Realistic STA-2100

Realistic STA-2100

This is the Realistic STA-2100 offered by Radio Shack in 1979. It's a very nice and clean looking unit that was made by Foster Electronics. The build quality is excellent. The STA-2100 utilized a toroidal transformer and pumps out 120 watts per channel RMS. A later version, the STA-2100D was manufactured without the toroidal transformer due to a patent dispute with Pioneer.


Realistic STA-2100


The receiver also has a pretty good 4 gang tuner FM tuner. Overall the receiver is probably under rated by most collectors so you can still pick them up at a fairly reasonable cost and the quality and looks are just as good as some of the more sought after receivers.


Realistic STA-2100 Right


One change that Radio Shack made from the STA-2000 to the STA-2100 was that they moved the power button from the left of the volume knob where it sat mixed in with all the other buttons to the right side just above the headphone jack where it was more easily visible.


Realistic STA-2100 Back


Here you can see the big toroidal transformer as well as the large capacitors. The Realistic receivers are very well built and well laid out electronically.


Realistic STA-2100 Inside


The Realistic STA-2100 retailed for $599.95 and was Radio Shack's top of the line receiver in 1979. Other features included:

  • Linear Phase IF filters
  • Dual-Gate Mosfet FM
  • PLL Multiplex
  • Wide dynamic range phono preamp with selectable sensitivity
  • 10 dB attenuator
  • 3 tone controls
  • 25 or 75 microsecond De-emphasis for Dolby FM
  • Muting


Realistic STA-2100 Ad


The Realistic STA-2100 sell for around $400-$600.00. One in excellent condition sold for $470.00 on 8-20-2011. Another in very nice fully functioning sold for $609.00 on 8-15-2011.


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This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 24th, 2011 at 9:58 am and is filed under Realistic, STA-2100. 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.



Few days ago I purchased a STA-2100, the one with the toroidal transformer, and its one sexy beast.

Everything about this unit screams quality. The attention to detail is amazing. A corrugated, 2cm wide plastic band is present across all the bottom knobs to allow for easy gripping. The tuner wheel also has a corrugated band, except this one is metal and part of the wheel. Tuner lights only come on when the tuner is selected and light up in green, just like the L & R power meters.

The tuner has no trouble picking up stations. The wood cabinet is a very nice touch.

I can see why Pioneer was all in a stink over this unit. Radio Shack designed this and Foster built it. Cud-o’s to Radio Shack for such a great design. Unit must really be seen powered up at dusk to truly appreciate its beauty.

All my STA-2100 needs now is a fine pair of bookshelves to power up … and I’ve got just the candidates.

ps. I forgot to mention my favorite part, the POWER BUTTON. A 1cm hole is drilled right in the middle of the button. When first powered up, the LED inside the hole glows red during its protection mode test (great design once again), then turns green once its ready to go. Very ‘ahead of its time’ imo.
The attention to detail is EVERYWHERE on this unit and it makes me appreciate its styling each time I power it up. Oh, and you wouldn’t think it, but it is ONE HEAVY BEAST. I was shocked that this ‘measly’ 120wpc receiver weighed this much. Unreal.

March 27th, 2012 at 6:22 pm

I agree. I love the larger Realistic receivers. I have the STA-2300 and it looks fantastic lit up. Build is high quality and it sounds great as well. They’re still somewhat sleeper units as prices haven’t gotten that high yet so they are a good performance value right now. A little over $300.00 and you get yourself a cool top of the line receiver.

March 28th, 2012 at 10:27 am

raiko, after looking at the pictures of the STA-2300, it’s a twin of the 2100. Awesome looking unit which retains the styling of the 2100 and its MONSTER power. If you own other receivers as well, how would you compare this one’s power and sound signature to those?

Get this. When checking the DC offset of my STA-2100, it was 2.3mv on the left channel and 4.7mv on the right channel. This is for a unit that has never been rebuilt and from I’ve been told by the 2nd owner, never been biased either. That’s build quality at its finest! (compared to my Hitachi HA-330, which was 68mv on L and 152mv on R). Hitachi needs some work.

I have toyed with the idea to have it rebuilt but am worried it would change the sound signature into something I may not like AS much. What are your thoughts?

March 31st, 2012 at 6:24 am

I have an STA-2000 and an STA-2300. The 2300 will naturally drive speakers a lot harder than the 2000, but the 2000 has a more sensitive tuner. I call the 2000 the Powerhouse and the 2300 the Killer. Really hoping to come up with a 2100 or 2100D. The most overlooked Realistic receiver of that era has to be the STA-2080, though. It’s an 80 WPC monster that weighs about 50 pounds, and is 6 7/8″ x 20¼” x 17 1/8″, so it won’t fit in most vertical audio stands (20″ inside measurement typical) and must sit on top where the turntable normally would sit.

February 3rd, 2013 at 6:05 pm

To a__k: I think you mean mm, not cm? That’s an awful thick amount of plastic if so!

March 18th, 2013 at 6:45 am
Patt Khalili:

I have a Realistic STA-2100, not the “D” version, but the real STA-2100, before the patent problem with Pioneer; this Monster receiver has a Toriodal transformer, and enough power to create sound for an auditorium. I have had it in the shop a number of times over the last 34 years, and it always sounds brilliant. I am thinking about selling it, but it is hard to give up.

March 25th, 2013 at 8:46 pm

I have a nice Realistic STA-2100 that looks and sounds great.I am thinking about selling for the right price.I am asking 650.00

March 26th, 2013 at 2:22 pm

Rodger, you just single handily killed this thread! lol $650????? way to much, these don’t hold that kind of value,right now on ebay theres one going for $225 fully serviced and its the sta-2300

April 7th, 2013 at 7:48 am

BTW….whats the difference between an sta-2100 and a sta-2100D ????

April 7th, 2013 at 7:48 am

On earlier post I asked the difference between 2100 and 2100D, somehow I missed where it was mentioned in the description of the receiver…my bad!

April 7th, 2013 at 1:02 pm
Patt Khalili:

Sorry for taking so long to reply, I just checked the site. In regard to the question posed about differences in the STA-2100 and 2100-D, the “D” version, as nominally stated, was the after lawsuit version that Realistic put out, since the STA-2100 utilized a Toroidal transformer (very powerful), and Pioneer sued, since they believed they had it first (patent), hence the later “D” version. My Realistic STA-2100 is the original super version. I am sure other versions are wonderful, at least this is what I know about it.

May 3rd, 2013 at 2:25 pm
Patt Khalili:

This vintage STA-2100 Receiver is now listed on Ebay, and I am going to miss her. It has been a wonderful 34 years, and I already have second thoughts about the new replacement receiver. Hopefully she will recieve a good home where someone will love it and nurse it.

May 23rd, 2013 at 7:12 am
Patt Khalili:

The STA-2100 just sold on Ebay, it is now with a new home.

May 30th, 2013 at 10:16 am
Tony B.:

I bought my 2100 in 1980 for 465 dollars It was a demo in the store. It was used at a few parties in the early 80,s. It never gave me a problem.I still use it once in a while.I am not going to sell it. It will get passed down to my Grandson .

June 12th, 2013 at 6:12 pm
Patt Khalili:

What a great thought! Hopefully he will appreciate it’s superior sound and traditional quality. I bought mine in 1979, and my new replacement does not sound as nice as the STA-2100 did, although there is much new gadgetry I wanted with the new receiver, the simple and sad truth is that the new receivers do not sound as good.

June 13th, 2013 at 12:43 pm
Tony B.:

Iam currently using my realistic sta-52 received.It is only 12 watts per channel but it sounds good. Made about 1977.It is a quadrophonic reciever.It powers a pair of nova-10,s and a pair of optimus-10,s.I love it.

June 13th, 2013 at 5:01 pm
Jon 56:

I should have mine in a few days! I have wanted one so bad for the last thirty or so years I now finally can get one for my home. Jon

August 10th, 2013 at 11:08 pm
Jon 56:

I have now been enjoying mine for two month’s. I am in the process of buying a set of Optimus T-200 speakers to use as my main series for the receiver and am backing up the unit with a set of Optimus T-110 as my secondary set of speakers. This set-up will ROCK the crap out of some better more top name units that you find for sale today. Jon

October 5th, 2013 at 8:42 pm

My dad had found the STA-2100 on Ebay and bought it for me. I’m not sure what everyone means by a “decent” tuner. Because mine has no antenna (yet) and can pick up stations way better then my 90’s Optimus Stav receiver WITH an antenna! Yes, it is definitely a powerhouse! Had to be careful powering my Optimus Pro 4,000’s, the tweeters sounded harsh at half volume.

April 2nd, 2014 at 11:34 pm

I am looking to purchase a Realistic STA-2100 Receiver. I just missed getting one in mint condition on ebay. If anyone out there has one they are looking to sell, please let me know. Thanks.

March 11th, 2015 at 10:43 am

I don’t know what this means awaiting moderation but I took both ads off of Craigslist. So you can delete both post I created whoever gets around to read this I have a real nice Realistic STA-2100 for sale $300.00 If you someone that wants it have them get a hold of me at Thank You Steven Foundation.

May 26th, 2015 at 12:05 am

Do the parts still bring value?

June 20th, 2015 at 7:34 pm

Hello, yesterday I was the high bidder upon a 2100D, I have wanted one for years, it says something about when turned on power meter jumps to the high point, I am not for sure but if it has to be repaired that will be okay too, I paid $305.00 for it on ebay and today I got a pair of Mach II and the midrange and woofers on each speaker has been repaired, this set should be a pretty good one when it’s up and operational.

May 11th, 2016 at 7:48 am
Shawn Sartin:

Dave I was looking at that same one on ebay. I’m glad I waited. I just bought one for 250 with free shipping it was missing the preamp amp jumpers guy said meters weren’t moving. Well put the jumpers back and the meters are fine and it now has sound too.

May 25th, 2016 at 4:10 pm

Got one a few days ago after responding to a craigslist ad. On my way back my wife was driving and some lady crashed into us. Now the car is in the tow truck companys yard with my 2100 in the trunk. The tow truck company, Mendoza tow are a bunch of assholes that are making me wait till after the weekend to go see if the 2100 survived. Wife and I are ok. Car has insurance,but not sure if the 2100 is fine. The crash was on my wife’s side while she was driving and got t boned slightly at an angle. So all the impact was at the driver door. Ill update if the 2100 is ok later.

July 11th, 2016 at 7:05 am

I just bought a whole set in the boxes sta-2100 with the equalizer and phono and mach ones .any info i could get

September 12th, 2016 at 8:30 pm

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