Realistic STA-2000

Realistic STA-2000

A Quantum Leap Into High Power! That’s what Realistic thought about their STA-2000 receiver when they first put it on the market in late 1977. They were right in that it was Realistic’s highest powered receiver at that time at 75 watts per channel. As you may know, Realistic was the house brand of Radio Shack and was meant to compete with Pioneer, Kenwood, Sansui and other receivers at the time. Most of the Realistic receivers are well built and perform very well. Price wise they were very competitive with the other audio brands at the time. The Realistic STA-2000 retailed for $499.95. The somewhat comparable Pioneer SX-950 put out 85 watts per channel and retailed at $699.95.

Realistic STA-2000

The styling of the STA-2000 is very nice and is reminiscent of the Pioneer models of the same era. The wood panels are walnut veneer which matches nicely with the silver face.

Realistic STA-2000

As you can see it has a very large flywheel tuning knob and the other knobs and buttons are nicely laid out. It has dual calibrated power meters that show actual power output to the speakers as well as a dual function meter that shows both FM center tuning and AM signal strength. The unit really looks nice lit up.

Realistic STA-2000

The STA-2000 also features:

  • Dual Gate MOSFET FM
  • Phase Locked Loop FM
  • 3 IF Filters
  • Hi Multiplex Filter
  • 2 Aux Inputs
  • FM Muting
  • Loudness
  • Dual Concentric Bass and Treble
  • High Overload Low Noise Phono Preamp
  • Tuned AM RF Stage

Check out the huge transformer inside.

Realistic STA-2000

Here are the fuses and lamps for the STA-2000. The same are used for the STA-2000D.

In 1979 Realistic released the STA-2000 D which incorporated Dolby noise reduction into the circuitry. Many feel that the 2000D is not as good sounding as the 2000. The lower left push button in the set of 8 buttons on the front of the receiver is a 20db volume attenuator on the STA-2000 but was changed to a Dolby button on the STA-2000D. Realistic also added a small green light to the panel to indicate whether Dolby was activated or not.

This is the STA-2000D.

Realistic STA-2000D

Realistic receivers have been slowly increasing in value as more and more people realize that their performance is very good. Some feel that the STA-2000 is a little heavy on the bass. Still, overall it is a very good value. Of course, the STA-2100 is probably the most desired Realistic receiver but it quite a bit more expensive. If you don’t want to spend that much money and don’t need 120 watts per channel then the STA-2000 or 2000D is the way to go.

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23 thoughts on “Realistic STA-2000

  1. I have the Realistic STA 2000 receiver but no speakers…I sold them a long time ago thinking I will get smaller speakers and now I have NO speakers and don’t know what kind to buy for this receiver. I don’t know anything about receivers or speakers. Can you tell me a make and model of speakers that won’t break me. Thanks so much!!

    1. Hi, the first issue would be whether or not the receiver works properly. No use spending money on good speakers if the stereo doesn’t work properly.

      As for speakers, it really depends upon what you want out of your receiver. Do you want to play music loud for parties or are you more of a music connoisseur and prefer detailed listening? Is the receiver in a large room or smaller room? Do you listen to rock, jazz or classical? Your preferences can make a big difference in the speakers you buy. Also, do you want new speakers or vintage speakers? You can find better value with vintage speakers but you have to be careful because some will need refoamed or perhaps some other work done. A good pair of older speakers can usually be found on Craigslist. You can usually audition them before buying them as well. Most older speakers have grill covers that can be removed by hand. Once removed you can see the condition of the foam surrounds (they tend to rot over time) and check by ear whether the tweeters work.

      Here is a picture from Simply Speakers that shows before and after foam surround problems.


      The left of the picture shows a rotted foam. The right has been refoamed. You’ll see quite a few vintage speakers with rotted foam. It’s not that big of a deal and sometimes you can buy really nice speakers very cheaply because the foam is shot. Then either refoam them yourself or have someone do it. Probably about $30 per foam to have someone do it for you.

      Let us know what your preferences are and we can give a more detailed answer.


    2. Optimus T-200 loud speakers. Also realistic. I had the set back in 78. My first stereo purchase what a sound. Miss it everyday man

      1. T 200 are great . Also very hard to find. I have a collection of sta receivers . 2000, 2000d ,2100d hooked up to 2 pair of nova 8s . Sound great. Shakes the house at 10 watts and base at 1/4, This is my favorite very clear sound….. I also have 2 , 2250s that also sound great . Sta 16 and sta 77a all work well.

        1. Hi, would you comment on the sound of your STA-2000 compared to your STA-2000D. Would you agree with this review writer that the 2000 is preferred to the 2000D. Why? Thanks

      2. I feel your pain. In 1977 or 78 I bought a Sansui AU-717 and loved it. Developed a problem in 1992 and the shop guy said it was not worth repairing. He was trying to rip me off, for sure. But I gave it to someone else and now that same unit sells for $1000. The repair, I learned, was about $50. But I ache to hear the music we had back then. Realistic made super strong hardware. Everyone was into music and great systems were on everyone’s short list.

  2. Hi there. I have a STA-2000 which is still in good working order. However, it makes a lot of cracking noises, sometimes when turning the volume knob, sometimes randomly. I was told there was probably dust inside. Do you know if it’s possible to fix this, or if there might be something else causing the problem? If you can judge these things without hearing it yourself! Thanks very much in advance :)

    1. When there is a crackling noise when you turn the volume knob, or even other knobs for that matter, it is almost always dirty potentiometers or pots as they’re called. When you turn the volume knob the shaft that it is attached to turns which rotates the pot which is mounted just behind the faceplate of the receiver. Over time the contacts get corroded or dirty and the electrical contact degrades. The signal sent to the receiver circuitry becomes “garbled” causing the volume to crackle, jump up and down, or even go quiet.

      The solution is very simple but sometimes not easy to implement. If you take the cover off of the receiver (after unplugging it) you can see the pots for each knob. IF you spray some electrical contact cleaner into the hole in each pot and then rotate the knob a few dozen times the cleaner will work its way into the contacts and clean them. Sometimes the pots are difficult to get to because they are buried by other electrical components. Sometimes the hole in the pot is difficult to reach or very small which makes it difficult to spray into. Usually though it’s not that difficult and can make a huge difference in the performance of the stereo. I would guess an repair shop would clean the pots for $50 or so. Or you can by some DeOxit cleaner (which is the best) and clean them yourself. If you would like a more detailed discussion of this topic you can check out this thread at

    2. Optimus T-200 loud speakers. Also realistic. I had the set back in 78. My first stereo purchase what a sound. Miss it everyday man

    3. Hello, I have a STA-2080 that had the crackling noise at the volume knob and a couple of others (bass and treble) Have them professionally cleaned, it wont break the bank and it will fix ur problem. Mine works awesome now. Good luck

  3. I have a Realistic STA 2000 and have cleaned it up cosmetically and electronics
    This unit is fantastic in the way it sounds and it is nice looking, I have a state of the art cd player with 24 bit technology hooked up to it and powering 4 medium EPI speakers with a polk audio powered sub woofer, oh by the way my Marantz Receiver is sitting on the shelf, not being used.

  4. I have both the STA-2000 and the STA-2000D. They both sound very good. I am using 4 JBL L40’s on the STA-2000 and 4 JBL three way theater speakers purchased used for $200.00 for all four. My man room sounds like Led Zepplin is in the house. For the money the STA-2000’s are more than worth units costing twice the price. My wife hates it!

    1. I actually bought a whole LED light kit for my sta 2000 on eBay. The seller was very knowledgeable and had lots of different color options. I would also recommend picking up a wire crimping set, it is a lot safer than trying to solder something inside your receiver.

  5. I have a Realistic brand STA-2000D, 75 watts per channel stereo receiver ..please tell me what size fuse it needs!…ty

  6. Hi all, my STA-2000 is sending barely any power to my speakers. I can hear a very quiet sound with the volume knob all the way up. The wattage gauges on the front panel are completely bottomed out. Does anyone have recommendations? I checked the back fuse, and it’s good.

    1. It usually signifies the Dolby noise reduction feature. The STA-2000D has it but the STA-2000 doesn’t.

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