My 1979 Sansui AU-919 Integrated Amp (100w RMS per channel, .008% THD, DC to 500Khz. Direct coupled, no caps in signal path) is the starter piece here. It is cosmetically excellent, and is somewhat of a cult classic.
Recently I took it out of hiding and tried to use it in my office. As I explained in my Off Topic post, the left side would attenuate and die. I found a great experienced tech, and he’s fixed that, done some cleaning, and is converting the thin original cord to a detachable cord. This is a unit that does NOT use a grounded cord, just 2 conductors,
He tested the unit and found it was a bit out of spec, not horrible, but it sounded a bit too “laid back.” He has a spectrum (harmonic?) analyzer, and it confirmed this. I had thought the unit was recapped once, but it was not. I picked it up about 20 years ago on eBay.
As you can see it has some funky custom caps - or at least cap covers. As is common with units of this era, the headphone jack is powered off the main amp, with some attenuation. The preamp is Class A, and the power amp Class AB.
Looking on eBay there is a $240 parts kit that someone has made to do a full refurb. And my tech has located a few other resources - still looking at what the total job will be, but estimated close to 50 hours of work, at a not unreasonable labor rate. Probably in the neighborhood of a grand to bring it fully up to spec, possibly a few modest upgrades, and completely documented work with before and after photos, parts used, etc.
Cosmetically, it’s probably a 9 out of 10, and fully updated units are going for around $2K. “Working” non-updated units probably $500-600 or so.
I recall having no issues with the phono section, it was very clean, and supports both MM and MC, up to 2 turntables. Really leaning toward pulling the trigger on this upgrade. Eventually I’ll be using Magnepan .7 with it in my office, the manual says it’s OK with ONE set of 4 Ohm speakers. If you want to drive 2 sets of speakers, stick with 8 or 16 ohm impedance.
So, what does the crowd think? Yea or nay on saving this vintage classic that still can hold it’s own today?