9090 Series

The 9090(db)

The 9090 series of receivers which includes the 8080 and 7070, along with the db suffix models, is a phenomenal receiver.  These were designed and built before the dollar/yen revaluation in 1978-80, and consequently have the same quality parts throughout, like the earlier AU integrated amps, and the QRX 9001 line of Quad Receivers.

The 9090 is really half of a QRX9001, the design is almost the same, just with two less channels, only the channels are beefed up, on the 9090, to give twice as much power.  The 9090db actually uses the exact same amplifier section, with slightly different output transistors, in parallel pairs, to handle the higher currents of twice the power.

By 1977, Sansui had figured out how to make really nice sounding tone controls.  The 9090 has selectable turnover frequencies for the highs and lows, plus a midrange.  The midrange is subtle in its effect but can add greatly when you have speakers lacking a little in this range.  With 200hz selected on the low end, the bass control makes an almost perfect match to most of the speakers from the era, for that rock n roll sound we all love so much.  And with 150 watts per channel available, you can get the punch and fat sound you want, even in large rooms.

It’s important to treat the heat sinks on these receivers with respect.  If you mount this unit on a shelf, you must provide ventilation room in the back of the unit.  A little fan in the area will help a lot if you like to play LOUD.  Feel the heatsinks with your hand, and if it is too hot to hold, back off a little, or get a fan.  Otherwise, eventually the outputs will blow, and you will be calling us again.  🙂  We’d rather it just kept working for you.

Most people don’t realize the quality that is built into this 70’s Sansui gear.  The founder of Sansui was an audiophile, going all the way back to the 50’s.  While he was in charge, every single product the company made had to meet his performance standards.  That is why, every single Sansui amp, all the way down to the littlest ones, that made about 10 watts per channel, sound so good.  Most other companies had top of the line units that were good, but their cheaper gear, in a word, sucked.  Not Sansui.

This design philosophy carried through, til at least 1980 or so, when the big cheapening began, across the whole Japanese Stereo industry.  If a 9090 were to be made today, with the same quality parts, it would probably cost $3000 or more.  You just can’t buy that level of quality these days.  It’s a throw away world now.

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