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saw this at a garage sale, old realistic sa 101 stereo amp

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I saw one of these at a garage sale, think its worth playing with? http://www.recycledgoods.com/products/Realistic-SA-101-Vintage-Realistic-SA-101-Stereo-Amplifier.html


i didnt get it since im broke and its probably just a few dollars.



Im going back there on saturday, so if they still have it maybe ill lowball it 

post #2 of 11

Yeah I would . Lowball.

It may not have any issues at all. You'll generally be able to tell if it needs slight fixing if there's noise in the headphone jack when you use it ( after cleaning of course )

It's the sort of thing I would grab right away, but that's me.

I use a 102 and it's good for what it is. Was my headphone amp for a while and now it's in the bedroom setup running stats as well off the speaker terminals. ( I use the tone control all the way up to high.) Not a monster powerful thing but never had a problem dealing with some of my orthos even. The link about the 102 below explains the volume control switching from class A to B then C as you go up, Best to stay below the 12:00 mark but you'll be able to hear the switch.( IF it's similar )


The circuitry inside should be easy to deal with for replacing stuff , nice and large PCB board and easy access to the capacitors. That's one of the next projects on the list.

It's also nice and compact and personally I love the black and aluminum face.

only 3 1/4 by 9 1/4 by 7 inches



The SA-102 regularly sells for $40 and up on ebay I noticed. I somehow got mine as a 3 piece set - matching tuner and EQ - all for $10

Try a lowball offer.

Tell them all these old amps have a hum usually and need an update with new capacitors to be safe.wink_face.gif


I'm not sure about this particular model, but the SA-102, not bad: Audion's Champ Amp   It may or may not have the same circuit design,


here's the 101 from the Radio Shack catalogs.( '75- '79 )



cool I bet the light is orange too.



This is all of course just my opinion. I love smaller integrated amps of that time period. 




Edited by nick n - 4/6/12 at 6:15pm
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

picked it up $3 




It works. I am no audiophile, so it will take me a few listens to tell how it sounds. Playing from my zune, than my laptop with flac files and some eq. my headphones are jvc harx700. 


Im planing to just fill out the drilled holes that someone put on the case and brush over it with some rustoleum satin black that i have in the garage.


Edited by hypertek - 4/7/12 at 6:45pm
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

I really like the bass boost from my fiio e5 which was my only amp. though i have a ebay banzai cmoy amp kit on order that I will be building, so I am looking forward to that. 


Yeah it does have a slight hum to it. I was thinking it doesn't have much low end ommph but after playing with the tone dial, i can get some of it .  How would I go about cleaning it? or perhaps looking at what to replace? I wonder if this can sound better. 

post #5 of 11

$3   that's awesome!


the hum can be either from the dirty contacts for the RCA plugs ( maybe ), capacitors or the old style resistors, or all of those. You could replace the lot of them shouldn't cost much but is the time factor worth it I dunno.  The circuit may be different than the 102 I have there's no shortage of low end, which is why I need to put the tone dial at full.


Do you have some "Deoxit" spray ? or some sort of zero residue electrical contact cleaner, there's also a cleaner/lube spray for the dials you can try, spray it in as you move the dials around to loosen stuff up, don't need a lot.


Try cleaning the back terminals where the RCA cables connect first somehow, if they're as dirty as the outside looks then....


it may need to get back into shape after not being run (?) for ages, but if the hum is still there look into the capacitors and resistors. It's a fun project and probably easy on that. Everything is passthrough on the PCB board. make sure to replace the caps though in the proper +/- pin orientations.


There's better people in here than me to ask about that though.


 First things to try would be to run it for a bit and see if anything improves (  don't leave the house with it on just in case ) . And secondly try cleaning off the RCA contacts if you can get some contact cleaner do that


is the light orange? hahah


Edited by nick n - 4/7/12 at 7:33pm
post #6 of 11

A slight Hum? could be a bad capacitor on the power supply. 

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 

Yeah light is orange, wow i plugged in some logitech speakers from my old 5.1 setup (the speakers have rca jacks on them) wow it works. Pretty cool. Don't go too loud but still cool. Might sound decent with some real bookshelf speakers. 


that SA-102 looks cool, i like the brushed aluminum look it has. 

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

i take that back, its only noticible with the volume, but id think thats how its suppose to sound, not really a hum, just an amp sound i guess lol. 

post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 

Im thinking about changing some caps

So far 4 of them look easy, the big ones. 

(2) 470uf 16v

(2) 220uf 25v

1000mfd 35v

And I think a new volume potentiometer would be nice http://www.ebay.com/itm/Alps-50K-A-x2-Volume-Potentiometer-control-attenuater-/250975936354?pt=Vintage_Electronics_R2&hash=item3a6f54df62#ht_2330wt_905


Know any good sites that will have them with low shipping? 

post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hey regarding ordering caps, do they have to be the same size? pretty hard finding the big 1000mfd 35v (or 1000uf) with the same dimensions. 

post #11 of 11

As long as they're the right electrical rating - the 1000mfd, 35v - the dimensions don't matter.


If you google around, there's various advice for how to gut the old cap and use it as a can to hold the new one so it looks the same, and fits in the clamps.  But it's not important to the operation of the device if the new cap is physically smaller.

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