Vintage Stereo Receivers ~ Tuners ~ Amps (this page is under construction, see main page for complete inventory)

Pioneer SX-650

Pioneer SX-650 ('76-'78) 35W x 2  $195

This particular Pioneer is exceptionally clean.  One of the classic mid-range receivers offered by Pioneer in the mid 70's was this Pioneer SX-650. As you can see it has the classic silver face styling of Pioneer's SX series which, when coupled with the walnut veneer case, makes for an exceptionally clean and stylish looking receiver.  The SX-650 was produced from 1976-1977 and originally sold for around $300.00.  The SX-650 puts out a conservative 35 watts per channel (8 ohms RMS) and was designed and marketed for those with an average sized listening room and who wanted good value for their money. The 650 didn't have too many frills but what it did, it did well.  

Pioneer SX-636

Pioneer SX-636 (1975) 25W x 2 $175

Not all high fidelity situations require high powered equipment.

The SX-636 has enough power to drive up to two pairs of stereo speaker systems independently or simultaneously with brilliant, high fidelity results.

If your listening room is of average size, and what you really want is more efficiency and more sophisticated versatility in a medium-powered model, the SX-636 will be a good choice.

It incorporates superior Pioneer quality that has its advantages for superior high fidelity performance. But it saves you money and doesn’t waste watts.

As a stereo control center the SX-636 is all you need – there are two stereo pairs of tape terminals (deck 1 to deck 2 tape duplication is possible), a function switch to handle FM, AM, PHONO, MIC and AUX (smartphone, laptop, MP3).
Blue lights glow across the FM-linear dial scale with dual meter tuning system, illuminated program indicators, a stereo headphone jack and other conveniences add to the versatility.
Of course, the flawless walnut case is included.

About Pioneer...

Not much needs to be said about Pioneer other then the simple fact that the name is known worldwide for above average quality and excellence in high fidelity component design.  They were the unchallenged leader in stereo advertising and marketing in the 70's.  Back in the day, Pioneer made it clear that if you didn't have a Pioneer stereo system in your house (or college dorm) you just didn't have the right stuff.

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Optonica SA-5206

Optonica SA-5206 (1980) 45W x 2 $200


We've been fortunate to have had a few of these beautiful SA-5206 units since last year.  Since the value of Optonica is beginning to skyrocket lately, any time there's an opportunity to get one of these amazing receivers, we'd suggest you go for it because we do...for sure!  The 5206 is very similar in design to the SA-5406 with just slightly less power yet most of the same features as mentioned below in the 5406 description.  

Optonica SA-5406

Optonica SA-5406 (1980) 65W x 2  $300

The rare, very excellent and very good looking black SA-5406 from Optonica has reached the status level of higher end vintage receivers that are being sought after by audiophiles.  The quality of these Optonicas are right up there with the best of Pioneer, Sansui, etc.  The black faceplate, trademark teardrop-shaped machined black aluminum knobs with silver trim are all unique to the Optonica SA series.  They also made the same identical units except with silver faceplates instead of black.  The rosewood veneer case is also common to this series, it's very attractive.

About OPTONICA (Sharp Electronics of 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.

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Sony ST-80W tuner (1969) $75
Superscope T-210 stereo tuner (1976) $75
KLH Model 21 tabletop FM radio (1965) not for sale
Fisher CA-880 integrated amplifier and Fisher FM-660 tuner

Fisher CA-880 (1981) 100W x 2  $200


The Fisher *Studio Standard CA-880 integrated amplifier was the heart of a custom made "rack" system designed primarily for Macy's flagship store in New York City and was listed at $1000 MSRP.  Originally built by Sanyo (for Macy's), it has an excellent reputation just by itself but, when combined with the matching FM-660 tuner (see photo), it's a very beautiful system...with a LOT of power!
The satin black metal cases with the white silkscreen lettering presents a stunning visual.


*Note:
The Fisher "Studio Standard" series were developed by Sanyo after they took over the flailing Fisher brand in the 70's.  Of course the name "Fisher" is synonymous with high fidelity leadership since the 60's when Avery Fisher turned the audio world on its ear with his early tube units (like the famous Fisher 500C and others).  Alas, all things must end, Avery Fisher sold his company and, over the years, the brand has both flourished (to some) and floundered (to others).  It's generally agreed that most of the Studio Standard gear made by Sanyo (from the mid-70's to early 80's) is well made.


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Zenith MC-7051

Zenith MC-7051 (1981) 40W x 2 $160


Zenith?  The grand old American company that made TV sets?  Yep...however, the MC-7051 is not your grandpa's Zenith gear.  One of the most sought after vintage receivers, it's no longer a secret...no longer "under the radar" either.  Extremely well made with components that rival the best of "the other guys", this good looking receiver has a very light gold tint on the faceplate and a very clean, straightforward design up front.  It's heavy too, with a strong transformer and power supply that was specifically designed by...(are you ready for this?)...*Samsung in Korea.  It was a secret back when it was being designed and when it was released, it didn't sell very well. Simply put, Zenith did have a great unit but it was a little late in the game.  Besides, most people associated Zenith with televisions and it didn't seem plausible they could build a receiver that could compete with the famous names.  So...now they are rare and sought after.  There's a reason why...

NOTE: The vintage Samsung 3390 vintage receiver has an almost identical interior build as the Zenith MC-7051.  They felt since they designed one for Zenith (and it was really good!) wny not make one for themselves?  When Zenith found out, they threatened to sue Samsung so...that was the end of the Samsung 3390.

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Toshiba SA-420

Toshiba SA-420 (1977) 30W x 2 $165 (two in stock)

Another great build by Toshiba, the SA-420 is very well built and heavy receiver. Above average switches and pots. All discrete internal components - good size transformer...It's one of the physically largest, medium powered receivers we've seen.  It has clean lines with an elegant knob design and a mellow, warm glow when lit up.  The split walnut veneer case design is exclusively from Toshiba that gives it a unique look in comparison to other units from the era.  Specs vary online but it matters not, the SA-420 easily drives two pairs of efficient speaker systems.  No doubt one of the easiest to service, the interior build is uncluttered and laid out very nice. 


About Toshiba...

Today, most recognize the name Toshiba primarily because of its monster class SA-7150 with its massive power at 150 watts per channel.  But, back in the early 70s, when HiFi dealers took on the Toshiba audio product lines, the salesmen considered them a second-level product line to the Marantz, Pioneer, Sony , etc. However, as time went on and technicians began to open them to see inside, they spread the word and slowly, people started to change their minds. 
At the time, most Toshiba, Sanyo and other similar brands were associated with clock radios, and similar little devices that showed up in various stores that normally didn't sell hifi gear.
For the dealer, Toshiba was agressively priced so that there was better margin in their products, which translated to higher profits. This was because Toshiba didn't advertise or get product reviews from the audio magazines. Today, this explains why Toshiba is less known in general about the very good quality in their stereo equipment.
In fact, their gear was quite good, performed as good as the big-name gear and still does today - when you can find them. Because of their low key marketing stance, it's doubtful their sales volumes were anywhere near those of Sony, Pioneer, etc.

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Yamaha CR-620

Yamaha CR-620 (1977) 35W x 2 $175

The Yamaha "Natural Sound" receivers were well respected back then (and now) and the CR-620 is no exception.  The CR-620 was one of Yamaha's best selling mid-range units from 1977-1979. It puts out a minimum of 35 watts per channel (8 ohms RMS). It has the classic Yamaha styling (with a very cool teak veneer case) and was rated at an incredibly low 0.015% total harmonic distortion.  All new lamps on the tuning dial, signal and tuning meters on the front panel.   Unique to the CR series was Yamaha's *"Continuously-Adjustable Loudness" control.  Simply explained, once you set your comfortable volume level (with the volume knob) you just use the loudness control thereafter.  It continuously adjusts the correct amount of bass no matter what the level of sound.  Got it?

FEATURES:

FM Front End with NFB-PLL Multiplex Decoder.
Pilot Tone Suppression (Special Active Filter)
FM Muting; FM Mono. Tape-to-Tape (1>2/2>1).
Tone Controls (Bass/Treble), Filter (Low/High).
*Continuously-Adjustable Loudness. 
Separated Input/Output Switches for Simoultanious Operating.
Analog Meters (Signal Strenght/Center Tune/Multipath).
Speaker Selection (A, B), 2 Headphone Jacks. 

Yamaha CR-840

Yamaha CR-840 (1980) 60W x 2 $265  


Besides the fact that the CR-840 is simply beautiful, elegant and well-designed, its dark Brazilian hardwood veneer "wrap-around case is stunning!
Something unique to Yamaha is when speaking of the OTS (Optimum Tuning System), which is an easy-to-use feature that automatically locks in the exact center of the tuned channel - for the lowest possible distortion."the muting and OST systems operated flawlessly" Stereo Review said, and more "The harmonic distortion of the CR-840 was so low that without the most advanced test instruments it would have been impossible to measure it."In summing up their reaction to the CR-840, Stereo review said, "Suffice it to say that Yamaha make it possible for a moderate-price receiver to provide performance that would have been unimaginable only a short time ago." 
We have to agree that the CR-840 is certainly one stellar example in Yamaha's fine line of receivers.

About Yamaha...(1972 and later)

From the CA-1000 that whipped up a whirlwind and brought Yamaha recognition in the audio world, to the AX-2000A that, after groping around with digital technology, managed a comeback to pure analog.  The very successful "Natural Sound" marketing in the 70's brought Yamaha into direct competition with Pioneer, Marantz and almost all the other great companies of the era.

Yamaha CR-620
Original print ad for Yamaha CR-840
Sanyo Plus 75

Sanyo Plus 75 (1979) 75W x 2 (being serviced)

Near mint condition, this Sanyo Plus 75 features (minimum) 75W per channel into 8 ohms, 20hz to 20khz both channels driven @<0.03% THD.  (Sanyo produced some higher end product in the late 70's, and the Plus series was produced to service this higher end market.)    Besides the digital AND analog tuning up front, it has three selectable roll-off frequencies for bass, treble and mid range tone control...tone defeat, 20db muting, MM/MC phono, and the tuner features a really neat digital frequency readout that moves up and down the tuning dial as the receiver is tuned. The beautiful real walnut side panels and the walnut veneer-on-metal top look great on this receiver. 
There are a LOT of other features, suffice to say this is a fine sounding receiver, and the tuning section performs very well.  All in all, a very fine example and beautiful piece of audio history. The Sanyo Plus series was Sanyo's top of the line units and are comparable to (if not better than) the well known and popular Sansui "G" series of the late 70's early 80's....


About Sanyo...

Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd. was a Japanese major electronics company and formerly a member of the Fortune Global 500.  They were one of the few electronics companies (like Hitachi) that made most of their own high fidelity components in-house using their own parts.  They also supplied some of the other big names like Pioneer, Sansui, etc. with Sanyo built parts and components. Their late 70's JCX  and PLUS series of receivers are very well known and in high demand by audiophiles.  At one point in their history, they had over 230 subsidiaries and affiliates.  Sanyo was eventually bought by Panasonic in 2009. 

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Technics SA-400

Technics SA-400 ('78-'79) 45W x 2 $175

The Technics SA-400 was offered from 1978 to 1979 with a list price of $360.00.  It puts out a minimum 45 watts per channel.  As you can see from the photo it has an analog tuning dial and two Vu meters, one for tuning and the other for signal strength.  Technics incorporated it's re-design of the lineup in the late 70's and the SA-400 has that nicely refined look of all the SA receivers. The SA-400 sounds terrific, is rated at 45 Watts per channel but easily surpasses 50 watts per channel with little distortion . It has surprisingly tight and accurate bass and crisp upper frequencies...tight sound stage with a hint of vintage magic. The front panel soft lighting effect looks really cool . Low and high filters respond well and loudness provides a nice deep punch to the sound. This fills the room with sound like any Marantz , Pioneer or Sansui of equal wattage.  And, of course, it has a beautiful walnut veneer case.

About 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.

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