Vintage Hi-Fi Part 2

Over the past week or two I have been tinkering with two Sony STR-242L vintage hi-fi receivers (amplifier plus tuner) which I purchased from eBay, with a view to creating one near-perfect device. The project is now complete and I'm very pleased with the results.

I thoroughly cleaned them inside and out and swopped a couple of components between them. I made sure not to touch the Sanyo STK465 stereo amplifier chip as I'd read it's easily damaged and difficult to replace.

A previous owner had used some super sticky tape to hold one of them together and I had to carefully apply acetone to remove it. Otherwise, rubbing alcohol did the job well and made the metal sparkle.

The one that worked better had huge amounts of dust inside and smelled like an old electric fire when it had been on for a few minutes so I carefully removed this with a small paint brush.
Life was simple in 1980 - phono, tape and that's it
A modern receiver connects everything to everything
At the end of this I have one machine which looks fantastic and works well; and a second which works OK and has a few minor scratches. Lindsey's now talking about leaving the second one in the attic and attaching a turntable and some speakers so we can play some vinyl. But that's another story...

Then it was time to install it in our existing, 100% digital system. This was a fairly quick process with the slowest part being hiding the FM antenna behind a bookcase.
Sony and Marantz: 1980 meets 2020
So our totally digital system now has a vintage analogue component added to it. As I always said, I did this mainly for the appearance: I love the look of vintage hi-fi components from the 70s and early 80s, especially the receivers with their warm displays and little blinking signal strength meters. As it starts to get dark in the evening the warmth becomes even more obvious.
The tuner display has a warm glow
The 5-segment signal strength meter blinks pleasingly
I chose the Sony because I thought its styling would complement our existing system and it hasn't disappointed. In fact, it's hard to believe that there is 40 years between them. Aesthetically we now have a real 'old school meets new school' system.
Old school meets new school - made to go together
Does it work? Oh yes. In fact I connected the Tape output to one of the Aux inputs on my Marantz AV receiver so we can now listen to the Sony's tuner through the main system. We live in an area of fairly poor FM reception so, depending on your point of view, we now have either the warm, analogue experience that we've been missing for the past few years; or we have a reminder of the hiss and crackle which made us embrace digital radio as soon as we could.

Personally, I'm agnostic on this. I just like the fact that it works and looks beautiful.