| audio, gear, vintage | 10 comments

Another 1980s receiver, except this time a little more obscure. Nakamichi made some of the most high end consumer stereo receivers of the decade, back when every other brand was racing to the bottom.

In my most recent post about the Sony TA-F45 Amplifier, I claimed that I usually stay away from equipment made during the 1980s because quality took a huge nosedive for many brands back then. Well, here I am with another 1980s receiver, except it's from a brand that you've probably never heard mentioned too often. Nakamichi made some of the most top-of-the-line stereo equipment during this time, and I managed to pick up this piece for only $50 because the previous owner said it needed servicing—and probably because he wanted something a little more modern.

The SR-3 was the 2nd from the top in this line of receivers, the SR-4 being the granddaddy of them all. Manufactured in 1987, it's only a modest 45 watts/channel, but boasts implementation of STASIS technology in the amplifier section. The STASIS tech was licensed from a company called Threshold Audio and designed by a guy named Nelson Pass, a sound engineer who is very prominent and well respected in the DIY audio community. In any case, you can assume this thing cost somebody a lot of money back in the 80s ($1,000 MSRP in Canada at the time).

As for servicing, the funny part was that it only needed a good internal cleaning of switches and knobs, and it was back in tip-top shape. After checking the DC offset and bias current as described in the service manual, I didn't need to do anything else for it. Even the battery that stores the tuner channel memory was still good. Easy.

Since this receiver's manufacture date was already in the late 1980s, it also functioned as an early form of A/V receiver, as it allowed you to plug in a VCR and route the audio through your stereo instead of the TV. It also had a digital tuner, which was a lot more common for mid-late 1980 units. And like the Sony amp I last featured, it also had a built in switch for choosing moving magnet or moving coil phono pre-amps.

To be honest, I wasn't extremely impressed by the sound it had to offer. Maybe it was too flat and precise, but I think I prefer the stuff from a decade earlier that seems to favor a more rounded-off sound. Ugh, I hate describing "sound"—you always end up sounding like a complete tool.



Looking for a user manual for this model. Do you know where I can locate one? Receiver was given to me by a friend, but they did not have the manual. Thanks.

Mark, the service manual is available for free on hifiengine

How do I change the battery on the sr3

There is likely just a small button battery inside once you open the top

What has happened to Nakamichi corp today?

The backup battery is in the style of a coin battery with an orange protective rim. It is mounted vertically (on its side) on the main tuner/preamp board. It is a 3V battery, and larger than a 2032 coin battery found in most computer systems for its backup battery. Other than that, I don't know enough about it to recommend a replacement solution nor do I know if an exact replacement exist.

I own a Nak SR 3, which I purchased in 1987 for over a thousand Can. It has performed, and performed, but after the last two moves, it has suffered, and is now cutting in and out, and making scratching noises like a loose connection. I've checked and checked all my connections. So unless some body has some bright ideas, it's going into Commercial Electronics in Vancouver for a complete servicing.

Hi dear audio-phile!

I am an owner of mine Nakamichi SR-2E!!! OMG...I want to sell it...Cause i need some money.Now I read this forum about the super quality from the Nak..I think a lot of It to keep It and enjoy It for the rest of life!!! Forget the rest,the Nak is the best!!!



Where can I find a manual for a Nakamichi SR-3A Stasis receiver ??????

Many manuals for all manufacturers you can find on www.hifiengine.com