Friday, May 8, 2009

Receiver - Sansui 5000

This Sansui 5000 came with a beefy wooden case similar to the one on my Sansui 2000 shown HERE. I removed the case for cleaning just prior to powering it up and taking these photos. A little wasted effort as you'll read below.

What happened to the days when stereos were considered furniture? When I was ten my friend’s parents had a stereo console that spanned three quarters of the length of their living room wall. I’m talking big! NASA claimed it as one of the four features on Earth’s surface that astronauts could recognize from orbit. It was dark oak in color, had intricate lattice grills, and weighed just under 4,000 pounds. There was a Garrard record changer inside and a Fisher or Magnavox tuner – I can’t remember which. This massive, beautiful beast kept many a house party going until early morning, or so the stories went. When not in use, it was indistinguishable from a wall cabinet or large hutch. My friend and I raced Hot Wheels cars along the slick, well-polished top and tried to jump over the adjustable canyon we made with the sliding top cover. Yeah, good times. No wonder so few of these are still around.

When consoles lost popularity, stereo manufacturers continued to “dress up” their components by offering wooden cases for them. Well-made, solid wooden cases made way for wood veneer, then vinyl veneer, un-veneered plain metal, plastic, and eventually a fibrous amalgam of egg shells, baker’s yeast, and discarded pizza crust. Okay, I made that last one up. During this time, as the stereo became more and more “naked,” people found other places to put their gear. This new era of stereo shelf units not only helped get the 55 pound Kenwood off of the diaper changing table, but also resurrected the smoked glass industry which had suffered gravely, and for no good reason, for decades.

So, how does it sound? It doesn’t. I plugged it in once and it popped the speakers so bad at startup that I haven’t powered it again. I took the photos during its maiden, and only, power-up. From what I’ve read on AudioKarma, the 5000 suffered from a bad output board. Some were fixed prior to leaving the factory and some were not. The 5000A and 5000X didn’t have this problem and had other differences as well. I believe the 5000 was rated at 55 watts, but I’ve seen conflicting numbers online.

Have any stories or photos of your Sansui 5000? Please leave a comment or email me.

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  1. NOTE: The bad amplifier board problem mentioned affects ALL Sansui 5000 and 5000A units, and SOME 5000X units. Unreliable diodes can open, and then entire amp section is toast. Literally. BTW, similar problem with 3000/3000A can take out speakers as well! Open and look at amp boards, mounted vertically at rear between the 4 big round power supply caps. If they say F 1040, that's bad. Warranty replacement was F 6013. All well if you see those. F 1040s can be modded to replace diodes.

    1. Hi Don- thanks for the heads up. I have a 4000 as well and have not had a problem, but I assume it has the same fault. How much do you think a shop would charge for the diode change?

    2. Are you sure, I heard it was only a problem on the first 5000 units out of the factory which they later addressed.

  2. i just picked up an old sansui 5000 my buddy said the bass just quit when i plugged it in everything works but treble and bass knobs and it sounds blown. is there an easy fix, preferably cheap?

  3. Will, your Sansui is going to need a thorough diagnostic and probably a repair that might cost more than the unit is worth. Suggest calling local electronic repair places near you and ask them if they are familiar with vintage solid state units like yours. At least pay for the diagnostic - it's worth getting looked at. Best of luck and chime in if you find out anything. Thanks.

  4. I still have my 5000 in closet with,, you guessed it,, bad board. Has been fixed twice but blew it again. was impressive when it WAS working!!



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