Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Aiwa A22 Micro Component Stereo Amplifier

IMG_7497 - Version 2

Proving that good (read: great) things come in small packages, here's the Aiwa A22 Amplifier. A little beauty at a very cool maximum output of 36wpc. I picked this one up at a local flea market with a matching tuner and cassette deck for $10. Sadly the particleboard rack that they came in was beyond saving. The tuner just needed some TLC however the cassette deck was long gone with signs of corrosion, deteriorated belts and the unsettling feeling that some minor has tried to press every control button down at once.

This little amp was not without it's issues as well. Mainly we were looking at some corrosion from the top case which had come into the unit leaving it's telltale signs on the bottom casing and the transformer. To really clean this up, the whole unit would have to be disassembled, sanded, sprayed and then put back together.

Corrosion even got to the bottom of the PCB which was easily cleaned off:

Apart from that, it needed the usual cleaning of potentiometers, full capacitor replacement, polishing of the faceplate and one not-so normal modification, changing of the speaker outputs.

Old filter capacitors:

Nicely recapped board:

There is only outputs for one set of speakers, however these were the old DIN style rarely used now so these were changed over to binding posts.

Din Sockets removed:

New binding posts installed:

Back in in the amp:

With a bit more of a clean up, new cable ties and re-routing the wiring so it's a bit cleaner, we have a beautiful little amp it's sound is surprisingly bright, almost a bit too bright for me but the customer who purchased it was over the moon and in the end, that's what counts.

On the bench having it's headphone test run:

Paired up with it's matching R22 stereo tuner:

Enjoy some more modelling shots!


  1. stumbled across your blog while searching for recommendations for minimalist receivers/amps/preamps, excellent stuff here, thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks for looking! Be sure to keep an eye out as I'm always adding new equipment to this blog! I have a few more Mini Component AIWA systems i'll be adding in the future.

    1. I will send you some pictures of my tiny AIWA c22 system bought in 1982 Hamilton Ontario.

  3. Hi Bonsaichop !

    I have virtually the same system !
    My set was a year earlier than yours and contained separate
    preamp and amp units.
    The tape deck requires a new motor but as I no longer play cassettes that is no sacrifice to me.

    Wonderful little system has served me now for over 30 years and still going strong.

  4. I have a amplifier AA-1010; a cassette deck CS 705D, and a turntable AP-001C..

    anyone interested in buying them as a whole?

  5. I have the AIWA Mini Compo A22 amp & R22 tuner with DIN connectors. Both units are exactly like those in the photo above. Anyone who can recommend a decent pair of speakers to use with this setup?

  6. Hey Anon, I know it's a year old thread, but I just bought one of these, with some Lafeyette Criterion 50A speakers and a new turntable. The 50A's sound pretty badass with the A22 for vinyl. Wamr and really good output/headroom. They sound massive in my apartment. I don't know much about vintage stereo equipment, but I know when things sound good.

  7. Hi Bonsaichop

    Impressive work. I am trying to revive my 22 system but I cannot fire it up as I have power leads to the A22 and MT22 with no plugs. How can I determine which of the two wires is positive?

    Thanks very much.

  8. Those small sized half-width components are so perfect. I wish the modern hi-fi companies would come out with more pieces of that size. Rega and Naim looked like they might have been going in that direction with the Brio-R and the Unitiqute.

  9. This huge speaker is utilized to record the low recurrence notes. The third step is to explore on what all highlights an amplifier ought to

  10. I remember buying the whole set for my Dad in the 1970's/80's. He has now passed on and they are mine. Aside from the cassette player they are beautiful. Just got them from the box of Dad's stuff - will power them up soon

  11. Such a big heart for such a small amplifier! Where have all these electronic engineering designers gone? What has happened to audio on this planet? New stuff like this is out of the price range for the average person and even then they don't include features like level meters or even bass and treble adjustment.... The only little thing that I probably would have done to this restoration is to have a vinyl sticker made in white that says Aiwa and stuck it on the transformer! Perfection!!

  12. Mine are driving Martin Logan ethos with ease. A nice combo.

  13. Hi I have one of these great little amps, unfortunately it has a problem. Do you have access to the schematic for the amp, I've done the usual googling with out success, I know it's a simple amp will be able to fix without, but it would be helpful in checking voltages etc

  14. Thanks for blog just stumbled across it after pulling my system out of the cellar after 25 years of non use, with a little cleaning of connections it works as does the receiver , like yours the tape deck has seen better days. The Din connections are ropy also and need your mod of posts but should work in time for the new turntable present for Covid returned daughters Xmas present. Great article 8 years on!!

  15. Wow, nostalgia hit me! My dad had the A22/R22 combo with the sidegrips as heart of his 1980's stereo system (Sharp cassette deck/Lenco record player). Great article.

  16. I 've a a22 without it's ICs and power supply.
    Please let me know what is its main 2
    Nos ic s and transformer voltage

    Thanks and best regards
    From Sri Lanka

  17. De que voltaje es el transformador y que integrado usa? Saludos

  18. Wow, it looks amazing. Do you know where can i find the service manual for the A22 amp?, I have exactly the same, but the green and red leds are not working. Many thanks

  19. Hi guys I also have one but it's making a lot of noise. Any takers to answer why or offer repair work? Zat

  20. Hi, I have one a22, since 1980. Found one enthusiast, engineer, and he does a small restoration (cleaning, and replacing some small parts),. put it back on duty a few days ago, with turntable and tuner on, and passive JVC speakers, bookshelf from 1978. That provide amazing sound after 15 minutes of work. Truly HiFi Stereo, natural and clear... every recommendation.