The Best of SANSUI - Vintage Stereo, Classic Audio Products and Company History -
Quick Jump to International v.s. Japanese Domestic Models, Production Date, Did Quality Go down?, Company History by Sansui (Translation), Product History by Sansui (Translation), What does Sansui mean?, About this Site
AU-111 Integrated Amplifier (1965)
Visit our sister site, http://www.tube-amps.net for more about the AU-111 transformers
Sansui's master piece in tube technology. The output stage consists of fixed bias 6L6-GC AB1 Push-Pull via Sansui's own SW-50 output transformers with cathode feedback design. As being Sansui's tube gear tradition, this amplifier was designed to strive for the maximum capability of 6L6-GCs with 485V plate voltage yielding 40W + 40W RMS Stereo Power with less than 0.8% THD.
The control amp section consists of the cathode follower first stage followed by three amplification stages to manage sophisticated tone controls, Low/high filters, loudness and presence switches although the tone control circuit can be totally bypassed by the tone defeat switches. The phono equalizer stage adopted the solid-state circuit to improve S/N in the low level input.
The AU-111 was initially introduced in 1965, and was on the market at least until 1971. There were five known revisions, and the first generation of the AU-111 on the back ground is the rarest of all with the distinglished control knobs that were built in two parts.
AU-111 started Sansui's black front panel tradition that was continued more than two decades well into 1990's. AU-111 also contributed to establish Sansui's reputation as one of the best audiophile manufacturers in the world. About the end of tube technology era, AU-777 was introduced as Sansui's first solid state integrated amplifier in 1967 followed by AU-222 and AU-555 although AU-111 was still going strong even into the early 1970's.
It was very ironic that at the very end of Sansui's high-end audiophile history, Sansui reintroduced AU-111 as AU-111 Vintage in 1999 followed by AU-111G whose control section was redesigned to be suitable for SACD and DVD-Audio applications. With AU-111, Sansui established its reputation as the high-end audiophile manufacturer and halted its hi-fi history with AU-111G.
Mr. Ichiro Ohshima who was the high-end product manager at Sansui since 1986 to 2000 mentioned that he used to enjoy AU-111 and JBL speakers combination when he started working for Sansui. About at that time, he was wishing to create amplifiers sounding like AU-111 in his career. During the rough time Sansui went through from the late 1980's to 1990's, Mr. Ohshima was the one who struggled to maintaine the Sansui's high-end amp tradition. Many of his master pieces, from AU-X111 MOS Vintage to AU-Alpha Series, indeed sound similar to AU-111. It was not a coincident at all that who was responsible to revive AU-111 in 1999 was Mr. Ohshima himself.
Vacuum Tubes: 6L6GC x 4, 12AX7 x 5, 12BH7A x 2, 6AQ8 x 1
Transistors: 2SC402 (2SC650) x 2
Power Output: RMS Stereo Power 40W x 2
Harmonic Distortion: 0.8%
Intermodulation Distortion: (50 + 5,500Hz) 0.8%
Frequency Response: +1-1dB, 20-50,000 cps
Send mail to
questions or comments about this web site.