Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sansui AU-217

The Sansui AU-217 is a 30W RMS per channel integrated amplifier from 1974 with a damping factor of 80. Total power consumption was 145W. Hence it packs quite a punch and was able to drive my Celestion SL6S with ease.

The stock unit sounded bass heavy with some high frequency roll-off. Details are semi 'veil-ed'. The stock AU-4400 had a more balance presentation but lack the punch of the AU-217. Personally I prefer the AU-4400 to the AU-217.


The AU-217 was later recapped using silver mica's, OSCON, Panasonic FC and ECA, Wima and Rubycon. Generic EC were deployed in the non-audio sections.

Once recapped, the AU-217 can be a real shocker! Most of my visitors who heard it though it was atleast a 70-90W RMS per channel unit as it was able to make my Celestion SL6S sing with ease - packs a much bigger punch than the Arcam Alpha 8 power amp of 50W RMS per channel!

The quality of reproduction is heavily influence by the four 100uF 50V caps which are arranged in a 'L-shape' next to the large PSU caps. The other influential EC caps are the two 470uF 50V caps near the middle of the motherboard.

Please note there is a group of ceramic caps on the opposite side of the amp (away from the transformer) which influence the HF and should be replace with caution.

On my AU-217, replacing the large PSU caps resulted in extremely minor improvements.

In the past, the unit was only slightly warmish after running the unit for atleast 8-12hrs a day during the weekends.

Since you are unable to bypass the tone controls, it was necessary to replace all the non-EC capacitors there. I replaced them using Wima's of equivalent value and the effort was immediately rewarded with a fluid and transparent presentation - eventhough the tone controls were left at '0'.

Weakness includes limited connectivity to single pair of speakers,and, no speaker selector.

Otherwise quality sound at low power consumption!!!
View from rear after recapping

View from side after recapping