The Sanyo JCX-2600K receiver was introduced in 1978 and retailed for $449.95. While Sanyo may not have a reputation for high quality today, the receivers they produced in the late 1970’s could compete with most of the other top brands in the industry such as Marantz and Pioneer. Their build quality is above average and their performance is excellent. The JCX-2600K produces 85 watts per channel and has essentially every feature you’d need. On top of all that it’s a beautiful receiver
Sanyo was founded by Toshio Iue in 1947 and made their name making portable radios and washing machines. The company’s name means ‘three oceans’ in Japanese, referring to the founder’s desire to sell their products worldwide, across the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans. They certainly succeeded at that. The brand was introduced in the U.S. in 1970 and is now a household name. They bought Fisher Electronics in 1975 to expand their home audio reach.
The JCX-2600K has a volume muting switch, FM muting switch, loudness button, a multitude of tone controls, a headphone jack and a Mic jack.
Tone Equalizer Control System
In addition to a separate midrange control with 15dB adjustment at 1kHz, the Sanyo JCX-2600K provides a choice of three turnover frequencies for both the bass and treble controls. The 400Hz (bass) and 2.5kHz (treble) turnovers yield conventional tone control operation. The 100Hz (bass) and 10kHz (treble) positions modify only the upper and lower frequency extremes and are ideal for correcting high or low frequency response roll off in a speaker system. The 200Hz and 5kHz turnover points provide an intermediate range of control, while a tone defeat switch gives instant ‘flat’ response for comparison with the corrected response.
The volume control has a numbered display ringing the knob to make it easy to set the volume exactly where you want it. However, there is a strange difference between the JCX-2600, JCX-2900 and the rest of the JCX lineup. Notice that the numbers on the volume indicator go down as you turn the knob to the right. This is because the numbers indicate -dB, so the larger the number the lower the volume. Seems like a counter intuitive way to do to it. The other models (JCX-2400K, JCX-2300K and JCX-2100K) all have numbers that increase as you turn the dial to the right so they are not measuring -dB but rather dB.
The knobs on the JCX-2600K are unique. The flat portion on the side of the knobs gives them an interesting look and makes it easy to see what the settings are from a distance. The knobs are secured via a set screw so don’t try to pry them off without loosening the screw first.
Sanyo’s top of the line receiver at the time was the JCX-2900K. Other units in the lineup were the JCX-2300K, JCX-2400K, and the JCX-2600K. Most of them have a ‘K’ suffix. I have seen a ‘KR’ suffix on the JCX-2600 and the JCX-2900 though and both have higher power ratings. The JCX-2600KR is rated at 100 watts per channel. The JCX-2900KR model is rated at 140 wpc. Perhaps the KR was a European model? If so, then why the fairly dramatic power difference? Here’s a comparison of the models in the lineup with their power ratings and retail prices:
- JCX-2100K 13 wpc $169.95
- JCX-2300K 26 wpc $229.95
- JCX-2400K 50 wpc $299.95
- JCX-2600K 85 wpc $449.95
- JCX-2900K 120 wpc $549.95
- Power output: 85 watts per channel into 8Ω (stereo)
- Frequency response: 20Hz to 20kHz
- Total harmonic distortion: 0.1%
- Damping factor: 50
- Input sensitivity: 6.5mV (mic), 2.5mV (MM), 150mV (DIN), 150mV (line)
- Signal to noise ratio: 70dB (MM), 90dB (line)
- Output: 150mV (line), 30mV (DIN), 1V (Pre out)
- Speaker load impedance: 4Ω to 16Ω
The top of the wood cabinet has a hard plastic grill vent which is unusual. Most higher end receivers had metal grills. Unfortunately this grill is often broken over the years.
The Sanyo JCX-2600K is a decent sized receiver. It measures 21 11/32″ x 7 3/16″ x 16 9/16″ (540 x 183 x 420mm) and weighs just under 41 pounds (18.5kg).
Despite what many people think of Sanyo quality the JCX-2600K and other receivers in that line are very well built. The transformer is very big as are the heatsinks. There are two 15000uf 63v main caps on the power supply. The output transistors are Toshiba 2SB555 and 2SD425.
Here is what some owners of the Sanyo JCX-2600K have to say about it:
They are really pretty and they pack a punch…This receiver sounds really good!
It has a really sweet sound. Really enjoyable to listen too.
Gave it a listen and decided to add it permanently in my collection.
Sanyo did not slouch in the meat and potato’s of these – overbuilt power supplies and large heavy heatsinks. They are internally every bit as impressive as anything else they competed with.
The 2600 and 2900 are the finest pieces of stereo equipment that Sanyo ever built. They just didn’t cut corners, and went above and beyond in some regards.
The big JCX’s are rare, and mine….one of my most prized possessions.
My JCX-2600K is probably one of the best sounding receivers I’ve listened to. It’s got 3 different frequencies for the highs as well as the lows.
Sanyo has some excellent receivers. They don’t get the credit they deserve.
Right up there with Marantz and Pioneer etc.
Fine receiver with unsurpassed build quality.
If your JCX-2600K won’t power up be sure to check the circuit breaker button on the back panel just to the left of the switched AC outlet. The small white arrow is pointing to it. If it’s sticking out then the circuit has tripped and shut down the power. To reset it, turn the power off and the volume to zero. Push in the circuit breaker button until it clicks in place. Your stereo should then power up. If the circuit continues to trip then something is wrong inside and will require service.
The back panel of the Sanyo JCX-2600K has connections for two sets of speakers, two turntables, two tape decks, and auxiliary device. It also has connections for pre-out and power-in which is nice if you want to connect an equalizer or some other device to your setup.
Notice the U shaped jumpers in the pre-out / main-in connects. If these jumpers are not present (and no other device is hooked up through them) then the stereo will not produce sound. Sometimes people think the receiver is dead when really it’s just missing jumpers.
The circuit breaker button mentioned above is on the back panel as well as one switched and two un-switched AC outlets. The two ground connections are a nice touch. If you have two turntables hooked up it’s not always easy to fit two ground cables onto one ground connection post. The two connections posts on the JCX-2600K make it easy.
You should dispel any apprehension you have about the quality of the late 1970’s Sanyo receivers. They are exceptionally well built, sound great, and really are nice looking. Sure, later products from Sanyo were cheap mass market products but the JCX line of stereos is excellent. The somewhat poor reputation of Sanyo makes finding these great receivers at a VERY reasonable price far more common than with other well known brands. So, if you see one don’t be afraid to check it out and possibly add it to your collection.