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Sansui AU-888 restoration (pic heavy)

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I've just finished a restoration of a lovely, near mint example of a Sansui AU-888 which is quite a rare amp indeed!


The AU-888 is a slight revision of the AU-999 with some minor circuit tweaks here and there, a new front faceplate design and 5WPC less than the AU-999.


One important point of difference between the 888 and 999 is that the chassis of the 888 doesn't have the large hole beneath the filter capacitors which enables the installation of my favourite Nichicon Super Through filter caps. Unfortunately we've had to retain original-spec caps here (albeit a very clean set out of a MINT AU-999 which are in fantastic condition). The original caps were bypassed with small 1.5uf polypropylene caps.


This particular example had a fault in one channel which was rectified by the Sansui Grand Poobah (skippy124) and I then set out the restoration path.


I didn't get too many 'before' pics, but the amp was as you'd expect with a layer of dust and crud inside:





And some after pics. In addition to the usual suspects (Nichicon HE, Panasonic FC/FM/FR, Elna Silmic II and Nichcon ES bipolar) I used some Nichicon KL and Kemet low-noise/low-leakage caps in certain signal path locations. The amp certainly sounds great afterwards! All of the notorious 'flying saucer' transistors were replaced with modern equivalents.













The original power cable has started to deteriorate, with the copper oxidising and the plastic dielectric oozing some kind of liquid. A replacement AUS cable and heavy duty cable gland was fitted.  







Bias adjustment time!





Time for final assembly, cleaning and detailing. The front face was unmarked but a bit grotty, so it was thoroughly cleaned. Each knob was removed, detailed and refitted. The timber veneer cover was treated with Gilly Stephenson's timber product. The result is superb - it's a lovely looking bit of kit and in magnificent condition - as good as any Sansui I've ever worked on or seen. 














Who doesn't like polished output transistors? :)









One really important detail on an amp in this kind of cosmetic condition is the metal plate over the voltage adjustment cover. It has a plastic protective layer installed in the factory, and it discolours, stretches and looks plain nasty over time. Once this is removed and all sticky goo cleaned off carefully, it looks a million bucks and is in keeping with the overall condition of the amp.













Sooooo... how does it sound? Well, without having a restored AU-999 here to compare it to, I'm going by memory only. That said, I think it sounds fantastic and would be very, very hard to pick any difference between this and the AU-999. If anything, the 888 may juuuuuust nudge ahead... :)

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Another mighty effort

Well done

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looks fantastic and Im sure the owner will be over the moon (assuming its not you of course). I just marvel at the work you and your father do with this brand. World class..!


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a wonderful restoration job Pete and another classic Amp will live on and bring listening pleasure for many more years. Beautiful condition, it looks like a new one.

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Does the 888 require subsonic filter mods etc that the 999 does? Pete, if you want to do comparison you are welcome to borrow my 999 for a couple of weeks..

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Beautiful work. You subscribe to Steve Job's ethos - being that every single component needs to be visually appealing, even those you can't see.

It's little wonder the guy was an audiophile really.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Thanks for the kind words!

Does the 888 require subsonic filter mods etc that the 999 does? Pete, if you want to do comparison you are welcome to borrow my 999 for a couple of weeks..

Hi Barry,

The 888 doesn't have the subsonic filter like the 999. The preamp is also slightly different so the preamp mods don't apply either.

I think this amp will be back on its way to its lucky owner (who has been very patient!) ASAP so I probably won't get the chance to borrow your 999 and do a comparison. Thanks for the offer though! Greatly appreciated. :)

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My hearty wishes to Pete for putting back the AU888 into life.


I too own a sansui au888. 


it was doing good till last month unless when i connected my speaker wires to both pioneer vsx 523k and sansui au 888. with in 30 secs my left channel was dead. the fuses started blowing out . My service guy said that the transisitors 2sc1111 are dead.


In india its hard to get 2sc1111 so I bought 2n3442 as equivalents.


I fixed them but this time the left side of the amp was getting overheated and the fuses blew off.


i am in a confusion how to get back life to my sansui au 888.


Hope I get some solutions.


Shiva Kumar



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Guest Muon



Nice amp and a nice job there @@pete_mac :thumb:


Eek! look at that nasty wire!

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Wow just wow, I wish I could do that :(

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