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Spectacular Sansui G-8000 Receiver Repair & Service

Come with me as I repair and service this absolutely incredible Sansui G-8000 receiver. Guess what folks – she’s for sale 😉

Actually, you might call this a minor overhaul and you heard me right – I can hardly believe it but this Sansui G-8000 is mine, now works perfectly and she is for sale, details in the Store.

UPDATE: Sold! Keep reading for details.

Background

This is an amazing story, but briefly, this Sansui G-8000 monster receiver was owned by her original owner, my customer, from new. This gentleman has been a customer for a long time and I originally worked on this old girl seven years ago, servicing her, undoing the effects of some other work that had been done before I saw her and getting her running sweetly.

And sweetly she ran, for the next seven years, despite needing a freshen-up back then, as noted in my original invoice. And then, just a couple of weeks ago at the time of writing, her owner contacted me again to discuss having a service and some other work done.

Sansui G-8000
The dusty and somewhat forlorn Sansui G-8000 as she landed on my bench. That’s an Accuphase E-301, to the left.

I explained that an overhaul was a good idea and that at least some deep maintenance would be needed. Now, I don’t know why, but he suddenly changed his mind about fixing her, deciding that he didn’t want to spend any money on her at all, even if it might not be very much.

Naturally, I explained that it would be sensible to see what she needed before getting rid of her, but the owner wasn’t interested. He told me he wanted her gone, didn’t want to spend a cent more on her and that he was either going to THROW HER IN THE BIN, or give her to me! The bin???? What???!!!

Naturally, I implored him not to throw her away and tried to convince him to at least let me investigate. I explained that I could repair her and then let him know what it cost. Not interested. Finally, I offered him a small amount of money to own the old girl, issues unknown and save her from that bin.

Even then, after paying him, I said I would offer the Sansui G-8000 to him once I repaired her, but he wasn’t interested. Perhaps he was just happy to let her go to someone he knew would take good care of her. So that’s how we got here. Now, it’s time to fix her and find her a new home…

Sansui G-8000

As always, you can watch an accompanying video about this story, courtesy of my YouTube channel:

Features

The Sansui G-8000 is a classic monster receiver, cut from the same cloth as the Pioneer SX-1250, even larger Sansui G-9000, Marantz 2330, Yamaha CR-2020 (I also have one of these and yes, it will be up for sale) etc.

Beastly receivers like this one came from an era when bigger was better, bigger was badder, badder was better, when men were men, smoked cigarettes (mostly unfiltered), and when everyone had a moustache. Well, men did anyway.

These ‘monster receivers’ as they are known, cram everything into one large box, which is much better than cramming into one small box as we see these days. These receivers are perfect for those wanting a nice ‘simple’ hi-fi system if you get what I mean, as long as large and simple go together for you and simple means lots of nice switches and knobs in one place.

Receivers are always compromised to some extent, any integrated solution in. Monster receivers like the Sansui G-8000 though are less compromised than you might imagine, packing in serious amplifiers, phono preamp, tuner etc that you would find in separate components from the time.

I wrote about this very Sansui G-8000 receiver when I first worked on her, so check that out for more info.

Sansui G-8000
Here we see the layout of the Sansui G-8000. Note the dual amplifier and power supply modules top left and top right. The tuner and tuner power supply are located in the gold-coloured area in the middle. A few small black metal boxes may be seen, these each house a driver module or power supply. The left-hand shielded box has been removed, exposing the driver board.

This beast has a dual-mono 120 Watt amplifier configuration, high-quality discrete phono stage, eight filter capacitors spread over the two amplifier power supplies, a great preamplifier, AM/FM stereo tuner built-in and more.

Everything has its own power supply for maximum sound quality, even the tuner. Each circuit block is housed in steel shielding boxes for reduced noise and the controls are silky smooth as one would expect of a beast like this. One ‘twiddle’ of the tuning knob and she runs from one end of the dial to the other. That’s after I carefully lubricated the tuning mechanisms of course.

As you would expect, she sounds amazing and having everything in one box really simplifies things. You just need space for one B-I-G box.

Sansui G-8000 Specifications

Courtesy HiFi Engine

Tuning range: FM, MW
Power output: 120 watts per channel into 8Ω (stereo)
Frequency response: 5Hz to 50kHz
Total harmonic distortion: 0.03%
Damping factor: 60
Input sensitivity: 6mV (mic), 2.5mV (MM), 150mV (DIN), 150mV (line)
Signal-to-noise ratio: 78dB (MM), 95dB (line)
Channel separation: 60dB (MM), 70dB (line)
Output: 150mV (line), 43mV (DIN), 1V (Pre out)
Speaker load impedance: 4Ω to 8Ω
Semiconductors: 104 x transistors, 70 x diodes, 11 x FET, 7 x IC, 10 x LED
Dimensions: 560 x 201 x 475mm
Weight: 24.6kg
Finish: simulated walnut grain

Problems

This time the old girl was silent out of one channel and clearly in need of some TLC. This is not unexpected for any equipment of this age and I’d already explained to her owner that she really needed TLC seven years ago. Everything needed cleaning, lubrication, and adjustment and the driver boards needed maintenance, above all else.

This job is not a full overhaul or restoration, but you can consider it a minor overhaul, given the range of work done here. Her next owner can have even more done if they so choose, but my goal was to get this lovely receiver running perfectly again, so let’s go!

Repair & Service

As always, I started with functional testing, some measurements and an inspection, so that I knew what I was dealing with. Straight away I knew that work would be needed on the driver boards, so that’s where I started.

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Sansui G-8000
These shots show one of the driver modules. Note the crusty, fluxey appearance and all original parts.
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On the component side, we see the rather haphazard component dress typical of the time, plus some polychloroprene glued-on insulating tubes over the driver transistors. These need to go.
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Here we see those tubes removed. Next up for me was to remove and clean these devices of the polychlor glue, then reinstall them neatly.
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This is just one of the 8 pre-driver transistors in total. I removed this crud from all of them.
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Cleaned pre-driver devices, neatly resoldered into place in a slightly less shambolic way than the factory assembly. No insulating tubes are needed, offering better thermal performance, and less corrosion!
Sansui G-8000
Here, I’ve replaced all the small electrolytic capacitors with new, premium parts. The large blue Nichicons measured as well as brand new parts, as this type often do, so they stayed.
Sansui G-8000
The second overhauled driver board
Sansui G-8000
Everything has been cleaned, tightened, dry joints re-worked and the boards de-fluxed. The critical driver boards are done.
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A detail shot of two of the many power supplies and the large toroidal transformer. Note the output device heatsinks to the rear. With Sansui gear from this era, everything has connectors, boards are mounted like cards, in metal boxes. It’s wonderful for servicability.
Sansui G-8000
Here’s a view of the underside of the beast. At the top, we have the power supply and protection stuff. Middle left we see the discrete phono preamplifier.
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Here is one of those additional power supplies. I removed and checked each one in turn. Fuses are original.
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This is the bottom of the tone board. Note the excessive flux residue, much of this is from work done before I first saw this receiver in 2015, evident from the 4/14 date written on the board. Many joints have been reworked here, presumably in an attempt to resolve issues with the receiver. Whoever did this left lots of globs of solder as well as excess flux. I’m not sure what the point of writing the date here was. I’ve also never understood the obsession some repairers have with plastering stickers all over the equipment they work on.
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Just look at the flux residue I’m able to get off these boards. Amazing.
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Flux-be-gone, SO much better!
Sansui G-8000
You really do need space to work on equipment of this size, as even flipping it over is a task. Thankfully my mega workbench kinda suits the G-8000. The silver cable is the flex hose of my board cleaning station.
Sansui G-8000
Boards before reinstallation. This is what I like to see – cards, connectors, fuses, things that come apart without desoldering or contortion. There’s a lot to be said for this and the lack of this is why so much modern gear is throw-away when it fails.
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Everything is now back in place, receiver warming up nicely.
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Here we see my two Fluke 27 DMMs measuring quiescent current by way of the voltage drop across emitter resistors at the test points. The value should be 16mV, it will settle to that after warmup and further slight adjustment.
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Perfect, quiescent current adjustment complete.
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Naturally, I’ve cleaned the knobs, lubricated their shafts, all the little things others don’t do. Well, they don’t do them until they see Liquid Audio doing them. This started years ago when people would see my work and ask others to copy it. I’ve seriously thought about not publishing these details, but then the people I want to see it – you guys – won’t be able to.
Sansui G-8000
I also cleaned the fascia. That’s a B-I-G fascia…

Results

With the critical maintenance work complete, the Sansui G-8000 runs perfectly again and sounds amazing, as you’d expect of such a piece. All the controls operate smoothly, and both channels sound fantastic which is helpful! Bias current is very stable and DC symmetry is spot on and stable over time, all great signs of amplifier health.

I must point out and as you’ll see from the work above, I spent a good few hours on this job. That’s absolutely to be expected for a piece of this age though and with this little prior service history. This would have been a very affordable repair, had I billed it out, and I strongly encourage owners of equipment like this Sansui G-8000 to have minor repairs and maintenance like this done vs getting rid of a piece like this.

I’d love to have done this work for my customer and have him keep the G-8000, but I also understand that sometimes we lose the love we had for a piece of gear, and maybe that happened here. There are also other circumstances and life events that crop up and these may have played a part in his decision to get rid of the old girl.

Anyway, Daryl, if you’re reading this, I hope you are still happy and pleased with the results I achieved here! Thank you for passing her on to me rather than throwing her away. I really appreciate it and thoroughly enjoyed working on her, as I do all classic Sansui gear.

Sansui G-8000
Wow, what a difference, compare the before pic at the top of the article with this one.

Sonically, this receiver is big, just like she looks. The headphone amplifier sounds great and the phono preamplifier is quiet and hum-free. I especially like the tuner, Sansui always knew how to make excellent tuners and this one is no exception. The built-in ferrite rod antenna means AM reception is clear and strong and a standard FM ribbon dipole will see excellent FM reception, too.

Sansui G-8000
I don’t know about you, but I think this old girl is gorgeous, in a muscle-car kinda way.

In terms of replacement value and rarity, let’s just say that nothing like this will ever be made again. Surely, to build this receiver now, in the way this Sansui G-8000 is built, it would have to sell for $10,000 AUD. Maybe they could make it for less, but gear like this really was of its time and quite unique. Plus, it doesn’t have Bluetooth… 😉

This means that people like us are left to enjoy wonderful old pieces like this and marvel at their build, features and performance almost a miracle, from a bygone era of hi-fi.

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Very nice indeed.

For Sale

As I mentioned, I now briefly own this wonderful Sansui G-8000 and, whilst I’d love to keep her, I can’t. I have way too much gear like this and I need to move this unit on. She deserves a new home where she will be used rather than stored as she would be here.

How often do you think one of these comes up for sale, in this condition? Head over to the Liquid Audio Store and click on the ‘Receivers’ link, which will take you to the listing. Don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions.

UPDATE: Sold!

I knew it wouldn’t take long for such a wonderful piece, freshly serviced and in such great condition to find a new home. Here’s what the proud new owner of this Sansui G-8000 told me:

Hi Mike,

Just a quick note to share my utter joy with this thing, it’s barely been off all weekend. I hope the neighbours are also enjoying it.

Blair

Thank you, Blair and I hope she brings you and your neighbours much enjoyment for many years to come!

As always, thank you for visiting, and for taking the time to read and share your thoughts. If you’d like me to look at your Sansui G-8000, G-9000, G-33000, or any other great stereo receiver, you know I love them, so get in touch.

If you enjoyed what you read and would like more articles like this, please like, share and subscribe. You can also buy me a drink via the donate button in the footer.

More soon 😉


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6 thoughts on “Spectacular Sansui G-8000 Receiver Repair & Service”

  1. Gotta admire Mike’s love and care for this absolute beast. So pleased and relieved it’s been restored to its full glory and power, and not junked or damaged by someone less careful and knowledgeable. One reads about these magnificent monsters on the US sites without realising just how rare they are in Australia, let alone in this condition. I simply couldn’t fit this flashy monster into my place, but I hope it finds a loving new owner. Like an AMG 6.3 of its era. Bravo and well done Mike!

    1. Thank you Robert. I agree, these really are an unusual find and in such original condition. Very much like an AMG 6.3 as you note, a great analogy, let’s hope I can find her a nice new home!

  2. Hi Mike, it is always good to see a professional do his job, old gear like this deserves to be brought back to its original condition. Keep it up.
    The KD600 is still running with a low mass arm and a Sonus Blue, all old gear and it sounds great.

  3. Very awesome article on such a beautiful piece of hi-fi. Love pieces of stereo from times gone by. Have a couple of pieces myself, receivers, 8-track, phonographs, combo sets ect.. ✌️. Currently having issues on control knob on volume control, moved and still unpacking

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