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Realistic sA-2000 Integrated stereo Amplifier



intermodulation distortion (IM) was relativelv

constant-between 0.12 and 0.16 per cent for
all power outputs from 0.1 to 65 watts.
Our distortion measurements across the full
frequency range showed that the .,distortion,". especially at full power and low frequencles. contained appreciable amounts of
hum (at non-audible levels) together with the
harmonics of the input frequency. To sepa_
Realistic SA-2000 (disrributed rhroueh

Radio Shack stores) is the company:s

finest integrated stereo amplifier. The iteaiistic brand name has long been associatecl with
components appealing to a broad segment of

the population and providing good perfor-

mance at a moderate price. The SA-2000 fol_

lows that tradition, but its specifications and
control features place it in competition with
medium-price amplifiers from manv of the
better-kriown hi-fi nranufacturers.
The SA-2000 is rated to deliver 55 watts per
channel to 8-ohm loads, from 20 to 20,000 Hz.
with less than 0.3 per cent total harmonic distortion (THD). It is a compact unit, approxi_
mately 16 inches wide, 12 inches deep, and
4t/z inches high in its walnut-veneer wooden
cabinet; it weighs about 2l pounds. The volume- and balance-control functions are conbined into two vertical slider controls at the
right side of the panel. They adjust the channel Ievels individually and are nornrally
moved as a pair for changing volunre. Channel-balance changes can be made by a slight
shift of one control relative to the otller.
To the left of the volurne sliders is a small
knob marked pERFEcr levBl, below which is
a pushbutton marked DEFEAT. These controls

provide the SA'-2000's loudness-cornpensa-

tion systern, which will be described later.

Across the top centel. of the panel are
knobs for the input sELEcroR (with positions

for pHoxo l, Rr-rono 2, ruNen, ancl a,ux) and

the detented elcven-position snss and TnuBLe
tone controls which affect both channels simultaneously. Below each tone control is a
three-position lever switch that gives a choice
of two turnovel frequencies and bypasses the
tone-control circuits in its center. ol-n posi_
tion. The available turnover frequenciei are
125 and 400

Hz in rhe bass, 3,000 or 7,000 Hz

in the treble. Flanking the turnover selectors

are Low and urcs filter pushbutton switches.

Another pair


three-position lever

switches below the input selector control

affects the tape functions. The noNrron
switch connects the playback output from
cither of two tape decks-or the noimal program source-to the amplifier circuits. The
adjacent DUBBTNc switch interconnects the

two decks for copying a tape from either machine to the other.
.. At the upper left of the panel are two blue-

lrt power-output meters whose logarithmic

scales are calibrated from 0.01 to 70 watts

(based on 8-ohm loads). Below them are in-

dividual pushbuttons to switch in the two

pairs of speaker outputs. When the speakers
connected to the "B" outputs are placed at
the rear of the room, pressing the qunrne,vox
button drives them with an out-of-phase derived ambiance signal for a simulated quadraphonic effect. Another button converts the
amplifier to the mono rnode. There is a oushbutton powen switch and a headphone jack.
In the rear of the SA-2000 are binding posts
for the speaker outputs and phono jacks for

the signal inputs and outputs. The ,,A" speaker outputs are duplicated by phono jacks. One

of the two a.c. outlets is

switched. price:


O Laboratory

Measurements, Although the

output transistors and their heat sinks are located entirely within the cabinet of the Realistic SA-2000, they are well ventilated and the
amplifiel did not become unusuallv warm during a one-hour pleconditioning period at onethird rated power and five minutes at full powcr that prcccded our tests. At 1,000 Hz. the
outputs clipped at 69 watts per.channel into g
ohms,91 watts into 4 ohms, and 4l watts into
l6 ohms.

The total harmonic distortion OHD)


1,000 Hz wts 0.07 per cent at 0,1 watt, decreasing to less than 0.01 per cent between l0
and 40 watts output. It was 0.4 per cent at the
clipping point of approxiniately 70 watts. The

REALTS-t-tc sa*2000

pOwER (ssw)







rate the two effects, we used it e

Hewlett-Packard spectrum analyzer and measured, every harmonic component strong

enough to contribute to the total reading whil6
excluding harmonics of the power-liie fre_
quency. The SA-2000 just met its specifica_
tion at 20 Hz, with the rated 55 watts output,
with an actual distortion of 0.3 per cent. the
THD decreased with.increasing frequency to
0. l5 per cent over most of the mid.ranee-and
0.02 to 0.07 per cenr between 3,000 and70.000

Hz. At half power the mid-range THD was

about 0.006 per cent, increasing to 0.05 per
cent at 20 and 20,000 Hz. At one-tenth power
it was 0.02 per cent or less at middle frequencies and less than 0. 1 per cent at the extrernes.

The amplifier delivered a reference output

watts with 60 miliivolts at the aux inpr.rts, or just under 1 millivolt at the phono in_
puts (both of which are iclentical). Tire signalto-noise latios, respectively 79 and 75 dB re_
ferred to 10 watts, were excellent. The phono
inputs overloaded at 145 millivolts*-more
than suflicient headroom to handle the outout

of l0

of any modern cartridge.

The tone controls of the SA-2000 are amone
the better ones we have seen in their abilitv t6
modify the l'esponse at the frequency ;xtremes without affecting the mid-range. The
combination of a turnover frequency varying
with control setting and the choice of either
125-Hz or a 400-Hz maximum turnover frequency makes it possible to boost or cut the
response by several decibels at frequencies
below 100 Hz with no effect on the overall tonal balance of the program.
The filters had 6-dB-per-octave slopes, with
-3-dB frequencies of approximately 60 and
9,000 Hz. Being so close to the edges of the
audible spectrunr, they did not seriouslv

affcct program content, but neither did thcv

provide much noise reduction (although th!
Low filter is effective against subsonic rum-

ble). The loudness compensation


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