Sony STR-6800 SD

Sony STR-6800 SD

 

I've always liked the vintage Sony receivers. I'm not sure I can state exactly why, but they just have a different look about them while still retaining that classic vintage appeal. The layout of the controls is completely different than other stereos of the time and this Sony STR-6800 SD has a subtle look as opposed to the more polished and flashy look of other late 1970's and early 1980's receivers. I guess I would describe it as muted technical sophistication. Whatever that means.

 

Sony STR-6800 SD Faceplate

 

Nonetheless, the early Sony receivers are great machines. Their design, build quality and performance all live up to, and usually exceed, expectations. While Sony doesn't attract the same level of interest that Pioneer or Sansui do it does have a fairly rabid following of collectors. Offered from 1977 through 1982 the STR-6800 retailed for around $600.00. It puts out 80 watts per channel and was only one step down from Sony's top of the line STR-7800 SD stereo. Reviews at the time, and user experience since then, seem to concur that the power rating is low and that Sony really under-spec'd the receiver on paper. Many who've owned this receiver explain that they were pleasantly surprised at its superior performance.

 

Sony STR-6800 SD Meters

 

 

You'll notice in the photo below that the STR-6800 has a knob labelled Acoustic Comp which stands for Acoustic Compensator. Stereo Magazine explains this function as:

"In 'low' position, the effect is similar to that of a loudness contour, but only the low end is boosted(a maximum of 8 1/2 dB @ 20hz with low volume settings, 8dB @ 50hz, 6db @ 100hz, and 3db @ 200hz). In the 'loudness' position, the effect is similar but a bit stronger(9 1/2 dB below 50hz, 8 1/4 dB @ 100hz, and 5 3/4 dB @ 200hz). In addition, there is a gentle high-end boost(1 1/4 dB @ 5khz, 3 1/2 dB @ 10khz, and 5 1/2 dB @ 20khz. In the 'presence' mode, a gentle 3dB boost is imparted to a broad band centered on 1khz. The contour is quite wide, with response @ 200hz and 5khz being accentuated by 1 3/4 dB".

 

 

Sony STR-6800 SD Knobs

 

 

This unit also incorporates two tape monitors controlled via a toggle switch as well as tape to tape copying. It also has an external adapter function that confuses many users. You can basically use it to add amp/pre-amp separation if you want some auxiliary audio customization. As you can see it even has hookups for three sets of speakers! It has two phono inputs and an aux input. It's known for it's superior FM tuner as well. These older Sony receivers tend to have issues with dirty potentiometer and speaker relays. So, if you're unit has scratchy volume control or a channel cuts in and out then it could very well just need a good cleaning.

 

Sony STR-6800 SD Back Panel

 

As I mentioned above, the Sony receivers don't garner the respect that the more commonly known brands do but that is changing slowly. As more collectors delve into the world of vintage Sony receivers they will come to be seen as easily equal to their peers. They also have that air of uniqueness to them as well, since everyone is familiar with Sony's contemporary electronics but not at all familiar with their vintage lines. So, for performance, value and conversation appeal the old Sony's are hard to beat. The Sony STR-6800 SD is a great buy. Even in mint condition it can be had for around $300 and good working units for $150-$200.

 

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 at 3:01 pm and is filed under Sony, STR-6800 SD. 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.

11 comments

 No.1 
George:

Just picked up A Sony 6800. I need a wood grained left side panel and a manual. Otherwise looks like a great receiver!

December 22nd, 2014 at 12:32 pm
 No.2 
Pervez:

Hi
I am a bit confused here I really need your help.
I am having this Vintage Sony STR 6800SD a mosfet amplifier I am basically looking for the right pair of speakers of this amp, So my question is can this amplifier handles 2 12″ 200 Watts RMS in 8 ohms woofers. please tell me which watts woofer and on at what ohms will be good for this Amplifier.

January 2nd, 2015 at 8:51 am
 No.3 
warren:

Your receiver will operate either an 8 ohm or 4 ohm speaker. Pick a speaker based on what you think sounds good and not its ohm rating.
It will drive your 200 watt woofers with ease. I do not know your listening level,but if you did manage to drive the woofer at the rated output of the receiver, let me get some ear plugs :0

January 30th, 2015 at 11:37 pm
 No.4 
demort71:

I bought a STR-6800SD a few weeks ago and am very impressed with its sound! Holy cow Batman, this receiver is beautiful. I consider myself to be an amature stereo buff, not a audiophile.

I haven’t used all of its features yet and probably never will. I did record a few tapes using my JVC KD-A33 deck and a Technics table and got beautiful results using normal bias cassettes!

It sure has tone definition. It just slices and dices every instrument and vocal up if you have good enough supporting equipment to do its abilities justice. It is a pretty amazing piece of equipment in that regard.

I have owned a number of other vintage 70’s receivers in the last couple of years by Yamaha, Pioneer, Marantz, Sansui. Frankly this one puts them all in the ditch, although I am still partial to may Sansui receivers. I also have 3 other Sonys-STR-V3, V4, V5. It is better than the V5 with its torroidal amp.

This bad boy has far more features and controls than I have seen on any other large receivers. Marantz made Cadillacs, but I think Sony made Rolls Royces!

I would have to conclude that I now own one of the very best IC receivers made in the 60s or 70s. Since I haven’t heard all the rest of the receivers that could compete for that title, I can’t proclaim it is the best, but I would imagine it is definitely in the top 10, if not the top 5!

I could never have afforded this back in the day when it was made between 1976-78. At $600, it was a small fortune, but worth every dime!

February 1st, 2015 at 11:26 pm
 No.5 
Joe:

I saw this receiver on Vega$–YouTube. That is when I wanted one. It is interesting that it claims that it can run 16 ohm speakers. I got some vintage Jensen coffins that can dig deep into weak-kneed amps. A Fisher (Sears) Quad set-up popped its transistors during a classical concert; it was a death squeal!

February 12th, 2015 at 11:57 pm
 No.6 
Angela:

I’ve had this receiver for a couple of years now. Lucked up on it at an estate sale. Got it paired with 8 ohm 200 watt Sony floor speakers model SS-U542AV and it blows beautifully! Love the Sony sound with its great depth and tone. I also have a Technics SL table. Love the vintage sound for my vinyl collection.

May 19th, 2015 at 7:57 am
 No.7 
kevin:

purchased one new back in 77 and it was fantastic. still have put away in the garage. removed the sides so it would fit in my stereo stand back then, think there gone now. was just thinking of getting it out and using it again. dont pass one up

January 19th, 2016 at 5:39 pm
 No.8 
Bob:

I’ve owned many receivers over the years and the Sony STR-6800 stands out as one of the best. I prefer its sound and features to comparable Marantz and Pioneer units. Plenty of power (mine bench tested at over 100 wpc) and the tuner is excellent as well.

May 17th, 2016 at 10:32 am
 No.9 
Jerry D Gimpel:

I have a Sony str 6800 sd ,serial #806968 225watt receiver complete in good shape .works perfect.lookin to sell what’s a good start price

October 28th, 2016 at 10:41 am
 No.10 
raiko:

There is one on auction right now on eBay that started at $100. It ends in a few days and has some cosmetic issues. I’d keep an eye on that one and see what it sells for. If your’s is in really nice condition then it should sell for $200-$300 plus shipping. If you’re going to sell it on eBay then you might want to consider using a Buy it Now listing with a Best Offer option. Price it a little high and wait until a good offer comes in. Keep in mind that packing and shipping isn’t cheap. They have to be packed extremely well to avoid damage. HERE are the latest solds on eBay.

October 28th, 2016 at 11:11 am
 No.11 
tom:

I have this receiver and love it. I’m wanting to get a subwoofer for it, but not sure how it would be incorporated. Would I use Speaker B or C to send the signal to the subwoofer? Thanks!

November 28th, 2016 at 6:24 pm

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