Jun 2nd, 2014 Posted in 5900Z, Sansui | No Comments »
This is the Sansui 5900Z from Sansui's Z series of synthesized digital receivers. Introduced in 1980 these receivers featured digital as well as analog tuning displays. While the tuner was digitally synthesized the amp section was still the classic Sansui DC coupled analog circuitry.
The Z line of Sansui receivers didn't have the same high end build quality of the G series but were still very good performing receivers. This Sansui 5900Z puts out 75 watts per channel and is the mid range offering in the Z series. Note also that there are no volume, tuning or selector knobs on these units as they have been replaced with push button controls.
The 5900Z also makes use of LED's which were just coming into fashion at the time. The power meters use red LED's as does the analog portion of the tuning dial. It's a strange mix of old and new and represents the period of evolution from analog to digital.
Another feature that was incorporated into the 5900Z and later into nearly all receivers was preset stations. The 5900Z has 12 memory presets so you can store your favorite stations and go back to them at the push of a button.
Sansui receivers are some of the most popular receivers among collectors and audio enthusiasts. The G series is by far the most sought after but for those that were buying a receiver in the early 1980's these Z series analog/digital hybrid receivers are very popular. The 5900Z can be found for around $150 to $250 depending upon condition.
Jun 2nd, 2014 Posted in Model 160, NAD | No Comments »
You've most likely heard of this audio manufacturer before but still may not recognize the name on the faceplate. This is the New Acoustic Dimension Model 160 receiver which was made from 1975 up until around 1979. You may be more familiar with the name NAD. Of course, in the U.S. NAD is most known for their 3020 integrated receiver which sold very well here. Earlier models such as this 160 and the later 160A were sold mostly in Europe and are not often seen in the states.
New Acoustic Dimension was started in England in 1972 by Martin Borish. His vision was to create components that weren't overloaded with features that people wouldn't really use. This gave NAD's products, especially the late 1970's and 80's models, a very streamlined look. You'll see a couple different variations on the faceplates with some having New Acoustic Dimension at the top left and the Model on the top right while others have NAD and the model at the top left and Stereo Receiver at the top right. Some of the lettering is green and other times it is black. Inside they are the same.
NAD produced the models 120, 140, 160, and 300 during the mid 70's. The 120 had 25 watts per channel, the 140 35 watts, the 160 50 watts and the 300 was at the top of the line with 100 watts per channel. These units were all very well designed and built. They have some cosmetic similarities to the Marantz models of the time with the lettering and push buttons. Similar toYamaha in the way the wood case butts up against the faceplate. NAD was actually one of the first audio companies to start outsourcing production of their units to Japan.
NAD Model 160A
Mechanically the Model 160 does have an issue with the power supply which is susceptible to overheating. This however is an easy fix as it is usually one of the large resistors on the power supply board. Notice also, that the Aux input is a DIN so don't expect to be running your iPod through this unit unless you have an adapter. Note also that it has only one phono input on the back. The Model 160 has no Loudness function but in the later Model 160A the Muting button was replaced with a Loudness button.
NAD grew rapidly when they introduced the 3020 which sold over a million units during its production run from 1979 to 1993. But, it's these older models that are very hard to find for collectors. While these units are very well built and perform nicely they are still sleepers. Nice units can be purchased for around $100.
May 28th, 2014 Posted in S-7100 / S-7100A, Sherwood | No Comments »
This is one of Sherwood's upper end models the Sherwood S-7100. The Sherwood company was founded in 1953 by Ed Miller and John snow. Their primary products were amplifiers, tuners and receivers though they also had a speaker line. In 1961 Sherwood participated in the world's first stereo radio broadcast which utilized Sherwood equipment. The S-7100 is one of Sherwood's later solid state models though it is said to have a warm tube like sound to it.
The S-7100 puts out roughly 18 watts per channel though I have seen other specs show anywhere from 14 to 22 watts per channel. Sherwood was known for their exceptional FM tuners and the S-7100 is no exception.
The Sherwood company produced the first completely solid state receiver in 1967 so they were at the forefront of the new technology of the time. While most of their line was originally manufactured in the U.S. they moved production to Korea in 1978.
The build quality of the early Sherwood receivers was exceptional and their performance matched that of the more well known brands of the time.
The S-7100 utilizes a plastic switch inside the power / volume knob that can decay quickly if solvent is used to clean it. So, if you do intend to clean the switch be sure to use a cleaner that does not have solvents in it.
Sherwood also sold the S-7100A which was slightly different than the S-7100 though you wouldn't really notice it from the outside of the unit. As you can see the S-7100A below is essentially exactly the same on the front as the S-7100 with the exception of the knobs. The knobs on the S-7100 have a black cover around most of the knobs with the exception of the Tuning and Loudness (power/volume) knobs. The S-7100 knobs are all silver with the exception of the Tuning and Loudness knobs. So, they basically reversed the knob design from the S-7100 to the S-7100A.
The S-7100A has a few more watts per channel at around 25 and the interior circuitry as well as the back panel differ from the S-7100. Both units have very nice walnut veneer wood cases which is unusual for non top of the line receivers.
While the Sherwood receivers were well built and performed as well as the other major brands they do not have the notoriety the others do. Because of this, prices are not as high as say a similar Pioneer or Marantz receiver. Of course, this also means that you can usually find a very good deal on these receivers. In fact, a nice, fully functional S-7100 or S-7100A can be had for just over $100.00. If you're not too fussy about cosmetic condition you can get one for around $60.00.