Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Sansui AU-8500 Integrated Amplifier

I have never been more excited to find a piece of vintage audio gear.

The Sansui AU-8500 Integrated Amplifier was manufactured in the early 70’s. Weighing in at a little over 45 pounds, this machine is a beast.

Here are the specifications:

Power output: 60 watts per channel into 8Ω (stereo)
Frequency response: 15Hz to 30kHz
Total harmonic distortion: 0.1%
Damping factor: 50
Input sensitivity: 2.5mV (mic), 2.5mV (MM), 100mV (DIN), 100mV (line)
Signal to noise ratio: 65dB (mic), 75dB (MM), 85dB (line)
Output: 100mV (line), 30mV (DIN), 0.8V (Pre out)
Speaker load impedance: 4Ω to 16Ω
Semiconductors: 58 x transistors, 2 x FET, 33 x diodes, 5 x zener diodes
Dimensions: 140 x 500 x 347mm
Weight: 20.5kg

This amp looks as good as it sounds. The black front plate and sexy stainless trim, these are commonly referred to as “The Black Face” amps.

This amp has two headphone inputs. The first will shut the speakers off when being used, but if the second one is used alone, the speakers will stay on. Nice feature.
Also there are two phono inputs in the back allowing me to have two turntables set up and ready to go. I love this feature as I like using my fully manual table for everyday listening but like to use my automatic turntable while relaxing in the evenings (so if I fall asleep listening, the player will shut off).

This is my new pride and joy of my collection and will definitely be my “main” amplifier for the foreseeable future.

My three year old daughter loved my new toy and insisted she take a picture of it. This last shot was taken by her!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Record Case Restoration Project

Often while crate digging in attics, basements and barns I come across some nice retro pieces that are music related. I’ve been picking these up and storing them in my shed and recently found time to start some restoration projects.

This week I chose to refinish this vintage record carrying case.

It’s made out of tin, and while it didn’t look pretty, there was only light surface rust and decades of grime.

I tried a few household cleaners to bring it back to life, but it turned out to be too far gone. I decided to repaint it instead.


I bought some fine grit sandpaper and steel wool and smoothed the surfaces as much as I could. I started to restore the hinges and handles with brasso, but I stopped before I made it to far. I kind of liked the tarnish look of the hardware so left some to add character.

I used about 4 coats of spray paint, in between each coat I would smooth It out with the steel wool.

I’m very pleased with the end result.

It holds about 25 vinyl records at its max but works better with only 20, leaving enough room to flip through the albums rather than having to pull them out.