Concept 16.5

Concept 16.5


This is the fairly hard to find Concept 16.5 which was offered through the audio retailer Pacific Stereo back in the late 70's.  The 16.5 was sold from about 1977-1980 and had a retail price of around $949.99.

Basically, when a customer went into a Pacific Stereo store looking for a Pioneer or Sansui receiver the salesman would steer them toward the "house" brand which was the Concept. Normally you might think that the house brand would be some cheaply made unit designed for maximum profit to the retailer. But, in this case the Concept 16.5 was one very well built and high performing receiver.  It was apparently made in Japan by Tandy and put out a whopping 165 watts per channel. Some say that it is perhaps the best receiver ever made and you'll be hard pressed to find any negative reviews although it's styling leaves a little to be desired. It is known for it's fantastic bass output and window shattering power.


Concept 16.5 Back


The Concept 16.5 is huge and weighs in at 67 pounds. The circuitry was deigned by Richard Schram, now with Parasound, and featured a dual mono design with 2 large power transformers and 10,000 uf power supply capacitors. It's rumored that Pacific Stereo didn't submit the 16.5 for review to the audio magazines at the time because it's superior performance might upset the other audio manufacturers that Pacific Stereo carried such as Pioneer and Sansui. Since Pacific also provided repair and maintenance on the other manufacturers receivers they knew other models inside and out.  This allowed them to design their Concept line to provide even better performance then its peers.


Concept 16.5 Inside


These receivers are pretty hard to find as Pacific Stereo was mainly a West coast operation though it did have some stores in the Mid-west. It's a guess but somewhere between 1200 and 2000 Concept 16.5 receivers were made. How many have survived over the years is unknown but they are not that easily found. In December 2011 a 16.5 sold for $720.00 that was in good cosmetic and working order but need some maintenance and cleaning. I would guess that a superior unit that is restored would sell for $1000.00 or more.


Update: May 22, 2014. Prices are on the rise. A Concept 16.5 recently sold for $1580.00. It was in fantastic cosmetic and working condition.


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This entry was posted on Monday, December 12th, 2011 at 11:41 am and is filed under 16.5, Concept. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.



Interested in purchasing

September 11th, 2014 at 9:48 pm

I have one of these receivers it has a short in the power switch where when it’s turned off the display light stays on and the volume nob is dirty it makes a Lil scratchy sound when turned up or down how much do you think it’s worth I live in California USA

May 31st, 2015 at 6:39 pm

Just a shot in the dark but do you still have the receiver for sale.

January 15th, 2016 at 11:31 am

My brother told me i still had my 16.5 in the barn after many times thinking and trying to take to the dump. Weighing so much it was to big and heavy to put in trash can after it stopped working i just gave up and left it in the barn and forgot about it. Found a local tech and for two bills fixed it and just added kenwood sx7666 speakers a serviceman brought back from a px in japan during the vietnam war.They were military issued so the public could not purchase and i don’t see many around.You know i did not realize how good the sound of the 70s was.We just exspected that and took it for granted.When i turn music from the sixtes and 70s it takes me back but it only sounds good!LOUD ! Just ask a baby boomer.

March 20th, 2016 at 9:49 am

Brian Did you fix the 16.5 and what speakers do you have?

March 20th, 2016 at 9:52 am

I have a daily user Concept 16.5 receiver. Comparing values now.
She might be for sale.

September 13th, 2016 at 1:28 pm

One sold a few weeks ago for $1300.00 and it was listed as “parts or repair” because the AM/FM output didn’t work.

September 13th, 2016 at 1:50 pm

My dad gave me a Concept 16.5 that he used with a pair of Bose 901’s back in the day. I paired it with some Klipsch floors that absolutely shook the world. I have the same issue as a gentleman above, when I turn volume up or down there is a scratching sound but then pumps through crystal clear and powerful. I am pissed I took the knobs off when I moved and put them in a ziploc for “safe keeping” and cannot find the bag any longer. I had thought about selling the unit but I remember my dad having it my whole life so it has sentimental value…although I sold my speakers and she is just sitting in a spare bedroom :/

Any ideas on who would be able to clean the unit? I debated doing it myself, but didn’t want to mess with any structural or electrical dignity.

September 27th, 2016 at 6:02 pm

Depends on where you are. Most audio technicians should be able to do a basic cleaning. Then again, the 16.5 is a rare beast so I wouldn’t just trust anyone. Maybe check over at AudioKarma and let them know where you’re at. someone there should know a good technician near you. Also, if you’re interested in doing it yourself there is a good thread there on using DeOxit and such. Read through at least the first page as there is good info there on what and what not to use.

September 27th, 2016 at 6:27 pm
david norman:

I to have the rare 16.5 Concept.

To give you an idea of the cost of the unit and repairs: bought on ebay in 2011 for 1,000.00 cosmetically 9/10. It worked fine, but had a power relay issue. I had it completely re-capped and restored by a gentleman by the name of Jeff who used to manage a Pacific Audio outlet and during that time was also a head repair tech there. The restore cost $1500.00

September 30th, 2016 at 9:26 am

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