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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

 

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Sansui Today, and Beyond

After Sansui halted its audio business sometime in the early 2000ís, several Sansui employees resigned and seek own way of continuing their quest for better sound.  One group of people who were lead by Mr. Ohshima created Aqua Audio Lab, and another group of people joined Hashimoto Electric.

The primary goal of Aqua Audio Lab is to offer maintenance and fine-tuning service to all Sansui models as well as some branded high-end amplifiers.  Mr. Ohshima was a manager of Sansui high-end amplifier department since mid 1980ís.  Two other ex-Sansui employees, Mr. Yokote and Mr. Ohtsuka were key designer and engineer for the same department since 1970ís.  In other words, it appears that Sansui high-end amp department became independent organization after April of 2000 as Aqua Audio Lab.  Therefore, it wonít be surprising to hear that Aqua Audio Lab has already developed a prototype for the first 21st Century model that is a direct descendent of the last and the best Sansui 07 Series, AU-Alpha907NRA.

                                                                  

Mr. Ohtsuka (left) and Mr. Ohshima (right)             High-End Sansui to be tuned-up/repaired at Aqua Audio Lab

 

On the contrary, Hashimoto Electric seems to belong to another end of spectrum in many senses.  Hashimoto was founded in 1958 as an OEM transformer manufacturer.  It's not hard to imagine that Hashimoto must had supplied many transformers to Sansui in the early days.  When Sansui decided to retreat from the transformer business in the late 1970ís, Sansui transferred its entire transformer business to Hashimoto including the right to use old Sansui logo, sales department, distribution channels, and all blueprints and know-how that Sansui accumulated for the last thirty some years.  Ever since, Hashimoto has produced Sansui branded transformers.  When Sansui decided to reissue the famed AU-111 tube integrated amplifier in 1999, Hashimoto produced all transformers for the AU-111 including the MC cartridge transformer.

After two more ex-Sansui employees joined Hashimoto in the early 2000ís, Hashimoto decided to develop its own brand tube transformers.  The key transformer engineer for this project is Mr. Ishiguro who was a manager of Sansui transformer department and being transferred to Hashimoto in 1984.  Two other ex-Sansui employees, Mr. Sunaga and Mr. Mitsui newly joined Hashimoto have been supporting Mr. Ishiguro for engineering and marketing till today.

After a few years in the market, Hashimoto tube transformers have won the reputation of ďOne of the best sounding Hi-Fi transformers ever produced.Ē  This is no accident if you consider the fact that Hashimoto inherited Sansuiís transformer technologies that actually had established Sansuiís primarily foundation.

                               

      Hashimoto Guest Room                                                        Inside of Hashimoto Plant

 

As all of us already know, todayís Sansui is not engaged in audio/hi-fi business.  On the other hand, Aqua Audio Lab and Hashimoto Electric are the organizations that inherited Sansuiís technologies and spirits in two high-end audio theaters; transistor and tube amplifiers.  In this sense, Sansui we know of is still arrive and striving for the future.

If you want to know more about Aqua Audio Lab or Hashimoto Electric, please visit our new BBS ("Sansui and Beyond").  I'm glad to answer to your questions.  You could also visit our sister site, http://www.tube-amps.net for much more details on Hashimoto Electric and its products. 

 

 


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Last modified: 01/25/06