DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF REMAINING INVENTORY AS OF 12/2/16
RECEIVERS / AMPS / PREAMPS / TUNERS / EQUALIZERS
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')
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 TR-3030 (Norway, '81-'84) 30W x 2
Very slim and wide, very different and very rare unit with original factory installed rack handles. Very nice, very well-built from a respected Norwegian company (now morphed into a different entity). Very quiet and sensitive FM section...all switches operate smooth as silk.
LED upgrade for FM tuning dial. Two phono inputs.
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 out of stock
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 out of stock
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 TX-4500mkii ('78-'81) 65W x 2
Among its many features are huge filter caps, big transformers, hearty heat sinks and thick beveled real glass front dial cover with 4 gold-tipped bolts holding it in place. This receiver is really a very nice looking unit when it is lit up. It also features a very good phono preamp circuit. Looks impressive sitting there with its wide 21" silver face and faux dark walnut veneer.
Onkyo TX-2500mkii ('78-'80) 40W x 2
Excellent performer that excels in hitting the sonic "sweet spot" when combined with the right speakers. Slightly larger & heavier than most in this class, it has a beautiful faux dark walnut veneer on metal with an "industrial strength" front face design, new lamps enhance the elegant face design
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 370R (1979) 60W x 2
Second from the top of the line in the late 70's, the 370R, besides being rarely seen for sale, is one great build from a great company. Two big beefy caps power this receiver beyond its rating. Four big meters dominate the wide linear dial and beautiful silver face design. Walnut side panels.
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. 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 R1040 (1978) 40W x 2
Easily more powerful than its listed rating it has the Luxman luxurious design and, as the immense majority of receivers that were made in Japan, it was export-only.
Elegant design...the build quality is top notch with great tuning specifications and its recognizable center-tuning display...Very good looking in its genuine 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 6060
(1977) 44W x 2
Sibling of the renowned 9090, it has the same distinctive design on a slightly smaller scale...precise aligned power amplifier circuit; IC phono equalizer; high & low filter; muting; FM Dolby; plug-in connections, speaker selection (A, B, A+B). A beauty to look at and a worthy vintage piece with a nice walnut veneer case. Sansui 3900Z
(1980) 35W x 2
A classic Sansui model of high quality made in Japan.
These were the last of Sansui series using nice silver aluminum faceplates. An analog dial with an accurate digital tuner signaled the beginning of the end of the analog era as the manufacturers slowly transformed into the digital age. Walnut veneer on metal case.Sansui T-707
A simple slim design with manual or auto-search tuning, soft blue LED lit left/right tuning switches, black metal case++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++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-1020
(1978) 70W x 2From the Vintage Knob website:
"The CR-1020 has CLASS...and just like any other late 70s Japanese component, it'll be on your grand-children's shelves, making music just like way back then, when most of the human race wore flared trousers, dreamy-eyed listened to Pink Floyd's Animals and/or mourned Elvis' death and/or still heard echoes of Janis' performance at the Monterey but felt it was somehow fading away. The CR-1020 is part of those few components one can buy eyes closed
and which, just by looking at it (eyes opened), brings its period back, intact and unharmed by time - colors and flared trousers included."Yamaha CR-420
(1978) 22W x 2
At first glance, the CR-420 looks bigger than it should be. Huh? For a so-called "low power" receiver, it's beauty and design moves you beyond that rating. Besides, everyone know by now that wattage in the 70's was always conservatively rated. Displaying the classy look of the more powerful of the CR series, it simply looks great!
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++CONCEPT / REFERENCE / QUADRAFLEX / TRANSAUDIOToday, it's not commonly known but, at one time, (late 60's through 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 made in Japan. The Concept units were first tier (top of the lineup) followed in order of "quality" by Reference, Quadraflex and 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 4.5
(1978) 45W x 2
Another great build with considerably more power than its rated listing. Like all the Concepts, it's a great American design made in Japan. Designed with the future in mind (at the time), a lot of the components were very high end arranged to last longer and need less maintenance. Gorgeous faux rosewood case.
Concept 2.5 (1978) 25W x 2
As the brochure said: "The Concept 2.5 is nearly as great an engineering as the magnificent Concept 16.5...puts the full Concept audio quality into an affordable price range." (we tend to have tongue in cheek about comparing it to the 16.5 but ...it is a great low-powered receiver). Beautiful rosewood veneer case.
Reference 650-FETR (by Quadraflex, 1978) 65W x 2
Probably the most rare of the entire excellent Reference line, this was heavily promoted as the first commercially available stereo receiver with FETs (Field Effect Transistors) and it was a big deal back then. A great build, designed in the USA and built in Japan, exclusively for Pacific Stereo.
Reference: 450R (by Quadraflex, 1978) 45W x 2
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
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,
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 3260 (1984) 60W x 2
Note: Modular Components Series were originally sold by JC Penney and generally designed by either NEC or Technics. The 3260 is hardly ever seen for sale, it's impressive looking and huge, and is a very fine build that is definitely Technics inspired with its analog silver face and digital scanning tuner and digital meters...beautiful and large rosewood case
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++HITACHIHitachi 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-804 Class G (1978) 50W x 2
Heavily promoted (at the time) as "the world's most powerful 50 watt receiver because it has the revolutionary Class G amp that instantly doubles its rated power from 50 to 100 watts to prevent clipping distortion during those demanding musical peaks" It was very conservatively rated (power-wise) because the SR-804 has been reviewed and tested to yield almost 62 watts per channel. Gorgeous real walnut case.
(1978) 50W x 2
Primarily sold in Europe and Asia, it's rarely seen in the USA. Even though it does not have the famous "Class G" amp section, it's still a very rare and powerful silver-face receiver beauty. Superior build quality. Flawless walnut case.++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++SANYOForget 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
(1979) 50W x 2
More "juice" than others in its class and loaded with a heavy and powerful transformer, this one really rocks! Hard to find in this condition, great design, beautiful simulated walnut case, meters and "stepped" knobs make this Sanyo stand out. Notably more powerful than its rated 45 watts per channel, it's 100% built entirely by Sanyo and has outstanding specs.
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 (170 watts per channel)
Fisher RS-2010 (1978) 100W x 2 (Two units available)
Well known by now, the Sanyo built Fisher RS-2010 is steadily rising in price and, for good reason...they are POWERFUL and great looking! The massive transformer is something to behold. It's worth it to take the case off just to look at it. Four big meters across the front silver face, built-in 6-band equalizer, a gallery of function lamps and enough power to drive almost any speaker system. Blue-green lamps and walnut case.
(One of these units is in fantastic condition with an LED upgrade)
Fisher CA-880 (integrated amp, 1984)
100W x 2 Originally built for, and sold 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.
Fisher RS-2007 (1980) 75W x 2
Powerful and great looking design with four meter windows and a very wide linear dial...one of the later Sanyo designs that have withstood the test of time. Online tests have found the RS-2007 rates out closer to 80 watts per channel. Massive heat sinks rule the rear on this excellent receiver. Blue dial lights and large walnut case.
PHILIPS LABORATORY (PHILIPS)Philips AH-7861
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.
('77-'81) 45W x 2,
Very rare, gorgeous design, blackface with white FM dial, black aluminum knurled metal machined knobs with burnished silver edges, unique black dyed wooden case. (two units available)
('77-'81)) 45W x 2,
Very rare premium silver-face beauty with large light walnut case (internals are identical in every way to the 7861), knurled aluminum knobs, excellent build quality, powerful beyond the listed power ratingsPhilips AH-7831
('77-'81) 22W x 2,
Slightly smaller unit with black-face, silver metal knurled knobs, stippled black metal case, easily one of the best designs and internals in the lower-powered receivers available at the time.
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)
Technics (Panasonic) SA-6800X (1973) 85W x 2 @ 8 ohms / 42W x 4 RMS @ 8 ohms
Beautiful discrete 2 channel (stereo)/4-channel receiver with true matrix circuitry that simulates quad in stereo (with reverb!)
...phase shift control...4 individual volume controls with a master volume control...signal strength meter, center-of-channel meter and separate push buttons for "Hi-Blend", muting, loudness, low and high filters...phono inputs,
tape monitorinputs. Direct coupling, 4-pole MOS FET...mic mixing and positioning and speaker rotation selector switch. All this packaged in a gorgeous walnut wood cabinet.
(1977) 85W x 2,
The sky blue color of this "SA" series of receivers dial face makes it immediately recognizable. This rare and powerful beauty features big wide-band power output from its direct-coupled amplifier section.. It has a beautiful silver face design and the FM tuning dial appears to be a soft blue when the unit is off yet lights up a soft white on power-up. Solidly built with a large transformer and big sized unit that features a gorgeous sculptured walnut case
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.
(1975) 50W x 2
From the Pioneer brochure (1975):
"The Pioneer SX-838 is a 50W RMS stereo receiver featuring PLL FM MPX, precision equalizer, switched-turnover tone control and direct-coupled OCL power amp. Depend on Pioneer to provide the latest electronic advances and the SX-838 stereo receiver is a perfect example. Its FM tuner offers high sensitivity and excellent rejection characteristics thanks to its front end equipped with a frequency-linear 4-gang variable capacitor and two MOS FETs. The FM IF section has a 6-stage limiter and phase-linear ceramic filters. For the FM MPX demodulator, Pioneer uses a new PLL (Phase Lock Loop) circuit with an IC."Pioneer SX-450
(1978) 18W x 2
The smallest receiver in the Pioneer lineup during the mid to late 70's was this Pioneer SX-450. Rated at 18 watts per channel but still built with Pioneer's renowned quality materials and craftsmanship. It may have fewer features than the bigger receivers had but the SX-450 is still a great "little" receiver . It will hold its own in a smaller room and the cosmetic and operating condition is very good. Walnut case.Pioneer TH-303
(1972) 12W x 2
Don't let the power rating fool you, it easily powers most efficient speaker systems. It is a unique, very clean and rare Pioneer FM stereo receiver with built-in 8-track player, fully functioning, strong tuner, blue lamps, gorgeous walnut case
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++SHERWOODBack 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.
(1981) 50W x2
Edging closer to the digital age, Sherwood (like every other manufacturer) slowly evolved their products away from the wooden cosmetics and analog style. This receiver, although powerful and packed with features, is the first all digital unit from Sherwood. Low profile and handsome, at least it isn't all black like so many of the faceless digital units around today.
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 Super Eleven ('81-'85) 125W x 2 (Not for sale, display only)
Kenwood's top of the line receiver in the early 80's, it was also their last monster build of the era. A beast in both size and performance...huge black faceplate and gigantic dark walnut case easily dwarfs other receivers in sheer size and design. Digital and analog tuning, built-in reverb, timer and tons of switches, buttons and knobs. Gorgeous!!
Kenwood KR-5010 ('78-'81) 50W x 2
Becoming rare...sounds and looks amazing...more power than its listed rating and probably the nicest looking of all the silverface Kenwood receivers ever made. With those very large knobs & well-lit gorgeous oversized power meters combined with its excellent DC design makes this one of the best all-around receivers as well. Walnut case.
Kenwood KR-4070 ('77-'79) 40W x 2
Considered by many (including us) to be the finest mid-sized receiver ever made by Kenwood. Clean design, nearly bulletproof interior build and blue LED lamp upgrade on the front dial make this a cool classic vintage piece.
Kenwood KT-7100 tuner (1971)
A rare and beautiful design with very nice walnut side panels, beautiful green lamps, heavy machined and knurled knobs, overall in very good 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.
Sony STR-V4 ('78-'80) 50W x 2,
Built like "tanks" (as the saying goes), this receiver was made to last a lifetime. The V4 is quite restrained in its appearance (similar to Yamaha's receivers of this era), more classy than brassy. The green glow and brushed aluminum frame is carefully balanced with the different finish textures...class. Nice dark walnut side panels.
Sony STR-V1 ('78-'80) 15W x 2
Although this was the "baby" of the very attractive STR-Vx family, it's still very attractive (as are all in this series). It can handle enough (one pair of speakers, one turntable, one accessory) to be the anchor and fill most needs for a small, yet fully functional vintage stereo system. Walnut side panels.
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 SYSTEMS by Radio ShackThese are of excellent quality, were made in Japan and sold exclusively 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.
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
, 1993) with backlit tuning dial and great performance in a small package. Both units are black color. (Note: add a small pair of efficient speakers for a really cool mini vintage system...these two units are being sold together only)
Popular and well-built mini-amplifier with a built-in phono preamp that can easily drive a pair of efficient bookshelf size speakers, this small yet excellent amp was sold as a matching unit for the Realistic TM-150
, 1989) a popular matching tuner for the SA-150 amp
, this has a lighted tuning dial, walnut case. Both units are silver with walnut veneer cases (Note: add a small pair of efficient speakers for a really cool mini vintage system...these two units are being sold together only, two sets available)
RADIOS / EQUALIZERS / SPEAKER SELECTORS / CURIOS / ODDITIES