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  The AIG FM Tuner Project: Sony ST-5150 - A Clean Classic!

      Date posted: October 8, 2007

Read the AIG FM Tuner Project Introduction
Sony ST-5150
Here’s a Sony ST-5150, which comes from the same era as the legendary ST-5000FW and its successor, the amazing (and better) ST-5130. I own 3 of the latter, and contributing music editor Hy Sarick has one of the former, so I know how they all perform. How does the ST-5150 stack up in this company?

Very well, as it turns out in our own tests. But first, here’s what the guys at www.fmtunerinfo.com have to say about it: “The little brother of the ST-5130 is a surprisingly solid performer…it has excellent sensitivity and a full rich, sound, with particularly natural-sounding bass.” In our Audio Ideas Guide tests it brought in 47 stations on both the high directional yagi antenna and the omni Lindsay double dipole, both on our tower. But there were more good, quiet stereo signals with the 300-ohm omni. It has the same variable IF capability as the 5130, I think, because stations do pop in and out at full level as you go across the dial, and also seems to have fairly grabby auto AFC, though not as sticky as to blot out weaker signals.

It’s really not a DX champion, anyway, which is what distinguishes it from the 5130. However, its sound quality is at least as good on the majority of stations. For what it is, performance is flawless, except for the fact that the stereo light seems to be burnt out (easy to fix, and stereo reception is fine, with wide, clean separation). All other dial and indicator lights work perfectly, which leads me into the cosmetic quality of this ST-5150.

I’ve bought quite a few vintage Sony tuners (as you’ll see with coming listings/reviews), and among them this is the most perfect! ST-5150, rearThe front panel is flawless, with no nicks, scratches or other imperfections. There are no scratches on top or sides, the grey paint immaculate. It provides coaxial and screwtap 75-ohm inputs, and more screwtaps for 300-ohm and AM. There are fixed and variable audio outs, but the latter are controlled by 2 pots on the rear panel (use the fixed to eliminate a gain stage), and vertical & horizontal scope outputs are also provided, all RCA.

This is the most like-new Sony in The Tuner Project, if not the hottest or rarest, and it’s a great introduction to high quality FM for anyone who has realized how good it can sound. In other words, it is among the best Sony analog tuners available at any price, and it turned out to be a fine bargain for the ultimate buyer.

Andrew Marshall

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2 Responses to “The AIG FM Tuner Project: Sony ST-5150 - A Clean Classic!”

  1. krystal c-au Says:

    hi im wondering if you would know how much are the sony st5150 worth today please?

  2. Jim c-gb Says:

    Hi, I have an ST5150, been sat in its box in the loft for the last 10yrs, along with the old Sony Ta1140 that I also used to partner it. Any useful (ie lucrative!) suggestions welcome!

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