What is a Classic?
Here's how Stan describes a "Classic":
First, we need to realize that “classics” were all once brand new and,
therfore, not classics.
But just getting old does not make a piece of equipment a “classic” in my view.
It also had to be something special during its prime.
In my view, virtually all early Tektronix instruments were special.
I was there in 1960 and had a personal hand in building and testing them.
I know the care and effort that went into their design and manufacture.
Currently, I draw the line at those products introduced by Tektronix after 1969 . . .
they are not classics . . . yet!
Many of them will be, however.
Some will never make “classic” status, in my view.
The magic about the end of 1969 as a “classic dividing line” is that the 7000
series and the TM500 series were introduced about then.
This is the time when Tektronix-made ICs began to show up in abundance and
microprocessors and firmware were being introduced into Tektronix instruments.
Repairing or restoring instruments introduced after the end of 1969 is often a
formidable task (maybe impossible) because the parts are sometimes unavailable
from any source (other than a scrapped instrument).
I expect the average Tek scope made in the 60s to outlive most of those made
in the 70s or 80s if they are properly cared for.
Here's how Bill Den Beste describes a "Classic":
My career at Tektronix began at the close of the vacuum tube era.
In the late 1960's and early 1970's the 453, 454, and 491
defined my horizons as the most wonderful instruments ever made.
As my experience base broadened, I learned about many other incredibly
innovative and fascinating Tek products that had come before.
I would differ a little from Stan by saying that some of the most important Tek instruments were "classics" on the day that they first shipped. I say this because I believe that a number of important concepts that influenced the entire test and measurement industry first saw the light of day in one of these "instant classic" Tek products. Here is my incomplete list: