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Is it OK to 'go retro' ??

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Tj Bassi

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The past few months I've been considering a new pre/pro for our 5.1 HT and have had the opportunity to demo a few good units right in our home. One unit that earned high marks on the scorecard was an older unit borrowed from a friend....a Krell A+V Standard, probably about ten years old and lacking the video switching of the newer units, but sonically it knocked my socks off.
I enjoy shopping for the latest & greatest like everyone else, but this older unit definitely gave some of the newer electronics a run for the money. I feel as if I could be perfectly happy with it, but am having a sort of 'mental block' putting an older unit in control of our H.T.
Am I wrong...are there other members out there that have found happiness with older equipment?

Thanks-
Tj
 

DTB300

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Am I wrong...are there other members out there that have found happiness with older equipment?
Not at all. Newer does not always mean better.

Speaking of the Krell, I still like their older power amps, KSA era, over their new FPB lineup.

For me, I have a Luxman M-117, oringally developed by the designer to drive his Apogee Divas, now driving my Sequel II's easily.

Dan
 

amey01

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Of course it is ok - sound is timeless - good sound is good sound, whether it was made yesterday or today. It is generally marketing garbage that is designed to make you believe newer stuff is better. Marketing stuff concentrates on technology "newer is better" sort of stuff, but rarely do they ever equate this to sound quality - it is only inferred and the difference is sometimes marginal at best! Listen to all options in your budget and buy what sounds best. The only thing you've got to consider is if the older equipment will be obsolete in other ways (other than sound quality), and if servicing or reliability might become an issue.
 

Tj Bassi

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Its a tough call....the Krell would certainly do for now and I was impressed by its performance. On the other hand, something tells me to hang out a bit and do more planning for 'tomorrow'......

I have this odd feeling that alot of good equipment will become obsolete in the coming years, with the switch to all-digital video and whatever copyright schemes the studios dream up.

Tj
 

lugano

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Am I wrong...are there other members out there that have found happiness with older equipment?
Tj, there is for sure a category which demands older equipment: I'm talking about tuners. What the big boys produced during the 80's are your best bet ! As a proof, I just bought an Accuphase from 1979 and my Sony tuner will hit eBay soon - and for it I will probably get 1/10 of what I've spent on the Accu, despite all its buttons, memories, RDS, eon and other digital muscle it sports.
 
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IWalker

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Just look at tubes and vinyl. Very old technology that's not used in mainstream modern equipment...but is considered very much hi-fi.

Going forward, there's still a lot of room for old school stuff in audio. The video and audio processing is really where things are going to become obsolete very quickly. So, if you have seperate video and/or audio processing, and then a simple linestage leading to an amp...you should only really have to ever upgrade the processors.

If there was ever an argument for seperates (besides just sound quality) it is this...why replace everything, thowing your perfectly acceptable amplification stage out, when you can just replace your processor, which is the only part that is outdated.
 

Jeff Zaret

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IWalker,

I have two pieces that I use everyday in my system which are 35 years old!:eek: One of them in my Marantz amp which powers my center channel (Fresco) and the other is my turntable which is a Thorens.

There is no shame in retro. I think it is sometimes cool too. There are pieces out there which are just stunning by todays standards and still a good buy as Lugano said so it just depends on what you are looking for. :D

Jeff
 

Tube60

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Both my McIntosh preamp and Harman/Kardon amp are 44 years old and have no trouble whatsoever with modern recordings. Like others have mentioned, today it's really the processors that will be the most planned obsolescent. How quickly did 7.1 Surround processing/decoding replace 5.1? Pretty quickly as I recall! And will an older 5.1 receiver or preamp be able to do anything with a 7.1 encoded movie? I'm HT ignorant, so I'm not sure. I've seen some new A/V 7.1 receivers (like Harman/Kardon's biggest one) that can receive upgrades via the Internet, which I think is a great idea.
 

Tj Bassi

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Well, 7.1 didnt replace 5.1, it was designed to be backwards compatible.....the extra channels are encoded in a way that 5.1 systems mulitplex the rear channel info into two speakers and 7.1 systems split it into four speakers...or something like that. We had a full M/L 7.1 system but found better performance with 5.2, although our processor handles all of the current surround modes.
I still cant get over the depth of the music that came from the older unit....so much so that I've done some inquiries into the purchase of one for myself....I offered to buy my friends but he wont let it go. If one comes along in good shape with the remote, I'm on it! Thanks everyone......

TJ
 

lugano

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Let's get serious. 5+1 is, under favorable circumstances, implementable in a normal living room. It might get a 35% WAF approval, and won't dramatically drain your bank account. But 7+1, or even 9+1, is entering the ppp domain, and ppp is not power plant premier, it's pen.. patch proprosal. Our wifes have a silver wiring connection to reality - it must fit life, it must have "reality" tatooed all over the forehead. Enter the law of diminishing returns.
 

Tj Bassi

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Lugano-
I did not understand your reply "ppp is not power plant premier, it's pen.. patch proprosal"...in our case, both my wife and I switched (downgraded??) from a 7.1 sytem to a 5.1, not because of budget, but because of the quality of audio reproduction we were accustomed to. Our original 5.1 system, with four Requests and 5 Krell FPB mono amps, gave the best sound compared to 7.1 channels. To be honest (and blunt, if I may...)...I could run out right now and purchase almost any processor and it wouldnt strain our budget. My concern was that an older unit put us closer to the holy grail of audio than anything currently on the market....almost anything, as there are a few pre/pros we havent tried.

My audio room is sacred ground....the wife isnt allowed in there unless accompained by an adult :)

Tj
 

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