Does anyone else like vintage HiFi gear?

GRtak

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It is a 5 disc cd changer with a record player platter on top.



I have a Laser Disc player like that, but it has a drawer that hides everything.
 

JTuhka

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I'm moving some stuff from storage next week and I'll post some rare car audio components I've slowly collected.

All of it is late 80's to early 90's Alpine so here's something to watch in the meantime.

1989 Alpine product introduction for US retailers
-Cheesy infomercial that is only improved by the VHS glitch.
-The alarm system at the end is still cool. Remote controlling alarm and comfort functions over the phone in 1989!


1989 "The competitive edge": Benefits of Alpine amplifiers over competitors
-For sad nerds who actually wanted to hear about alpine amps instead of Sandy's reincarnating dog.

 

JTuhka

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Here's some brochures for reference:
https://www.vintagecaraudio.se/startsida/alpine/alpine-1990-en/ <-speakers, amplifiers and equalizer
https://www.vintagecaraudio.se/startsida/alpine/alpine-1991-en/ <-headunits
https://www.vintagecaraudio.se/startsida/alpine/alpine-1993-94-en/ <-better info about Digital Link system

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Let's start with the headunits. 7618R and 7619R were the flagship Alpine cassetteradios in the early 90's. The only difference between them is the radio reciever (7619R had DYNAS for improved reception). Some sources claim they were introduced in 1989 but I assume it was some japanese market version as they seem appear in european brochures in 1991. No internal amplification so these were only meant to be used with more serious systems with external amplifiers. Latest tape head and mechanism, this is were the compact cassette peaked at Alpine. Not only were they able to control CD-changers they also were capable of controllling Digital Link (aka Digital Max or "Juba") components that included external D/A converter for CD-changer, digital equalizer with sound field control or digital time/frequency processor. A small IR-remote was also included. These headunits were the last ones with the iconic Alpine button look and pull-out anti theft feature when they were discontinued in 1994.

Chris Harris wrote about his old 7618R on Pistonheads blog back in 2012: Pistonheads.com: PH Blog: Radio Gaga

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Parametric Equalizer 3401 was introduced in 1988~1989 and sold until 1992. Unlike typical dash mounted graphic equalizers of the era these were concealed set and forget units intended for professional adjustment with real time analyzers. Since the retro bling of VU meters and spectrum analyzer screens isn't here they are often much cheaper to find.

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Here's the equalizer in a partial system suggested by a brochure (refer "System 4" from 1990 brochure).
Two big 4-channel amps (3552 S and 3554) would be running in bridged mode to feed two 2-way speakers each.
The rear speakers seen here are from the top of the line "Reference series". All made in Japan. The speakers are from 1988~1989 to 1990. The amps are from 1988 to 1992.

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This one is a much more common rear deck set up with 3-way speakers and small 2-channel amp (refer "System 2" from 1990 brochure, the speaker is the same but in 6X9 form). These are mid-tier products. The amp was made in South Korea and has Molex-plugs instead of the gilded connectors of the bigger amps. The speakers were made in Taiwan. Still great sounding stuff. The amp has the same type of Duo-Beta circuitry as the bigger ones and can also be bridged. The current pricing for the amp (3540) is all over the place since it was also factory fitted to early Diablos. The amp was available from 1988 to 1992 while the speakers were from 1988~1989 to 1990.

Eurospares.co.uk: Diablo (1991) Part Diagrams 59.01.01 Radio Set (Valid for June 1992 Version)

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JTuhka

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Dad splurged on some Nakamichi stuff in the late 1990s, good stuff as I remember. I even put one of their headunits in the truck I had at the time. Seems they don't really sell any of that in the US market these days. Just the typical soundbar stuff.

I wondered what Nakamichi was doing lately and found out late 90's was probably the last time they offered anything special.
They were bought in 1998 by Hong Kong based Grande Holdings that also owns Akai and Sansui brands.

Niro Nakamichi started his own brand soon after but that story is just sad. They tried selling high end amplifiers but it didn't work out.
They currently use their history and brand to sell outdated home surround sound systems.

http://us.niro1.com/aboutus2.php

Shame that so many old brands have been taken over by investors that cut corners and outsourced to china. I noticed only recently that MB Quart in germany suffered the same fate back in 2004. At least they still exist in another form. Their old crew run a new company under GermanMaestro brand.
 

93Flareside

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I wondered what Nakamichi was doing lately and found out late 90's was probably the last time they offered anything special.
They were bought in 1998 by Hong Kong based Grande Holdings that also owns Akai and Sansui brands.

Niro Nakamichi started his own brand soon after but that story is just sad. They tried selling high end amplifiers but it didn't work out.
They currently use their history and brand to sell outdated home surround sound systems.

http://us.niro1.com/aboutus2.php

Shame that so many old brands have been taken over by investors that cut corners and outsourced to china. I noticed only recently that MB Quart in germany suffered the same fate back in 2004. At least they still exist in another form. Their old crew run a new company under GermanMaestro brand.

Well, same goes for Telefunken and Grundig. Recently Onkyo was bought out too.
 
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