Ahhh…the beautiful look of the late 70’s Sansui receivers. The warm golden glow from the dial and meter lights and the smorgasbord of buttons, knobs, and switches below. It’s a stereo lovers delight. The best Sansui I ever had was the G-8000. Here we have the Sansui G-9000. There was also a G-9000DB with only a minor difference that I’ll get into in a moment. The G-9000 put out a massive 160 watts per channel and it was one of the more popular choices for military men overseas in the 70’s. It retailed for around $1000.00 but was discounted at some of the miltary exchanges. It is known for good clean power and you’ll be hard pressed to find any G-9000 owner that does not love the unit.
Sansui built the G-9000, and many of their other receivers of the time, like a tank. It’s pretty big as well measuring 22.04 x 7.91 x 19.49 and weighing in at just under 60 pounds. Some of the features are:
- FET-Differential Amplifier without capacitive interface
- Preamplifier Inputs with FET
- Triplex Tone Control (Bass/Middle/Treble)
- Subsonic Filter
- 4 large Meters
- Pre-adjustment for Limiting Frequency
- Tape-to-Tape in both directions (1-2 / 2-1)
- IF Bandwidth Selector (Wide/Narrow)
As I mentioned above there was also a G-9000DB model. The picture above of the controls for the G-9000 show a Dolby FM De-Emphasis switch. The photo below of the G-9000DB shows a Dolby FM Decoder switch. So, what is the actual difference between the G-9000 and the G-9000DB? The G-9000DB had the Dolby circuitry while the G-9000 only had FM de-emphasis circuitry which is somewhat akin to a poor man’s Dolby. Keep in mind that the Dolby on both the receivers was for FM only so they are not much use today as FM is not broadcast using Dolby anymore. So, by today’s standards these two machines are essentially the same.
Wow, look at the heatsinks on the back of this unit. There is no questioning the build quality of the G-9000 receivers. I you find one that has channel problems of crackling output keep in mind that these receivers pots tend to get dirty over time and need cleaning. If turning the volume knob or other knobs or switches causes the output to break up or cut out then it probably needs cleaned. It’s a pretty easy fix and you could end up with a fantastic receiver for a budget price.
I should also mention that there is a G-901 model that is basically the G-9000 model with a gray faceplate that was most likely a European model. The G-9000 is highly sought after by collectors and will fetch very high prices depending upon condition. The DB model tends to sell for a little bit more but as I mentioned the Dolby doesn’t make much difference these days. The G-901 is harder to find and will sell for a premium as well.