View Full Version : Technics vs. Sansui

05-15-2005, 02:51 AM
I am trying to decide on a new reciever to buy, and am in a toss up between a Sansui and a Technic. I have heard the Technic (An SA-300) and it has everything I want. Inputs, 2 sets of speakers, bass/treble, loudness and high filters etc. However, it is only rated at 40 WPC. Is this for all 4 channels, or just 2?

Does anyone know about the reliability of the Technics over some of the Sansui's? Is one of the two companies "higher" in your eyes, for a reciever like the one I am describing? Better quality, or value?
I am looking for a reciever with about 50 watts per channel, solid state, with the features described above. I'm really liking the sound of the Technic, but does anyone else have ideas (especially Sansui recievers? Comparable models?)


05-15-2005, 05:32 AM
Hi Scarredtaka,
If you like the sound and looks of the Technics, then buy it. If you stick to Pioneer,Yamaha,Marantz, Sansui, Sony or Kenwood receivers from 1974 to 1980 ( approximately), you'll get a good sounding receiver. The condition of this equipment is much more important than which particular model you choose. There are probably more Sansui fans on this site than Technics, but it comes down to personal taste. The SA-300 at 35 watts per channel is probably going to fulfill your needs unless 1) you're driving some funky inefficient speakers or 2) Your listening room is the size of the Versailles Hall of Mirrors or 3) You like your music as loud as a 70's Led Zep concert, or some combination of the three! It's really most important to have you equipment in good condition and start from there. The market for these receivers was very competitive and all the majors made superb equipment. Features are again personal ( all of them were pretty similar as competitive advantages didn't last long) and if you're happy with the SA-300's then you made your choice. BTW, I own Technics, Yamaha, Sony and Pioneer receivers from this period, so I have no axe to grind.

Good Luck with your choice.

05-15-2005, 06:10 AM
I agree with what juncers said. All the manufacturers listed produced good equipment during the 70's - they had to to stay competitive.

I own or have owned Sansui, Pioneer, Yamaha, Technics and Kenwood and every one put a smile on my face.


05-15-2005, 08:55 AM
have you looked at a sansui 5000X? 55 wpc.

05-15-2005, 09:04 AM
I have owned one Technics and two Pioneer receivers, a Yamaha amplifier and tuner, and borrowed a Kenwood amp. Out of all of them, I give the Technics a definite lower grade than the others. Poor build quality (rapid faceplate paint wear, cracked fiberboard bottom panels instead of steel, quickly deteriorating controls [scratchy pots, intermittent pushbuttons]), mechanical power transformer hum audible across the room, poor tuner performance, and a (to me) hard, bright, sound all add up to a "Not Recommended!" from me. The others are fine. I hear nothing but good things about Sansui; I almost bought a receiver from them in 1981 except for the one fact that no manual FM tuning was available on it. I bought the Technics instead. Dumbass.

Just my two centavos.


PS The model I had was an SA-222, 30wpc.

05-15-2005, 09:56 AM
I just got a Technics SA-925 and although it is small it is heavy as a brick with gobs of power. . .

Anyone know the 925????

05-15-2005, 10:00 AM
I would have to agree in general with Tom's assertion that you should stick with one of the other brands (at least when you're looking at what is commonly referred to as "lower-range" gear, and the SA-300 definitely qualifies).

Technics' build quality is that area definitely leaves a lot to be desired, and even with some of their higher-range stuff I was surprised at how much better mid-range Pioneer equipment was built! And this coming from a long-time Technics supporter!

05-15-2005, 10:24 AM
I can only speak of my own experience and give my own opinion. My wife had a Technics SA-300 (which later was stolen and replaced with an SA-303) before we were married. In direct comparison to my Yamaha CA-610II integrated amp, the Technics sounded very thin, shrill, and harsh; very two dimensional.

I also think the Technics (at least the midline SA-x00 and SA-x0x series) were quite inferiorly built, if not designed, compared to any of the other massmarket Japanese receivers of their time. Pioneer actually capitalized on this in one of their advertisements, citing the hardboard bottom of the Technics compared to the metal under-chassis of the Pioneer, for example.

The Sansui (again, IMO) is a cut above.

The earlier Technics (e.g., SA-5370) seem a bit better constructed than the later ones. I have a couple of the earlier receivers, but haven't listened to 'em enough to draw a firm conclusion on sonics. I also have an SA-80. Its construction quality is really cheesy compared to, e.g., a Pioneer SX-450, SX-580, or Yamaha CR-240. See for some inside and outside photos of some of the "junior-class" Japanese receivers of the latter-1970's.

05-15-2005, 11:39 AM
Got nothing against Technics myself, that SA-616 is pretty hefty at around 40lbs. Not too shabby for an 80wpc receiver. Metal bottom cover, huge tranny, 4 caps instead of two.

I think some of their lower end stuff was a bit worse off than some of the competition (pretty sad when even store brands like Olson, Concept and Project One feel more solid), but if you spent the cash and went up the line their bigger receivers were just as decently built as the competitors.

Just because the lower end ones seemed cheaply built does not mean they did not last though, seem to be an awful lot still around. Still I can't see laying out comparable cash to walk away with a flimsy particle board Technics (unless the comparable cash is cheap enough as it is, say at a garage sale or thrift).

I find it odd, some of their stuff (CD players for example) is very nicely made, and then some of it is so flimsy in comparison.

Maybe later I will pop the case of the SA-616 give you a nudie shot of some of their better work.

05-15-2005, 03:24 PM
Rather poor photo but as promised... SA-616. Too wide to photo the whole thing with any clarity in the living room's lighting. Gives an idea though.

05-15-2005, 03:30 PM
Two BTW's:

1) I used to have an SA-500 that seemed pretty decent.

2) I think the SA-300 is 30 or 35 wpc, and it's definitely a 2-channel (stereo) receiver. You can get the basic specs from

05-15-2005, 07:27 PM
I agree with most what is said here, but in my recent experience, a Technics SA-5770 kicked the fanny of a Sansui 9090DB, which quickly found a new home. The 5770 is one superb receiver. No offense to Sansui fans intended, btw.

Just adding my 2 cents to the opinions posted. Personally, it's the performance of the equipment which makes me go one way or another, and the 5770 is about as good as it gets for Technics, I would imagine... :smoke:

I suppose each unit from each Maker must be judged on it's own accord, with your own ears and associated equipment!

imho, only....ymmv

05-15-2005, 08:00 PM
There is no way one can make blanket recommendations or condemnations about any brand.
Probably the most frustrating thing about appreciating vintage hi-fi is the fact that all of the majors had bullseyes :thmbsp: and all of them had embarassing moments :thumbsdn:
The best thing is when we get the lowdown on a sleeper product(a bullseye),and the joy of owning a quiet achiever. :yes:

05-15-2005, 08:17 PM
There is no way one can make blanket recommendations or condemnations about any brand.

Yup. That's why I was very specific in my comments, and qualified them as opinions. The original question was also very specific, at least vis a vis the Technics model (SA-300).

Actually, upon reviewing the posts in this thread, I don't see any "blanket condemnations".

05-15-2005, 08:29 PM
But since the discussion had diverged from the specific Technics model enquired about,to some airing their views about Technics gear which didn't float their boats,I felt that it needed to be said.
Nobbody was singled out,other than marko(and I liked the way he stuck up for the underdog),nobody was quoted and nobody should have felt that their opinion was slighted or direspected.
Anyone who feels otherwise I'd welcome a PM,or refer it to the moderators. :)

05-15-2005, 08:38 PM
Thanks guys, I've got a few alternatives to research now.

Still have one question lingering out there.
The SA-300 supports 2 pairs of speakers. Is the claimed watts per channel (38) accurate when all 4 speakers are hooked up?

05-15-2005, 09:17 PM
The SA-300 supports 2 pairs of speakers. Is the claimed watts per channel (38) accurate when all 4 speakers are hooked up?

Yes and no... the power output is a function of the load impedance. If you run A and B together, they're (most likely) paralleled, so the load impedance will halve (assuming A and B speakers are of the same impedance). If you have 8 ohm speakers on A and B, and turn on both A and B, you'll have a 4 ohm load on the amp. If Technics provided a 4-ohm spec, that will be the nominal power output that applies in that case, as compared to the nominal 8 ohm power output. This assumes the SA-300 was rated for a 4 ohm load (I don't honestly remember).

05-16-2005, 01:03 AM
Generally speaking, with vintage receivers when you have two pair of speakers running you won't notice a difference in power output or volume level over 1 pair. Vintage receivers have enormous reserves, even the relatively low-power models. This was the biggest surprise when I started geting into vintage, having switched from a late-model JVC whose supposed "80 wpc" would sound like ten when I had the A and B speakers running simultaneously.

As for the Technics/Sansui question, I am now running a Sansui G5500 in my main system, but at one time I used a Technics SA-500, the big brother to the one you're considering. Although I like the Sansui more, it was a close call. The Technics had a superior tuner and much better radio reception. Stereo separation was also very good. Like another poster, I found the Technics sound initially a bit cold and the bass rather thin. I think the Technics receivers really need the right speakers in order to get the best sound. When I hooked it up to a pair of KEF Coda III speakers, which had seemed to bassy with my Sansui, the sound was terrific, just the right balance. It sounded so good I gave the setup to my sister for Christmas, and she was (and remains) thrilled. And by the way, the technics SA-500 was built like a tank, very fine craftsmanship all around. In fact most technics gear from that period I've seen has been very well made.

Ultimately I prefer the sound of the Sansui, it's warmer which is more to my taste. But if you want something that sounds more "modern" (whatever that means) the Technics will fill the bill. Either way, you can't really go wrong.

Which Sansui model were you considering?

05-16-2005, 11:21 AM
I was looking at somthing relativly small (In terms of wattage). A 350, or a 1000, or a Six. Don't need (or can't afford) a quad or a G series. Anyone have any thoughs on these models, or models like them?

05-16-2005, 11:35 AM
I was looking at somthing relativly small (In terms of wattage). A 350, or a 1000, or a Six. Don't need (or can't afford) a quad or a G series. Anyone have any thoughs on these models, or models like them?

The Six is a good vintage Sansui, but you might consider the 7070 or 6060 because these units are plentiful and in the right part of the vintage period; the 6060 and 7070 were manufactured from mid 1976 to early 1978.

And with so many of them around, there is a good selection on eBay with the 7070 (60 watts/ch) averaging $50-$75 and the 6060 (40 watts/ch) about the same. A 7070 sold recently on eBay for $37.83 :yes:

I use a 7070 as my computer amp and it used 16 hours a day. :banana:


05-16-2005, 11:48 AM
It would be nice to get a larger amp, but the shipping goes way up for me as they have to ship to Alaska.

Shipping for a reciever is around 80 dollars, which totally kills the deals and great prices of the bay.

05-16-2005, 12:22 PM
If its a lower wattage Sansui, get a 2000 or 2000A as opposed to say the 350. I have all three of them. Those 2000s are built like tanks. Good sounding too.

05-16-2005, 01:36 PM
It would be nice to get a larger amp, but the shipping goes way up for me as they have to ship to Alaska.

Shipping for a reciever is around 80 dollars, which totally kills the deals and great prices of the bay.

I hear you - I'm in Canada in a far away outpost by the Bay of Fundy. Why even the FedEx and UPS drivers have to stop at the Post Office to ask were I live :yes: .

Shipping is certainly a consideration for those of us who don't live within a metropolitan area. How about an AudioKarma delivery run? It's been done before. Ask a general question in the off topic forum for any AK'ers who might be heading up to Alaska this summer and are willing to haul along a vintage receiver. You never know. Nothing ventured, ..... :scratch2:

Good luck,


PS: Also, you should consider any of our Military members who may have "other means" of delivery :D available to them.

Kevin's Rack
05-16-2005, 03:28 PM
Me, I'm a Technics addict, so I obviously will be more biased towards Technics. But all is not lost. I own many different components, and out of all of them, I find my Technics' to have the greatest stereo separation and sensitivity on their tuners than any others I've had. I would also say the Technics' are easier to service when the time comes. From what I've seen, servicing some of the Sansuis are like putting square pegs in round holes. (Ie. removing ten things to access one thing.) I've only owned one Sansui, from its period of decline (1984), and I wasn't overly satisfied with it although it was decent. I find Technics' to sound brighter than other manufacturers, and they have a distinctive look which I find attractive. I would add it all up to this, although I'm partial to Technics, my other half will say either one will leave you satisfied in the end. Just thought I'd share my experiences...

05-16-2005, 03:40 PM
You've obviously never tried to get to those damned 3-way rocker switches Panasonic used in the SA-X00 series! ;)

Kevin's Rack
05-16-2005, 06:06 PM
Point taken, if it's as hard to get to as the rockers on the SAx0x series, then I will concur. Although I will say, Technics' go back together pretty easy. Only had trouble once with a Technics which resulted in me having to re-string the tuner. I guess after doing that I've earned bragging rights... :scratch2:

05-17-2005, 10:44 AM
It would be nice to get a larger amp, but the shipping goes way up for me as they have to ship to Alaska.

Shipping for a reciever is around 80 dollars, which totally kills the deals and great prices of the bay.

Have you looked around locally for something, or at least within Alaska? It's surprising what was sold in remote places 30 years ago, especially if the work force was male, was well paid (oil rigs, mines, etc.), and had lots of free time on their hands after work - to party :banana: . Towns near military bases are also places to look.
...but yes, shipping fees do tend to suck when you live in a beautiful place...

anyway, found this...not a Technics, or Sansui, but the price could be right???

and the same seller recently sold this amazing tuner!

05-17-2005, 10:55 AM
Merely as a point of inference, the brands and dates you've offered for scrutiny leave little concern that you'll end up with a decent piece. It's like the guy in 1969 who couldn't decide between a Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro or Dodge Charger: today they all look good!

05-17-2005, 02:22 PM
Haven't owned a Sansui but I am very pleased with my Technics 5370. It is rated at 48 wpc but has waaaay more power than I would ever use. I have it playing through Athena FS2 speakers. Speakers seem to balance the brightness of the receiver well. Nice looking Receiver.

07-15-2011, 04:10 PM
I just got a Technics SA-925 and although it is small it is heavy as a brick with gobs of power. . .

Anyone know the 925????

I opened my Technics SA925 and looked up the specs of the stereo output amplifier chip. Apparently the output is at least 30 watts and up to 50 watts with higher source voltages and 4 ohm speaker loads.

07-15-2011, 04:46 PM
On sonics and build quality, Sansui wins if it's pre 1978. My 4000 is a superb, 45 watts/channel well made, fine sounding receiver. It's very well built. And it's switches and pots still are quiet and working well. Technics made some decent receivers but I repaired many with switch and pot issues.

07-15-2011, 06:00 PM
I have some experience with amplifiers above all of the two brands, to me a Sansui or a Yamaha has a more natural sound that a Technics amplifier.

I hear the midbass and midrange of the Technics with emphasis which makes them seem to have more power but it's not completely true. In this situation with the Technics the listening fatigue is higher.

But always depends on the model, the better way is to test the two brands and models in an A/B test and for long periods.

07-15-2011, 06:39 PM
Yikes... a 6 year old thread, pumped back to life!


I think the early 80's Technics receivers were pretty decent, but eventually the brand decayed (just as Sansui and Marantz did). Technics did create a few legends, but on average I think Sansui did a better job all around.