Vintage Stereo Receivers ~ Tuners ~ Amps

Optonics SA-5406 (top) Optonica SA-5605 (bottom)

Optonica SA-5605 (1980) 85W x 2 NFS


Another of the rare beauties from Optonica, (second only to the elusive TOTL Optonica SA-5905 at 125 watts per channel), the SA-5605 is edging into the monster class...both physically and internally. It's conservatively rated power of 85 watts per channel into 8Ω has tested closer to 94 watts per channel.  At 22" wide and 7" high, it's definitely huge, impressive and powerful, to say the least.  Another great spec is it's frequency response: 15Hz to 50kHz!
The four meters have a nice white glow as does the wide linear FM scale.  This has the unique feature that allows you to shut off the FM tuner while using different inputs/outputs.  This reduces any chance of distortion or interference from the tuner section.  Inputs/outputs for two turntables and three pairs of speakers along with the numerous switches, knobs and controls assure this giant beauty as easily being the strong anchor for just about any type of sound system you can think of.  
These are very rare and this one is in excellent cosmetic and operating condition.  The rosewood veneer case and the anodized, black aluminum, tear-drop, polished silver tips on the knobs and switches are an Optonica trademark design. 

Optonica SA-5206

Optonica SA-5206 (1980) 45W x 2 $225 (firm)


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  SOLD

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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Fisher CA-880 integrated amplifier and Fisher FM-660 tuner

Fisher CA-880 (1981) 100W x 2  $200


The powerful and well-built Fisher *Studio Standard CA-880 integrated amplifier was the heart of a custom made system designed by Sanyo, 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 CA-880 has been metered to produce closer to 110 watts per channel!
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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HH Scott 375R

HH Scott 375R ('81-'83) 65W x 2 $200


Built to compete with Sansui, Pioneer and the other well known names, HH Scott's reputation was well established after the 70's.  It's common fact that Scott didn't spend a ton of money on advertising, relying instead on high quality components and word of mouth. The 375R was Scott's mid size entry in the analog/digital market that was taking over the market in the early 80's.  A digital readout along with an analog tuning scale, lit up the front silver face with fluorescent blue LEDs.  Powerful, heavy and, of course, very well built, Scott added phono inputs for both MM and MC, a truly nice touch.  Three level controls for low, mid and highs (another nice touch) and nice walnut side panels, the 375R is a premium receiver getting harder to find in such great condition.

About H.H. Scott...

Hermon Hosmer Scott held many patents and was instrumental in the birth and development of high fidelity sound equipment.  HH Scott, the famous name by which he and his firm were so widely known, became one of the top two respected names in consumer high fidelity (and later stereo), the other also bearing its founder's name, the very famous Fisher Radio.  As mentioned above in description of the 375R, Scott was one of several top notch brands that built seriously good equipment but spent very little money advertising their gear. Consequently, they didn't sell in large numbers (compared to Pioneer, Sony, etc that spent many millions more in advertising) but they did sell excellent equipment.  Scott is a brand that's a little harder to come by but well worth the time and effort to seek them out.

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Pioneer SX-650

Pioneer SX-650 ('76-'78) 35W x 2  $150

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 a popular 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.  

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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Toshiba SA-420

Toshiba SA-420 (1977) 30W x 2 $130 (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.  One of these has a few battle scars so it's available for $135


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-420

Yamaha CR-420 ('78-'80) 22W x 2 $175
(two units available)

Let's start off by saying this baby is in mint condition!  One of those rare finds from the original owner, this CR-420 is just flat out gorgeous.  Packed with all discrete components, it's late 70's design reflects the rapid improvement in receivers that made them lighter, more powerful and relatively easy to work on.  Yamaha's famous "Natural Sound" is part of the attraction in this one, along with the loudness compensation feature that made the Yamaha CR Series unique.  Features include outputs for two pairs of speakers, phono, FM, Aux (you can plug in your phone or laptop!) and much more.  The teak styled veneer case is flawless and the brushed aluminum faceplate is literally mint!


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.

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Hitachi SR-604

Hitachi SR-604 (1979) 35W x 2  $150

"The world's most powerful 35 watt receiver!"  With it's power doubling Class G amplifier section, the SR-604 was heavily promoted by Hitachi as one of their breakthrough designs.

The Hitachi SR Dynaharmony (or "G Series") receivers were the height of technology back in the day and at $400, the SR-604 was fairly expensive for the average consumer in 1980.

Simply explained:
 The SR-604 is rated at a minimum 35 watts per channel but has a second stage in the power amp that takes it to 70 watts per channel when musical peaks demand that extra power. This prevents an overload in the the amplifier section at higher volume levels. 

Technically explained:
 this concept was introduced by Hitachi with the aim of reducing amplifier power dissipation. Musical signals have a high peak/mean ratio, spending most of the time at low levels, so internal dissipation is much reduced by running from low-voltage rails for small outputs, switching to higher-voltage rails current for larger excursions.

Aside from all that jargon, this particular unit is in immaculate cosmetic and working condition. It has a very clean, almost elegant design with brushed satin metal knobs, LED power meters and mellow-yellow lamps across the FM dial/meters.  The walnut veneer metal case has that vintage look that defines the golden age of HiFi.

About Hitachi...
Class G is just one example of Hitachi's leadership in vintage audio technology. Power MOS FET amplifiers, R&P 3-head system cassette decks, Uni-torque turntable motors and gathered-edge metal cone speakers are just some of the others. There's a lot more.  Hitachi of Japan was one of the companies that made their own filter caps, transformers, etc...in-house.  They also supplied many other famous names with Hitachi-made components (like Pioneer, Sony, even Marantz used Hitachi parts.)

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Technics SA-5470

Technics SA-5470 (1977) 65W x 2  $285

Beautiful in design and very powerful at a minimum 65 watts per channel, the SA-5470 actually outsold the very popular Pioneer SX-850 in 1977 (its main competition that year).  
Ours is so close to mint condition inside and out, it looks and sounds like it just came out of the box.
The light blue FM dial glass turns a soft white on power up...a nice little design idea from Technics.  Huge sculpted walnut case, sculpted aluminum knobs and switches and enough power to easily be the anchor in almost any mid-to-high priced home system.

Technics SA-200

Technics SA-200 ('78-'79) 25W x 2  $135

The smaller sibling of the late 70's SA Series from Technics, the SA-200 still has the power and looks of this fine family of receivers.  All new lamps cast a soft warm glow across the silver face. The specs on this receiver are outstanding, so don't let the minimum 25 watts per channel mislead you;  It can drive two pairs of efficient speakers and handle all the requirements needed to fill a small room or office with fine quality sound.  The walnut veneer case adds the final touch to this beauty. 

Technics SA-400

Technics SA-400 ('78-'79) 45W x 2 $185

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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Sanyo JCX-2400K (stock photo)

Sanyo JCX-2400K (1978) 55W x 2  $190

We've had a few of these amazing receivers over the years and are always grateful to have another to share with those looking for an excellent​ anchor for their vintage stereo system.  Noted for their units being built entirely "in house", Sanyo never skimped on the quality of their JCX series.  This one is a heavy unit with oversized heat sinks and a generous power supply.  Rated at a minimum 55 watts per channel, it seems to have way more power and can drive most any speaker systems with ease.  And, it's beautiful!  The silver face front end design is just gorgeous to look at; aluminum knobs with Sanyo's trademark "split knob" accents, attractive meters and distinctive walnut case with aluminum edges define the high quality of the JCX-2400K.

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 series of receivers were 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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