Life was simpler back then. You hear that sort of talk all the time, referring to many different things. In the case of audio receivers it's true.
Back in the 1970s it was all about stereo. Two channels were all we had to worry about. Well, there was that short-lived quadrophonic trend.
Inside a receiver from that era you had just a few main pieces of electronics, the amplifier and the power supply being the most important. There was room to isolate the power supply, creating a better sounding amplifier.
Today's receiver is so full of features it's a wonder they all fit into, relatively, the same sized box. The sound emanating from the receiver seems to take a back seat to all of the gadgets. And really, do people want the bells and whistles or good sound?
There's a good story by Steve Guttenberg on his Audiophiliac blog he does for CNET, How can 30-year-old receivers sound better than new ones?
I'm a big fan of those old 1970s receivers. My newly designed logo for Radio Hannibal features a classic Marantz receiver. I love looking at these receivers up for grabs on ebay. Fortunately I don't have room in my home to collect them.
Does that mean you shouldn't buy a new receiver? No, you need features that just can't be found in vintage equipment if you plan on using it for your home theater.
Who says you can't buy both though. Pick up a vintage receiver and use it for a stand alone stereo system in your den or office. The sound can be great, even with some crackling when adjusting levels with corroded knobs. They're also great converation pieces. And the glow of those large tuner displays is quite alluring.
If you have a question or if I may be of service email me at firstname.lastname@example.org