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Tour a gorgeous vintage audio treasure trove in Brooklyn

The Audiophiliac visits Stereo Buyers, where rarified gear from hi-fi's heyday dazzles the eye and ear.

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Steve Guttenberg
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1 of 23 Steve Guttenberg/CNET

The Stereo Buyers listening room

I visited Stereo Buyers' Brooklyn, NY headquarters to get a first-hand look at some vintage audio, and there were aisles and aisles of the most rarified gear to drool over. Not only that, owner Adam Wexler had a tasty vintage system ready for my listening pleasure: There was a magnificent Marantz Model 7 stereo preamp, rarer still a pair of Marantz Model 2 mono power amps in the center rack playing JBL L300 Summit speakers. It would be an understatement to say the sound knocked me off my feet! It sounded sweet and oh-so musical. The tall Red Rose Revelation R1 tower speakers lurking behind the JBLs weren't playing, more on them later. 

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JBL L300 Summit speaker

The L300 was the consumer version of JBL's 4333 pro studio monitor speaker. Summits were built from 1975-1982, and they were designed by Greg Timbers, who worked at JBL for 43 years.

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Marantz Model 7 stereo preamplifier

The Model 7 tube stereo preamp was designed and made in New York City when Dwight D. Eisenhower was President of the United States (1957), and today it's prized by vintage audiophiles all over the world. Great designs are timeless.

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Marantz Model 7 detail

Made in the all-analog age the Model 7 has multiple phono equalizer settings that include one for playing 78 RPM records. 

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Marantz Model 2 power amplifier

The Model 7 preamp and a pair of Marantz tube mono power amps were carefully maintained by the previous owner. Now some lucky well-heeled audiophiles will snag these Marantz components. They are the Holy Grail of 1950s American audiophile electronics for a good reason: They still sound amazing. 

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Adam with Red Rose Revelation R1 speaker

These Mark Levinson & Red Rose Music speakers were $45,000 when new in the early 2000s. These speakers use large ribbon tweeters and sixteen Dynaudio drivers, the towers weight 300 pounds (136 kg) each.  

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The rack

Top to bottom: Marantz Model 7 preamp, the Holo Spring digital converter, Marantz Model 2 power amps on the bottom two shelves.

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Bowers & Wilkins 802 D3 speakers

Not all of Stereo Buyers gear is vintage, these magnificent 802s are the current model with the latest diamond tweeters.

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Bowers & Wilkins Signature Diamond speakers

Just a few feet from the 802 D3s stood these beauties that commemorated the company's 40th Anniversary. The Signature Diamond was a limited production model, only 1,000 pair were made. 

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Fisher KM-60 tuner

The company was founded in 1945 by Avery Fisher in New York City. This a fine example of an early 1960s stereo FM turner. 

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Audio Research SP-8 stereo preamp

By the early 1970s transistor designs ruled the audio scene, but then Audio Research in Plymouth, Minnesota came along and said there was still life in those old tubes. In 2018 many audiophiles would still agree. 

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Stereo Buyers technician

That's David going over a pair of old McIntosh tube amps. He checks out every piece to make sure it's in good working condition. Stereo Buyers ships to customers worldwide. 

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Fisher 500B receiver

More early 1960s pizazz courtesy of this tube stereo receiver, complete with the wood case.

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Fisher KX-200 integrated amplifier

Another tube classic design from the golden age of American made audio in the early 1960s. 

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Genesis VI speakers

The Genesis VI speakers were designed by the legendary Arnie Nudell, who was trained as a nuclear physicist and a laser physicist, but found his true calling with speaker design with his two companies, Infinity and later with Genesis. These speakers date from the late 1990s. 

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McIntosh MR78 tuner

This iconic tuner was designed by Richard Modaferri and it uses his patented RIMO filter. MR78s were made from 1972 to 1979 in upstate NY. 

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New York Audio Labs Moscode 600 amplifier

It's kind of ugly, but this early hybrid tube/solid-state power amp from New York Audio Labs, the Moscode 600, is a really powerful amp (300 watts per channel).

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Shindo Masseto stereo preamplifier

Ken Shindo started his company in 1977, and over the years I've had more than a few friends who've been steadfast Shindo fanatics. These made in Tokyo, Japan electronics are lovely sounding pieces.

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Shindo Montille mono amplifier

Of course Shindo preamp owners usually pair them with Shindo power amps, like these Montille mono amplifiers.  

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Racks of gear to geek over

Everywhere I turned there was more gear!

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Another rack

So much stuff!

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I could go on..

It's almost too much.

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It can get a little crazy around the office

Adam shows off his AC DC poster. I had a grand time at Stereo Buyers, thanks Adam!

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