The Sony STR-V7 is a sleek and powerful vintage receiver that was first introduced in 1978. At 150 watts per channel it is a classic monster receiver. As the flagship model of Sony’s STR receiver lineup at the time, the STR-V7 retailed for a premium price of $900 and combined Sony’s top engineering and technology into one very cool stereo.
With its classy styling and restrained aesthetics, the STR-V7 exudes elegance. The brushed metal faceplate, with its chrome accents, and green glow of the tuning dial give the STR-V7 a polished, high-end look. The use of different textures and finishes for the knobs, meters, and display windows balanced functionality with sophisticated design.
The front panel of the STR-V7 focuses on intuitive controls and informative displays. Two large, left/right channel power meters show the amplifier’s output up to 200 watts. A third meter shows center tuning. The right channel power meter can be quickly switched to display signal strength via a button between the volume and tuning knobs.
Other controls on the front panel include low and high filters, bass and treble controls, and switches for tone defeat, loudness, FM Selectivity, FM Muting, and Dolby FM. There is also a headphone jack.
The STR-V7 features stepped attenuators for volume as well as the bass and treble controls.
The FM tuner in the STR-V7 offers very good performance with a 5-gang varicap tuner, sensitive MOS FET RF front end, and an IF bandwidth switch that enables either wide or narrow reception which is useful in crowded signal areas. To adjust for station interference you can use the FM selectivity switch. It works like this:
- Center-tuning meter with meter/switching for signal-strength indication
- Dual power meters
- Linear FM and AM dial scales
- FM interstation noise muting switch
- Phono equalization circuitry for moving-coil cartridge phono input
- Connections for two phono sources, aux, and two tape decks
- Stepped attenuator volume control
- Stepped attenuator bass and treble controls
- Tone defeat switch
- Connections for two sets of speakers
- Dolby FM decoder
- 5-gang varicap tuner
- Toroidal Power Transformer
- Dimensions: 20 1/2 x 7 1/2 x 17 3/4 inches (522 x 192 x 450mm)
- Weight: 48.6 pounds (21.9 kg)
- Power 150 watts continuous from 20 Hz to 20 kHz at no more than 0.07% THD
- Quieting 14.2 dBf/37.3 dBf
- S/N 75 dB/70 dB
- Response 30 Hz to 15 kHz, +0.2, -1.5 dB
- THD 0.08% (1 kHz)/0.15% (1 kHz)
- Separation 48 dB (1 kHz)
- Subcarrier 60 dB
- Capture 1 dB
- Selectivity 80 dB
- IM 0.07% at 150 watts
- Response 5 Hz to 50 kHz, +0, -2 dB
- Sensitivity 2.5 mV (phono); 150 mV (high level)
- Overload 250 mV (phono)
- S/N 86 dB at 5 mV (phono); 1043 dB(aux); 150 dB (tape)
- S/N Phono MM 80 db
- S/N Phono MC 65 db
- Phono EQ RIAA +0.5 dB
- Bass ±10 dB at 100 Hz
- Treble +10 dB at 10 kHz
- High filter 6 dB/octave above 9 kHz
- Low filter 6 dB/octave below 50 Hz
- Features Moving-coil capability
- Dimensions 20.7 x 7.7 x 17.7 (522 x 192 x 450mm)
- Weight 48 lbs. (21.9 kg)
With a direct coupled DC power amp design and massive toroidal transformer, the STR-V7 delivers a more than adequate 150 watts per channel. The low 0.07% total harmonic distortion results in clean, accurate sound. Amplifier stability and reliability come from high build quality and rigorous engineering.
The build quality of the Sony STR-V7 is excellent. The huge toroidal transformer weighs just over 14 pounds (6.5 Kg) alone. One issue it does have is that the tuner gang is not covered so dust can get in through the vent panel on the top of the cabinet and cause issues with signal clarity. If the receiver is exposed to moisture the tuner can even corrode. A good cleaning can usually remedy the problem.
There are a few drawbacks with the STR-V7 –
- The volume attenuator steps are large at lower levels, making smooth volume changes a little difficult.
- The mute button completely mutes output rather than attenuating by -20dB like most receivers.
- It lacks pre-out/in jacks on the rear which is strange for a high end receiver.
- The cabinet is not wood veneer but instead is vinyl covered which tends to peel over the years.
- This is the best Sony audio receiver of all time!
- Monster receiver! Sony at it’s best!
- The unit sounded very nice- sweet and clean. I like that it has the ability to use either a MM or a MC turntable cartridge via a switch on the rear panel.
- I would much rather have the STR-V7 and I have owned 3 SX-1250’s
- It has a very clean, sweet sound, plenty of punch and power.
- Surprised Sony didn’t include a separate amp/pre switch on the back panel. The lack of a midrange control on a TOTL is also disappointing. Vinyl covered instead of real wood veneer.
- If Sony had spent just a few bucks more on cosmetics, the V7 would be even more of a classic. IMO, the plastic knobs (inserts) and the vinyl top are a let down for a TOTL receiver.
On the back panel there are inputs for two turntables, an Aux, and two tape decks. There are connections for two sets of speakers and two AC outlets one of which is switched and one which isn’t. An important feature on the STR-V7 is the capability to support both moving magnet and moving coil turntables. The switch for this is just to the left of the Phono 1 input. This versatility allows the STR-V7 to integrate with a wide range of phono equipment.
As Sony’s flagship receiver of its era, the STR-V7 represented the high end of Sony’s technology and engineering at the time. With robust power, excellent audio quality, and versatile features, the STR-V7 delivers exceptional performance. Its blend of sophisticated aesthetics and functionality make the STR-V7 is a great vintage receiver. They are not cheap, but if you’ve got the money they’re worth it.