Posted by BeatleFred on December 25, 2003 at 14:33:31:
In Reply to: a-1100's and the like :) posted by Richie Rich and the Funky Bunch on December 24, 2003 at 17:41:05:
If you are willing to scroll all the way down this message board back to early December '02, I wrote a response to someone named Alan and explained the story with the combo-rack models- the A series amps, R series receivers, etc..
In case you want to pinpoint when a particular model was made, simply check the s/n in the back. Going left to right, the third digit represents year, and the fourth & fifth give month of manufacture.
The combo rack models were made by Sansui for those people who basically wanted an all-in-one system that was easy to use. It doesnt mean that EVERYTHING the company was making was junk. Sansui continued to be very innovative in the design of their integrated amps in the 80's, and the B-2301 power amp is a tremendous 300 Watt state of the art audiophile amplifier with a list price of $2600 and was in the company's product line for quite a while, approximately 1984-1991. I also have its matching preamp with the same list price, the C-2301. Mine are both february '86 models. The B & C-2301 was reviewed in the April 85 issue of Audio magazine, by the way. Another superb Sansui amp of the early 80's is the AU-D11 with its 'Super Feed Forward' circuit design.
My brother has one of those A model 'classique' Sansui amps, its actually not too bad, though its not really suited for low impedance speaker loads.
And as I think I mentioned to Alan in my response last year, you cant just single out Sansui as being the only company guilty of making products that exhibited signs of cost cutting. Already at the beginning of the 1980's, many other audio manufacturers were making products that were smaller, lighter, less poweful, and more plastic. (Compare the Pioneer SX-3900..3400 Line to the previous SX-1980...480 Line).
I think what really made a dramatic difference (and where the cutoff period lies between Vintage and Newer technology) is the introduction of CD players in 1983. From then on, the emphasis was on Digital products, not analog amplifiers and receivers as it was in the 70's.
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