Category Archives: Vintage Amplifiers & Hi-Fi

Empire Speakers

Grenadier 6000 Empire speakers

Empire Speakers Model 6000

This rare matching pair of Empire 6000 vintage speakers are from their mid-60's Grenadier Speaker System line. Like other Grenadiers, these Model 6000 Empire Speakers are shaped like hexagonal column end tables with round tops. The 3-way 75-watt speakers have a nice 12-inch woofer hidden in the base of the cabinet, pointed down at a dome-shaped plastic housing that forces the sound to radiate outward 360 degrees. The plastic dome also conveniently hides all of the crossover wiring, too. A mid-range driver and tweeter are mounted in a more traditional location, and are well-protected by highly detailed removable cast aluminum grille covers. The imitation walnut veneer cabinets measure 24 inches tall. Though not as powerful as the marble-topped Empire 9000 model, it seems to be a fairly general opinion that these Empire 6000 speakers have a more balanced and natural sound than their big brother. I have never heard the Empire 9000, but I can say that these Empire 6000 speakers do sound amazingly clear and full. Cosmetically, they could be in better shape. However, they still look pretty good despite the random scratch and some peeling veneer on the base stands. They have been fully tested, all speakers are working properly, and they really do sound awesome. They have a classic funky retro look and are sure to be an instant conversation piece in any home decor. read more

Sound-Craft Systems Vintage Horn Speakers

sound-craft vintage horn speakers

Vintage Horn Speakers

This awesome pair of Sound-Craft vintage horn speakers will cut through any noise with serious power. Two classic steel siren horns in Machine Age putty gray are mounted on a pair of heavy duty professional aluminum tripods that adjust from approximately 20 inches to 52 inches. Everything fits inside a custom-designed rugged portable case. These vintage horn speakers were assembled by Sound-Craft Systems "Atop Petit Jean Mountain, Morrilton, Arkansas, USA". I'm not certain, but these horns look like they were made by Federal Signal Products. They have two metal tab connectors. I tested them by simply connecting them to our home stereo system. You can forget about deep bass response, but these have a classic in-your-face sound. They would be perfect for simple public address purposes, or can be used to supplement a current PA setup for added high-end tones. Personally, we think these vintage horn speakers look ultra-cool and think they would be perfect for a garage band keyboardist or organ player! read more

Realistic Minimus 7 Speakers

realistic minimus 7

This pair of Realistic Minimus 7 speakers are the "white woofer" model 40-2030B, the third edition of of one of the most popular speaker system lines ever sold. These Japanese-made Minimus 7 speakers have the original sealed aluminum cabinet design and domed speaker grill covers. Each of these tiny little bookshelf monitors feels as heavy as a brick and delivers 40 watts of crisp clear and powerful sound. The original retail price for the Minimus 7 in the late 1970s was $49.95 at your friendly local Radio Shack, and Realistic (and later Optimus) manufactured different versions of the Minimus 7 into the late 1990s. As with most electronics manufacturers, the quality began to decline as the years went on, but the original Minimus 7 is a rightfully well-respected bookshelf monitor. Each black aluminum cabinet houses a heavy-magnet large excursion 4-inch woofer with foam surround, and a small 1.25-inch dome tweeter. They make a fabulous pair of bookshelf speakers for your office, and would be perfect as a clear and powerful pair of rear satellite speakers your modern surround sound system. The cabinets each measure 7 1/16 inches x 4 7/16 inches x 4 15/16 inches and have built-in hangers for easy wall-mounting. There is an inexpensive crossover upgrade kit for these Realistic Minimus 7 speakers available online. I have never heard an upgraded pair, but based on other opinions I have read, the upgrade makes a noticeable difference in the sound quality of a speaker that already sounds great.  When I pulled these out of storage, one of the grills was actually pushed in and had dented the tiny dome tweeter. I removed the grill, popped it back out, and was able to fix the caved-in dome by carefully utilizing a vacuum cleaner hose to suck the dome back out into proper position (that vacuum cleaner hose technique really works...I have rescued four different speakers using this tip!). The Realistic Minimus 7 is both a legendary and affordable vintage stereo Hi-Fi accessory. Why not give the Realistic Minimus 7 a try? read more

Vintage Philips Receiver AH7861

vintage philips receiver AH7861

This hard-to-find American-made vintage Philips receiver model AH7861 was manufactured around 1977 and stores a healthy 45 watts per channel in its massive oversized cabinet measuring 21 inches X 12.25 inches x 5.75 inches. This unit is part of the short-lived High Fidelity Laboratories series, which was Philips' attempt to break into the growing high-end stereo market of the '70s. The original manufacturers suggested retail price for this model in 1977 was $325.00. The Philips AH7861 BK01 has sharp black anodized aluminum face with matching aluminum knobs and switches (hence the additional BK01 in the full model number). It has a pleasing yellow backlit tuning dial with a nice wide array and a big smooth-turning knob that helps you fine-tune your favorite stations. Of course, the analog needle meters for signal strength and center tuning lets you know when you have the strongest signal. The Philips AH7861 has stereo inputs for Phono / Turntable, Aux, and two tape inputs/outputs. It also has a couple of signal processors like a high filter cut and a loudness boost. You can also go back and forth between stereo and mono signals with the flip of a switch. It sounds as good as it looks, and has more than enough power for normal human ears. read more

Sansui AX-7 Audio Mixer

Sansui AX-7 Audio Mixer

The 1978 Sansui AX-7 Audio Mixer is truly a one-of-a-kind piece of vintage electronics.

For starters, the Sansui AX-7 Audio Mixer works just like a standard audio mixer, with four separate inputs and corresponding 1/4-inch jacks conveniently located on the front underneath their respective control sets. A versatile piece of vintage electronics, The Sansui AX-7 Audio Mixer has two effects loop inputs, as well as an onboard analog spring reverberation effect that can be applied to input signals. Each of the four channels have a panpot, a level control, and selectable spring reverb for the mic / line inputs. Essentially, the Sansui AX-7 Audio Mixer works just like a typical 4-channel console mixer found in recording studios and concert venues, but it is attached to your hi-fi stereo setup and is much more aesthetically pleasing. It has a black painted aluminum face with dense plastic knobs, and is designed to fit in perfectly with the highly sought after "black faced" Sansui line from 1978-1981. Impromptu band rehearsals through your home stereo are a snap with the Sansui AX-7. Crossfading of input signals and microphone capabilities with reverb makes the Sansui AX-7 an ultimate disco DJ / karaoke / party machine, and your friends will surely be impressed at your next gathering. Not everybody wants to start a band in their living room or to be an amateur DJ, but the Sansui AX-7 Audio Mixer is not some "novelty" piece relegated only for dedicated Sansui completists and collectors. The Sansui AX-7 has a place in everyone's vintage Hi-Fi outfit, as it adds multiple source input capabilities to vintage receivers and integrated amps, so you can add multiple peripheral devices, like CD / DVD players, iPods / MP3 players, computers, tv and satellite signals, cassette decks, guitars, synthesizers, etc, etc, etc. You can also connect your old Sansui QS-500, Dolby decoders, and other vintage effects processors through the two adaptor loops.  The Sansui AX-7 Audio Mixer measures 16 7/8 inches x 10 inches x 4 1/4 inches. The Sansui AX-7 Audio Mixer is a fairly rare and hard to find piece of vintage electronics, but if any are available for purchase on the internet, you will see them below. read more

Linear Tracking Turntables

mitsubishi LT-20 linear tracking turntable

Linear Tracking Turntables

The jury will forever be deadlocked on whether the pivot arm or the linear tracking turntable is better. Many believe they provide a more physiologically correct playing position for the cartridge stylus. One thing cannot be denied; linear tracking turntables are a genuine historic time capsule from the computer age, and they look REALLY COOL in action! Below are a few examples of vintage linear tracking turntables we have come across. read more

Pioneer SE-30 Headphones

pioneer SE-30 headphones

This totally retro pair of vintage Pioneer SE-30 headphones has unbeatable Space Age '60s style.

Pioneer SE-30 headphones were manufactured between 1968 and 1971, which is probably why they look like they came from the set of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. The earpiece shells are covered in a padded white faux leather type material that make these headphones more stylish than just about anything. They sound pretty amazing for late ‘60s gear, so they’re guaranteed to make you look cool while being highly useable. These have a straight audio cable, not a coiled one. We know…those old-school coiled wires do look neat, but that old rubber tends to stretch and wear out over time, leaving an ugly, tangled mess. Pioneer SE-30 headphones are equipped with a standard ¼ inch stereo plug, so if you want to use them with your cassette Walkman you’ll need to buy an adapter plug at your friendly local Radio Shack. This particular pair of Pioneer SE-30 headphones was in excellent condition and was complete with its original red satin-lined decorative box and instruction manual (instructions were in Japanese only, but they also included a schematic diagram for future maintenance). The inner foam discs were dry from age, one was starting to shed a bit. When was the last time anyone found a pair of pre-1970’s headphones with their foam pads intact, anyway? We suggest simply dusting this rotten foam out. After all, you’re not going jogging in these things, are you? Pioneer SE-30 headphones are very comfortable, sound fabulous, and would be perfect for DJs or anyone who needs both a high-quality and high-style pair of authentic vintage stereophones. We sold our pair of Pioneer SE-30 headphones after I hoarded them in my closet for 2 years, not wanting to give them up. However, I have sworn by the same pair of Pioneer SE-305 headphones since I was a child listening to Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here on my parent’s Realistic tape deck. Pioneer SE-30 headphones show up quite often on eBay, along with plenty of later models manufactured throughout the 1970’s (like my 305’s), all with a nearly identical look. read more

Vintage Sansui Receivers

vintage sansui receiver

The Vintage Sansui Receiver

The Sansui name is perhaps the most respected, sought-after, and truly beloved of the great Hi-Fi manufacturers of the 1960's and 1970's. The vintage Sansui receiver is truly an icon of audio history. Below are a few vintage Sansui receivers we have found or inherited over the past few years, so scroll down to read about the Sansui 5050, the Sansui 5500, the Sansui 7070, and check out some of the amazing vintage Sansui receivers you can buy on the internet! For true Sansui lovers, we also have a Vintage Sansui Amplifiers page and a Vintage Sansui Tuners page for your viewing pleasure. read more