This little receiver is the Technics SA-200. It was at the bottom end of the Technics lineup back in 1978 and retailed for around $240.00 at the time. Despite being a “low-end” stereo it is very well built and performs well for what it was designed for. In a small room or garage and paired with efficient speakers it’s really a very good stereo. Of course, at the top of the Technics lineup was the SA-1000, one of the great monster receivers of the vintage era.
The SA-200 has the typical look of the late 1970’s Technics equipment. On the higher numbered Technics models the knobs all have the characteristic black ring around them. The SA-200, however, only has them around the volume and tuning knobs. But, all the knobs have a beveled top edge which gives them an appealing gleam in the light.
In terms of performance the SA-200 does not disappoint. It’s a budget receiver but produces 25 watts per channel with a very admirable 0.04% total harmonic distortion. You’ll be hard pressed to find another receiver in that price range with THD that low. It also has a direct coupled power amp design, 3 stage direct coupled phono equalizer, MOS FET FM front end with a 3 gang tuning capacitor, phase locked loop FM stereo decoding chip and 41 step click stop volume control. Not bad for a budget unit.
- Tuning range: FM, MW
- Power output: 25 watts per channel into 8Ω (stereo)
- Frequency response: 10Hz to 30kHz
- Total harmonic distortion: 0.04%
- Damping factor: 32
- Input sensitivity: 2.5mV (MM), 180mV (DIN), 150mV (line)
- Signal to noise ratio: 78dB (MM), 95dB (line)
- Channel separation: 55dB (line)
- Output: 150mV (line), 30mV (DIN)
- Speaker load impedance: 4Ω to 16Ω
- Dimensions: 430 x 142 x 300mm
- Weight: 7.2kg – 15.8 lbs
- Dimensions: 430mm x 142mm x 300mm – 16″ x 5.6″ x 11.8″
Most of the SA-200’s have a simulated wood grain case but I have seen a few with a lower profile black case like the one pictured above.
The transformer in the SA-200 is good sized as are the two 6800uf filter caps. The Darlington STK power packs are not well liked by audio enthusiasts as the originals tend to fail and it is hard to find quality replacements.
There are connections for Main and Remote speakers on the back panel as well as Aux input jack if you want to hook up your phone or MP3 player. Remove the two screws holding the two metal brackets at the top corners of the rear panel and the top will slide out revealing a very easy to service interior.
For someone just getting into vintage audio, or if you have a small room and are on a budget, the Technics SA-200 is a nice fit. Just pair it up with some efficient speakers and maybe even a Technics turntable and you’ll be set. You can find good working units for under a hundred bucks.