Wow, take a look at this beautiful old girl. This Realistic STA-2000 is definitely one of the prettiest receivers I’ve had the pleasure of working on.
The Realistic STA-2000 sold here in Australia in the late ’70s, through the Tandy Electronics chain. As a kid, I used to hang out in the nearest Tandy store and marvel at all the wonderful array of electronics for sale. One of my favourite toys was my Science Fair 200-in-1 electronics kit, a Christmas present from my parents, purchased from Tandy Electronics.
I was especially interested in Tandy’s hi-fi section (who’d have guessed?!). I had a small pair of Realistic speakers and lusted after the legendary Mach One speakers proudly on display at my local store, probably not far away from this old girl.
The STA-2000 has a distinctly Pioneer vibe in terms of aesthetics, but there’s more to it than that. I was under the impression that Tandy didn’t make their own stuff and that a major Japanese manufacturer OEM’ed this and other models for them. Thanks to Norman and Ed, American readers who worked for Tandy Corporation, we have more information on this.
Norman told me that the STA-2000 was manufactured by Foster, a Japanese OEM who made speakers, radios and various other electronics for many companies back in the day. More recently, Ed commented that Norman’s information was incorrect and that Tandy did in fact made this and many other models, in their own factory.
It’s difficult to know who’s right here, perhaps the only definitive way to know would be to speak to someone who worked in or managed some aspect of the factory back in the day. I’m sure more information will come to light and if you have anything additional to contribute to this story, do so in the comments below.
UPDATE! Ed has provided some really great additional information about which models were made where, and by whom. Ed also provided a link from the Tandy catalogue page about the STA-2000. It clearly states that the STA-2000 was made in Tandy’s own factory.
Tandy was certainly big enough by this point that they could have either purchased another OEM and called it Tandy, or built their own factory from scratch. You can read Ed and Norman’s contributions in the comments.
Specifications, thanks to HiFi Engine:
Tuning range: FM, MW
Power output: 75 watts per channel into 8Ω (stereo)
Frequency response: 15Hz to 25kHz
Total harmonic distortion: 0.25%
Signal to noise ratio: 70dB (MM), 75dB (line)
Dimensions: 19.25 x 16.5 x 6.25 inches
Finish: silver front, walnut veneer side panels
Price: USD $499.95 (1978) = USD $2118 in 2018!
Service & Repair
This STA-2000 arrived with a broken left channel, stiff tuning and looking a little dull. I replaced a noisy transistor differential pair using high-spec parts, similar in performance, but with a much higher voltage rating. These won’t fail again and I’m happy to report the unit is now singing again and back with her happy owner.
Let’s take a look and check out some of the extra little things I do when working on vintage hi-fi gear.
This Realistic STA-2000 came up just beautifully after a few hours TLC.
Get in touch if you’d like me to service or repair your vintage receiver.