Should I replace my old receiver.

As suggested I am breaking my original post (long-winded-post-for-advice) into single questions in the appropriate sub forums.

Several of you answered in my original post my question of why should I replace my over 30-year-old receiver. I appreciate the responses so far but would like to further investigate reasons for replacing it.

As I explained in my original post, after years of chasing multi-channel sound, I grew tired of the complexity and the mess, and so now I am exclusively pursuing 2 channel audio for listening to music. I am currently using my 1987 vintage Yamaha RX-700U to drive a pair of Paradigm Titans (V1). I have a Google Chromecast Audio to stream Spotify (may change to Amazon HD for $3 more), and I still have my old Sony CD player. My system resides on a low (28” High) credenza in a 12’ x 16’ completely enclosed room that has become my home office during this time. I sit approximately 8 feet from the speakers.

My receiver has honestly rated power specifications of 65 Watts RMS into 8 ohms, and 75 Watts RMS into 6 ohms (20Hz – 20kHz, 2 channels driven, .009% THD). It also has bass and treble tone controls, and a nice variable loudness control that applies an equalization curve designed for low level listening. I know, verboten to many in audiophile circles, but I use and like these features. I realize that with its age my receiver may no longer be operating at its best, but there is a local repair shop that will test and repair as needed. I’m kind of fighting my nostalgic feelings here, having bought this receiver brand new as a young man in 1987. So to get me to let go, something new will have to be compelling, and oh by the way, under $500. Having said all this, I am intrigued by Class D amplifiers because of the small form factor and efficiency. If I can get a great sounding integrated amp for under $500 that is also small, then I may finally let the old Yamaha go.

Should I replace my old receiver? If yes, with what?

RX-700U Specifications.jpg
 

Doghouse Riley

Junior Member
Should I replace my old receiver?

Yes, if you don't the "old" operator will cause it to make funny noises to remind you to put it back. They don't like open lines.
 

UncleBingo

Senior Member
If you like your current receiver, maybe buy another clean one and have it rebuilt by the repair guys? It supports people that are getting crushed by the shutdown and will likely cost less than $500. Then you can swap the other one out and have it rebuilt later if you want.
I’m not a Yamaha fan (the variable loudness control makes me insane-having to fiddle with 2 controls to adjust 1 parameter was a constant back and forth for me) but I understand why some people like them.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I had either that unit or one very similar early on in my audio story (for me, that would have been about 2006). It was nice, it did nothing wrong and punched above its weight. I'd ask you what you feel is lacking, for there are many ways to improve things and you might have easier things you can do than replacing functional amplification. For example, are your speakers on stands or do they share the credenza and just sit on it? The act of putting the speakers on solid, sturdy, stands can affect wonders.
 
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Doghouse Riley

Junior Member
Being serious, I bought a Leak 2000 tuner/amp in excellent condition on eBay about 15 years ago quite cheaply. It replaced a Philps 790, I bought new in 1972, that gave up the ghost. One reason was that they both use DIN plugs, so no faffing about with different leads for all the accessories.
The Leak was good enough for me, so much so, that a year later I bought another one, just as cheap on eBay (since the revived interest for some in vinyl, they go for a hell of a lot more now).
My reasoning being, if the present one I'm using goes U/S, I can do a straight swop with the spare. Then think about having the first one repaired.
 
I had either that unit or one very similar early on in my audio story (for me, that would have been about 2006). It was nice, it did nothing wrong and punched above its weight. I'd ask you what you feel is lacking, for there are many ways to improve things and you might have easier things you can do that replacing functional amplification. For example, are your speakers on stands or do they share the credenza and just sit on it? The act of putting the speakers on solid, sturdy, stands can affect wonders.
JohnVF,

It's not so much I feel anything is lacking, just that I'm wondering what improvements (if any) may be had at a reasonable cost. Just exploring because it's kind of fun researching new equipment. I do have some sturdy speaker stands, just not in use with my current situation.
 
Being serious, I bought a Leak 2000 tuner/amp in excellent condition on eBay about 15 years ago quite cheaply. It replaced a Philps 790, I bought new in 1972, that gave up the ghost. One reason was that they both use DIN plugs, so no faffing about with different leads for all the accessories.
The Leak was good enough for me, so much so, that a year later I bought another one, just as cheap on eBay (since the revived interest for some in vinyl, they go for a hell of a lot more now).
My reasoning being, if the present one I'm using goes U/S, I can do a straight swop with the spare. Then think about having the first one repaired.
Hey Doghouse,

I just checked out the Leak 2000 online. Cool looking piece of equipment. I had never heard of the manufacturer before.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
JohnVF,

It's not so much I feel anything is lacking, just that I'm wondering what improvements (if any) may be had at a reasonable cost. Just exploring because it's kind of fun researching new equipment. I do have some sturdy speaker stands, just not in use with my current situation.
That 'reasonable cost' thing might determine where the improvements are made. I just don't know that you're going to get a dramatic improvement in amplification for $500, though Class-D (and the like) is something that you could explore with that budget, and it may pay off. As far as traditional Class a/b amps, with that budget you might still be better off in the used market.

Personally I think if I were in your shoes with $500 I'd replace the Paradigms before I replaced the Yamaha, or work on your streaming setup. I'm generally of the opinion that most of the most glaring problems in systems are source and speaker related. Its not that I think all amps sound the same, in fact, I think the preamp is the soul of a setup, but I think below a certain budget, amps are the least of your worries if you have a competent one.
 
That 'reasonable cost' thing might determine where the improvements are made. I just don't know that you're going to get a dramatic improvement in amplification for $500, though Class-D (and the like) is something that you could explore with that budget, and it may pay off. As far as traditional Class a/b amps, with that budget you might still be better off in the used market.

Personally I think if I were in your shoes with $500 I'd replace the Paradigms before I replaced the Yamaha, or work on your streaming setup. I'm generally of the opinion that most of the most glaring problems in systems are source and speaker related. Its not that I think all amps sound the same, in fact, I think the preamp is the soul of a setup, but I think below a certain budget, amps are the least of your worries if you have a competent one.
JohnVF,

"As far as traditional Class a/b amps, with that budget you might still be better off in the used market." This is kind of what I suspect, being that even in 1987 Class AB was already a mature topology. That's why I have been looking primarily at Class D integrated amps (NAD D3020, Sprout 100, Yamaha WXA-50). An amplifier technology that is designed to be more efficient and thus generates less heat and can be in a smaller package; that's the sort of thing that gets my nerdy electrical engineer juices flowing.
 

Doghouse Riley

Junior Member
Hey Doghouse,

I just checked out the Leak 2000 online. Cool looking piece of equipment. I had never heard of the manufacturer before.
Thanks for that.

It does for me. I think I paid around thirty quid for each of them.

I took this on a little ten year-old Lumix camera that does short videos with sound and with the compression you get with YouTube, it doesn't really do it justice, the tracks were YouTube downloads to start. So you can get an idea how good is the sound from something forty years old.


 
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JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
JohnVF,

"As far as traditional Class a/b amps, with that budget you might still be better off in the used market." This is kind of what I suspect, being that even in 1987 Class AB was already a mature topology. That's why I have been looking primarily at Class D integrated amps (NAD D3020, Sprout 100, Yamaha WXA-50). An amplifier technology that is designed to be more efficient and thus generates less heat and can be in a smaller package; that's the sort of thing that gets my nerdy electrical engineer juices flowing.
I've only heard the Sprout and it wasn't for long enough to make much of a call on it. It was REALLY SMALL. One thing you'd get with the NAD 3020 and Sprout would be a built in DAC, so a source upgrade as well as a different amp to play with.
 

Olson_jr

Active Member
Humm, a nerdy electrical engineer from Detroit, seeks audio advice, and wonders if there will be beer?

Sounds like a SMAC candidate to me.
.
In more normal times we have a South Michigan Audio Club Group meeting once a month in the metro Detroit area. Basically a friendly group of folks that all enjoy stereos, music, beer. Jeff @jmathers is our leader and organizes the meets.


Back to your system, I would have to agree with John, I think you would get the most bang for your buck replacing your speakers. I had some Paradigms from that era and found the Titanium Dome tweeters to be a little too bright for my ears. Not sure which tweeters are in your speakers?

As for a small Class D integrated, I have a BlueSound Powernode2 that sounds pretty good. But since it is geared much more towards streaming I would not recommend it in your case.
 
I've only heard the Sprout and it wasn't for long enough to make much of a call on it. It was REALLY SMALL. One thing you'd get with the NAD 3020 and Sprout would be a built in DAC, so a source upgrade as well as a different amp to play with.
[/QUOTE
Hey Olson,

Yep a nerdy electrical engineer at FCA. I checked out the club website and holy cow! I'm just a wee bit intimidated by what I saw. Some nice (expensive) stuff.

Yeah, I agree about the speakers first. I'm just exploring all facets of an audio system right now. The Titans have what they call 19mm polymide dome; looks like plastic to me. And frankly they are too bright for my tastes. I never noticed it so much when they were part of a 5.1 system with the support of a subwoofer, but on their own for music I'm not liking the high frequencies. I will most likely keep my receiver for the time being, but I am having trouble deciding on what direction to take. Do I buy something for my current situation, small room, nearish-field listening, or something larger that may not be ideal for my current situation but something I could "grow" into. I am leaning towards the near-field solution as my thinking is I wouldn't mind eventually use it as a 2nd system, and then maybe go the tower speaker route when I have a bigger space. Anyway, that will be another post on the speaker sub-forum.

Cheers.
 
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JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
There are small speakers that you can get a degree of scale out of that's surprising. I think current small speakers have come a long way in this regard. I'm thinking of some of the Elacs and whatnot, Epos were mentioned in another thread, there's actually quite a bit going on right now in affordable small speakers that sonically hit places, both as far as detail and dynamics, that you wouldn't get to except with more high end offerings in the 90s and before.
 

adaug

Senior Member
"As far as traditional Class a/b amps, with that budget you might still be better off in the used market." This is kind of what I suspect, being that even in 1987 Class AB was already a mature topology. That's why I have been looking primarily at Class D integrated amps (NAD D3020, Sprout 100, Yamaha WXA-50). An amplifier technology that is designed to be more efficient and thus generates less heat and can be in a smaller package; that's the sort of thing that gets my nerdy electrical engineer juices flowing.
class D may measure well and have good specs, but when i tried class D it left me cold. it sounded ok, but had sort of a coldness to it, perhaps an edge. sort of the opposite of tubes. and just ok is not good enough in this hobby :). yrmv, of course.
 
There are small speakers that you can get a degree of scale out of that's surprising. I think current small speakers have come a long way in this regard. I'm thinking of some of the Elacs and whatnot, Epos were mentioned in another thread, there's actually quite a bit going on right now in affordable small speakers that sonically hit places, both as far as detail and dynamics, that you wouldn't get to except with more high end offerings in the 90s and before.
Yeah John I have been researching all the new small stand mount speakers out there. I have a matrix (yep nerdy engineer). complete with specifications and notes. You won't see the Elac Debuts on there because I have come to despise the black ash look, vinyl or real wood veneer. Again trying to stay under $500. Always open to other suggestions. Probably time to open a new thread in the speaker sub-forum.
 

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JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
That's a thorough list. Some I wasn't even aware of. There's a pair of new Elacs with a gloss white finish that look better than the ugly black ash vinyl. I haven't heard them but they've gotten some good word of mouth. I had the Uni-Fi UB5 (who comes up with these names?) and liked them but replaced them with a pair of late '90s vintage Sony SS-m3s in stand-mount duty in what was my 2nd system but which became temporarily my main setup. They're pretty rare and not like what "sony" conjures up in anybody's mind for speakers. I generally won't go any farther back in time for small speakers than that, and even then it has to be something special (which I think those Sony speakers are).
 

Audionut

Next Round Is On Me
Hey Olson,

Yep a nerdy electrical engineer at FCA. I checked out the club website and holy cow! I'm just a wee bit intimidated by what I saw. Some nice (expensive) stuff.

Yeah, I agree about the speakers first. I'm just exploring all facets of an audio system right now. The Titans have what they call 19mm polymide dome; looks like plastic to me. And frankly they are too bright for my tastes. I never noticed it so much when they were part of a 5.1 system with the support of a subwoofer, but on their own for music I'm not liking the high frequencies. I will most likely keep my receiver for the time being, but I am having trouble deciding on what direction to take. Do I buy something for my current situation, small room, nearish-field listening, or something larger that may not be ideal for my current situation but something I could "grow" into. I am leaning towards the near-field solution as my thinking is I wouldn't mind eventually use it as a 2nd system, and then maybe go the tower speaker route when I have a bigger space. Anyway, that will be another post on the speaker sub-forum.

Cheers.
I know you originally asked for a class D SS amplifier, also noticed that you do like your speakers but find them a bit bright/edgy. How about an integrated tube amplifier? Musical paradise has one in the $500 range I believe. A few here have bought products from them and were quite happy. Hopefully that translate to their amplifier offerings.
Edit; Shoot, I just looked at the website and they have a hybrid amplifier that has both tube and class D! Oh, and half your budget!
 
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