Technics SA-500

Technics SA-500

 

The Technics SA-500 is a great mid-range receiver. Not only does it perform well but it has the looks to go with it. If you're just getting into vintage audio this is a really good receiver to start off with. They made quite a few of them so prices are reasonable. It was manufactured from late 1978 to around 1980 and puts out about 55 watts per channel. The suggested retail price at the time was $430.00.

 

Technics SA-500 Meter

 

A precursor of things to come, the SA-500's Power Level meter is LED which you can turn on or off via the Power Display button.  The signal and tuning strength meters are analog.

 

Technics SA-500 Knobs

 

The balanced layout of the knobs and switches along with the white dial face make the Technics SA-500 a clean and sophisticated looking unit. The knobs are done nicely with a brushed aluminum top and sides with a polished accent line along the outer top edge. Technics also produced an SA-500A which has a black face.

 

Technics SA-500 Lamps

 

If you find a used SA-500, some or all of the lamps will most likely be out. It's worth it to replace them with new lamps because the SA-500 looks fantastic when lit up in a dark room. It uses 6.3 V 250 mA bulbs and they're easy to replace. The equivalent LED bulb is a BA9S.

 

Technics SA-500 Inside

 

Another nice feature of the Technics SA-500 is the sliding top. The wood top panel has two small brackets that hold it in place. Once the two screws are removed the top slides off allowing access to the inside.

 

Technics SA-500 Inputs

 

As I mentioned above the Technics SA-500 is a great receiver for the beginning audio enthusiast. It's actually a great receiver for anybody. Search the net and you'll be hard pressed to find anyone that dislikes this receiver and it's brethren the SA-200, SA-300, SA-400, SA-700 and of course the monster SA-1000. The SA-500 fall in the middle and perfectly combines performance with aesthetics. A nice unit can be found for under $200.

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Technics SA-300

Technics SA-300 Faceplate

 

Well, we can't all be monsters right? The Technics SA-300 is no monster, but it does fulfill its purpose. This little guy produces 35 watts per channel with no more than 0.04% total harmonic distortion. So, with some fairly efficient speakers it can produce some nice clean sound for moderately sized room. Plus, it looks nice too! The brushed aluminum face plate and black inset knobs give it a high end, sophisticated appearance.

 

Technics SA-300 Left

 

Offered from 1978 until around 1980, the Technics SA-300 retailed for about $300. It features a 41 click step volume control, low distortion bass and treble controls, high filter switch, loudness compensation switch, and dual function tuning meter.

 

Technics SA-300 Right

 

The SA-300 really does look nice when lit up. The amber back lighting of the tuning dial is both clean and elegant.

 

Technics SA-300 Dial Lamps

 

The output stage on the SA-300 is direct coupled which means it uses no capacitors. This results in a nice, tight, solid bass response right down into the lower frequencies. And, believe it or not, the SA-300's FM front end utilizes a dual gate MOS FET design and a 3 gang linearly variable tuning capacitor. This gives it excellent sensitivity and interference rejection.

 

Technics SA-300 Inside

 

It weighs just over 15 pounds and measures roughly 16 x 6 x 12. The cabinet has a walnut grain vinyl over pressed wood. The SA-300 is a pretty good little receiver. No, it's not going to blow the doors off of any room but it will make a good garage or studio unit. Some people feel the sound is nice and clean while others have called it two dimensional.

 

Technics SA-300 Back

 

The Technics SA-300 is a decent receiver but it's not in high demand. It has its place in the vintage audio world as an entry level receiver or everyday workhorse in the garage. It doesn't handle low ohms well and requires pretty efficient speakers. If you find one at a good price though, it can still be a desirable piece of equipment. A fully serviced unit in really nice condition should run about $100. A decent working unit will cost $50 to $75.

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