Realistic STA-2080

Realistic STA-2080

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.

Realistic STA-2080 Left

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.

Realistic STA-2080 Right

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.

Realistic STA-2080 Lit

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.

Realistic STA-2080 Ad

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!

Realistic STA-2080 Inside

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.

Realistic STA-2080 Back

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.

Available on Ebay

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15 thoughts on “Realistic STA-2080

  1. Realistic receivers were a very good value and had a great look to them. I just bought one off of ebay, an STA-95 with 45 wpc. Not up there with the big power or holy grail units, but it is a rarely used, brand new looking unit that will more than do for years of enjoyment. Again, a great vintage look with the aluminum/walnut veneer pairing.

  2. bought a set of mach ones , deal was this is a set bought back in the 70 s brand new . sa2000 amp tu1000 5 band eq, and a turn table and the mach one,s and a pair of optimus t 100 speakers all for $400. buckes lot of people he said wanted the speakers only , he would not separate them , buy all or nothing.. so i bought all , three and a half drive to ottawa area to pick it all up.. hooked up the sa2000 soon as i got home .. this thing sounds great hook up to the t100 speakers , bought a second set of them as well . had the amp rebuilt , sounds fantastic .. have sansui g8000, 9090 , 9090db , sta 84 sta 2225 , and have a sta 2080 on the way ,but my sa2000 and t100 speakers ROCK…

  3. Bought mine a couple years ago,had it recapped and have it hooked up to some Realistic T-200 speakers. Needles to say they ain’t going anywhere….

  4. Hey, guys, I was bit hesitant this morning when I spotted one at the local Sunday market, the guy was asking $80 so thinking a pouch of tobacco cost me the same I got it and I am loving it a bit of CRC on the knob controls got rid of cracking and it kicks grooves will get a second pair of speakers and hook up my Realistic reel to reel deck to complete the picture.

  5. I Just found an STA-2080 at a recycle for free… w/o even a finger print on it
    Had the output transistors upgraded with newer ones that are more powerful, faster transition, plus a new power cord, and the receiver portion brought up to spec.
    This thing rocks (Pioneer workings inside)
    At 83 wpc… this beast weighs in at almost 50lbs. I have it listed online and will keto it myself if it doesn’t go for the asking price!
    The original sides made of Mac-Tac covered plywood have been replaced with solid Maple ones I made… looks awesome!

  6. All of the large Realistic receivers (2000, 2000D, 2100, 2100D, 2300 and 2080) were made by Tandy Electronics. Foster made their share of Realistic receivers, just not the big boys.

  7. I recently purchased a STA 2080. I have the STA 2000D and the 2100D. The 2080 doesn’t have near the OOMPH! but it is the more attractive of the 3. I now have it in my den mainly to show it off:) I’ve had several friends comment on it regarding how handsome it is. It was hooked up to a pair of T200s but now it’s running a pair of T100s. Not overpowering but very pleasant.

  8. Del Groves
    Just bought my second STA 2080. It has upgraded blue LEDs and is in mint condition. I had it serviced (pots and caps) and the technician was impressed with the condition and performance. It’s pushing a set of T120s and the balance of the system is about perfect.

  9. Love my Sta-2080, what an awesome receiver!! Great sound!!! Highs and lows and mids. Been looking at some Klipchse speakers to match. Knw it will sound unbelievable. Any suggestions on other speakers comparable to price?? Did have some bose 601 series 3s. Best sounding speakers ive ever owned. Shud for over a 1000.00 a pair

    1. If you’re looking for Klipsch speakers to match you might consider the older KG-4, Forte, or (if you have the space) Cornwalls… I was using this same receiver to drive a pair of KG-4’s as well as a pair of KG-2’s… made the garage come alive!

  10. Great review. I have a pair of 2080’s. I use one to drive a pair of Klipsch Cornwalls as per John Moore’s recommendation. At my typical listening volume (80-90db) this set-up positively drips with awesome, beautiful, warm, balanced sound. If you want to move your house off its foundation, hey, you can do that too with this set-up. Amazing.

  11. I just purchased one off a known local reseller—I fortunately no finding one at a recycle plant! I have an STA 2000 already and love it, but I also find this much underpowered in comparison? I’m not sure if something is wrong with it, but it’s supposed to have at least 10wpc more, but I find it literally 1/2 as powerful in the same set up…I have a tech I can take it too. But I’ve already spent real money acquiring it. Not sure I want news that requires more $$$. On the good side, it’s spotless and gorgeous and a great candidate for blue LEDs as it’s a simple and easily accessible set up:)!

      1. Earlier in this thread you write that the 2080 is not near as powerful(less oomph), and now you’re saying it should be more powerful? That is a bit confusing?

    1. I agree, I also have a 2000 and I bought my 2080 and find it underpowered. Its gorgeous though, and mine had just been recapped, so it’s functioning properly. I loaned it to a buddy who loved it and bought one also, so will compare power when his arrives and let you know. Could be your set up or something?

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