Sansui AU-777A vs all contenders

Discussion in 'Exclusively Sansui' started by smurfer77, Nov 14, 2016.

  1. smurfer77

    smurfer77 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Sorry I don't know much about those models, but you could start a thread and get some nice input from those with more experience than myself with those models.
     
  2. smurfer77

    smurfer77 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I've now had my Sansui AU-70 recapped and all issues ironed out for about a month now. There are lots of pics in that thread but here is a tease:
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    I've been living with the recapped unit for a few weeks, not wanting to blurt out my first thoughts, because frankly, my first thoughts were that nothing has improved in audio since the mid 60s (forget specs, just enjoyment, with reasonable speaker loads). So after a month, have I calmed down? Not really. This thing is good. How good? AU-777A good.

    The A/B is really tough to tell apart if I run flat controls on both (tone circuit engaged, but controls flat, on the AU-70; with the tone-defeat the tone changes enough to tell the difference). All of the nuances i love about the AU-777A are here. The gripping bass, the clear and smooth mids, the detailed yet not shrill highs and surprisingly spatial separation. Perhaps the AU-777A mid is a touch more recessed in the mid, maybe not. It is by far the hardest to tell apart from all of the comparisons I've done so far. Now if you were to take two completely original units, I don't know if it would be as close... those coupling caps make quite a difference on both units (especially the 777A). And, on the AU-70 i stayed almost stock in parameters, where as the 777A goes a boost in capacitance in a few key positions. I could mention a few subtle differences in sound but I could be just kidding myself. I really find it hard to chose the winner. Any differences are slight enough changing out coupling caps would render my conclusion invalid. If you really pressure me I might say more, but for now let me say I love both machines. They are both very very special. Perhaps the AU-777 was voiced off of the AU-70?

    Anyway, i think a lot of amps post 1965 should hand their heads in shame, and bow to the AU-70 (and AU-777A if they are after late 60s).
     
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  3. stereofun

    stereofun AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I rarely run out of words. Suffice to say: great thread, great write up, gorgeous AU-70
     
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  4. larryderouin

    larryderouin Do I get Food, Med's, or more gear this Month? Subscriber

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    GOOD GAWD! That AU-70 is OUTSTANDING looking! I'd put it right next to my 1000A. Which would hang it's head in shame, even if it does have the AU-70 in total watts. I WANT ONE OF THOSE!!! But would have to save up for a few years, (or sell off my FISHER gear...yeah right!).

    I just noticed the Phono board box is the same shape as on the 1000A. Same Size? Is the Phono amp transistorized with 2sb381 Sony's? If you replaced them, what did you use instead as they are germanium.
     
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  5. smurfer77

    smurfer77 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I have never owned 1000A but I have read it is very good but yes, those who have owned both seem to give the nod to the AU-70. Not sure what size of the phonoboards are exactly; could certainly measure if you are interested. I think you are right about the transistor model, from memory; they were definitely Ge. I debated modifying the circuit to put in Si transistors, but when I tested the phonoboards they are really low noise for now. I probably would have only replaced with Si if the Ge was noisy.
     
  6. smurfer77

    smurfer77 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Anyone noticed I have been a bit quiet lately? Well, I'm still travelling and probably will be for a few more weeks (it's not as fun as it sounds!), so no working on amps for me lately. But I have to share my excitement right now. I just had possibly the most exciting linkedin friend request. A gentleman from Japan has seen a 2015 Burning Amp video on youtube of me presenting my AU-777A and gotten in touch to request my direct contact details. Well the guy was a Sansui engineer from 72-89. (I like to imagine a bunch of sansui ex engineers emailing around the link to my video :p). Apparently he is also doing some Sansui Alumni organization. He must have had a laugh when he saw the banner image on my linkedin profile is clearly a late 60s sansui circuit board!

    I will definitely be letting him know about this sub-forum (maybe it's not well known in japan?), and maybe if I play my cards right we can get some answers from someone in the know.... Like was the Engineer's receiver really the Engineer's receiver. ;)
     
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  7. nj pheonix

    nj pheonix AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Pretty cool indeed!
     
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  8. The Fuxtor

    The Fuxtor AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Hey! That's awesome...... Very cool!
    Man I just noticed the thread with the AU-70..... Holy frick is that a nice looking unit..... Droooool
     
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  9. stereofun

    stereofun AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Just dug it out, ....excellent presentation begins at 10:50. :thumbsup::thumbsup:
     
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  10. RS65

    RS65 New Member

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    Wooow!!!
    Thank you Smurfer77 very very much for that awesome fred.
    I am Rainer from Germany and i am sorry for my english. ;-))), this i my first post...
    I have repaired and totaly recapped some of the old 60s and early 70s Receivers and ampifiers and i just bought a AU-777a to be rebuild/recapped so i came to this side.
    A friend of mine has the same hobby and he has a AU-777 without a. I heard it a few weeks before. We compare to many other sounding beauties, the same class a/ab Yamaha you posted and a few diferent recapped Au-222 (Panasonic FR, Nichicon, Elna Silmic II and stock), Sony STR6200 and so on.
    The AU-777 is so nice and i decided to get one.

    I have a Sansui TR707E (total recapped and wonderful sounding) and a TR707A (stock) and a Sansui Model 3000 (without A, total recapped) and more others.
    Thees two recapped Sansuis are the best sounding of all i heard and my question is, how much difference is between thees and the Au-777a.
    My TR707E and the Modell3000 sound nearly the same but the TR707E is a little bit better in my ears.

    Greets Rainer
     
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  11. Glenz75

    Glenz75 Sansui and Pioneer Freak

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    Just been reading through this really in deep and involved and interesting thread. Way to go Smurfer77 on your in depth analysis and comparisons between various Sansui models. I also find that the older lower powered models including the AU777A and AU999 which I have both of that I seem to enjoy listening to them more than some of the later more higher powered models not to say the likes of the AU9900 or the Eight Deluxe are bad, they are dam finer sounding as well just different and its always fun to swap them around and listen to another Sansui which I do with my collection from time to time :)
     
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  12. The Fuxtor

    The Fuxtor AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Looks like someone lucky just snagged an AU 70 on eBay..... Anyone around here? Sure was tempting!
     
  13. smurfer77

    smurfer77 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I've been a bit quiet on here, and there hasn't been many updates in the many comparisons I want to do (AU-111, AU-X11, HF-V60, AU-9900/9900A, Eight, Eight Deluxe). Due to a few reasons I've been home only a few weeks since February.

    One thing I wanted to say is that the AU-888 impresses me again and again. She remains the main amp in my secondary listening area, with the Pioneer RT-707 r2r as source.
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    So I think it will have to get a full recap and recomparison. Actually I think the AU-888 has a special place in the collection only just below the AU-777A and AU-70. So I grabbed another AU-888. It still has some tag on the power cable. Seen that before?
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    The other thing is that I've grabbed a Sansui Solid State 5000. Looks original inside:
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    Biased her up and cleaned up the wood cover. She needs a couple of lamps, but otherwise works as per specifications. That is the AU-70 below her, if you are wondering.
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    Well, how does she sound? You know I've long been saying those older low power model receivers like the Solid State 300, 350, 2000 etc are really under rated? They have so much 'sansui' bass and mids. Stereofun got converted from Marantz to Sansui after hearing a 4000, if I recall correctly. Well the 5000, to my ears this thing still has that sound signature of those gutsy little receivers, but with gobs of power. Am a bit curious to try the 3000A which was out around the same time; they rated the 5000 and 4Ohm and the 3000A at 8Ohm to make the 5000 seem more powerful, but they should have similar output power. Anyway, the 5000 is great; it's it regular rotation on my 4 tier amp rack on the main room (along with AU-777A, Yamaha CA-1000, AU-70). The bass quantity is close to the AU-777A, the quality is not quite (but hey, the 5000 is in need of a recap!). Mids and treble also not quite there with the AU-777A, but boy, it's very very good and I would take the 5000 over numerous other amps that sit in my collection; it's definitely up there and I wonder how it sounds recapped. Honestly, for now, I like it a lot more than my Eight or Eight D.

    What else is new? Hmmm.... I picked up some Sansui speakers. The SP-2000. In many ways they do not compete with the Allison speakers in the back, but they are very very pleasant and I also think some of the Sansui speakers are under rated. The SP-2000 sound mighty fine with the AU-888 which really keeps the bass in control.
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    And one last pic for the day. The AU-222. Not new, but boy it still impresses me too. It's permanently setup in the bedroom.
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    So things are settling down in terms of travel and I should be able to get back to the amps over the last part of this year. I've just got a couple of r2r decks to clear, and then the Sansui amp comparison project takes priority. I'm actually 40% done on the AU-111 recap and have the parts for most of the other amps which are waiting for service.
     
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  14. stereofun

    stereofun AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Wohoo - Smurfer77 is back at it :thumbsup: I think it fair to call the AU-888 a 999a - apparently they don't have the choked pre-amp and the subsonic filters, and possible some tweaks here and there - but are otherwise very very similar. Interestingly the 999 has stock pretty fast outputs 2sc898 rated at 15 mhz whereas the 888 has quite a bit slower 2sc1111 at 5 mhz - same drivers.
     
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  15. smurfer77

    smurfer77 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Tom, hope all is good for you mate! Yeah, I would say that is a fair comment. I haven't compared side by side as I don't have an AU-999 anymore, but the bottom end on the AU-888 seems fine straight out of the box, but you get some kind of clarity from that the 888 and 999 have that the 777A (and probably the other cap coupled older topology Sansui) doesn't quite reach.
     
  16. AcerPalmatum

    AcerPalmatum New Member

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    That is a thing of beauty! Really enjoying this thread - keep up the good work
     
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  17. slimecity

    slimecity Super Member

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    I've been able to do this and like you, I was really impressed with the 888 once I fired it up without doing anything to it - it seemed to take a lot less work than a 999 to get sounding great!. Still preferred the 999 ultimately so I sold the 888
     
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  18. smurfer77

    smurfer77 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Good to know. it doesn't surprise me that ultimately the AU-999 can be slightly better, once the mods have been done. I do need to get my hands on an AU-999 and find out for myself! :)
     
  19. RS65

    RS65 New Member

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    Hallo David,:)

    my AU-777a is now ready to make me happy. I took many inspirations of your xmas-rebuild fred and some others. That made it much easier for me to get the best results. It tooks a lot of work, i took all the PCBs out and i recapped all electrolytics, all power resistors and all the old SC458-transistors. I made all Sansui service bulletin changes and now i began to compare it with my best sounding amplifiers and receivers (1965-1972) and some newer ones.
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    The last one shows my very rare and wonderful sounding TR-707E.
    I haven`t the time to compare very much, but what i can say by now is that the TR707E is not so far away from the 777a, but with the original Germaniums there is much more noise. I have completely recapped the TR also and i made a few changes to make it better. I think the bass is the same, the rest comparing will take much time...

    Greets Rainer
     
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  20. stereofun

    stereofun AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Greetings Rainer - what a beautiful restoration you have done. The 777a is indeed worth the effort. Have you noticed how "real" it sounds. Many amps can easily beat the 777a on distortion, noise, power etc and they may sound really good by all means, but they still sound like a good amplifier or "amplified". What imo makes the 777a special is how it can project music in a way where it gets closer to your expectations of how this would sound in the studio or audience, rather than its reproduction. I have not figured out how this works but the amp continues to drop my jar whenever I listen to live or acoustic recordings - it takes a bit to warm up and reach equilibrium and there is a sweet spot on the volume dial, maybe 10-15% before audible distortion, where it is absolutely large sounding and its 30 w can put bass out to vibrate your rib case. :bowdown:
     

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