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Technics SA-404

FM/AM Stereo Receiver

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Technics SA-404


Tuning range: FM, MW

Power output: 50 watts per channel into 8Ω (stereo)

Frequency response: 7Hz to 45kHz

Total harmonic distortion: 0.04%

Damping factor: 34

Input sensitivity: 2.5mV (MM), 150mV (line)

Signal to noise ratio: 80dB (MM), 95dB (line)

Output: 150mV (line)

Speaker load impedance: 4Ω to 16Ω

Dimensions: 480 x 160 x 293mm

Weight: 8.4kg


service manual  English - caop

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demort71's picture

re: SA-404

I own a SA-505, which is the same as the SA-404 in terms of specs and features, except for the rated output which is 126 watts total for the 505 and 100 for the SA-404. I also have a SA-202 (60 Watts total). My experience with this entire short-lived generation of Technics receivers, based off the previous generation of the SA-100 to SA-500 models is very positive. THD is the same throughout the line in this generation-an excellent .04% at 8 ohms, as it was I believe for the SA-X00 previous generation too.

You will see some slams in various reviews about the quality of cabinets that Technics used in this period. But I haven't "heard" a cabinet I liked! The cabinets are on par with what was being used in that time frame-veneer over plywood. The only difference was that the bases were particle board instead of metal like most other receivers. Folks, you can't hear cabinets--they make no difference in the performance or quality of sound that a receiver or amp makes! Pioneer actually ran an ad back in 1980 slamming Technics cabinets!!! I say Pioneer was afraid of the competition, because they weren't slamming their sound now-were they? They were picking on cosmetics, so what was that all about?

I have owned Pioneer receivers made in this same period including a SX-780 and SX-3700 (90 watts). They were OK and had clean enough sound, but they don't hold a candle to even the lowly SA-202, which is 30W less than their 90W. Further, you had to go past the halfway point on volume to get the same sound that you get at say a quarter on the Technics models' volume dial.

Here is what these two generations of Technics receivers offer (SA-100 through the SA-500 and SA-101 through the SA-505). These receivers output a realistic sound with depth. The music dances its way to your ears. It doesn't just lie there and wait for you to recognize that it is music. The output is not overdone, but you don't have to crank it up like a lot of other brands from back in the day (the only one that compares in this area that I have owned are Sansui products made in this period).

This receiver is well balanced and offers a superior sound in my book. It will surprise and please people who have been loyal to other brands in the past. Case-in-point...I bought my SA-505 from some audiophiles who owned 2 Mac tube amps. They claimed to be impressed with the lowly Technics. That is saying a lot right there. I don't think they were just saying it, as I had already bought it from them via eBay and frankly it was the second cheapest price I have ever paid for a receiver or amp! The cheapest was one I bought from a garage sale. Even with shipping I only have $60 into it!

When I was visiting Seattle 2 weeks ago, I was shopping at a record store. I noticed a Technics SA-505 sitting forlorn on a window ledge. I asked if it played and could I buy it. The reply was a quick no. They had used it to let customers preview used vinyl with headphones until the turntable had died. Guess it wasn't a Technics turntable! LOL

Don't worry about people's reviews who are hung up on other brands. They are biased and trying to stroke their own egos and justify their previous purchase decisions to pay hundreds for an inferior product. These Technics receivers are excellent pieces just like their turntables were from the same period. You never heard much about them because the amp/receiver competition was so intense in the late 70s. Further, Technics was happy with its huge share of the turntable market, so when they sold a receiver, it was just gravy for them. They made a lot of private label receivers for Penny's MCS electronics line and I believe for Radio Shack too.

The SA-X0X line also had power output meters on their receivers. I believe starting with the SA-303 they had two meters, while the 101 and 202 only had one meter for the radio signal strength. The bigger receivers also had a power output meter for the amp, showing you how many watts it was delivering.

These are great receivers and sell for bargain prices compared other more popular brands!

SA 404 Manual Service

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