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Grandpa's Sansui QR-6500 Quadraphonic Receiver Amplifier

Updated on February 8, 2011

The Legendary Sansui QR-6500 4-Channel Quadraphonic Receiver

This vintage Sansui QR-6500 Quadraphonic amplifier receiver was purchased by my grandfather in the early 1970s, and I saw the relaxing glow of those dials in their living room since I could remember. My grandparents never really used it as a quad amp, and neither did I when they passed it down to me in the early '90s. We decided to pass the Sansui on to someone who would enjoy it to its full potential, and, being full-time eBay sellers, my wife and I had the perfect outlet for it.

I began to meticulously clean the fifty pound behemoth for hours and, after removing decades of cigarette tar, was pleased to see it back in sparkling, beautiful condition (the brushed aluminum faceplate was actually gold in color when I started!). It has only one cosmetic flaw, though we prefer to call it "character", because the flaw is a serial number my grandpa engraved on the front and back panels in case the amplifier was ever stolen (remember when people used to care about their stuff enough to do things like that?).

Finally, a known issue with this particular model, the tuning dial seemed to slip sometimes. It didn't seem to affect the actual tuning, but it doesn't move as smoothly and quietly as a Sansui tuning knob should. I read that applying beeswax on the tuning wires could fix this problem.

We put this amazing piece of retro electronics up for auction and sold it on eBay for $400.00 to a very friendly gentleman who told us a great story. Apparently, when he returned home from Vietnam in 1970, he had this exact model shipped back. It did not survive the trip, and when he saw ours, he saw his chance to replace the one destroyed forty years ago. Stories like this are one of the best perks of selling vintage items on eBay and they really make our day.

Sansui called the QR-6500 four channel receiver "a monumental audio achievement, perhaps the most important in Sansui's long and illustrious history...a combination of the fabulous new 4-channel synthesizer decoder, a mighty 280 watt control amplifier and a super sensitive AM/FM multiplex stereo tuner". This goliath absolutely crushes the competition, and not just because it weighs over 50 pounds! It was originally purchased for around $600.00 plus tax, which, based on inflation, would run just under $2,000.00 in today's money!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I purchased mine at a garage sale about 10 or so years ago. It still sounds beautiful and I hope to again hook it up as a quad system after my upcoming move. Awesome and beautiful amp/tuner!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Back in the day ... when that music monster first came out, it was selling for around $1000.00 at most college campus music/stereo stores. That's back when Amazon was a river, Led Zeppelin was starting to tour the college circuit, REO Speedwagon was playing bars at U of I Champaign and a 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner was selling for around $2500.00, and ... your Grampa was lucky to make it back home. Back then, pretty much the next step up in power from the QRX-6500 was separate profession studio components. I still have my QRX-6500, and it still in the harness powering 24 commercial grade overhead ceiling speakers at our place of business at about "2" on the volume dial. Anything more and the ceiling tiles would probably start to come down.