Here at the Vintage HiFi Shack we like to bring you quality high-end vintage HiFi’s rarely found in Australia, it is extremely rare to see any of the high-end units we have on offer on eBay Australia or anywhere else in Australia.
In the 1970s Australia was a tiny market with only around 13 million people, the major HiFi brands focused mostly on providing low to mid-end models, and few if any of the high-end models commonly found in Europe, the United States and Japan ever made it out here. Especially so when some of these stereo systems cost more than some cars! While we specialise in Pioneer gear, we also carry units from Sansui, Kenwood, Sanyo, Rotel, Marantz and other quality brands.
Why Do We Love 1970s HiFi Gear Soooo Much?
As the transistor began to take over from the valve in the 1960s the technology of the home stereo slowly began to evolve from being just cute little music boxes to things that were seriously powerful – the infamous muscle receivers of the 1970s that were a product of the ‘Receiver Wars’. The primary selling point was great sound with plenty of power, and many design features such as DC amplifiers, twin power and Darlington Push-Pull layouts you will only find in 1970s gear or highly expensive boutique audiophile gear.
Analog gear with its discreet components offer a very different sound than that of the modern amplifier, these amplifiers somehow engage the listener more emotionally in the music. HiFi gear produced during this period is commonly referred to as the ‘Silver Era’ of HiFi.
Here at The Shack we take pleasure in introducing you to the world of vintage HiFi!
Original RRP (1975 USD): $995.00
Inflation Adjusted RRP (USD): $4,308.00
NAD Electronics (New Acoustic Dimensions) is a world renowned audiophile brand originally founded by Dr. Martin L. Borish in England and is now headquartered in Ontario Canada. NAD focuses on the concept of “effective power” and its amplifiers have been known for delivering generous headroom, meaning that they can deliver dynamic power bursts far in excess of their rated RMS power. NAD’s core philosophy is to only incorporate genuinely useful features for aesthetically understated designs, but this wasn’t always the case…
In the 1970s NAD produced some stunningly designed audio components that had flare, elegance and style, none of which could by any stretch of the imagination be considered understated. The Model 300 is one of NAD’s original creations. This was their top-of-the-line monster receiver produced between 1975 and 1978, an aesthetically and acoustically stunning unit it featured a beautifully brushed aluminium display featuring a brilliant blue tuner dial with a red illuminated indicator and an impressive battery of buttons, switches and knobs, the chassis is well built and weighs a solid 22kg.
An historic piece this unit was positioned at the pinnacle of NAD’s very first product line. Developed by Bjorn Erik Edvardsen under the founder Dr. Martin L. Borish the Model 300 was manufactured by Foster
Electric in Japan using only the finest available components.
Looking under the hood of this unit you can tell that some serious love went into the design. Everything is well laid out and it appears obvious that no expense was spared. The entire front section containing the AM/FM receiver and separate Dolby module has been shielded.
The next thing that hits you is the size of the power supply. The transformer is generously sized and is accompanied by two large 18,000uf filter capacitors. For instance the 1978 Marantz Model 2600 boasting 300 Watts RMS per channel output was being powered with less capacitance than the Model 300! I guess this is what NAD is talking about when they say “effective power”. It’s great to see a company taking their mission statement seriously! The sound is rich, abundant and detailed with a velvet feel backed by effortless power, it the rare kind of sound that you can ‘hear’ with your heart. One of my audiophile friends could not hide his disbelief at hearing this unit perform, his jaw dropped and his mouth remained open for quite some time!!
Aside from seriously excellent sound the unit is packed with features. Firstly this is the first unit I have come across with a built in Dolby processor which can be applied to both FM and an input device such as a tape deck.
Furthermore this is also a Quadraphonic receiver as well! Which would make it one of the most powerful and high quality quadraphonic receivers I have come across. There are many quadraphonic receivers out there, but most can’t come close to the power and fidelity of this unit by a country mile. While it doesn’t offer a plethora of Quad options it offers one of the most popular formats known as ‘Quadro’ format, which I believe was commonly referred to as SQ in the US, Canada and Australia and Quadro in Europe. I believe this is the case because many European SQ encoded records are labelled QUADRO. I have not listened to this unit in this mode as I do not have a turntable set up for quad sound right now.
Notes on the Quadro Option
I have yet to test this the Quad mode on this unit.
After chatting with a Quadrophile there may be doubt as to what this QUAD mode is for. Perhaps it is for an external quad decoder or it could possibly be an internal decoder, or some even a simple effects processor – if it is quad it would be for turntables only. Here is the response I got from NAD:
Thank you for your recent inquiry on the NAD model 300.
The Model 300, we do have limited documentation on does not have a QUADRO option, just speakers Main and Remote. That said, the option could have been for the North American market where Quadraphonic was adopted by audiophiles. This option is similar to Enhanced Stereo today, for the surround speakers.
We hope this information is helpful,
As you can see this unit DOES have a Quadro option on the Speaker Selector and NAD themselves could not shed much light on this. If you are specifically after Quadraphonic Amp, you will need to do your own research on this. (until I get a turntable setup for SQ of course!)
There are a decent number of controls to tailor the sound with channel independent Treble and Bass controls, Muting, Mono, Subsonic, High Filter, High Blend and Loudness, and that’s without including the Dolby processing options. Also conveniently positioned on the front panel is a second Tape input (or iPod, iPad, iPhone etc), a second microphone input and a headphone jack
Tuning range: FM, MW
Power output RMS: 85 watts per channel into 8Ω (stereo)
Frequency response: 20Hz to 20kHz
Total harmonic distortion: 0.03%
Input sensitivity: 2.2mV (mic), 3mV (MM), 200mV (DIN), 200mV (line)
Signal to noise ratio: 63dB (MM), 85dB (line)
Channel separation: 50dB (line)
Output: 200mV (line), 30mV (DIN)
Dimensions: 508 x 400 x 145mm
Do you love retro analogue HiFi’s but crave the convenience and cool factor of the modern gadgets? Then fear not! For you can add Bluetooth, iPods, iPhones and Media Centers to any of the vintage beauties on this site! Digital sources of music such as CD’s and iPod sound so much better through quality vintage audio gear, here is how to connect them.
RCA Cables and Sockets have been the primary means of connecting audio gear to amplifiers for more than 50 years. And the good news is most modern gear still supports these connectors. iPhones, iPods, iPad, Media Centres, MP3 Players and others all have docks and adapters that can connect into most vintage amps using RCA connectors.
Most vintage amplifiers have ‘AUX’ or auxiliary inputs, the manufacturers provided some future proofing on their amplifiers to allow new music sources to be added to their gear and these are the perfect choice for adding iPods and Bluetooth music receivers. Other than the amplified PHONO ports, virtually any other RCA input can be used such as ‘TAPE’ or ‘TUNER’. Just be aware that some amplifiers select their TAPE sources differently and may have an individual button or switch independent of the usual source selector.
Running out of Inputs?
If you have run out of RCA inputs you can always add a input port multiplier. Similar in function to a power-board the port multiplier allows you to add multiple sources to a single input. The box plugs into an available RCA input on your amplifier and then use the input box to select from the sources you have added to it. Some boxes are available with remote controls.
iPhone, iPod & iPad Docks
A huge range of iPod and iPad docks are available, but not all support audio line-out, especially for the newer phones and tablets, ensure that the dock you purchase has an audio line-output. These docs make it easy to connect your iPod, iPhone or iPad to your HiFi so can enjoy your digital tunes.
Bluetooth music receivers can also be added to your HiFi and allows you to beam your music to your vintage equipment. Enjoy your music from your phone or tablet as you walk around your home!
Other Phones & MP3 Players
If you own another brand of phone or mp3 player please check with your manufacturer. In almost all cases a docking station or cable that allows music playback on a HiFi will be supported.
LED Televisions, Blu-Ray, Computers & DVD
Yes you can! All of the above can be connected to your vintage amplifier. However please note that when you connect to a Stereo amplifier you will only be getting 2-channel sound, so it is important to setup your device to DOWNMIX to 2-channels.
You CAN get 5.1 or more channel surround sound with vintage gear, but you will need multiple amplifiers to achieve this. This is completely over the top, but hey some of us are willing to go there! Perhaps one day you will see me post on such a setup
Digital to Analogue
Some devices may only have digital outputs such as HDMI or Optical. In these cases you will need a converter!
Please be wary of some dodgy sellers on eBay and elsewhere selling cables that purport to do this. They are an absolute SCAM and will not work. These devices need to convert and decode a digital signal into analogue, and as such need power and circuitry to achieve this.
ABOVE: REAL Digital-to-Analogue Converters
ABOVE: SCAM – FAKE CABLE
Inflation Adjusted RRP: >$2,500.00 USD*
*(not all units RRP known)
Founded in 1946 Sony corporation have remained as market leaders in the innovative design of high quality personal and professional electronic devices.
Sony has never been a company to imitate competitors and rather developed their own distinct and elegant designs, some of which have even been ‘borrowed’ by Apple.
This vintage Sony HiFi component system that comprises the following components;
Sony TA-1066 Amplifier (1975)
Sony ST-5066 Tuner (1975)
Sony SS-630 40 Watt 3-Way Speakers (~1975)
Sony TC-131SD Cassette Deck (1974)
Sony PS-212 Direct Drive Turntable (1978)
Sony’s TA series of amplifiers were originally introduced in the 1960’s and were the first Japanese stereo amplifiers to utilise all silicon transistors.
The 1973 TA-1066 and ST-5066 stereo amplifier and tuner combination are a fine example of Sony design and technical innovation featuring a distinctive linear slider potentiometers that were not commonly seen on Japanese stereo components of this vintage.
The ST-5066 AM and FM Stereo tuner display is gorgeous yet uncomplicated design and its design style matches the amplifier. The units are both made in matching wood enclosures.
Sony’s design and style is at its best when it is subtle and understated. What I appreciate in this model is the use a green lighting on both the tuner and for the the single bulb on the amplifier.
The ST-5066 AM and FM Stereo Tuner display is gorgeous yet uncomplicated and its push button controls match the amplifier. The units both come in matching wood enclosures.
The TA-1066 Amplifier has undergone a comprehensive service and all lamps and indicators are working. Rated at 18-22 Vintage Watts RMS per channel (depending on which source you read) this systems provides a powerful yet velvety sound that we have come to expect from quality 1970s equipment.
The TC-131SD cassette deck comes from the Sony’s 1973/74 Catalog and is in the popular studio deck style. From the era when cassettes were seen as a serious HiFi items and the build quality of this unit is a testament to 1970s Japanese engineering. Its original MSRP of $240.00 USD today would be around $1241.00USD adjusted for inflation.
This unit has been serviced and new belts fitted as well. It featured Dolby Noise Reduction, independent left/right recording potentiometers and analog VU meters, volume limiter, 4-track/2-channel playback/recording, Chrome tape support, F&F heads and more. You will be pleasantly surprised at just how good a cassette can sound! This unit is in vintage condition and while structurally sound it does have some marks, and there is a small ding in the wood veneer at the rear of the unit, being at the back however this is not noticeable, and overall the unit still looks good.
Sony’s PS-212 1978 Semi-Automatic BSL Direct Drive turntable features distinctive styling and fantastic build-quality with adjustable speed and pitch controls, a strobe light…it is a great example of high quality 1970s Sony engineering. This unit is in vintage condition and does have some marks on the perspex and body, though not that many. There is some wear across the brand/model faceplate but this is due to the turntables design and virtually all these models have the same marks from wear here. Overall the unit looks really good.
This system is completed by two beautiful Sony SS-630 3-Way 40-Watt 8ohm bookshelf speakers from circa 1975 and finished in attractive wood grain enclosures and cloth grilles.
Overall these units are fairly clean for there age but are in vintage condition with a few scratches showing and a minor indentation on the top edge of the tuner.
TA-1066 Stereo Amplifier Specifications:
- RMS Power: 18Watts per channel @ 8 ohms
- THD: <0.8%
- Power Bandwidth: 10Hz – 40kHz (8 ohms, IHF)
- Dimensions: 410mm (W) x 120mm (H) x 280mm (D)
- 16 1/8″ (W) x 4 11/16″ (H) x 11 1/16″ (D)
- Weight: 6 kg / 13 lb 4 oz
- PHONO Input: 2.5 mV, 50 k ohms
- TAPE 1
- TAPE 2
- Bookshelf Two Way, Tuned Bass Reflex Speaker
- 80 Watt Power @ 6Ohm
- 4″ Mid-Bass Driver
- 1″ Soft Polydome Tweeter
- Removable Cloth Grille
- Gloss Black Finish
- Nice Compact Size 300H x 185W x 230D
- Type: Bookshelf, Two Way, Tuned Bass Reflex Speaker
- System: 1 x 6″ Long Throw Mid-Bass Driver, 1 x 1″ Soft Polydome Tweeter
- Power Handling: 30-100Watt @ 6Ohm
- Removable Cloth Grille
- Color: Gloss Black woodgrain finish.
- Size: 300H x 185W x 230D Grille On
Pioneer’s SCS-11 are very cute and of 60s to possibly very early 70s vintage. The cases are an attractive wood veneer finish and a grill cloth with a unique and attractive stripe pattern.
The SCS-11’s are very rare, while you will generally always find a pair of SCS-12 models floating around on eBay, these I am yet to see there! Furthermore I haven’t been able to locate any information online regarding these at all?!
So what do we know about these speakers? Well I read the label on the back…
Manufacture: Pioneer Electronics
Max Input Power: 18 Watts
Impedance: 8 Ohms
Made in Japan
They are fitted with the polarised speaker plug used in many late 60s and early 70s Pioneer Amplifiers and Receivers and are wall mountable. I suspect they have a single 6.5″ inch driver similar to the SCS-12, but I never opened them up so this is just a guess.
While obviously not a high-powered speaker, they are well matched to my Pioneer SA-5300 amplifier which is rated at 10-Watts RMS and together they produce a surprisingly rich and warm sound that was very enjoyable to listen to.
As you can see one speaker had some unfortunate damage to one corner.
HDMI Docking Station for iPad®/iPhone®/iPod® with Remote
Add iPod and iPad connectivity to your vintage HiFi and get that analogue sound to your digital music!
Play slideshows or movies from your Apple® device on the big screen by connecting the dock with a HDMI compatible display device. Features HDMI video output, audio jack and USB port designed to keep your device synchronised and powered for hours of entertainment. The docking station also includes a full functioning IR remote control and two silicone cases to protect your device.
• A/V output: HDMI, stereo audio
• Supports up to 1080p video resolution
• Audio & USB cable included
• Compatible with iPad®, iPad2®, iPhone® 3GS/4, iPod® nano 4th Gen up, iPod® touch 1st Gen up
• Dimensions: 72(W) x 68(L) x 28.5(H)mm
Use your iPad®,iPhone® or iPod® with this docking station Can also charge and synchronize your Apple® device to your PC or Mac simultaneously. Includes a Micro B USB lead and a 3.5mm to 3.5mm audio cable.
• Inputs: USB Micro B, 3.5mm Audio
• Supports iPad®, iPad® 2, iPhone® 3GS/4 and iPod® Touch
• Dimensions: 100(L) x 80(W) x 25(H)mm
Add iPod connectivity your vintage HiFi. Get that analogue sound from your digital music collection.
This docking station allows you to connect your audio and video devices with your iPod® or iPhone®. Share and play your music, pictures and videos on your TV, monitor or home audio system. Features video output, audio jack and USB port designed to charge your device while connected. The dock also comes with a full function IR remote control, AV & USB power cables.
• AV output: Composite, stereo audio
• USB charge port
• Compatible with iPhone®, iPod® nano 2nd Gen up, iPod® touch 1st Gen up
• Dimensions: 88(W) x 74(L) x 19(H)mm