the same dealer at the same time.

We thought we could get a better deal if we purchased together.

In hindsight he was much more knowledgeable than me.

He bought a Dynaco 70 integrated tube amp, Ariston RD11 and Hedgeman speakers.

If I sell the TT the only thing I still have is the Sansui 881.

Image


My inflation calculator shows me that the $1273 you paid out in 1976 is the equivalent of $5,604.54 in 2017. Interesting.


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 Post subject: Re: Reliving the past...
PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:43 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:18 pm
Posts: 317
Location: Thornhill, ON, CA
First interest in hifi around 1977 when I was 13.
Had a membership to Columbia House Record Club and that was the source of most of my LP's then. Everything from Saturday Night Fever to Best of Chicago and many many more. I suspect my older brother has all those old records in his storage. In fact he has invited me to take them all.

So, when I reached the milestone of age 13, I had the customary ceremony we do for boys. Then my parents took me to the Radio Shack on Finch near Dufferin where I picked out a receiver, TT, speakers and I think a cassette deck as a gift. Don't remember model #'s but they were typical Nova speakers with the diamond lattice on front and a marine blue lit display on the receiver. The TT was maybe by ADC I am pretty sure. Had an ADC cart.
Low power, shitty sound.
Not long after my folks agreed to get me a subscription to Stereo Review. I was painfully aware of the differences in quality between my stuff and the likes of Conrad Johnson, Micro Seiko, Denon, Marantz, Counterpoint etc.

Aside from maybe different parts on the PCB's it seems high quality audio from then holds up well compared to a lot of modern products.

Aside from the obvious computer and IC development since then, simple components hand built and tested with discreet board parts performed very well then as they still do. The big difference aside from digital is the current ability to minitiarize and eliminate discreet components. Otherwise smart phones couldnt exist.
Digital changed a lot but in the 70's there were some fantastic analog hifi components.
I think I had an STA-21 receiver 7 WPC, and Nova (6?) speakers. ADC MM cart.


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