Many audiophiles are often surprised that their new and expensive equipment produce comparable sound to the gear of yesteryear. Ironically, this is the result of technological advancement. Throughout the years, actual sound became less and less important because most people are buying their equipment from online stores or from big box retailers. People also began caring more about the the number of connections and wireless interfaces and wattage of systems. Consequently, research and development into improving sound suffered.
Reduction of the Average Power of Receivers
In the past few decades, the average power of receivers has steadily declined in high-end receivers. Although the entry level and mid-range receivers have more watts than before, high-end receivers are limited at approximately 140w-150w. A vintage receiver from the 1980’s can definitely go toe-to-toe with the latest gear in the market right now. If you are solely interested in audio sound systems for listening to music, going vintage is the right choice.
The power ratings in new gear are frequently inflated too. This means that your vintage sound equipment might deliver more power to the speakers, despite the higher advertised power rating of your more modern gear. Furthermore, many receivers digitally process everything, including the volume control. Some experts are of the opinion that this digital processing degrades the sound quality.
Vintage is Cheaper
For stereo, if your budget is less than $500, a vintage amplifier or receiver can often offer you the best options, particularly if you have access to a clean example that works great. However, the primary issue for the average consumer is in determining which brands are best and what to look for so that they can purchase a reliable unit.
Keeping your vintage audio sound system in great shape will also turn out to be a sound investment (pun intended). Whether you want to sell your system now, or hold onto it to pass onto future generations, a vintage audio system is worth a significant amount of money if it has been well-maintained. Be sure to regularly check your system to lengthen its life and avoid minor issues from escalating into much more serious and expensive problems.