What The Heart Wants

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by Bodyblue, May 17, 2018.

  1. Bodyblue

    Bodyblue AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I have been selling down my vintage receivers the past few months as I am happy with what I have. But when I see a good deal on something I like I succumb to the call of the unknown. A week or so ago I saw this Realistic STA 84 25 wpc receiver go up for auction on EBay.......it looked pretty good and the shipping was only $20 which is great for CA. I threw out a stupid low bid on it and forgot about it til a week later when I won it. The same thing happened last month when I won my Fisher receiver the same way...just pure luck.

    I got it today and it was hands down packed better than anything I have got through eBay. Not a scratch on the walnut case and when I fired it up, it works perfectly . I dug out a Realistic EQ and Nova 6 Speakers for a matched set of late 70s equipment. The small Novas can't get close to the bass of the CS88 I have them on but for a 25 wpc lower end receiver it sounds really nice......far better then it has a right to actually. Even thoug I have a better sounding system right next to it, I like this system a hell of a lot. The head says I have no reason to like this as much as I do but the heart still loves inexpensive vintage setups.

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    Last edited: May 18, 2018 at 8:08 AM

     

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  2. BilboBaggins

    BilboBaggins AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    There is some very nice realistic gear being sold for nice low prices. Some of the best deals around now. People remember the crap on the shelves of more recent radio shack, and I think that keeps prices down. But there is some serious iron in some of it!

    Nice looking unit!
     
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  3. Bodyblue

    Bodyblue AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I have always liked how even the lower end Realistic stuff had wood veneer cases. I just sold a Pioneer SX 680 and while it sounded nice, the case was garbage. And actually the 680 sounded no better than the Realistic.
     
  4. quiet

    quiet AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Your new STA-84 receiver looks great. I can see why your heart is happy. Yes, very competitive at the time. I had been looking for a Realistic at a good price myself.I wanted to know if they were as good as the other brands.
    When this 1973 40 watt STA-120B showed up on ebay last week I bought it hoping it would prove to be a good effort from the Shack. I had no luck getting a STA-90 and I'm glad I didn't. This one is a winner for sure. Sounds good, nice wood, built well, heavy, plenty of power, good switches and so on. Much better quality than I expected. Smack in the top half of the pack of the ones I've got.

    I relate to your "I like this a hell of a lot" rating for this old Realistic receiver.
     

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  5. superdog

    superdog AK Member

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    Audio has an iron grip on me even after all these years.I come back to receivers like this just for the hell it.
     
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  6. Bodyblue

    Bodyblue AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    You dont see a lot of the older models like the 120B, they are pretty rare.....I am glad you like it! There is always some confusion about who made Realistic receivers but I believe the ones with the Glide Path volume/balance controls were made by Hitachi. A lot of the others were made by Foster/Fostex like the STA 90-95 etc. I have had two STA 90s and while they sound awesome, I dont like them nearly as much as my newer STA 95.

    I was surprised actually at how well the 84 drives the Nova 6s. The Novas are acoustic suspension and not that sensitive but the 84 really makes them thump and there is great synergy between them. I am going to run the system all day today to shake it down a bit. I probably need to deoxit the controls but it is no hurry actually. There is a bit of fuzz when powering on but that is already going away. It appears it has just been sitting for a long long time without being used. The tuner, with Auto Magic, works fine along with the other features. I just really like the dumb thing......
    \

    I think the STA 95 is one of the best looking receivers of the time, no matter what the brand. With a pair a Minimus 7Ws it makes a perfect computer system.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2018 at 8:06 AM
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  7. Bodyblue

    Bodyblue AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    We have talked about that before.......I truly hope I never lose the love for this simple type of vintage receiver. They are just so plain and honest, if that makes any sense. Unpretentious, simple and designed to give years of solid service......not a cheap piece of crap nor a uber unit that few ever bought back then. I can see a kid like me back in the 70s, with cash saved up by washing cars or mowing lawns over the summer, walking in and buying this exact system and enjoying it for years and years.

    I know a lot of my like of vintage items (both audio and other things) is based in nostalgia and sometimes things are remembered as better than they really were. But when one gets an old item, and it works great and still can be used just like when it was first sold, it brings a lot of satisfaction. When I fired the 84 up the first time and it fuzzed a bit (like clearing it's throat for the first time in 30 years) and then it played clear and powerful, it was just such a great moment......a moment that I realize I love to reproduce over and over. This system will never be my main one in the living room (that place belongs to Marantz), but there will always be a place for it as one of the secondary bedroom systems. When I was cleaning my bedroom audio cabinet and making room for the 84 yesterday I decided to give the Sony 5800 a rest (in the system that we fall asleep and wake to) and replace it with the Fisher I got last month. Just doing that was so much fun, even though it felt like work when I was doing it.
     
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  8. soundmotor

    soundmotor super modified Subscriber

    :thumbsup:
     
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  9. blhagstrom

    blhagstrom Mad Scientist, fixer. Subscriber

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    I have never found any Realistic to be cheap junk. RadioShack put their name on custom designed and manufactured gear and had their own stores sell it.

    There were no Marantz or Pioneer or Sansui or Yamaha or Kenwood or other stores. There were authorized dealers and mail order sellers.

    Realistic gear is currently under valued on the open market. MCS is another one. Good gear but under loved.

    Mass marketing pushed the popular brands ahead of lessor names. Mass production and sales made the popular ones more famous.

    Other great gear was produced by Akai, Sanyo, Toshiba, Mitsubishi, Hitachi, Onkyo, Technics, etc... They were just not as marketed as the others. Other house brands like Concept and Quadraflex exist also. The word is out about Concept.

    A lack of information and especially service information hurts the less known brands. But a good vintage tech can deal with that.

    There are still a lot of great bargains in vintage to be had.
     
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  10. Drugolf

    Drugolf AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    How is that Sony 5800? There has been a 6800sd here available for a few weeks that I've been watching.
     
  11. Bodyblue

    Bodyblue AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I agree, especially on the MCS stuff. The NEC made MCS stuff is really good and I have had several of them. The Arvin made MCS stuff is ok but not as nice as the NEC sourced items. I scored on a Sears Audio By Fisher receiver last month. It is a really nice 45 wpc unit that was in virtually perfect condition and nobody but me bid on it.......some of the later Sanyo made Fisher stuff was pretty terrible but some of the mid 70s Sanyo made Fisher was very well made as I found out.

    [​IMG]
     

     

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  12. Bodyblue

    Bodyblue AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I love my 5800SD. One of the best things about it are how Sony put the two most used controls, volume and tuning, up high and easy to reach. It is well built and has cool features like a three position loudness control and an A B and C speaker output. It sounds great as well. The tuner is not as sensitive as my Kenwood KR 4600 but the Kenwood has an exceptional tuner. The only thing that I did not like was the uber-crappy vinyl wrapped end panels that came on it. For how much the 5800 was back in the day, it was a cheap move. Luckily an AK member looking to start a business in making walnut end panels made me a set for the cost of shipping, so now there is not much I can complain about.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Here are the crappy originals...

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. quiet

    quiet AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I'm feeling the vintage love. Those who do are blessed.
     
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  14. DaveVoorhis

    DaveVoorhis Super Member

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    If you'll pardon a diversion for a moment... Why is it that in lists of equipment manufacturers like this -- and they come up every so often -- no one ever mentions Harman/Kardon by name?

    It's there -- stuck in the "etc", where it always winds up -- but why?

    Is it because folks are afraid to misspell it?

    It gets misspelled -- when it appears -- a lot.
     
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  15. Bodyblue

    Bodyblue AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    How about this for a theory? A lot of of those posting do so on a cell phone and they are not as easy to type on as a tablet or full size keyboard. I hate posting from my phone or tablet since I can type a lot faster on a full size keyboard and I dont mind typing out longer names.

    And I dont mind a diversion at all.
     
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  16. oblomov

    oblomov Well-Known Member

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    I know!
    I sometimes get dyslexic and say Karman/Hardon
     
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  17. Bodyblue

    Bodyblue AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Some shot under the hood while I clean it up....was very clean.



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    Last edited: May 18, 2018 at 2:37 PM
  18. Djcoolray

    Djcoolray Addicted Member

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    Great point, brand nostalgia....
     
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  19. Todd Dodds

    Todd Dodds AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    And I'll bet it's the same for Bong & Oafulson.
     
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  20. Bodyblue

    Bodyblue AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Done! Deoxed, dusted and Fed N Waxed. All the fuzziness in the controls is gone and everything works great......not bad for $70

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