Sansui S-X900 ReceiverPosted: October 20, 2011
Sold for: $285
The photos don’t do this receiver justice — it was in superb condition with that famous Sansui piano black finish in unmarked condition. Gear like this doesn’t turn up too often in my country—New Zealand—as we were largely importing the cheaper mainstream brands during the 1980s. Sure enough, when I went to pick it up, it was being sold by an immigrant Chinese family from Hong Kong. They just wanted to get rid of it out of the garage and were quite surprised that someone had payed almost $60 for it. Selling all the rest of the gear would net me a 1000% profit.
To the receiver: OK, for a start, let me address something that I come across often in audio forums, namely that much of the 1980s was characterised by BPC, or Black Plastic Crap, as it is called. I will be dealing with this in greater detail in a future post, but putting it simply, virtually every mainstream manufacturer in the 1980s produced some excellent gear. Take this Sansui, for instance — externally, it has a thick alloy faceplate and aluminium knobs; internally, there is a massive transformer, thick wiring, and Nichicon Black main caps, and it can drive 4-ohm speakers with ease. It many ways it is equal to the much mythologised ’70s Sansuis. Take a look at the specs below and if you are familiar with the late 1970s Sansuis, you will recognise that these are almost identical. Sansui, like Onkyo, settled on certain specs and these, it would seem, became company policy. Sansui favours an extrawide power bandwidth with a (comparatively) low 95 dB S/N ratio.
Apart from that, this is a big unit, in that it is almost as deep as it is wide. Its also heavy, and for me, heavy is generally the mark of quality in classic audio.
And the sound of this receiver? It is, well, Sansui — it is dark and full and easy to listen to for extended periods. Highly recommended.
PS: My only moan with these amps is that there is no provision for dimming the displays and in a darkened room they really are like a fucking Christmas tree.