Sooooo....I dragged the two speakers I made some time ago out of the basement, and set them up with the SX-780. When I used these speakers before, I used them with my turntable, preamp, and a small, PylePRO PCA2 "40 Watt" amplifier. Hah....in your dreams, maybe. For one-half cycle at some given frequency. While cooled by LN2.....
The first no-no I did was to have the speakers about 18" from the turntable. Yes, I know better, but in my haste I used the model car workbench to set things up quickly, there wasn't much room, and I wasn't planning on listening at high volume.
Nope, doesn't work. Even at moderate volume, having the speakers that close to the turntable causes a form of audio feedback, where the sound pressure waves from the speakers vibrate the turntable at variable frequencies, which get picked up by the stylus, fed to the amp, and then the speakers, and then the turntable again, and presto! TERRIBLE sound.
So I set the SX-780 on the den coffee table, set the speakers up a few feet away and 6' apart to see what kind of separation they have, connected things up, and brought the receiver up.
YOWIE-ZOWIE! This thing sounds GOOOOOD! I had a clip lead about 29" long (1/4-wavelength!) that I used for an antenna, and I could get just about every station on the dial. The stronger stations ("Full Quieting" in FM-Speak) sounded spectacular, WAY better than they do on our home theater system when I use the FM tuner. I knew this was a premium grade receiver when it was new, but I was surprised how good my home-built speakers sounded now that they have a clean signal "with enough amp" to drive them to good levels. You can compare speakers to air pumps, and I was running 45 Horsepower air pumps with 15 Horsepower motor s when I was using the little amp.
Now I've got like 60 Horsepower, which gives me plenty of reserve capacity, or "Headroom". Makes a huge difference.
All the rotary switches and controls turn smoothly, and quietly, with no scritchy-scratchy sound, and all the lever controls do the same. The FM dial calibration is a bit off to my eye, but it's off a consistent amount from the bottom to the top of the band, so that's usually caused by the dial cord having slipped a bit. Easy-Peasy fix, and I'll do that when I take the cover off to replace a burned out dial lamp, and blow any dirt and dust out of the chassis.
This is the first "High End" FM Stereo Receiver I've ever owned although I've heard plenty. When some of my friends were buying things like this, I was buying things like Carillo connecting rods. Different priorities for different folks.