Sansui AU - 919 Thrift Store Find

Pretty amazing I found this tonight in nice shape for $50. It looks like it took a bump at some point in it's life because the face plate has shifted about an 1/8". Sounds worse then it is. A couple minor scratches on the top. Works great. Really an amazing find for the money. And it is a great Amp. I have had some of the earlier Sansui stuff like the 9090 Receiver, and was not very impressed. But this unit is an impressive keeper.
Any insight on any of the controls, and the best way to set the Amps controls would be helpful. I am using Tannoy System 800 Speakers, and a pair of Pioneer HPM 100's. The Tannoy's are what I mainly use.
Only issue so far after running this for over 4 hours on the lowest volume setting I lost a channel. Powered the unit off for 30 seconds with the unit on a higher volume and the channel is back. Weird. I guess this unit does not like that low volume setting. I ran it for 3 hours on normal (Whatever that is) and higher volume levels without issue. Phono, Tape, and Aux inputs. Might have a cold and need to see the doctor.
Kidding aside Sansui is known for channel issues. I have had channel issues with the 9090, and another receiver from the G series. Sounds great at the moment.
I use to use them in the 80s but too long ago to remember much. They were quite good for the time. I'll try to find an old review.
Will need re-capping for sure-No need to risk a leaking capacitor to ruin the internals-I would also take it in for a complete tuneup! They can probably determine the channel/volume problem...
Back in the '70s I had to "downgrade" my system and ended up with an AU-717 which was a wonderful match with the used Maggies I found. It was a top-rated integrated by British magazines at the time. So far as I know the 919 was a similar design, just more power.

A couple of years later I had a 9090 receiver briefly from some trading and agree it did not match the 717 in sonics. Now the TU-9900 tuner I had after that was another story!

I also agree on the re-cap recommendation.
I think it might need output transistors. Also someone mentioned that the AU-717 was similar to the 919 with just more power. Not so. They are both quite different.
Funny about loosing the channel. Hours after I re-started the unit it lost the left channel, and the right was fine. The unit can be ran for hours before it does this. Weird. But not surprising. I mean who dumps a nice working Sansui AU 919 at the local Goodwill.
Although I have been surprised. One of my finds was deleted from the postings on here because I guess it hurts the sellers of these unit on here. And that unit works fine, and is more recent. Early in this decade production
Anyway when the Sansui was running it sounded great! $50 admission, and service fee won't hurt. I am flipping some pieces so I might put the funds towards a service. Or I may attempt to repair it myself.
Got an email from my tech this morning. I described the issue I am having with the amp to him in an earlier email. Here is what he said:

That series of Sansui amps had a problem with the
glue they used to hold down some of the caps during
wave soldering. Over time it became corrosive and
even conductive. There is a pre-driver board (The
vertical one) that needs the glue scraped off and
any corroded parts replaced.

The protection relay is also on this board and it could
also be the culprit - dirty contacts.

I doubt that it would be the outputs, transistors die or
maybe get leaky but rarely heal themselves.

And no, at the moment I cannot get the amp to him, and he really likes to work on Yamaha's. He is a good guy with a great deal of experience.
at lower volumes, the 717 and 919 series when older have a common problem with channel drop out. two main causes are either a dirty volume pot or a cold solder joint on a PCB that acts like an open at low volumes. I would try cleaning the volume pot first.
And as others have suggested, a recap at some point is highly recommended. When these units were made, Sansui used a glue to hold the PCB components in place prior to wave soldering. Over the years, this glue will chemically react with the component leads, and in some cases eat completely through the lead. If you have any cap work done, be sure to clean off all the old glue.
I went through and cleaned all the switches. Something I did not do initially. Seems like it's working fine now. Ran it for a few hours last night. And about an hour + on the lowest volume setting.
Man this is an awfully nice sounding unit. Are these modern amps built like this that much better? Especially some of the more expensive, small units. What can you get for $500 that is built, and sounds like this. I have been playing around with audio for few years. You have to spend to much to get something comparable. I will say that most vintage receivers are highly overrated, and not worth the money people are spending on the big ones. The Sansui is a bargain.
Johnss thanks for your response, but did you read the post prior to yours?
Congratulations!You found a treasure.These are great sounding amplifiers.I just picked AU719 in excellent condition and I can't believe how good it is.It has power, clarity,3D sound-stage and very good mid-range.In my opinion it is hard to find something sounding so right even for more than $1000.00 today.
You payed too much.
You paid a reasonable price i say. With some maintenance and repairs, you will have a beast.
You may have some caps that need replacing; might be easy to spot especially if they are bulging or leaking.
Well here I am 13 Months later and the Sansui still runs like a champ. It truly is a great amp and deserves all the accolades it receives.
I would like to get something modern, but I think I would have to cross the $1000 threshold and then some (Musical Fidelity A 308) on the used market to get something to beat it.
I have a Rotel RX 1050 and the Sansui beats it quite easily.
Eventually a Re-Cap and resistor replacement should be done. Just can't swing it now.

Best -L-
Laviathon, What sources did u run into your amp? I have a AU717 in the repair shop now for restoration.I have a tu 717 tuner , and a sr 838 tt . Want ot run a cd player to it but dont know how it will sound.
Sony 222ES CDP. Running a pair of Yamaha NS 1000's with it. The Tannoy's just don't compare to the Yamaha's.
From what I understand the 717 is quite different from the 919.
The Sansui AU 919 is one of the best integrated amps.
Its built like a tank.
I know Terry Dewick in Tennesse is know for modifying them and fixing them. Just google Terry Dewick
Great piece 30 years ago!!
Thanks Doug99 but I can find somebody in the area to revamp the unit if need be. There is one guy who is very well known but he says he is not taking work anymore. He is in his 80's so I can't really blame him. But I might be able to convince him otherwise.
The amp has been getting hours of daily use since I acquired it over a year ago.
Yes it was a great piece 30 years ago, and still is today! I like the sound of my 919 better than the Bryston B-60SST I used to own. ($2,800) I think you would have to spend at least $4,000 to get an equivalent SS integrated...
I just picked my second AU 919 on ebay...maybe overpaid as it has no power per the seller...did not receive it yet. My first 919 needed a good cleaning to function.
Any one have ideas re: the 919 doing 'nothing' when turned lights either. I will check the fuses first but is there something serious wrong to blow a fuse? I have the service manual.

Great find thrift store!
I do restorations.