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Sansui RA-500

Reverberation Amplifier (1977-86)

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Sansui RA-500


Rated output voltage: 300mV

Maximum input voltage: 3V

Harmonic distortion: less than 0.2%

Frequency response: 20 to 30,000Hz

Signal to noise ratio: 65dB

Reverberation time: 1.9 to 3.2 sec

Semiconductors: 11 x transistors, 3 x diodes

Dimensions: 320 x 162 x 265mm

Weight: 5.2kg



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Reviewed Oct 17th, 2018 by AMCHornet

It's a good unit. Robust and standard Sansui quality, meaning good.

It's a spring reverb and should be used judiciously. Crank the echo time up too high and it sounds exactly like it is: a spring. The music goes Sssppprrrrooinnngggggg! and that's not exactly hi-fi. However, if you keep the echo time turned down to a subtle level it actually mimics the echo of a concert hall or stadium pretty well. It works better on some kinds of music than others, but that's why you can adjust the echo time or turn it off entirely.

It hooks into the record out and tape monitor terminals of the receiver, so by switching to tape monitor you can listen to the reverb effect on any input source. The reverb unit itself also has two inputs and outputs on the back, so you can add one more audio source than you otherwise could. It allows recording to, from, or dubbing between those sources including adding reverb to the recording.

It works great on a 4-channel amplifier because you can put the reverb echo on the rear channels only so the echo comes from behind you like in a real concert hall. Some 4-channel matrix quad demodulators (SQ, RM, etc.) will pick up on the phase shifts on the echo and create neat effects with it too.

I think it's worth buying one and trying it. They're not very expensive to buy and are a neat accessory to have. The rainbow display is worth it on it's own.

Reviewed Sep 12th, 2017 by sonysonic

Well-built unit, nice wooden case.
Adds a warm touch to the sound even when reverb is turned off.
Adds an input when connecting to the tapedeck connections of an amplifier.
Reverb effect sometimes adds a little more depth to the sound, depends on the music and your preference. Even without the reverb effect switched on, it adds a nice visual to your setup.

Reviewed Apr 20th, 2015 by mensajero773

El amplificador de reverberacià³n RA500 tiene una estructura metà¡lica muy buena y de gran resistencia al tiempo embutida en una caja de madera multicapa. Posee entrada y salida de là­nea y la conexià³n para dos decks a cassette. Los circuitos de amplificacià³n son de estado sà³lido y la fuente posee un buen filtrado, lo que garantiza un bajo nivel de ruido. El sistema de reverberacià³n que no llega a ser eco està¡ basado en el antiguo sistema de resortes, uno para cada canal unidos a tranductores. El sonido al viajar por los resortes sufre un ligero retrazo y los circuitos mezclan la seà±al directa con la de la caja de reverberacià³n. Ha sido muy àºtil para introducir un efecto de espacialidad y amplitud en los ambientes que estan cubiertos con mucho objetos fonoabsorbentes como alfombras, sillones y cortinados. También se ha usado para agregar un efecto novedoso, especialmente al variar rà¡pidamente el mando, en las grabaciones sobre cinta magnética. Muy vistoso el sistema mecà¡nico que iluminado mueve una imagen delante de otra para indicar cuanta reverberacià³n se està¡ usando. A pesar de tener 37 aà±os muchas de estas unidades siguen funcionales al dà­a de hoy.



keeping it alive

i too was in veitnam and korea in the early 70s this stuff will still blow away the audio of today..the spec on this stuff was way ahead of its time and still is..long live the good stuff..thank you for letting us keep it alive,,,,,chuck b dr.dodge aka silver bullitt

caxambu's picture

Service Manual for Sansui RA-500 Reverb Amplifier

What I am looking for is the proper fuse to use. The unit that I have is missing this. On the back it states 100/117V - 0.5A; would this be the correct fuse to be used?
Thank you for your help.

Fuse rating

Yes, the fuse is rated @ 0.5 amp @ 100-117 vac.

sansui ra 500


Sansui RA 500 Reverb:

I spent some time in SouthEast Asia in the US Marine Corps and I had a pick of spending time away from war in a nearby country of Sasebo & Yokusko,Japan. Had a bunch of US dollars to spend tax free on whatever my heart desired and I chose to make some of my purchases in Hi-Fi equipment. At the time in 1960's thru 70's Sansui sold very well made Audio products. I bought a whole system -Amp/Rec;Tape decks,Reverbs,Speakers & Belt Drive Turntables just as 10's of 1000's soldiers & sailors did TAX FREE.I still have these old vintage audio components and lost some of the manuals through the years.It's been 40 yrs since and I just about gave up finding mauals that date back this far.I want to thank you for this it made my day! I will always keep your site handy because I now have other older manuals that are in bad shape. Most of my war buddies still have their very 1st stereo systems,it's like a war chest,you keep, store it because of memories.

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