The Realistic STA-100 is a nice little receiver that was at the lower end of the performance spectrum for Realistic. It was produced from 1979 through 1981 in Korea and retailed for $279.95. The Realistic line was sold at Radio Shack as a lower priced, but equally featured, alternative to Pioneer, Sansui and other brands.
The STA-100 above has custom blue LED lights. Originally the STA-100 had white dial lamps.
Realistic’s advertising touted the STA-100 as:
Human engineered for you with a combination of features for superb performance and ease of operation.
And that’s what it is. Easy to use with good basic features. The dial face is wide and easy to see. It has a signal strength meter for easier tuning. Both the bass and treble controls are detented at zero. The styling is nice as well, although the push buttons on the left might have looked nicer in chrome or steel.
The STA-100 produces 22 watts per channel. The FM tuner is pretty good and can pull in some weaker stations. It also featured tape monitoring facilities, and a loudness button. Overall the receiver was an excellent value for the money. They rarely required service and were built to last.
It has inputs for magnetic phono, aux, tape in, tape out and tape dubbing to a second deck.
Of course, those of us that are old enough remember the Radio Shack catalog coming out each year. Hours were spent perusing the audio gear in those catalogs. You can relive those childhood memories fairly cheaply with the Realistic STA-100. They sell for roughly $100 and up to $200 in pristine working condition.
I recently took a look at eBay sales for vintage receivers and compiled a list of the most expensive sales so far in 2019. Keep in mind that there is no way to be certain that the buyer followed through with the sale or that is wasn’t returned for some reason. These are actual sales from eBay and not just listings for sale.
As you can see the Sansui G-33000 is at the top of the list at $9950. That’s not too much of a surprise as these receivers are extremely rare. I did see that it was on the market a couple different times so I’m not sure if that’s a solid sale or not. It’s followed by a fully restored Marantz 2500.
Somewhat surprising is the Kenwood KR-9050 in the third spot. It is a one owner receiver in excellent condition. It also is a 200 watt monster receiver.
Of course there is the proverbial Pioneer SX-1980 which always dominates the highest value lists.
In the fifth spot is the very rare Technics SA-1000. They may not be quite as popular as some of the top Marantz or Pioneer but they are very hard to find so when they come up for sale they command a high price.
As I mentioned above the Pioneer SX-1980 always dominates any receiver value list. That is no exception here. The next five sales are all SX-1980’s. It may not necessarily be the top performing or best built receiver on the list but it is still considered the holy grail of monster receivers by most collectors.
A Sansui 9090DB, long a favorite of collectors, holds down the 11 spot a just a shade under $4000. It’s followed by a couple more SX-1980s, another 9090DB and a Technics SA-1000.
The monster Pioneer SX-1280 makes an appearance here at number 18 on the list. Built in 1978 and pumping out 185 watts per channel you can see why someone would pay a premium amount for a fully restored SX-1280.
The first quad, a fully restored Marantz 4400, makes the list at number 20 and also at number 25. The Sansui G-901DB appears for the first time as well.
The Sansui G-22000 is at the number 27 spot at $3300. Next to the G-33000 it’s one of the rarest Sansui models.
An impressive price for a Sansui G-9000 at $2850. Also the first Marantz 2385 to make the list at $2800.
The Pioneer SX-1250 is considered by many to be the top Pioneer receiver due to it’s performance as availability of parts, so a $2800 price tag isn’t that surprising.
A McIntosh makes the list for the first time at $2800 for a MAC 1500. The Pioneer SX-5590 looks like a black face European model which are harder to find than the silver faced US model. Another quad, the Sansui QRX-999 also made the list at just over $2500. I guess quad receivers are still in demand.
These sale prices tend to be for extremely nice or fully restored models so they are obviously at the high end of the value range. They are also all eBay sales which means some may have a shipping cost as well as an implied shipping risk since receivers can be damaged during shipping if not packed properly.
Overall, it looks like prices have stabilized somewhat in the vintage receiver market which may be a good thing. Some values have gone up, especially among the lesser known models, while prices for the stalwart monster receivers have leveled off a bit.
If you want to see what’s on eBay right now at the high end of the spectrum check out the links below.