Aug 15th, 2014 Posted in Pioneer, SX-750 | No Comments »
Here's another of the classic Pioneer receivers. The Pioneer SX-750 was an upper mid range receiver with a perfect complement of features and performance for someone wanting good performance while, at the same time, not breaking the bank. The SX-750 did just that while putting out 50 watts per channel at 0.1% total harmonic distortion. Manufactured during the heyday of silver faced receiver's this particular model was introduced in 1976 and made through 1977. It had a retail price tag of around $400.
One interesting feature of the SX-750, and Pioneer SX-650 for that matter, is that the input/output terminals and circuits for the pre amp and tuner section are laid out on one large circuit board. According to Pioneer this allowed the use of unshielded input cables and also resulted in better overall tonal quality. Interestingly the performance of the SX-750 is not that far off from the flagship Pioneer SX-1250 with the exception of power output. So, not a bad value for $400 at the time.
The FM section utilizes a dual gate MOS type FET and a 4 gang variable capacitor for tuning. As you can also see the SX-750 has the standard styling of the time with silver faceplate, wood case and amber lighting.
Here are a few of its other features:
- Two tape in/outputs
- Duplicate switch
- Phono input
- Aux/mic inputs
- Tone and high filter switches
- FM muting
- Tuning and signal meters
- Two separate bass and treble controls
- Dimensions - 19 x 6 x 14.5
- Weight - 31.25 lbs
The back of the SX-750 is interesting as it has a protruding base on which the input and output connectors as well as the speaker outputs are located. The Pioneer SX-450, 550, and 650 also have this feature. It does make the units a little cumbersome to move.
The Pioneer SX-750 is a popular receiver given it is fairly reasonably priced and has the iconic name and look of a 1970's silver faced receiver. For a really nice restored SX-750 you can expect to pay over $300 an up. For a serviced version in good condition around $200. Of course just a working unit in decent shape will be much less and can be had for $100 to $150.
Here's a video of a restored SX-750 you might find interesting. There's actually a series of videos detailing this restoration as well.
Aug 7th, 2014 Posted in Realistic, STA-52B | No Comments »
This Realistic STA-52B was a budget offering from Radio Shack around 1979-80. It retailed for roughly $200 and had limited features. Still, it has very appealing aesthetics. The black dial face coupled with gold lettering adds an air of sophistication to this receiver. And, it sounds pretty good too!
It features both AM and FM bands and has separate bass and treble controls. It only puts out 18 watts per channel so it was designed for smaller listening areas. It has a magnetic phono input and an AUX input as well (for you iPod users). Notice that it even has a cool dual LED feature in the tuning needle. You don't see that very often. While it was designed as a lower end unit for those on a budget it has features that other receivers at a similar price point did not have including outputs for two sets of speakers instead of just one.
There is an earlier version which is the STA-52 that puts outs only 12 watts per channel but does have the ever desirable Q-Vox feature which uses a synthesizing technique to create a virtual quadraphonic sound. Yes, that was sarcasm.
The STA-52B does not have that feature but does have a speaker A Rev setting which will reverse the A and B speakers in case you want to hear the guitar solo in a song on your right instead of your left. I'm not exactly sure why that's useful but it probably sounded cool to a kid looking through the Radio Shack catalog back in 1980.
As you can see it also has both DIN and standard inputs for Tape which is nice. The styling really is nice and the genuine walnut veneer case adds to the look.
OK, so it's not a monster receiver - more like a Minion receiver. But, every receiver has its place, and this one is a fine example of the lower end of the spectrum. In fact, if you want a nice, clean, easy to use receiver for your turntable or reel-to-reel and don't need to fill a large room with sound then this little guy can be had for around $60. Not much to spend in order to dabble in to the world of vintage audio.
Jul 30th, 2014 Posted in G-5000, Sansui | 1 Comment »
Pure Power! That was the tag line for Sansui's G-Series receivers from the late 70's and they lived up to the advertising hype. Even this mid range Sansui G-5000 is one great performer. In fact, many audio enthusiasts make the claim that the early Sansui G series receivers are some of the best receivers ever made in terms of both build quality and performance. The audio industry was evolving at the time and technology was advancing to a point where audio equipment could do a far better job of amplifying sound in a manner that kept it as close to the original recorded sound as possible. Sansui's DC circuitry did just that.
If you had grown up listening to music on late 60's tube equipment or early 70's Pioneer or Marantz gear then you might find the G series receivers a tad bright and less warm. But, personal preferences aside, they produce a more accurate sound than their earlier counterparts that tended to "color" the music. The G-5000 was produced from 1978 to 1980 and really is a great representative of the vintage audio years. It was a mid range offering from Sansui and retailed for about $470.00
A brushed aluminum faceplate, big tuning and volume knobs, big square push buttons, wide tuning dial and centered analog meters give it a great symmetrical look. When lit up the dial has an almost mystical amber / blue look to it.
For those interested in a little Sansui history, they produced the G-X000 series first, then the G-X500 series, and finally the G-X700 series over a span of about 4 years from late 1977 till around 1981 or 82. General opinion is that the early G-X000 series is the best built of the three. Cost cutting measures that occurred later reduced the quality of the X500 and X700 series. Also, the G-5XXX receivers aren't necessarily comparable. The G-5000 is rated at 45 watts while the G-5500 is rated at 60 watts and the G-5700 at 75 watts.
Here are some of its other features:
- Tone defeat
- Speakers A,B, A+B, switchable
- Aux, Phono, FM Auto, Dolby FM, AM, Tape1/Aux, Tape2/Aux
- Bass, treble, balance, volume, tuning
- Loudness, FM muting, Stereo/Mono, Tape monitor, -20 dB mute
- Subsonic filter
- Mic mixing level
- 4-Ch adapter switch
- Headphones jack, Mic jack
- Signal and tuning indicators
- 2 extra power outlets
- Uses discreet Sanken output transistors
- 31 lbs at 18 x 7 x 16"
I had a poll on this website for a while asking what everyone's favorite receiver brand was. I expected Marantz or perhaps Pioneer to dominate. But no, Sansui was the most favored brand. That is reflected in both demand and prices for these receivers, especially the early G series units. Of course, the G-22000 and G-33000 are virtually impossible to acquire for the average collector, and even the G-9000 can easily reach over $1000 when restored and averages about $600 to $900. The G-5000 is much more reasonable at $200 to $300. And, for the level of build quality and performance you can get out of them that is a pretty good deal.