Consumer electronics have been an integral part of our lives since the heyday of radio during the 1920s and ’30s, the widespread acceptance of television in the 1950s, and the craze for hi-fi audio systems in the 1960s. A parallel to these innovations was the miniaturization of electronic devices, also in the 1960s, when tiny transistors replaced bulky vacuum tubes.

Today, most serious audiophiles still prefer tube components, particularly when it comes to amplifiers. The sound is warmer, they claim, although definitive data to back up this preference is tough to come by. But tubes or not, vintage stereo components such as receivers, tuners, and speakers can be interpreted as a rejection of today’s digitized culture, in which entire libraries of music and video can be toted around in a device smaller than a pack of cigarettes. Stereo buffs would much rather surround themselves with walls of vintage vinyl records, a high-quality turntable to play them on, and perhaps a reel-to-reel tape deck for that rare “Betty board” of the Grateful Dead at the Academy of Music in the spring of 1972.

CB and ham radios represent another class of vintage electronics that have been replaced by current technologies. In the 1970s, CB radios were favorites of long-distance truckers, who used the Class D “citizen’s band” created in 1958 by the Federal Communications Commission to warn each other of hidden highway patrol cars up ahead. An earlier incarnation of amateur communications over public airwaves was the ham radio, which took off after World War I. Unlike CBs, which generally have a range of no more than five miles, ham operators around the world can communicate with kindred spirits beyond the range of their transmitters via networks of repeaters that pick up signals before sending them on their way.

Transistor technology itself is collected in the form of transistor radios and devices such as eight-track tape decks and cassette players, from bulky boomboxes to more elegant devices such as the Sony Walkman. More recently, as the pace of digital technological innovation has accelerated, some people have sought out the first few generations of iPods made by computer pioneer Apple.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

The Vintage Knob

The Vintage Knob

The Vintage Knob is an extensive resource on all types of audio electronics organized by manufacturer, from Aiwa to… [read review or visit site]



Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Rare Sansui Au-20000 Integrated Amplifier W/ Manuals, Audiophile, One-owner!Yamaha B-2 High End Full Sized Hi-fi V-fet Power Amplifier Super Rare Japan 80'sRare Dynaco Dynakit St-70 Tube Amplifier Garrard 401: Transcription Turntable: England W/ Plinth & Sme 3009 Tonearm2 Vintage Nos Genalex Gold Lion B759 12ax7 Ecc83 Gec Matched Tube Pair - EnglandSuper Altec 340a Monoblock Amplifiers 2x 6550 6l6 Lansing Mono Stereo Tube 350aVintage Sansui Tu-9900 Am/fm Stereo Tuner W/ Manual, Audiophile, Excellent ShapeAmazing Ampex 6973 Tube Stereo Power Amp - Legendary Thorens Td-165 Stunning German Turntable Audiophile Classic ~ Look & Read!Vintage Thorens Turntable Td 125 Mk IiSansui Tu-9900 Am/fm Stereo Tuner Nice Condition2 Vintage Nos Genalex Gold Lion Kt66 6l6 6l6gc Gec Matched Tube Pair - EnglandZanden 9600 Tube Mono Amplfiers -kron 845 Triode -originally $52,000 -no ReserveMelos Sha Gold Tube Stereo Preamp & Headphones AmpMcintosh Mc-2125 Power Amplifier Mc2125 With Factory CartonRca 2a3(45) Se Stereo Tube Amp With All Hirata Tango Transformer * Perfect SoundVintage Yamaha Px-3 Direct Drive Linear Tracking Audiophile Turntable, As-isZanden 3000 Preamplifier - Originally $16,500.00 - No ReserveDynaco Dynakit Pas Stereo Tube Preamp Pre-amplifier Rare Audiophile PreamplifierVintage 1920s Old Amplion Antique Wood Flower Petal Antique Radio SpeakerJbl C50 Olympus Speakers Le15a Le85 Lx5 16Fisher 80-az Mono Tube Power Amplifier Amp Valve ~ Stunning + PristineStromberg Carlson Western Electric #35 6l6 5u4 Tube Stereo Power AmplifierTonearm Sme 3012 Series 2 Split Counterweight Stunning ConditionVintage 1940s Fada Art Deco Old Catalin Bakelite Bullet Radio With No Cracks !!!Vintage Marantz Model 9 Original Amplifier - 1960's= Barely Used- Awesome!!!Dual Cs 5000 Turntable-near Mint!Mcintosh Mc275 Gordon Gow Commemorative EditionAltec Peerless 1510a Tube Mic Phono Preamplifier 4629 Input Transformers2 Altec 515b Near Mint Condition Original Cones Vintage Pair Dynaco A-25 (a25) Speakers C1970 Excellent Rca 6bq5 Tube Stereo Amplifier, Single-ended, Model Rs-193f, Rca Victor El84 AmpVintage Marantz 2330 Stereo Receiver(power, Beauty, Amazing Sound, Immaculate!!)Vintage The Fisher 800 Multiplex Tube Stereo Receiver, Rare Amplifier Am/fmMcintosh Mc-7270 Stereo Power Amp In Original Box - Pristine Vintage Mcintosh Mc 2505 Power Amplifier With Service Information PamphletNice Marantz Model 7 Tube Preamplifier Preamp Marantz 7 Marantz 7cBenz Micro L2 Glider Cartridge & NeedlePick Up Only Vintage Speakers Jbl Hartsfield Pair Corner Horn SpeakersVintage Mcintosh Mc 240 Power Amp With Maintenace And Owners Manual4 Vintage Original General Electric Ge Vt-4-c / 211 Matched Amplifier Tube QuadVintage Working Marantz Model 6350 Servo Controldirect Drive Record TurntableVintage Technics Sp-15 Pro Broadcast Transcription Turntable--no Reserve!!Mcintosh C 22 Preamplifier With Slant Leg CabinetMcintosh Mx 110 Tube Stereo Tuner Preamplifier - €Vintage Nos 1955 Amperex Gz34 5ar4 Metal Base Dd Getter Rectifier Tube - HollandVintage Marantz Model 250m Solid State Stereo Power Amplifier W/ Box ~no ReserveAntique 1924 Atwater Kent Model 10c Breadboard Radio W/tubes Yqz2 Vintage Nos 1995 Vaic Valve Avvt Vv52b Western Electric 300b Matched Tube PairMitsubishi Lt-5v Linear Tracking TurntableSansui Au-7700 Integrated Amplifier, Vintage AmplifierVintage Bang & Olufsen Beogram Rx2 Turntable With Mmc 2 Cartridge, WorkingPioneer Rt-909 Stereo 4-track Auto Reverse Mint Condition W/pioneer Hubs & ReelHarman Kardon Citation One PreamplifierVintage Nos 1957 Mullard Gz34 5ar4 Metal Base Dd Getter Rectifier Tube - HollandPair Of Jbl Signature Series 077 Slot Prism Tweeter Very Clean From Jubal L65Vintage Pioneer Quartz Pll Pl-550 Turntable Working Condition W/extrasMasco Me-27 Vintage Blues Harp Tube Amp AmplifierNice Vintage Altec 353a Stereo Amplifier Pre Amplifiertube Lansing 12ax7 5881Vintage Sansui Integrated Amplifier Au-717