Nikko out of stock
Akai was founded in Japan by Masukichi Akai and his son, Saburo Akai as "Akai Electric Company Ltd". a manufacturer in 1929. Akai's products included reel-to-reel audiotape recorders (such as the GX series), tuners (top level AT, mid level TR and TT series), audio cassette decks (top level GX and TFL, mid level TC, HX and CS series), amplifiers (AM and TA series), receivers and turntables, speakers and much more.
Akai AM-U03 digital integrated amp and Akai AT-K03 digital tuner (80'-82') $125
Early 80's entry into the silver-faced, matching higher-end rack system units, 37W x 2 and digitized tuner with walnut veneer on metal cases...a VERY nice vintage system from one of the best of the Japanese electronics companies.
The company was founded as Tandbergs Radiofabrikk (the Tandberg Radio Factory) in Oslo in 1933. The company's first radio was named "Tommeliten" (Tom Thumb), and used only earphones. Their stereo receivers found followers throughout Europe and were considered to be very well made with attention to detail and having excellent tuners. They are considered somewhat rare in the USA but have developed a cult following among collectors. To say the least, their design concepts are unique.
Tandberg out of stock
OPTONICA (SHARP ELECTRONICS, JAPAN)
The Optonica brand was created and first launched by Sharp in 1976 as a separate high-end brand to compete directly with Pioneer, Technics (Panasonic), Fisher, Marantz, Nakamichi, Sansui, Kenwood and Sony. Sharp Electronics Corporation of Japan was founded in 1912 and takes its name from one of its founder’s first invention, the "Ever-Sharp" mechanical pencil. Obviously, they also designed and sold much more over the years. By the mid-70's their electronic equipment (mostly gadget oriented items sold in catalogs and department stores) was well situated in the USA. Major decisions were made to move into the select high-end stereo component market. They absolutely hit a home run with their Optonica lineup. Unique, powerful and definitely well built, they are now very well known and commanding prices approaching the better Marantz and Pioneer units.
Optonica SA-5406 (1980) 65W x 2 $400
The elusive, beautiful, powerful and distinctive Optonica SA-5406 stereo receiver was originally being held back and was not going to be released for sale...obviously, we changed our minds.
This was second to the top of the line in this very excellent series and is rarely seen for sale. High quality internal build with unique and lovely "teardrop" knobs and real rosewood case puts this unit on the top shelf. Buyer will also get an additional SA-5406 for parts.
Another famous Japanese company that, besides designing and producing gobs of their own fine quality audio equipment, also manufactured OEM electronics for most of the major audio companies during the 1970's. Not as well known as some of the "big" names, they were a late entry into the "monster receiver wars" (the outstanding Toshiba SA-7150 at 150 watts per channel comes to mind). Bottom line: they used their own parts and mostly designed everything in house. A major plus.
Toshiba SA-420 (1977) 35W x 2 $145
Toshiba receivers are considered "under the radar" simply because they don't turn up that often and they didn't spend as much on advertising as the competition. The SA-420 is certainly more powerful than its rated wattage. It's a nicely styled receiver with twin tuning meters, great silver face design, solid power and very low distortion. There is some minor peeling on the walnut veneer case but, overall, this is one very nice piece of vintage history.
The company started under the name of Osaka Denki Onkyo K.K in 1946. Onkyo grew as an innovator and fashioned itself into a force in audio, making the name Onkyo synonymous with sonic excellence and high-quality loudspeakers and components. Through the 70's, Onkyo, in an attempt to stay relevant in the crowded HiFi market, put all the marbles into development of the TX-2500 and TX-4500 receivers. It worked. The receivers were critically acclaimed. They continue to attract collectors and are consistently rising in value (depending on the particular units)
Onkyo out of stock
Founded in 1947 by Herman Hosmer Scott (HH Scott, Inc)., it was one of the best brands of high fidelity equipment in the United States, primarily beginning in the tube era (late 50's and 60's) and on into the rise of solid state into the 70's. Like many excellent but smaller companies with limited advertising budgets, Scott wasn't able to compete with the giants (Pioneer, Sony, Technics, etc) in mass merchandising but instead relied on the excellence of their products and reviews by experts.
HH Scott out of stock
Lux Corporation was founded in Japan on June 1925. By the mid 1970s and early 1980s Luxman came to prominence of the world hi-fi community due to the quality of sound of their equipment. Stereo Review magazine went so far as to describe the Luxman R-1040 and R-1050 as being just under some of the McIntosh units in the same category! Luxman's primary specialty was in making vacuum tube amplifiers of the highest caliber. In 1984 Luxman became part of Alpine Electronics, another Japanese electronics brand.
Luxman R-3055 ('76-'79)55W x 2 $250
As often said, this feels WAY more powerful than its listed wattage and it has Luxman's famous Duo-Beta circuitry. More features include: LED power meters, Acculock tuning, LED tuning direction indicators, two tape and aux inputs, phono selector for both MM and MC inputs,
efficient cooling with a heat pipe system instead of using heavy heatsinks and, of course, a lovely real rosewood veneer case.
Luxman R1040 (1978) 40W x 2 $300
Easily more powerful than its listed rating, it has the noted luxurious design and, as the immense majority of receivers that were made in Japan, it was export-only.
Elegant design, lush and warm sound...the build quality is top notch with great tuning specifications and its recognizable center-tuning display...Very good looking in its genuine (real!) rosewood enclosure...Luxman elegance is recognized world-wide.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++SANSUIFounded in Tokyo in 1947, Sansui initially manufactured electronic parts. By the 1960s, they had developed a reputation for making serious audio components. They were sold in foreign markets through that and the next decade. Sansui's amplifiers and tuners from the 1960s and 1970s continue to remain in high demand by audio enthusiasts.Sansui out of stock
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++YAMAHAMost folks do not realize this, but Yamaha is one of the oldest companies in existence, (certainly when it comes to music gear) and was actually established in 1887. The company's origins as a musical instrument manufacturer is still reflected today in the group's logo—a trio of interlocking tuning forks. While it's surely open to debate, it's been said that Yamaha products are known as having about the best 'resale value' of any brand, regardless of the product class.Yamaha CR-400
(1976) 20W x 2 $190
Don't let the wattage fool you, the CR-400 is the best of the lower powered receivers put out by the competition (with the exception of the very good Pioneer SX-4xx series)
With its all discreet circuitry, you don't have any unobtainable ICs to contend with down the road...
the CR400 has real pre-amp outputs so you could use it as a pre-amp. We just wired in four new 14v 300ma lamps (a bit brighter than stock!)
The cosmetically elegant design of this mid-70's CR series has definite eye appeal. The good looking wraparound medium tan pine veneer case is unique to Yamaha and makes the whole package very desirable and it also has outputs for two pairs of speakers...Yamaha CR-450
(1978) 30W x 2 $225
Not content to leave a good thing alone, Yamaha designed the 450 as an upgrade over the previously excellent CR-400/420 units. With more power, slightly less harmonic distortion and a tweak here and there, they came out with another very popular and beautiful receiver. Handsome and elegant, the brushed aluminum faceplate is distinctively Yamaha. Very good cosmetic condition and new 14v lamps make this one a keeper.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++CONCEPT / REFERENCE / QUADRAFLEX / TRANSAUDIO
We had the good fortune to have worked at Pacific Stereo in the very early days (back when they only had three stores!) Today, it's not commonly known but, at one time, (late 70's) all the house brands listed directly below (and almost all other well-known brands of the time) were sold by Pacific Stereo. As one of the largest stereo chain stores in the USA (especially in the West) they eventually faded away but not before they left behind a legacy of some very fine equipment they designed in-house but were made in Japan. The Concept units were first tier (top of the lineup) followed in order of "quality" by the Reference series, Quadraflex series and, at the bottom was Transaudio. The Concept 16.5 stereo receiver (165 watts per channel) is considered by many to be one of the best of the "Holy Grail" of vintage receivers.
Concept out of stock
Reference: 450R (by Quadraflex, 1978) 45W x 2 DEPOSIT
Second from the top of the Reference line from Pacific Stereo. This is a heavy, reliable and gorgeous well-built beast. Satin blackface with dark blue lamps, power meter and indicator lamps. Walnut side panels.
Reference: 240R (by Quadraflex, 1978) 24W x 2 DEPOSIT
Described best as a solid, reliable workhorse, the 240R has the same elegant look of all the Reference series by Quadraflex. Blue lamps, black face, walnut side panels
Reference: 180R (by Quadraflex) (1978) 18W x 2 $99
Armed with excellent specs, this is the "baby" of the Reference receiver family. Appearance-wise, this is different than most in this power class because of the unique and elegant black-face with its blue lamps and nice dark walnut side panels
MCS / MODULAR COMPONENTS SERIES (JC PENNEY CO)
In the 70's, as stereo equipment began to grow in popularity (thanks mainly to Pioneer and its massive advertising campaign in the USA) some of the major American department store chains eyed this expanding lucrative market. JC Penney was the smartest. They contracted primarily with top Japanese companies like NEC (Matsushita/Technics) and Foster to produce some really fine systems. Of course, back in the day, most folks had no clue about who was really making all the gear. No "hip audiophile" would have been caught buying stereo gear at Penneys so it was mostly the "average" consumers that were the buyers. Today, MCS gear is appreciated and some have even attained "must have" status among collectors.
MCS out of stock
Hitachi was Japan's leading technology manufacturer.
Founded in Japan in 1910 by Namihei Odaira as an electrical repair shop, it started by manufacturing electric motors. Eventually, by the 60's, they not only manufactured electronics for dozens of other major electronics firms, they also manufactured many types of products including parts for electronics, such as capacitors chips etc. Hitachi is famous for designing electronics from the ground up containing (almost exclusively) their own very high quality parts. In the audio community, some of their vintage receivers are very highly regarded.
Hitachi SR-8010 Dynaharmony Class G ('80-'85) 50W x 2(being serviced, coming soon)
The SR-8010 was Hitachi's TOTL model after the X04 series.
Forget what you may think about Sanyo today. They were one of the Japanese companies that made their own gear and supplied electronics for others. Born as an offshoot of the massive Japanese conglomerate Matsushita, Sanyo is best known for taking over control of Fisher, the great American audio company, in 1977. However, prior to that, they were doing quite well and easily held their own against Pioneers, Yamaha, etc. (See the FISHER products listed below for more history) Although they were already producing some of their own fine audio gear, the Fisher deal kicked them into high gear. The Sanyo-Fisher components are now considered great classic designs with high quality performance.
Sanyo JCX-2400K (1978) 55W x 2 (being serviced, coming soon)
Note: Back in the 60's, Fisher was one of the names that audiophiles throughout the world turned to for their high standards in excellent electronics. As the 70's came along, Avery Fisher (founder) wanted to move on and, eventually, a great Japanese company called Sanyo came along and bought the Fisher line and all intellectual property. While some older purists fealt that this meant Fisher was in decline, some of the other "audiophiles" were excited to see this Sanyo-Fisher alliance jump into the market with some beautiful designs and very powerful receivers including the remarkable, very powerful Fisher RS-2015 (150 watts per channel) and the monster Fisher RS-1080 (175 watts per channel)
Fisher CA-880 (integrated amp and full system, 1984) 100W x 2 $300
Originally built for, and sold exclusively by, Macy's in New York (Yes...Macy's! However, this system was NOT a typical low end rack setup that was sold by so many department stores back in the day but rather a superior build in a class all its own). A visually stunning system that includes the FM-660 tuner, CR-125 cassette deck and equalizer. The CA-880 amplifier is one of those Fisher post-tube units that is worthy of bearing the name of Fisher...built like a tank, very solid with a clean, powerful performance. The stunning black-faced units utilize white silkscreen graphics to present great looking components . All black metal cases.
PHILIPS LABORATORY (PHILIPS)Philips out of stock
Philips was originally based in Holland but in the 60's and 70's were not very well known in the in America so they simply bought the entire Magnavox company. Magnavox had always been deep into home and commercial audio applications. After years of design research and experience in their field, Magnavox was about to enter the mid to high end home stereo business right about the same time as the purchase by Philips. The idea was to compete directly with Pioneer, Sansui, Marantz, etc using only the best parts and available technology. Philips came in and added a few design elements to put it all together with brilliant production engineering. The results were dazzling components under the "Philips Laboratory" name. They were all produced in the USA in the late 70's, early 80's and are no longer "under the radar". They are excellent in every way.
TECHNICS / MATSUSHITA / PANASONIC
Founded in the 1920's, the huge Japanese conglomerate Matsushita had interests in many electronics companies. The most well known would be Technics and Panasonic. Technics was introduced as a brand name for premium loudspeakers marketed domestically by Matsushita in 1965. Eventually, Technics became a premium brand bringing classics like the SL-1200mkii turntable and the absolute monster receiver at the top of the list: Technics SA-1000 (330 watts per channel)
(1978) 35W x 2 $220
The brushed aluminum face plate and black inset knobs give this receiver a high end, sophisticated appearance. The output stage on the SA-300 is direct coupled which means it uses no capacitors. This results in a nice, tight, solid bass response right down into the lower frequencies. The SA-300 really does look nice when lit up. The amber back lighting of the tuning dial is both clean and elegant. It also has a beautiful sculpted walnut case.
PIONEERPioneer out of stock
Almost needing no introduction, Pioneer was exactly that: a pioneer in the world of high fidelity because they led the way when it came to advertising, especially during the 70's. They targeted the college crowd and were in almost every magazine with ads that made you believe that it was the "hip" thing to have: a stereo system in the dorm, in the house, everywhere! Of course their products were mostly first rate and even today, vintage Pioneer gear attracts collectors world-wide.
Back in the 70's, Sherwood didn't do a lot of advertising (unlike Pioneer, Marantz, Sony, etc) and therefore they are not as well known except among those who know about the high quality that Sherwood put into their electronics. Most of theirs ads started out "We're really number four?" And, they did seller fewer receivers than the big boys. In fact, most of their production runs were only 500 to around 1500 units at a time. Still, they were considered higher end and were sold in the same audio stores that sold Marantz and McIntosh.
Sherwood out of stock
The name Kenwood was invented by one of the original partners (William Kasuga) as being the combination of "Ken", a name common to Japan and America that had been tested and proven acceptable to American consumers (as in the name of Kenmore appliances) and "Wood", referring to the durable substance as well as suggesting a relation to Hollywood.
Aside from that, Kenwood /Trio has a long history of producing some of the best and most reliable audio components to ever come out of Japan.
Kenwood KR-9600 ('76-'78) 160W x 2 (upgraded) $750
This monster is in perfect working order and has been upgraded with bigger, more powerful 80V 15000uf filter caps (the original Darlington caps were 80v 10000uf) so it now has more power for music peaks and longer life. The KR-9600 is from '76-'78 and puts out a whopping (minimum) 160 watts per channel. Supports 3 pairs of speakers, two turntables, two tape decks, auxiliary input, pre-out/main-in connections, and 3 accessory AC outlets. This monster also has a new power switch and recent FM alignment/bias adjustment. Upgraded with all new and complete set of 19 custom made LEDs designed for the KR-9600. Comes with polished steel, curved designer rack handles as well as original chrome rack handles. Very good cosmetic condition...
Again, needing no introduction because everybody, everywhere...knows that name. One of Japan's largest conglomerates, they have so many products in so many categories that it's pointless to list them. However, the flagship Sony PS-8750 turntable and STR-V6 receiver (120 watts per channel) were standouts and are very highly prized today.
(tuner, 1969) $75
Part of the all-time Sony design icons and well-remembered stereo separates...small sized, really good-looking, not that bad sounding, lightweight and - successful : Sony sold many of these worldwide. None of these represented full-size high-fidelity, nor sonic powerhouses, of course, but their imprint on small-size audio design was big enough to launch a continuous series of "me-too" products from other brands throughout the 1970s.
REALISTIC / OPTIMUS / RADIO SHACK (TANDY CORP, ALLIED)VINTAGE MINI-STEREO SYSTEM by Radio Shack
One of the most well known and longest lasting electronics companies in the USA, they also have an incredible online source for every piece of equipment ever sold...going back almost 75 years! From speaker wire to full blown high end stereo systems (and everything in between) Radio Shack was the place to go. Quite a few of their products have survived the test of time and were almost entirely made in Japan. They can sometimes compare to the best of the competition.
These are of excellent quality, were made in Japan and sold exclusively by Radio ShackOptimus SA-155
(stereo amp, 1993) $99 (set)
Upgraded version of the extremely popular SA-150 mini-amp designed in Japan and sold by Radio Shack for decades, built-in phono preamp, this was sold as a matching unit for the matching Optimus TM-155
(stereo tuner, 1993) with backlit tuning dial and great performance in a small package. Both units are black.