Friday, February 13, 2009

A Rarity and Something of a Mystery: the Pontus Receiver

A while back this walked into Austin Stereo:


This somewhat scrufty, Korean made Pontus IC-200R receiver has all the earmarks of a house brand. Build quality seems very respectable. This could be akin to the more than respectable Concept line of receivers that were also made in Korea. There is next to nothing on the web regarding the Pontus line.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sometime around the late 70's or early 80's, I purchased the same Pontus stereo at Lafayette. I wanted to get a Lafayette stereo system and the salesman sold me on this unheard of brand. It was a very good stereo, brought years of enjoyment. I recall ther backlit display had dust in it that showed through the tuner display. I have never heard of Pontus in all these years. Unfortunately, I think I tossed mine out years ago.

Anonymous said...

Pontus Receivers were a scam-brand sold out of the trunk of cars back in the late 1970's. They were mediocre no-names dressed up to look like high end equipment. The sales staff was instructed to wink and imply (but never actually say)they were stolen super-premium systems offered at a bargain price. Door to door sales were targeted at retail shop owners with ready cash. The target price was $800 and included a huge set of counterfeit JVC speakers.

Joe P said...

"Pontus Receivers were a scam-brand sold out of the trunk of cars back in the late 1970's...stolen!?"

Wow, that's quite a statement to make...and it's wrong. As the manager of a high-end stereo store in the Syracuse, NY area in the late 70's, early 1980's I can assure you Pontus was a legit manufacturer, and their equipment wasn't half bad! We had a complete line; receivers of various wattages, tuner, integrated amplifier and maybe, if I remember right, a cassette deck. We laughed at the name at the time since the 'biggies' were the Pioneer's, Kenwoods, Marantz and such were thought to be the only equipment worth anything. But we also sold Philips and Mitsubishi as well as high end like Threshold, Bryston, Adcom, B&W and so on, so odd brand names were not unusual. In fact, we used Pontus integrated amps in our sound rooms to demonstrate speakers because we felt they were that clean. Clean and cheap high power. One day we opened up a Pontus receiver and were surprised to find fully discrete amplifier components, and good quality semi-conductors at that! Remember at that time, the large scale integrated circuit amplifier blocks were the norm and some of the cheaper stuff used stereo integrated blocks. We sold many "systems" built around Pontus equipment and had very few problems and virtually no returns. I would say that's a pretty good record. If I was a collector I would definitely have a piece of Pontus equipment!

Anonymous said...

I bought - and still have- a Pontus Receiver purchased in Syracuse NY from a place called The Audio Threshold. Never had a problem and she still works fine. Was paired with Acousti-phase speakers and a Technics turntable. No complaints here.

Anonymous said...

i have a Pontus Integrated Amp and just found the receiver on e-bay! I bought it in Plattsburgh, NY 37 years ago at a place I think called Alpha Stereo. My buddy had the Receiver and Cassette Deck and all the pieces were excellent. unfortunately, his was stolen years ago, but i still have mine.