The Sony STR-6045 was on the market from 1971-1974 and retailed for $237.50. It was part of Sony’s STR-60xx and STR-70xx lineup including the STR-6045, STR-6055, STR-6075, STR-7055, and STR-6200F. It produces 20 watts per channel into 8 ohms at 20Hz – 20 kHz. Despite it being at the lower end of the performance spectrum in Sony’s receiver lineup it is still a very good stereo.
The STR-6045 stands out with its sleek design, carefully crafted front panel and knobs. It’s definitely eye catching. It also had an optional wood case (TAC-1) that added to the sophisticated look. However, it’s not just the aesthetics that make this receiver very good.
The Sony STR-6045 boasts a double, clutched volume/balance knob to the left of the tuning scale and a tuning knob to the right, creating a visually balanced and elegant layout. Nestled inside the AM/FM dial is a single tuning meter for monitoring signal strength and a stereo indicator light.
Below this array lies a host of other functional elements, including the power switch, always-active headphone jack, speaker switch, loudness and high-filter switches, bass and treble controls, mode and monitor switches, as well as a sophisticated selector group. This group encompasses a knob for automatic-stereo FM, mono FM, and AM, along with a three-position switch to effortlessly select the tuner, phono, or auxiliary sources.
Even though it was considered a budget receiver at the time of its release, the Sony STR-6045 defies expectations by packing an impressive amplifier section. It’s a dual power supply, direct coupled design that delivers an honest 20 watts per channel. This level of power is more than sufficient for most moderately priced speaker setups. However, it’s not just about the power. The STR-6045 also exhibits remarkably low distortion figures, rivaling those found in the higher priced equipment of the time. Both IM (intermodulation) and THD (total harmonic distortion) measure consistently below 0.5% (often well below) across the unit’s operating range.
The power bandwidth of the STR-6045 is very good, with the frequency response exhibiting minor variations across the audible range. While not perfectly flat, these variations are well within acceptable limits. Signal-to-noise ratios in both the amplifier and tuner sections exceed expectations, ensuring a clean and immersive audio experience. Full-range THD figures demonstrate the amplifier’s capability, measuring at 0.41% (0.35% in the right channel) at 25 watts and dropping to an impressive <0.19% (<0.16% in the right channel) at half power.
The FM tuner on the Sony STR-6045 is excellent. It’s FET front end uses passive RF circuitry. The response curves are not only incredibly flat, but the stereo response in both channels is so closely matched that discerning the two curves becomes a challenge. Even the separation curves demonstrate remarkable similarity. This means that strong, but undesired signals won’t overload the input and swamp your favorite station.
The ability of the STR-6045 to bring in even the weakest stations is attested to by it’s impressive specifications:
- 2.6uV sensitivity
- 80 dB selectivity
- 100 dB spurious signal rejection
- 70 dB signal-to-noise ratio
- 1.5 dB capture ratio
Turning our attention to the back panel, we find thumbscrew terminals specifically designed for a 300 ohm FM antenna lead, long-wire AM antenna, and ground connections. Screwdriver terminals allow output to two pairs of speakers, offering flexibility in configuring your audio setup. The front panel switching capabilities enable the use of both pairs of speakers simultaneously, individually, or none at all, making headphone listening a breeze. The STR-6045 can handle 4-16 ohm speakers when using only one pair of speakers and 8-16 ohms when using both the main and remote pairs of speakers.
The Sony STR-6045 has all the basic connectivity you’ll need. With dedicated phono inputs for magnetic phono, auxiliary, and tape monitor connections, you can seamlessly integrate various audio sources into your system. Moreover, the receiver provides corresponding output connections for tape recorders. An un-switched AC outlet is also provided.
The back panel fuses are 2 amp 125 volt.
Dimensions: 15 3/4 x 5 3/4 x 12 1/4 (400 x 145 x 310mm)
Weight: 18lb 5oz (8.3 kg)
In general, the Sony STR-6045 is a great little receiver. Its robust amplifier section, coupled with impressively low distortion figures, ensures a powerful and clean audio output. The tuner section, in particular, showcases qualities found in more expensive units, boasting a steep quieting curve, excellent sensitivity, and a remarkable FM response.
While the STR-6045 may seem somewhat minimalist in its design, it incorporates virtually all the essential features necessary for a good stereo system. It covers all the important controls and functions, leaving little to be desired. With its impressive performance, attention to detail, and affordability, the Sony STR-6045 is a top contender amongst the smaller vintage receivers on the market. In fact, nearly all of the early Sony receivers are worthy of consideration.