Receiver Rescue Ranger

fiddlefye

Senior Member
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A friend contacted me last week and said he had two old Harman Kardon receivers that were "noisy" - did I want them? If not they were going to recycle. I can't bring myself to let that sort of thing happen, so I picked them up and dropped them off directly to my tech. A couple days later they were all done, just needed a thorough cleaning in every possible sense.

630 - Dual mono - 30 w/ch
_ND39199 by fiddlefye, on Flickr
HK 560 - 40 w/ch
_ND39178 by fiddlefye, on Flickr

These aren't monsters by any stretch, but both are way more than enough to pair with Klipsch KG4s, even in a garage system that gets cranked from time to time. I'm not a receiver sorta guy, but I do take in strays. I'm not sure what I'll end up doing with them, but I think the 630 will be staying in the system as it sounds particularly nice with the KG4s (which can sound rather harsh). Neither is about to replace the main system, but they both sound quite good as receivers go and are attractive.
 
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writethis

Junior Member
Nice. I had an HK730 which I just adored in a 2nd system driving KEF 103.2 (mostly classical FM via the local NPR). The power amp section needs repair now, so for the moment I’m using the 730 as a tuner in my main system. I like it enough that someday I want to end up with a fully restored mint condition example. It’s the only vintage receiver I feel that strongly about. Enjoy!
 

fiddlefye

Senior Member
Nice. I had an HK730 which I just adored in a 2nd system driving KEF 103.2 (mostly classical FM via the local NPR). The power amp section needs repair now, so for the moment I’m using the 730 as a tuner in my main system. I like it enough that someday I want to end up with a fully restored mint condition example. It’s the only vintage receiver I feel that strongly about. Enjoy!
A friend in uni (70s) had a 430 and I recall liking it. The 630 is a nice-sounding thing and the tuner section is very good. The 730 is a little flashier and I think just a bit later maybe? 10 more w/ch. It would be interesting to pair it with some really good speakers and see just what the "voice" could be. The KG4s are ok, but a bit on the rough and ready side.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
Yeah the 560 and the series it came from is just about my favorite look among all of the vintage receivers and that series sounded really good to me. At least, the one example I had from it did (560? 670? can't remember that far back into the hoarding days).
 

fiddlefye

Senior Member
These receivers started a little dialogue with my 26-year-old stepson. He came along on the trip to pick them up and we got talking about what audio meant to people my age when we were his age. For many (most?) of us the first thing we bought when we'd saved a bit of money was a stereo, often based around a receiver like the two I'd just been given. The first thing one did when moving in somewhere was to set up the stereo so you'd have tunes for the rest of the labour. The stereo usually had pride of place in a dorm or apartment and the record collection along with it. Listening to music was a communal bonding activity. After awhile he started nodding his head. I think he "gets" it. He said he's tired of wearing headphones.... My 27-year-old daughter always understood - I gave her a nice system when she was 15.
 
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JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
These receivers started a little dialogue with my 26-year-old stepson. He came along on the trip to pick them up and we got talking about what audio meant to people my age when we were his age. For many (most?) of us the first thing we bought when we'd saved a bit of money was a stereo, often based around a receiver like the two I'd just been given. The first thing one did when moving in somewhere was to set up the stereo so you'd have tunes for the rest of the labour. The stereo usually had pride of place in a dorm or apartment and the record collection along with it. Listening to music was a communal bonding activity. After awhile he started nodding his head. I think he "gets" it. He said he's tired of wearing headphones.... My 27-year-old daughter always understood - I gave her a nice system when she was 15.
I'm happy that I just made it in under the wire, maybe the last generation that did all of the above things you mentioned. I graduated high school in 1992, so our stereos were the stereos of the generation before us. I and a lot of my friends had vintage receivers growing up, hand-me-downs. Mine was a mid '70s Kenwood from the neighbor's yard sale. My turntable his Pioneer PL-530. This stuff wasn't cool it was what we could afford. More 'old' than 'vintage'. It was the changing marketplace into surround sound (which is the type of stereo I bought when I first had some money) that eventually made 2-channel cool. My generation was nostalgic for the '70s, what with nostalgia seeming to always operate in 20 year patterns. So as '70s influenced bands swept the charts, and classic rock became our current rock...a lot of us started seeing these receivers not as 'old' but as ideal. Reminders of a time in our childhood we barely remembered, and a time just before we were around that just seemed more interesting. We had Nirvana whining, looking at their feet...you had Led Zeppelin posturing, confident, big manes of lion hair backlit. Those receivers were a conduit back to this maybe idealized world. I'm happy that so many of them are still around and that some younger people are finding in them the same thing I found in them when I was younger.
 
I'm happy that I just made it in under the wire, maybe the last generation that did all of the above things you mentioned. I graduated high school in 1992, so our stereos were the stereos of the generation before us. I and a lot of my friends had vintage receivers growing up, hand-me-downs. Mine was a mid '70s Kenwood from the neighbor's yard sale. My turntable his Pioneer PL-530. This stuff wasn't cool it was what we could afford. More 'old' than 'vintage'. It was the changing marketplace into surround sound (which is the type of stereo I bought when I first had some money) that eventually made 2-channel cool. My generation was nostalgic for the '70s, what with nostalgia seeming to always operate in 20 year patterns. So as '70s influenced bands swept the charts, and classic rock became our current rock...a lot of us started seeing these receivers not as 'old' but as ideal. Reminders of a time in our childhood we barely remembered, and a time just before we were around that just seemed more interesting. We had Nirvana whining, looking at their feet...you had Led Zeppelin posturing, confident, big manes of lion hair backlit. Those receivers were a conduit back to this maybe idealized world. I'm happy that so many of them are still around and that some younger people are finding in them the same thing I found in them when I was younger.
Nicely put. Nostalgia driven ‘trends’ do appear as a soft wavelength, except minus the out of phase portion. None of it really dies off so much as it becomes less popular. It still stays around somewhere for the next rise of the wave to discover about it that which made the ‘stuff’ so interesting/exciting/desirable in the first place.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
Nicely put. Nostalgia driven ‘trends’ do appear as a soft wavelength, except minus the out of phase portion. None of it really dies off so much as it becomes less popular. It still stays around somewhere for the next rise of the wave to discover about it that which made the ‘stuff’ so interesting/exciting/desirable in the first place.
It's interesting what gets carried into the next wave, and what people pretend never happened. I remember the late'70s/early'80s 1980s nostalgia kick a lot of my younger friends were going through in the 2000s. Everybody was listening to Joy Division and The Cure when in reality you'd more likely be hearing Christopher Cross or Billy Ocean back then.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
What Dad (95 y/o this Wednesday) gave me. Needs fuses, don’t know what else.

This was the first stereo receiver (?) :chin

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I had a broken one of those once that was given to me. All I knew/know about germanium transistors is that they are sought after for guitar distortion fuzz pedals....so I never really did much of a serious investigation into getting it repaired. I remember that most of the discussion I could find about it revolved around somebody having one that was not working.
 

fiddlefye

Senior Member
I'm happy that I just made it in under the wire, maybe the last generation that did all of the above things you mentioned. I graduated high school in 1992, so our stereos were the stereos of the generation before us. I and a lot of my friends had vintage receivers growing up, hand-me-downs. Mine was a mid '70s Kenwood from the neighbor's yard sale. My turntable his Pioneer PL-530. This stuff wasn't cool it was what we could afford. More 'old' than 'vintage'. It was the changing marketplace into surround sound (which is the type of stereo I bought when I first had some money) that eventually made 2-channel cool. My generation was nostalgic for the '70s, what with nostalgia seeming to always operate in 20 year patterns. So as '70s influenced bands swept the charts, and classic rock became our current rock...a lot of us started seeing these receivers not as 'old' but as ideal. Reminders of a time in our childhood we barely remembered, and a time just before we were around that just seemed more interesting. We had Nirvana whining, looking at their feet...you had Led Zeppelin posturing, confident, big manes of lion hair backlit. Those receivers were a conduit back to this maybe idealized world. I'm happy that so many of them are still around and that some younger people are finding in them the same thing I found in them when I was younger.
The biggest difference between when you began your interest in audio and when I began mine (apart from a lot of the gear being the same ;)) is that there was precious little used gear available in my early days. The gear from the 60s wasn't all that old nor available and mostly very low w/ch or tube so one looked in the new market for whatever one could manage with scraped together sufficient funds. My very entry-level first system adjusted for inflation would have cost $1,250, a lot of palookas for a full-time uni student. We may have had choice of a lot of brands, but not so many models, mostly whatever was available that current model year. Yes, we were very proud of our system, however modest!
 

Kpatch

Junior Member
And ... most of us had integrated amplifiers and receivers. I had to drop out of college after my second year due to the lack of the aforementioned palooka and took a full time/7 day a week job in an electronics store as the warehouse manager, a fancy title for gofer, setter-upper, shipper and receiver, opener and closer-upper - I was the only one working the warehouse. The owner allowed me to buy at cost a Pioneer SA100, Pioneer receiver, Pioneer CSX100 speakers (with the bright ORANGE grills!) a Dual 1249 Turntable with Sure M75ED 'Stereo Dynetic Cartridge' AND Koss Pro 4A headphones. I didn’t have much furniture in my shabby apartment but at least I had a stereo. And I had records. Even with these extravagant purchases and after two years of working 7 days a week I had saved enough to return and finish college.

I still have the still-working SA100, the Dual and the Pro 4As in the garage.
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Kpatch

Junior Member
No -- not even the first soiled state one, AFAIK.
h/k did, if memory serves, however, indeed market the first stereo receiver in 1958 -- Festival TA230.

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h/k definitely marketed the first hifi receiver per se, the Festival D1000 (ca. 1953-54).

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:)
Yeah, that was told to me by a friend and it didn’t sound right, thus the :chin. But according to the radio museum site,
it was among the first soiled state, unless of course you doubt the infallibility of the internet. (And that Festival is just darn handsome.)

“One of the first all solid state hifi receivers, together with the Fisher 600T, Heathkit and a few others. The first to claim a frequency response of 5 to 100.000 Hz at 1 Watt output. Germanium power transistor with driver transformers. Stereo FM decoder included, pre-amp for magnetic cartridges. 25+25 Watt output. “
 

mhardy6647

Señor Member
Yeah, that was told to me by a friend and it didn’t sound right, thus the :chin. But according to the radio museum site,
it was among the first soiled state, unless of course you doubt the infallibility of the internet. (And that Festival is just darn handsome.)

“One of the first all solid state hifi receivers, together with the Fisher 600T, Heathkit and a few others. The first to claim a frequency response of 5 to 100.000 Hz at 1 Watt output. Germanium power transistor with driver transformers. Stereo FM decoder included, pre-amp for magnetic cartridges. 25+25 Watt output. “
ahh -- all solid state. :) The earliest ss receivers had a tube or two (or three, or even four) in the FM front end -- 'cause, (relatively) early on, there just weren't practical/affordable/available high(er) frequency transistors.

Thus the late 1950s auto radios with low-voltage space charge tubes, too :)

 
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