This Realistic STA-2080 is a great looking receiver. It also has all the features the average music listener needs. Introduced in 1981 it retailed for $499.95 and given its features it was very competitive with similarly outfitted Pioneer or Sansui receivers. The 80 watts per channel made it a strong performer in the middle price range of receivers at the time.
The blue dial and large power and tuning meters have a beautiful glow in low light environments. Overall it has a look of class, quality, and power that really appeals to the eye. Push button Muting suppresses noise when you tune and the Hi-MPX filter gives you noise free reception of weak stations. The 3 boost and cut tone controls have 21 detented positions and include a mid-range adjustment for finer control.
The Realistic STA-2080 has power meters for both the left and right channels as well as meters for signal strength and tuning. Realistic used a 4 gang tuner with 3 ceramic filters in the FM tuner which makes it an above average performer.
The STA-2080 has two magnetic phono inputs, two sets of push connect terminals for A and B speakers, a headphone jack, AUX input, Tape 1 and Tape 2 inputs, and main in/preamp out jacks.
The coveted setup in the early 1980’s was the STA-2080 paired up with a set of Mach One liquid cooled speakers and LAB-440 Direct Drive turntable. Lucky buyers could have that setup for just $1079.00!
The build quality of the STA-2080 is really good. People occasionally scoff at the Realistic receivers but many of them were very well built. Many of the Realistic lines were built by Foster/Fostex and Hitachi though there were other manufacturers involved as well.
Nowadays the Realistic STA-2080 is a little bit of a sleeper. The STA-2100 or STA-2300 are the Holy Grail for Realistic collectors so the STA-2080 kind of falls through the cracks. A really nice example can be purchased for $350 to $400. A good working unit can be had for around $250. Those prices will more than likely move upward over time.