Sunday, July 6, 2008

Sansui 210 Receiver

The Sansui 210 has to be the lowest powered Sansui solid state receiver ever offered. It is clearly an early '70s model and it is as stripped down in features as it is in power. No balance or mute available, just treble and bass pots along with tape monitor and loudness boost switches. This unit was in very good cosmetic condition.

It worked, sort of, on initial power up on the variac, but was very shakey with a channel imbalance and very dirty controls. The tuning capacitor was especially noisy, sounding like raking gravel. Here how it looks with the top off:
This is a two board unit with the upper being the tuner. The Toshiba outputs are mounted on the very simple heatsink mounted vertically just in front of the transformer. In the photo above it runs from the left to the middle of the unit. There is very little power supply capacitance, just 3 1000 mfd caps just in front of the heatsink. The phono section is shielded and just to the left of the internal antenna. The shield was removed when this photo was taken.

I re-capped the entire unit, a mere 36 caps, and spritzed the controls. Voila! The sound was clean as a whistle. While not exactly a power house the amp had lots of life from the positively cute Toshiba output transistors. The FM tuner was surprisingly sensitive and picked up numerous stations without benefit of an antenna. The AM section was decent with the internal ferrite antenna. No 'not a handle' warnings needed for this unit. Here is a view of the front.


The sound was surprisingly musical. The treble control was a bit heavy handed; bass and loudness were a bit bloomy in quality but serviceable. All in all this would have been a sonic bargain in 1973 from one of the finest of the era's manufacturers. Mated with efficient speakers this would be the perfect foundation for a vintage dorm room system.

7 comments:

The Semi-Daily Rant said...

Nice article Nat! Love those Sansui's.

Kevin said...

What a net find. Had this amp as a hand-me-down from my dad during the 90's when I was in high school. Was connected to my computer via my good old Sound Blaster 16. This amp used to rock hard on Nirvana CD's and other alternative of the era. Ah, good old days.

Richard said...

Balance control is a ring at base of volume knob.

Samuel Wai said...

I bought this unit in 1973 when the unit was a used one-year old unit. It served me well in college and on and off up to today. I recently cleaned the volume control which had gotten scratchy. After cleaning the unit sounds like a charm paired with a set of small JBL bookshelf speakers. The tuner is very sensitive. The volume control is combined as one for both the left and right channels through dual rings. Mine are stuck but that is ok for me. I am using the aux for the CD player and the "tape in" for as my auxiliary for my MP3 input so the tape monitor taggle becomes my switch for the MP3 source. It is a simple unit but the sound is excellent for normal home use.

Boris Badenuff said...

Don't be so critical of it.even with only ten watts this Sansui sounds far better than today's new electronics.

Boris Badenuff said...

Don't be so critical of it.even with only ten watts this Sansui sounds far better than today's new electronics.

Pekka J. Poutiainen said...

Thanks ! Just bought absolutely mint condition Sansui 210 - all is as left from factory ! Must re-cap and new lamps too. Lovely equipment.