View Full Version : History lesson on OPTONICA anyone?


gearhound
06-25-2007, 04:15 PM
Hello people!!
Picked up a mint-condition Optonica SA-4141 receiver.....cheap!!
I think it is around 65wpc, but I'm not 100% sure.
I know Optonica was Sharp's attempt at crashing the party....but came too late to dent the big-boys....and soon faded into oblivion.
I've heard that these heavy, well-built receiver's were greeted favorably by the audio mags when they first arrived?
Does ANYONE have any additional information they could share?
THANKS!!!

Steve :banana:

Army
06-25-2007, 04:31 PM
Hi Steve

Orions:
MSRP $430

Built 1977-78

65wpc is correct

I've seen very few Optonica receivers and all of them here. If you have a camera I would love to see a pic or two. It's been a while so my guess is that most if not all the old pictures were lost.

bully
06-25-2007, 04:32 PM
You're right on the power output.
Orion says 1977-78, 65 wpc, $430.

Rybeam
06-25-2007, 05:28 PM
I have an Optonica ST3300 tuner. Black aluminum front, simple 4 switches on / off FM stereo mute, FM mono, AM, LED power and center tune. Digital with a real old fashion tuning knob, best of all it is tunable. That is it does not go .10 at a time, it is infinite like we all like. Very nice little tuner, for BPS. Sorry my digital camera was stolen from my child at the pool or I could post a photo.

brainsmasher
06-25-2007, 06:02 PM
I cant add much more than these fine folks have already done. That said I have a few Optonica pieces including the big brother to yours the 5151, if this was a harley it would be the wide glide its pretty good sized. I always found the optonicas to sound good and clean like yamaha's, looks at least on par with most big lines. The very first piece of vintage gear was a 5601 which is still around here and one of my favorites. See, other than a pointless story nothing extra said.

gearhound
06-25-2007, 06:29 PM
Thanks for all the info & stories people!!
I tend to gravitate to the "unloved" audio companies: Superscope, Nikko, Avid, ADC, Utah....anything on a shelf, covered with dust.... because it's NOT a Pioneer, Marantz, or EPI!

Steve

Nat
06-26-2007, 05:36 PM
I had an Optonica Cassette Deck, which was very good looking and nicely built, but never sounded right. It had the computer stuff in it so it would automatically fast forward to the track you wanted, which I thought would be a real neat thing to have, and maybe it would have been, if I had wanted to listen to it... Shows the difference between a great idea and a great actuality can be pretty big, and if you don't know how to set something up properly, you may never get its full benefit.
Optonica also had at least one concrete bathtube turntable, rather like the Kenwood KD 500 etc., which looked pretty well done.

Daicom
07-05-2007, 01:19 PM
Here are pictures of my Optonica SA-5605, It's hard to find pictures of Optonica products so here you go....

gearhound
07-05-2007, 01:26 PM
At almost 22" wide....my Optonica SA-4141 receiver won't fit on my home-built audio rack either.

Steve

David Wrubel
07-05-2007, 01:31 PM
Hi...we sold Optonica starting in 1977. In those days it was very favorably priced at wholesale, and the distributor always made deals...important for an independent store. Here in CT, Pioneer and Technics dominated...we thought the electronics compared favorably with Technics and found that we could package Optonica receivers, Hitachi turntables, and better speakers (Advents, little Cizeks, EPI) instead of house brand no name speakers.

Marantz and Sony were our favorite electronics lines; we also sold Hafler early on and the Sony Esprit series (I'd like to find the amp and preamp I used to have!), and we carried IM Fried, Allison, ESS, and Koss speakers as well. Plus others.....

Roypercy
07-05-2007, 11:57 PM
I had an Optonica receiver (5205? can't remember the model # at this moment and too lazy to go look it up, but it was black-faced analogue, looked like the little brother to Daicom's receiver) - a beautiful-looking thing, with very good, clean sound. About 45 wpc IIRC. Unfortunately its tuner wasn't selective enough for New York City, where there's tons of interference, so I ultimately replaced it. If I had enough space I'd have kept it for the rarity and cool factor.

I also bought an Optonica 20" color TV in 1989, spectacular picture. Featured 400 lines of resolution, which for the time was pretty "hi-def". I only replaced it about a year ago, when the picture started to go dark. In fact I'd wanted to get a bigger TV for awhile, but couldn't justify it while it was still working well. I used to joke to my wife that I'd have to throw it out a window to get it to break.