Vintage Hi-Fi Info
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UK-Sold Receivers 1963-1981
All Years Completed. This digest of the Hifi Yearbooks & opinion ©2014 by select45rpm.
We're started by looking in the UK Hi Fi Year Book to see what was available in Receivers in the early years, ie 1964 to 1970 for ones sold & marketed in the UK. To type this page is our research into those we've had & those we've not discovered or perhaps yet realised are worth a try. The HFYB relied on manufacturers & distributors giving the publishers the info, in some later years this book missed out whole brands & may not show all items available that should be included. Later books do include a 'Stop Press' to show how hard it must have been in the days of typesetting & fixed deadlines on a subject forever changing as Hifi, these are included if relevant. It appears Valve FM Multiplex was only really the 1963-64 ranges then Transistors took over. An amount of European Receivers looking like Radiogram innards simply because they were Radiogram innards, look at the early Bang & Olufsen one that's the Tuner-Amp unit, one with fitted speakers & the floorstanding Radiogram version. Needless to say the Radiogram version is not a wanted item. Others will exist that were either not sold in the UK but were imported in by owners over time or similarly those in the Army who tended to buy the top of range items, our Sansui 3000A was an Army Stores labelled buy. Some brands didn't make it to the UK until much later, ie McIntosh & Marantz & Sansui doesn't appear until later too. This just shows UK sold items as we are UK based ones we may get a chance to try. Other Hifi Databases in European websites list many more Receivers from this era, many of which will not interest UK buyers as of the Radiogram type design of low wattage & some will not really be of Hifi standards.
No Index needed here, sections are 1956-1981 in order. Use Ctrl+F to search the page.
Our Aim with these pages... is to try ALL the 40w-50w amps we can with ones pre 1972 with the cleaner sound can sound good up to 65w, later ones of over 45w can sound rough from too many transistors in the design. We're not too interested in ones with ICs in the Tone-Flat stage & certainbly an IC power amp as some ghastly late 1970s 100W ones dare to use won't get our interest. From this, there doesn't seem many more to try beyond McIntosh & Fisher that would need importing as not sold much-at all in the UK. Read more on what we consider Good Hifi Sound on other pages.
We have also done an amplifiers page starting in 1956 as information is power & we reckon most buying the HFYBs don't bother looking at the rest as of little interest & the articles can be too heavy. Receivers first appear in the 1963 HFYB amid the Amplifiers section before getting their own section in 1964.
The HFYBs are useful, but many of their errors & typos we are finding as we look further into some of these amps. Blame the HFYB not us.
What is a Receiver?
Any Tuner or Radio is a Receiver in simple terms, but the item we describe here is a full Stereo Amplifier with Phono stage, Tone Controls and Filters with a Tuner added in to the package, or "Built In" in the naive way lesser quality items choose to state. The Tuner window is usually the top half & the Controls are lined along the bottom, either rocker switches in the early days later to Push Buttons & usually Rotary Controls for Tone & Volume, if some have Sliders which are not usually as nice to use as the B+O Beomaster 3000 type. A Receiver is a full control system too, you can add a Record Player into the Phono input & all have a Tape loop, ie Tape In & Tape Out which can be used for recording to a Soundcard today. Speakers of one, often two but rarely three pairs can be connected though earlier receivers don't warn about speakers of less than 8 ohms so if you used 3 pairs of 4 ohms speakers you will heavily overload the amp and find out the hard way. A Receiver is not a Music Centre as those have a Turntable & Cassette Deck "built in" as a one piece unit of about a metre wide that has external speakers. A Receiver is neither a Radiogram as this is a floorstanding item usually, some are tabletop smaller ones, that have a wooden casework generally resembling that of a sideboard or cocktail cabinet. The Radiogram has genenerally been an unwanted item beyond ones with Decorative appeal & certain desired output valves, though even then the buyers don't care for the cabinet which is a bit of shame. Most Radiograms are dispensable nowadays.
For the fact a Receiver is usually a more attractive item than just a basic amp, the Tuner window style of USA & Japanese 1960s receivers rather than the European Radiogram type ones, to find out what was available year by year is worth researching. How many would be worth buying for quality use once restored & upgraded is another thing though. Of the 1964 range only the Pioneer x2, Fisher & Trio WX-400U are worthy of today's user. The 1967 Saba Freiburg Studio £326 beast is perhaps the most interesting one, but the HFYB shows the wrong picture as it looks like a.. radiogram & plenty are out there seemingly.
Looking at the low power specs of the majority of these, the Receiver clearly was more aimed at the Housewife or Family than the Hifi enthusiast. Few are 25w even until later years. Trio kept the same Valve Receiver range into 1967/68. Only by 1968/69 a Teleton & a Trio are over 40w beyond the Sansui 3000A 45w & Pioneer SX-1500TF 45w. Not many are there? After typing the 1968/69 batch we're getting that sinking feeling like when watching 'Wheeler Dealers' TV show for several weeks solid & then realising you'd now seen the lot. There clearly aren't many we've not heard of or wouldn't be interested in in the World Of British Sold 1960s Receivers. Only by the 1970 HFYB do Sony arrive, though from knowing other brands like NAD only appeared in 1977 if sold since 1972, depends how good the Sales dept was at giving the info to this book which you can see had a decent sale per year.
The 1963 HFYB range of Receivers
These are listed in the Amplifiers section of the 1963 HFYB.
Pioneer make an entrance with SM-Q141 stereo receiver with MPX facilities though UK no MPX FM yet 14w £70; FM-B100 Mono receiver 10w £49. Sherwood S-8000H "30w" stereo receiver £138, uses '7868' valve so likely 15w RMS max. Also Armstrong make a Jubilee Mk 2 Tuner Amplifier Chassis 8w £27 & Stereo 12 Mk 2 AM/FM Tuner Amplifier Chassis £40, these look like Radiogram innards so are not proper Receivers as the Pioneer & Sherwood are. In UK made amplifiers, the Integrated amp was still a novelty item, most were still the type to fit in a cabinet with separate tuner, pre & power amp(s).
The 1964 HFYB range of Receivers
Receivers gets it's own section in the HFYB. If you want a 1964 range Valve receiver for use Today with MM Phono & FM Stereo, there's not much choice though oddly Sansui who were deeply in the receiver market didn't make it to the UK until later. Power ratings are as the books quote, some are proper RMS ratings, but others are USA type music power as well as the old L+R doubling of power, further reading will be needed to see what the 120w Zenith is really about (see 1965/66) as an example.
Armstrong 226 8w £55, 227 10w £49 both with 4x ECL86 but the 226 with proper MM phono though it'll be transistors like the 221, 227M mono version 8w £33; Bang & Olufsen Dirigent 609K 5w £50; Fisher 800C "30w per channel" at a hefty £210, likely 20w RMS on 7591 valves, these were imported by the huge Imhofs London shop; Pioneer SM-G205 11w with ECL86s £89, SM-Q300 with EL84s 15w £89 & the Trio range W38 7w for £84, the WE-8S a mere 3 watts for £61, note just 1 output valve per channel for Class A & then the Trio WX-400U 10w £104.
FM Multiplex is noted as "full MPX facilities" but that may only be an output for a decoder, only the Fisher, Pioneer 205 & Trio WX400U have MPX built in. For Phono, Crystal was the usual at this early time, not all had Magnetic MM inputs: Armstrong 226, Fisher, both Pioneer, only Trio WX-400U noted as MM, unsure on other 2.
The 1964 HFYB adds a section about the Developments in Transistors, updating the 1962 book's story. Things are picking up with more Transistor amps, but very few are Silicon, the risky Germanium type still being around, eg the Mullard AD140 output transistors as Armstrong used in their 1968 range after buying a ton of obsolete stock. The writer of the 1964 article says Valve Amps are already obsolete. To that we say in some ways Transistors brought Hifi to more people than valves did, for the mass market Transistors were the only way, but some of the best Valve Amps were made in the later 1963-67 era & then only guitarists who preferred valves progressed the scene to how it is today.
The 1965/66 HFYB range of Receivers
As this is interesting to see what there is & could be worth a try, in light of the huge amount of work to update one an advanced game to play in. SS+ Solid State Transistors, else others are Valves.
Armstrong as 1964; Bang & Olufsen Beomaster 1000 15w SS £82; Braun TS45 12w SS £124; Dual Dualtone Electra 2000 15w Hybrid SS-Valves £102; Fisher as above; Lee Dulci no details; Metz 420 10w SS £99; Saba Stereo Studio 1 9w; Telefunken Concerto 4w & Opus 8w probably both SS, no price; Trio with the 3 valve receivers plus KW33E 14w SS but seeing one it's valves if maybe hybrid £93; Zenith AM/FM 120w RMS total output whatever that really means, SS £184. So no new Valve receivers, just adding some European ones that look like Radiogram innards. SS ones have a high risk of being Germanium. Transistors certainly took over fast, the 1963-64 Valve FM Multiplex receivers are certainly complex beasts.
The 1966/67 HFYB range of Receivers
This section now gets it's own page as we pick through the early receivers in the Hifi Yearbooks as its interesting research. This next year it grows further with more brands being included or new items being released. (T or V?) means HFYB doesn't note transistor or valve. All receivers listed again in these few crossover years
Arena T1900F (T or V?) 8w £69; Armstrong valve 226 8w £55, 227 10w £49 both with 4x ECL86 but the 226 with proper MM phono though it'll be transistors like the 221, 227M mono version 8w £33; Bang & Olufsen Beomaster 1000 valve 15w £83; Braun TS45 Transistor 12w £124; Fisher has 4 models: 400 valve 25w £103, 440T Transistor no details, 800C as 1964, 700-T Transistor no details, also 600-T exists all transistors if tube Tuner stages so a valve-Transistor hybrid 1966 model; Korting 26452 Transistor 15w £82; Metz 420 10w Transistor £99; Pioneer all new range: FM-B101 7w mono valve£63, SX-34 11w valve £93, LX-34 valve as SX-34 with LW £98, SX-800 "75w music" valve-Transistor hybrid, ie Tuner only is part valves £171, SX-600T Transistor 17.5w £180, SX-1000T(A) Transistor 40w £204; Saba Studio IIA Transistor Stereo 20w £120, Freiburg Studio Transistor 35w £326 not the one pictured as Google reveals; Sherwood S-7800 Transistor "40w music" no price, S-8800 Transistor without AM version; Tandberg Huldra 8-55 10w valve-Transistor hybrid no price; Telefunken Operette Transistor 15w £89 variants, Opus Studio Transistor "50w output" & Concerto Transistor 4w again; Trio W38 7w £84, WE-8S 3w £61, WX-400U 10w £104, KW33E 14w valve-Transistor hybrid? £93; Zenith AM/FM Transistor 120w RMS total output whatever that really means £184.
Seen a JVC/Nivico AST-220E on ebay, as hybrid transistor with one tuner valve (probably), looks this year, but 2SB407 Germanium outputs 30w max.
The 1967/68 HFYB range of Receivers
This year of the HFYB is the average thickness of the rest of the book range, 1967 was really the start of Hifi growth, The Summer Of Love, Sgt Peppermania & Rocksteady in Jamaica as it was too hot for the Ska. It was the last year UK Copper Pennies were minted too. 1967 seemed a nice year. Was it for Hifi? 1967 is considered the First Generation of Transistor Hifi though there are earlier Transistor amps mostly Germaniums. 11 pages of receivers including lots of Photos of them, some looked very old fashioned still for building into consoles, some had a confident Sixties Pad look about them as the Fisher & Sansui ones have, others still looked like Radiogram innards & with low power they clearly were 'tabletop' versions still harking back to an earlier era. All are Transistors unless stated.
Akai AA7000 '40w music' £156; Arena T1900F 8w £58, T2400 15w £72, T2500F 15w £83, these are odd mini steel box modules based on valve connectors; Armstrong 227M again, 425 the pink lettering one 15w Germaniums £71, 426 adds MW £78; Bang & Olufsen 900M 6w though beware 60w typo(?) in the next book £65; Braun TS45 again; Dynatron SRX-24 10w £72; Elac 310 '35w music power' no price; Ferguson 205STA 7w £53 clearly Radiogram innards, 206STA 7w £48 better styling; Fisher adds 220T 16w £181 to the other 4 from 1966; Korting Stereo 400 10w valves £69, Stereo 500 15w Germaniums £83, Stereo 600 15w £90, Stereo 1000 25w £105 still a bit Radiogram looking; Linear RA56 6w £32, RTA66 6w £46 budget end stuff; Metz as above; Nikko ST701-LA 25w £118; Philips GH.930 7w £99; Pioneer SX-34 again, ER-420 15w no price, SX-800A valve-SS hybrid now '90w music power' with EL34(?) output valves likely 20-25w max, if dull looking fascia £171, SX-600T again, SX-1000TA again, SX-300T added 12.5w valve-SS hybrid 41 transistors 12 valves, no price, SX-410 exists too with 3 SW tuner bands probably non UK model; Sansui arrives with Sansui 220 valves with 2 transistors in Phono stage (as we had one before) 11w no price, Sansui 250 similar adds FM Multiplex no price, Sansui 500A 25w (actually 20w) valves with Transistor phono & same size as 3000A no price, TR707A 25w from 1965 no price, Sansui 1000A 50w RMS says HFYB but 28w say others and then our favourite Sansui 3000 '55w RMS' actually 45w on the single pair of speakers version; Tandberg again; Telefunken no Concerto but other 2 again; Trio same again, the 1963 WX-400U must have looked very old fashioned by now with others in plainer silver boxes; Zenith again. Still not really many impressive ones yet & our rated Pioneer SX-1500TF maybe a non UK model, we got ours from Germany.
The 1968/69 HFYB range of Receivers
The book now updated in style with the white dust jacket type of book & the last of the confusing double dates, though 1968/69 meant to cover mid 1968 to mid 1969. 14 pages of Receivers, a few new brands & models.
Akai again; Arena again; Armstrong again; Bang & Olufsen the Beomaster 1000 returns & likely the Silicon version we remember reading? 15w £99, Beomaster 900K Mk II "60w" is this a typo or is it a system as 'complete outfit from £227' is stated; Braun again; Dynatron TRV17 10w £74; Eagle RA.96 10w £68 though Linear had a RA.96 6w the year before; Ferguson again; Fisher adds 200T '70w music power' probably 35w £156 to the other 5 from before; Grundig RTV350 10w £96, RTV600 20w £208; Kirksaeter Compact 70 no details, RTX.70 bigger spec no details; Knight-Kit KG980 FM Receiver 34w £82, KG964 AM/FM Receiver 36w £122; Korting again; Nikko STA-701-LA again, STA-501 18w £119; Philips RB771 8w £90; RB960 10w £103; Pioneer all again including Valve ones; Sansui all again adding Sansui 400 20w £124, Sansui 3000A 48w (actually 45w) 2 sets of speakers version; Sanyo DC-60 30w £99 no data findable online, DC-534 12w £132 if lower spec than the DC-60 but actually a record player-receiver, DC-434 16w £172 again the record player-receiver; Sony not included yet; Tandberg again; Telefunken again; Teleton looks interesting with SRQ-301X 10w, SRQ-401X 15w, SRQ 302X exists too, 20w? looks smart in the wood case, SRQ-402X 30w, SRQ502X 40w, SRQ-602X 50w all no prices, but having seen the Sound 602X inside pics, sadly still looks budget & unimpressive like their later ones; Trio new range all SS if 1966 first range with Germaniums very likely in part: TK-40E '35w music power' 32w continuous, TK-60BE '60w music power', also TK-50BE & TK-80BE exist as does TK-88U, 1967 model TK-140E 50w RMS no prices; Wien-Tokal FMX18 5w £43, FMX23 14w £64, FMX24 24w £74. Frustratingly little new to interest us & the book omits the Sansui 4000.
The 1970 HFYB range of Receivers
The 1970 titled book would previously have been titled 1969/70 so it covers 1969 ranges. Now into Second Generation Transistor Amplifiers. We may now delve deeper until 1972 as we've been a little underwhelmed by the few receivers there really are in this era. 16 pages & at last Sony arrive.
Akai AA8000 65w not 90w as stated £185; Arena same but actually adding the mighty T.9000 module system 75w RMS £303 for whatever it includes too; Armstrong 525 25w Germanium £87, 526 25w + MW Germanium £88 still sold with Germaniums until the 600 range of 1974; Bang & Olufsen Beomaster 900M & 900K with built in speakers 5w £74-£82, Beomaster 1000 again, Beomaster 1400M & 1400K with speakers 15w £111-£122; Braun TS45 again, adds Regie 5000 30w into 4 ohms £279; Bryan 6000 20w £113; Dual CR40 16w £182; Dynaco Scan-Dyna 3000 30w £118 basic item if priced high; Dynatron TRV 20 10w £78; Ferguson again; Fisher all new so 160-T 15w £140, 175-T 20w £190, 250-T 30w £229, 400-T 50w £270, 800-T 65w £338 also a Fisher Futura 202 exists, estimated at 20-25w by the circuit voltages; Goodmans Model 3000 15w £94; Grundig again; HMV 2404 15w £65 has to be a Radiogram inner; Kirksaeter none separately detailed; Korting oddly numbered Stereo 400T-Type 30476 8w £75, Stereo 700-Type 29478 10w £109, Stereo 1000L-Type 29490 25w £129 looks the same as the earlier 1000; Lafayette a USA maker with Trio-Kenwood links since the valve era LR-99 10w £77, LR-500T 20w into 4 ohms £94, LR-1000 40w £123; Luxman (as Lux) HQ555 50w(?) £160; Luxor 4888 20w, 4887 7w no prices; Medley Musical Ltd 1010 5w £57, FMTA 5w no price & shouldn't have bothered, SE7 London based if known more for a speaker; National (aka Panasonic, Technics) SA-57(? see 1970) 32w £154, SA-65 exists too probably 40w; Nikko again; Philips all new RH790 20w no price, RH781 6.5w £75, RH881 6.5w with Cassette £99; Pioneer no valves, but SX-440 12w £97, LX-300T 12w £120, SX-700T (1967 model actually 700TF for UK) £154, SX-1000TD revised version of SX-1000 from before 50w £175; Rotel FAX-130 8w £75, FAX-330 17w £95, FAX-550 21w £119, FAX-660 30w £128; Sansui 250 valves again, 350 18w £127, 800 28w £145, 2000 32w £161, 3000 & 3000A again £186 if actually out of production now, 5000 '75w' really 50w £208, 1000X exists (probably 28w after the one above) looking like the 50w 4000 which isn't listed either; Sanyo again; Scott (HH Scott) another USA popular brand 344-C 32w, 342-C 28w, 382-C 28w no prices & the 344-C is from 1967; Sony arrive with 4 receivers, 3 more obscure & one long time fave: STR-6040 15w £112, STR-6050 30w (40w really) £145, STR-6060(FW) with the front flap 45w £187 & the mighty STR-6120 50w for a huge £387, oh my; Tandberg update with Solvsuper 10-70, 10-71, 10-72 6w-8w tabletop radiogram type units £61-£83 popular then unwanted now if probably all hybrid valve basic things, Huldra 9 De-Luxe 15w £138; Telefunken Operette Hi-Fi 15w no price, 201 Concertino Hi-Fi 15w £105; Trio add TK-20T 24w £85, TK-40LT 32w £110, TK-66T 20w £122, TK-140X 53w £172 some of which which may be the same numbered units as before; Wien-Tokal same.
The 1971 HFYB range of Receivers
Valve amps now discontinued, but there will have been ones sold cheap as clearance items probably in discount shops or exported. 1971 is now the Third Generation of Hifi Amplifiers in Transistor terms. The sound was less fresh & open but could still be pleasing, but less appealing to the earlier product. For the lack of many meaty receivers to get us searching for them, we thought we'd only go to 1971 & 1972 until the playing field becomes more equal as there are many more amplifiers than receivers. But doing this has revealed how little quality Hifi there really was. Oddly by 1978 the Receiver was the preferred item with the Monster Receiver wars with Receivers well over 100w but the amp versions may only be a smaller range of lower power ones. The 1971 HFYB has 21 pages of receivers of which about 4 of photos. Times are moving on, but in previous years a lot of crappy ones are filtering in & typing up 5w is not of any interest to the point of why bother. 40w is what we consider adequate for a good loud volume through headphones though 20w is our starting range as buyers with less loud intentions could still be happy with 20w, after all the 15w Leaks still sell well. 15w Transistor is not the same volume as 15w valve power though. So here are all that seem to be genuine 20w RMS+ rather than peak power nonsense. Receivers relisting some from previous years:
Acoustic Research AR Receiver 60w £380. Company known as Teledyne Acoustic Research from USA; Akai AA8000 again, AA6600 35w £119; Arena T.2000 20w £110 inc MPX decoder, T.2700 20w £104 inc MPX decoder, T.9000 again; Armstrong 525 & 526 again; Bang & Olufsen Beomaster 3000 30w into 8 ohms despite 38w rating; Bryan 6000 again; Fisher as 1970, an impressive range; Grundig RTV400 20w £172, RTV650 20w £243, Heathkit AR-19 20w receiver kit £120 inc wood case; Korting Stereo 1000L again; Lafayette LR-500T again, LR-1000 again; Luxman (as Lux) HQ555 again; Luxor 4888 again; National (Panasonic) SA-54 32w again or a typo here or in 1970?; Nikko STA701B 25w £135, STA-1101 37w £246; Nivico (aka JVC) 5001 25w £176, 5040 75w 'peak power' £240 the range with a row of EQ slider controls on one side, 5010 20w & 5003 50w should be here too in earlier years; Pioneer SX-770 20w £157 all black fronted, SX-990 only 35w [unlike later SX-950 & SX-980] £194, SX-1500TD revised version of SX-1500TF 45w RMS not 58w £215, Rotel FAX-550A 22w, FAX-660 again; Sansui 800 again, 2000 again, 5000A again; Sanyo DC-60 again. Scan-Dyna was listed as Dynaco above, 3000 again; Scott 342-C and 382-C again still no price; Sharp enter with the 10w STA-22D £104 only noted as we saw one on ebay a very basic thing it was, STA-31D 23w £115, STA-32L 30w £144; Sony STR-6050 again, STR-6060FW 45w £150 basically the same as the STR-6060, STR-6120 again, but beware the ultra-budget STR-122 just 3w basic looking silver faced receiver vinyl wrap & hardboard back & STR-222 8w, not listed but of the era is STR-6850 'the Europe' 30w EU-style model as all DIN plugs, see our Amps Review page; Teleton 7AT1 25w £103, 7AT20 20w £103, CR-55 25w £118, 10AT1 50w assumed £158, Toshiba SA15 30w £159, SA20 50w £189; Trio TK-20T, TK-40LT & TK-140X again, KR-77 just under at 18w £125 is the first KR one; Wharfedale in their Rank era with the 100.1 35w £131 not just a rebranded earlier amp, this is a slanted fascia like the 1969 Yamaha & maybe had a Turntable added on top similarly.
For one year & just picking the 20w+ ones plenty to choose from though we now know by 1969 even the Valve type open sound was already being overdesigned & losing that appealing early sound. A few unknowns worth trying but clearly rare ones else we'd have found them before. The crappiest receiver of the year award goes to Nordmende with the pathetic 2.5w of the 5002 for £93 with speakers. You could certainly do better, even their 7001 has 17w for £103.
The 1972 HFYB range of Receivers
So onto the 1972 range, 1972 HFYB being issued around Autumn 1971. Still considered the Third Generation. 22 pages of "Tuner Amplifiers" or Receivers as we know them. We'll stay with 20w as the entry level as with 1971 unless things are more interesting.
Acoustic Research again; Akai AA6600 again, AA6300 20w (not 40w as some state) £129, AA8500 65w RMS into 8 ohms £230; Armstrong again; Averine STA60 30w no price, obscure PO Box Middx address; Bang & Olufsen again; Bryan again; Dynatron STA90 45w £165; Goodmans Module 80 35w into 4 ohms £95; Grundig again; Heco 90 30w no price, obscure EU import; Hitachi first new range but no details, see 1974; Korting again; Luxor 4988 20w £99, 5085 30w £149; National Panasonic as renamed: SA-54 32w £154, SA-40 is 12w, SA-420 is 11w; Nikko again; Nivico (JVC) 5010U 20w £136, this is a 1967 design, 5020U 30w £187; Peak Sound 840TA 20w £95; Philips RH790 25w £139; Pioneer 1971 ones again, SX-2500 72w £319, SX-9000 62w amp with reverb feature £289; Rogers noted as Ravensbrook 15w £95 introduced; Rotel RX-400 20w no price; Sansui 800, 2000 & 5000A again, Sansui 'Eight' 60w £294 quality if noted for button labels going missing, the 55w 5500 should be included here too; Sanyo again; Scan-Dyna again; Sharp again; Skandia SK120 45w £176 inc 8 track cartridge player; Sonab R7000 35w £229; Sony just the STR-122 3w £52 until 1973 range, an editorial oops as STR-6055 & STR-6065 were around; Tandberg introduces two 15w receivers Hi-Fi FM £86 inc decoder & Solvsuper 1171 £107 inc decoder; Teleton again; Toshiba again; Trio all KR-ones now KR-2120 only 12w £93, KR-4140 24w £139, (not listed KR-5150 33w), KR-6160 big jump to 60-70w £195, KR-7070 90w £320; Wharfedale again; Yamaha AA70 30w £140.
Some worthy new models, the Sansui 8 & two Trio the most interesting we've not tried, though you do get the idea there really aren't that many quality receivers out there. Still a lot of very low power ones & the European radiogram looking ones, love or hate them, the latter for us & seeing some on ebay very cheap from EU sellers shows they are not liked by their own kin. Hardboard or moulded plastic backs often very lightweight with all DIN sockets. We're a little underwhelmed here so in search of satisfaction despite leaving what we consider the Golden Era of Receivers & Hifi in general, into 1973 & to do the series until 1981 is probably worth it & you, the reader, want to not need to buy those HFYBs anyway as they're not the most interesting read beyond seeing what we type above & Googling any that appeal.
The 1973 HFYB range of Receivers
1973 brings the Fourth Generation of Transistor Hifi Amplifiers. Because even typing up these lousy EU receivers over 20w bores us now as we'll never want any to try, to limit to 30w is what we'll do now to condense it even more, unless more interesting like the new Marantz range. Higher power amps started to become more numerous & for those liking good looking amps, really only the higher powered ones got more spent on looks & the luxurious veneered wooden cases cheapened into disappointing vinyl wrap, then part of the lid then just a tin box with no wood. The early Transistor era is now over, harsh capitalism & cost cutting will soon be the normal & if you know how the UK was in these post 1972 years, inflation, Europe, power cuts, strikes & short working weeks shows it's not a time of luxury again until about 1977 when Jubilee, Punk & Disco are the news. The 1974 HFYB has 25 pages of receivers including about 7 pages of photos. Here's the 30w or higher ones:
Acoustic Research again; Admiral ET500 43w £160. Interconti Electronic of London importers?; Akai AA6600 & AA8500 again, Bang & Olufsen Beomaster 3000 (-2) 30w £150; Fisher no details shown; Goodmans Module 80 again, Module One-Ten 50w into 4 ohms £130; Harman-Kardon 630EX 30w £149, 930EX 45w £209; Heco 90 again; Leak Delta 75 35w £160; Luxman as Lux FQ990 70w £288; Luxor 3412 30w £145; Marantz Model 19 50w £800 the crazy oscilloscope one. 2215 15w £169, 2230 30w £229, 2245 45w £279, 2270 70w £347; Nikko STA-1101 again, STA-9010 45w £163; Nivico (JVC) 5540 70w into 4 ohms (peak?) £198, 5550 110w into 4 ohms £198 maybe a typo or peak again? VR5525L with Graphic EQ not a quadro amp, 100w says one, but 25w likely, VR5535X also exists 30w; Philips RH720 30w no price; Pioneer SX-770, SX-2500, SX-9000, SX-1500TD again, then the start of the numbering sequence that went until 1980: SX525 21w into 4 ohms £136, SX-626 40w into 4 ohms £180, SX-727 69w into 4 ohms £225, SX-828 75w into 4 ohms £281, SX-6000 no details £218; Rogers, Rotel only low power ones; Saba Hi-Fi Studio 8080 30w £180, Freiburg Telecommander 40w £287 borderline Radiogram innards looking if not cheap; Sansui 'Eight' again, 2000X, 5000X same as previous nearly, 1000x 28w £178, 7000 70w £309; Sanyo introduce DCX2500K 10w £80, DCX2300K 15w £97; Scan-Dyna 3000 typo says 50w though really 30w £120, 4000 60w supposedly £130, cheap junk says we elsewhere; Sharp STA32L again; Siemens gets a laugh with RS202 with 20 ICs, not a typo as the RS172 has 23. Quadrophonic 30w & 60w for £180 & £216 beggars belief; Sonab again, Sony reappear, giving the idea 1972 book was too early to add STR-6036 16w £100, STR-6046 25w £120, STR-6055 40w £160 & the STR-6200F £354 an updated version of the mighty STR-6120; Teac introduce AG-3000 40w no price. AG-6000 60w £169, AG-6500 45w £265, AG-7000 65w from 1969 £225; Telefunken need to bother us with the Hymnus 101 30w no price; Teleton after some promising early models cheap out & only offer a 4.5w & a 15w effort; Trio KR-6160 & KR-7070 again, KR-5200 40w no price, KR-6170 Jumbo 55w £279 though elsewhere we see it's indeed a big size but 33w and with a Electronic Rhythm Composer generators like organs have, but why? Yamaha introduce CR-500 22w £115, CR-700 40w £160.
Well that was a strange year, adding some important brands if still no McIntosh. Siemens get the sticky-handed Uncle award for ICs to bursting point & Trio get the demoted-but-pissed-exec award for awful early synth ideas no-one could possibly want. But there are some interesting receivers here we've not seen to try yet. Which means in 1973 as times tightened, they didn't sell & can be seen as the last free-enterprise years of Hifi before Cost Cutting hit hard.
The 1974 HFYB range of Receivers
The joy of a HTML page means we can type a million words & it'll be still one page and for the Economy of 1974, doing this year by year really does show trends growing & the low points as cost cutting have to be employed to keep companies afloat. The 1974 HFYB cover is a bit antiquated, 1957 Quad ESLs & 1968 Quad 303 system, was this a subliminal message? 30 pages of receivers with about 8 pages of photos. The book grows thicker as do the buyers who bought cheap 'Stereos' by the skip load. But with more items & more ads a bit unaware of what 1974 would bring, ie powercuts to not use Hifi in. Well up the power limit to 40w now, unless notable, as the era is becoming less interesting to us & with 30 pages to wade through many we'd never consider trying. Quadrophonic amps & Receivers get a separate section in the book but we're not interested in an obsolete format & for the 4 channels ICs will often be used as space inside is limited.
Acoustic Research again; Akai AA8080 40w £178; Armstrong finally ditch the Germaniums but use cheap main capacitors instead Model 625 & 626 40w £110 & £132 as Tuners differ; Bang & Olufsen 3000-2 noted now 30w into 8 ohms £164, Beomaster 4000 black fascia only 40w into 8 ohms £193; Braun Regie 510 35w into 8 ohms no price; Eagle AA30 30w £134 Japanese made UK brand; Elowi MTX3000 35w no price, very obscure Harrogate UK company; Goodmans Module 90 45w £103, Model One-Ten again; Hanimex no details one found online looks worthy of interest; Harman-Kardon again; Heathkit first showing of AR-1500 60w receiver £191 with case as a kit, other receiver kits AR-1302 20w £127, AR-1214 15w £75, AR-2000 20w £97, AR-14 10w £50, AR-1214 15w £75; Hitachi first noted in 1972, only first listed now: SR-700 35w into 4 ohms £129, SR-800 40w into 4 ohms £139, SR-1100 50w into 4 ohms £189, SR-600 exists too likely 25w; JVC-Nivico as named now but 25w 5521 or 5521L £172 their top one; Korting annoy us with a 40w 1600L for £207 but still that EU Radiogram styling as mocked by TVK site too; Koyo only a FS-900 10w no price but hardboard backed EU thing best ignored; Thomas Laney Audio (formerly Hi Sound) TLA-200 50w no price, nothing found on Google either until this page & in 1975-76 books too, Birmingham UK company; Leak Delta 75 35w again; Luxman (as Lux) FQ990 again, R600 30w, R800 40w £225; Marantz again, but no 2215 replaced by oddly numbered 2010 10w; National-Panasonic has a range SA-5200 15w £119, SA-4400 £154, SA5800 £169, SA-6400X £255 & SA-6800X some clearly will be 40w if no details shown; Nikko STA-9010 again, STA-7070 40w £143; Onkyo introduces a 12w & a 22w only; Pioneer all again except SX-1500TD; Rotel RX-600A 55w into 4 ohms-30w into 8 ohms £140, RX-800 (not 800A typo) 60w into 4 ohms-40w into 8 ohms £178; Saba that stupid named one again; Sansui add confusing numbered ones: 'Six' 39w , 'Seven' 47w, 'Eight' again 60w £266+VAT; Sanyo DCX2500K, DCX2300K, DCX3000KA £125, DCX3300KA £174 no details on the last two & the 40w DCX8000K should be listed; Scientec Club AT25 25w £203, Club AT40 40w £218, totally obscure Croydon UK company, picture shown quirky black fronted unit, looks a bit like Goodmans Module 90; Sharp go blunt with a 4w SA606 only; Siemens RS172 again & its 23 ICs though it does look very 1974 in styling, but the IC count is insane; Sonab again; Sony again; Steepletone S500 25w £90, known as a budget brand today but ??? in 1974; Tandberg TR1000MPX 35w £167, TR1010MPX 50w £180; Teac the 3 higher numbered again; Teleton budget 15w threesome only; Trio KR-7070, KR-6170 Jumbo, KR-7200 70w £192 +VAT; Wharfedale introduce the strange range of sometimes rebranded ones they bought the companies to make Rank Radio & Rank Org from: Denton 9w £95, Linton/WE40 17w £108, Triton 25w £160 looks Japanese made with Phono ins & DIN outs & then used some names for speaker models too, WE40 looks decent but low power; Yamaha again.
Some hopelessly obscure cottage-industry brands here if nothing especially interesting that's new here, the Sansui ones will not be as nice sounding as the 1967 sound was gone by 1970 & why our Top amps page doesn't list much past 1972 as most is pretty standard, safe, competent but just not as interesting by now. By that, those above we expect to sound decent with the 1970s Retro bassy sound, just now things are getting cost-cut the finesse of sound becomes less free and ICs as well as lower spec in general mean, well we can't even think of more to say as it's just not so interesting by 1974.
The 1975 HFYB range of Receivers
Times were hard in the World in 1974 though most of it was forgotten by 1977 as brighter Jubilee times reappeared. What Hifi Receivers were there in 1975? It wasn't a bright year beyond perhaps the big Pioneers starting to emerge, though likely 1976 book sees those instead. Quadrophonics that we don't cover were already a failure as the timing was wrong though the idea didn't fade away. Again only 40w+ ones noted, as well as ones that interest us, many more of lower wattage are noted in the book. 29 pages of 'Receivers' as they are now called, approx 5 pages of pictures. There's not much new is a clear result found. The books are starting to become annoying as details missing from the year before are not corrected, some brands disappear, details arrive too late & show how the series was not at it's best, new editors etc.
*STOP PRESS begins in the 1975 HFYB, so any relevant are included with the main items.
Akai AA8080 again; Armstrong again; Bang & Olufsen 3000-2 again 30w into 8 ohms not 40w, 4000 again 40w into 8 ohms not 60w; Eagle both only 30w AA28 £134, AA30 £147; Goodmans still with Module 80, 90, One-Ten; Hanimex no details again; Harman-Kardon add Citation 15 ??w £307; JVC are now just JVC & 13 new receivers is optimistic, 4VR5456 45w £385 but a quadrophonic as the '4' hints, only VR5535L 34w £214 is their top Stereo one; Korting again; Leak again; Lux (Luxman) again; Marantz as 1974 again; National-Panasonic again still no details, why?; Nikko again, adding STA-9010 45w £165, STA-8080 55w (45w by the specs) £158 looks decent; Photax-Concertone Model 22 10w £90, Model 333 22w £120, decent 1971 range also in 1976 book see main page; Pioneer bravely enter a new range: SX-300 just 7w, SX-434 15w, SX-535 20w probably if not listed, SX-636 30w, SX-737 40w into 8 ohms(?), SX-838 50w into 8 ohms, SX-939 75w into 8 ohms, SX-1010 110w into 8 ohms if 100w noted elsewhere & then some quadro ones QX coded; Rotel only RX-600A again; Saba again; Sansui again; Sanyo DCX330KA possibly 40w+ no details as 1974 again, DCX8000K 50w should be listed too; Scan-Dyna again as 1973 if not in 1974 book; Sherwood S-7200 50w, S-7900 65w no prices; Siemens with RS-305 £206 & RS-502 quadro £435 units but little detail; Sonab again as 1972; Sony only has STR-6036 16w £100 before now £72, STR-6046 25w £120 before now £105; Tandberg TR1000MPX again. TRX1010 MPX 50w into 4 ohms £199; Teac only AG6500 45w now; Trio new range includes KR-5400 35w, KR-6400 45w, KR7400 63w £227, KR9400 exists too 120w supposedly, KR8340 'stereo & quadrophonic' 60w x2/25w x4 £285, KR-6340 similar spec to KR8340 £285; Yamaha introduce the silver facia as well as the 1971-72 ones still: CR-500, CR-700, new ones CR-200 16w, CR-400 16w £148, CR-600 30w £214, CR-800 45w £270; CR-1000 70w £379, ambitious for the era.
Well most were 1974 repeats with many 1972 & 1973 repeats too. Still some quality here but the 1975 range really was a slow year beyond JVC, Pioneer & Yamaha daring to introduce new models.
The 1976 HFYB range of Receivers
The year brought the Olympics so a bit of relief from the hard times, but 28 boycotters in Montreal showed the unrest. Oh well, shove on a Rod Stewart LP as was the safe deal pre Punk. Only 23 pages of Receivers with approx 4 pages of photos. Are you ready for exciting new amps?
Akai again; Bang & Olufsen 3000-2 £199 & 4000 £250 again, new Beomaster 6000 brings a new design 40w for a hefty £450 & remote extra, a 4 channel if not noted as quadro as the day had passed; Goodmans Module 90 & One-Ten again, Model 120 50w £149, Model 150 no details; Harman-Kardon 630 & 930 again, confuse with 330A & 330B 22.5w & 20w £110 & £115 +VAT, Model 50+ & Model 70+ quadro hangovers £139 & £219 no power ratings; JVC clearly goofed in 1975 as only 4 remain with only the 4VR5456; Leak 2000 30w £164 only now; Marantz 2015, 2230, 2245 & 2270 again, adds 2220 20w £179; Nikko STA-7070 & STA-8080 again; Nippon Sound is odd as it's Yamaha related: SR-770 no power details, SR-660 22w £128; Nordmende keep the EU crap flag & quadrophonic alive: who cares.; Pioneer again; Rotel RX-802 55w £222+VAT; RX-602 40w (actually 35w) £173+VAT, also RX-454 quadro 45w stereo given away at £78+VAT; Saba again tiresomely; Sonab yet again with 1972 R7000, R4000/2 50w £175+VAT; Sony STR-6036 again, STR6046A now 20w oddly, STR-7055A 40w, STR-7065A 50w if Beware... the 7055 & 7065 are 110v only versions, the 7055A & 7065A are multivoltage; Sugden cheekily if wisely puts the R21 tuner & R48 amp in one long case & calls it a receiver. £179+VAT; Tandberg TR1000MPX & TR1010MPX again, TR1055 55w £245, TR1040P 40w; Technics is National-Panasonic of old with 8 new receivers all are quadro & some with CD-4 decoders, er why?? SA-8500 85w stereo £370; SA-8000X 42w stereo £318; Toshiba return after 1972 last appearance with 5 models if top range is SA-5000 35w; Trio KR-5400 & KR-6400 again, KR-7400 65w £286+VAT, 2 hefty quadro ones again why? KR-8340 two-four 65w stereo £345, KR-6340 50w stereo £235; Yamaha again if no CR-500 & 700.
To be expected it was a slow year, why the hell were Quadrophonic amps still being made? Or are they old unsold EU stock imported? Look how cheap Rotel was giving one away. Quadro is a good idea too early & few cared. The EU radiogram type receiver years are almost gone & there are still plenty of 10w-35w amps to suit every user. A dull year says we to match the music of the year.
The 1977 HFYB range of Receivers
1976-77 is the Fifth Generation of Hifi & to us not the freshest sounding, but it was the range that sold the most. For how buyers seem to buy amps at this time, use for 2-5 years & then buy a much "better" new one, these 1977 amps will have pumped out the lively years of 1977-82 with Punk, Disco, Lovers Rock Reggae, New Wave, Synth, Jazz-Funk, Power Pop & the Tweets and tons of Abba, eugh. But 1977 was the start of the Monster Receiver Wars, clearly aimed at the reawakening market & trying to cover the losses of the Quadrophonic years. But the HFYBs were always a year or so late with most amps. Most silver Hifi you see is of this era, gaudy looking cheap things amid the top range delights. Beware of ICs in these later ones as after the hard years above, cost vs profit mattered a lot & those without ICs in the Audio stages were pared to the bone for what was inside & not obviously seen. Of 1977 we only like the B+O 4400 & Yamaha ones until we dare to try others. Typing the last few years was a bit uninteresting, will it improve? After doing the 1970-76 Amplifiers, this was more varied than the Receivers with many 200w-400w power amps. 1977 was fairly quiet with many brands still with previous year's kit.
Akai AA-1050 50w £228, AS-1080DB 80w=2 channel 40w=4 channel £504; Amstrad 5000 25w £87; Armstrong 625 40w FM £132, 626 40w FM & AM £163, Audio Technica is omitted by us as it lists previous years Pioneer receivers, huh?; Bang & Olufsen Beomaster 901 20w, Beomaster 1100 22w, Beomaster 2000 40w, Beomaster 4000 60w, Beomaster 6000 40w, Beomaster 3400 20w; Dansk 2100 30w, 2200 22w £146; Goodmans 150 110w into 4 ohms £239, the only UK 'Monster Receiver'; Grundig 4 channel ones RTV 901 £236 & RTV 1040Q £452; Hanimex KR801 30w, SR887 50w; Harman-Kardon 730 40w £249, 430 25w £179, 330B 20w £125; Hitachi SR 302 16w?; SR502 20w, SR802 50w, SR6100; JVC only Quadro 4VR5456X 45w £444, 4VR5446X 22w £336, 4VR5426X 17w £220; Leak 2000, 1800 25w £190; LG Sound Systems R3400 25w £128, R3600 36w £154; Luxman (as Lux) R1500 75w £350, R600 30w £205, R800 40w £240, Marantz (not included), NAD (in stop press only) 140 30w £192, 160a 45w £242, NAD 300 100w £437; Nikko STA-8080, STA-7070, STA-5050 24w £145, 3035 20w, 7075 47w, 5055 30w; Nordmende Quadronado QXL 160 30w £261; Philips RH 752 30w £220, RH743 preamp for active speakers apparently £148; Pioneer QX-646 10w, QX-747 25w, QX-949 all quadro 44w, LX-424 37w, SX-535 20w, LX-626 27w beware power hype, SX-950 85w, SX-1250 160w; Rogers Ravensbrook 20w £107; Rotel RX-802 55w £290, RX-602 40w £186; Sansui 221 30w music power 10w £96, 331 40w music power 12w £106, 551 50w music power 15w £139, 661 75w music power = only 20w RMS beware dishonest MP ratings, 771 32w RMS £221, 881 60w RMS £286, 8080 80w RMS £362, 9090 110w RMS £398; Sonab R4000 40w £230; Sony full range: STR-7015 15w £112, STR-7025 18w £128, STR-7035 24w £147, STR-7055A 40w £185, STR-7065A 50w £231 still with wood cases available; Sugden AR48 45w £199 looks like a stretched gaudy A48 type; Tandberg Huldra 10 35w £212; TR1055 55w £245; TRP1040P 40w £205, TR2075 75w £236; Teac AG-6500 50w from 1971 £299; Telefunken Hymnus 5050 30w £225, Opus 6060 35w £265, Teleton TFS70 30w as well as two 7 watt ones, why?; Toshiba full range: SA-220L 11w, SA-320L 15w, SA-420 25w, SA-520 40w, SA-620 60w, Trio-Kenwood KR-2600 15w, KR-3600 22w, KR4600 30w, KR-5600 40w, KR-7600 80w; Yamaha CR-1000, CR-800, CR-600, CR-400, CR-200, CR-450 25w £168.
This year in Receivers is disappointing not many over 40w & we suspect the HFYB isn't doing it's job right as the huge Audio Technica section is actually older Pioneer gear. Many no prices, some not even showing power ratings. Some brands are missing completely, where is Marantz? The next two books are bad too with brands totally omitted such as 1979 Yamaha, HFYB will have lost respect. A tedious rake-through this year says we & as so little in the section adding in below 40w, it looks like the Amplifiers got more attention in this era & the Receivers are mostly the lesser item for some brands. Only really Pioneer, Sansui & Yamaha are making high quality Receivers with Luxman & sony only with one worthy one. This probably reveals to us we need to look closer at Amplifiers from 1976 onwards as the Amps section was more interesting than we expected.
The 1978 HFYB range of Receivers
1977 was a real bore to wade thru so we'll only do the 40w+ ones regardless. The Amps section revealed some familiar amps that buyers go for, ignoring the sweeter sounding earlier ones. Do you really need 100w+? Watch the meters & see you'll rarely peak at over 50w even playing it loud. Meters on Hifi are useful, but only the needle ones, the later & Pioneer Fluroscan amp LED ones are not cool to us.
Akai; Alpha FR-8000 45w; Armstrong; Bang & Olufsen; Dansk 5000 40w £305; Eagle R6500 40w £174; Goodmans Model 150 60w likely as 110w into 4 ohms, Model 120 50w into 4 ohms, Module 90 45w; Harman-Kardon 730; Hitachi SR-703 55w £220, SR-902 75w £334; Leak made in Japan range 3200 25w £171, 3400 35w £215; Lenco R50 40w £205; Marantz (Stop Press only) with most of 1979; NAD 160a 45w £228, NAD 300 100w £409; Pioneer SX-950 85w, SX-850 65w, SX-750 50w, SX1250 160w if not the huge 270w SX-1980; Realistic (Tandy, Radio Shack) first time STA-64 40w £170, STA-77L (77E?) 44w (54w?)£190, STA-90 114w £249; Rotel RX-802, RX-7707 35w £187, RX-1603 180w £525 (maybe a typo as £701 in 1979); Sansui still using Music Power on lower models, hmm. 5050 33w £268, 6060 44w £322, 8080, 9090; Setton (Stop Press only) RS6600 100w £507, RS440 55w £374, RS220 40w £315; Sony STR-4800 40w, STR-5800 60w, STR-5800-SD typo actually STR-6800SD 85w; Sugden; Tandberg ; Teac AG-5700 50w; Technics SA-5460 68w £350, SA-5360 42w £234; Telefunken Opus 7050 50w-70w? £365, TR1200 no power shown but £598, TRX 2000 4 channel 40w- 2 channel 60w into 4 ohms £898; Toshiba; Trio-Kenwood KR-5600, KR-6600 60w £337, KR-9600 160w £587; Yamaha CR-800 £299, CR-1000 £488.
So where are all the crazy Huge 100W Receivers then? Erm... it's all the book shows, the 5 highlighted & the 2 in 1977. Some we see on other sites are possibly not sold in the UK, after all the Buyers will have dictated if it was worth distributors importing these huge items only to go unsold. Errors & omissions mar the last years of the HFYB with 1977-79 being miserable for the errors. 1980 & 1981 look more organised as the book gets a revamp as many will have complained. The Tin Box era is just about all these amps are now, the wood sides & mellower styling ditched for the brash Pioneer looks, though the SX-950 is quite muted, others like Hitachi & Sansui were not. Keeps prices low & the metalwork inside was much thinner than earlier years. Generic skinny Volume pots & one-piece boards inside were the norm except for the higher power ones.
The 1979 HFYB range of Receivers
1979 is the Brash overpowered all-look-the-same era with very little we consider worth a try. Seen inside so many of the low-mid ones & all untidily & cheaply made by now. Some brands dipped heavily in quality from earlier with the odd flagship model. 1979 HFYB sees the 1978 ranges & not many amps will be with wood cases or even vinyl wrap as the era of plain metal lids is the thing. They all look the same & sound the same & based on the Japanese looks as these were the ones people were buying. Leak had made it's 1978 range in Japan, in 1978 see very few UK brands making 40w+ only Armstrong who failed soon after, Goodmans who ended up in budget systems. Sugden about the only survivors. NAD were UK based early on but appear to be made in Japan too on the silver era ones. UK brands will feature in cheaper systems like the ubiquitous Amstrad & other nasty brands. But read our site & you'll not find much high praise for any UK Hifi with Sugden perhaps being the best sounding if with lousy looks on some. The 1979 Amplifiers range was very healthy with many brands jumping on the High Power bandwagon if not having bothered much before. The Receivers page we expect to be far less dramatic as Receivers were now the secondary item as noted in the 1977 section.
Aiwa AX-7600 40w £246; Akai AA-1150 50w £269, AA-1175 75w £400; Alba; Alpha; Amstrad EX333 35w £123 match their 'best' in the amp section; Armstrong; Arnold of Biggleswade, Beds no listing; Audio Pro (Stop Press only) as 1980; Bang & Olufsen Beomaster 1900 30w £250, 2400 is 1900 with remote controller £280, 2200 40w £250, 4400 75w (50w into 8 ohm) £350; Eagle R7200 30w, R7300 45w, R7500 60w; Goodmans Model 150, Module 90, Module 130 65w; Grundig Receiver 45 50w; Harman-Kardon; Hitachi SR-703, SR-903 75w £335; ITT 8033 60w, 8032 40w; JVC JR-S600 Mk II 130w, JR-S400 Mk II 85w, JR-S300 Mk II 65w, JR-S200L 38w; Lenco; Luxman (as Lux) F1050 5w typo= R1050 50w £430, R1120 120w £600, R1030 30w £230, R1040 40w £330; Marantz 2215 15w £151, 2226B 26w £203, 2238B 38w £258, 2285B 85w £505, 2330B 120w £631, 2385 185w £977+VAT, 2500 not included if was reviewed; Nikko NR-815 55w, NR-1015 85w; Philips at last get some power: AH683 35w, AH684 45w, AH686 65w, AH794 40w; Pioneer SX-950, SX-850, SX-750 but not SX-1250; Realistic (Tandy, Radio Shack) STA-64, STA-77L, STA-90, STA-90; Rotel xx03 range with RX-1603 now £701 +VAT; Sansui (Stop Press only) 9090DB 125w, 8080DB 85w, G5000 45w, G3000 20w, G2000 16w; Sony STR-4800, STR-5800, STR-6800SD, STR-11L 25w, also STR-7800SD 125w exists as does STR-3800L; Sugden; Tandberg; Teac; Telefunken; Toshiba adds SA-725L 25w, SA-735 35w, SA-750 50w, SA-775 75w; Trio-Kenwood KR-9600, KR-4070 40w £168, KR-4070L adds LW tuner £181, KR-5030 60w £332, KR-6030 80w £295. No Yamaha in the book at all or Stop Press, would be CR-3200 160w, CR-2020 105w, CR-1020 70w, CR-820 50w etc.
The 100w+ Monster Receivers are now clearer to see with the Range highlighted over 1977-79 with six more. Did they sell much in the UK? We don't see many of them beyond the Rotel ones & for the Marantz 2385 at £977 (£4500 today) can't imagine many even got through Customs, but were to order only is more likely. 1980 + 1981 below adds a few more if 1979 models really. Of those 100w ones, we've had the NAD 300, didn't rate it much, Yamaha CR-2020 we are going to rebuild even better than the last one for the hell of it (good idea) & other brands like Pioneer, Trio, Luxman, Marantz & Sansui we know varying ages of theirs as noted elsewhere. Monster Receiver can apply to any larger than usual Amp, the size of the 1968 Sony STR-6120 is Monster sized, but only really the 100w+ ones from 1977-79 are covered by Monster Receiver Wars. We don't feel the need to try a 160w amp really & had a 200w Pioneer one & just offloaded it without fixing it as the half that worked was deeply uninteresting with an awful preamp. This is the trouble with post 1979 amplifiers: ICs & Overdesign. We'd like to find more than just ONE post 1980 amp to put on our Top Amps chart. We're looking...
The 1980 HFYB range of Receivers
1980 in terms of Receivers we've only looked at the Yamaha CR-2040 & found it stuffed with ICs. Trio-Kenwood have the same problem as noted elsewhere too. 1980 was Post-Disco as there were Disco-Hating events & by 1980 many Disco groups were finished unless they swiftly changed styles to Soul or Funk. Disco-Soul could still be great music, but as with any genre like Rap & Hip Hop, it gets taken over & goes Pop killing the quality. We rate "The Message" as one of the best songs ever & have enjoyed some of the early Rap-Hip Hop-B.Boy, Acid & House tracks, but those are usually one-offs as the artist sells out after the surprise hit & the genre goes too commercial. 1980 music was almost as Diverse as 1979, still with Pop for all ages as well as Soul & Reggae still hitting well. New Wave, Synth & Powerpop are still good in 1980, but by 1983 that has all gone 'far away in time' to that Beach leaving some artists making awful tracks after earlier brilliance. See, we can write two different intros to 1980 for Amps & Receivers as 1980 still seems an alive time. Except Fashion was lousy, wool jumpers, Moustaches for both sexes were common & sundry fashion things we cringe at now. Women of 15+ then will now hate how they looked in the 1980s compared to the ultra-grooming cartoon looks of today, so have a good laugh at them & dig out the photos & put them on Facebook. But secretly find yourself liking the more Natural fresh look of the day, eh? The days of Reagan & awaiting some Bush... But in 1980 you were alive, not treading water as today feels knowing the best had already happened...
Aiwa; Akai AA1150; Alba again surprise as with the amp section with 2150 50w, sort of Tandberg styled; Armstrong; Audio Pro TA150 microprocessor controled with loads of buttons 85w; Bang & Olufsen 1902 30w £225, 2402 remote control version £280, 2200, 4400; Eagle R7200, R7400 40w; Goodmans Module 130; Grundig Receiver 45, R48 50w; Harman-Kardon 560 40w £310, 670 60w £443, Citation 80w £1154; Hitachi SR804 50w; ITT; JVC JR-S81W 38w, JR-S61W 20w plus others not listed; Luxman (Lux) R1050 (F1050 typo still) 55w £460, R1030, R1040, R1070 75w £540; Marantz belatedly add 2500 300w £1262, the later tuner stage 2600 340w £1357; Nakamichi (Yamaha related) 530 55w £444, 730 105w £800, 630 FM tuner preamp £488; Opticona (Sharp) SA2121C 30w, SA3131C 40w, SA510/N 30w; Panasonic see Technics below; Philips; Pioneer all new: SX-1980 270w, SX-1080 120w, SX-980 80w, SX-790 45w, SX-690 "30in" apparently... 30w, SX-590 20w, LX-590 30w; Pye TA12000 65w £301 average looking DIN plugs Made In Japan type, TA8000 45w £248, TA6000 34w £195, TA4000 20w £141; Realistic (Tandy, Radio Shack) STA2000 75w £350, STA95 58w £270; Saba 9240 70w into 4 ohms £369, 9241 70w into 4 ohms £409; Sankyo (Stop Press only) SRC4040 40w, SRC2020 20w; Sansui full series: G301 30w £154, G401 42w £172, G7700 120w, G5700 75w, G5500 60w, TA500 50w, TA300 30w, but not the huge 200w G-22000 or 300w G-33000; Sony all new: STR-212L 150w, STR313L 25w(?), STR-V3L 28w, STR-V4L 53w, STR-V5 & STR-V6 no details; Tandberg all new: TR2080 80w £523, TR2060L 55w £355, TR2045 40w £299 expensive for what they are; Technics full range: SA-200L 25w £180, SA-300L 35w £240, SA400 45w £280, SA-500 60w £350, SA-600 80w £400, SA-700L 110w £525; Tensai TR1045 48w; Toshiba SA-750, SA-735, SA-7100 100w £328; Trio-Kenwood (as Trio still) KT-313L, KT917, KT-815 no details; Yamaha CR-2020 £532, CR-1020 £444, CR-820 £355, CR-620 £266, CR-420 £195, CR-220 £151.
Again not too interesting. Some 1979 Monster Amps of 100w added to the book but the book pictures show a Generic flashy silver front for the majority, some classier, some with stupid rack mount handles. Pioneer xx80 range gets even more cost-cut than the previous xx50 range, the Sansui one we've had echo the typical 1979-80 amp: a one-board generic IC thing that isn't very interesting until the Top of Range ones show some individuality. But we are typing this to see what there is & beyond the 100w+ ones the rest aren't very interesting. Why Marantz made a 300w one & then thought a further 340w was necessary is ridiculous. The 1980 book was issued in Autumn 1979 & will have been prepared by mid 1979 so it was getting too behind each issue since it started, but by 1980 things were moving much faster as Word Processors & Publishing got faster & the Hifi Magazines took over.
LAST ONE: The 1981 HFYB range of Receivers
This is the Year some will find an Exclusive, as the guy doing PDF scans of the book doesn't have this & for how it's A4 size & bound like a magazine, it'd be hard to scan without ruining the binding. So here it is folks... The first book of the 1980s ranges, assuming the book was issued Autumn 1980. We've read through the book & it's interesting to read of progress in technoilogy, talk of Digital Discs that became CDs & Video discs. But by 1980 the Hifi scene was very different & the boom of 1978-79 was gone & the ranges of Hifi were slimmed down almost losing all the big 100w+ ones. 1981 was Sinclair ZX81 computers, a pretty useless object to most people but learn Machine Code & it done something, so we are told. Computers were the thing & we remember the Console one like on the Kraftwerk 'The Model' record sleeve & being introduced these at school we had no idea what to with them apart from write dumb code to fill the screen with the same line. Syntax Errors, Crashing & waiting ages for a reboot of the main computer with 12 terminals from it. All gloriously pointless & you had to hit CTRL+E to escape, which was hard as we were all locked in the room. 1981 was Chas & Di and still remains of a naiveness & warmth in British life that was very soon gone, you can easily see this looking back as well as having lived through it. For those who bought 7" vinyl in the UK, this was really the last year you got a Serrated Edge on the record label area, by 1983 they were smooth or recessed. Autochangers were out-of-date by then is why. Only a Record Dealer would know that. The first book of the 1980s ranges, assuming the book was issued Autumn 1980. We've read through the book & it's interesting to read of progress in technoilogy, talk of Digital Discs that became CDs & Video discs. But by 1980 the Hifi scene was very different & the boom of 1978-79 was gone & the ranges of Hifi were slimmed down almost losing all the big 100w+ ones. The Amplifiers section we found a bit of a bore as so much was midprice stuff after the previous excesses. On with the Motley...
Aiwa AX7800 60w £250 digital tuner receiver & at this price going to be ICs, AX7700 40w £150; Akai AA150, AA175 75w £412, AA1200 120w £525; Alba; Armstrong still 625 & 626; Audio Pro; Bang & Olufsen; Bose lose the PA amps now 550 40w £224; Eagle only R7200; Grundig R3000 50w into 4 ohms; Harman-Kardon; Hitachi HTA7000 50w £239; ITT; JVC only basic details: JR-S501 £589, JR-S401 85w £481, JR-S301 £347, JR-S201L £295; Luxman get the full name at last: R2040 42w £240, R2050 55w £345; Marantz still 2285B, 2330B, 2385, 2500, 2600 adding SR1000L 20w £112, SR2000L 30w £139, SR4000L 50w £190, SR6000 50w £260; Nakamichi 530, 730; Opticona (Sharp); Philips AH604 45w £204, AH606 60w, AH799 40w £298, AH798 40w; Pioneer only these now SX-600L 20w, SX-700L 40w re-uses 1967 model number, SX-D5000 80w; Pye only SX6692 20w £109, SX6693 30w £129; Revox B780 75w £900; Rotel only basic details of RX304, RX404 40w, RX504 40w, RX604 50w, RX300 & RX1000 35w; SAE Two (Cambridge Audio) R-12 120w, R-18 180w, R-6 60w, R-9 ??w; Sansui all new TA500 50w, TA300 30w, R30L 25w £87, R50 45w £111, R70 65w £139; Scott maybe the 1971 USA company? 390R 120w, 380R 85w, 370R 60w, 350RL 40w, 330RL 30w; Tandberg if 15% cheaper now; Technics SA500, SA600, SA700L, SA300L 40w £170; Tensai; Trio-Kenwood no listing beyond brand mention; Yamaha all new IC stuffed range: CR-2040 120w, CR-1040 80w, CR-840 60w, CR-640 40w, CR-440 30w, CR-240 20w
Well talk about Going Out With A Whimper, just as with the Amps, it's miserable seeing the big quality if a bit overdesigned stuff gone & replaced with midprice averageness, ie the Marantz SR range are cheap generic one board jobs that buyers of the classic ones wouldn't touch. Yamaha's xx40 range are stuffed with ICs in power amp stages & a risky buy. Oddly UK SAE Two have two Monster Receivers a bit too late. Sansui doing 65w receiver for £139 will be the same deeply cost cut disappointment. But people bought this early 1980s junk to replace the much better stuff from pre 1979 & appeared to be pleased with it. Oh dear. The public is gullible when it comes to Technology. Then came CD, black fascia amps & the Silver stuff was considered obsolete for 15 years by most. But thankfully UK people store things away rather than offload it, so the better stuff is still findable.
So That's All Folks, the Receiver in it's Sold In UK listing, based on what the Hifi Yearbooks show. They do miss out a lot & some models would be EU, USA & Japan only so certain more exotic ones UK buyers don't know of. The Receiver is the Better Looking of the Amplifiers range as with the Tuner window, meters & extra buttons, they look more Retro than the Amplifiers. See our Best Looking Amps page & see the Tuner does make the package, even if you buy a separate Tuner to match the Amp. The Receiver goes from the Rock & Roll styled Valve receiver like our Trio WX-400U to very plain valve ones and Sixties Pad looking early Transistor ones to the 'Serious Kit' look of ones of 60w+ from the Mid 1970s, to the rather Brash standard 1979 look to the Slimline-Computer styled early 1980s ones. Into the 1980s the Digital Tuners become neater if still awkward to use until someone realises the old turn-Knob way of tuning can be put in Digital Tuners. All in Black by now & style is found in the 'High End' higher priced product aimed at Hifi Mag readers. NAD start by making attractive silver receivers then the deadly dull Military-styled grey boxes we used to find so unappealing, though buyers liked the sound. 1990s receivers & tuners were usually too plasticky & ugly with the Marantz CD52 look & the receiver then went into the Home Cinema market with those 600w (6x 100w) multichannel jobs stuffed with ICs for the cheapness, don't bother buying a faulty one as you'll never fix it. So the Receiver does live in 2013 with Dolby 7.1 & DAB receivers will exist too, but beyond our interest. The Receiver in 1967-1979 was not a compromise combining Tuner & Amp as many of the best Hifi we rate is a Receiver, not just an Amplifier. The Amplifier only version of 1978-80 big brands do tend to sell for more than the Receivers so we've not tried as many, but knowing what a Pioneer receiver is like, only the Top Range ones would (hopefully) surpass it.
The Hifi Stereo Receiver: We Love You.