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-z1Perhaps 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 noticehttp://andreweverard.com/2014/02/19/review-sony-ta-a1es-amplifier/