Sansui Au101 vs Au999

Discussion in 'Exclusively Sansui' started by Pikapie, Jan 3, 2018.

  1. Pikapie

    Pikapie New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Hey guys, I’m currently a proud owner of a Sansui Au101. I have been using it for quite a while now and I’m thinking of upgrading to the Sansui Au999. How do the sound signature of both amps differ and is it worth it? Currently using a pair of Klipsch RB61 speakers
     

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  2. jameswei

    jameswei Super Member

    Messages:
    2,036
    Location:
    Taipei. Taiwan
    You might get more answers @ the Exclusive Sansui forum, I never heard of either so can't help you there.
     
  3. Pikapie

    Pikapie New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Alright, thank you^^
     
  4. Moving Ahead

    Moving Ahead Active Member

    Messages:
    317
    Location:
    Australia
    I suppose a comparable comparison could be made between chalk and cheese.
    I don't think the 999 will come cheap though.
     
    BLAH BLAH, slimecity and rasenthiran like this.
  5. rasenthiran

    rasenthiran Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    757
    Location:
    Malaysia
    Agree with Moving Ahead,

    Sansui AU 999 is the flagship for the 3 digit series. It will be a wise to compare a AU 9500 with AU 999, i own both and still prefer the AU 999. The reason i sold AU 999 is because it was very bad shape internally although still original. I will get one in future if i come across for reasonable price.
     
    BLAH BLAH and slimecity like this.
  6. smurfer77

    smurfer77 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,409
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Obviously the AU-999 has more power, but keep in mind that will only get you 4dB. The stock AU-101 and the stock AU-999 have a different flavour, with the AU-101 being somewhat more bombastic in the bass department and smoother in the treble.

    If you want an AU-101 with more power, try something like the higher powered receivers from the same era, like the Sansui 5000. if you want more clarity and control, an AU-999 might do the trick (note there are mods for the AU-999 which improve the bass etc).
     
    quadmatrix82, BLAH BLAH and slimecity like this.

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  7. slimecity

    slimecity Super Member

    Messages:
    2,701
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Consider the 101 an introduction to sansui, enough to get you hooked.

    There is a large difference between the lower and higher number units. Ive never heard a 101 but have compared a 555a with my 999 - both units recapped, restored and modded.

    The 555a, while being a really impressive amp in its own right, sounded a bit muddy and grainy next to the 999.

    So what im saying is that you will hear differences between models, and also differences between units that have been recapped or restored, or not.
     
    Hyperion, quadmatrix82 and BLAH BLAH like this.
  8. quadmatrix82

    quadmatrix82 Active Member

    Messages:
    276
    They are very different amps, cosmetically and sonically. If you like the tone of the au-101 but want more power I suggest you go with AU-505 or AU-555A which will have more power, features but have a similar tonal quality to the 101. The cost to upgrade is not as much as well which may be favourable for you. Either way, put some money aside for a good restoration so you can really hear what these amps were designed to give the listener.
     
    ChicagoTom, slimecity and BLAH BLAH like this.
  9. duckrabbit

    duckrabbit New Member

    Messages:
    34
    I'll continue this thread to save from starting a new one as my question is related. My question is basically: "Pioneer SA-500a vs Sansui AU 101 vs higher end Sansui"

    I'm looking for a warm sounding amp. I just had a Pioneer SA-500a for testing but returned it. For me it sounded mostly fantastic, this is how I found the sound:

    PROs: warm, rich and smooth, soundstage very wide; more than enough power for my low volume 25 m2 living room listening
    CONs: Not much punch, transients a bit too soft, sometimes even too saturated. The phono preamp is not that good, a bit muddy, and my CDs actually sounded better.


    Now I've never heard a Sansui. From what I've read the 101 might be just what I'm looking for. I've understood that it's more airy than comparable Pioneers. But I'm afraid the upgrade bug will hit me if I just get the entry level 101. So should I be going straight for a better Sansui instead, all the way to the 999? What would be a good mid way option, the 555a? Again, it's the 'warmer' Sansuis I'm after.

    As background, I have a Quad 303 which had just been recapped when I bought it. I suppose due to the recapping, the Quad has lost some of its original warmth but I like its punch and clarity. The 4 big caps were apparently replaced with more powerful caps than the originals (something, uh, like 85 vs 120 ...). The Quad sounds great with my turntable but for CDs the Pioneer's richness and wide sound stage made me wanting to look for an upgrade. If I could retain the clarity and sharper transients of my Quad and get the richness /warmth and wideness of the 500a I would be happy.

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
  10. quadmatrix82

    quadmatrix82 Active Member

    Messages:
    276
    Based on what you said above I don’t think you’ll like the 101 much it doesn’t have much more punch than a sa-500a in my opinion if you want more kick your better with a different amp all together. If you are head strong on Sansui the au-222 and 555 are much more punchier and quiet musicial and reasonably easy to find if you hunt around
     
    duckrabbit likes this.
  11. duckrabbit

    duckrabbit New Member

    Messages:
    34
    Thanks for the suggestions, that's very interesting. Any other recommendations outside Sansui? (I know, it's Sansui forum...)

    To clarify, the Pioneer SA-500a was 'almost there' for me. The rich tone really sounded right, just want a bit more clarity and sharpness. Thought Sansui could bring that. Or perhaps higher end early 70s Pioneer like SA-800, SA-900 or SA-1000?
     

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  12. smurfer77

    smurfer77 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,409
    Location:
    San Francisco
    All of the Sansui models mentioned are nice. I just want to add that although the 101 and 222 are lower power amps they are full of bass and punch, up to their power limit. I would prefer both of those units over a 555 for example, which I find too bright at low volumes. A 555A is a step up from all of those in terms of clarity, air and imaging, but is not as bass heavy as the 222 (which is the most bass heavy of the models mentioned) - but then there are tone controls and loudness switches :).

    One other thing to note is that the 999 you mention, while TOTL of that series, is not recommended by me unless you have technical ability to do a few mods; the 999 is a great machine but a tad bass shy in stock form, and there are some other minor things, which are easily corrected.

    The AU-777A is the king of that series IMO. (AU-888 and modded 999 are up there too, with a slightly different, more 'hifi' flavour).
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
    duckrabbit likes this.
  13. kevzep

    kevzep Its all about the Music Subscriber

    I recently restored a AU777, and it sounds like this might be what you are after......
     
    smurfer77 likes this.
  14. BLAH BLAH

    BLAH BLAH AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,610
    Location:
    Melbourne. ..Australia. ..
    I like that little AU-222 it's a nice warm sound...
     
    smurfer77 and stereofun like this.
  15. stereofun

    stereofun Super Member

    Messages:
    1,223
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    I am with Smurfer and Kev - no need to go 999 if you like the 101 signature sound. The 999 is quite a different design altogether. Wonderful amp, but does need a bit of Kevzep's mods to play heavy and fat. A worthy alternative is the 505 - its basically a suped-up 101, but with surprising low end gusto and a sound right down the alley of the 555/777 series. Its actually quite good.
     
    quadmatrix82 and smurfer77 like this.
  16. kevzep

    kevzep Its all about the Music Subscriber

    Agreed on the 505, I forgot about that one, I did a job on one recently and was quite impressed with its sound. Punches well above its weight!!
     
    smurfer77 and stereofun like this.

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  17. RR--

    RR-- Active Member

    Messages:
    242
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    I have had both before, I actually bought the AU-999 because I loved my Dad's AU-101 so much and wanted more power. However I was a little disappointed because the AU-101 was so warm and smooth and the AU-999 was noisy and had a very weak bass response.
    Now both of these were in stock condition with 40 year old capacitors and noisy old transistors so the comparison wasn't the greatest, I almost regret selling my AU-999 now as it was absolutely beautiful, the price has gone way up since and with a proper recap and bass mod it could have sounded fantastic. I think low end amplifiers tend to age better as there is less capacitors to leak and less parts to age.
    My Sansui 8080 sure has the warm signature but that tends to disappear once the unit has been recapped, after being recapped it's just incredibly soft and smooth, powerful and delicate.
    Still I'd much rather have it perform at it's best than chase a vintage warmth that didn't actually existed the same way in the 70's. That being said I think I'll be keeping the AU-101 stock for some time.
     
  18. duckrabbit

    duckrabbit New Member

    Messages:
    34
    Many thanks for all the posts, very helpful! Sumrfer, I've greatly enjoyed reading your posts about different Sansuis. The 101 seems like a good place to start indeed but the 555A could be something that might keep me happy for longer. I live in an apartment building so I usually listen to music with very low volume, around speech volume or less.

    Ok, while going even further off topic, I can't resist mentioning this - maybe it's of some interest here, but I could post this elsewhere later with more details - I did a fun experiment just yesterday:

    Rotel 855 CDP -> a passive volume knob -> a racked pair of vintage (recapped) Siemens w295b eq's -> Quad 303 (recapped) -> speakers

    Sounds fantastic!!! Warm, clear, balanced, natural... like a breeze of fresh air. This could keep me happy for now.

    So power amp + high end 'character' studio eq's instead of preamp = interesting!
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
    smurfer77 likes this.
  19. smurfer77

    smurfer77 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,409
    Location:
    San Francisco
    I am with Kevzep and Stereofun if you like the physical styling of the 101 regarding the 505. It has the same main amp as the 555A but a couple of differences in power supply and preamp that are closer to the 101.

    I do not agree with the comment above that amps lose their warm tone when recapped; that is not my experience at all although I should not that tone depends a lot on the caps used, mainly in AC coupling positions, so if something doesn't sound right after a recap there are options to play with.
     
    duckrabbit and stereofun like this.
  20. duckrabbit

    duckrabbit New Member

    Messages:
    34
    Despite getting great results with my (partly home studio -borrowed) setup described above, I'm still very curious to try out the Sansui sound...
     

Share This Page