Sansui TU-X1 AM/FM Stereo Tuner

Without doubt, Sansui's greatest moment!
Image attribution: Jaap van den Bosch, Netherlands

Wavebands FM, AM (Medium Wave only)
Number of FM gangs 7
Number of AM gangs 3
Center Tune Indication Illuminated analogue meter
Signal Strength Meter Analogue (illuminated)
Switchable MPX filter Yes
FM IF Band Switch Yes
Illuminated analogue tuning dial Yes
Flywheel assisted tuning knob Yes (2 - one for FM and one for AM!)
FM stereo 50dB quietening sensitivity 34dBf
Ultimate Stereo S/N Ratio 83 dB
FM capture ratio 0.9 dB
Width x Height x Depth (cm) 48.0 x 19.7 x No Data
Weight (Kg) 16.2
When manufactured 1980 to 1982
UK new price 700 (estimate based on US price of $980)
eBay price guide (full working order and in good condition) 1100 - 2000 Rating

The TU-X1 was the finest tuner Sansui ever made. Very expensive when new and engineered without compromise, the TU-X1 is actually two tuners in one box - an FM tuner and an AM tuner. FM and AM sections have their own separate signal strength and tuning meters, tuining knobs and output level controls. As everyone knows, the AM waveband is not capable of high fidelity sound, but Sansui's engineers nevertheless took AM very seriously indeed when designing this tuner. The TU-X1 has, to my knowledge, the largest integral AM antenna ever fitted to a tuner and the AM section manages an incredible 65dB claimed signal to noise ratio (45dB is more usual for AM) and a 40Hz to 7000 Hz frequency response!

Left: bottom view showing the AM Section, Right: Top view showing the FM section. Note that the 7 gang FM tuning capacitor is not visible in this picture as it is shielded by a metal cover but the 3 gang AM capacitor is visible. The FM circuitry and AM circuitry are physically separated and shielded from each other by a metal plate to prevent interference. Image kindly provided by Jaap van den Bosch, Netherlands

The TU-X1 is a very strong contender for "the finest tuner ever made" award, along with other Japanise supertuners of the era including the Trio (Kenwood overseas) 600T and KT-917, Sansui TU-9900 and TU-919, the Yamaha CT-7000 and others. No modern tuner comes close to the all round ability of the Sansui TU-X1 (Linn, Quad and Naim enthusiasts take note!).

Rear view. Note the large AM antenna. The gold phono plugs for the fixed audio output on this example are an after market modification. Image kindly provided by Jaap van den Bosch, Netherlands

Like all Sansui's amplifiers and tuners manufactured in the late 1970's the TU-X1 has a thick aluminium front panel painted in matt black. It looks very tasteful but the paint finish can be easily chipped/scratched when subjected to careless handling.

The X1 has a legendary reputation and is extremely rare so prices are very high but still reasonable considering it's quality, performance and rarity. If they were to produce the Sansui TU-X1 today I estimate it would retail for somewhere between 4000 and 6000.

TU-X1 with matching AU-X1 integrated amplifier. Image kindly provided by Jaap van den Bosch, Netherlands

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