Whilst digital audio broadcasting (DAB) and internet radio continue to spread into homes, there is no denying the allure of the classic FM stereo tuners and hi-fi receivers from the 1960s onwards. The best of them featured polished woodwork, brushed aluminium front panels, tactile controls and the attractive blue glow of the tuning dial. They also weighed a ton!
If, like us, you feel drawn towards this kind of retro, there is a website just for you.
Classic Receivers is a blog devoted to vintage hi-fi receivers from the 1970s and 80s. It is based in the USA so the emphasis tends to be on classic Japanese receivers such as Marantz, Pioneer and Yamaha, but there is still a lot of interest for enthusiasts in Europe.
The list of models is extensive and it is being added to all the time. There are comments about performance, from both the technical and subjective viewpoints, and examples of current second-hand values. It’s a fun and useful resource.
Those of us in Europe might like to see more representation from this side of the pond. For example, classics from Norwegian specialists Tandberg, Swiss open-reel manufacturers Revox and, of course, Denmark’s Bang and Olufsen.
Vintage hi-fi is becoming very collectable (as we have seen from the prices fetched by Ted Jordan’s earlier loudspeakers from Jordan-Watts) and receivers are gaining an increasing following. Steve Guttenberg wrote about it a few years ago on the CNET site and here’s a comparison (wrongly linked in the article above) of a mid-1980s Pioneer receiver pitched against a modern AV receiver: You can guess which one wins …
So, is this something to be taken seriously? And which vintage hi-fi receiver would you buy?