You’ll hear people refer to a vintage receiver sometimes and say “You don’t see those around very often”. Usually it’s hyperbole. With the monster Sansui G-33000 it’s not hyperbole. You REALLY don’t see these very often. It would be hard to argue that this isn’t the holy grail for Sansui collectors much less vintage receiver collectors in general. I recently wrote a post on the holy grail for Marantz collectors which is the Marantz 2600. One of those rare beasts recently sold for just over $6000. Well, the Sansui G-33000 has that one beat as one just sold for $7700 (12-17-2013).
The G-33000 has the wattage to back up its size as well. It puts out a massive 300 watts which is second only to the Technics SA-1000 at 330 watts and equal to the Marantz 2600.
Now, some purists are going to argue that the G-33000, and G-22000 as well, is not truly an integrated receiver since it can be split into two separate components. But, when connected it is essentially one huge receiver which probably isn’t going to fit on many racks, or shelves for that matter. So, Sansui built it in two parts – the pre-amp/tuner and the amplifier section.
Production numbers aren’t known exactly but it could be around about a thousand units produced. It retailed for $1900 in 1979 which was a big sum of money back then. The tuner features triple tone controls and IF band selection of wide or narrow for both the FM and AM bands.
As you can see there are metric bolts and brackets that hold the units together.
This is the amplifier section detached from the tuner. You can see the brackets at each end of the unit.
You can also see the massive toroidal transformers and filter caps through the screen. It’s actually a mono block design. Sansui was known for their straight DC circuit design which, according to the sales literature, ensured sound purity all the way from input to output.
Given the huge power output there is quite a bit of heat generated in the unit so Sansui installed an automatic temperature controlled cooling fan into the amplifier section. Nice!
The power amp section can’t actually be used as a stand alone power amp without modification. It has binding post connections for two sets of speakers and dual phono inputs as well.
It even has a third tape loop just in case you need an extra!
Over the last few years only a handful of these monster receivers have come onto the market. I’ve heard of a sale around $3000 for one in decent working condition a few years back. Classic Audio had a beautiful unit listed at $10,000 which is shown as sold though I don’t know what the actual selling price was. The most recent was, as I mentioned above, for $7700 in very nice working condition. That is probably pretty close to the market value right now. It does seem as though prices are climbing over time and the Sansui G-33000 is getting to the point where the average collector will not be able to afford one.