The first indication as to whether or not to invest any money in your unit - is it's age. The older the unit, the more likely it is that you DO want to spend money on it. The second indication is it's weight. If it requires both hands to pickup, and you risk a hernia lifting it... Its definitely something you want to invest in. If your receiver has a dial string tuner, you wont easily replace it's sound with what is available today for less than a grand! If you can pick the unit up with your pinky finger, well, forget it - go buy something new.
The silver faced units are almost a given that they are worth investing in. Some older black faced units are also worth your time and money to get them repaired or restored. Just depends on the model. You can do a quick search on ebay and see what they are going for - be sure to check the 'sold' ones. With few exceptions, if it's selling 'good used' for around $50 - well, it's definitely time to go shopping for a new piece.
The older units just have a warm sound to them, unlike the harshness and brashness found so commonly today - even with pieces costing a grand or more - seriously! You really have to spend a lot of money to get good sound. That's why the older vintage pieces are making a come back! You CAN hear the difference - but only if they are restored!
Why 'if only they are restored'? That's mainly because of the capacitors inside. They age and get dried out. They don't work like they did when new, and technology has changed so much, that the capacitors available today excel at producing some of the smoothest and warmest sound you'll hear.
While the older Receivers and Amplifiers may not be THX certified, the sound they put out is much warmer. Comparing these Vintage Receivers and Amplifiers to today's Hi-Tech toys is like comparing apples to oranges - they are in completely different leagues. If you want a home theater experience - go buy the home theater stuff. If you want to listen to some vinyl or you want to rock, or just want that warm sound again, then these Vintage Receivers and Amplifiers are for you. Of course, you CAN have both... One room for theater, the other for listening to vinyl, tapes or CD's.
It should be noted that not only do we specialize in Vintage Receivers & Amplifier Repair, but we also repair Home Theater and Hi-End Amplifiers and Receivers. We do it all, from tubes and transistors to Mosfets and Class D amps. We've got well over 35 years of Professional experience. We take the time to do it right - so that it sounds better than it did when you bought it.