• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required. There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Classic Integrated Amplifiers!

MAB

Major Contributor
Joined
Nov 15, 2021
Messages
2,066
Likes
4,653
Location
Portland, OR, USA
I'm a fan of classic integrated amplifiers, so I thought I would start a thread to celebrate these great devices!
The 1970's and '80s seemed to me as the heyday for integrated amplifiers. Several manufacturers had models with flagship performance and features. These features made it down to models lower in the line and were fantastic alternatives to receivers, and often had better performance and more flexible features. The minimum set for an integrated was typically two or three line-level inputs, a phono input, and a tape loop, speaker selection, plus a headphone jack. High end models had more inputs, multiple tape loops, multiple phono inputs with adjustable loading, processor loops, and pre-out and main-in. They are in many ways future proof. One of my favorite manufacturers is Yamaha. I bought a CA-2010 nearly 40 years ago and have listened to it almost every day since. Yamaha has kept to this aesthetic, and many of the new crop of retro-style gear seems to follow suit as well, even as many manufacturers omit some of the nice features that made these pieces great back in the day.
1695108645482.png

1695108632135.png

I've used it in so many configurations: multiple analog and digital tape gear looped, outboard processing like a Yamaha DSP-1 surround field processor and outboard amps, with an external electronic subwoofer crossover. The amp has Class A mode which is inaudible unless you clip the amp, then the Class A mode becomes audible.;) The tone control section is nice too. To be honest, if you want to improve on this old design in a modern unit, you could swap the tone controls for DSP-based PEQ, implement Yamaha's very good variable loudness in DSP as well. Extra credit would be flexible IO for multi sub integration. Double extra credit would be RIAA EQ in DSP.:)

On the other end of the spectrum, there were many micro-component systems available. I see micro-components are in fashion again! I have an Aiwa micro-system including an A22 integrated amp. Another piece that has seen daily use in my family. It is cute and has features that modern micro-components often omit. It's not as luxurious or performant as the CA-2010, but it has a good feel with well thought out front panel.
1695148146866.png


It was part of an entire ecosystem of components:
1695148591082.png


Mix and match at your peril!:eek: Unfortunately, it seemed that the competition was stiff and many manufacturers started releasing new redundant models, similar to the predicament we have with current micro-craze.
1695148674638.png



Sometimes manufactures reach a bit too hard. Kyocera had a line of very nice sounding gear. The TOTL A-910 and A-710 integrated amplifiers showcased Kyocera's expertise in ceramics.
1695148955794.png

1695149008446.png


Combined with the performance of their tuner, these units were really good sounding and packed with features. Unfortunately, the desire to implement Kyocera's ceramics expertise in proprietary components made these fragile and nearly unserviceable, with nearly 100% long term reliability. And these suffer from another recently revived craze as reported here: encapsulated components that lead to poor reliability.

There are of course holy-grail types, like the Sansui AU-20000. I always found these desirable!
1695155050099.png


There are so many other manufacturers and models. I would be happy to hear from the community about their experiences with integrated amplifiers, both classic and modern. And some pictures!
 
Last edited:

pablolie

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 8, 2021
Messages
1,945
Likes
3,192
Location
bay area, ca
Awesome - integrated amps will always be my preference, and classic ones rock it! My Dad owned the Sansui in there - what a tank it was and how awesome it was. I "borrowed" it when he bought a Revox integrated amp. Anything made by Sansui/Revox/Accuphase remains stellar (as are several others).

revox1.jpg
 

Adaboy4z

Active Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2022
Messages
186
Likes
200
Here are my two vintage receivers and one amp. Yamaha CR-600, CR-2040 and B2. I have the matching C2 preamp and T1 tuner for the B2. The Realistic receiver was just recently sold.
 

Attachments

  • Yamaha B2.jpg
    Yamaha B2.jpg
    368.1 KB · Views: 115
  • Yamaha CR-600.jpg
    Yamaha CR-600.jpg
    996.6 KB · Views: 114
  • Yamaha CR-2040.jpg
    Yamaha CR-2040.jpg
    323.4 KB · Views: 117

Adaboy4z

Active Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2022
Messages
186
Likes
200
I had one of these.

Sony TA F870ES.

Sold it and started walking backwards‍
That was a nice amp. I would never sell my B2. I might sell off the others to down size in the future.
 
OP
MAB

MAB

Major Contributor
Joined
Nov 15, 2021
Messages
2,066
Likes
4,653
Location
Portland, OR, USA
Awesome - integrated amps will always be my preference, and classic ones rock it! My Dad owned the Sansui in there - what a tank it was and how awesome it was. I "borrowed" it when he bought a Revox integrated amp. Anything made by Sansui/Revox/Accuphase remains stellar (as are several others).

View attachment 313246
Those Revox do rock. I love the minimalist style too.
 
OP
MAB

MAB

Major Contributor
Joined
Nov 15, 2021
Messages
2,066
Likes
4,653
Location
Portland, OR, USA
Here are my two vintage receivers and one amp. Yamaha CR-600, CR-2040 and B2. I have the matching C2 preamp and T1 tuner for the B2. The Realistic receiver was just recently sold.
Those CR-2040 has such a sleek look. I have resisted the urge to buy one over the years, the do come up used from time time. It has every feature imaginable. It seems you have your Yamaha bases covered. Do you have some NS-1000 to go with that? Thanks for sharing!
 

Adaboy4z

Active Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2022
Messages
186
Likes
200
Those CR-2040 has such a sleek look. I have resisted the urge to buy one over the years, the do come up used from time time. It has every feature imaginable. It seems you have your Yamaha bases covered. Do you have some NS-1000 to go with that? Thanks for sharing!
I have the NS-670 in mint condition. I found the CR-600, B2, T1 tuner and speakers at the same estate sale.
 

Attachments

  • Yamaha NS-670.jpg
    Yamaha NS-670.jpg
    309.5 KB · Views: 86

Ken1951

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Sep 28, 2020
Messages
828
Likes
1,736
Location
Blacksburg, VA
sj3i8kfwjxkw5jsgkymg.jpg

Kenwood KA- 7002. It was my second ever piece of HiFi gear. Replaced my Kenwood KR-4140 in my senior year of college (1972). Had it measured at a McIntosh clinic at the audio store I went to work for after graduation. FR was flat and both distortion and noise were low. Lovely piece of kit.
 
OP
MAB

MAB

Major Contributor
Joined
Nov 15, 2021
Messages
2,066
Likes
4,653
Location
Portland, OR, USA
sj3i8kfwjxkw5jsgkymg.jpg

Kenwood KA- 7002. It was my second ever piece of HiFi gear. Replaced my Kenwood KR-4140 in my senior year of college (1972). Had it measured at a McIntosh clinic at the audio store I went to work for after graduation. FR was flat and both distortion and noise were low. Lovely piece of kit.
That's a keeper.
The status lights are beautiful. And the volume knob looks perfect. I'm sure it sounds great.
 
OP
MAB

MAB

Major Contributor
Joined
Nov 15, 2021
Messages
2,066
Likes
4,653
Location
Portland, OR, USA
I have fond memories of my Pioneer SA-9100. Currently running a silver Parasound Hint, which I consider to be a reliable modern-day take on classic integrateds.
View attachment 313265
Wow!
Two bass and two treble tone controls! That 20kHz knob isn't doing much for me now.;) But 50 and 100Hz bass could sure be useful!
That is a seriously nice piece. My roommate years ago had the more modern version with the blue fluorescent meters:
SA9800.jpg

It was tremendous.
 

DSJR

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Messages
3,181
Likes
4,296
Location
Suffolk Coastal, UK
Whatever happened to us in the UK in the late 70's?

We abandoned all of the above because we thought that a collection of bland black boxes with then stick-on makers name labels, no facilities at all (yet severe fixed band limiting filters inside with corresponding phase distortion originally) locked together with archaic DIN cables actually 'sounded better' and served the music better than these far eastern shiny behemoths...

Memories now popping up but I'll muddy the water if I go on much more. All these butch amps looked fab, but how many actually performed well? Not all of them did I recall and back then before measurements were simplified and then buried in the 80's, IMD, TID, power bandwidth, crossover distortion which was still around then and low impedance load abilities were well discussed...
 

tmtomh

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 14, 2018
Messages
2,573
Likes
7,269
Some great amps here. Aesthetically, I've always really liked Yamaha's long and narrow selector switches - to me they look so much more elegant than a round knob and when it comes to rotary click-type switches they're also more ergonomic. I don't know how the measurements of the classic '70s and early '80s amps actually might compare, but Yamaha always had a reputation for high performance and clean, neutral sound (as opposed, for example, to the "three martini" sound some folks say Marantz amps and receivers had), and I appreciated that too.

Never got a chance to play with a Revox amp (or any Revox gear), but always wanted to - unique looks and good built quality (as far as I know).
 

Rottmannash

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Nov 11, 2020
Messages
2,957
Likes
2,589
Location
Nashville
I had one of these.

Sony TA F870ES.

Sold it and started walking backwards‍
Oh, not the spontaneous twin drive! :eek: I never understood what they meant by that? 2 channels of output? Kidding.
 

Rottmannash

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Nov 11, 2020
Messages
2,957
Likes
2,589
Location
Nashville
1695217807335.jpeg
NAD 3140. My first amp ever. Now have a spare, although never use them. They're like grown children-don't need them around but have sentimental value.
 
Top Bottom