View Full Version : Realistic Fans


TAGO MAGO
02-23-2008, 04:19 PM
While my heart is definitely with vintage audio by Pioneer, Sansui, Technics, Nakamichi and other brands of the like I have always had a bit of a soft spot for Realistic gear. I know some of it is not great. In fact quite a lot of it is not great but they have always had interesting gear and every now and again (as with the Minimus 7 speakers) they come out with a real gem. My father bought some of their mini components for his office in the mid 80's which is actually sitting on my desk at work now and when ever I see a small Realistic piece at the thrifts I just have to have it. Take a look at this piece I have pictured here. Yes, while it will never replace my Nakamichi LX-3 or my Technics RS-M 45 you have to admit it is rather cute.

retrokeeper
02-23-2008, 04:56 PM
I have an affliction for RS gear also,I guess its from working at a Radio Shack store back in the late 70's,collecting all the catalogs till they stopped printing them,buying and enjoying their audio gear,and finally collecting it and having it now in the mancave.I'll be posting some photos of my audio room later on with some RS bookshelf speakers incorporated into the mix with namebrand gear. Rob

MunkeyQ
02-23-2008, 05:28 PM
The only piece of Realistic gear I have is a 2-channel + mic mixer. I like it a lot - this thing is incredibly heavy and is very well made. It's made from thick steel, doubled over on the front panel. The slider resistors are bolted directly to the chassis, not just the PCB...it was made to last.

I'm looking for a pair of Minimus 7's, but can't find any at a good price.

TAGO MAGO
02-23-2008, 05:59 PM
I'm looking for a pair of Minimus 7's, but can't find any at a good price.

They often show up on eBay for an okay price, although ages ago I bought a pair of speakers from a thrift that looked identical to the Minimus 7 in every way but they had the name "PipSpeak" on the front and were distributed by Lafayette Radio Electronics. I take it that this would have been in their final days before their doors closed. Unfortunately I gave them away with this decent Panasonic mini-system from the 80's along with my Quadraflex turntable to a friend that had an excellent record collection (Sandy Bull, The Pentangle, Fairport Convention, John Fahey, etc.) but no turntable.

MunkeyQ
02-23-2008, 06:12 PM
They often show up on eBay for an okay price.
I'm in the UK, so they turn up very, very rarely. When they do, the price is normally too much.

Unican_Eric
02-24-2008, 01:20 AM
I have no receivers or the likes of that, but I have 2 sets of Realistic speakers. The Mach II and a set of Optimus T-120. I love them.
I would like to pick up a nice Realistic receiver someday but the funds are earmarked for a few other things right now.

vinyldavid
02-24-2008, 01:54 AM
I want their little tiny integrated amps, just to have them! They look so cute!

HomerJSimpson
02-24-2008, 08:48 AM
I'd like to get one of thier big recievers.

I love thier Mach's and Minimus speakers.

spok
02-24-2008, 10:17 AM
of all things it was my cousins hand-me-down realistic stereo that his uncle gave him that put me on the course of stereo gear and whatnots. this was '78 ish. I don't even recall what the amp or receiver looked like but that wood cab belt drive turntable rocked us a many friday night sleepovers and the little speakers were enough as well.

He only had that unit for a year until he got a modern blackface sharp setup for christmas, tho i seem to recall he kept the turntable.

if not for reaslistic, i might be enjoying a Bose Wave radio right now and never know any better.

Elfasto
02-24-2008, 10:21 AM
I've always liked them.

x_25
02-24-2008, 10:49 AM
My main setup is my dads Realistic STA-85 receiver he bought new in '83. It has been in use almost continuously since then, only spending two years in storage. It has also never had any major service (needed a switch replaced a long time ago and I recently tightened the transformer mount because it was humming.). That runs my main speakers, a pair of Optimus Pro 7 AV's (same as the mini 7's). Great sounding system. One of the things that I think is funny on the receiver though is the "Auto Magic". It keeps the tunner from drifting.

Other RatShack things we still own and that still work are an old Tandy computer with a 386 in it and an old TRS-80 pocket computer. I know we have some more arround but I can't remember what.

TAGO MAGO
02-24-2008, 10:59 AM
I want their little tiny integrated amps, just to have them! They look so cute!

While they are nothing to set the world on fire, they are definitely cool for an office or cubicle system. My only real gripe with at least the ones I have owned is the fact that they have RCA jacks for the speakers. My father has one with a matching tuner and tape deck in the den of his house hooked to an early 70's pair of Jensen speakers and it sounds good for what it is.

Blast
03-11-2008, 08:07 PM
I've always loved the little Realistic separates. And not necessarily for being any "better" in any respect that any other piece of gear. It's just that when I turned 14 in 1970 I fell in love with music and worked hard mowing lawns to graduate from a mono record player and buy my first stereo gear- the SA-100B (barely pictured on the far left). The following year, I bought the SA-175C and TM-175 which is pictured here.

I remember not being impressed with the difference in power between the 175 and the 100. Of course, we're talking about 24w and 10w, respectively (peak). The SA-100 was $29.95 in 1970 and the SA-175 was $59.95 in 1971. It didn't seem worth the difference. It was with this amps that I learned how much more wattage you had to have to make a difference.

It seems like you never knew WHAT kind of speaker jacks you would get with these separates. Screws on the 100, RCA's on the 175... Many, like the SA-500 and 900 had both RCA's and push-clamps.

But it was better equipment than what the drug stores were peddling and it filled the void until the late 70's when I moved up and over the wattage limitations of Radio Shack's equipment.

Brian
http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/ii110/blasttapes/20080311-RealisticTM-175SA-175C.jpg

Xtinc
03-11-2008, 09:26 PM
I don't have any experience with Realistic gear, but I recently picked up some from the thrift store. A Lab440 TT and a pair of Optimus-5 speakers both in pretty good shape and seem to be well built. Haven't had the chance to audition the speakers yet, hope they sound good.

johnda
03-11-2008, 09:30 PM
Cool! The Shack had some very nice items at reasonable prices. Today they don't sell items under their Realistic name brand, but you can still get some nice buys there. For Christmas I picked up a Shack/Sherwood receiver for $80 that I'm using in my study as I write this. Very nice sound for the money. I still have my minimus 7's somewhere in my basement.

I like that SA-175C and TM-175 combo. Wow, it even has a phono stage.

Very nice!

Sir.Byrd
03-11-2008, 09:52 PM
This is an STA-2080. I just got it from Goodwill, what a score!
http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=82439&d=1205286492
http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=82438&d=1205286492

Axcel
03-11-2008, 10:05 PM
last year picked up my first RS rec'r a STA 2200 mint at a GW mint for $5 Nice mosfet design still in use she sounds great!

ybaolywa
03-11-2008, 10:47 PM
Nice Big "R" score...Congrats...:thmbsp:

Divotdog
03-11-2008, 10:54 PM
I picked up a sta-2000 about a year ago, sounds great, needs some cosmetic work though.

oldgringo
03-11-2008, 11:08 PM
Minimus 7's; T-100's; STA 430 [cue-t-pie!]; STA 2300 (not as cute - but a 'beaut'!) :music:

Citizen Gain
03-11-2008, 11:36 PM
I loves me some Minimus 7's. My friend Ben had a pair, and those things were TANKS. We dragged them all over the place, and they held up to everything. The molded metal body, the aluminum grate on the front. I wouldn't doubt their ability to withstand vehicular impact.

Not to mention their sound. Especially when paired with the right subwoofer. Four of those and a Klipsch sub comprise my kitchen "listen-while-cooking" system.

thefragger
03-12-2008, 05:27 AM
This is an STA-2080. I just got it from Goodwill, what a score!
http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=82439&d=1205286492
http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=82438&d=1205286492

Gotta love the 'QUALITY' sticker on the transformer.

Nice find :thmbsp::thmbsp:

gearhound
03-12-2008, 07:58 AM
Picked up a pair of $10 Realistic Nova-4 speakers at a yard sale last year.
Real wood, good build quality & sound...............nice!

Steve

Blast
03-12-2008, 08:07 AM
I don't have any experience with Realistic gear, but I recently picked up some from the thrift store. A Lab440 TT and a pair of Optimus-5 speakers both in pretty good shape and seem to be well built. Haven't had the chance to audition the speakers yet, hope they sound good.

I had 2 set of Optimus-5. Actually the first set was from a garage sale someone built a pair LIKE Optimus-5's. The second pair I bought at RS and I may even still have the instructions hanging around somewhere if you want a scan. For acoustic suspension style I enjoyed those speakers- I hope your sounds good!
Brian

Blast
03-12-2008, 08:13 AM
johnda wrote: I like that SA-175C and TM-175 combo. Wow, it even has a phono stage.

Very nice!



Thanks! My first love was the SA-100B:

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/ii110/blasttapes/20070728-5220RealisticSA100BTM10-1.jpg

Brian

Franksta
03-12-2008, 10:51 AM
I had 2 set of Optimus-5. Actually the first set was from a garage sale someone built a pair LIKE Optimus-5's. The second pair I bought at RS and I may even still have the instructions hanging around somewhere if you want a scan. For acoustic suspension style I enjoyed those speakers- I hope your sounds good!
Brian

I hope "Had" doesn't mean that both sets are gone! I also have 2 sets (one Optimus 5 and the other Optimus 5B's) although right now they are on loan to my church. I had them stacked and driven by a HK 730 receiver. That remains one of the best sounds I have ever had! I have a system with 2 pairs of original Large Advents and they don't sound any better than the Optimus 5's did. They were one of the lifetime warranty speakers. The Nova 8's had the same drivers as the Optimus 5's but included the nice lattice grilles. Best! Franksta

BruceRPA
03-12-2008, 11:23 AM
... The Shack had some very nice items at reasonable prices. Today they don't sell items under their Realistic name brand ...
And even to this date as they teeter on the brink of the abyss, they haven't figured out that when they discontinued their own brands they discontinued their identity in the marketplace. They were very good at some things, like the things discussed in this thread, and they could have been a contender.

Misguided fools. :no:

uofmtiger
03-12-2008, 01:41 PM
I have some Realistic electrostat headphones:

http://www.pbase.com/uofmtiger/image/67222806/medium.jpg

johnda
03-12-2008, 01:55 PM
Gee, what NICE stuff! The TM-100 tuner reminds me of Dynaco gear. It's really fun to collect and fiddle with these things!

wualta
03-12-2008, 06:01 PM
I have some Realistic electrostat headphones.
Ah, the HP-100. On the headphone forum Head-Fi, we've verified that the electrostatic capsules inside were made by Stax.

Do any of you know what years the HP-100 was offered?

Sir.Byrd
03-12-2008, 06:07 PM
Gotta love the 'QUALITY' sticker on the transformer.

Nice find :thmbsp::thmbsp:

And how it is peeling and crooked.:D

Blast
03-12-2008, 06:28 PM
I hope "Had" doesn't mean that both sets are gone! I also have 2 sets (one Optimus 5 and the other Optimus 5B's) although right now they are on loan to my church. I had them stacked and driven by a HK 730 receiver. That remains one of the best sounds I have ever had! I have a system with 2 pairs of original Large Advents and they don't sound any better than the Optimus 5's did. They were one of the lifetime warranty speakers. The Nova 8's had the same drivers as the Optimus 5's but included the nice lattice grilles. Best! Franksta

Long gone. The counterfeit set got parted out- drivers to one friend, cabinets to another. The "real" 5's (they WERE B's) probably got sold in a garage sale when I decided ported cabinets (BIC Formula 6) were more to my bass-heavy liking in the late 70's. After all, I had been running the "knock-off 5's" with their backs off and set just inside the sliding doors of a bedroom closet to increase bass output. I had other tricks of getting bass with a lack of money in the early '70s- like this console TV cabinet turned on it's side and a little scrap lumber from the basement:
http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/ii110/blasttapes/197204-5632BitskoSpeakersystem.jpg
Those were Radio Shack 50w guitar speakers and horns (although the horn is out, for some reason). The dumpsters out behind TV's shops were always good sources of "budget speaker systems". I couldn't afford quality so I went with quantity. Function before form. LOL.
Brian

dmusgrave
03-12-2008, 08:53 PM
One of these days I'm going to find a nice STA-2200 or STA-2500 for a nice price :thmbsp:

I hear they are some sweet sounding units :music:

Xtinc
03-12-2008, 08:53 PM
I had 2 set of Optimus-5. Actually the first set was from a garage sale someone built a pair LIKE Optimus-5's. The second pair I bought at RS and I may even still have the instructions hanging around somewhere if you want a scan. For acoustic suspension style I enjoyed those speakers- I hope your sounds good!
Brian


Scan...yes please :yes:

The drivers look to be in excellent condition so unless the electronics are bad I should be rock & rollin. Hopefully I can hook them hooked up this weekend.
Thanks

Elfasto
03-12-2008, 10:18 PM
My dad built his own, then after the divorce 20 odd years ago, he bought a pair of Mach 2's. Damn fine speaker. Quite efficient.

As for me, I never bought any speaker system. I just built my own, starting with Radio Shack parts. Shit, the last pair I built with Radio Shack parts lasted 16 years, and many of those years they were abused.

Blast
03-13-2008, 09:06 AM
Scan...yes please :yes:

The drivers look to be in excellent condition so unless the electronics are bad I should be rock & rollin. Hopefully I can hook them hooked up this weekend.
Thanks

See how this works. I scanned it at 200dpi to be printable. Photobucket probably compresses images. If it's not good enough resolution give me your email and I'll send it direct.
http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/ii110/blasttapes/optimus5b.jpg
The receipt says I paid $114.50 each for them in May 1976. The real laugh on those instructions is the frequency responce. 20-20K, indeed!

Blast
03-13-2008, 09:12 AM
My dad built his own, then after the divorce 20 odd years ago, he bought a pair of Mach 2's. Damn fine speaker. Quite efficient.

As for me, I never bought any speaker system. I just built my own, starting with Radio Shack parts. Shit, the last pair I built with Radio Shack parts lasted 16 years, and many of those years they were abused.

Other than PA, I've never owned 15" 'home' speakers (I assume the Mach 2's are- I thought all the Mach's were) and, as a 'head-banger', have always wanted a pair of the Mach's in some form or another. I keep hearing the classical and jazz fans out there slagging them so if they're that controversial, I'd like to have some someday!

audio-ed
03-13-2008, 09:27 AM
I have a nice working lab 440 tt a set of mach ones and 2 sets of minimus 7's all purchased at g-sales I was surprised at how well all of these performed.

slow_jazz
03-13-2008, 09:46 AM
I own a very nice Realistic direct drive turntable. Nice wood and pretty heavy...

x_25
03-13-2008, 05:36 PM
Do I count as an RS fan? :D

Realistic STA-85 receiver

Realistic 5 band Stereo EQ

Optimus PRO 7AV's (same as the mini 7's)

All the speaker wire and interconnects from from RS from the 80's.

Somewhere around here I have a Realistic input selector box.

http://img139.imageshack.us/img139/9601/dscf5508wr3.jpg

dmusgrave
03-13-2008, 05:49 PM
Other than PA, I've never owned 15" 'home' speakers (I assume the Mach 2's are- I thought all the Mach's were) and, as a 'head-banger', have always wanted a pair of the Mach's in some form or another. I keep hearing the classical and jazz fans out there slagging them so if they're that controversial, I'd like to have some someday!

You gotta take those classical and jazz fans and their tiny little speakers with a grain of salt :lmao:

Xtinc
03-14-2008, 02:32 AM
See how this works. I scanned it at 200dpi to be printable. Photobucket probably compresses images. If it's not good enough resolution give me your email and I'll send it direct.
http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/ii110/blasttapes/optimus5b.jpg
The receipt says I paid $114.50 each for them in May 1976. The real laugh on those instructions is the frequency responce. 20-20K, indeed!

Thanks Blast...Resolution is fine! Very cool of you to take the time:thmbsp:

E-tech
03-14-2008, 01:00 PM
There was a time in the 70's and early 80's when Radio Shack put out some quality equipment. You paid for it though. They use to had a large 120wpc receiver that weighed a ton, was quality built, and sounded awesome. Then in the 70's it cost well over $300. I have a pair of Mach two's that I had to refome and it was well worth it. They sound great. The Mach One's sound even better. It's a crying shame they went cheep. When you have a rep of building quality equipment people will buy it. Even if it is expensive. When you quit building quality equipment it takes a long time to get that rep back. I think I will see the day when Radio Shack goes out of business.

BruceRPA
03-14-2008, 01:20 PM
There was a time in the 70's and early 80's when Radio Shack put out some quality equipment. You paid for it though. They use to had a large 120wpc receiver that weighed a ton, was quality built, and sounded awesome. Then in the 70's it cost well over $300. I have a pair of Mach two's that I had to refome and it was well worth it. They sound great. The Mach One's sound even better. It's a crying shame they went cheep. When you have a rep of building quality equipment people will buy it. Even if it is expensive. When you quit building quality equipment it takes a long time to get that rep back.

How true!

I think I will see the day when Radio Shack goes out of business. Don't blink. You might miss it. :sigh:

Blast
03-14-2008, 10:01 PM
You gotta take those classical and jazz fans and their tiny little speakers with a grain of salt :lmao:

Ooo... Ouch!
:lmao:

Blast
03-14-2008, 10:03 PM
Thanks Blast...Resolution is fine! Very cool of you to take the time:thmbsp:

:smoke:

Now, if I could just find someone to send me a scan of the page those Optimus 5B's are on in the catalog... :thmbsp:

Blast
03-14-2008, 10:13 PM
Do I count as an RS fan? :D

Realistic STA-85 receiver

Realistic 5 band Stereo EQ

Optimus PRO 7AV's (same as the mini 7's)

All the speaker wire and interconnects from from RS from the 80's.

Somewhere around here I have a Realistic input selector box.

http://img139.imageshack.us/img139/9601/dscf5508wr3.jpg

Absolutely! But I have to ask- are the KLH's on the floor like that for a reason? Do you use them like that?

BruceRPA
03-14-2008, 10:35 PM
:smoke:

Now, if I could just find someone to send me a scan of the page those Optimus 5B's are on in the catalog... :thmbsp:

Here is a thread to read:
http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=77801

I will find and post the catalog page(s) on the Nova 5B as soon as I can get a few minutes.

Gohan
03-14-2008, 11:23 PM
I always liked Realistic gear, the Mach and Minimus speakers are 2 of my favorites

stangbat
03-15-2008, 08:43 AM
My dad built his own, then after the divorce 20 odd years ago, he bought a pair of Mach 2's. Damn fine speaker. Quite efficient.

As for me, I never bought any speaker system. I just built my own, starting with Radio Shack parts. Shit, the last pair I built with Radio Shack parts lasted 16 years, and many of those years they were abused.
I built my own in 1986 using RS parts and a design by Weems. They have remained in use since (with a refoam back in 2004). They are finally getting retired this week if I'm lucky and get the replacements finished. They were abused through high school and college. I've never measured them and I'm sure they have dips and peaks that would make the Rockies look like foothills, but they have served me well.

Blast
03-15-2008, 08:48 AM
Here is a thread to read:
http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=77801

I will find and post the catalog page(s) on the Nova 5B as soon as I can get a few minutes.

I forgot about the ties with Nova's- same speaker, different grill. Having a scan of that page with the Optimus 5B's would be sweet! :yes:

So 5B's were new in '76. They had 5's before that, didn't they?

Lifetime Guarantee, indeed. Priceless... Just as priceless as their 20-20K frequency responce ratings.

Elfasto
03-15-2008, 08:53 AM
I built my own in 1986 using RS parts and a design by Weems. They have remained in use since (with a refoam back in 2004). They are finally getting retired this week if I'm lucky and get the replacements finished. They were abused through high school and college. I've never measured them and I'm sure they have dips and peaks that would make the Rockies look like foothills, but they have served me well.

Was the design out of a red paperback that Radio Shack sold?

stangbat
03-15-2008, 09:04 AM
Was the design out of a red paperback that Radio Shack sold?
Yes, "Building Speaker Enclosures" by Weems. The DCR design, Project 6, starting on page 85. Amazing output from an 8" woofer. Others may think it is boomy, muddy, I don't know, but they kept a rock listening teenager very happy. Sure they wouldn't get as loud as the 15" CV stuff out there, but they could pound out the bass. I used the poly woofer (P/N 40-1021) instead of the paper one called for in the design (40-1006).

As I said, I haven't measured, but I've used a test CD with them and they will go down to 30 Hz before the woofer starts unloading. It is also interesting to see how the two chambers interact using the test CD.

Alas, I'm now older and (hopefully) wiser and they are getting replaced by Zaph's ZDT3. Time for something that is a little more modern and hopefully a bit more flat.

BTW, they were driven by a 60 wpc STA-2270 that got retired a couple of months ago. That thing was also used and abused and never hiccuped.

Elfasto
03-15-2008, 09:20 AM
Too cool! I built that one as well, but used the 12" polypropylene woofer they sold at the time. Earned myself an A+ grade in Wood Shop that year!

The 12" woofer in that cabinet design was frightening. 20 Hz was not a problem (using a Test LP which drove the turntable nuts at higher volumes), and lower was possible as well. My dad used to get right pissed off when the kitchen plates started rattling upstairs. :D

stangbat
03-15-2008, 10:11 AM
Too cool! I built that one as well, but used the 12" polypropylene woofer they sold at the time. Earned myself an A+ grade in Wood Shop that year!

The 12" woofer in that cabinet design was frightening. 20 Hz was not a problem (using a Test LP which drove the turntable nuts at higher volumes), and lower was possible as well. My dad used to get right pissed off when the kitchen plates started rattling upstairs. :D

Wow, I can only imagine the 12" in there. The 8" is impressive as is. I can also attest to rattling things with them. :D

After I get my new speakers done, I've been debating going back and redoing the DCR speaks. New crossovers, a better (modern) baffle, some internal bracing, flared ports. Who knows, we'll see if I'm up to fiddling with them. But I can't get myself to get rid of them.

x_25
03-15-2008, 11:55 AM
Absolutely! But I have to ask- are the KLH's on the floor like that for a reason? Do you use them like that?

The ones laying on their sides? I used them like that for about a month with the tweeters and midranges disconnected to add a bit more bass to my system but then stopped (the tweeters have warped coils and the mids are shredded). But they just happen to be the right hight and depth for holding my other gear so they kind of act as a table now. :D Someday I will repair them and use them for something else.

Bogframe
03-15-2008, 12:32 PM
Way back in '79, RS had what they called the 747 deal, it was a STA200D receiver, 5 band-2channel EQ, 8-track and a LAB-400 DD TT. I bought the whole kit & Kaboodle, and, except for the EQ (which I upgraded to a RS 12 band-2 channel)It's all still up and running. Love it and I'd never part with it.

Blast
03-15-2008, 01:53 PM
The ones laying on their sides? I used them like that for about a month with the tweeters and midranges disconnected to add a bit more bass to my system but then stopped (the tweeters have warped coils and the mids are shredded). But they just happen to be the right hight and depth for holding my other gear so they kind of act as a table now. :D Someday I will repair them and use them for something else.

As a guy who believes in function before form (see photo in post #32 as an example), I completely understand. And :scratch2: if you ever decide that a shelf (or equivilent) is in your future and want to leave those KLH's out at the curb (poor things, in the state that they are) I'd be happy to pick them up before you get a summons from your city or homeowner's association... :smoke: That's the kind of, ummm, well-meaning person I am.

Brian

Elfasto
03-15-2008, 01:58 PM
It still sadden's me a bit when people still call my Realistic setup "Crappy".

If it's so crappy, then how come my amp has survived 19 years of abuse, and the EQ is 15 years old and still rocking, and my LAB-100 is 30+ years old and still works reasonably close to new?

Radio Shack should have pushed Realistic harder.

BruceRPA
03-15-2008, 03:12 PM
My take on it is that Radio Shack represented a good value. Some better than others. They had some excellent products and some stinkers, as did the other brands. The top of the line Realistic receiver was not as good as the top of the line Pioneer, Kenwood or Marantz, but the Realistic was half the price of the other top of the line receivers. If you compared the same price point Realistic receiver to the others, the Realistic was always very competitive and frequently came out on top. What really spoiled the Realistic name for Radio Shack was that they used the Realistic name on everything, including the real cheap crap like cheezy clock radios, kiddie phonographs, and all the other low end items. By the time they gave in and started to move away from Realistic on their "better" stereo equipment and broaden the Optimus line they were well into the kabuki period of the late 80s and 90s. By then was too late. I really like to hear stories about folks today rediscovering the value and the quality of a lot of the Realistic badged equipment that was scowled at when it was being sold. The Optimus 5 speakers are a perfect example of that.

Here is the catalog page.

outshined
03-15-2008, 05:40 PM
It still sadden's me a bit when people still call my Realistic setup "Crappy".

If it's so crappy, then how come my amp has survived 19 years of abuse, and the EQ is 15 years old and still rocking, and my LAB-100 is 30+ years old and still works reasonably close to new?

Radio Shack should have pushed Realistic harder.

Agreed.
I have only 2 things with the Realistic moniker on them; the little integrated amp with 5wpc, (great for testing stuff!) and a pair of Optimus 30 speakers. Ten inch, 2 way.

I bought them new around '86. The reason I bought them was to have something to listen to while I searched for a "keeper" pair of speaks.

Well, I'm still listening to the 30's in the bedroom, and they sound very good, with bass down to about 40 Hz. (I did replace the stock woofs with their exact replacements, as far as T/S parameters, and they were advertised as RS replacements. The only difference is that the new woofs have 40 oz. magnets instead of the bottle cap sized ones on the stock woofers.)

I even tried them with my Ampzilla/Carver 2 channel system. The Holography was superb, no doubt because of the somewhat directional cone tweeter.

And where else could you buy a 10" 2 way with real walnut veneer? And nicely grained at that, too, for that little money...

Realistic has done their homework designing speakers. Well, I haven't heard all of them, but the Optimus 30 is a great, not so little bookshelf design.

x_25
03-15-2008, 06:40 PM
As a guy who believes in function before form (see photo in post #32 as an example), I completely understand. And :scratch2: if you ever decide that a shelf (or equivilent) is in your future and want to leave those KLH's out at the curb (poor things, in the state that they are) I'd be happy to pick them up before you get a summons from your city or homeowner's association... :smoke: That's the kind of, ummm, well-meaning person I am.

Brian

Thanks for the offer but they are not going anywhere. They are actually my dads first pair of speakers and they are still his so if anything they will get up away until I can get around to fixing them. They have seen a massive amount of abuse though. Like me at the age of 10 or so figuring out how to work the stereo on my own while my parents were gone and seeing just how loud they go. :D I was trying to find info on them a while ago and I made a thread with a bunch of pictures here (http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=134991) if you want to look at them.

DSChamber
03-15-2008, 06:57 PM
Nothing wrong with vintage Rat Shack... I love their old gear... Although I don't own any of their receivers, I do own a pair of T-120's which IMO are very well made and sound awesome (albeit a little bass enemic), I am currently looking for a set of either Mach 1's or Mach 2's to compliment the T-120s...

http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a238/87irocz/IMG_1907.jpg

http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a238/87irocz/IMG_1903.jpg

http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a238/87irocz/IMG_1902.jpg



I own the Realistic 31-8000 10 band EQ....this is one very nice EQ.... Pink Noise generator, Variable Left/Right output, multi colored spectrum analyzer.. the best EQ I own (and I own a few, lol)

http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a238/87irocz/IMG_1636.jpg



I also own a SSM-2100 mixer board, love this thing for my bar sound system. Lots of inputs, 7 band built in EQ, and lighted VU meters :D

http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a238/87irocz/IMG_2481.jpg

Blast
03-15-2008, 07:22 PM
My take on it is that Radio Shack represented a good value. Some better than others. They had some excellent products and some stinkers, as did the other brands. The top of the line Realistic receiver was not as good as the top of the line Pioneer, Kenwood or Marantz, but the Realistic was half the price of the other top of the line receivers. If you compared the same price point Realistic receiver to the others, the Realistic was always very competitive and frequently came out on top. What really spoiled the Realistic name for Radio Shack was that they used the Realistic name on everything, including the real cheap crap like cheezy clock radios, kiddie phonographs, and all the other low end items. By the time they gave in and started to move away from Realistic on their "better" stereo equipment and broaden the Optimus line they were well into the kabuki period of the late 80s and 90s. By then was too late. I really like to hear stories about folks today rediscovering the value and the quality of a lot of the Realistic badged equipment that was scowled at when it was being sold. The Optimus 5 speakers are a perfect example of that.

Here is the catalog page.

Thank you, sir! Beautifully cropped and everything! I'm opening a cold one in your name right now! :beer: I don't know- it looks a little dark... Oh, well.

When did RS give up the Realistic name? Wasn't it 1989, or so? And wasn't that about the time RCA got their stuff in there. Tandy had McDuff, which was a "brand name" retailer, running by that time, I believe. So, IMO, even Tandy believed that "brand names" were the way to go. I'm not saying Realistic (or any of the RS monikers) was ever an "off brand", but there was a new era emerging where more and more people wanted "Brand Names" quote, unquote. For whatever reason(s). When the larger Best Buy and Circuit City's started popping up, Sears addressed the "big name" problem by marketing CE's in their "Brand Central" departments. Tandy had McDuff's which was also a "brand name" retailer. Consumer electronics has always been VERY competitive. Radio Shack's story and their "claim to fame" was that they were filling a niche between low and high end electronics. IMO, it was just a matter of time before competition knocked their block off. But RS has an amazing way of adapting to market changes and I believe they will be with us for a long time, based on the past.

The 'Realistic' name WAS on the lion's share of CE's products Radio Shack was retailing- transistor radios to TOTL receivers & speakers- from the 60's to the late 80's. Wasn't it difficult to find a RS branded receiver over 120-150 watts/ch, or so? The early 80's was when I "outgrew" the Shack and bought my Carver M400 cube (200w/ch). Name another company of RS's size with so many recognizable products! And I knew the difference between the lower end Clarinette, Modulaire, etc and the upper end Realistic and Optimus systems and separates by, initially, the price tag. And then, by looking at the specs. It wasn't difficult to find a product in your price range (unless you past the aforementioned 150w/ch limit of the late '70's), especially with their nice catalogs. And, elfasto, while you stand behind your Lab-100 (no doubt for good reason, I'd put my TM-90 (early '70's matching AM/FM tuner for the SA900 and SA500) at the top of the stack for ANY solid state tuner I've ever owned. In terms of appearance, reliability and sound quality. Notice I said solid state (easy there, my precious 350B).

Just as all of us have to "reinvent ourselves" in our jobs (well I have, anyway) it's just a matter of time before people's thinking and buying habits change and competition adapts to said changes. You can't blame RS's woes on one, or two issues- there's much more involved to retailing.

I don't know about the rest of you guys locations but most all the RS's I see around here are moving into larger free-standing buildings. That has to say something. Honestly, though, I'm not doing much to help them out. Wait! I did get my KRZR phone there last year...
Brian

Blast
03-15-2008, 07:40 PM
Sweet photos, Dschamber. That's what I'M talkin' 'bout! Is that granite? I could learn something from that...

Kelvin
03-16-2008, 04:41 AM
I think I'm the only one here with Realistic T-300 speakers.

http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=107608&highlight=t-300

I just recently finished refoaming the woofers, passive radiators, and the mids. I hooked them up to my Kenwood KA-8006 and they sound very good. I'll be recapping them soon, but they sound great as they are right now.

DSChamber
03-16-2008, 08:17 PM
Sweet photos, Dschamber. That's what I'M talkin' 'bout! Is that granite? I could learn something from that...

Thanks Blast... a lot of my blood, sweat, and tears went into that room, did all the work myself (over the course of probably a year)... this is my "man cave" also known to my friends as "The Hammer Down Lounge"... 14' long two level bar... I sometimes have a live band play (in which I do lead vocal duties)...good times!! :guitar::rockon:

No 7 channel surround crap or Plasma/LCD jobbies in the HDL...it's all 2 channel vintage..its all about the tunes.... :)

Nice thing about building the bar myself was the fact that I wired it they way I wanted it as I built it... all the audio gear are on their own separate electrical circuits, all the speakers in the room are wired to a distribution panel under the bar, speakers are all connected via wall plates with gold plated screw type connectors, I even have a microphone jack on one wall which is plugged into my mixer board. I can pull amps out very easily if need be and I can move speakers to different amps via the distribution panel quite easily.

The Yamaha CA610 drives two CS-J835 speakers (not great speakers but have incredible highs/mids)
The Akai AM2600 drives two Realistic T120's (much better but still lacks bass punch)

And no it isn't granite, geeze I wish it was...it's 13" Italian ceramic tile..

Oh and please excuse the BPC Pioneer VSX498D you see on the bottom shelf :rolleyes:... I will be replacing this as soon as I come across another vintage amp..this amp runs a few crap Pioneer speakers around the bar area itself (will like to replace these someday with a few Minimus 7's)....

Metalownz
03-17-2008, 12:09 AM
I own 5 Realistic receivers, 3 Sta-90's, and two Sta-430's. Plus i own some Optimus 650's. This is a very cool thread by the way. I was thinking of starting one like this, but someone beat me to it. By the way, the pictures below are of my two systems. The first is my living room system and second is the attic. I personally like the sound of the attic system more, but both sound great, and both receivers are Realistic STA-90's.

Blast
03-17-2008, 07:46 AM
Thanks Blast... a lot of my blood, sweat, and tears went into that room, did all the work myself (over the course of probably a year)... this is my "man cave" also known to my friends as "The Hammer Down Lounge"... 14' long two level bar... I sometimes have a live band play (in which I do lead vocal duties)...good times!! :guitar::rockon:

No 7 channel surround crap or Plasma/LCD jobbies in the HDL...it's all 2 channel vintage..its all about the tunes.... :)

Nice thing about building the bar myself was the fact that I wired it they way I wanted it as I built it... all the audio gear are on their own separate electrical circuits, all the speakers in the room are wired to a distribution panel under the bar, speakers are all connected via wall plates with gold plated screw type connectors, I even have a microphone jack on one wall which is plugged into my mixer board. I can pull amps out very easily if need be and I can move speakers to different amps via the distribution panel quite easily.

The Yamaha CA610 drives two CS-J835 speakers (not great speakers but have incredible highs/mids)
The Akai AM2600 drives two Realistic T120's (much better but still lacks bass punch)

And no it isn't granite, geeze I wish it was...it's 13" Italian ceramic tile..

Oh and please excuse the BPC Pioneer VSX498D you see on the bottom shelf :rolleyes:... I will be replacing this as soon as I come across another vintage amp..this amp runs a few crap Pioneer speakers around the bar area itself (will like to replace these someday with a few Minimus 7's)....

7 channels? Aren't we up to 9 now? :boring:

You should be proud- good woodworking skills. That tile is sharp! Have you got a photo of the FRONT of that bar?
Brian

DSChamber
03-18-2008, 09:30 PM
7 channels? Aren't we up to 9 now? :boring:

You should be proud- good woodworking skills. That tile is sharp! Have you got a photo of the FRONT of that bar?
Brian

Here ya go....

http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a238/87irocz/IMG_3247.jpg

http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a238/87irocz/IMG_3248.jpg

http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a238/87irocz/IMG_3251.jpg

Blast
03-18-2008, 10:00 PM
Very nice! I like the lights underneath.

TAGO MAGO
03-21-2008, 10:40 AM
What really spoiled the Realistic name for Radio Shack was that they used the Realistic name on everything, including the real cheap crap like cheezy clock radios, kiddie phonographs, and all the other low end items.

Yeah, I think Realistic got an unfair stigma since Sony and Panasonic also made some very low budget items and did not suffer the same stigma. Lafayette stereos also got looked down upon when they produced some very good items from time to time.

terra1
04-23-2008, 02:17 AM
Lately a Mach 1 went for $675 on eBay.

Now here's another find to add to the Realistic "mystique" and befuddle the masses. ;)

A mint Realistic MC-2001 went for $249.99 in a Buy It Now! Now I wouldn't pay that much, but some guy in Germany did. Fortunately, they are fairly light to maybe mitigate some of the shipping costs.

I recently got a pair of Realistic MC-2001 for free. I wasn't expecting much. Ported bass-reflex, 8" woofer and a tweeter. The tweeter looks like some stiff fabric dome. The woofer cone is white with a coated surround. Gaskets, frames and dust caps look well finished. Normal/High/Low switch in back. Thin flat head screw terminals (accepts very small guage unless you crimp some lugs on) with RCA jack option. They are surprisingly light (about 14 lbs. each) so they can easily be placed anywhere.

Doing a comparison to the Realistic Nova 7Bs which have a 10" woofer, midrange and tweeter, I kept liking the MC-2001 for it's smoothness and mellow high frequency details and maybe old-time "boomy" but pleasant bass. I like placing speakers high about 4-5 feet above floor level. The bass is not flabby, actually quite supple and firm, it just depends on how you like your bottoms. ;) Where I thought detail on the 7Bs were very good and bass was a little tighter, the highs are more musical on the MCs and not as bright. Nice imaging and enveloping soundfield that extends forward and to the sides. It definitely has its own sound. The closest I can describe it is a kind of jukeboxy warm kind of sound.

I was listening to Grover Washington Jr.s Let it Flow and the glass like percussives and steel drums? have a very natural resonance and on other discs, vocals sound nice and effortless.

The MCs give up nothing in filling the bedroom with sound. So with overall pleasantness in sound, size and weight: the MCs stay hooked up and the Nova 7Bs go back in storage.

Definitely worth a try if not for $249.99! :thmbsp:

Anybody know original MSRP on these?

Update 4/24/08: As far as what I think would be a reasonable price, I got my MCs free, but I would not pay more than what a 7B would go for. They are different and each has different strengths but I would have no trouble recommending the 7B if that is your first Realistic. The vocals are also very smooth. I think I may have been swayed in part because the MCs being bass-reflex play louder. Turning the volume up on the 7B the detail improves and makes the decision tougher. The MCs are rare and would be just a worthwhile audition for the collector. Locally I have seen 7Bs go for about $45 (I got mine for $25 included with an STA-77 receiver). A Nova 6 (which it is most often compared to because of the driver complement and size) was listed at $30.

Update 5/3/08: Looks like that buyer from Germany is no longer a registered user. Relisted with starting bid at $89.99. So much for mystique ...

Pics from the auction:

Blast
04-23-2008, 07:27 AM
The MCs give up nothing in filling the bedroom with sound. So with overall pleasantness in sound, size and weight: the MCs stay hooked up and the Nova 7Bs go back in storage.



S T O R A G E!!! Around here that means it's time for another amplifier! :banana:

AnalogDigit
04-23-2008, 08:05 AM
My first "true" stereo was an all Realistic brand when I first started working. I had to put it on layaway plan. A SCT-52B receiver, SCT-17 cassette deck, Realistic MC1400 bass reflex speakers and a LAB-89 turntable. I worked there during the early 80's. I thought Radio Shack made some interesting items. Now they sell everyone else's items and lost their brand name which is sad. But in the days before digital, they were pretty good. And I love my Minimus 7's! :thmbsp:

Paul C
04-23-2008, 09:47 AM
http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/ii110/blasttapes/197204-5632BitskoSpeakersystem.jpg

You gotta love it!!! :D


I built my sister and brother in law some nice speakers, about 4 cu ft, sealed, with the RS 15" poly cone woofer and the little chrome 2x6 piezo horn (Motorola/CTS KSN1025a).

Manuel64
04-23-2008, 10:50 AM
This past weekend, I was helping my father clear some old junk out of his two story double garage, when I got the surprise of my life. In the upper section of the garage, under a bunch of junk that has sat there for over 25 years, I found a pair of speakers that I built in 1982. I thought that these speakers were sold at one of my parent's garage sales long ago.

I remember that my father was a fan of Realistic back in 70's, and he had a couple of Radio Shack speaker cabinets for a speaker building kit sitting around since the early 70's. I asked him since he wasn't using the empty cabinets, if I could use them to build some speakers. My speakers used all the best Radio Shack parts available, including some very nice sounding Realistic horn tweeters, which were the same tweeters found on their top of the line loudspeakers at the time.

The speakers were in good condition. The tweeters and midranges looked great. The only problem I saw was that the woofers are in need of refoaming. I am going to open them up next week and see what they look like inside. I told my wife about them and that I would like to put them in our family room when I finish getting them back into shape. She was not nearly as pleased as I was, about the old big boxes, that would soon be coming home with me.

Blast
04-23-2008, 06:03 PM
[QUOTE=Paul C;1809659
You gotta love it!!! :D

I built my sister and brother in law some nice speakers, about 4 cu ft, sealed, with the RS 15" poly cone woofer and the little chrome 2x6 piezo horn (Motorola/CTS KSN1025a).[/QUOTE]

What color Magic Marker did you use? :smoke:

Blast
04-23-2008, 06:09 PM
I told my wife about them and that I would like to put them in our family room when I finish getting them back into shape. She was not nearly as pleased as I was, about the old big boxes, that would soon be coming home with me.

:nono: See, that's where we differ. I would have started with the Living Room and then SETTLED for the Family Room. Anyways, I know the name of a good lawyer. :D

Paul C
04-23-2008, 06:38 PM
What color Magic Marker did you use? :smoke:

Oak stained birch veneer marker. If you do it just right you can make it look like real wood grain. :D

I liked those RS guitar speakers, but people would abuse the return policy, so that is what drove the Shack to discontinue them. The chrome dome gave a classy look, at least to me.

Hey, RS fans...

http://audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=160901

I have the 31-2000 10-band EQ in those '81-'83 catalogs. Works fine and is in excellent cosmetic shape. First come, first serve. IM me.

I didn't say I'm selling. I said first come, first serve.

Blast
04-23-2008, 07:35 PM
I liked those RS guitar speakers, but people would abuse the return policy, so that is what drove the Shack to discontinue them. The chrome dome gave a classy look, at least to me.



I don't remember why I bought guitar speakers over hi-fi speakers. Maybe the wattage rating was higher??? Or the price was lower. Or both- that would have been my criteria for buying speakers when I was a teenager with no money. That was a long time ago...

Speaking of returns, I remember how, in the late 70's, I learned about what really causes blown speakers. I was just browsing in an audio store one day when a customer returned a set of speakers and was upset about how they didn't last. The very outspoken owner and the customer had a debate about the issue right there. After the customer left the owner proceeded to take the woofers out of them right there on the showroom floor. He was just cussing up a storm because "that jackass" drove them into clipping. He proceeded to tell whoever might have been standing around that it wasn't wattage that blew speakers, it was distortion. Although I didn't tell him so, I didn't believe him then. But I learned he was right as the years went by.

riverrat373
04-23-2008, 07:43 PM
Actually, Pioneer made alot of Radio Shack's early solid state stereo equipment! I have two pairs of Minimus 7's in my den and a pair of Optimus 650 3-way speakers hooked to my NAD in the living room.Everyone who hears them can't believe that they are from Radio Shack.(late 80's) IMHO I think that some of Radio Shacks earlier equipment is vastly underrated.

rtomas
04-25-2008, 10:42 AM
I've got a Realistic STA-120B receiver. 80wpc, a great tuner, and I really like the loudness feature - adds a nice amount of bass and cuts back automatically as the volume is increased. I'm using the receiver in my garage to drive a pair of Advent 5002's and this combination sounds great. I like the receiver so much that I picked up a second to use on the back patio.

I've also got a pair of Minimus 77 speakers.

BruceRPA
04-25-2008, 04:52 PM
I agree about the STA-120B. It is one of my all time favorite Realistic receivers for the same reasons that you stated rtomas. I always wanted one and finally picked one up a year or so ago. It is every bit as good as I remember them being when they were new. I sold a bunch of them back in the "Good old days of Radio Shack".

archie2
04-25-2008, 05:04 PM
I also have a Realistic STA-120B presently doing storage duty. Plus 2 pair 7W and 2 pair 7 Minimus's, 1 pair Minimus 8's, a Tm-7 Realistic tuner, a Accurian amplifier, an Optimus SA-155 integrated amp. (the tiny one), an Optimus 120 watt powered subwoofer, the large matching unpowered subwoofer to the Minimus 7, and lastly a Realistic rebranded Elac Miracord TT.

Blast
04-26-2008, 06:49 PM
I also have a Realistic STA-120B presently doing storage duty. Plus 2 pair 7W and 2 pair 7 Minimus's, 1 pair Minimus 8's, a Tm-7 Realistic tuner, a Accurian amplifier, an Optimus SA-155 integrated amp. (the tiny one), an Optimus 120 watt powered subwoofer, the large matching unpowered subwoofer to the Minimus 7, and lastly a Realistic rebranded Elac Miracord TT.

TM-7! Woohoo! One of my bestest S-S tunas!
http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/ii110/blasttapes/20080426-RealisticSA-900TM-90.jpg

Paul C
04-26-2008, 07:09 PM
Wow! Stylewise, they look a lot like the Heathkit AJ-14 and AA-14.

Here's Ozmoid's AJ-14 tuner...

http://audiokarma.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=22231&stc=1

and his AA-14 amp...

http://audiokarma.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=22036&d=1154555513

MrGee
04-26-2008, 07:30 PM
After reading through this thread, it hit me. Someone could buy the Realistic name, make the stuff all in the USA, charge triple...no, FOUR times the money of the equivalent Walmart Chinese junk...and people would STILL buy it as fast as they could.
A really good table radio. Something like the tivoli, but even better sounding with the stereo option/second speaker. Analog over digital tuning with a DIAL, no buttons for tuning.
A really sensitive tuner too, real quality.
Heck, Bose is getting like 500.00 for the one that plays CD's. (Talk about a profit margin.)
Get a really good old fashioned heavy speaker in it with a very laid back rich sound to it.
Tout it as "the last radio you will ever have to buy" and have it modular, so the end user could buy the modules. (Amp/tuner/speaker/dials/lights.)
They could go up from there. Make everything work with everything else.

Call me nuts, but I really think those boxes with American flags all over them...they would fly off the shelves.

Elfasto
04-26-2008, 07:39 PM
After reading through this thread, it hit me. Someone could buy the Realistic name, make the stuff all in the USA, charge triple...no, FOUR times the money of the equivalent Walmart Chinese junk...and people would STILL buy it as fast as they could.
A really good table radio. Something like the tivoli, but even better sounding with the stereo option/second speaker. Analog over digital tuning with a DIAL, no buttons for tuning.
A really sensitive tuner too, real quality.
Heck, Bose is getting like 500.00 for the one that plays CD's. (Talk about a profit margin.)
Get a really good old fashioned heavy speaker in it with a very laid back rich sound to it.
Tout it as "the last radio you will ever have to buy" and have it modular, so the end user could buy the modules. (Amp/tuner/speaker/dials/lights.)
They could go up from there. Make everything work with everything else.

Call me nuts, but I really think those boxes with American flags all over them...they would fly off the shelves.

Actually a Canadian group (just as easily as a US group) could buy the name and put out stuff that can beat Bryston around the block (and Bryston is pretty good stuff). It certainly would not be difficult to do.
But, you have to install a iPod dock on the amp and have it's own DAC, and be remote controlled. THAT would be a selling point.

stereofanboy
04-26-2008, 08:36 PM
I have three surround sets of speakers (two sets are comprised of the linaeum tweeter speakers), three RS subwoofers, a pair of RS car speakers, and and sixteen pairs of speakers including Mach One and Two, LX-10's Optimus 1B's and Omni's. I'm a little light on the other stuff having only three receivers, two mini amps, a mini tuner, a mini cassette deck, two E.Q.s, an eight track deck and three turntables. I just can't pass any RS item up unless I already have one. Other than some of the speakers I don't even use most of this stuff often. Its like a mental disease, can someone recommend a good shrink? Seriously though, I love me some Radio Shack speakers!

colortrakker
04-26-2008, 11:58 PM
I guess I'm official now. I've been thoroughly enjoying an STA-960 for the past couple months.

And today, the Salvation Army put me together an instant Realistic system: an STA-2200 receiver, an SCT-3000 3-head cassette deck, and a pair of original Mach Ones. I'll be rockin' it all later on.

wualta
04-27-2008, 12:44 AM
An STA-2200 owner, eh? Watch out-- you may become a mosfetnik. Enjoy.

BruceRPA
04-27-2008, 08:24 PM
MrGee, you are preachin' to the choir here! :thmbsp: I couldn't agree more. :yes: I told them (Senior mis-management at RS) that they were fools when they started down the path to discontinue their identity back in the mid to late 90s. I also told them that they needed to improve the quality, not cheapen it. They also needed broaden the line but get rid of the junk. They told all of us that said the same thing that we were all nuts.

Thespeakerdude8
04-27-2008, 11:41 PM
Hey are the optimus 2B's and the Nova 6's the same thing? They look like it! I have a pair ( actually a quatret, my girlfriend has the other pair) that I got at goodwill for $12 for the lot! :) Their basically mint, except a kiddy colored on one in crayon. It will come off.
I have never been a fan of radio shack crud, even their older speakers, but these nova 6's seem to be pretty good, I have 'em paired with my magnavox SE amp on my desk.

BTW, that STA2080 looks like its ready to be paired with some kabuki speakers! Big knobs lots of shiny things, FOUR meters! Oh and that QUALITY sticker! I love that haha.

chillwolf
04-28-2008, 01:56 PM
I have some nice Radio Shack gear:

Nova Pro headphones
STA 2160 receiver
12 band 2 channel EQ
Lab 400 DD TT
Mach 2 speakers
STS 100 speakers
Realistic CDP
Clock radio that has cassette player, 2 seperate alarms and is stereo

It is a shame that all the sell now is cell phones and junk! :tears:

vintaggeman
05-01-2008, 08:43 PM
i never had a chance to hear an realistic receiver, i got one almost in mint condiction last sunday for $50:D it was very dirt all the pots and switches need it to be cleaned and deoxited. i am amazed with the sound coming from this guy, i have few receivers in the " 120 / 125 " wpc class like fisher rs1060sansui g8000 , setton rs 660 ,rotel rx 1203, i am very pleased whit it!!
this one is a keeper! :thmbsp:

dspang
05-06-2008, 03:02 PM
Recently came across some Realistic Mc500's in really good condition. I switched them out and did a comparison with a pair of modern Klh speakers. The realistics win hand's down. So much more punch and clarity. Good good sound. They are in excellent condition. Anyone else here have any experience with the Mc500's. Got 'em for 6 bucks each.

fmueller
05-06-2008, 03:35 PM
I happened to find this at the curb side the other day. I had never heard of Realistic gear before, not having lived in the US in the day when Rat Shack apparently sold this stuff. I also had no idea that there was a whole line of mini components. Just noticed that this equalizer was unusually small :D

Unfortunately somebody cut the power cord off :tears: Kinda hard to test the unit before I have attached a new one. :no:

http://www.fmueller.com/images/Realistic-Equalizer-1.jpg

http://www.fmueller.com/images/Realistic-Equalizer-2.jpg

rushfan
05-12-2008, 12:30 PM
I came across this thread while researching a pair of Optimus-5B loudspeakers that I picked up on the weekend.

I was a huge fan of Realistic gear long before I could afford any. I'll bet that I spent more time fantasizing about the things that I saw in my beloved Radio Shack catalogues back in the late '70's than I did about any of the things that I saw in the Playboy magazines hidden under my bed. Those catalogues gave me the foundation for my budding audiophilia. I leaned that the more expensive amps featured more watts per channel and that the bigger speakers offered wider frequency responses, and so on and so on. I probably read about these very same Optimus-5B's wistfuly, though the Mach 1's were always my favourite. Good thing that nobody told me that I'd have to wait 30 years to get a pair or I'd have given up on the hobby!

Oh, and about Playboy magazine. I did see one "celebrity" in its pages that I would get to know intimately:

NAD613
05-12-2008, 07:25 PM
While my heart is definitely with vintage audio by Pioneer, Sansui, Technics, Nakamichi and other brands of the like I have always had a bit of a soft spot for Realistic gear. I know some of it is not great. In fact quite a lot of it is not great but they have always had interesting gear and every now and again (as with the Minimus 7 speakers) they come out with a real gem. My father bought some of their mini components for his office in the mid 80's which is actually sitting on my desk at work now and when ever I see a small Realistic piece at the thrifts I just have to have it. Take a look at this piece I have pictured here. Yes, while it will never replace my Nakamichi LX-3 or my Technics RS-M 45 you have to admit it is rather cute.

Radio Shack was one of the only places you could buy just a component stereo cassette player, the cousin of the one in your picture.

For all you Realistic fans out there, maybe you can help me out. In 1993, I was looking to buy my first component stereo cassette deck. I went to Radio Shack & saw this single well model, had manual piano key controls, manual counter, digital meter readout, was a standard component sized tape deck, & was black. It was a brand new Realistic, not old stock; only saw it there that one time. When I went back to buy it was sold out. I think the price was $159-$169. It was a nice deck, wish I would have bought it. Ended up getting a Sony dual-cassette deck at Sears. Does anyone else remember that deck?