Sansui CA 2000 preamp

I have an opportunity to buy a CA 2000 preamp in very nice original condition ( i'm assuming I'll have to recap min so I have factored in a service upgrade cost). I'm a big Sansui fan and run one of their tuners a TU 717 with updated caps in my main system and a AU 5900 in a second system in my computer room. The AU 5900 is surprisingly musical and fun. 

The Sansui CA 2000 will be for my main system so the big question is are these worth the hyp they get (after a full service of course) or should I just pick up a Schiit Freya+.  The cost will be almost identical after I factor in the rebuild cost and or shipping and duties on the Freya+. 

I really like all the features that the Sansui offers but wonder if the sound quality is really up to the hyp the Pre gets online. 


Should be a nice preamp. It was one of the first to incorporate low distortion transistor circuitry, and had a unique volume control circuit that reduced noise to very low levels. They don’t make them like that anymore and from that standpoint, it’s worth having.
It’s quite an old unit now so you’ll probably have to service the switches and maintain them over time, apart from upgrading some capacitors. Some of the transistors are hard to get now if they need replacing (not likely unless you get otherwise unexplained noises), but not impossible to substitute with other similar modern transistors. When you get it serviced, make sure you check over the solder joints of the bigger transistors as they generate heat and can crack the solder joints over time, which can lead to all manner of mayhem. If you give it the TLC it needs it will be a good preamp. IME most Sansuis take about an hour to warm up to start sounding good.
I’m a Sansui fan as well and have a CA-F1 and BA-F1 pre-power combo. I replaced the notoriously troublesome black flag capacitors in both of them. Check to see if they are in the CA 2000 as well. If they are replace them too.
Sansui owner here.... Happy for the last 5 years....Sansui AU-7700...No comes back...S.Q./ price over the roof...

The only thing I think will really beat it is a ZOTL Berning new tube technology.... But I paid 200 hundred for the amp + new catalytics… The Berning would cost me 6000 is way much but il will be an upgrade at least not a sidegrade… The Sansui is this good for me.... Top of the year 1978 technology.... :)
Only bad sounding thing Sansui ever made were speakers .Excluding the junk they were outing to stay alive last 3-4 years .

 I think your point is right on the spot...Anyway half of a crowd is so deluded that in audio and in all other area they like junks...

For my Sansui amplifier I dont see his limitations in sound, I will need probably speakers of a skyrocketing price to feel that with a new dac of an astronomical price tag... Or complete new technology, a more refine one like the Berning Zotl Amplifier to compare to... 
Thanks guys looks like I’ll pick it up and have it serviced and updated as needed. Again thanks for the feedback 

I picked it up and had it recapped, some small transistors replaced and diodes etc.  I'm shocked at how nice this preamp is. It's dead quiet (100db speakers so I'd know), full of life, musical as hell and a huge sound stage. very detailed top to well the 50hz I get out of my speakers lol. not at all muddy and slow as I expected from a vintage piece. I forgot how useful tone controls are in a multi use system ( tv-movies-music). Over all best $1000pre+$500 (parts and labour for recap etc.) I've spent in audio in a long time. Lets not get into how nice it is to look at, well I suppose that user opinion. 

I really like how slow the taper in the volume ramps up at first, for us hi efficiency speaker owners its a blessing to be able to use more then a few deg of rotation.  

I have to say they really did build some nice equipment in the late 70's early 80's. trying out vintage as proven a good move, in this case anyway. 

I'll bet a nice tube amp would be a great combo or maybe a class D amp always wanted to try one. 

well cheers all my friends thanks for the help

Glad it fits into your system well! Especially regarding the low noise with sensitive speakers. 
A low powered amp would work well with them and a single ended tube amp might work well. At 100dB efficiency all you might need would be a 300B amp with typically around 7 watts. Which speakers are you running? What sort of volume do you play them at?
Class D amps are very efficient and put out lots of power for their size, but you possibly won’t need their high power in this case.
I have a CA 2000, a AU666 (running as the amp with the CA 2000) and a TU666. All are running on their original capacitors will no problems. 
The components are all very high quality with a long life. I firmly believe in leaving these devices alone. If it sounds good it is good. If it started to sound crappy and it was not switch related. I would have it serviced. The one issue I have experienced is noisy switches and rotary dials. These are tricky to clean, as it is hard to access these without completely removing them. On the whole, modern quality audio components benefit from all the technical advances made since the 70's. Still I use these because I love the sound and the look. The same reason why I run an old Sony 557ESD CD player. Looks and quality.    

I have no doubt your equipment is still working fine and still sound great, my experience shows otherwise though.  Caps in those older models are getting on in years and will eventually fail, probably already drifted off spec as well. really when your getting into 30+ year old electronics its just a mater of time before something goes and when that cheep cap or resistor goes and takes your transformer with it (been there done that) expensive, hard to find (usually) and rarely new. I've refreshed a few vintage pieces now and everyone sounded way better afterwards. CA 2000. TU717, Treo 100, Dynaco Mk4 Mono's, so far and everyone was much improved.  
I had one for years.  Should sound glorious!  Listen to it, then decide if it needs a recap. You know it does if it sounds dead, otherwise leave it alone.
I've been running it all refreshed for the better part of this year and its quite surprisingly good. I've driven Dynaco Mk4 mono blocks (also moded),  Audio Note Quest's ( borrowed for a month while i was considering buying them), Finale Audio 300b amp and a surprisingly good little  Burson Bang (22wpc) that little guys is quite detailed and extended and drives the horns very well, almost better then some of the tube amps I've tried. 105db speakers mind you.

 I expected the old Sansui to be overly warm and well vintage sounding and its far from that.  I'd say its very neutral  (with the tone bypass engaged) and the volume control is so smooth and responsive. Its really nice having more then a couple inputs and two sets of switchable (1,1+2, 2) outputs.  I really like many of the features these older preamps offer that the newer ones have dumped decades ago. obviously when you use many of them it degrades the sound slightly but fortunately you can bypass it all. 

over all I'm quite happy with the sound. yes there's better but from what I've heard in comparisons you need to spend many $thousands and lose all/most of the features. Only thing I'd like is a remote but I can live without it. 

 I've been pulling back from the supper high end and exploring vintage and obscure gear. As my hearing degrades as I age (55) and from my tinnitus I don't see the need to chase the never ending quest for ultimate sound that in my experience just ends up being too detailed, too in your face and no musicality.

there's a point when a Ferrari is just a car and your paying for a name and bling nothing really more.  Same goes for audio equipment some are willing to pay for the name and bling I've moved passed that in my music quest and just want to enjoy the music with out  evaluating the sound quality all the time. 
Some Sansui amplifiers live up to their legendary musicality....

It seems....

I never look back....

Like glenewdick said flexibility   and a relative neutrality, what to ask for for the 100 bucks i paid for my Sansui AU 7700....