Saturday, August 30, 2014

STE - SouthEast Technical Enterprises - 1962 Amplifier

The compact, stylish design of these amps flies in the face of "bigger and better" amp designs of the early 1960s. STE didn't quote power specifications. Instead, they claimed their amps would deliver room-filling, clear sound. 

Can't get much simpler than this.

Had to do some research on this one. STE - SouthEast Technical Enterprises manufactured stereo amplifiers in Clearwater, Florida in 1961 - 1963, possibly longer. These dual mono amplifiers were tied to a power source in a nice wooden cabinet. I picked this unit up at a flea market in Carpinteria, Ca, along with a Heathkit FM-4 tuner, which I'll get to in another post.

This had problems - power fluctuations caused uneven sound in both channels. I unplugged it and mothballed it for not. It's a unique piece, worth keeping around, but it won't be making music without some serious help. 

Try our Facebook page for great pics and updates!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A Great Vintage - YOUR New Online Vintage Stereo Marketplace - Opens Tomorrow! Feb 20th.

Launch Tomorrow!

When we launch the vintage stereo site on February 20th, you'll find A Great Vintage is ready to accept your Ads for vintage stereo gear. The site isn't coming pre-loaded with dozens of stereos for sale. As a brand new site, it's up to your to post Ads and get things rolling.
Simply register for the site, then click on the Post Ad link on the right side of any page.

NEW! Appraisal Service

As the owner of, I get many emails per month from people who want to know the value of their audio gear. A Great Vintage will offer a reasonably-priced appraisal service. For only $5 per inquiry, I'll research your item and email you with an estimated fair market value. You'll be able to submit items for appraisal from the "Appraisal Service" link on our site when we launch on Feb 20th.

Lots of exciting features to look forward to! See you in one week.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Pioneer SA-9100

This is my Christmas present to myself. A friend called me two days ago and said he had an "old Pioneer amplifier" that he wanted to unload. As soon as I saw the picture he texted me, I realized I had to make the 25 mile drive to pick it up - quick!

He inherited this from the original owner who bought it new in 1973. The heritage is exactly what one looks for when purchasing 40-year-old gear - one owner and well-appreciated. This shows virtually no signs of wear. The case and front panel are pristine. Took the knobs and switches off and electrostatically cleaned them using Simple Green as the solution. Wiped the cabinet down with furniture polish. Sprayed Caig tuner cleaner on all pots, switches and worked them well to help ensure static-free use.

I'm sure the electrolytic caps are dried up, but these old Japanese units hold up really well. It still sounds nice. This could be a candidate for full reconditioning. Stay tuned.

Power output: 60 watts per channel into 8 ohms (stereo) Frequency response: 10Hz to 70kHz Total harmonic distortion: 0.1% Damping factor: 70 Input sensitivity: 2mV (mic), 2.5mV (MM), 150mV (line) Signal to noise ratio: 70dB (mic), 80dB (MM), 90dB (line) Output: 150mV (line), 30mV (DIN), 2V (Pre out) Speaker load impedance: 4 to 16 ohms Semiconductors: 63 x transistors, 30 x diodes Dimensions: 430mm (17") x 138mm (5.5") x 341mm (!3.5"). Weight: 13.6kg (30 lbs). Year: 1974. The above was copied from HiFi Engine.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

New Vintage Stereo Online Marketplace - Newsletter Sign-Up


The Vintage Stereo Online Marketplace that I've promised will launch shortly after the first of the year! 

I've created a weekly newsletter to keep you informed of the progress, so please sign up. It's free and you can unsubscribe at any time.

The newsletter will give you valuable information that you won't find anywhere else. It will also be the recuiting ground for the site testing that I'll need, so if you want to get in on the ground floor of this new site and test it out for me, you'll need to subscribe.

Here's a link to the newsletter subscription form. Click on it then email it to friends, post to forums, on Facebook, Twitter:

Thanks so much for your support! 

Tom Jordan

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

[Guest Post] Marantz 1030 Integrated Amplifier

Marantz 1030 Integrated Amplifier (1973-1977, $180 MSRP)

[This was written by HiFi Community Member, Frank. Thanks Frank!]

Although the Marantz 1030 is an integrated amplifier that was the bottom rung of Marantz’s integrated amplifier lineup, there’s no reason to write it off.  As it’s name implies, this model generates 30 watts of power over both channels (15 watts per channel) at 4 or 8 ohms.

It’s true that 30 watts seems miniscule, especially when compared with Marantz’s other offerings, like the Marantz 2500 receiver that conservatively produces 200 watts per channel.  

But, paired with some efficient speakers, this little amp can make a system sing.  It’s capacitor coupled amplifier section creates a unique sound signature that is neither overly warm, or too clinical.  This little Marantz would make an excellent choice for a small vintage audio system in your bedroom or study.


Output:  15 watts per channel @ 4 and 8 Ohms
Tota Harmonic Distort.:  Less than 0.5% at rated output.
Damping Factor:  >45 @ 8 ohms.
Weight: 16.5 lbs

Check out more vintage audio equipment, including pictures and information at


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