Sansui AU-717 Integrated Amplifiers

Sansui AU-717 Integrated Amplifiers 

DESCRIPTION

85 Watt Integrated Amplifier (1977-1979)

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 22  
[Jul 17, 2012]
Scott E.
Casual Listener

I bought this as a wedding present to myself back in 1978 and love it!

Question: I'm coming into the 21st century and wondering if I can use this amp with a 5:1 surround sound system, specifically MartinLogan MLT-2 speakers?

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Feb 08, 2012]
BillC
AudioPhile

Bought my Sansui AU-717 in Feb 1978 .It can not compair to anything out there today . I have a pair of Klipsch La Scala speakers hook up to it with a Sony Reciever,technics lineir track turn table.
The Sansui has the cleanest sound . Never had a problem with it. I do yearly maintainins on it, Remove the cover clean with electronic spray ,and vac. Sounds as good as the day I bought it.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Nov 18, 2010]
DerekSoCal
Audio Enthusiast

I was going to give away my AU-717 integrated amp (85 watts), but after comparing it to a newer Yamaha and a Denon Amp/Receiver (100-120 watts that I ended up returning )for my home theater setup, I changed my mind and decided to keep this old geeser AU-717. This guy kicks ass than those 2 new ones I tried. I'mnot even using an HDMI. Glad I was able to save money and still enjoy mu AU-717.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jun 04, 2010]
dakatabg
AudioPhile

I got this amplifier not long ago with the matching TU-717 tuner. One of the best amplifiers I have had. It drives anything I hook up to it. Deep bass and very good looking amp. The phono stage is pretty good too. I wasn't lucky enough to get it as cheap as some of the the guys here on the review but hey I don't feel sorry I bought it.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jan 09, 2009]
Richard
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Great sound, plenty out there, and a little bit of reconditioning goes a long way. The sealed Alps volume control is a nice touch, and it is "stepped". All metal, even the knobs. I wonder how much it would cost to builda Dual Power Supply integrated amp of this quality today. Rated at 85W per channel broadband, I'll bet this thing has a lot of headroom.

Weakness:

30 years old, so it might need a little TLC, but as pointed out above, it really doesn't take all that much, and the sound of a recapped 717 is hard to beat: the TLC pays off. Physically a little heavy if you are used to more lightweight modern stuff.

In a nutshell, this is avery fine amp from Sansui's best period (mid Seventies). You can tell what year and month they were built by the S/N (third digit will be year and the next two the month). This one was built in August of 1977. The design is based on dual power supplies, each with its own transformer and PSB. The preamp section is very well shielded, with a separate metal hood covering the whole front end of the unit (easy to remove for potentiometer cleaning). All in all, a fine effort, and one that sold really well in its day, so they are not terribly rare, a good thing when it comes to potential repairs. A lot of people have working specimens of the 717 and its brethren that appear to sound just fine, but since these rascals are 30 years old, a little TLC might be needed. The one I picked up from eBay sounded good, but not exactly "open" in terms of imaging (my NAD 314 seemed to lack the Sui's muscle, but had the "openess" in spades). aAfter a couple of weeks of getting to know the 717, I sent it to Terry DeWick in Nashvile for a power supply board recap and anything else "within reason". The PSB area of most amps is a weakpoint because heat really builds up here, and the electrolytics on those boards (2 PSB's in a 717, remember) tend to dry out and malfunction. Terry used Nichicon Gold and Nichicon Muse. He replaced a couple of suspect resistors and caps elsewhere, scraped off some old anti resonant glue from the main boards (the stuff gets brittle and acidic as it ages) and adjusted the offset. As Terry points out, the aging of these caps actually hardens the sound of a good basic design. Replacing the "out of spec caps" actually returns the amp to its original personality. Well, the point is this: the AU-7171 benefitted in a really great way. I would easily compare this amp to most expensive modern gear I have heard. The openess is there, with plenty of detail, and the harshness I heard before the recapping is gone. This amp is no the primary source in our audio system. All in all, a fine audio investment. The 717 is a keeper.

Customer Service

Alas, Sansui is no longer around. I think the name was purchased and they make TV's etc.

Similar Products Used:

AU719
Yamaha CA-1010
Kenwood KA-8100
Yamaha CA-1000
Pioneer SA-8800

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Aug 30, 2008]
andy hunter
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Has never died. Loud. Looks.

Weakness:

Channel drops lout periodically unless preamp switch in back is toggled....say...once every 5 months....hey...it's a early 70's amp! If frequencies are too bright, it will safety off.

THis is to help others with this Sansui Au 717 amp. For years one channel would almost go out unless I turned the volume up very loud to sort of clear it out. It took my a long while to discover the by toggling the preamp switch in the back of the unit back and forth, it would clear the problem completely, and would work for a long time before I needed to do it again. I ran my Pioneer CS 911's with this amp...and they were a perfect match. A fairly hard sound, but what I played through them was a lot of my home keyboard and multitrack recording...which had no compression compared to my records and tapes. The speakers never messed up. However, if you try to push them, the amp will turn itself off by going into it's cutoff phase, and it won't get out of the cut off until you actually turn the amp off the turn it back on. I think I need to set an alarm on my cell phone for me to turn on all the gear that I don't use anymore, so that the caps don't die off. Just power on this various amps for about four hours once a month should be ok. THe Sansui looks best with it's rack mounts, along with the matching rack mounts for it's TU 717 tuner. Hard, straight ahead sound. Not tubelike at all.

Customer Service

Never used any customer service for anything I ever bought.

Similar Products Used:

Pioneer 929 amp.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Sep 15, 2004]
ProRecordingGuy
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

- Significant current delivery for an 85watt amplifier - Amazing build quality - Solid design, such as pre-amplifier signal patch being behind steel cage. - Low-noise, especially for its vintage - Stepped volume control - Tone bypass switches - Dual tape loops with source routing for recording - A/B speaker connections

Weakness:

What, are you kidding? A vintage 1970's audiophile grade integrated amp for $35 (i.e. less than $1 a pound)? I would spend ten times that to replace this unit!

Most of my reviews here are of loudspeakers, with only a handful of receivers and decks. One of the reasons for this is that speakers (and microphones) are easily the most subjective part of our modern audio chain. It isn't that there aren't differences to discuss between electronics, just that the differences are much smaller and subject to fewer variables than transducers. That said, I had to write a review of this new aquisition to my collection. I have heard all about the "old" (pre-1980) Sansui gear for some time. So it was without hesitation that I picked up this AU-717 at a thrift store for a mere $35 (!). After lugging this 40lb monster up the stairs at home, I did all my pre-powerup routine that I do to all "new" used gear. I opened the unit, checked for obvious shorts, missing insulation, etc., cleaned out the dust, cleaned up the front panel, and generally gave the unit a once over. For initial auditions I used an older Sony CD changer as source and my trusted Hafler M-5 monitors as speakers. Powerup was uneventful, and soon I had music going. Hmmm... nothing remarkable here, just clean, transparent sound. Ok, well, oodles (i.e. LOTS) of gain, not really any distortion. Turn it up some, hmmm, more power, still no distortion. Wow, this thing can move a lot of electrons! Pretty soon, I'm enjoying the stepped volume control, playing with the tone bypass, driving the JBL sub from the pre-outs, noticing the swiss-army tape deck switching. Wow, these old amplifiers are -neat-. How does it sound? Well, like a big brick with tons of quiet, low distortion gain. That is, it doesn't sound like anything. While it doesn't have the subtle transparency of a modern high-end integrated, it makes up for it with old-school, high-current power and Mack-truck build quality. This is a true audiophile grade amplifier that is built to last a few generations. I need to clean up the speaker selector, and I might replace some caps at some point. But this unit is operating in spec, with nothing more than a dusting out. Remember, this amp is over twenty five years old! Maybe it's the vintage of the unit, but I have to say I enjoy this amp most driving my 80's vintage Yamaha NS-70t three ways, or better yet my Pioneer CS-99a's. The old, big, multi-way speakers and this amp make a great, listenable combination that you would have to spend a lot of money to match today. There are certainly few sub-$1000 amplifiers today that can match this Sansui.

Similar Products Used:

Yamaha C-40 pre-amp with Alesis RA-150 amplifier, various receivers, Pioneer A-9 integrated amplifier.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[May 31, 2004]
AllenL
Casual Listener

Strength:

Amazing sound, conservative heavy build. Great value at the going ebay prices. (appx. $200.00-$250.00 May 2004)

Weakness:

Age. (25 years since production!) Upon power up, I keep the speaker selection switch 'off', switching on once the unit has warmed up a little.

I'm not an audiophile, but with the internet and ebay, I'm now able to afford the dreams of my early adulthood. I've had my AU-717 a little over a year now, and the amp continues to impress. That these were produced between 1977-1979, and knowing nothing comparable is available today, jeepers- What happened? Speakers- Sony APM-22ES Phono cartridge- Shure ML 120HE Tuner- Mitsubishi DA-F10

Similar Products Used:

AU-717 superior to Denon PMA-700V

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Oct 05, 2003]
nani
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

transparent sound, ample power, well-built

Weakness:

no power-amp/pre-amp separation jacks, thus can't be used in tandem with other pre-amps or power amps

I bought my used Sansui AU-D907F unit five years ago here in the Philippines from a Japanese national. I understand its equivalent model in the US is AU-D11. The unit, rated at 120 wpc RMS, is adequate for most types of music. I understand that AU-D11 didn't get praised much in the US by audio critics but my Japanese friend said it was because those sent there were of inferior quality (due to appreciation of the yen in the '80s) compared with those sold in Japan. In summary, this unit puts out transparent sound with adequate bass and matches very well with old speakers such as JBL 110 as well as EV Interface B. Its phono section is a lot better compared with other amplifiers I used and if you'll see Sansui's 07 series (607, 707, 907) in any thrift shop in Japan or in the US, grab it. It could put latest model amps with tyhe same power rating to shame.

Similar Products Used:

Kenwood KR-7600, Kenwood KA-701, Sansui AU-D9, Luxman 480, Pioneer SA-7800, Onkyo A-807

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Aug 17, 2003]
lemixmaster
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Power and the features it has for the frequences and Hz.

Weakness:

Left ch. dosent work. But thats OK. Im gonna use it for a SUB anyway. So I only need one ch.

I bought this AU-717 at a thrift store yesterday and I could not test it. But I took the chance and bought it anyway. I took it home, tested it and only the right chan. works on both A and B. Left does nothing. But other than that it works good.

Similar Products Used:

None

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-10 of 22  

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