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Mitsubishi Stereo?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by lazydawg58, Jan 14, 2021 at 1:35 AM.

  1. lazydawg58

    lazydawg58 Know enough to know how much I don't know Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lillington NC
    A couple of years ago I bought a Mitsubishi receiver and turntable at an estate sale. I waited till day 2 when they cut prices in half on everything that hadn't sold on day one. So I got the receiver and turntable for about $45 total. I had a guy I know that repairs turntables service it, repair the return spindle and put a new cartridge on. And it has just sat on a shelf since then.

    I finally got them both out of the basement and went through them. I double checked the cart alignment and tone arm balance, checked the accuracy of the tone arm dial with a scale, checked the rpm's with a phone app, etc. If that app is accurate it is spinning at 33.12 rather than 33.3. I don't know if that is enough difference to matter? Everything else on the Turntable was on the money.

    I then went to the receiver. I opened it up expecting to find dust everywhere, but it was surprisingly clean so I didn't try and spray any canned air around to stir anything up, fearing that It might loosen something up and do more harm than good. I sprayed de-ox on the switches and dials and worked them back and forth and closed it back up. It works great as far as I can tell, both channels work, no static etc. I don't have any interest in the tuner, (interestingly it is suppose to be one of the first digital tuners on the market), so I didn't check the radio. The phono setting worked great.

    I had some fairly new Polk Audio speakers I hadn't been using that I hooked up and set the system up in my living room where I only had a TV until now. (I'll have to get some headphones because my wife has no interest in it.) But now I can be upstairs with her more and not holed up in the basement all the time. All be it she is going to be watching Judge Judy and Lifetime network while I spin tunes.

    So to conclude this way too long essay I'm hoping you guys can help me with a few questions I have. I've searched the web but can't find much about this setup. I know the general specs for the receiver but I can't find out what year or years it was manufactured, same with the turntable. I've seen the receiver on sale on e-bay and read their descriptions but I don't know what is hype and what is real. So I'm wondering just what I have here.

    Mitsubishi DA R11 Stereo Receiver - Quartz Frequency Synthesizer
    Mitsubishi DP-6 Quartz Lock Automatic Return Turntable
    Grado Black Cartridge (This is new, but not sure if it is all I need or if going up a level or two would benefit?)
    Polk Audio RTi A3 Bookshelf Speakers (I bought these new so really no questions on them.)
     
  2. Uglyversal

    Uglyversal Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sydney
    Just an educated guess, the receiver appears to be only 35w so just about anything would be hype or sales pitch, it looks like from 1979 to 1982/5, still would have been an advanced model at the time as digital tuners did not become really common until nearly 1983/4.

    I had problems finding the TT but if it has a straight arm it is probably from 1982 onwards, the quartz lock is a good feature that not all TT's have.
    The Grado is probably fine, there is no point going overboard unless you have a dedicated phono stage or a better receiver.
     
    lazydawg58 likes this.
  3. lazydawg58

    lazydawg58 Know enough to know how much I don't know Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lillington NC
    Thanks for responding.

    You are correct. It is 35w. But in a small room isn't 35 more than enough? I'm not shooting for audiophile level equipment, just a good consumer level setup. Recently I've heard several people, both in person and online refer to differences between the quality or power of old stereos watts per channel and that of newer equipment. They basically say something to the effect that a much lower watts per channel old receiver is equal to much higher watts per channel new receiver. It that real or an old wives tale? If it is, why?

    It is reasonable to assume that the receiver and turntable were bought together by the original owner so if the digital tuners weren't common until 1983 and this was suppose to be one of the first, 1979-1982 makes sense.

    The tonearm is straight so that would push it to 1982 if they weren't used much prior.

    Once again, thanks for taking the time to respond and offer your advise and share your knowledge.
     
  4. lazydawg58

    lazydawg58 Know enough to know how much I don't know Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lillington NC
  5. lazydawg58

    lazydawg58 Know enough to know how much I don't know Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lillington NC
  6. lazydawg58

    lazydawg58 Know enough to know how much I don't know Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lillington NC
  7. Uglyversal

    Uglyversal Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sydney
    What you ask about the modern wattage vs older is not so easy to respond. If power specs are given properly which not always but in most cases are then 35w are 35w. Many manufacturers of multichannel audio/video receivers these days are being a bit less straightforward by giving you a wattage that is based only on one channel working at the time but if you had all the channels running there is no way the rated power can be achieved. What you've heard might be related to that but generally doesn't apply to stereo amps/receivers.

    If you are not shooting for top audiophile level I am sure your receiver is perfectly fine. Many people think just because you don't play loud you don't need powerful amps but particularly with transistors, the extra power even if not used it loud, provides many benefits. That generally will include better sound at lower levels.

    Probably -because of the straight arm- the date might be 1981/82 onwards, prior to that almost always, Japanese turntables had S shaped arms. The two units look nice together, I personally have some equipment from the era which still work too but Mitsubishi in audio components is rarer to come by when compared to other Japanese brands. At $45 for the two sounds like a steal for working equipment and it is great to hear somebody is still enjoying them.
     
    lazydawg58 likes this.
  8. Dan DRC

    Dan DRC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Southwest Missouri
    I had a Mitsubishi DA R11 for a while back in 1985 to 86. I paired it up with Polk 4A speakers, Akai tape deck and Hitachi CD player. This was my first decent system. I eventually traded the Mitsubishi for a Yamaha R-5 and regretted it.
    The DA R11 had a better tuner and a warmer sound. If I remember correctly the favorite station preset required a AA battery under the hood. Thanks for the pictures and a memory lane moment.
     
    labreahouse and lazydawg58 like this.
  9. lazydawg58

    lazydawg58 Know enough to know how much I don't know Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lillington NC
    Thank you for responding. It is good to hear positive comments on the receiver. I have it up and running now and it sounds very good to me with the Polk RTi A3 speakers.
     
  10. lazydawg58

    lazydawg58 Know enough to know how much I don't know Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lillington NC
    Thank you so much for all the great information. I've had a hard time figuring out what was meant by the old watts being better than the new. Like you I don't see how a scientifically determined number can be subjective.

    The receiver has a loudness dial in addition to a volume which I find strange. The higher loudness is set the less the volume dial has to be turned before it gets very very loud. What is the purpose? Should I set the loudness very low? Otherwise I barely turn the volume at all to go from silence to very loud.
     
  11. Bananajack

    Bananajack Forum Resident

    Location:
    Singapore
    It’s an 80s Receiver (cost down time), so the horses =Watt) are not bigger than they sound, sorry
    But 35 Watts are generally quite okay, as long as you don’t do Techno Party

    The legend of the bigger horses comes from the 1970s and is partly true
    Example Pioneer SX1250 1976, 2x160W) vs SX1980 (1978, 2x290Watts) ... but the power supply stayed the same.
    The invention of Marketing Watts?

    My first amp was a Pio SA9500, rated 2x80 Watt, but the wattmeter showed 200 peak and it drove my speakers
    into protection mode - they were rated 150.

    Generally 1976 or earlier gives you big fat horses
     
    lazydawg58 likes this.
  12. Dale A B

    Dale A B Forum Resident

    Location:
    Greenville, WI
    A variable loudness control allows you to add the amount you desire.
    The standard version on other receivers have just an on/off button. I never use it.
    I believe it was offered to give you more control over the sound at lower volumes.
     
    lazydawg58 likes this.
  13. lazydawg58

    lazydawg58 Know enough to know how much I don't know Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lillington NC
    Thanks for the info. So is what you are saying, that 76 and earlier the manufactures tended list the watts per channel lower than they actually were?
     
  14. lazydawg58

    lazydawg58 Know enough to know how much I don't know Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lillington NC
    Thanks for explaining, but gosh that don't make much sense to me. Having two volume controls seems redundant. Why didn't they just offer one control with a more gradual volume increase with a wider range from off to the max?
     
  15. Uglyversal

    Uglyversal Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sydney
    It isn't two volume controls, the loudness knob is only for compensating what happens at low volume where the sound might seem thin. The loudness tend to ad more impact to the sound. Having the knob allows you to fine tune that effect to your taste. As mentioned by the other poster generally you just had and on/off option with most amps, nowadays you'll be lucky to even find the switch, it is a feature manufacturers lost the taste for.
     
    lazydawg58 likes this.
  16. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    Just to clarify, the loudness control, which always strikes me as a confusing nomenclature choice, is there to compensate for a phenomenon of human hearing. Our ears become less sensitive to low frequencies as volume decreases, so if you play your music quietly, it might sound better/fuller/warmer with the loudness control engaged. How far you should turn the knob depends on your personal preference. Many prefer to just leave it off.

    As mentioned above, the fact that it's a variable control is a good thing. In my experience, the majority of receivers that have a loudness button (as opposed to a variable loudness control) go overboard on the compensation level, and make everything sound muddy. There are exceptions, but a some (many? most?) loudness buttons do more harm than good.

    You should be able to adjust it somewhere in the proper ballpark by playing some music that you know well at a fairly loud level, and focusing on how much bass you hear. Next, turn the volume down to roughly the lowest point at which you would ever listen, and tinker with the variable loudness control until the bass level at quiet listening strikes you was sounding about the same (in terms of its balance with the rest of the music) as it did at loud listening. Then slowly turn the overall volume back up, and if it's a well designed loudness circuit, you "should" perceive the same amount of bass at all volumes.

    In the end, you may decide that you love it, or you may decide that it's not your cup of tea. It's worth playing around with. It's painless.
     
    lazydawg58 likes this.
  17. Bananajack

    Bananajack Forum Resident

    Location:
    Singapore
    The US had strict laws from about 1970 (forgot the exact year), so it seems it
    needed some time until creativity re-emerged.
    Have a look at some fantastic norms quoted today like PMPO.
    Or that only one by one the channels are measured and the others are quiet then

    And tube watts are again a different animal - I once borrowed an 845 tube amp (2x16Watt),
    which brought the bass driver of the Harbeth M30 to a stretch.

    Realistically Watt tell nothing ...
     
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  18. lazydawg58

    lazydawg58 Know enough to know how much I don't know Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lillington NC
    This is a great explanation. Thanks you so much. I'll do just what you suggested.
     
    MLutthans likes this.

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