Kyocera R-851

Kyocera R-851

 

Here is another receiver made during the transition from quality made audio to cheap black plastic audio. Yeah, I know that's a generalization but it holds true for most of the audio market as it moved into the 1990's. This Kyocera R-851 is a very interesting receiver. I actually had one of these for a while along with its companion CD player and tape deck. It may not look like much in the pictures but it really is a beautiful piece of equipment. It is rated at 85 watts per channel which is most likely a conservative rating. It retailed for around $850 when it was introduced in the mid 1980's.

 

Kyocera R-851 Panel

 

In the early 1980's Kyocera (a contraction of Kyoto Ceramics) purchased a company named Cybernet which propelled them into the audio manufacturing industry. I owned a Cybernet amp and tuner at one time as well. They were at the forefront of the MOSFET technology at the time. This brings up one of the drawbacks of the early Kyocera MOSFET receivers. The output transistors tend to get hot, too hot, and fail. Replacements can be found however so all is not lost if your R-851 or R-861 die of heat exposure.

Also notice the different lettering and logo on the front of the receivers in the first and second pictures. The red logo was used on units produced later in the production cycle while the all white, script font, lettering and logo were used on earlier production units.

 

Kyocera R-851 Left

 

Some of the controls are accessed via a drop down panel that runs along the bottom of the receiver. The controls on the right of the unit include an interesting volume control slider as well as push button selectors for input source and station presets. The LED panel includes a digital frequency readout as well as peak power and FM signal strength meters.

 

Kyocera R-851 Right

 

Pressing the lower-right corner of the panel causes a full-width door to pop down, revealing additional push buttons, knob controls, and a headphone jack. There are three tone controls, including bass, midrange, and treble. The bass-control turnover frequency can be varied from 100 to 500 Hz, and the treble turnover-frequency range is 2,000 to 10,000 Hz. The frequency of maximum effect for the mid control can be varied between 500 and 2,000 Hz, giving the R-851 a quasiparametric capability.

 

Kyocera R-851 Ad

 

The rear panel on the R-851 has the standard input and output jacks, two sets of insulated spring-loaded speaker-output connectors, and a hinged AM ferrite-rod antenna. There are binding posts for an external wire AM antenna and an F-type coaxial connector for a 75-ohm FM antenna.

 

Kyocera R-851 Back

 

The wood side panels are walnut finish. The stereo is 18 1/8 inches wide, 14 3/16 inches deep, and 5 3/16 inches high. It weighs 27 pounds.

 

Kyocera R-851 Ad

If you don't usually run with the crowd and want something very different but that performs at a high level you should definitely check out the Kyocera R-851 receiver (or the R-861). It has a nice high tech look to it yet still seems vintage. It produces enough power for most situations and performs with the best of the receivers made at that time. The most tantalizing aspect is that Kyocera is somewhat of a sleeper brand and their older receivers can be had for extremely reasonable prices.

The R-851 sells for around $100 to $150 for a good working unit. That's cheap considering its performance and looks.

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NAD 7140

 

NAD 7140

 

The mid to late 1980's saw a transition toward cheaper less robust audio components mostly made of plastic. During that transition there were some interesting receivers made by companies such as NAD. This NAD 7140 receiver is a good example. Produced from 1987 through late 1989 is is a high quality stereo that moved away from the shiny brushed aluminum faceplates and beveled knobs so popular in the 1970's and very early 1980's. It retailed for $478.00.

 

NAD 7140 Display

 

The build quality and circuit design is excellent and, best of all, it can accommodate tape, phono and CD. The phono input can be switched from MM to MC as well.  The rating of 80 watts per channel is conservative and NAD's amp circuit is designed with a lot of headroom. There is a switch on the back to adjust for speaker impedance and the 7140 will provide 40 watts per channel at 2, 4, and 8 ohms.

NAD also utilizes what they call Soft Clipping. It is also controlled by a switch on the back panel. Soft Clipping limits the waveform when the amplifier is driven beyond its capacity thereby reducing harshness and distortion at high volume levels.

 

NAD 7140 Power

 

The Bass EQ button provides a 6dB boost at 32Hz for speakers lacking that extra punch. NAD explains their Infrasonic Filtering control as follows:

Infrasonic filtering is included to eliminate signal contamination from turntable rumble, record warps, tonearm/stylus resonances, vibration and acoustic feedback. This guarantees the cleanest possible handling of signals within the audible range and eliminates the excessive woofer-cone excursions that can cause inter modulation distortion and muddy bass in systems with-out filtering.

The IF can be turned off via the Infra Defeat button on the front panel.

 

NAD 7140 Inputs

 

The NAD 7140 entered the market at the beginning of the Compact Disc era and was designed with the CD in mind. Its 102 dB signal to noise ratio and 3 dB of IHF Dynamic Headroom allow undistorted reproduction of transient bursts from CD's or digitally recorded sources.

The 7140's FM tuner is fantastic and the AM tuner isn't bad either. Overall it's just a great receiver.

One stereo reviewer said:

The performance of the NAD 7140 is difficult to criticize. In fact, it is so outstanding, in so many respects, that there is a real danger of our lapsing into fulsome praise instead of offering genuine criticism. Let us say only that its FM tuner is one of the most sensitive we have had the pleasure of using-in a meaningful sense, such as its exceptional stereo 50-dB quieting sensitivity. The signal-to-noise ratio is also exceptional. The tuner's other characteristics are equally impressive, ranging from good to outstanding, and it had no weaknesses that we could discover. Even the AM section had an unusually wide and flat response.

The stereo measures 16 1/2 inches wide, 13 3/4 inches deep, and 4 inches high, and weighs in at just over 20 pounds.

 

NAD 7140 Parts

Overall the NAD 7140 is a great receiver. It is built well and can accommodate multiple input sources. If you want to run a CD player, a turntable and even a reel to reel and still have an AUX input open for an MP3 player then the NAD 7140 may be for you.  It has had some issues with the digital display failing but this can be fixed.

One of the nice aspects of the 7140 is that it isn't very expensive. Fully restored units sell for $200 while good working units sell for around $100-150.

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