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Old 12-31-2020, 4:41pm   #1
Wathen1955
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Default Audiophile: got my old stereo up and running

After retiring at the end of May 2020, I decided to resurrect my old stereo/quad system. It has been in storage for a few decades. So after 4 months of work and buying parts etc., I finally got my old system up and running when I was in my late teens and early 20ís. Here is the breakdown:

1. My Pioneer SX-525 Receiver. I bought this after seeing one of my buddies has the same receiver at his parentsí house. I think I was 18 at the time. I still have the original receipt of purchase from Pacific Stereo. I had to fix a few issues with the unit: I replaced 2 capacitors that were causing a "thumping" sound when adjusting the bass. I had to replace 2 lights in the system. I could not find replacement bulbs, so I bought a "needs repair SX-525" from fleebay so I can salvage the original lights that were used. Got all the pots cleaned, and cleaned the outside. Looks like new.

2. My Pioneer QL-600 4 Channel Decoder/Amplifier: I purchased this from an old friend when I lived in Mira Mesa (San Diego) in the mid 70's. He was going to join the Army and did not want to continuing making payments on it, so I took over the loan. I pulled it out of storage and I only needed to clean up the exterior. Everything else on the unit still works. I did have to purchase another QL-600 from fleebay for parts, since I had lost 2 of the little silver knobs on the front. This unit gives me 2 additional channels for the rear, and connects to my Pioneer SX-525 receiver.

3. I bought a used Teac A-4300SX reel to reel local here in Woodland from Facebook Marketplace. I always wanted one of these, but at the time they were too expensive for me with all the other hobbies I had going on at the time. The guy I bought it from his father passed away and did not want to deal with this 50lbs monster. I bought it for $350. After getting it home, it needed to be cleaned inside and out. I also sent it to a person that fixes old decks like this. He showed me what he did to repair it, including replacing a dozen caps, cleaning and lubing, and calibrating. The sound coming out from this analog deck is excellent. These units can fetch $1000 or more on fleebay if they have been reconditioned. I also replaced the fake wood side panels with real Mahogany wood since my father-in-law has a wood shop in our garage.

4. I added a Nakamichi MR-2 cassette deck. I got this from work back in the mid 90's. They were going to throw it away in the trash. I grabbed it and used it in my garage for years. Finally took it out of the garage and did some minor cleaning of the heads, and some external cleaning. The pitch control on the front of the deck that allows you to adjust the tape speed quit working, and when play was pressed, it sounded like the chipmunks. I took the bottom off and searching the net, the quick fix was to disconnect the connector from the pitch control board, and add a ground wire to pin #4 on the circuit board. This allowed the unit to play at normal speed. The pitch control is no longer available.

5. I got my old Denon DCD-610 CD deck cleaned and checked to make sure it still was working since I haven't used it in a while. Still works.

6. The little silver unit sitting on top next to the Rega 1 turntable is the JVC 4DD-5 Demodulator for 4 channel sound from my quad vinyl LP's. I had to purchase unit this because I have no idea what happened to my original one back in the 70's. It was nowhere to be found probably due to all my moves. I found this one, brand new if you can believe it, still in its original packing from fleebay. This set me back $300, but it was nice because it was brand new, and included the adjustment LP disk for tweaking the 4 channels.

7. Rega 1 turntable. I had to buy a new turntable because the one I had is a "p-mount" and it was a linear drive. I could not mount my Audio Technica AT-12s cartridge and stylus on it which I still kept from the 70's. This cartridge is needed in order to play discrete quadraphonic LPís at the 45kHz range. The Rega 1 turntable is made in England. Cost: $350. It's a very simple design with only one switch to turn it on. It's completely a manual deck. If I want to change speeds from 33 to 45, I have to remove the platter and move the drive belt to the other grove. Takes about 1 minute.

As you can see from the pic, I'm still using the speakers that my buddy and I put together when we were living in Mira Mesa apartments in San Diego. We used particle board with a very thin Birch cover. They include 2 Pioneer car speakers, a horn from Radio Shack, and a piezo electric tweeter. Inside is the crossover. Bought the components from a place in Texas that I canít remember the name, and is probably no longer around. I also had to purchase 2 more new Sony speakers that I use for the rear. Not a matched set, but it still sounds good.

So now Iíve been collecting reel to reel tapes and cassette tapes. Bummer that I got rid of most of my cassettes back in the 90ís. At least I kept most of my equipment. Cassette decks from the late 70's, 80's and early 90's are making a come back. Do a search for Nakamichi Dragon which can go for $2,000!
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Old 12-31-2020, 4:53pm   #2
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Techmoan-approved.
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Old 12-31-2020, 5:15pm   #3
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Decades ago, I met up with Frank McIntosh and his son Don, at McGuire's audio in Bethesda Md......

FOUR ML2c speakers, stacked two/channel......so each channel had FOUR 12 inch woofers......plus the rest of the array.....400 watts/channel Mac amp.....and all the fancy stuff to feed it with MR78 tuner, C28? preamp.....TEAC tape stuff over the years.....got into Dig-it-all source gear toward the end of the hobby, lost interest when my hearing went to hell on the high end.....about 12-15 years ago.....

BUT with 8 total 12" woofers in an acoustic suspension setup, I could shake the HELL out of ANY house......should have heard the neighbors bitching.....

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Old 12-31-2020, 5:20pm   #4
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My system from the 80's is on the loft in my barn, different speakers of course as the son took the good ones.
Since then I upgraded to Paradigm speakers and a Yamaha RX-V485 AV Receiver
https://usa.yamaha.com/products/audi...5_u/index.html

Paradigm | Monitor SE 3000F
https://www.paradigm.com/en/floorsta...nitor-se-3000f

But I love my powered sub
Paradigm | Defiance X15
https://www.paradigm.com/en/ported/defiance-x15

MAN talk about bringing the house down
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Old 12-31-2020, 5:28pm   #5
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Originally Posted by thecornerman View Post
My system from the 80's is on the loft in my barn, different speakers of course as the son took the good ones.
Since then I upgraded to Paradigm speakers and a Yamaha RX-V485 AV Receiver
https://usa.yamaha.com/products/audi...5_u/index.html

Paradigm | Monitor SE 3000F
https://www.paradigm.com/en/floorsta...nitor-se-3000f

But I love my powered sub
Paradigm | Defiance X15
https://www.paradigm.com/en/ported/defiance-x15

MAN talk about bringing the house down
My McIntosh was about two of those, per channel 4 12's, two 8's, 4 domes, two super tweeters.....
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Old 12-31-2020, 6:07pm   #6
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I still have my first decent stereo gear. I use the Technics SL-3200 turntable all the time in my office. My Technics receiver needs a couple switches replaced and the JBL L50s need refoaming so I run a small Denon receiver and some small NHTs. Vinyl sounds great on the SL-3200.



Envious of the OP's reel to reel. Very cool setup!
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Old 12-31-2020, 6:10pm   #7
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I should do that as well.
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Old 12-31-2020, 6:21pm   #8
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My very first stereo system was a Sony Quad Stereo and turntable. I hung the speakers in the corners of my bedroom and likely and gave my parents yet another reason to ask themselves why they had me in the first place.

This is all very cool gear. I love vintage audio. Few things reproduce sound better than an original McIntosh Tube amplifier.

Now...go out and get one of these:
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Old 12-31-2020, 6:34pm   #9
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I'm a child of the Wash DC region, and so my much older sister married a PHD musicologist who was head of the recorded sound division of Library of Conngress.......SO he played with storing recorded sound, same as most serious library types played with storing literature for posteriorarity......

and so visiting his high tech at the time....'60's studios.....I got interested in the Stereo/HiFi hobby
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Old 12-31-2020, 7:38pm   #10
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As for the PF Dark Side of the Moon, I have a quad copy of that LP. In fact, I have the following quad LP's:
AMERICA - HEARTS
DAVE MASON - ITS LIKE YOU NEVER LEFT
DOOBIE BROTHERS - STAMPEDE
DOOBIE BROTHERS - THE CAPTAIN AND ME
EAGLES - ONE OF THESE NIGHTS
FRANK ZAPPA - APOSTROPHE
GORDON LIGHTFOOT - SUNDOWN
GORDON LIGHTFOOT - COLD ON THE SHOULDER
JACKSON BROWN - LATE FOR THE SKY
JEFF BECK TIM BOGERT CARMNE APPICE
JETHEO TULL - AQUALUNG
JOE WALSH - THE SMOKER YOU DRINK THE PLAYER YOU GET
MIKE OLDFIELD - TUBULAR BELLS
PINK FLOYD - DARK SIDE OF THE MOON
RICK WAKEMAN - JOURNY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH
SANTANA - SANTANA
SEALS & CROFT - SUMMER BREEZE
SHOSTAKOVICH - SYMPHONY NO 15
THE DOORS - BEST OF THE DOORS
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Old 12-31-2020, 7:52pm   #11
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Anyone remember sonic holography?
When the Wall came out in that platform I thought that it was the "cats ass"
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Old 12-31-2020, 9:21pm   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecornerman View Post
My system from the 80's is on the loft in my barn, different speakers of course as the son took the good ones.
Since then I upgraded to Paradigm speakers and a Yamaha RX-V485 AV Receiver
https://usa.yamaha.com/products/audi...5_u/index.html

Paradigm | Monitor SE 3000F
https://www.paradigm.com/en/floorsta...nitor-se-3000f

But I love my powered sub
Paradigm | Defiance X15
https://www.paradigm.com/en/ported/defiance-x15

MAN talk about bringing the house down
Paradigm makes some very nice speakers. I have 2 GoldenEar speakers. Room really too small for them.
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Old 12-31-2020, 9:47pm   #13
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Iím still using my Soundcraftsman Bridged mono amp, NAD pre-amp, and DCM Time Windows for TV/Home Theater. I had to get kind of creative on the inputs on the pre-amp since it predates most modern devices, but it still sounds better than most stuff out there today.
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Old 12-31-2020, 9:51pm   #14
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I have and still use a compete Sony rack system with surround sound Dolby tower speakers woofer center and wall speakers 5 disc cd changer dual cassette deck receiver am/fm tuner. Added a Tectonics turn table I bought in 78. Also have a 8 track recorder player hooked up.
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Old 12-31-2020, 11:01pm   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wathen1955 View Post
After retiring at the end of May 2020, I decided to resurrect my old stereo/quad system. It has been in storage for a few decades. So after 4 months of work and buying parts etc., I finally got my old system up and running when I was in my late teens and early 20ís. Here is the breakdown:

1. My Pioneer SX-525 Receiver. I bought this after seeing one of my buddies has the same receiver at his parentsí house. I think I was 18 at the time. I still have the original receipt of purchase from Pacific Stereo. I had to fix a few issues with the unit: I replaced 2 capacitors that were causing a "thumping" sound when adjusting the bass. I had to replace 2 lights in the system. I could not find replacement bulbs, so I bought a "needs repair SX-525" from fleebay so I can salvage the original lights that were used. Got all the pots cleaned, and cleaned the outside. Looks like new.

2. My Pioneer QL-600 4 Channel Decoder/Amplifier: I purchased this from an old friend when I lived in Mira Mesa (San Diego) in the mid 70's. He was going to join the Army and did not want to continuing making payments on it, so I took over the loan. I pulled it out of storage and I only needed to clean up the exterior. Everything else on the unit still works. I did have to purchase another QL-600 from fleebay for parts, since I had lost 2 of the little silver knobs on the front. This unit gives me 2 additional channels for the rear, and connects to my Pioneer SX-525 receiver.

3. I bought a used Teac A-4300SX reel to reel local here in Woodland from Facebook Marketplace. I always wanted one of these, but at the time they were too expensive for me with all the other hobbies I had going on at the time. The guy I bought it from his father passed away and did not want to deal with this 50lbs monster. I bought it for $350. After getting it home, it needed to be cleaned inside and out. I also sent it to a person that fixes old decks like this. He showed me what he did to repair it, including replacing a dozen caps, cleaning and lubing, and calibrating. The sound coming out from this analog deck is excellent. These units can fetch $1000 or more on fleebay if they have been reconditioned. I also replaced the fake wood side panels with real Mahogany wood since my father-in-law has a wood shop in our garage.

4. I added a Nakamichi MR-2 cassette deck. I got this from work back in the mid 90's. They were going to throw it away in the trash. I grabbed it and used it in my garage for years. Finally took it out of the garage and did some minor cleaning of the heads, and some external cleaning. The pitch control on the front of the deck that allows you to adjust the tape speed quit working, and when play was pressed, it sounded like the chipmunks. I took the bottom off and searching the net, the quick fix was to disconnect the connector from the pitch control board, and add a ground wire to pin #4 on the circuit board. This allowed the unit to play at normal speed. The pitch control is no longer available.

5. I got my old Denon DCD-610 CD deck cleaned and checked to make sure it still was working since I haven't used it in a while. Still works.

6. The little silver unit sitting on top next to the Rega 1 turntable is the JVC 4DD-5 Demodulator for 4 channel sound from my quad vinyl LP's. I had to purchase unit this because I have no idea what happened to my original one back in the 70's. It was nowhere to be found probably due to all my moves. I found this one, brand new if you can believe it, still in its original packing from fleebay. This set me back $300, but it was nice because it was brand new, and included the adjustment LP disk for tweaking the 4 channels.

7. Rega 1 turntable. I had to buy a new turntable because the one I had is a "p-mount" and it was a linear drive. I could not mount my Audio Technica AT-12s cartridge and stylus on it which I still kept from the 70's. This cartridge is needed in order to play discrete quadraphonic LPís at the 45kHz range. The Rega 1 turntable is made in England. Cost: $350. It's a very simple design with only one switch to turn it on. It's completely a manual deck. If I want to change speeds from 33 to 45, I have to remove the platter and move the drive belt to the other grove. Takes about 1 minute.

As you can see from the pic, I'm still using the speakers that my buddy and I put together when we were living in Mira Mesa apartments in San Diego. We used particle board with a very thin Birch cover. They include 2 Pioneer car speakers, a horn from Radio Shack, and a piezo electric tweeter. Inside is the crossover. Bought the components from a place in Texas that I canít remember the name, and is probably no longer around. I also had to purchase 2 more new Sony speakers that I use for the rear. Not a matched set, but it still sounds good.

So now Iíve been collecting reel to reel tapes and cassette tapes. Bummer that I got rid of most of my cassettes back in the 90ís. At least I kept most of my equipment. Cassette decks from the late 70's, 80's and early 90's are making a come back. Do a search for Nakamichi Dragon which can go for $2,000!
Don't car speakers have different Ohms than home speakers? How does this work in practice, mixing and matching?
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Old 12-31-2020, 11:21pm   #16
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NAD pre-amp
@Knooger approved.
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Old 12-31-2020, 11:53pm   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bill_daniels View Post
Don't car speakers have different Ohms than home speakers? How does this work in practice, mixing and matching?
Most are 8ohms, factory car speakers are around 6ohms
subwoofer's are the ones that are 4ohms
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Old 01-01-2021, 2:29am   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecornerman View Post
Most are 8ohms, factory car speakers are around 6ohms
subwoofer's are the ones that are 4ohms


I don't remember what they are anymore. I would have to open the back which I don't want to do. I made these back in 1978. My buddy and I tested a set in his El Camino and they sounded great so we got the idea to build a better looking set for the apartment. We actually made 4 of these. He kept 2 and I kept the other 2 after I moved out 2 years later. I only wish I would have kept the detailed info on the build. I only have a pencil sketch that I found.
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Old 01-01-2021, 6:16am   #19
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I love the old classic HiFi/Stereo stuff. My brother had a Sansui quadrophonic setup that I always admired. You have some cool stuff there too.

I just received my replacement foam speaker surrounds so I can repair all my Cerwin Vega's. I have 2 pair of the DX 9's and a pair of the DX 5's. Hauled them all over the Pacific while I was active duty plus 20 years in Alabama so the poor suspension foam on all the woofers is just falling off. I have a set of Bose 901 Series IV's that require the same type of repair x 18 drivers. I'm realizing I have a ton of shit sitting around waiting on me.

U.M.
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Old 01-01-2021, 6:21am   #20
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I don't remember what they are anymore. I would have to open the back which I don't want to do. I made these back in 1978. My buddy and I tested a set in his El Camino and they sounded great so we got the idea to build a better looking set for the apartment. We actually made 4 of these. He kept 2 and I kept the other 2 after I moved out 2 years later. I only wish I would have kept the detailed info on the build. I only have a pencil sketch that I found.
Back in HS/Kollege daze I built a set of speakers too....early 60's used 4 8"? speakers and a horn tweeter per channel, bass reflex design......made my own console for the electronics too.....back in the daze before the McIntosh....Dynaco was the main brand name then....had some Heathkit stuff too.....various European brand turntables......Totally impossible to find a needle for the various cartridges today Shure, etc.....
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