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Technics SU-8055

Stereo Integrated DC Amplifier (1979-80)

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Technics SU-8055

Specifications

Power output: 47 watts per channel into 8Ω (stereo)

Frequency response: 20Hz to 20kHz

Total harmonic distortion: 0.02%

Damping factor: 36

Input sensitivity: 0.17mV (MC), 2.5mV (MM), 150mV (line)

Signal to noise ratio: 60dB (MC), 73dB (MM), 86dB (line)

Channel separation: 60dB (line)

Output: 150mV (line)

Speaker load impedance: 4Ω to 16Ω

Dimensions: 430 x 142 x 255mm

Weight: 7.7kg

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Reviewed Aug 11th, 2017 by The Central Scrutiniser

I bought my SU-8055 in 1980 whilst working part-time in a specialist hi-fi store in my student years. I'd plenty of time auditioning it almost daily in store. On buying it I was not disappointed; the build quality of Technics of the era being legendary.

Before the launch of CD I used it predominantly with vinyl, analogue tuner and two high end cassette decks. The sound on all sources was supreme. From a modest Shure M75 ED and EJ it extracted tremendous definition of stereo staging and three dimensional depth, either through loudspeakers or via the excellent headphone stage through Koss Pro 4 AAA and Beyer DT-100. The third guitar on Dire Straits Sultans of Swing was easily defined. The amplifier had excellent twist-capture speaker posts which accommodated even the thickest of speaker cables of the era and I used it with QED 78 strand. The amplifier, even from cold start-up always gave a warm sound, not far removed from valve amps, and yet had tremendous clarity in both the bass and treble register.

If I were to fault the amplifier, I would say it could be very clinical at times and so would reveal the deficiencies of source equipment and material. However, that is what I would hope for in a well-designed DC amp. This was most noticeable with the dawn of the CD era. CD had to be accommodated via the Aux input, but it had sufficient headroom. I recall in the early days of CD how disappointed I was as this amp revealed not only the tremendous bandwidth of CD, but also the engineer's deficiencies in recording and the producer's ill-conceived editing. Like for like recordings were more listenable on vinyl than CD because of this - but it was the fault of the media, not the amp.

I went down the upgrade route many times, but thankfully kept the SU-8055. I had a Quad 33/303 which the Technics outperformed and similarly an Arcam Alpha, an Arcam Delta 90 and a NAD 3020i all great sounding amps in their own right, However, the fact that I kept hold of the Technics speaks volumes of itself. I found none of the other amps matched the warmth and detail of the Technics or its versatility.

Despite repeatedly being out of use for long periods of time, the SU-8055 still performs well. All that I have ever had to do with it is apply a little Servisol to the potentiometers every now and then as they sometimes get a little scratchy.

More recently i have been using it with more modern CD recordings which now sound really good when played via the Technics SU-8055 and the brashness of the CD media of the 80s and 90s has gone. I've also recently been using it with a moving coil Dynavector 10 x 5 fitted to my rennovated hybrid Sugden Connoisseur turntable and the sound is more open and detailed than ever.

I highly recommend this amplifier to anyone wanting a robust hi-fi integrated amplifier which can accommodate both MM and MC phono and also CD. It has the versatility of two tape record and monitor inputs. It is available in traditional brushed aluminium finish which I have, and also the ubiquitous gloss black which became popular thereafter. For budding DJs or those who enjoy Karaoke, then look out for the Japanese market version of the amp, which has the exact same model number, but includes a microphone and wireless microphone input and the ability to mix the microphone input with any of the other input sources.

Perhaps the greatest testimony to the SU-8055 is this: it was with this amp that I started listening to the music (and other sounds) and not to the equipment itself as it didn't intrude.

rating
Reviewed Aug 21st, 2014 by petervee

I bought this back in the late seventies when living in Belgium. It was placed in a storage all these years (like a time capsule), together with other stuff and was revently re-opened. Works great apart from noise related dust inside the potentiometers from years kept in storage. Am happy to have it running again and amazing it works and works well!

 

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