Old Is New Again: In Defense of Vintage Technology

Old Is New Again: In Defense of Vintage Technology

Gregory Han
Mar 8, 2011

Unplggd blogger tryout, Ryan Pfleghaar, comes today with a look back at his decades old audio gear, discussing how it has fared throughout the years. Tell us what you think of his sample post below.

030811ryan01.jpgWhen it comes to electronics, there isn't much that gets better with age, or even stays the same. Format wars aren't kind to our beloved devices and we're often forced to get rid of perfectly working equipment because something new and greater has been unveiled. There are a few exceptions to this rule. Records have yet to kick the bucket and there are enough people, young and old, who will keep that format going for years to come. But it begs the question, can you get by with technology created decades ago and not sacrifice quality?

There are products we use daily that haven't changed much since their conception. In this article I going to be specifically talking about speakers but the theory applies to many other electronics or devices. If you're out to have the latest and greatest then this might be an intriguing look into how you might already have that and just not know it.

030811ryan02.jpgPictured above are two Sansui SP-Z6's. They we're created in the 1980's in Japan and max out at about 200 watts. To put this into perspective most surround sound speakers these days are lucky to output 100 watts per channel. If you're pushing close to 200 watts you've spent more on your receiver than I spend on rent for 6 months.

Vintage speakers can add some character to all of these theater-in-a-box setups you always see. The best part? You can pick up some vintage speakers like these on Craigslist for a fraction of the cost of new speakers. If you can sacrifice a little space for big speakers you will gain character and most likely, better sound. This setup is wired for 5.1 surround sound and I've received nothing but complements on how well movies sound, better yet not a single complaint from my neighbors living below me.

What else has aged gracefully? Is there something you use all the time but haven't replaced because unless it breaks there isn't a better one? Let us know in the comments!

Post and photos by Ryan Pfleghaar.

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