Technics SA-500

Technics SA-500

The Technics SA-500 is a great mid-range receiver. Not only does it perform well but it has the looks to go with it. If you’re just getting into vintage audio this is a really good receiver to start off with. They made quite a few of them so prices are reasonable. It was manufactured from late 1978 to around 1980 and puts out about 55 watts per channel. The suggested retail price at the time was $430.00.

Technics SA-500 Meter

A precursor of things to come, the SA-500’s Power Level meter is LED which you can turn on or off via the Power Display button.  The signal and tuning strength meters are analog.

Technics SA-500 Knobs

The balanced layout of the knobs and switches along with the white dial face make the Technics SA-500 a clean and sophisticated looking unit. The knobs are done nicely with a brushed aluminum top and sides with a polished accent line along the outer top edge. Technics also produced an SA-500A which has a black face.

Technics SA-500 Lamps

If you find a used SA-500, some or all of the lamps will most likely be out. It’s worth it to replace them with new lamps because the SA-500 looks fantastic when lit up in a dark room. It uses 6.3 V 250 mA bulbs and they’re easy to replace. The equivalent LED bulb is a BA9S.

Technics SA-500 Inside

Another nice feature of the Technics SA-500 is the sliding top. The wood top panel has two small brackets that hold it in place. Once the two screws are removed the top slides off allowing access to the inside.

Technics SA-500 Inputs

As I mentioned above the Technics SA-500 is a great receiver for the beginning audio enthusiast. It’s actually a great receiver for anybody. Search the net and you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone that dislikes this receiver and it’s brethren the SA-200, SA-300, SA-400, SA-700 and of course the monster SA-1000. The SA-500 fall in the middle and perfectly combines performance with aesthetics. A nice unit can be found for under $200.

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5 thoughts on “Technics SA-500

  1. Hi, I found the details provided for Technics receivers quite informative. However, I have one question. What is the main difference between SA-400 and SA-500 generally. I bided for SA-400 but could not win in the last minute so thinking about biding for SA-500. I live in Canada and all such vintage are mostly in USA so getting them across the border is lots of money to spent….. I had an SA-200 and 300 but are not functioning well due to their ICs. I will appreciate your honest information and comments.

    1. There are some minor differences that I know of. First, I believe the SA-500 is 55 watts per channel and the SA-400 45 watts per channel. The SA-500 also has an LED power meter which the SA-400 does not have. Both have harmonic distortion at 0.04% as well as a similar damping factor and signal to noise ratio. So, not too much of a difference between the two. If the price isn’t much higher I’d buy the SA-500.

  2. A mais importante diferença entre SA 400 e SA500 é que o SA500 utiliza transistores na saída de potência enquanto o SA400 utiliza integrado tipo STK.

    The most important difference between SA 400 and SA500 is that the SA500 uses transistors at the power output while the SA400 uses integrated STK type.

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