Sansui SAP201V review

Feature-packed budget contender, but faces tough competition Tested at £300

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Our Verdict

The SAP201V is a good effort, but it’s up against some exceptional competition

For

  • Impressive feature list including built-in DAC and phono stage
  • agile and clear sound
  • good level of detail

Against

  • Lacks the dynamic reach and rhythmic precision of the class best

The budget stereo amplifier crown has been dominated by the likes of Marantz, Rotel and Cambridge for more than a decade. It’s a tough market to crack, with only Yamaha’s excellent A-S500 managing to make an impact against these formidable rivals in recent years. Now it’s the turn of newly revitalised Sansui to have a go.

The Sansui SAP201V gets off to a good start. Any sub-£300 integrated amplifier with remote control, moving magnet phono stage and a built-in DAC has got to be worth a look.

First impressions are positive. This Sansui feels well screwed together, its finish is smart and there’s a reassuring solidity about the controls. Only the credit-card sized remote control disappoints – it feels cheap and vague to use.

Sansui SAP201V: Sound quality

The SAP201V is a clear and insightful amplifier. It digs up a good amount of detail, organises it well and isn’t fazed by musical complexity. Tonally the presentation is fairly neutral, with little undue emphasis at the frequency extremes.

There’s a pleasing level of agility, and a nicely crisp way with the leading edge of notes. Put it all together and you have an amplifier that’s as at home with the likes of Adele’s Rolling in the Deep as it is thundering out Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.

However, standards are sky-high at this price level, and the 40W-per-channel Sansui falls behind the class leaders when it comes to delivering large dynamic shifts or rendering the hard-charging rhythm track of Tinie Tempah’s Pass Out.

Sansui SAP201V

Sansui SAP201V

Sansui SAP201V: Built-in DAC

The built-in digital-to-analogue converter is a great idea. It has both optical and co-axial inputs and generally performs well enough. It’s broadly of the standard of a decent sub-£100 unit, but lacks the refinement and dynamic expression to impress any more than that.

Much the same could be said of the phono stage – it’s decent for the money, but a little hissy and sonically bettered by Rega’s £85 Fono Mini A2D.

Make no mistake, this is a capable unit and its generous feature count is appealing, but it’s not quite a Marantz PM6004-beater.

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Specifications

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General Information

Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sansuiproducts.com
Brand NameSansui
Product TypeAmplifier
ManufacturerORION Electric Co., Ltd
Manufacturer Part NumberSAP-201V
Product NameSansui SAP201V
Product ModelSAP201V

Miscellaneous

Package ContentsRemote Control
Country of OriginChina
DLNA CertifiedNo
Environmentally FriendlyYes
Environmental CertificationWEEE

Interfaces-Ports

HDMINo
Number of Digital Coaxial Inputs1
Number of Digital Optical Inputs1
Number of Analog Audio Inputs10
iPod SupportedNo
USBNo

Audio

RMS Output Power100 W
Audio Channels2

Physical Characteristics

Width430 mm
Depth283 mm
Weight Approximate6.30 kg
Height80 mm
Dimensions80 mm (H): 430 mm (W): 283 mm (D)

Power Description

Operating Power Consumption250 W

Technical Information

Impedance4 Ohm
Maximum Frequency Response1 kHz
Total Harmonic Distortion THD0.8%

Warranty

Limited Warranty1 Year