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Technics SA-5150

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Power Output:2 x 16 Watts (8 Ohms)
Dimensions:420 x 140 x 355mm (W x H x D)
Year:1975 - 1976

Rating: 8.50 out of 10
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By: BiggieTembo 7th Mar 2014
5 out of 5 "Technics SA-5150"
OK - grow some hefty sideburns, dig out your flares, your kipper tie, your pipe (Sherlock Holmes-type, I mean!), your wide-collared shirt (with designs that feature brown as the key colour), your platforms and your... erm... Spangles... and your Sony TC-199SD tape player and some home-made Speakers made from a kit recommended by Practical Wireless monthly... and that's all you'll need for a 70s revival party... Along with copious amounts of Watney's Red Barrel, Advocaat, loads of smelly cigarettes and Twiglets. With a bit of luck, after listening to The Carpenters, Jim Reeves, Military Marching Bands, Mario Lanza and Boney M... you'll be sick.

You may even be thankful that in 1977 Punk came along to destroy the above-mentioned leisure activities (but remember there were still Country & Western hits in the Top 10 at the height of Punk...), and to be honest - on a day-to-day level, and for those outside of London, life carried on just the same as it always did... But I digress...

I inherited this mother of all receivers in 2007 along with the aforementioned Sony cassette player, after I volunteered to clear a cellar room out for a colleague. "Take everything to the dump!" she told me, and I did. Except that I nabbed this, an example of the aforementioned Sony tape deck and a rather nice antique "Karl-kammerskab" - a Danish, or Swedish hand-made cupboard. I think, even after 5 years, they all still smell of unfiltered Woodbines (or the Danish equivalent - Cecil). Nevermind...! This receiver is simply a goddess!

Of course, after many years languishing in the cellar room of a 1960s block of flats, it needed a spruce-up. Switch-cleaner and a general damp cloth with a few spots of washing up liquid sorted that out, and for the record - there was nothing wrong with the workings, or the sound.

The controls are tight and robust, as they were back in the days when they used to make the sliders and buttons out of lathe-turned metal. This is what they call "precision-turned parts"... The responses of the various controls were 100% still in working order, and the in-out buttons were 100% functioning - no clicks, pops, cut-outs or drop-outs were to be heard, changing from one mode to the other.

The bass and treble function incredibly well, and give a very warm, well-balanced "golden" sound to the reproduction, which matches the warm, burnt umber yellow lighting on the display and tuner. The tuner dial itself is weighted and swims in your hands - such a joy to change station; and the bass... it's as if you've been anchored to the sound, the bass is so warm and responsive. Of all sources, CD or mp3 sound reproduction on this receiver sound unduly clinical, without soul - but vinyl and radio... another story entirely. Perhaps using this unit in a vinyl-only set-up would be the optimal method.

All in all 10/10 for this wonderful, still-working receiver. A testament to robust design, good components and long-lasting production techniques.
37 people liked this review.