The Sansui AU-111 is a integrated amplifier in the valve amplifier category. It was manufactured from 1965 to 1971.
Yann Zeeuwe (October 3, 2010): 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
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