The best vintage stereo receiver should have an adequate number of supported sources, high power per channel and have a high-quality retro look. A stereo receiver is an amplifier that has built-in radio in it. It supports speakers, turntables, and many more.
Some of the best vintage receiver brands are Marantz, Pioneer, Kenwood, etc. Most people nowadays rely on vintage models from the 1970s and 1980s rather than modern ones. They rely on their quality, parts, and service. Also, a modern receiver rated as 100W per channel might only give an output of 40 to 50W.
However, a vintage stereo receiver is just as powerful as they state them to be. If you are a vinyl-lover, then you can shop for one of the best vintage stereo receivers for turntables to make sure the vinyl records sound even better.
Top 5 Best vintage stereo receiver of all times:
Marantz AV Receiver SR8012
- 11.2 channel configurations
- Supports Dolby Atmos, DTS:X 7.1.4 configurations, and Auro-3D 10.1
- 140wpc into 8 ohms
- HEOS Built-in technology
- Supports 4K/60p and 3D video pass-through
- THD 0.05%
- Multi-room audio
This receiver has a copper-plated chassis and the oscillator circuit has Teflon tape to improve oscillation. The Marantz SR8012 supports 8 HDMI 2.0/HDCP 2.2 HDMI inputs, 3 outputs, component video connectivity, 11 pairs of speaker outputs, 11.2CH preamp outputs.
With a recent firmware update in 2019, the Marantz now supports IMAX for better image and sound. With Dolby Atmos, DTS and Auro, it can deliver immersive and room-filling audio. it has two Direct Listening Mode, 2 channel stereo and multi-channel stereo playback.
This model has several audio enhancements that improve the sound quality: Cinema EQ, M-DAX, Dynamic Range Compression, Center Spread, LFE+Main. Also, comes with a Phono input which allows the connection of a turntable to listen to vinyl records.
Moreover, has TuneIn Internet Radio, Spotify Connect, HEOS app. You can control the receiver with the Marantz AVR Remote App or using the remote control. The setup is very easy and well-instructed. Looking into the best vintage Marantz receiver, some notable names are Marantz Marantz 2270 Receiver, Marantz 2230, 2245, etc.
it was manufactured back from 1971 to 1975-time frame. Unlike many others with a huge circular knob, it comes with a horizontal knob. The design is excellent, it has a classy and vintage look. It can give 70 watts per channel into 8 ohms.
when it comes to parties, it can play very loud and you can easily use it for disco parties, house parties or metal jams. It has Equalization for Bass, Mid, Treble, High Filter, Low Filter. Overall, this is something to keep in collection for.
Another receiver with similar power is Sony STR-V2. This is one of the best vintage Sony receivers that deliver 150WPC into 8ohms. it was first available in 1978. With aqua green lighting, it has a very retro look.
PIONEER SX-D7000 QUARTZ SYNTHESIZED RECEIVER VINTAGE (1980)
- 120 watts per channel into 8Ω
- 5Hz to 100kHz frequency response
- THD: 0.005%
- Damping factor: 60
- Speaker load impedance=4 ohms
Pioneer SX-D7000 is one of the best vintage pioneer receivers. It has some similarities with SX-3900. It has only one large knob and several push buttons. There is no analog meter, the power meter, and the digital tuning display uses the Fluroscan method. The buttons are arranged in a symmetrical manner and overall the build quality is clean and very good.
You can adjust the treble and bass with sliders. The Pioneer has a display dimmer, C speaker switch, Tone control, phono input, etc. you can press a button to select between moving coil or moving magnet. The receiver can keep the memory of 6FM and 6 AM stations.
It has a Quartz PLL Synthesized Tuner for FM reception and a non-switching DC power amp. It has three speakers out, one Aux in, 2 phono in, and 1 AM stereo out. The DC configuration minimizes phase distortion and Vari-Bias circuitry avoids the issues with Class A or B amp.
You can also choose the Pioneer DX-5000, and overall, these models are some of the best vintage stereo receivers you can get. When paired with speakers, they can deliver clean, clear, and immersive audio.
1980 Kenwood KR-V107R Vintage Audio Video Receiver
- Supports Dolby Surround and Dolby surround sound formats.
- Inputs: Stereo L/R RCA
- Outputs: Raw Cable Speaker Jacks, Stereo L/R RCA
- 0.03% THD
This is one of the good vintage receivers from the 1980s. it is a two stereo channel that has 100W power per channel. It has a built-in 7-band equalizer and has a great build quality. The receiver delivers punchy bass, accurate highs, and mids.
Some of the best Kenwood vintage stereo receivers are Kenwood KR-7050 and Kenwood KR-9600. You can get the user manual of the KR-9600 from here
The KR-7050 receiver has 80watts per channel and an impedance of 8 ohms. It has 5 ceramic filters and a Wide/Narrow IF selection. It has controls for bass and treble turnover and separates mid control. The audio amplifier uses a DC coupler to ensure a flat frequency response.
The FET equalizer ensures an excellent signal-to-noise ratio. It has a THD of 0.01% and a damping factor of 100. You can also choose the Kenwood KR-9600 and get the Kenwood KR-9600 Receiver Owners Instruction Manual Reprint.
It was manufactured from 1976 to 1978. It has 160 WPC into 8 ohms. The THD is 0.08%, the frequency response of 20Hz-40kHz, and the damping factor of 55.it had a double power supply and FET differential amplifier. The Sound Injection Circuit allows you to use a mic and sing while playing music from another source simultaneously.
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- 0.03% THD
- Frequency response: 20 Hz-20 kHz
- S/N ratio=97dB
- Damping factor: 160
- Speaker load impedance: 4Ω to 16Ω
This is one of the best vintage technics receivers which was manufactured from 1977 to 1979. Like Marantz or Pioneer, the design isn’t quite eye-catching but it is still considered as the best vintage stereo receiver of all time. This monster receiver has 330W per channel which is quite huge.
It has Four 18,000 uF filter capacitors and an Automatic load impedance detector. It has features like ‘separate DC rectifiers, current-mirror loading, and direct coupling’. The outcome of using these is brilliant where distortion and crosstalk are minima.
The phono equalizer is capable of delivering 300mV @ 1kHz as phono input to a large signal-to-noise ratio of 97dB. If you think you want very high power, then this one is best for you. However, this stereo receiver is quite expensive.
If you want something affordable then some of the best vintage stereo receivers under $200 are
Onkyo TX-8020 Stereo Receiver
The Sherwood has 100 WPC into 8 ohms. This has a frequency response of 40-20000Hz and a THD of 1%. Also, it has an A-B speaker selector, controls for Balance, bass, and treble, and several other controls.
It supports Bluetooth 3.0 compatibility, Bluetooth audio streaming, apt-X technology, balance control, source direct. And, has Quartz PLL Synthesized Digital Tuning, Auto Scan, and memory with 30 stations presets. The remote control helps to choose different sources or switch from one to another source.
Onkyo TX-8020 is another device that you can get for under $200. The product can deliver 50W per channel into 8ohms. It has a THD of 0.08% and a frequency response of 20-20000Hz. It uses WRAT technology that enhances the output signal, higher SNR.
Moreover, prduct has A & B speaker so you can connect two sets of speakers. There are controls for tone, bass, treble, balance. The receiver has 6 audio output, RCA output, 40 AM/FM presets. It also has a remote control for ease of use.
1979 Yamaha CR-640 Stereo Receiver
- 40W per channel into 8 ohms
- 0.02% THD
- Damping factor=40
- Frequency response=20-2000Hz
Yamaha CR-640 is one of the best vintage Yamaha receivers. It was manufactured back in 1979. The front panel shows several knobs and auxiliary controls. The looks are decent and clean. It can deliver enough to run speakers.
The Natural Sound Line focuses on producing a signal as close to the original signal as possible. So, it delivers close to the original audio and accurate sound just like the singer meant it to be rather than over-emphasizing on any part. This makes it one of the best-sounding vintage stereo receivers.
You can choose either the black or white color. It has built-in AUTO-DX and Auto-Blend circuits which work with minute adjustments. The device works on reducing distortion and producing a clearer signal.
However, if any damage occurs to any of the parts, the repairing cost will be costly because the parts are very rare to find. Overall, it is easy to use and ensures high-quality FM reception.
If you wish to look for other famous receivers, then you can look at Harman Kardon.
The HARMAN KARDON AVR-7200 is one of the best vintage Harman Kardon receivers.
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It is one of the most powerful receivers that support 7-channel power, Dolby Digital EX/DTS-ES decoding and DPL II/DTS Neo:6 processing, Logic7 processing, and MP3 decoding.
With adjustments of crossover frequency, you can ensure to get the best possible sound. Overall, the performance is impressive and delivers natural-sounding audio.
Other alternatives Best vintage stereo receiver:
5 Best receiver
McIntosh MC240 receiver:
it is one of the best vintage McIntosh receivers that deliver 40WPC. It ensures the audio is smooth and detailed. The bass is impressive, it is designed to minimize distortion and ensure a flat response. Overall, the quality, sound, and brand reliability make it the best vintage tube receiver.
this is one of the best vintage Sansui receivers manufactured in 1978. It is quite powerful that delivers 220WPC into 8 ohms. It has a THD of 0.009% and frequency response of 5Hz to 50kHz.
one of the best vintage JVC receivers is the JVC R-S77. It is a Digital Synthesizer Stereo Receiver that delivers 60WPC into 8 ohms. The SEA graphic equalizer is one of the main attractions where you can adjust frequency levels along with bass and treble.
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Best vintage stereo receiver: Buying guide:
The power of a receiver will vary from model to model. How much power you need will depend on the devices you will connect to it. Look for the power of the speakers and match with the receiver. For small rooms, a 25WPC is adequate. Vintage receivers with 100WPC are quite powerful.
The ohms rating usually is between 4 to 8 ohms. if your intention is to connect two sets of speakers you should look for 8 ohms.
Most receivers allow you to control bass and treble. However, some receivers give you the freedom to control some more. For instance, the JVC R-S77 allows you to adjust the frequency as well.
If you are a frequent radio listener, then you might want a receiver with presets. For instance, the Sherwood receiver comes with 30 presets so you can easily find the channel you love.
Ports refer to analog, digital, and receiver ports. If you want to connect CD, cassette, or turntable, RCA connectors will be helpful. Some premium receivers come with balanced inputs that use XLR cables that minimize signal loss.
Connectors like Type-B USB are used for computers and Type-A for flash drives. Finally, the speaker terminals are important. Gold-plated posts, binding posts, or banana plugs are some of the different types of speaker terminals. It may vary between receivers.
The vintage stereo receivers come with an amplifier and preamp section. The preamp allows you to adjust or change source, volume, tone, and balance. If listening to music is your first priority to use a stereo receiver, then look for the receiver to connect two speakers and CD/DVD.
In this article, we have discussed some of the best vintage stereo receivers with several alternatives. If you want the best budget vintage receiver, then you can look into Onkyo or Sherwood receiver.
Most people look for a classic vintage receiver to keep in their collection. While the design and looks should have an old-school and classic appearance, the build quality of it should also be better. These receivers will help you achieve clean, clear, and accurate sound no matter what the source is.
FAQs of Best vintage stereo receiver
This section of the article is all about solving some of the basic problems that may arise while walking in the pavement of best vintage stereo receiver.
How can I connect my turntable with the stereo receiver?
Follow these steps:
- Make sure your receiver has a phono preamp
- The turntable might not have a phono preamp in this case
- Take the audio signal cable of the turntable and connect it to the phono input of the receiver.
- Take the ground wire of the turntable and plug it into the ‘GND’ of the receiver.
Considering, your receiver doesn’t have a phono preamp, then the turntable should come with a built-in phono preamp. If none of the devices have the phono preamp, then you need a separate Phono preamp device.
What is the lifetime of receivers?
Generally, the receivers are expected to last for 30 to 40 years. If you buy one now, you should expect it to last for 5 years or more.