Services

!!! Before sending your audio equipment in to be serviced please email us, fill out our Packing Slip, and read the How To Ship page. !!!

   Sansui Restorations:  We originally started out just restoring the QRX9001/etc. series, but over the years we have been asked to restore most everything that Sansui has made before about 1980.  At this point we have restored hundreds of Sansuis, and we know them, inside and out.  We do about 150 restorations a year.

  There are a lot of techs out there that don’t want to do restorations.  They particularly don’t want to do recapping, I think mainly because they make mistakes and then have a whole new problem to trouble shoot.

  It’s a shame, because repairing an old piece of Stereo gear without doing a recap/restore just means that more problems will appear soon.  In addition to the repair, many parts should be replaced.

  All these old Sansuis are almost 40 years old or more now.  We don’t do repairs per se’ because with electronics this old, the customer will have another problem within a few months to a year, and it’s very upsetting when that happens, after paying shipping, and repair costs.  It’s usually only a bit more to restore the whole thing, which is much better in the long run.

  The thing about doing a restoration, is this… we don’t trouble shoot whatever is wrong with your Sansui, which can take hours to find the specific problem.  We just jump in and first recap and then do all the other replacements, repairs and fixes we have learned for each model over the years.  When we’re done with all that, 85% of the time, the original problem has just disappeared.  So… we didn’t rack up a whole bunch of hours trying to find the problem, we spent that time instead renewing your unit, giving it a new lease on life.  We expect, and our customers seem to be getting, many more years of like new performance.

  Another thing… you think you know what your particular model Sansui sounds like, but in reality, you don’t, not really.  What you are familiar with is the way it sounds after 40 years.  It has steadily degraded in performance and sound quality from about the 15-20 year mark til now, and when renewed will stun you with the new, or likely better than new, sound and performance.

  We know this is true, because we constantly get emails and letters from our customers all the time, telling us just that.

  We know what we’re doing, when it comes to these classic Sansuis.  And we really do what we say we do, unlike a lot of shops that give you some song and dance and really don’t change out ALL the caps.  Here’s our proof.

At least 250 lb of old caps we have removed from units that we restore. Do we really replace all the caps? Yes we do.

At least 250 lb of old electrolytic caps we have removed from hundreds of Sansuis that we have restored. Do we really replace all the caps? Yes we do.

Now available, Mylar Film caps from input to output

We have recently added something new to our restorations.  It is the replacement of all coupling caps from input to output with Mylar film caps, as Sansui did on a few of it’s early amps.  We will quote a price for this for each individual model.   I suggest you go here and read all about this new addition to our services.

Services and Prices

descriptions below

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QRX9001/8001/999 QRX9001/8001
Recap, restore and align $1295
These are the Holy Grail of quad.  No other unit ever built in Japan comes close.  With one of these restored and upgraded by us, a well set up system will literally shock audiophiles who may have a modern high end $25K stereo system at home.  We’ve heard that story from our customers many many times.  We have customers who say it’s like listening to their treasured recordings for the first time, it’s not speakers making sound, you are in the sound field, enveloped by the music.  With the improved quad alignments, normal stereo recordings are just as impressive.  And this is from a receiver designed in 1976, with all analog processing.  You have to hear it to understand.  Read the website to see what we do to these old quads.
 
 
Differential amp output mods w/ 9001 restore
$200
Do this mod to two driver boards only
$250
mod + caps and fusibles replaced
$350
Disable 2X power switch $50
Remove blend resistors and HG align quad boards. This is basically just labor, we have the HP645A test oscillator that makes it so easy. Just send us your 2087 and 2088 boards. $50
Remove resistors, recap, HG align 2087, 2088 boards. $100
 sansui_qr-4500_4-channel_receiver

 

Early QRX rcvr  4500, 6500, 5500, 7500    $950 People call about restoring these receivers all the time.  We can do it, but be forewarned that the quad processing is nothing like what is in the X001 series.  These were the early quad units, and development was still going on.  They are a lot of work, but have a very sweet and musical sound, not much quad processing.

QRX7001

 

6001/7001 quad receivers   $950 These units have the same quad processing boards for Hall, Synth, QS, and SQ as the 8/9001.  The CD4 processing is an earlier version, though.  If you do not need CD4 and 25/35 watts per channel is enough, you can be very happy with one of these.  The 7001 has some design errors in the output section that we correct, so the difference is pretty impressive.

 $950.00

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AU505/555(A) recap/upgrade   $195
   These amps, especially the 505, are just amazing little amplifiers.  They used old technology (for the time) with capacitive coupled outputs.  With todays 10X better quality caps, and increasing that output cap to a very large value, these amps really shine.  If you only need 20-25 watts, this amp will astound and really deliver.I’ve had a 505 on a pair of B&W 802S speakers, off and on, for years and other enthusiasts just cannot believe it.  If you’ve got some efficient speakers, these are the amps for you.  These amps are very simple inside, and so require a minimum of work to rebuild.  Such a deal…  :o)
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AU999 recap/upgrade  $425

  The AU999 is my favorite two channel amp, ever made, of any brand or price.  There are a bunch of people on Audiokarma who feel the same way.  Audiokarma is a techie Audio newsgroup, with some of the sharpest vintage audio guys I know.There are several design mistakes in the AU999, not surprising, as it was way back at the beginnings of the solid state amp revolution, and many design issues had to be worked out.  Many early amps are this way, but the basic sound of the 999 is so fantastic that a bunch of people on Audiokarma, including me, have put a lot of effort into fixing all the little things that are wrong with it.  When made right, it is very clean and musical, with outstanding imaging and detail, and a low end that sounds like it is a DC amp.  The changes are many: removing the protection circuit, re-biasing the tone amp stage, adding additional coupling caps to extend the low end, and a mod to the input of the amp section.  First and foremost, though, is a complete recap.  As is, the amp will only put out about 30 watts per channel before going into serious distortion.  All these mods make the full 70 wpc available.  We do everything listed here.  The models AU666/777/888 are fairly rare, but have pretty much the same sound quality as the 999.  Same price to restore.
265002-sansui_au9500_in_perfect_condition

 

AU9500 recap/upgrade   $425

   The AU9500 is the factory upgraded version of the AU999.  Much as I like the 999, I have to admit that part of what I like about it is it’s warm and tube like sound, which is probably somewhat into the territory of coloration, not complete accuracy.The 9500 is very powerful and probably has the most uncolored, neutral sound of any Sansui, while maintaining the warm and musical nature that is the Sansui signature sound.  If that’s what you want, this is the amp.  Sansui made a lot of very expensive looking separates and integrateds later on, but none of them can best this amplifier.
sansui_9090_stereo_receiver

 

8080, 9090 recap/upgrade  $525
For the db versions, there is  often a problem with the dolby section, causing intermittent channel dropouts.  We can disable the dolby section by bypassing completely the whole section.  It’s a complicated fix, as the tape ins/outs have to be essentially rewired, out of the dolby circuitry, in order to still be available,  It is $45 additional.We have become quite expert on this series, and replace output transistors with matched pairs.  We buy power transistors in quantity.   Most shops don’t and when they don’t use matched pairs, channels blow again soon after.  We also sell these pairs in our parts section.  The Diff Mod can be done to these receivers and makes it even better.  These are the best stereo receivers ever built in Japan, in my opinion.  The combination of  high power, excellent tone controls, and Sansui tube like sound make for an unbeatable combination. For more on the 9090, go here.

001

 

717/919  recap/restore  $525/575    Talk to us about your amp.  The 717/919 has an absolutely irreplaceable IC/dual FET in the amp section that no one has figured out how to replace.  If it’s bad,  there is not a fix that we are aware of.  These are very powerful amps with big expensive caps, and are difficult to work on, with no plug in boards.  Worth the effort though, if you want that big sound.

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9900/11000-$725,  20000- $675  recap/restore  These are large and very beautiful amps.  They are also quite difficult to work on, with no plug in boards, and a rewiring nightmare to rebuild the amp section.  the 9900 and 11000 cost more than the 20000 because those two models use the large power supply caps as mounting for a PCB.  Thus we can only use the caps with screw terminals which are $60 more expensive for four of them.  These units are also hard to troubleshoot, as board accessibility is just about nil.  We have rebuilt quite a few of them, and they are definitely worth the hassle.  Probably some of the best looking amps ever made.

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G9000 recap/restore  $725   This is probably the most complicated stereo receiver ever made.  Call or email to discuss.  Some parts, like the big oval caps, have to be replaced with components that do not look the same.  Although, we have recently found a procedure to open those caps up and put the new ones inside, for little effort.   Almost twice the power of the 9090 series.

AU7700

 

AU7700/7900/5500/etc  recap upgrade $375  There are many in this line of mid 70’s amps.  They sound very good, and are particularly attractive to look at.  They put out way more power than they are rated for.  They are somewhat difficult to work on because of the strange method of heat sink mounting.  My first Sansui that I rebuilt was an AU7700.

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Early Receivers  $325-475

These include models such as the 881, 2000, 5000, and many others.  We have rebuilt practically all of these and the price varies depending on difficulty for us to restore.  Send us an email or call and we can talk about it.

Differential amp input mods  $125
This can be done to many of the above models with exception of AU505/555.  Call or email to see if you can just send driver boards.  Article on this mod here.eightdeluxeSansui Seven/Eight/Eight Deluxe  $575  The Eight is one of Sansui’s most amazing early receivers.   Probably the most overbuilt receiver ever made, and probably the finest receiver from Japan in 1969-70.  It is also very difficult to work on.  The dial string can take hours, if it gets away from you!!  You should talk to us about the big caps.  They can be hollowed out and new caps put inside for an original look, very labor intensive, though.  This unit has amazing sound.  The amplifier section is practically identical to the  AU999 with the same kind of warm and musical sound.  Easily  80+ watts per channel, with a very authoritative low end. This was the beginning of Sansui’s domination of the quality receiver market from Japan.

Shipping box for QRX9001                       $35 See Below

This box will also work for many other of the large receivers.


Description

The following mostly applies to the 9001, but will give you an idea of how thorough we are.

Repairs that do not get fixed in the restoration will be mostly done at no charge + the cost of parts.  This is because most problems get worked out by us in a few minutes.  If you have blown outputs or some other serious problem that takes considerable additional time to repair, we will charge our $45/hr rate + parts.

We change a lot of parts.  On the 9001, the most complicated of all these units, we change out over 250 with over 500 solder points addressed,including the two sided board vias… and luckily, we have yet to cause any damage with our mistakes, as we practically always catch them before the unit is powered up.

Recap, restore and align
For a list of the steps we go through when doing a restore, go here.

This is pretty self explanatory. We use Nichicon capacitors, UKW’s and UKT’s in the signal path. Others for power supply functions. These caps sound silky smooth and are just amazing electrolytics for audio. There are a couple places where we add in polypropylene caps, even though that is an additional option to do the whole receiver, the output caps on the CD4 board, for example.

Electrolytic capacitors are the most troublesome parts in vintage audio gear.  Here’s my treatise on electrolytic reliability, here.

The four big 10,000μf power supply caps are replaced with four computer grade 15,000μf caps, that have a 50% longer life rating than conventional electrolytics, made by CDE.  This ups the total to 60,000μf for an improvement in power supply stiffness. A 12μf polypropylene cap is also added across these supply caps for quick power supply response at high frequencies.

On the other Receivers and Amps, such as the 9090 and the AU999, we increase the size of the big smoothing caps by approximately 50%.  To increase much more than this can put quite a load on the power supply components, especially the transformer, at start up.

We will replace the fusible resistors, remove the blend resistors on the quad boards, do the Holy Grail alignment, set bias and offset on the outputs, do all other adjustments, and clean and lube all the switches and pots, for silent, non scratchy operation. You will have a like new 9001 (in many ways, better) that should last for many years without any maintenance.

The bane of the 9001 is the double sided quad function board.  Virtually every 8001/9001 ever made has this problem.  90% of existing units have already failed.  If you find one that has all 4 channels working as they should, and not intermittently dropping out, I can pretty much guarantee that with a months worth of use, it will fail also.  For a description of the double sided board repair, go here.

We understand that this is a lot of money to invest in your Sansui.  One of the points to be made, though, is once this work is done, the value of your unit is increased commensurately.  Sansui enthusiasts recognize the value of a restoration/upgrade such as this and prices for restored units, especially if done by us, reflect the work done.  Look at it as an investment.  The value will not rapidly decrease, the way any new gear bought these days would depreciate.

Differential output mods.
Transistor amplifier design was an evolutionary process that occurred from the late 60’s through the end of the 70’s. A lot was learned during that time and a lot since. Most all designs were a copy of the basic topology of the Crown DC300 amplifier released in 1967. One of the big problems with older amps is that the critical input section of the power amp used 5% (or even 10%) parts. Also, a crucial stage in the design was left out. Current flows should be balanced out in the differential input transistors.  We do this and actually hand match resistor values to 0.1%.

All this can be done without altering the warm, very musical, and tube like sound of the early Sansui amp. It adds spatial focus and detail to the sound. You can actually hear parts of the music and spatially locate these details, that were seemingly lost before. This modification gives the maximum bang for the buck. If you only have so many dollars to spend, this is highly recommended and will get you more improvement than the poly cap additions.

Technically speaking, measure distortion is reduced by one or two orders of magnitude, or reduced to 0.1 or 0.01 of what it was before, depending on the individual amp.  IM distortion products, and dynamic distortion products such as TIM are reduced by the same amount.  It is this reduction of the dynamic IM that makes the difference you can immediately hear.

A complete description of how this mod came to be is here.

We can also do this for any QRX x001 Sansui, along with most of the AU units and receivers made before 1980, whether we do other work for you , such as a recap/restore, or not.  In many cases you don’t need to send the whole unit, just the output driver boards, which are easily removed.  We then install them in one of our units here to do the modification and send it back to you.  We can also recap that board and change out fusible resistors, if applicable.  You then just reinstall the board(s), and enjoy.

We are so confident you will like this modification that we offer this guarantee.  After we do this modification, if you don’t think the modification was worth it, send the driver board(s) back to us and we will return the board to the original configuration and refund your money, no questions asked.

Add 25v regulator

We do this as part of the QRX9001 restoration.  It is added protection for the irreplaceable quad boards.  The integrated circuits on these boards cannot tolerate much variance and they blow.

Disable 2X power switch
We don’t feel that this is necessary. It is a modification recommended by others, that we see no reason to do. The idea behind it is that an unknowledgeable person might hook up a 4 ohm speaker and then try to run the 9001 in 2X power mode. This is not likely to happen, as this amp is not going to be owned by a neophyte, especially after all this work is done to it. Also, most of these amps have survived 30+ years of use with no damage to the outputs. If you do want to run 8 ohm speakers and double your power, 2X will work well. It spreads the load of high power operation over the entire r channels of heatsink, and will give double the slew rate to boot. If you want the mod, we will do it. It’s very easily done.

Shipping: Shipping this gear around the country is scary.  I actually am always in a worry mode until I hear back from a customer that he has gotten the unit we sent him, and that it is in good shape.  We had a unit dropped and terminally damaged, some time ago, and it took 5 months to get a settlement, even though it was fully insured.

We have come up with a shipping box and packing.  Unfortunately, it is not cheap.  The box and packing foam costs us a little over $30.  We cut the foam ourselves.  The box is a double layered box, designed for heavy  goods.  We will charge $35 for it.  We can ship you a box for the $35 price + shipping of course.   An empty box still costs a lot to ship.  You can ship us your unit, and then buy the box for the return shipment, which is not a bad idea, cause the 9001 being shipped back to you is worth a lot more than the one you shipped us.  LOL   Here are some pictures.

This is a 9001, in a black plastic bag, that we recently sold to Arno, in Ca.  It has a 2″ piece of foam on the bottom, and 3″ on the two sides and rear, and 4″ for the front panel.  We then insert a 1″ piece of foam on top, as in the following picture:

And then add another 2″ across the top, making the top thickness 3″ like on the sides and rear:

This makes for a very strong package.  I think it would survive most any drop.  I think it is well worth the extra $35.  As a matter of fact, $35 spent on this box is probably better spent than insurance, since it is very hard to get any kind of payment.

Thanks to Ken in Seattle for the idea for this box.  He made his own shipping box out of heavy duty foam like this, and blew us away.  We finally found the right size, heavy duty cardboard box to make it work, and we’re very happy with it.  As you can see, we are still packing on the pool table.


Polypropylenes added to a Volume and Balance board. The poly mod gets more than 70 added to the whole receiver.

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