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Sansui 9090DB

Stereo AM/FM Receiver (1976-79)

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Sansui 9090DB


The Sansui 9090DB offers advanced technology in a stereo AM/FM receiver.

It features a 125wpc power amplifier section, direct readout power meters, an AM/FM analogue tuner, Dolby noise reduction circuit, Bass, Midrange and Treble controls (defeatable), two tape loops and a Moving Magnet Phono stage.


Tuning range: FM, MW

Power output: 125 watts per channel into 8Ω (stereo)

Frequency response: 10Hz to 30kHz

Total harmonic distortion: 0.1%

Damping factor: 30

Input sensitivity: 4mV (mic), 2.5mV (MM), 150mV (DIN), 150mV (line)

Signal to noise ratio: 70dB (MM), 80dB (DIN), 80dB (line)

Channel separation: 50dB (MM), 50dB (line)

Output: 150mV (line), 30mV (DIN), 0.775V (Pre out)

Dimensions: 540 x 182 x 397mm

Weight: 23.6kg

Year: 1976


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Reviewed Oct 13th, 2017 by stanhilton58

This beast reproduces sound as near perfect as it gets. A perfect match for low impedance hi fidelity speaker systems like Maggies and ESS AMT's.

Reviewed Jan 14th, 2017 by j.midnight

Best receiver ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reviewed Sep 27th, 2016 by coolsc21

Impressive and beautiful, heavy and solid. These are the words of this reciever. Inside, a technician's dream. Well done.

Reviewed Sep 01st, 2016 by brbafk

Be careful with this thing, it is a boss. My uncle inherited one of these from a brother in law. Was rarely played and also kept clean by my aunt. The sound quality is fantastic and this thing is so powerful it'll wake up your dead grandmother.

Reviewed Nov 23rd, 2015 by cdwobb

Always wanted to buy the 9090DB but out of my league cost-wise. I just bought the QR6500 receiver from an estate sale and want to thank you so much for this site as I also bought an Akai X355 reel to reel and found both operations manuals on your site
Just love the stuff from the good ol days
Thanks again, Cabowabo

Reviewed Apr 01st, 2015 by pamikevintage

This machine has been giving me audio pleasure for more than 24 years so far..... and all I can say is : THANKS Sansui for such a piece of jewelry. Love it!
Superb sound... superb power...superb quality .

Reviewed Dec 11th, 2014 by Araca54

Congratulations and thanks for your fantastic site. Just bought a 9090DB and.....works and sounds just great!

Reviewed Nov 24th, 2014 by steward65

I bought mine about 9 years ago to use out in my shop. It worked great for awhile and then when into fault mode and never returned.
What a fine example of a high quality product that went over and above to make sure the customer was wowed. I was wowed when I got it, beat up veneer and all. It has sat in my office for 7 years, and I just now took it to someone to hopefully get it fixed. Like others on here I just couldn't throw it away. It is a symbol of a bygone era and, when working, sounds amazing. If /when they get it fixed, it will never see my shop again. It will be in my office from now on with my 8 track, cassette, turntable hooked to it. Thank you for this site. I really appreciate it.

Reviewed May 14th, 2014 by jjneary

Recently swapped my audio dead Panasonic 9XX, do everything receiver for a Sansui 9090 plus some cash. Found it in old shop here in New Mexico. Seems in perfect condition and sounds really good. Already owned a Sansui 2000A from 70's Audio/Photo Club in Germany. Was looking for documentation on the 9090. Have docs on 2000A, if anyone needs a copy. First time on site and from reviews and replies, it's a great find. The previous owner has RCS type cables in place of the Pre-Amp jumpers - guess that's ok, right? Downloaded the user's and service manuals, thanks very much. Will learn all the toggles and knobs functionality. Thanks. jn

Reviewed May 13th, 2014 by john duffy

WHAT A WONDERFUL AUDIO WORLD OUT THERE - thanks to all you hifiengine.com Ame-goes. Pardon me if I write to much this first time, excited as I am about having found you.
I come limping in from the audio cold. My 20-year-ago, Albuquerque flea-market-treasure, a Sansui 9090db Receiver, is almost hypothermic. My dusty N.M. years took the first tole. The pots all got The Grit. The volume control got it the worst, so bad in fact that Big Su gradually became all but mute, 5 years ago. At that time, I talked to an audio store owner, one of a very few here in remote, northern N.Y. He said parts couldn't be found for a 9090db any more - couldn't be fixed. That sounded like Dead Mans Curve for Big Su...so...sadly, the once proud Leader Of The Pack was wrapped in black plastic and entombed in a dark concrete cellar. Would she ever see the light of day again?
Strangely, a glimmer of hope came after being sold some new audio components. I assumed my new amp had a preamp...wrong. But I refused to buy the now-necessary preamp for my seldom used but much loved turntable, that, after having purchase a now-necessary equalizer. I have high end hearing loss. And the new Cambridge Audio 540 amp just didn't do it with bass and treble only. What was I thinking, I had lots more EQ (and power to push it) on my old Sansui and I loved that. But now, I admit, I am sold on my new-to-me, used, Hefler 10 band per channel, stereo equalizer.
Still, flexibility was lacking with my new system. Unable to plow my rare platters, I became desperate - desperate enough to entertain the hair-brained idea of exhuming that 9090db behemoth from the willies world down below and running my (slow to start but eventually steady) Pioneer PL51 direct drive turntable thru it. After all, a guy's got to do what a guy's got to do - right? Funny, the sweet satisfaction when that worked.
Some time later, I tried giving Big Su a bit more to do. It just seemed ridiculous to have a 60 lb. phono preamp. That's when I noticed The-Flashing-Red-Light.
One weak channel on a power meter was OK - nauseating - but OK. I'd tell myself not to look at it. (Don't look at it...don't...) No owners manual to figure out how to benefit from the lauded db (Dolby) feature was an unsolved mystery I could live with, I had lived with it for 15 years and figured I'd probably die with it. The increasing crackle of the attenuators, leading to near total dropout of sound, that's what put Su away in the first place. And now this, this unstoppable blinking light - was it telling me...what...that my uncontrollable amp is now dead!?
So what. On the BLINKING bright side, I have the only working 60 lb phono preamp in the world and it comes with a BLINKING RED LIGHT. I've been grateful ever since.
For years though, I feared my big beautiful Sansui was one blink away from total Flat-Line, that is until now, now that I've read all your 9090db posts, all you hifiengine Ame-goes. I now see, you've been thru it. You understand. You haven't given up. Your telling me, Big Su could be, again, the great gal she once was.
I'm not a technician and my budget...it'll be a STRETTTCH...again. But a guy OUGHT to do what a guy OUGHT to do! Write. $WHERE TO BEGIN$.
I'm all warmed up now, thank to you...John

Reviewed May 27th, 2013 by Clontarf

One of the finest sounding receivers ever built. Power to spare. Great FM section, and one of the best units for vinyl. I sold a Mac unit to get this, and have never regretted it.



re: 9090DB Flashing Red Power Light

Hi All,

New to this site and its been very helpful. I was given a Sansui 9090DB to look at for repair. I have done small repairs on LCD TV's like capacitor replacements and some smaller work on laptop motherboards so I guess that's why this person thought I could look at his Sansui receiver.

The flashing red power light was the first thing I noticed and looked it up on here for possible causes.
Seems resistors are the main cause from what I have read here. I took the advice of tbrander from a post he gave in 2013 to check the resistors on the board labeled F-2624 that stands upright towards the back of the receiver and pulls out of another board. When I pulled it out and plugged the unit back in and powered on, the red flashing light went away and became green. I am assuming this means this small board is causing the issue?

I'm new to the resistor thing and have been looking at the ones tbrander suggested to replace. Just having a hard time matching up those color bands for the resistors specifications cause a few of them look worn and the colors may be off. Any help on determining these specs would be appreciated.

tbrander gave the #'s and the specs on the ones he recommended to replace but I'm not sure if all those specs are just ohm or are some ohm-K or ohm-M. Thus the need to determine these resistor values.


GSpake's picture

re: Sansui 9090DB - Left Channel weak and distorted

Hi Guys,

What a great site Hi-Fi Engine is!
I am a retired Computer Tech but don't have much Analog Receiver experience.
I work on mostly Turntables and Tape decks for fun...

A friend "and GE Equipment fan-atic" sent me a friend to see if I could repair his
1970s Sansui db9090 with no lights and a weak and distorted left channel.
I found the schematic and service manual on your site - Great Copy by the way!

If I plug in a set of headphones, with no speakers selected, the Tuner sounds
great and the unit has a balanced output from both channels.
Seems like the "Front end" is fine.

If I select speakers A, for example, with a pair of 8 ohm Waldorfs attached,
the Left channel crashes (low level and distorted sound) in both the Speakers
and Headphones. All the caps and resistors look OK, so I thought I would check out the
T-03 output transistors. The db 9090 unit has a pretty "hefty" output stage with paralleled
class A type circuits with NPN/PNP matched characteristic transistors.
Michael, the owner, says he has had this unit since new and it has never been into a shop.
"Just got flakey a couple of yer ago, so he shelved it...until now.

I was a bit shocked to find that all 8 Transistors are of the same part number
SANKEN 2SC1116A - NPNs, which according to the Schematic don't even belong in the
9090 units ...They are called in the parts list for the 8080db and 890db receivers.
Also, there are no PNPs installed at all.

The 9090 is supposed to have 2SD424 - NPNs (as TR701, 702, 705 & 706) and matching 2SB554 - PNPs (as TR703, 704, 707 & 708). I am trying to figure how this unit ever
functioned properly??? Has anyone seen this kind of mix-up from Sansui?
...or am I just all wet....

I am lost, here...

re: Sansui 9090DB - Left Channel weak and distorted

i just repaired a sansui 9090 both channels contained the 2sc1116a's they are correct. the unit worked fine after the repair. check for resistors on the driver board that may have drifted out of tolerance this seems to be the most common problem in the older sansui units.

re: Sansui 9090DB - Left Channel weak and distorted


The Sansui 9090 (without the DB) has 8 2SC1116A power transistors. The model you are working on is probably the 9090, not the 9090DB.

re: Sansui 9090DB - Left Channel weak and distorted


I suggest you post this at AudioKarma under the Sansui Forum. You will get plenty of knowledgable help there. HifiEngine is a fabulous resource but the forum over there might get your question a little more attention. I don't have enough experience with the 9090s to say for certain, but I suspect you are correct in your assumptions. You can get the proper replacement transistors from mouser.

the dealmaster's picture

re: 9090DB

I still have my 9090db from when I bought it in Viet Nam in 1970. It needs some minor repair and I am thankful to this website for the manuals when I take it in for complete rehab soon. I used to have all original box, etc but lost in a multitude of moves since 1972.
The thing about these old receivers is the tape monitor button. My 4 yr old Yamaha home theatre receiver does not have one which makes my Bose 901's useless. Did not know this to be the case at purchase and I am very unhappy about that. I am wondering if perhaps I might be able to use my 9090 as a slave amp connecting to my Yamahahahaa in order to use the 901s. Any ideas?

Gosh, I'm glad I found this site. Just stumbled on it and don't even know why I was searching 9090db.

Can't wait to get it up and running again. This is an awesome receiver. Beautiful engineering. (wife always wanted me to get rid of it, it means nothing to her but a lot to me, not to mention it is awesome)

This, Technics SL-5200 TT, Pioneer Se-305 headphones and a Teac A-6010 tape deck are all that remain of what I bought while in the Army back then. Small Teac cassette recorder, Sansui SP-5000 speakers were stolen, Akai CS-707 cassette donated, Teac Dolby AN-180 donated. Wish I still had the speakers.

re: 9090DB

I inherited this receiver from my Uncle when he passed away. This is the best receiver I have EVER heard. My ex-husband and I had it hooked up to some Klipsch Cornwall speakers and it was amazing.

My Aunt called and said she "found" some speakers in the garage. They are custom built DK speakers from a shop in Minneapolis in the 70's. Apparently my uncle had the speakers built for the receiver. I cannot wait to hook these speakers up.

It quit working, it lights up but no sound. It is at the repair shop now, hopefully in very capable hands. I told them, do whatever it takes to get it working again. I have my fingers and toes crossed and cannot wait to fill my house with the sound of this receiver again. Very excited to have found this website and the Sansui 9090DB cult! :) THANK YOU!

irondoug1's picture

re: 9090DB

Hello Amisaac,
I own a 9090db bought for $20.00 in a yardsale a couple of years ago. One day it stopped making sound but all the lights worked...wonder if it's the same problem as yours. If you could let me know what the problem was with yours maybe I can get a head start on fixing mine.
Thanks much,

Sansui 9090DB

I'm delighted to have found this site and have hope for resurrecting my 9090db. I had been told it was not repairable but I simply have not had the heart to trash it; there's something sacrilegious about the thought of trashing this unit! I've now downloaded the manuals (thanks very much!).

I submit the following question: This unit was working well and then, it began a flashing red power light. Any thoughts as to what I'm up against?



re: Sansui 9090DB

In case you haven't resolved this issue, I may be able to help. These type of units are always repairable, its just that some people aren't familiar with them.
Sansui 9090DB's were notorious for having small "Fusable type" resistors go bad on the small driver board which sits in front of the heat sink, and is held in by a 2 screws for a black cover, with a white molex connector on top. Heat over time causes these resistors to open, or increase in value, causing the problem you are experiencing.
Replace the following:
R33, R34 - 180 ohm with new metal oxide 1/4w or 1/2w resistors
R35, R36 - 4.7 ohm with new metal oxide 1/4w or 1/2w resistors
R39, R40 - 10 ohm with new metal oxide 1./2w resistors
R41, R42, R43, R44 - 150 ohm with new metal oxide 1./2w resistors
R47, R48, R49, R50 - 4.7 ohm with new metal oxide 1/2w resistors

While there are other problems such as blown outputs, and fried driver boards, and bad protect circuits that can cause this flashing red light problem, my experience with 8080DB's and 9090db's are always with these resistors. These resistors don't usually look burnt or bad, but they usually are. If you notice any visible burnt areas on the driver board, this can be a sign of deeper problems.

My email is tbrander@aol.com. Feel free to send me a mail if you need assitance, and I will give you a number to call, where I can walk you through the procedure, or maybe help you find a solution.

Whatever you do, don't discard the unit.

Tom Brander

re: Sansui 9090DB

Hello, thank Hifi Engine group.
I have a Sansui 9090DB.
There are -60 volts on the left channel. What can I do? Please help me?
Thank you.

re: Sansui 9090DB

Are you technical? Have you worked on items like this before??

re: Sansui 9090DB

yes I'm trying as an amateur. hobby

re: Sansui 9090DB

You can try following the suggestions I had given above about replacing resistors. You should also use a multimeter to check that all output transistirs are OK, as well as the transistors on the driver board that you need to change resistors on.
If you have never soldered, or desoldered components from circuit boards, I suggest you get help.

re: Sansui 9090DB

You can try following the suggestions I had given above about replacing resistors. You should also use a multimeter to check that all output transistirs are OK, as well as the transistors on the driver board that you need to change resistors on.
If you have never soldered, or desoldered components from circuit boards, I suggest you get help.

re: Sansui 9090DB

Ok. I'll listen to advice. Thank you for now.

re: Sansui 9090DB

There may be no better unit on the planet! Talk to Chris Ready at readyaudio he is amazing and can make your 9090db much better than the day it left the factory. Not cheap but worth it!! It will be the last unit you will ever need. Listening to my 9090db with Elac 50H and AR5s right now - Sweet!. Good luck. Steve

Sansui 9090DB Right Channel Aux

I found my Sansui receiver in an abandoned/evicted house down the road several months ago in dusty condition, and had it put up until I had room for it a couple of weeks ago. I'm currently using JVC Giga-Tube speakers with it. The speakers have 7" subwoofers in the bottom, 4" woofers in the top, and just under 2" tweeters in the middle (see attached image). I don't have the console that goes with them because the speakers were given to me from a neighbor by themselves. Until I found my Sansui, no console I had could power them correctly. The Sansui works amazingly with them, and they sound GREAT. The only flaw on it is that when I use the AUX input, the right channel cuts out. When that happens, I usually plug the right channel into one of the PHONO inputs and have to blast sound out of the right channel to get it to work on AUX. A few minutes ago, I downloaded the manual and found out how to use the PLAY input for tape players as an aux input instead, but I'd still like to know how I can fix the AUX problem correctly if anyone knows what I can do.

Sansui 9090

Awesome speakers! The amp may just be suffering the effects of creeping grunge. A simple cleaning can be very helpful.

You need a flashlight, a couple of screwdrivers (phillips and flathead), a car fuse puller (it's a little clip that is invaluable and much better than prying a bit of glass out of some clipe toward your face), a microfiber towel and an extra piece for wiping up excess cleaner, some cotton swabs and a nice secure cup to collect all the screws. I like Radio Shack Anti-Corrosive Lubricant Spray, part no. 640-0057 for about 12 dollars a can. It's got DeoxIT which is great - cleans, lubes and doesn't leave excess residue. I also recommend a can of compressed air, like the ones used for PC keyboard cleaners.

Do not use WD-40. It will corrode and/or attract dust and gunk.

First - unplug the amp. Completely. You don't want to fry the amp or yourself. Then pop the top and put the screws somewhere safe.

Use short puffs of air to blow out the dead mice and spiders, and shoot some under the boards and behind the radio face. Dust is bad. It gets hot and causes transistors to crap out.

Use the electronics cleaner on the switches and dials inside the unit. They generally have a small hole or indent where a spritz will work. Use sparingly and clean up any runoff with a cotton swab (Q-Tip). Work each control gently to clean off any extra corrosion. You can also clean the input and output connectors on the back to make the signal path cleaner. Remember that anything between the source and the speaker will make noise - crunch, hum, or my favorite, BANG! (OK, kidding about bang).

While you have the hood open, check for blown fuses and burnt or swollen resistors (the little can-shaped items on the PC board). If any of these are cooked, you can either match them up with new ones and replace them yourself or find a local HiFi geek. Fuses are simple - be sure to match them correctly. Resistors require desoldering the dead one and soldering the new one in. If you're comfortable doing it, go on.

Good luck, take your time and after you get it all put back together and ready to go...remember to turn it up!

Sansui 9090 schematics

Another restored! Thanks for schematic

Sansui 9090db

What a wonderful feeling coming across this site. I had this wonderful receiver bought in 1979 when I was a student in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Back in Malaysia I have it hooked to a Thorens turntable and a pair of KEF speakers. The three were just a great combination and the Sansui 9090db functioned flawlessly until a year ago when the volume suddenly ceased. I have been trying to figure out the problem, since having no service manual I am afraid I might ruin the receiver. Now with the service manual from hifiengine I hope I can have the problem fixed. Thank you very much.

power protector indicator

My 9090db receiver was working properly, until when I tried to connect a cd player to the reciever using a regular rca connection, the power protector indicator turns into red ( continously blinking). Can anybody explain to me what may be the cause of this. All the lights are still on but the power meters are not moving. Thank you for your time.

Can't believe I found this site.

My teenager pulled out my old Sansui 9090DB, and 2 Sansui SP-X8000 speakers that I purchased at the Marine Corps Audio Hobby Shop in 1978 when I was stationed in Okinawa. It has been boxed since 1989.

The left channel is not working (seems to be a common problem) and I just downloaded all of the manuals. I hope I can get this left channel to work, because I remember the nice sound that this 125 wpc put out, I use to drive my mom and dad crazy.

Well I am going to work on this with my son as a project to see if we can get it to work.
After that, I know he wants to pull out the Technique turntable, Teac cassette deck and Teac reel to reel.

Again, thanks for this site,
Paul C of Dearborn, MI

how do i bridge a g5000 with

how do i bridge a g5000 with a qrx5500

one weak channel

My 9090 DB have a weak channel
can anyone help me telling which board i have to check to trouble shoot it
if possible if anyone had same problem just tell me what you did to troubleshoot that problem

Weak channel on 9090

start at the preamp output for the tape deck if the channels are equal at that point, everything before it is fine, then if you have a signal tracer or an oscilloscope you can trace the signal down it's path comparing each channel as you go. When you find that one channel varies from the other, your in the right spot. I'm not sure how old this unit is but usually the problem is a failing capacitor or transistor, or if a newer unit it could be an IC. Thats the way I'd attack it. Tom

channel is out my 9090db

won't play in stereo. please advise. what part to search for? thanks,todd

Great site! Thank you.

Great site!
Thank you.


I'm from Chile. South America.
You have no idea how difficult it's here to get a good technician capable
to fix/maintain this vintage machines just as they deserve. By gettin' the schematic and service/user manuals from your great site has been really amazing.

Could you upload the proper user and service/sch. manuals for the SE-7?
thanks a lot in advance!!!

Greetings from Chile to all of you people!!


I also have a SE-7 but no manual ... Where you able to get it? Is there any way I could have a copy?

Thanks in advance

Great Site !!

Thank you for this great site. Have been looking for the schematics a long time.

I will contribute to the site in whatever manuals I may come across and be sure to share with my fellow audiophile friends.

Thank you again

Thank you!

I am a proud owner of the european 990db. Thank you so much for this excellent job!


I just purchased a Mint condition Sansui 9090. It did not come with a manual and I would like to thank the person that took the time to help other Sansui collectors like me.
All the best,

9090 DB Schematic:

I would like to thank whoever uploaded this 9090 DB schematic to the
HI-Engine Website. I could not believe what some people are asking
for a less than perfect copy of a schematic or service manual.
It's is really disappointing that something which was all but worthless
a few years ago and given new life and interest by the love and respect of high quality, professional Sansui products is now being offered in such a disgusting blatantly oppertunistic fashion.
They ALL should learn a lesson from HI-FI Engine and start sharing these documents amongst the vintage audio community members who are currently in the process of insuring the longevity of these masterpieces of audio engineering for the generations to come.
Thanks to all of you at Hi-FI Engine, your community members and the greater community of vintage audio lovers et.al. for your contributions, comradery and vision of an InterNet for the open exchange of ideas, experiences and information of ALL kinds.


Ann Arbor, MI

Sansui 90 90 db schematics and manuals

I thank you so much. I always have had faith in mankind and you add to my feelings, thanks again, Paul M.

PS If you have time can you email info on how many ohms I can hook up to the sansui (lowest and highest) thanks again,
Paulie ;0}

re: Sansui 90 90 db schematics and manuals

bought my 9090DB in 1978 in the navy,still works,dust in switches causing static,one light out.retailed @ $750 then i got @ military discount @ $350,best thing i ever did.

This website is not affiliated with or sponsored by Sansui. To purchase 9090DB spares or accessories, please contact the company via their website or visit an authorised retailer.