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80's Realistic receiver owners: your opinion needed

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by Eywadude, Jul 24, 2016.

  1. Eywadude

    Eywadude Lunatic Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Hey guys,

    I recently bought an STA-2290 that I've been pleasantly surprised by. I was quite surprised by its midrange clarity, tonality, and soundstaging, as well as its midrange presence, yet by doing so without being harsh or fatiguing to listen to. I have to admit, I wasn't sure what to expect from this receiver, but it's aquitted itself very well indeed. It's certainly one of the best receivers I have owned.

    However, I have not been impressed with its power (or lack thereof), and also with the fact that it tends to run hot. Despite that, the sound of this receiver has made me want to try other 100 watt Realistic receivers from the 1980's, as I have read good things about some of the models from this era. I have been looking at (and comparing) the following models:

    STA-2290
    STA-2500
    STA-2600
    STA-2700

    However, my questions are:

    1. Of those four models, which one(s) is known to have the best sound quality. Overall, this is the most important consideration.

    2. Are any of them more powerful (and I don't just mean what's on paper) than the STA-2290?

    3. And do the other models run cooler than the STA-2290, or do they all run relatively hot?

    Any experience or sage advice you have to lend would be greatly appreciated. Cheers. :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2016

     

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  2. superdog

    superdog AK Member

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    I had a 2250.It was my brothers.He bought it new in 82 or 83 and gave it to me when he replaced it with a Pioneer 1050 about five years ago.It sounded just as good as any 70s receiver I had at the time.At the time I was more into the long dial look of the 70s units so I figured I didn't need it so I regretfully sold it.The 2250 was clean and understated looking.
     
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  3. tanker 200

    tanker 200 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    794
    Location:
    Northwest Washington
    I have a STA-2500 and it does run hot, I was using upstairs for a while and it sounds nice but it's far from the most attractive receiver made.
     
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  4. Eywadude

    Eywadude Lunatic Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    How long have you had it and have you ever had any heat-related issues with it? And agreed, not the most attractive receiver, but an interesting era and a historical footnote if anything. Cheers. :)
     
  5. tanker 200

    tanker 200 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    794
    Location:
    Northwest Washington
    I've only had it a couple years and only used it occasionally as an extra system in the loft, I've never had any heat related issues with it (or any other issues) but I never pushed it hard for long periods. It's in storage now, replaced by a Yamaha integrated amp but I'll keep it since it's one of the last good Realistic receivers.
     
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  6. Rex81

    Rex81 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,005
    Location:
    Mid-Michigan
    I have a 2600 that I love for a couple reasons. One is that I remember seeing this same model on full display (being TOTL) when I was a kid in '87 and never forgot it. I also like that you can almost see the eras switching over by looking at it. Walnut veneered sides, silver and charcoal face, etc. The 2600 looks similar to the 2500 but has some pretty cool graphics on it's source buttons that I like. And of course, it sounds great and is well-made.

    I have not had any heat issues with it. Seems to run about as warm as any other receiver I've had. And I've never run out of power. Seems to be packing a full 100 wpc.

    I'm not using it at the moment because I don't have a place for it, but I plan to hook it up to some Polk Monitor 7s and have a killer 80s system. :rockon:
     
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  7. Alexmac

    Alexmac Active Member

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    I have a 2290....I've had it for about 3 years.....it does get quite hot if you are driving it....I put a laptop cooler on top but that's just me. ..I was always impressed with the sound and has no problem driving 2 sets of Mach 1s...so you're not impressed with it's 100 watts per channel?
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2016
  8. Eywadude

    Eywadude Lunatic Member

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    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Yeah, mine runs just as hot. I had it playing at moderately loud levels a couple nights ago for about an hour and the cabinet hit 160-165F on my infrared temp gauge! o_O And unfortunately, no, I am not very impressed with the power of it. The sound, yes, but the power, no. Although I am running 88 db speakers with it right now, it just doesn't have the typical ease of power to play loudly (the odd time I want to) without having to turn it up to the 11 to 11 1/2 o'clock position (getting close to 12 o'clock) on the volume knob. Where as most other amps and receivers I own get to the same volume at about 9 1/2 to 10 o'clock. I've never had to turn the volume up that high on any amp/receiver I have ever owned, and that includes low wattage models. I have seen a few other videos on YouTube of the 2290 where people are consistently at 11 1/2 to 1 1/2 on the volume knob to be able to play with much volume. For me, that kind of confirms what I am hearing with mine as well. It just doesn't have the power. I've had 25 watt receivers with more power. It does sound good though, there's no denying that. Which is the reason I am now interested in this line of receivers. Thanks for the input. :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2016
  9. Rex81

    Rex81 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Hmm, I'm not an expert in this area, but I've never considered the position of the volume knob to be any indication of the amount of power a receiver is putting out. If the volume knob is at 5 o'clock and there's no audible clipping, it's not running out of power.

    The 2290 has power meters, doesn't it? What do those say? Most of the time, my 2600 is barely driving a single watt, let alone all 100.

    So I guess the real question is: Are you hearing clipping? It might just make it's power further up the volume knob.
     
  10. Alexmac

    Alexmac Active Member

    Messages:
    136
    My experience also on the volume dial position means nothing to how much it's putting out.....power meters will tell you....like I was saying. ..I can drive 2 sets of Mach 1s without any problems at all, and I like to drive them enough to shake the floors at times
     
  11. Eywadude

    Eywadude Lunatic Member

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    Location:
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    Well TBH, it has a digital power meter with a "low" and a "high" setting, but IMEO, they are not very accurate at all. I intimately know the speakers I am running with it, as I have had them for 16 years now, and I know how much wattage it takes to get them to a certain volume level. At the level I was running them at, it should have been in the 1-2 watt range, but in the "low" setting it was only showing about 1/2 of a watt, and in the high range the meters showed 10-15, which if that were true, I would have been utterly blown out of the room. The numbers for the power meters are quite incongruent and were all over the place.

    But for me, it is more of a correlation between the amount of heat generated for the amount of volume being produced. It seems to run hotter than just about anything I have had before. And still, at 100 watts per channel, you shouldn't have to crank it up near 12 o'clock to play loud (when you want to). With that said, I hear no clipping, but the amount of heat generated at those higher volumes is a bit startling. Like I said, the vent area got up to 165F at one point, where I have never read anything over 140F with any gear I've had before. A 25 degree difference might not seem like a lot, but your hand would tell you otherwise. If it were any warmer, I wouldn't be able to keep my hand on the vent area. While it isn't quite as hot at more normal listening volumes, it still idles much warmer than any other gear I've had. IDK, maybe it needs to be "aligned" and have its bias and offset adjusted?
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2016

     

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  12. Rex81

    Rex81 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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  13. Eywadude

    Eywadude Lunatic Member

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    TBH, I haven't had the time to do it yet, as my volt meter unexpectedly crapped out on me recently and I still have to get a new one.

    However, I've had the 2290 playing for the last hour or so at a moderately low volumes (about 60-70 db emitting from the speakers), and I just took a reading of 166.8F at the vent area! o_O I have read that the 2290 runs hot, but this is a bit much, no? lol
     
  14. Rex81

    Rex81 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Yikes. Yeah, I might discontinue use until you can get that checked out if I were you. That can't be right.
     
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  15. Eywadude

    Eywadude Lunatic Member

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    Yeah, I shut it down after that reading. :p It's funny that I got a slightly higher reading after playing it at lower volumes. 165.2F at high volumes after about 40 minutes, and 166.8F at lower volumes after about 45 minutes. Interesting.
     
  16. kydog

    kydog AK Subscriber Subscriber

    You need to include the Realistic STA-2200 on that there list. In my opinion it's not complete without it. Hope you get yours diagnosed soon
     
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  17. Eywadude

    Eywadude Lunatic Member

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    Ah! I just knew I was missing something! ;) How would you describe it's sound, and how would you compare it with any of the other models I mentioned? What's its power like? Does it run hot too? Cheers. :)

    EDITED IN: Although, I just remembered that is a 60 watt model and I was concentrating on 100 watt models, but what do you say about it?
     
  18. kydog

    kydog AK Subscriber Subscriber

    This is what i wrote about the STA/2200 recently replying to a old post here in A/K
    To echo the sentiments in this old post. My past weekend gave me the chance to sit and listen to the STA- 2200 with some newly acquired Nova 6b speakers to go along with the 7b's I own.
    Let me tell you they are a match made for each other! For some that say the 6b's have no low end, Hook them up to this receiver and prepare to be amazed. The 2200 hangs with my Yamaha and Luxman gear in overall sonics and edge them both in producing lower register sonics.
    The STA 2200 is one hell of a receiver Can't wait to listen to my KLH 6 , New Large Advents & Avid 103 on it. If you can find one get it! 60 WPC / but plays and sound like a much more powerful receiver. ( I added the last sentence because its true). It does not run hot but will need lots of deoxit in all pots & switches.
     

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    Last edited: Jul 27, 2016
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  19. Eywadude

    Eywadude Lunatic Member

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    ^Thanks for the writeup.
     
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  20. cnh2

    cnh2 Super Member

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    1,612
    Location:
    New England
    I have an STA-2270. Not a 100 watter x 2 but it seems to have enough power for most decent sized vintage bookshelves (ADS L520s, KEF CODA series, Fried Q-2s, KLH 17s, etc.). It almost NEVER runs HOT. And it sounds pretty darned good. Not quite as good as my STA-2200 though. I agree about that. If you want to get one of the '80s BEST, this is IT. Sweet, warm, detailed, no fatigue whatsoever, 36 lbs for 60 watts x 2. But don't let that fool you. You can crank this up!
     
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