Sansui AU-919 Stereo Integrated Amplifier

Image attribution: Gordon Hamilton

Max. RMS Power into 8 Ohms per channel 100 Watt
Total harmonic distortion at rated output 0.008%
Slew Rate +/- 200V/micro sec.
Rise time 0.5 micro sec.
Phono inputs 2
Line level inputs 2
Number of tape loops 2
Phono equaliser Yes: MM & MC
Headphone output Yes, front mounted socket
Power consumption 480 Watt
Width x Height x Depth (cm) 43.0 x 16.8 x 42.8
Weight (Kg) 21.0 (without rack handles)
When manufactured 1979 - 1981
UK new price 480 (in 1979)
eBay price guide (full working order and in good condition) 275 - 375 Rating


A true classic! The Sansui AU-919 was Sansui's top integrated amplifier of 1979. It had world beating sound quality and achieved a "Recommended" rating in Hi-Fi Choice (a once well respected British Hi-Fi buying guide). The new price in 1979 was a hefty 480 in the UK - this was true high-end. For a stereo amplifier engineered to the same standards with a similar level of performance today you would have to pay in the region of 1600 to 2000. The 919 remained Sansui's top integrated until the outstanding AU-X1 was launched in 1980/81. With used prices varying from around 200 to 300 for a good example, this superb classic amplifier represents excellent value.

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Like the slightly less expensive AU-819 and unlike the lower-end AU-series models this amplifier has a "Jump" switch (to bypass the tone controls, balance control and filters) in addidtion to a tone defeat switch. It also, very usefully, has a built-in high quality moving coil head amp. The AU-919 has two turntable inputs (one MC or MM and the other MM).

Note the use of both shielded frame type and toroidal transformers and the huge oval-shaped smoothing capacitors.
Image attribution: Sansui sales brochure

The AU-919 is fairly rare in the UK (only one or two appearing on per year) but you do see more of them on eBay Germany ( and they are reasonably plentyful on eBay USA ( The sound quality would be best described as outstanding: powerful, smooth, very natural and slightly warm while still providing plenty of punch and detail. The moving magnet and moving coil phono stages are particularly good. It sounds very musical and is unfatiging to listen to for long periods.

Like all Sansui's amplifiers and tuners manufactured in the late 1970's the AU-919 has a thick aluminium front panel painted in matt black. It looks tasteful but the paint finish can be easily chipped/scratched when subjected to careless handling. When new, the AU-919 was supplied with professional style rack mounting handles to allow mounting into a 19" equipment rack. The rack handles are attached to the sides of the unit by two screws and are of course detachable.

A thermally-matched dual-FET (Field Effect Transistor) in a differential arrangement forms the input circuit in each section of the power amplifier section creating a capacitor-less true DC (Direct Coupled") design. The second stage is Sansui's "Diamond Differential DC" circuit while the third stage is a current differential push-pull driver amp. Sansui claimed that this circuit configuration permitted an extraordinary large amount of drive current to be applied to the final output, resulting in excellent slew rate, rise time and TIM (Total Intermodulation Distortion) figures. The final output stage has a three stage Darlington-connected parallel push-pull OCL (Output Capacitor-Less) configuration.

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The AU-919 has five separate power supplies. One supplies the class-A pre-amp, and is formed of an El-core transformer and a precision constant voltage circuit. Two others, formed of an El-core transformer and a precision active filter circuit serve the class-A left and right pre-drivers. The fourth and fifth, each using a toroidal power transformer with separate coil windings, feed current to the class-B reft and right drivers.output stages. To keep the power reserve capacity high for the plentiful delivery of power on demand, four 15,000 micro Farad oval-shaped capacitors are used.

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