Stereo Receiver help
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  1. #1
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    Stereo Receiver help

    I could use some help picking out a receiver please.

    I've had the same JVC receiver since the early 1980's and it works great for CD's but the radio died about 10 years ago and I want to be able to listen to radio (in addition to CDs still).

    Just did some googling and got lost with all that crap about bluetooth, home theater ect. I don't need any teeth; blue or otherwise, just want a radio and CD.

    I don't know what to say about my speakers (if that matters) but those are from the same era and I think they are very good sounding. I did manage to find a picture of them though: EPI 1200 question | Audiokarma Home Audio Stereo Discussion Forums

    Any recommendations for a decent receiver? I'm not an audio snob but do appreciate good quality sound.

    I was thinking between $200 - $300 but flexible if need be to get something decent.

    And tips on brands/models to consider?

    Thanks,

  2. #2
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    If you don't have any needs for HDMI routing or any of the rest of the modern digital fun....there's a crapload of older AVRs on every Craigslist-ing everywhere people are trying to get rid of. pre-HDMI and (and by extension pre-bluetooth) in particular....further they tend to be nicer models.

    For nearly a decade I had an old Sony AVR that was a top-tier model in its day (back 10 years before I bought it)...scored it for $50 off CList, when retail would have been $500. Lived a long life--until Kitty decided the top of my AVR was a jolly good place to cat nap--and cooked it.
    "Refreshingly Unconcerned With The Vulgar Exigencies Of Veracity "

  3. #3
    DBT
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    Good advice from Marc.

    A new stereo receiver is difficult (impossible?) to find. The 2 channel market has shifted to integrated amps (basically, a receiver without a radio tuner) or separate components.

    Look for NAD if an integrated will work for you. The 3020 is legendary, but later C3xx are great as well.


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  4. #4
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    You may not need a full receiver.

    If just the tuner section is bad, you can buy an AM/FM tuner and connect it to one of the other inputs (cassette? Aux?) if you have them.

    Otherwise, I recommend you scour craigslist; so many people don't use standard stereo equipment these days that it's always for sale. I see you're in a large metropolitan area; I checked your local craigslist and you've got plenty of options.

    I wouldn't bother with anything analog unless you don't mind manual tuning. It's so easy to push a button and get the station.

    I personally use Yamaha equipment and am a big FM radio listener. I've used their receivers and tuner separates, and have always been satisfied.

    In fact, when my last Yamaha tuner crapped out, I actually found one for sale on another BIKE forum. It's a 1982 mode, I purchased in 2010, at the princely sum of $75, and it's still going strong.

  5. #5
    gazing from the shadows
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter P. View Post
    You may not need a full receiver.

    If just the tuner section is bad..
    On an ancient unit I have, one with actual knobs to switch functions, cleaning the contacts on the am/fm/aux/etc knob got rid the symptom of "not being able to tune in a station". Spraying some contact cleaner and cycling, or even just cycling the knob really fast a few dozen times might be a good diagnostic.

    For such limited functions and use, I echo the "look used" route. Test first if possible.
    .
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  6. #6
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    Awesome. You guys just saved me quite a bit of money AND almost certainly led me to better quality (given my lack of modern wants and needs).

    It definitely makes sense there's a ton of used stuff out there but I didn't think of that.

    And I had no idea I could get 'just' a radio tuner and plug it into aux or the tape deck ports either.

    So the plan now is to look at used receivers and new or used tuners only.

    Just a tuner would be great because I know I'm happy with everything about my receiver except for the dead radio. But then again it's pushing 40 years old so could be on borrowed time so new full receiver might be the way to go.
    Either way much better options than new and paying for all the modern stuff I would not benefit from.

    Thank you, I appreciate the tips.

  7. #7
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    I just got a Kenwood VR-307, about 200W amp reciever surround sound unit at Goodwill for $20. I'm just going to use it as an amp. But GW or craig's list is the way to go!
    BANNED

  8. #8
    Quiet, daddy's drinking
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    Awesome. You guys just saved me quite a bit of money AND almost certainly led me to better quality (given my lack of modern wants and needs).

    It definitely makes sense there's a ton of used stuff out there but I didn't think of that.

    And I had no idea I could get 'just' a radio tuner and plug it into aux or the tape deck ports either.

    So the plan now is to look at used receivers and new or used tuners only.

    Just a tuner would be great because I know I'm happy with everything about my receiver except for the dead radio. But then again it's pushing 40 years old so could be on borrowed time so new full receiver might be the way to go.
    Either way much better options than new and paying for all the modern stuff I would not benefit from.

    Thank you, I appreciate the tips.
    Try scrounging around at Goodwill, pawn shops and Craigslist. If all else fails, Amazon.https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00SKGT6P6...550852535&sr=1
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    But then again it's pushing 40 years old so could be on borrowed time so new full receiver might be the way to go.
    Yup, it's time to replace the whole thing. Capacitors and resistors in the circuit have lifespan. I wouldn't buy any used electronics that's more than 20 years old unless I plan to rebuild the circuit.

    I just saw some receivers under $200 at BestBuy site.

  10. #10
    pmf
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    Consider Peter P's advice. Just get a cheap tuner to listen to the radio. Use the receiver as an amp.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    Awesome. You guys just saved me quite a bit of money ....
    I had two options a couple years ago to get netflix and other online services to have sound running through my system.

    Buy a new system, because proper connections just did not exist in any combination for everything to be cabled properly. Hundreds of dollars, plus hassle setting up time delays for the surround sound.

    Run an optical audio out from the tv through a cheap converter that would output in a format I could connect into my existing system. Under $10 iirc.

    It works, but I hope no one else ever sees the frankensystem I have after keeping old tech talking with new tech for so long.
    .
    Stout beers under trees, please.

  12. #12
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    old system



    old media room (TV replaced with components).



    Newest piece is pre digital Onkyo which I'm in the process of Frankensysteming to accept wireless digital media.

    COMPONENTS RULE!

  13. #13
    Schuylkill Trail Bum
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    Also note... digital radio has enabled both AM and FM stations to offer multiple channels of content over the same bandwidth they used for one channel back in the analog dark ages.

    I discovered this quite by accident in my wife's car when I touched something on her radio screen that expanded a bunch of local stations that I thought only offered one channel of content.

    Very interesting.

    Last edited by SPlKE; 3 Weeks Ago at 09:21 AM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmf View Post
    Consider Peter P's advice. Just get a cheap tuner to listen to the radio. Use the receiver as an amp.
    That's the direction I'm leaning.

    Does that make sense: So if I get just a tuner now I should be able to get 'just' an amp at a later date if my receiver ever dies totally? Because of course I'll already have the radio I'm probably going to get now. And because I won't need a radio I should be able to get a better quality amp per $ as compared to one with a radio built in.

    Part of my thinking for being cheap now is I live in a crappy small city apartment so wouldn't be able to take advantage of really good stuff. I'll probably be here for at least 5 years so decent sound is good enough for now.

    But when I leave this dump I want to be able to go full audio snob and get a really good sound system.
    So for now I'm just looking for a cheap 5 year bridge that allows me to listen to radio between now and when I make a substantial investment and probably get new everything.

  15. #15
    Devoid of all flim-flam
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    Music Direct is a quality audiophile mail order site. I regularly get their catalogue. All price ranges. Many, many famous brands. Audio Advisor isn't quite as good as Music Direct, but their site is still worth a look.
    Mapie is a conventional looking former Hollywood bon viveur, now leading a quiet life in a house made of wood by an isolated beach. He has cultivated a taste for culture, and is a celebrated raconteur amongst his local associates, who are artists, actors, and other leftfield/eccentric types. I imagine he has a telescope, and an unusual sculpture outside his front door. He is also a beach comber. The Rydster.

  16. #16
    Russian Troll Farmer
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    A few months ago, I bought a Yamaha receiver for the TV room; works great for just about everything, and I can control it from my smart phone as well. Of course, it also gets net radio stations, so I'm happy.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  17. #17
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    Yes...I crack on this stuff....80's. Service Merchandise, all the hardware. Harmon Cardon, Technics, Akia?? Glad this stuff is still around.
    So I tuned the Larrivee, drop D, then DADGAD.

  18. #18
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    something to watch out for is it seems like getting a phono input is rare these days.

    scott s.
    .

  19. #19
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    So it turns out cheap tuners are pretty hard to find. Seems most tuner only components are somewhat high end and with cheap stuff they just offer the full receiver.

    I called an old school audio place in Harvard Square and they say they have a lot of good quality used tuners for about $90 give or take though.

  20. #20
    Sweet Potato Kugel
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    I called an old school audio place in Harvard Square and they say they have a lot of good quality used tuners for about $90 give or take though.
    I bought a used Dual 1257 belt drive from them last May when we had our yearly gathering in Boston. The one the arm would play upside down.


  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    So it turns out cheap tuners are pretty hard to find. Seems most tuner only components are somewhat high end and with cheap stuff they just offer the full receiver.
    There are very few good AM/FM tuners being made anymore. Almost everything today uses compromised car radio electronics, including most new "receivers". And yes, those true high end tuners are pricey.

    The best and cheapest good stuff is from the 70-90's.
    A long time ago, 3 of us got together and started a website to rate and grade vintage FM tuners. It is still around - check it out
    Tuner Information Center - Vintage Stereo Tuners

    If you want a digital display unit, I would recommend a Yamaha, or Kenwood.
    Good values in for Yamaha would be these models - T-80, T-85, TX-930, TX-950
    These were essentially top of the line units that can mostly be found for well under 100. used today.

  22. #22
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    I wasn't even thinking about it, but I looked on Craiglist near me and there are a ton of decent used receivers very cheap. Personally I do love a multi-speaker setup, and I like playing music from my phone via Bluetooth to my surround system when I'm moving around the house. I'd probably buy a decent surround receiver that has what you need in case you ever get the bug down the line. Being able to plug a USB drive into the front of the unit etc. is actually quite nice. I have an Onkyo unit and a 5.1 Klipsh speaker setup.
    "I felt bad because I couldn't wheelie; until I met a man with no bicycle"

  23. #23
    Sweet Potato Kugel
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    In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eretz View Post
    I had that tuner. I gave it to a neighbor when I moved 19 years ago.

  25. #25
    Sweet Potato Kugel
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPlKE View Post
    I had that tuner. I gave it to a neighbor when I moved 19 years ago.
    I'm on a YouTube on how to replace the burnt out bulbs.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Yamaha-Tune...-/111562506966
    In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
    Ben Franklin -Tis curious and amazing to observe how distinct and independent of each other the rattles of this animal are, and yet how firmly they are united together

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