A customer of mine recently acquired a new-old-stock (NOS) Sansui SR-929 direct-drive turntable, in the original box! Tim asked me to take this lovely deck out of the box for the first time and recommission her. Given that she had not been running for over 30 years, this was a really great for both of us!
The Sansui SR-929 was the best turntable Sansui ever made. The SR-929 is a very well-made direct-drive deck with a lovely gloss piano-black chassis and sexy orange indicators. The SR-929 comes with a good built-in tonearm that is not removable and has RCA output jacks on the back, allowing you to use your own cables. The decks even has a good quality Audio Technica cartridge, pre-installed. As always, Axel has more great information and details here, at The Vintage Knob.
Decks like this Sansui in NOS condition are virtually unobtainable now, so for my customer to find this SR-929 and for the owner to be willing to ship her to Australia was quite an achievement. This particular deck came from its original American owner, so it was still configured for 120v. The first thing I did was to change the mains voltage input selector to 240v. I then put her on my variac and slowly brought her up to voltage, over about 2 hours.
A variac is a variable mains transformer, allowing an input voltage of in this case 240v and an output voltage of anything from 0 – 300v. It is very important to use a variac to run an old piece of gear like this that has not been connected to mains for a very long time. This allows for the reformation of old electrolytic capacitors in a gradual process of voltage increase over time. This method effectively brings them back to life in most cases.
I’ve documented the unboxing process and tried to get some good detail shots, because these decks are rare, especially in almost perfect condition as this one is in. There are a couple of imperfections: the tonearm rest has broken at some point, apparently prior to shipping. This does raise the questions of whether or not this truly is NOS, or just OS in very good condition. In my view, the lack of surface imperfections and completely original packaging leads me to think that is it NOS, or very close to it.
Either way, my customer Tiom has donme a great job in finding this gorgeous old deck 🙂