Vintage Stereo Receivers ~ Tuners ~ Amps

Optonica SA-5605

Optonica SA-5605 (1980) 85W x 2  NFS


This rare beauty from Optonica, 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. 

Designed to operate two turntables and three pairs of speakers, it also has numerous switches, knobs and controls spread across the gigantic black aluminum faceplate.   This giant beauty can easily be the strong anchor for just about any type of sound system you can think of. 
These are very rare and, as of this writing, it is not for sale. 

The rosewood veneer case and the anodized, black aluminum, tear-drop, polished silver tips on the knobs and switches are an Optonica trademark design.


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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Sanyo Plus 75

Sanyo Plus 75 (1979) 75W x 2  $275 


Very rare and very powerful (with a very recent partial recap and new modules July 2017), this beauty is near mint condition inside and out.  

In the late 70's, the Plus series was a new collection of ultra-high performance audio components designed by an independent team of audiophile-engineers that Sanyo put together and gave them full freedom to draw on Sanyo's massive technology capability. 

The Plus series have more power than their quoted conservative wattage ratings and a warm soundstage...their front displays are colorful, elegant and are just as beautiful today as they were back then!
This very nice Sanyo Plus 75 features (minimum) 75 watts per channel @ 8 ohms, 20hz to 20khz both channels driven @<0.03% THD.  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. As mentioned before, the Sanyo Plus series were Sanyo's top of the line units and are comparable to (if not better than) the well known and very 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 series and the much improved "Plus Series" of components 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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Zenith MC-7051

Zenith MC-7051 (1981) 40W x 2 $150


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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McIntosh 2205 (please read description)

McIntosh 2205 amplifier  ('75-'79) 200W x 2 SOLD

This McIntosh 2205 p​ower ​a​mp​ is​ currently in partially working condition​ and fair cosmetic condition.  Although the photo does not show it, when fully assembled, the unit is 100% complete with all original parts.   The very low price includes the Panlock case that does have some minor damage.  (A separate, like new Panlock case is available for $100 more).  The right channel (at higher volume) has some distortion and can be fixed with a partial recap on the power board.  Although the meters themselves have tested fine, they are not receiving power and that same partial recap will restore them to working condition as well.  


We are selling it as it sits with no further work being offered It will be left to the buyer to have any further work performed.


The 2205 f​eatures the McIntosh ​"​Power Guard​"​ circuit designed to prevent speaker damage. ​ The sale includes a genuine McIntosh "Panlock" wood case, in fair condition.​  (As noted above, we have another Panlock case in excellent condition for $100 more.)


Rated at 200 watts RMS per channel ​(​8, 4 , 2 or 1 ohm​)​ and 400 watts RMS in mono ​(​4, 2, 1 or 0.5 ohm​)​. The last known McIntosh factory service was performed on this unit in the early 2000's​.  In October 2017, we inspected the interior and did a full testing and found the issues mentioned above.  We then consulted with a master technician in North Carolina who, at the very least, highly recommended a partial recap to be done by another qualified tech or McIntosh dealer.  
We obtained this 2205 from the 2nd owner who rarely used it and kept it in dry storage for years.  

McIntosh 1900

McIntosh 1900 ('72-'75) 55W x 2 SOLD
(reasonable offers considered)


McIntosh. The “Macs.” The generally-acknowledged best electronics of their time (apologies to Marantz separates fans), long before the Aragons and Brystons and Audio Researches and Jeff Rolands, et al. came on the scene.

They were primarily a separates company but when they did finally come out with their first receiver—the tube/solid state hybrid model 1500—it was a big event. They followed that with the more solid state/less tube (tuner section only) model 1700, but with the model 1900 in the early ’70s, “Mac” finally entered the solid-state receiver market.

And what a solid, well-built, beautiful, high-performance receiver this one is. Obtained from the original owner who kept it in pristine condition for many years, it functions perfectly and is 100% original with the genuine McIntosh solid walnut Panlock case.
You shouldn't judge Macs on a watts or features per-dollar basis. These were the Cadillacs of their day and price was just not part of the equation. In 1972, a Ford Galaxy 500 would take you to the store to buy milk just as well as any luxury car, but that’s not the point, is it?

At the original list price of around $950, it was probably twice as costly—if not more—than similarly-spec’d receivers from mainstream companies, but the 1900 had an aura of solid quality that nothing else could match. Mac watts are somehow cleaner, more powerful, louder and more authoritative than, say, those very pedestrian Kenwood watts coming forth from their KR-6160 receiver.
McIntosh electronics certainly had the reputation and the 1900 receiver did nothing to sully that reputation. It was quite arguably the first “high end” receiver of the modern equipment era, where the specs/price ratio was not as important as the build quality, company reputation, and perceived sonic superiority.


McIntosh 2205 amp ('75-'79) 200W x 2 $700 as is with nice Panlock case (call for info)

About McIntosh...

McIntosh was founded in 1949 by Frank McIntosh. The brand has stood the test of time through a commitment to providing products that produce "legendary performance." It all started with a quest to design a high quality, low distortion amplifier and has grown to a highly-respected brand that produces a full suite of products including amplifiers, speakers, receivers and high-end components for consumers today. Additionally, McIntosh products are still to this day handmade right in the USA. 


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Hitachi SR-804

Hitachi SR-804 (1978) 50W x 2  $200 


Promoted as "The world's most powerful 50 watt receiver", the SR-804 was also Hitachi's most powerful receiver in 1978. It's a beautiful, very well made,classic vintage receiver, produced in Japan.
With the beautiful nickname "Dynaharmony" (Class G) it's rated at a conservative 50 watts per channel (nominal power at 8 ohms). The legendary Class G circuit instantly provides up to 100 watts per channel to handle momentary peaks in certain musical crescendos.
Along with its four beautiful analog meters spanning across the front, the FM glass is also continuously illuminated.   
Visually, the Hitachi SR-804 makes a solid impression. It features a hardwood case with sculpted vent slots (not metal) and a gorgeous front panel made of thick satin finish aluminum. All the polished edge knobs and switches are also made of aluminum and have a very good feel and wonderful pressure points.

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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HH Scott 375R

HH Scott 375R ('81-'83) 65W x 2 $180


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. The FM digital LED readout is sometimes a little erratic but since this also has the perfectly working analog tuning dial as well, it does not affect performance at all.  The front silver face with fluorescent blue LEDs is quite fancy and adds a touch of vintage cool.  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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MCS 3249

MCS (NEC) 3249 (1979) 45W x 2 $165


We've had a few Modular Component Series units over the years and are no longer surprised by the very good quality and build.   

In literally mint condition, this late 70's MCS 3249 stereo receiver (built in Japan by NEC for JC Penney) is another solid, good looking vintage piece.  
The very accurate digital synthesized tuning section has digital power meters and tuning lock.  The LED station numbers are spot on and have no issues.  We also replaced the interior foam "springs" on the tuning push buttons since this was about the only issue this series ever had.  Rated at 45 watts per channel, it's got lots of headroom beyond that rating.  Unlike most receivers of the era that had just bass and treble controls, this one adds the midrange as well.  Flawless aluminum faceplate, smooth and accurate controls and the pristine walnut case make this an excellent value and one very good performer.  To be quite honest, this is a rock solid and reliable receiver.  End of story... 


About MCS (Modular Component Systems)...
MCS was the house brand for JC Penney back in the 70's and was often passed over by audiophiles simply because it was sold by Penney's.  However, in our opinion, whoever worked for JC Penney's electronics acquisition department at the time certainly had discerning taste which resulted in some very good products being offered. There is some debate over who actually manufactured the MCS series for JC Penney. Most seem to agree that it was either NEC while others mention Technics. 
Probably the different models in the MCS line were made by different manufacturers, all of whom designed great products for Penney's.  By the late 70's, it was near the end of the receiver power wars and despite the fact that most of the mid to high range MCS units had actually incorporated some of the latest technology at the time, digital was looming on the horizon and was about to change the face of HiFi.


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Reference 085R receiver & NHT Zero speakers (mini-system)

Reference: 085R receiver 
& NHT Zero speakers $225 (complete system)


The Reference: 085R ('78-'80) is one of the best high end, mini-stereo receivers ever made.  
Originally designed by the crafty guys at Pacific Stereo in California, they were actually built in Japan. Having had much success with their Reference and Concept designs, Pacific Stereo had accumulated amazing resources in Japan and were able to outsource from some of the best of the Japanese contractors.   
(By now, most audio folks who have done a little research are aware of Pacific Stereo, the biggest chain of stereo stores the USA had ever seen.)
Rated at 8.5 watts per channel, the 085R was designed to compete with any of the best of the smaller stereo receivers in the late 70's yet took the definition of "small" to a whole new level.  It's very capable of handling the included NHT Zero speakers and has an excellent built-in phono preamp as well.  Inputs for tape/aux are also included.  It can be operated on AC or DC, has onboard brackets for mobile or wall mounting and simply looks very cool with its black face and blue & cream silkscreen lettering.  It has an FM stereo beacon, vernier tuning dial and a lighted tuning meter. 
NHT (Now Hear This) introduced the famous Zero mini-monitors, priced at $250/pair, in 1989 and continued with them until 1993 when they were replaced in sales volume by the NHT Super-Zero.  Within the range of NHT's lineup, the Ones, Twos, Zeros, and the Super versions of all of them were very nice solid designs with angled baffles.  Beautiful piano gloss black finish adds a touch of elegance to the Zeros. 


About REFERENCE: 

We (here at Cherry Vintage Audio) had the good fortune to have worked at Pacific Stereo in the very early days (late 60's back when they only had three stores!) Today, it's not commonly known but, at one time, (late 70's) the house brands of Concept and Reference (and almost all other well-known brands of the time) were sold by Pacific Stereo.  With over 350 stores at their peak,  they were the largest stereo chain stores in the USA (especially in the West)  They were eventually sold to CBS and went downhill from there.  However, in its time, before the bean counters at CBS took over, Pacific Stereo's house brands of Concept and Reference left behind a legacy of some very fine equipment they designed in-house and made in Japan.  The Concept units were first tier (top of the lineup) followed closely behind in quality by the Reference series.  The Reference 650FETR and The Concept 16.5 stereo receivers are considered by many to be some of the best of the best vintage receivers.

About NHT...

NHT Loudspeakers (Now Hear This) was a California based speaker and audio component company. The company was founded by Chris Byrne and Ken Kantor in December 1986.  Byrne primarily handled sales and marketing, while Kantor (introduced to Byrne by Michael Riggs, then at High Fidelity magazine) was responsible for design and engineering. NHT shipped its first product, the Model 1 loudspeaker, in 1987.  Rave reviews followed practically everything they produced.  Some of their very first satellites were the original Zero mini-monitors, a "must have" in the early days of surround sound and home theater setups.  To the dismay of many audiophiles, NHT closed their doors forever in 2009.

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Realistic STA-19 receiver and Minimus 7 speakers

Realistic STA-19 receiver (1987) Minimus 7 speakers  $125 (complete system)

Don’t let the small desktop size fool you – it’s a solid performer that delivers superb stereo sound! It’s ideal for powering this small system in dorm room or office, or a second system in your den or workshop.  Special EQ switch provides uniform energy output at all frequencies for a rich, full sound especially with the included (awesome and famous)Minimus 7 speakers.
FM Stereo and Tuning LEDs, easy-to-read tuning dial with LED pointer. Loudness control enhances bass response at low volume and a function switch for FM auto, AM, phono and tape/aux.  It has a walnut vinyl-over-metal case.
The included Minimus 7 speakers (black metal cabinets) are little only in size, not in performance - they have been called little giant killers in reproducing near concert hall sound.  Of course, a small room is the perfect situation for this system.  The high compliance woofer elements give astounding bass and the dome tweeters produces crisp, clean highs.  Careful acoustic design matches the two dynamic elements with the enclosure and damping materials - resulting in amazingly smooth, broad frequency response.

About Realistic/Optimus/Radio Shack/Tandy Corp...

Realistic branded vintage stereo gear is all over the place.  Some of it is right up there in quality with the best of Pioneer, Sansui, etc.  Also, some of it is just...ok.   Their best era was during the 70's when they successfully competed head-to-head with all the big names in high fidelity.  They sourced practically all their products from Japan and sometimes had the exact same components inside their gear as the competition but at a much lower price.  


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Technics (middle), Yamaha (bottom) equalizers

EQUALIZERS


Technics SH-8020 stereo frequency analyzer ('80-'83) $150 (or free with Technics SA-818) 

(see photo middle)

This high-end, charcoal grey "Natural Sound" equalizer is a 12 band stereo frequency analyzer (12 1-octave bands per channel) with an incredible frequency response of 5Hz to 100kHz.  The 24 slide lever LEDs have a brightness control.  This is a VERY nice unit!


Yamaha EQ-50 (1980) $85 (see photo bottom)

This black-face equalizer has 20 bands (10 1-octave bands per channel) with a frequency response of 10Hz to 35kHz.  All sliders have working LEDs.


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