Vintage Stereo Receivers ~ Tuners ~ Amps

Optonica SA-5605

Optonica SA-5605 (1980) 85W x 2  $385 reduced

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. 

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.



Sanyo Plus 75

Sanyo Plus 75 (1979) 75W x 2  $325 

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. 


Hitachi SR-804

Hitachi SR-804 (1978) 50W x 2  SOLD

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,  They also supplied many other famous names with Hitachi-made components (like Pioneer, Sony, even Marantz used Hitachi parts.)


HH Scott 375R

HH Scott 375R ('81-'83) 65W x 2 $220

Very rare and built to compete with mid-sized Sansui, Pioneer and the other well known names, HH Scott's reputation was well established during the 70's.  

It's common fact that Scott didn't spend as much money on advertising as the competition, relying instead on high quality components and word of mouth. 

One of the nice features on this unit is the ability to run two turntables, either MM or MC (having the option for a moving coil cartridge is a major plus and rarely seen on most receivers)

The 375R was Scott's mid size entry in the analog/digital market that was taking over the market in the late 70's and early 80's.

As is typical on many of the hybrid digital/analog units, the FM digital LEDs are erratic but since the analog tuning functions perfectly, it matters not. 

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 (moving coil), a truly nice touch.  

Three level controls for low, mid and highs (another nice touch) and real 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.


MCS 3249

MCS (NEC) 3249 (1979) 45W x 2 $185 (mint)

We've had a few MCS (Modular Component Series) units over the years because typically, most of the MCS units were of excellent 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, rock steady vintage piece.  
The very accurate digital synthesized tuning section has digital power meters and tuning lock.  The LED frequency 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 a conservative 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.



Realistic STA-2080

Realistic STA-2080 (1981) 80 WPC  $225

This Realistic STA-2080 is a ​GREAT looking receiver​!​ It also has ​ALL the features ​most anybody could ever ask for in a classic stereo receiver.​  Introduced in 1981 it retailed for ​a whopping ​$​500​​(equivalent to $1300 today) ​and given ​all ​its features​,​ it was ​a ​very ​strong competitor with similarly outfitted Pioneer or Sansui receivers. The 80 watts per channel ​was conservative and seems like so much more.
The blue dial and large power and tuning meters have a beautiful glow in low light environments. Overall it has a look of class, quality, and power that really appeals to the eye. Push button Muting suppresses noise when you tune and the Hi-MPX filter gives you noise free reception of weak stations. The 3 boost and cut tone controls have 21 detented positions and include a mid-range adjustment for finer control.
The Realistic STA-2080 has power meters for both the left and right channels as well as meters for signal strength and tuning. Realistic used a 4 gang tuner with 3 ceramic filters in the FM tuner which makes it an above average performer.
Among its many highlights include:  two magnetic phono inputs, two sets of push connect terminals for A and B speakers, a headphone jack, AUX input, Tape 1 and Tape 2 inputs, and also very cool, makes a great preamp thanks to the main in/preamp out jacks.The build quality of the STA-2080 is really very, very good.  While some may occasionally scoff at the Realistic receivers the truth is that many of them were very well built in Japan by Foster/Fostex and Hitachi (and other manufacturers involved as well.)

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.  


Rotel RX-845

Rotel RX-845 digital receiver (1989) 30 WPC  $125

In the late 80's, NAD and Rotel were fierce competitors when it came to digital receivers, preamps, etc. and they are often compared favorably in their class.  Similar in styling to NAD except for the Rotel is a flat black vs NAD's charcoal grey look.This RX-845 is no barn burner at 30 watts per channel but it's a well built, reliable receiver that can power up two pairs of efficient speakers with inputs for tape, CD/Aux and Phono.  Certainly a great starter receiver for anyone looking for an inexpensive yet top quality digital receiver.

About Rotel... 

Rotel is a family-owned Japanese manufacturer of high end audio and video equipment. The company was established in 1961. In the early 1980s Rotel joined the B&W Group forming a strategic alliance with Bowers and Wilkins and later adding Classé Audio.



Technics SA-5270

Technics SA-5270 (1977) 35 WPC  $175

The Technics SA-5270, at a very conservative 35 watts per channel was near the middle of the pack in the SA series in the late 70's.  

Beautiful sculpted walnut case, twin meters, light blue FM glass that turns a bright white when powered on...easily drives two pairs of speakers plus aux, phono, tape inputs.  

This series was the last of the brushed aluminum faceplates and sculpted cases from Technics because, in 1978 they went to the smooth aluminum and boxed frame cases.  

Also, the ribbed knobs and switches are a touch of class. Easy to service (if ever needed) and very reliable, great build, very popular vintage receiver.

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)