By: John Franklin
9th Jul 2015
"An outstanding and overlooked receiver"
This receiver was produced at the peak of quality Japanese production before the upward revaluation of the Yen placed cost cutting above quality.
In a comparative review of of mid priced receivers (over 200 pounds) a the end of 1978 this receiver convincingly out performed all other big named produces in the market. When I locate the review I will update this with the details.
I am listening to the unit now as I write this. After 37 years of continuous fault free service it still produces the most amazing sound. The rest of my equipment is top of the line valve (single ended triodes) and yet this unit continues to amaze me. I have considered upgrading it on many occasions but have not yet found any other product that produces such great sound. I have owned many amps over the years but the only two transistor amps I would never part with are this and a Sansui AU 117 bought in 1978. The AIWA is more revealing while the Sansui trades a little detail for emotional warmth, very much like the valve systems they had previously made.
If you get a chance to buy either of these and they have been well kept, just jump in if you can get them for a reasonable sum. This was the peak of quality production before the age of integrated circuits. The decline in quality, except for the top of the market, was dramatic once the Yen - US dollar exchange rate forced Japanese manufactures to engage in radical cost cutting. Most were destroyed by it. If you want quality and clarity seriously consider either of these amps. The Sansui 217 and 317 were also excellent but in my experience the more powerful amps (417 and above) were not as emotionally gratifying.
I have just bought a new set of Klipsch bookshelf speakers to accompany this receiver and the combination if fabulously satisfying. All the best.
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