the Sony Ta-a1es amplifer

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smargo

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the Sony Ta-a1es amplifer
« on: 13 Jan 2015, 08:34 pm »
this is the so called "companion" piece to the hap-z1es - that has been available since the sony hap has been available
but has gotten almost zero attention - and has been overshadowed by the hap-z1es - to me this is a totally underrated amplifier
that has benefitted enormously by break-in.

it looks like the million other japanese amplifiers that have been out there over the years -  However, it has a big - bold - detailed and sweet sound
that is as good as the hap zi is - in terms of bang for the buck and sound quality that you get - this amp flies totally under the radar

the class a solid state sound that you get is very good - its different than the class ab amps that i have owned - the sound is bigger and more rounded and more lifelike
and it has proprietary implementation that is intriguing

Below is what is quoted from sony

"Where the Sony differs is in the details of the design, from the mechanical to the electrical. The whole amplifier is built on a chassis using what the company calls its Frame Beam Base chassis: this is a development of its established Frame and Beam design, providing extra support at critical point, and uses an additional rigid baseplate, with no fewer than four layers of metal underneath the transformer. Even the dual monaural layout is a direct mirror image, so the load on the chassis is balanced.

Buffer amps are used in both the preamp and power amplifier stages in the quest for optimum sound quality, and the preamp uses relay switching for inputs and is built from discrete components rather than going down the cheaper, but usually poorer-sounding, amp-on-a-chip route.

The power amp, meanwhile, uses a simple push-pull design, with a single pair of transistors driving the speaker: as Kingdon’s white paper explains it, - In many cases large output amps employ a power amp stage with multiple transistors to achieve high current output volume, but transistors do not perform identically and emitter resistance is used to stabilise transistor variations.

In this amp however, the power amp stage features only one pair of transistors and a design that eliminates variations in each channel at the source, enabling elimination of variation-controlling emitter resistance as well. "

Remember this is the amp that sony released with the hap-z1

Perhaps there are mods that can be offered here as well - although its fine the way it is

Below is a review that really got me to take notice

http://andreweverard.com/2014/02/19/review-sony-ta-a1es-amplifier/

srb

Re: the Sony Ta-a1es amplifer
« Reply #1 on: 13 Jan 2015, 09:05 pm »
No preamplifier / subwoofer outputs?  No HT bypass input?  I'm not sure why manufacturers choose to limit their sales.

Steve

Freo-1

Re: the Sony Ta-a1es amplifer
« Reply #2 on: 13 Jan 2015, 10:26 pm »
I would like to audition this sometime.  I think it's strictly for a specific audiophile type that wants a simple but good sounding setup.

smargo

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Re: the Sony Ta-a1es amplifer
« Reply #3 on: 13 Jan 2015, 10:28 pm »
yes - limited capabilities - but thats what was said about the hap z1 - so many complained it wasnt a traditional way to download music - etc.

the amplifier sort of takes the same path - you could overlook the no outputs - especially the preamplifier

would l like the ht bypass and the subwoofer outs - yes - but it is so devoted to 2 channel sound quality that it can be overlooked

mr_bill

Re: the Sony Ta-a1es amplifer
« Reply #4 on: 16 Jan 2015, 11:13 pm »
I just bought one for a great deal.
The performance per dollar should be off the charts. Beautifully made, affordable and hopefully beautiful sound too.

srb

Re: the Sony Ta-a1es amplifer
« Reply #5 on: 16 Jan 2015, 11:28 pm »
I did find the Smart Bias control - basically ganging a variable bias control onto the volume control - is an interesting idea for this Class A amplifier, and now makes me wonder why we haven't seen this implementation anywhere previously.

Steve

mr_bill

Re: the Sony Ta-a1es amplifer
« Reply #6 on: 7 Feb 2015, 03:24 pm »
This integrated is a huge steal and an outstanding piece - absolutely love it.

R. Daneel

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Re: the Sony Ta-a1es amplifer
« Reply #7 on: 19 Jun 2015, 12:57 pm »
I did find the Smart Bias control - basically ganging a variable bias control onto the volume control - is an interesting idea for this Class A amplifier, and now makes me wonder why we haven't seen this implementation anywhere previously.

Steve

Hi Steve!

Technics used this technology in their last series at the beginning of the century. It's acronym was VGCA - variable gain control amplifier. It was featured in their best products and even some of their "mini hi-fi" systens. My SC-HD550 system has this feature and at lower listening volumes, it makes a world of difference in terms of purity and clarity and there is really no reason not to use it.

Cheers!
Antun

JoshK

Re: the Sony Ta-a1es amplifer
« Reply #8 on: 19 Jun 2015, 01:04 pm »
would l like the ht bypass and the subwoofer outs - yes - but it is so devoted to 2 channel sound quality that it can be overlooked

IMO, subwoofer outputs for 2ch can't be overlooked, that is a deal breaker. 

Wind Chaser

Re: the Sony Ta-a1es amplifer
« Reply #9 on: 19 Jun 2015, 02:44 pm »
And yet some say the best way to feed sub is through the main out.

srb

Re: the Sony Ta-a1es amplifer
« Reply #10 on: 19 Jun 2015, 03:04 pm »
And yet some say the best way to feed sub is through the main out.

..... possibly, but that still leaves the other 50% of users with line-only input subwoofers out in the cold.

mr_bill

Re: the Sony Ta-a1es amplifer
« Reply #11 on: 19 Jun 2015, 03:19 pm »
I still own and love. Unbelievable value for the price.

Brad

Re: the Sony Ta-a1es amplifer
« Reply #12 on: 19 Jun 2015, 03:20 pm »
..... possibly, but that still leaves the other 50% of users with line-only input subwoofers out in the cold.

You can make a speaker to line level adapter for $5 in parts.
Or buy one for not much more.

srb

Re: the Sony Ta-a1es amplifer
« Reply #13 on: 19 Jun 2015, 03:36 pm »
You can make a speaker to line level adapter for $5 in parts.
Or buy one for not much more.

I leave that for those that enjoy extra outboard parts, adapters, cables, boxes, buffers, etc.  I prefer the more elegant solution pretty much standard on all mid-level and above integrated amplifiers.

Also, other than the REL subwoofers, many subs seem to muck with the main speaker outputs, perhaps their input impedances just aren't quite high enough.

Steve

barrows

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Re: the Sony Ta-a1es amplifer
« Reply #14 on: 19 Jun 2015, 03:41 pm »
Perhaps this amplifier was designed for sound quality first, and features second?  I always wonder if people might think a little bit more before crtisizing a product because it lacks a few "convenience" features.
Take the "lack" of pre and sub outputs: does anybody think all one has to do is add another pair of jacks on the rear of the chassis to have a sub output?  Hardly, to do this right requires an additional active stage, as the sub outputs will need to be separately buffered, same thing if one wants a separate pre output.  This also means another load on the power supply rails, and a bigger supply (ideally a separate supply).  Do not think you can just wire all these additional outputs up in parallel, as that would raise the impedance and change the sonic character of the amp.
The fact is that "features" like these mentioned, add cost, complexity, and are likely to harm sonics if not very carefully implemented.
As far as subs go, every sub I have ever set up has always integrated better when using the amplifier output as the source for the sub signal.  If you are using subs with no high level input (like JL) there are easy ways to still use the amplifier output.
No one product will be all things to all people, if one must have more "features" there are plenty of other products out there to suit your needs; I applaud Sony for keeping it simple, relatively affordable, and concentrating on the sound quality first.

mr_bill

Re: the Sony Ta-a1es amplifer
« Reply #15 on: 19 Jun 2015, 04:24 pm »
Right on Barrows!

These pieces are all sleeper items - the TA1, the HAPZ1 and also the NA2 speakers. Just don't get the proper credibility cuz they're Sony but all outstanding performers and in some cases ahead of their times.

*Scotty*

Re: the Sony Ta-a1es amplifer
« Reply #16 on: 19 Jun 2015, 09:51 pm »
Barrows, why do the separate sub outputs need to be buffered?
Scotty

OzarkTom

Re: the Sony Ta-a1es amplifer
« Reply #17 on: 20 Jun 2015, 05:18 pm »
There is an interesting review on Amazon about this amp. The owner said it was much better than his Krell integrated.

mr_bill

Re: the Sony Ta-a1es amplifer
« Reply #18 on: 20 Jun 2015, 08:19 pm »
It's as good as or much better sound wise than most integrateds except for the stratosphere priced ones.

Scott_W

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Re: the Sony Ta-a1es amplifer
« Reply #19 on: 18 Feb 2016, 02:46 pm »
I've owned this amp for a year now and it continues to thrill me. Extra easy on the ears. Such smooth sound. Build quality is so solid. And, perhaps my favorite feature: the speaker binding post tightening knobs are giant and work so good for spades. Really, the design of this whole unit seems 'smarter' than other amps I've owned.