Sony ST-88
Sony TA-88
Sony SQA-100
Sony SS-5088
(1967 - 1970 - 1975)

Part of the all-time Sony design icons and well-remembered stereo separates.

Small sized, terribly good-looking, not that bad sounding, lightweight and - successful : Sony sold many TA-88 and ST-80F and ST-88 worldwide.
The SQA-100 surround-sound adapter is a bit more rare (but directly made to fit these original '88s) ; the SS-5088 two-way loudspeakers are more of the invisibilia kind and were available only in several markets.

The original ST-80 (1967) and ST-80F (1969, shown below, F for FET) already were stereo tuners but didn't have a LED to confirm stereo reception ; the 1970 ST-88 did, and so did the european ST-88L version (L for LW, long-wave).
The 1970 TA-88 only saw one version and was to be complemented by the 1971 SQA-100 4-Channel decoder/amplifier - the former powering the front channels, the latter the two rear speakers and the connection being the 88's tape loop.

None of these represent full-size high-fidelity, nor sonic powerhouses, of course, but their imprint on small-size audio design was big enough to launch a continuous series of "me-too" products from other brands throughout the 1970s.
Even the (sadly unproduced) Hitachi, Victor and Kenwood 1980/81 equivalent systems did clearly bear the mark of Sony's little 1960s icons.

Pity the current crop of mini systems can't replicate the solid simplicity of the 88s.



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