The AIG FM Tuner Project: Sansui’s Budget T-60 in Black & Silver

      Date posted: January 22, 2008

Read the AIG FM Tuner Project Introduction

Sansui T-60s, frontEach Sansui T-60 has identical features and performance. On the front panel there’s a Power push button at left, with other controls to the right of theTuning knob. These are buttons for FM Mode, offering Stereo/Mute or Mono/Mute Off. The button to the right selects AM or FM. Above is an LED indicator trio for FM Stereo, FM or AM. At centre are LEDs for Signal Strength (5), and a quite nifty center tuning trio with inward-pointing arrows flanking a dot: the former light when on either side of the station, and the latter center one lights alone when it’s tuned properly, a system that works well in practice. The long dial is not lit, but easy to see in almost any light, the numerals in a blue-grey colour against a black background. Tuning action is surprisingly smooth and fluid, with just enough flywheel action for easy progress across the dial. Intelligent choices have been made between bells and whistles, or here between lights and mechanics, the latter prevailing, and as we find out further, also performance, prevailing over unrelated features and displays. There’s also a convenience AC outlet on the back panel.

Here’s what has to say about this Sansui model: “The T-60 is a simple, inexpensive tuner with 3 gangs, 2 filters and pretty good sound. With two new narrower filters installed, it makes a decent but unspectacular DXing tuner. Our panelist Ed says the T-60 and T-80 have a blend circuit that reduces noise on moderately strong stereo signals, so he prefers them, after mods, to the TU-217. The T-60 is easy to modify and would be a good tuner for a DIY novice to practice on…”

In our Audio Ideas Guide tests, the T-60 brought in 54 stations in somewhat indifferent reception conditions, with excellent selectivity for a budget model. There wasn’t quite the separation of more expensive models, nor the stereo quieting, but still, a lot of listenable signals to be had. I found the overall sound quality to be excellent, if not quite high end audiophile quality. But the money put into this tuner has been primarily spent on performance, not cosmetics, unlike some Marantz models and other brands we’ve encountered. Sure, it has a pressboard bottom, and less physical depth than many other tuners, but looks just fine from the front, will fit in a shelf nicely, and offers a quite astonishing level of performance in station pulling and sound quality for an entry-level tuner.
Sansui T-60s, rear
Getting back to the tests, one complaint I had was with the antenna connectors, but this is a one-encounter problem for the buyer. These are 4 of what I call “thrust-and-twist”: you stick your twinlead or coax (at least 2 inches of either) into the hole and twist the connector to lock the wire (these are more commonly employed for speakers on receivers). Because I have small spades on my omni antenna, I could not connect it, but the results were so good from the yagi’s coax leads that it wasn’t a big deal. And they do assure tight antenna connections. And, as a final note, I was impressed at the consistency of reception and audio performance of both T-60 tuners. This model definitely does not take anything away from the great Sansui tradition in tuners. Both are in quite good condition for their age with few scuffs or blemishes, the front panels completely unmarked.

Andrew Marshall

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One Response to “The AIG FM Tuner Project: Sansui’s Budget T-60 in Black & Silver”

  1. Audio Slave c-us Says:

    I mean, Sansui Amps are still one of the best. The way they reduce the 2nd harmonic is mind blowing.

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