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Advent Model 300 Vintage Receiver Review

amirm

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#1
This is a review and detailed measurements of the Advent Model 300 Vintage Receiver. It is on kind loan from a member. I believe it came out in 1970s. The original cost was US $270. That would be $1,300 if adjusted for inflation.

I love the tuner knob on the 300, reminding me of what you would find in a HAM radio:

Advent Model 300 Receiver Vintage Audio Review.jpg


There is no detent on various tone adjustments and balance. The slide switches are par for the era but don't feel nearly as nice of Japanese gear of the time.

The back side is decidedly cheap:

Advent Model 300 Receiver Vintage Back Panel Inputs Audio Review.jpg


Those tiny speaker screw terminals were on the cheapest 8-track tape/receivers, not on serious hi-fi. The RCA terminals all look tired but work.

Receiver Audio Measurements
I opted to use the Aux input for my testing. I used an RCA cable to feed the pre-amp to power amp. Not sure if they came with a special shorting connector or not. Let's feed a 1 kHz tone to the 300 and see what comes out:

Advent Model 300 Receiver Audio Measurements.png


Distortion is below 80 dB but because we have a lot of power supply harmonics, it degrades SIAND to just 68 dB which places the unit pretty low in our amplifier rankings:

Best Stereo Vintage Amplifier Review 2020.png


Signal to noise ratio is poor due to aforementioned power supply noise:

Advent Model 300 Receiver SNR Audio Measurements.png


These are yesterday's amplifiers so don't look for hundreds of watts into 4 ohm load:

Advent Model 300 Receiver Power into 4 ohm Audio Measurements.png


Yes, just 23 watts! No wonder the unit runs so cool in use. If we allow distortion to peak higher, we still don't get much output:

Advent Model 300 Receiver Peak and Max Power into 4 ohm Audio Measurements.png


Switching to 8 ohm load reduces available power even more as it normally does:

Advent Model 300 Receiver Power into 8 ohm Audio Measurements.png


Ironic though that it has less noise than a modern AVR, albeit, not a very good one (NAD T758).

Pre-amplifier Performance
I disconnected the power amp and measured the output of the preamplifier using our 1 kHz tone and got this:
Advent Model 300 Receiver Preamp Audio Measurements.png


Distortion is similar to when we were driving the power amp but noise is much lower so SINAD improves 10 dB.

EDIT: by request, here are the phono input measurements.
Phono Input Measurements
As usual we start with our dashboard:

Advent Model 300 Receiver Phono Audio Measurements.png


Distortion is quite low at -90 dB but SINAD suffers due to high level of noise where the gain is the highest (low frequencies).

RIAA equalization is very good except for the high pass filter which is causing some peaking:
Advent Model 300 Receiver Phono RIAA Equalization Audio Measurements.png


Here is the saturation point vs level:
Advent Model 300 Receiver Phono THD+N vs Level Audio Measurements.png


And how distortion (no noise) varies with frequency:
Advent Model 300 Receiver Phono THD vs Freq Audio Measurements.png


We see a typical rise with frequency but there is also some increase in low frequencies, likely caused by the peaking of the level there.

Conclusions
The inefficient speakers of today won't be kind to the Model 300 due to lack of power. With non-competitive noise and distortion, there is not much of a reason to use this amplifier. It does have a vintage look though so perhaps someone would be interested in that aspect of it.

And yes, it is possible that the power supply noise is higher due to age. I can only test what I am given.

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As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

if I had a day job, I could just do this review and get paid. But no, this being the Internet age, I have to be measuring a speaker while I am doing this test. Surely this qualifies for overtime. So please donate what you can using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 
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#7
Nice to see another vintage audio piece tested. A shame to see how it performs considering it is fairly well regarded in certain circles. They seem to sell for a small chunk of change as a result... Doesn't appear to be worth it compared to many other affordable offerings.

I hope others continue to send in older audio equipment so we can continue to form a better picture on whether or not vintage audio holds up to modern offerings. I'd certainly like to see a truly-restored high-end classic amplifier (that was completely recapped and calibrated) tested on here.
 

EchoChamber

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#8
Time to put one of those expensive power conditioner/regenerators in front of it.
They do have a role!
Rebuild the PS instead, and perhaps apply a few filters to the low voltage rails or update the regulators. That will definitely improve things assuming the PS is degrading the SINAD.
 

EchoChamber

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#9
I’m impressed that a (well used) product from the 70’s is able to perform better than much more recent products. The companies producing AVR really do need to revisit their designs... They are spending too much on adding features instead of perfecting the fundamentals.
 
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dreite

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#11
Funny that the treble and volume knobs are reversed. :)
Back in the day, these were popular just for the phono section. Some users purchased them for that purpose only.
Too bad you didn't test that aspect.

Dave.
 

JeffS7444

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#13
Advent 300 is a favorite of mine but I can't say I'm too surprised by test results, as a bit of noise and power supply ripple was visible at the outputs of mine even after I had replaced every single electrolytic and tantalum capacitor. Do you have any means of illustrating the effect of the tone controls and accuracy of RIAA equalization? I really found the treble control especially useful between 11 o'clock and 1 o'clock positions Did you measure output impedance of pre-outs? Was under the impression it was too high to drive more than a short length of cable, at least that seemed true of my unit.
 

Labjr

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#14
Advent 300 is a favorite of mine but I can't say I'm too surprised by test results, as a bit of noise and power supply ripple was visible at the outputs of mine even after I had replaced every single electrolytic and tantalum capacitor. Do you have any means of illustrating the effect of the tone controls and accuracy of RIAA equalization? I really found the treble control especially useful between 11 o'clock and 1 o'clock positions Did you measure output impedance of pre-outs? Was under the impression it was too high to drive more than a short length of cable, at least that seemed true of my unit.
I can't see wasting time for much more than a basic measurements which shows how bad most American companies were at making solid state hi-fi during the 70's.
 
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amirm

amirm

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Thread Starter #15
Do you have any means of illustrating the effect of the tone controls and accuracy of RIAA equalization?
The former I do as I tried to get a flat response but could not:

Advent Model 300 Receiver Frequency Response Audio Measurements.png


You can see the two humps where the treble and bass controls act.
 

Robin L

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#19
"I love the tuner knob on the 300, reminding me of what you would find in a HAM radio"
You wouldn't if you had to live with it, the signal tended to drift.
 

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