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Sansui SR-929 NOS Turntable Unboxing and Set-Up!

Hi , I think you’re going to like this one! One of my regular customers recently acquired a gorgeous new old stock (NOS) Sansui SR-929 direct-drive turntable from her original owner in the USA. Tim asked me to check it out, change the voltage and set her up for him and naturally I wanted to share some images of this beautiful old beast with you.

The Sansui SR-929 was top of the line in the Sansui catalog back in the day, at some point in the late 70’s or early 80’s. It featured a very heavy die-cast composite chassis overlaid with lacquered chipboard, a knife-edge bearing tonearm with height adjustment, standard Audio Technica moving magnet cartridge and space-age styling.

Because this came from the USA, but luckily was a multi-voltage unit, the first thing to do after removing the deck for its original box and packaging was to select the correct mains input voltage. I then cleaned and checked everything before carefully aligning the cartridge and setting up the tonearm.

The SR-929 is a very sexy deck whether powered on or off and the soft orange glow of the status indicators is a very nice touch. Additionally, the strobe speed indicator has been executed with precision on this deck. The slightly blurred edges you use get she looking at the strobe speed marking engraved on the platter are crystal clear and sharp on this deck. This has been achieved by driving the strobe with a very precisely controlled waveform, derived from the Quartz lock circuit, rather than the slightly jittery 50Hz mains waveform.

A few words from Sansui:

“Sansui is proud to contribute to the advancement of state of the art turntable technology with the introduction of the remarkable SR-929.

It’s newly developed quartz direct drive servo system represents a significant Sansui engineering breakthrough in keeping with our policy as a high fidelity only manufacturer to bring you the finest in musical reproduction.

At last, within reach of ordinary music fans and audio buffs, there is now a turntable so accurate and so precise that it exceeds even the strictest professional standards of performance. Not only is it’s speed very close to absolutely perfect, it’s generated noise in relation to the audio signal is, in practice, immeasurable.

Platter rotation constancy is amazing, with a deviation of less than 0.002% – that’s less than 2 revolutions out of 100,000! Speed is unaffected by load changes, temperature changes, power voltage/frequency fluctuations and ageing.

Sansui combines the latest quartz crystal accuracy with advance electronic servo circuits in the SR-929.”


Type: two-speed, quartz-servo, direct-drive, manual turntable

Motor: 20-pole, 30-slot DC brushless type with built-in frequency generator

Drive system: direct spindle drive, quartz servo controlled

Platter: 302mm, 1.4kg, aluminium die-cast

Wow and flutter: less than 0.028% WRMS

Signal to noise ratio: better than 66dB

Speeds: 33 and 45rpm

Fine speed adjustment: +-3.5%

Tonearm: statically balanced, s-shaped tonearm

Effective length: 240mm

Overhang: 15.6mm

Cartridge weight range: 2 to 11g (11 to 21g with sub-weight)

Dimensions: 490 x 173 x 381mm

Weight: 17.1kg
All in all, a lovely deck from Sansui, hard to find at all, let alone in NOS condition – nice work Tim!

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Liquid Mike

As a kid, I cherished my Tandy 200-in-1 electronics project lab, Dick Smith electronics kits, my Dad's hi-fi and my own first proper system. Later, I created Liquid Audio to help keep classic hi-fi gear alive and well. Our mission: to deliver TLC for classic Japanese, American and European hi-fi stereo equipment.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Chris Holloway

    Well done Mike – Congrats!! Chris & John x

  2. Adolphus Pinsent Jr.

    Thanks for the information Mike.I bought my SR 929 in the summer of 1978 and still enjoy playing my 45’S and 33’S on it.Everything still works on it the way it should.I love it.

  3. Jim Fitting

    I just bought a SR929 on eBay. I’m hoping it works but it’s missing the tone arm weights and the original mat. I haven’t gotten it yet but I’m thinking I should have waited until a better one came along. This one looks like it was dropped. I’m going to have to learn how to do some body work on it and match the piano black finish, as well as find a source for the parts that are missing. If anyone reading this knows where I can find the weights I would appreciate a heads up.

    1. Liquid Mike

      Hi Jim, thanks for your comment and question. Weights are no longer available but various types will fit. This is somewhat of a matter of trial and error but if you can get access to a few parts to try, that will be a good starting point.

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