Modular Component Systems??? Who really made these

Discussion in 'Solid State' started by Donkey!, Jul 11, 2007.

  1. Donkey!

    Donkey! AK member

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    I picked up a Modular Component Systems 3223 Stereo Receiver the other day.

    Can't really find out too much about it. From the looks of other MCS rigs, I get the feeling that these were really made by Kenwood.

    Can anyone shed any light on the matter?
     
  2. metalmando

    metalmando Active Member

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    I've read everything from Panasonic/Technics to NEC to Hitachi, and believe at least some of that to be true. As I understand, a lot of it was good stuff. I've got the BIG guy...MCS 3215. Conservatively rated at 125WPC, $900.00 retail in '81 and built like a tank. It sounds great, but I've sat it aside for a time so that I can enjoy my Pioneer-SX1010.
     
  3. Donkey!

    Donkey! AK member

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    Welcome to AK metalmando :wave:

    You could be very correct. I think they were sold at JCpenny's. But rat shack carried audio gear made by someone else. So I don't think who actually sold it matters.
     
  4. metalmando

    metalmando Active Member

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    Yes, it was sold by JCP, and perhaps overlooked because of that in some cases. These days a lot of folks like the MCS 3125 for instance, but no one was going to pay JC PENNEY $900.00 for a stereo receiver. Wow...I made $3.35 an hour in 1982, so I wasn't going to do that either!
     
  5. drknstrmyknight

    drknstrmyknight AK Subscriber Subscriber

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  6. TOO LOUD???

    TOO LOUD??? Well-Known Member

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    Some were Technics some may have been Kenwood I saw one that looked like a Sanyo some were an outfit called Itoh Electronics. I think like most other JC Penny, Sears, Montgomery Ward house brand products were low bidder at the time. A friend of mine still has a MCS by Technics receiver I can't remember the model #, I found him the matching TT & cassette deck years ago, sounds pretty nice.
     
  7. birddog

    birddog Addicted Member

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    I have an MCS 3700 tuner, which is a twin to an NEC tuner.
     
  8. Donkey!

    Donkey! AK member

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    I picked up a MCS 3223 for free the other day is why I'm currious. All I could deduce was that penny's sold them.

    I get a kick out of the 2n3055 finals it uses. You can get those anywhere. Even radio shack.

    I think I may use it to build my ouw pre and power amp in it. Keep the tuner though, it actually works pretty well.

    I like to fraknestien things. And this appears to be a good candidate. I have a good 45volt center tap power transformer in the closet so I'll have to go off of that.
     
  9. yrly

    yrly Breaking records is good?

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    I'm pretty sure Itoh was a middleman of sorts in the grand scheme of things. JC Penney probably gave them specs to work with and they shopped the idea around until they found a builder. That said the 3125 which is supposedly the product of this Itoh is among the better designed pieces of equipment I've seen and certainly the best MCS receiver. Other stuff could have been from anyone. I've got an MCS Series A 6801 CD Player circa 1984 which is a Technics (says Technics right on the boards you can see through the vent holes) right down to the odd pitch control they used to put on them. I've got the 3050 tuner (the one with AM stereo) which says NEC on the internal circuit boards.
     
  10. bowtie427ss

    bowtie427ss arigato gozaimashita Subscriber

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    Pretty sure it was the same for JCP as Radio Shack, at least in the 70's, they drew up basic concepts and put them out to bid.

    You'll find that some of the better RS headphones are even embossed with the KOSS logo.
     
  11. wizargoz

    wizargoz Super Member

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    I have the 3275. I don't really use it but it sure is purty when turned on and all the lights lit up...
    wizargoz
     
  12. bully

    bully member

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    There are many Japanese electronics manufacturing companies besides the name brand makers. These companies would bid, and manufacture the gear according to spec. Lots of parts off the shelf, and sure they could oddly resemble one or more brand name models.
     
  13. BrocLuno

    BrocLuno Lunatic Member

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    Ah well just a bit more...

    Just got a JC Penny's MCS 2000 receiver Says JC Penny in upper right hand corner. Lovely champagne color. Nice looking but not real built. Plays just fine. $19.

    Thing is it's titled differently. Now it says Modular Component Systems with an s in upper left hand corner. Just below the vcolume knob middle center, it says Panasonic over MCS Series.

    All my other MCS gear says Modular Component System without the s and no mfg info until you get inside. Broc :)
     
  14. Susurus

    Susurus Resolution:6.62×10^-34

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    Face to face with the MCS 3125.

    I demand a shootout with a Concept 11.0.

    Saw my first MCS 3125 3 weeks ago. At a garage sale...but away from the sale items... :grumpy:

    The owner refused to sell it to me--for now. (she just inherited it...sentimental value...sincerly...but check back in a couple months ok?) but it was there hooked up to some garbage, White Van Special or worse speakers. :puke:

    Sleeper to the max... tutti-frutti vacuum flourescent blinky lights in a helix pattern on the front! 153 LEDs (a record?). Needs its YouTube site, static pics don't convey the effect.

    Appears impossible to think its on bully's marvelous lists--a Direct Coupled, 50 lb TOTL generating an honest >125wpc .01-.03%. full-bandwith THD.

    :king: MCS 3125 shrine (Nudie pic!) at Sonny's MCS page


    In retrospective seems preposterous...but it's 1981 baaabbyy.. that was tres chic...

    Check those 'Mark Levinson' extruded aluminum side flares...don't need no stinkin' fans...:smoke:
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2007
  15. Fred Longworth

    Fred Longworth audio fanatic

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    A large number of MCS units were made by Panasonic, and relabeled.

    When I was a manager in the Panasonic Service Division, we had constant problems with these machines. The JC Penney salesperson would say, "This is really a Panasonic," in order to make the sale.

    But when these Panasonic/MCS units were brought into Panasonic Service for repair, we were under explicit instructions NOT to fix them, because Panasonic had a side-deal with JC Penney to steer service to the JC Penney repair department.

    Fred
     
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  16. jocko_nc

    jocko_nc Super Member

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    I picked up a 80 WPC MCS receiver a couple of weeks ago, probably the last of the aluminum units before they started to go plastic. It has a nice hardwood case and all. However, it is a little lightweight and feels less impressive than any of the mainstream brands, even the Realistic of the day. I'm sure they were priced under the competition. They reflect that fact, IMO.

    Its a good unit and all, just a bit overkill in it visual presentation considering what is actually inside. In that regard, it feels a bit cheesy, whereas a Yamaha feels like pure class. Just one opinion.

    It will make a GREAT freebie for one of the neighbor kids.

    jocko
     
  17. Rush2112

    Rush2112 It's a Pioneer...Dude

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    I have an MCS Turntable... I love it. It is really heavy, and I have never hae had any problems with it. I like that its a fully automatic table too. Mine looks very basic. The public works in town has an MCS reciver... I wonder...
     
  18. BrocLuno

    BrocLuno Lunatic Member

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    Ah guys, just need to get into the spirit ...

    MCS is for show and go. My 3245 is got the deco look of post WW-II with a decent amp. It's not world class in anything other than switches, meters and knobs. But, it sucks in the faint over the hill (literally) FM station I like with it's no nonsense low grade tuner. All the better gear gets hung up on adjacent channels, sun spots, truckers going by, etc. The MCS just doesn't hear that stuff, so it's a keeper for the shop ! :music:
     
  19. yrly

    yrly Breaking records is good?

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    The 3125 is a crowning achievement in the MCS line IMHO, it has the guts to back its fancy looks. Most who have tried one have will probably agree that it is an excellent sounding receiver. Performance excellent and as good or better than mostly everything in its power class. I've got the scans of it's test report somewhere on one of my hard drives, if anyone is interested in seeing them send me a PM and I'll email them out. The better models stand out, the lower end stuff blends in, it was not unique to MCS though some other brands are quite similar. Fisher comes to mind. While their 90wpc RS-1058 is middle of the road for its power class in terms of performance, the 125wpc RS-1060 is quite possibly the best of that power class (IMHO the 3125 is probably the closest to it in terms of overall performance at that level).
     
  20. CUlater

    CUlater Member #287, thereabouts

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    Well, it looks like at least for the 3275 the manufacturer was NEC...or the same contract manufacturer was used by both (MCS 3275 on left, NEC AUR 8075 on right):
     

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