Next Step Up From 9090db

Discussion in 'Exclusively Sansui' started by danrclem, May 29, 2018.

  1. danrclem

    danrclem AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I have an 8080db that I liked very much before it broke. I hope to have it fixed soon. I have a 9090db that I did fix awhile back and like it very much too. Those are the only two Sansui units that I have listened to but I'm guessing that I'd like the sound of most of them.

    I'd like to go to an integrated or separates so what would be the next step up for a very noticeable sound improvement without breaking the bank. I have a TU-9900 that I picked up so I thought about an AU-9900 but those seem to bring a nice price most of the time so I don't wantt to buy one without making sure that it is quite a bit better. Would it be a noticeable improvement over the 9090db? I've read some good things about the AU-919. Do the BA, CA units sound better than the integrateds?

    I don't mind spending some money as long as the improvement is worth it. Any thoughts.
     

     

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  2. Sansui77

    Sansui77 Khosaku Kikuchi's Grandson Subscriber

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    Receivers, I prefer the G series compared to the x0x0db in SQ.

    Integrated, most of the AU series you can't go wrong with and don't forget the Alpha's which are more accurate sounding compared to the older generation (70's) which are more warm sounding. All the top models are built very well.

    Separates, C/B2101 - C/B2102 IMO are sleepers for what they sell for. Never owned a BA, CA series but get great reviews, but pricey.

    Good luck with your search.
     
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  3. gizzyman47

    gizzyman47 Super Member

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    I own the ca3000 pre and ba3000 amp. the ba3000 is a good amp but the ca3000 sounds dark and veiled to me. I dont know what your spending limit is, but I would seek out a quality used modern pre amp (tube) with a good vintage solid state amp with some power. Best of both worlds!
     
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  4. danrclem

    danrclem AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    It sounds as though the Alpha's may not be for me since I like the detailed yet warm non-harsh sound of the db receivers. How would you describe the sound of the C/B amps, preamps and how would they compare to the AU series. I've been doing some reading on the C/B2101 and C/B2102 and they seem like definite possibilities. I've read that the 2101 and 2102 are the same except for cosmetics and then I've read that they're close but not exactly the same. Is one recommended over the other one?

    I really don't know what my spending limit is but when I buy something I usually wind up spending more than I plan on. I have some tubes right now but no separates. Better tubes is something that I want to do in the future too but for now I'll probably just get some SS equipment. It's something that I can always add on down the road.
     
  5. kevzep

    kevzep Its all about the Music Subscriber

    I'd actually go for an AU-X1, its the pinnacle of Sansui's designs....
    They are so smooth in the top end its like velvet.....and yet they carry the weight and "warmth" (I hate using that phrase) as well, highly recommend one. I have rebuilt two of them, and spent a lot of time listening to them, and I really like them.
    The pinnacle of receivers is the G22000/33000, take you pick, the same in every way except power. Same family of sound as the X1 to be honest, and I have to say the G9000 comes very close to them as well...
     
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  6. Overundr1

    Overundr1 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Wow, tough choice.
    Comes down to speaker synergy, if you were happy with the 8080db I would sell the TU9900 and pony up for a full on restoration rather than chase the upgrade path. As you go up the Sansui price ladder the gains are incremental yet rewarding but to wring out the best they can offer the rest of the system has to be upgraded as well. Of all my Sansui restored pieces (and yes I have quite a collection now) the piece that graces my study is the 8080db through klipsch modded forte's, as you noted in your first post the xoxo series are something special.
    Plus it just gets it in the looks department with a custom blonde maple case.
    Just my .02 as usual :)
    -Lee
     
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  7. danrclem

    danrclem AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I've read some on the AU-X1 after you posted this and it seem that the early ones can grenade at any moment and the later ones were fixed of the problems. Have any idea what the serial number or date code is as to when the upgrades took place? I've already ruled out the G22000/33000 because of price. Just a little, ok a lot too much for me pricewise.

    Is your study your main listening area and if so do you think that your 8080db is the best of the bunch. If it is what do you have that you think it's better than.

    I haven't been able to compare the 8080db and 9090db side by side at the same time (neither one has been running at the same time) but the 8080db seemed to have a punchier bass but not as much bass as the 9090db. I usually turned the bass up some on the 8080db but usually leave it in the center on the 9090db. I believe the overall sound on the 9090db is better but can't be certain because of the extended time in between listening to each one of them. They were both hooked to my Klipsch Chorus I stock speakers. Neither have been restored so that may be a factor in the sound difference also.

    It is a tough choice. There seem to be so many good choices so it will be hard to make a decision. I plan on upgrading my speakers to at some point too not because I think they're bad but because I know there are better speakers out there.
     
  8. kevzep

    kevzep Its all about the Music Subscriber

    It is better to get a later model X1 for sure, but even the the later ones need a lot of work and you'd be foolish to run one unrestored, so later model/earlier model, as long as you know what you've got, it can be dealt with and made reliable, and I am certainly not going to pass one up if it ever comes my way.....But I have to say, my goodness what a very very refined sounding amplifier the X1 is.

    I mentioned the G9000 in my post because to be completely honest, yes, there is more refinement in the 22/33K amp design, but when you put them side by side, they really aren't that different. The G9000 probably lacks some off the "beef" the 22/33K has, but with the right speakers, it can be very impressive, in fact I am listening to my G9000 right now in my Lab whilst working on this G22K.....JBL4412+G9000, perfect complement.
     
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  9. Overundr1

    Overundr1 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Musical taste runs jazz/rock/classical
    All pieces fully restored---
    Note, I do not have $$$$ in speakers but all are classics :)
    Prefer my AU-919 (like the AU-x1) through hpm 100's or Yamaha NS580's than through Cornwalls for jazz, possibly speaker related but needs a little help for bass response when listening to classic rock.
    CA3000/BA2000 combo, or the AU-717, or the AU9900A through jbl 4312's shine at high volume levels but to my ears are soft in hf response when turned way down.
    G9000, out of rotation at the moment spent many many months in my study driving either jbl 100's or the Forte's and was quite happy with it and actually bumped my SX-1980 out of rotation, yes the big 'G's are that good but again at low low evening easy listening volumes left a bit on the table.
    Brings me to the 8080db. Gives up total output to its bigger kin, gives up a little detail to its younger siblings, but for an all around piece like the three bear's porridge is just right for me.
    Btw the Cornwalls are quite happy with my restored Sherwood S8000 tube receiver but that is a story for another day.
    -Lee
     
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  10. lbls1

    lbls1 Active Member

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    I wasn't aware that there was a "step above" a 9090db. You could get a more powerful unit, but for overall quality and features I'd wager that the Sansui legend will be hard to beat. I'd look at perhaps a recent McIntosh unit with a power rating of 180-200 watts, with tape monitoring and Dolby features. In all honesty, I'd rather refurbish the Sansui instead.
     
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  11. danrclem

    danrclem AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Thanks to all for the responses. It seems the more I read the muddier the water gets but I'll get it figured out with the help of you guys.

    The 9090db is the best amp/receiver I have heard but my world of stereo sound is very very small. Then again I haven't heard anything that's supposed to be better and that's one reason why I'm in the dark and trying to find out how it stacks up against other gear. I've read about people who don't care for the 9090db and people think it's the best out there. I'm not necessarily looking for more power but would take more if it has better sound. I think 85 wpc would probably be enough since I like big efficient speakers.

    I considered McIntosh and other gear but I'd be in the same boat again. I have no idea what it would take to beat the 9090db by a fairly wide margin. My plan was to buy something else and compare it to the 9090db and then keep the one that suits me the most. It may come down to rebuilding the 9090db but I wanted to explore other options first.
     
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  12. Hipocrates

    Hipocrates Anti-Muppet Subscriber

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    As said, at this point it comes to synergy.
    Db's are great, big G's too. But whatever Sansui you get, IME proper reconditioning is a 'must' in order to get the best of the unit.
     
  13. lbls1

    lbls1 Active Member

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    Don't I know it. My 9090db could use this "reconditioning" right now as we speak.
     
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  14. lbls1

    lbls1 Active Member

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    Well my thing is this: I've been with a 9090db for 40 years! I was in awe of it when it was newer, and to this day the unit still amazes me in its function and abilities. Upon my re-entry into the hobby, I thought of what would be a suitable upgrade or response to it. I decided to (instead of trying to beat it) go with a new unit that will at least meet the minimum standards set by the legend. That meant that I would need to be at least at 100 wpc and have a myriad of functions. I wasn't necessarily looking for keen tape monitoring, but I wanted versatility. After one trial and fail exercise, I went with a new Onkyo a/v unit that offered 130 wpc, plus seven useable channels, a dolby function and a few other things that I've yet to learn about it. So far I've been happy with it. It will in no way be an eclipse of the legend, but it offers modern technology and features that's not featured with the legend (obviously since the legend is several decades old). If I inherit my family's Sansui or if someday I get a crazy urge to buy another one, then I would definitely have it serviced and enjoy it for another set of years.
     
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  15. lbls1

    lbls1 Active Member

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    One last redress: Its no surprise since the world of home Hifi is far smaller than the golden days of the late 70s. There are a fair amount of mfrs. out there with receivers, but many of those products don't cater to either dedicated 2 channel hi fidelity and/or don't have features geared towards turntable listening or tape listening/recording/monitoring. You can go ultra hi end and get separate components with mega watts (and spend mega thousands of dollars in the process); However, the days of going to your favorite neighborhood hifi shop and having fun comparing equipment and competitive shopping are a thing of the past.
     
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  16. Hipocrates

    Hipocrates Anti-Muppet Subscriber

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    That's the step up then, a nice restore and I'm more than sure that you will enjoy it.
     
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  17. danrclem

    danrclem AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I already enjoy it like it is but I can't help thinking, what can I get that's better. I guess I'm going down that deep hole like so many before me. Maybe I should tie a good rope to myself just to make sure I can get back out if needed. Then again I might not want to get back out.
     
  18. lilwing

    lilwing CAGE FREE AUDIO ZOO Subscriber

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    QRXrestore has their "diff mod" which is supposed to make an immediately noticeable improvement. Good Sansui reading on their website.
    I think I read that it's possible to just send boards to them rather than the whole unit.
    I'll know soon about the mod as I'll be picking up my 9090 up next week.
     
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  19. kevzep

    kevzep Its all about the Music Subscriber

    That is actually a very good mod to do, it does make big difference, smooths out the top end quite a lot, brings a new clarity to the table. I've done it to a few amps now and its very good.

    What it is doing is supplying a constant current to the differential pair and also balancing out the current to both differential pairs. But it requires a bit of measurement and then it requires a specific constant current diode which are now becoming very difficult to source.
    They may have developed a different way of doing it now, I went to buy some CC Diodes not long ago, and you can't get them any more...
     
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  20. lbls1

    lbls1 Active Member

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    There should be a quote somewhere that states....you can't improve on perfection. That's how I feel about the legend. You can roar louder perhaps, but do all of those functions and do them well is a very hard act to follow.
     
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