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What’s everyone’s favorite OLD SCHOOL audio gear?

Discussion in 'Explorer Audio & Navigation' started by Mbrooks420, December 26, 2017.

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    1. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer

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      I’ve always been a huge fan of old school audio, and the era of cheater amps. It seems like there was much more beef involved, and that the amps of old school outperform most of the modern amps, even at drastically higher power output.

      I’ve always loved the original Phoenix Gold, Orion, and Planet Audio gear.

      I’m currently trying to source vintage audio gear to make a system that sounds good, is loud, and is all made in the USA. I’ve got the headunit, amp for my front components so far.
       
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    3. shucker1

      shucker1 Elite Explorer

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      I've grown kind of fond of my old Memphis 16ST-1000d.

      Really good bass hitter.
       
    4. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      I grew up in the early 80's for my first car and stereo. With no real money, I bought a $35 cassette deck for my first car, a 72 Gran Torino. The speakers were $50 for the doors(2dr, nothing in the back). I knew nothing about amps, but I managed to guess right on a 2x30w PA200, for $210. I still have that amp, and a NOS one in a box. Plus several other PA amps I've collected, mostly eBay, those are the best old school amps.

      Sorry it's not American, and you know I bleed USA, but those Nakamichi PA amps kickass. My Gran Torino with just that cheap deck and speaker level inputs to the amp, would get louder than you could hear anyone yell. It was super clear sound at 1/3 volume. The deck had big distortion above 1/3 volume(a dial with 270* range). So max volume with the adjusted amp, was 90* from off. The amps have THD in the .003-.005% range, depending on which amp version. I have the 4x35w PA350 to go into my Lincoln soon, and the PA 300(2x75w) and a PA200 for my Black Coal Explorer.

      If you can deal with the Nakamichi heritage, and buy one of those 35 year old amps, you will not regret it. Don't buy one that has been opened though. I did that once, an eBay seller who lied saying they fixed something, and I found out there is a heat barrier material that they disturbed, and the amps die without it. Here's one I watched recently, $100 is a great price for one, $75 doesn't happen, and $140ish is about the top price they go for;
      NAKAMICHI PA350 OLD SKOOL 140WRMS 4CH SQ AMP, JAPAN!!! | eBay
       
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    5. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer

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      Nakamichi is good stuff for SQ. I’ve usually had muttly systems and mixed and matched my amps, but I’m thinking of sticking with one brand/series and not hiding them away. I’m probably looking to run the amp at 1/4 or 1/2 ohm.
       
    6. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      Me too, but I've always preferred a subtle deck if possible, not asking for thieves etc. I really like the stock Pioneer decks these Explorers came with in 98-01, the Mach and Premium. I love the big buttons, and solid reception quality etc. I have one Mach with RCA outputs, from a man I think is retired now. He liked them for studio use, the quality, and repaired them on the side. I wish I had thought to have him do one more as a spare etc.
       
    7. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer

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      I’ve got an Alpine HU I’ve had for years. I refuse to use line out converters, and I like having built in low pass eq’s.
       
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    8. swshawaii

      swshawaii Explorer Addict

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      My first semi high end car audio system was installed in a 1979 Ranchero. Prior to the compact disc, cassette was the only quality source. Alpine or Concord were only "real" choices for in dash cassette decks. Alpine had the reputation of having a better tuner being digital, and Concord for it's more reliable tape transport, but analog front end. Pioneer was not far behind.
      I chose a Concord HPL-515 primarily for preferred tape listening. Power amp was a Fosgate (before Rockford) "Punch" PR-250 pre/main amp rated at 100W total RMS you could fry eggs on when driven hard. Speakers were a/d/s 300i plates that many still consider to be the first "high end" car speaker. Recorded hundreds of Maxell UDXLII cassettes from a friends crazy expensive and very complex Nakamichi Dragon home cassette deck, and Linn Sondek LP12 turntable/tonearm. Fun times I still consider the glory days of audio without CD's and MP3.

      Boxed up in storage, and haven't seen daylight in decades. Just noticed, and correct me if I'm wrong, these have serials #3 and #4? Employee purchased when they were first introduced and sold. Love to install them in my ST, but see no way of doing it cleanly and not looking like an afterthought. Concord cassette deck and Fosgate pre/main amp are long gone.

      [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
       
      Last edited: December 27, 2017
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    9. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      Funny, I have some brand new Maxell cassettes somewhere. I bought a case and hardly used many of them. I remember the MB disc was it, the tiny square Sony media that was going to replace the cassette? Thank goodness for the CD, I was thinking about buying one of those.
       
    10. swshawaii

      swshawaii Explorer Addict

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      Don, believe you're referring to Sony's MiniDisc (MD) that was hugely popular in Japan, but never caught on in the U.S. "Almost" CD quality, but not quite. Likely another blunder from Sony who didn't want to license their proprietary format to others. Beta ring a bell? I was in the audio biz from around 1979-2000 and found many customers relying on specs alone to make buying decisions. Trying to explain the difference between .007 and .07 THD is not audible or perceivable to the human ear became frustrating at times. IMO, the best home power amplifiers STILL use vacuum tubes, and when on the bench measure upwards of 5% THD.
       
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    11. shucker1

      shucker1 Elite Explorer

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      Now if we really want to talk old, I the archives of stuff I have in the garage, we have a Radio Shack, Realistic 8 Track player deck....

      You need a forklift to pick it up.

      LOL
       
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    12. swshawaii

      swshawaii Explorer Addict

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      shucker1, I had an underdash QUADRAPHONIC (CD-4) 8-track in my first car, a 1970 Ranchero.
      Too bad they only had about 20 tapes to choose from. LOL

      Anyone remember 4-track? Used to record tapes on my Dad's reel-to-reel at 3-3/4 IPS, and hand wind them into emptied cartridges. My first experience making home recordings.

      Talking old school, remember these? Bulletproof, that's why they're still around.

      pioneer kp500 - Google Search
       
      Last edited: December 26, 2017
    13. shucker1

      shucker1 Elite Explorer

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      Welcome to the time machine....

      One of my brothers friends had one.

      P.S. Hope everyone had a safe and Merry Christmas!
       
    14. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      Ditto, Merry Christmas and I hope the kids all got what makes them happy.
       
    15. corkey

      corkey Moderator Emeritus Moderator Emeritus

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      i still have some Kenwood cassette players and a bunch of tapes,, old school Rockford amps and subs,,, couple of equalizers, some active cross overs, dedicated passive crossovers, just built a 2x12 system in my Ranger, with a crossover, couple big ass caps, and a 4 channel amp for the front rear stuff ,,

      A LOT of wiring going on still here,,
       
    16. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer

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      I never got into caps. I always ran way oversized power wires, and if there were still power issues, we added a rear mount battery.
       
    17. bobditts

      bobditts Member

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      I really miss Eclipse gear. Their head units were top notch and their amps were sexy!
       
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    18. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer

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      Eclipse is one brand I’ve never personally had. JL as well, but those were shunned because of a loud mouth fan boy.
       
    19. shucker1

      shucker1 Elite Explorer

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      Iphone 10's UGH!!!!

      Dad did score a Ryobi 1\2" Electric impact. Good for doing tires and not having to charge up the giant air compressor.

      Also got a 36 piece internal \ external torx bit set.
       
    20. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer

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    21. vroomzoomboom

      vroomzoomboom Elite Canuck STOCK SUCKS! Elite Explorer

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      oh yea baby. old school

      1977_00039_08.jpg

      this, with the 6x9's bump'n while wearing the bell bottoms, platform shoes, while rock'n the tie dye.
       
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    22. toypaseo

      toypaseo Flunked daycare Elite Explorer

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      Some of my past audio gear:
      Clarion cassette deck
      Harmon Kardon CD head unit (junk, I think it was B-stock)
      Sanyo head unit (can't remember CD or cassette)
      Alpine 7840 CD head unit (upgraded to another Alpine)
      Blaupunkt BEQ-65 stalk mount EQ (still have, going to sell it)
      Soundstream Reference 300 (still have, but dead, going to sell it)
      JVC ½ DIN crossover (still have, going to sell it)
      Crutchfield amp (used to power 6x9s, Bose 301s, or sub)
      Rockford Fosgate Punch 40 (traded it plus cash for a Punch 60)
      Rockford Fosgate 301 amp (hooked up wrong and died, going to sell it's faux carbon fiber endcaps)
      Alpine MRP-T220 amp (upgraded to another Alpine amp for more power)
      Sony XM-2020(?) amp (used to power front speakers)
      Clarion amp (used to power a sub)
      Urban Audio Gear amp (used to power sub)
      Infinity Reference speakers (separates and 6½" coaxials)
      Bazooka 6" tubes
      Bazooka 6½" powered tube
      Bazooka 8" powered tube

      Current audio gear:
      Alpine CD head unit (BBE unit, bought NOS)
      AudioControl THREE.1
      Kicker DX350 amp (one of the last models made in USA)
      Rockford Fosgate Punch 60
      Infinity Kappa green series speakers (separates and 6½" coaxials)
      Kicker round Solobarics (used them since they came out in 1992)
      Alpine V12 MRV-100M
      AudioControl LC2i

      Update 1/1/18
      Lanzar 10" subs (bought used for a clamshell isobaric experiment)
      Ultimate truck 8" speaker boxes
      Cerwin-Vega 15" DVC sub

      Might update as memory allows :rolleyes:
       
      Last edited: January 1, 2018
    23. toypaseo

      toypaseo Flunked daycare Elite Explorer

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      I might have a Precision Power Art Series amp in my stockpile somewhere :shifty:
       
    24. swshawaii

      swshawaii Explorer Addict

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      If you had Jensen 6x9 TRIAXIALS with 40 ounce magnets and a "power booster", you had the hippest system around.
      Magnet gauss strength didn't matter, it just had to be big and heavy to be cool. LOL
       
    25. Spudhut

      Spudhut US Navy Submariner Elite Explorer

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      Rockford Fosgate PA-1 was my favorite add-on back in the Mini-Truckin' days.

      I would agree, Eclipse amps and Clarion head units were my favorite combo...I remember having a TV module on my Clarion Head Unit/Video screen in my slammed and custom 1991 Chevy Dually Xcab - I was on my way to work watching the news and 9/11 happened - I was sitting on the 10 freeway near Rancho Cucamonga....:(
       
    26. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      Anyone remember records? I've got an old Pioneer turntable that was cool back in the 80's, it was a drawer loading thing that could be stacked under other components. I hardly used it, got it used with the front door half broken, but it could be programmed to play songs in different orders. CD's kind of killed everything before them.
       

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