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Realistic STA-850

Solid State Stereo Receiver (1982-83)

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Realistic STA-850


Tuning range: FM, MW

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

Frequency response: 15Hz to 25kHz

Total harmonic distortion: 0.05%

Input sensitivity: 2.2mV (MM), 220mV (DIN), 160mV (line)

Signal to noise ratio: 85dB (MM), 90dB (line)

Output: 140mV (line), 3.3mV (DIN)

Dimensions: 18-7/8 x 6-7/16 x 11-3/8 inches

Year: 1982

Price: USD $379.95 (1982)



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Reviewed Aug 01st, 2019 by

I got this receiver used in 1990 and at 50 watts per channel output I ran it thru a pair of Realistic Mach Two speakers. Wow what a sound. Playing any classic rock sounded too good. One really good receiver. Loud and toneful and better sounding than my friends Pioneer SX-3600.

Reviewed Sep 30th, 2018 by

C/L find a few months back. Needed a bit of TLC. I’ve been running this along with a pair of Nova 7B speakers on my office system. Incredible FM reception. Great match for the Nova speakers.



re: STA-850

The "New for 82" STA-850 ran through 1983, and was emblematic of the trend toward lower quality receivers the 80's gave us. LEDs, vinyl wrapped cabinet. Ironic that it appeared in the 1982 catalog next to the great, last of it's kind STA-2080. Manufactured by Tandy Electronics in Korea.

re: STA-850-UPDATE

A bit after I wrote the initial review, I gave the Nova 7 speakers to a co-worker and refurbished a pair of CV RE 30's. The combo sounded pretty good in my workout room
Over holiday break I installed new caps on the 850.. The filter caps were different from any others I've worked on. Instead of the usual larger two 6-10K uF caps (one each channel) these were 8 smaller 4K uF caps. The engineers who designed this had 4 caps per channel. All were glued together fairly well. I use Nichicon audio grade caps. Yep, I know a cap is a cap but for the extra $1 each it's not going to break the bank.
On most of the stuff I recap, I can tell there's some subtle changes for the better in the unit's sonic performance. Probably more implicit bias than actual sonic difference.
With the new caps installed on the 850 there WAS a noticeable improvement. In that room we stream Amazon Music on a dedicated laptop through an Audioengine D3 DAC. This bypasses the laptop's crappy headphone amp.
Even my wife, who usually doesn't notice things like this, asked me if I put a different receiver in the room. Told her no, she still thinks I'm lying because this sounds so much better than the 'old' one.

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