Sony TA-A1ES integrated amplifier

2

Comments

  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 42,897
    That's interesting.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 12,174
    Also a good possibility showing why Sony got out of high-end.
    Bud - Silicon Valley

    Lumin X1
    Sony XA-5400ES SACD
    Pass XP-22 pre, X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers, SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on preamp, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.
  • mrlorenmrloren Posts: 2,125
    When Sony put's effort into audio they can make good to great equipment. I've owned several ES AVR's and still use an ES CD/DVD player. Even my last 5700ES AVR was good, great on music but only so, so on movies.

    In the mid 90's they made these ES SS-M speakers that wee just awesome. Even at my employee price they were out of my budget, like around $500 each. One of the mechanics got a set of M7, I loved bringing a 6 pack over just so I could listen for a bit.

    As for Customer service, yeah that has gone way down hill. I don't know if they still have in house ES support or not.
    When I was a kid my parents told me to turn it down. Now I'm an adult and my kids tell me to turn it down.

    Family Room:
    Samsung UN75RU710DFXZA,
    Denon AVR-X4400H, Emotiva XPA3 GEN3
    Oppo BDP-93,Sony UBP-X800BM, WD Live HUB.
    Main: Polk LsiM 705
    Center: Polk LSiM 704C
    Front High/Rear High In-Ceiling Polk 80F/X RT
    Surrounds: Polk S15
    Sub: HSU VTF3-MK5

    Bed Room;
    Marantz SR5010, BDP-S270
    Main: Polk Signature S20
    Center: Polk Signature S35
    Rear: Polk R15
    Sub: HSU STF-2

    Working Warehouse;
    Sony 2100ES AVR, Sony DVP-NS3100ES for disc
    Cerwin Vega AT-12 (blasters) Advent Prodigy (listening)
    Old sony 12" Sub
    Mini tower PC with 400GB of music
  • joecoulsonjoecoulson Posts: 3,560
    For the most part, the guts look to be matching the price.
    How does it sound Drew?
    Auralic Vega G1/Rega TT/Denon SACD - Parasound P6 - PS Audio M700x2 - Elac Adante AF-61
  • EmlynEmlyn Posts: 2,495
    edited July 5
    Comparing the Sony to the Parasound HINT 6 may be apples to oranges because of all the extra features the HINT 6 has for the $1K higher price. But, bearing in mind Sony produced their integrated specifically with the HAP-Z1ES in mind their pricing on it seems fair and it was not intended to have all those extra features. I think Sony viewed this system as a two box system primarily.

    Although Sony claims only 80 watts per channel it has heat sinks inside it that are a bit larger than the HINT 6 has with Parasound claiming output at more than double. And the Sony weighs more too.

    To me, that means in use it is probably running in “Class A “ mode, or something effectively the same, for longer in real world use. That would also explain the high localized heat output.

    Parasound also recently switched to what looks llike a similar digital volume control that Sony started using a few years ago. One thing Sony does well is innovate. But once they’ve put out something they also seem to drop marketing for it altogether. They have been adding firmware updates to their digital player consistently since it first came out. One of those updates was to enable digital output to an external DAC. I am wondering if this gear was originally intended for the Asian and Euro markets more than the US given the attention to power consumption.
    1. Polk LSiM707, 704C, 703; Dual SVS SB2000 subwoofers; Marantz SR7011 receiver; Parasound A23 amp; Oppo 205; Sony 65" 4K TV; FIOS; PS Audio Power Plant Premier; MIT S2 cables
    2. JM Labs Electra 920.1; Sonic Frontiers Line 3 Preamp; Classe Model 25 amp; Sony HAP-Z1ES; Oppo 105D; Music Hall MMF7 and Acoustech phono pre; PS Audio Power Director; MIT S1 Cables
    3. Polk LSiM703; Parasound JC2BP and A21; Sony 48" 4K TV; Wyred4Sound DAC 2; Oppo 203; Squeezebox Touch; MIT S3 cables
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 7,199
    edited July 5
    Great post. I'm working on getting a HINT 6 in for review, so I'd be happy to share some informal comparisons here between the two. I probably won't mention such a comparison in the formal review that I write, since the Sony is discontinued and pretty obscure.

    Also, like you mention, it's a bit of an apples and oranges comparison. The Parasound has more "value" on paper with the bass management features, DAC, phono stage, etc. In regards to power ratings, who knows. I don't think heatsink size is necessarily a reliable factor in determining power output. Heatsink production & costs must be a factor in a product's design though, as I frequently see manufacturers mention heatsink size/weight as a determining factor in reaching a final price point.

    In regards to the volume controls, I believe that even though they look similar they are still different. The Sony's is described as "Electronic volume with a discrete buffer amp – co-developed with Sony – to enhance the overall sound quality by reducing the gain error experienced by conventional amps.". Parasound's is a "Burr Brown analog resistor ladder volume control".
    "Electronic music is human sound adapting to indulge technology, and for some, it feels like the signature sound of energy. New and abstract sounds over hypnotic rhythms can conjure vast soundscapes for escape, pleasure, and transcendence."
  • halohalo Posts: 5,244
    Drew,

    Since the Sony integrated was/is advertised/described as a Class A component, but it really isn't, will you be returning it based on false advertising/claims?
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 7,199
    Good one, Victor.
    "Electronic music is human sound adapting to indulge technology, and for some, it feels like the signature sound of energy. New and abstract sounds over hypnotic rhythms can conjure vast soundscapes for escape, pleasure, and transcendence."
  • kharp1kharp1 Posts: 3,382
    All good, but, here's a question...how does it SOUND?
    Main System:
    Joule-Electra LA 100 MKIII Upgraded by Rich Brkich Pre
    Butler Audio TBD 2250 Amp
    PS Audio DirectStream DAC and MemoryPlayer Transport
    LSA-1 Statement
    SVS SB4000 & SB2000
    Wireworld Equinox 7 bi-wire, Wireworld Silver Eclipse 7 IC

    Secondary Rig:
    Parasound P5, Audio Electronics by Cary Constellation
    Marsh a200s, Audio Elecrtonics by Cary Hercules
    Pioneer Elite DV-45a, Denon DVD-2910
    Klipsch Epic CF-1, Vandersteen 3CE sig
    Analysus Plus Oval

    Backup Gear:
    Pass Labs Aleph 30, McCormack DNA-125, Parasound A21
    Marantz SA-14S1
    Usher CP-6311/Tyler Acoustics Taylo Reference Monitor, LSA-1
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 7,199
    edited July 5
    I've only run it for two days, but as usual you guys sure are eager for listening impressions!

    These are my limited thoughts with under 10 hours on it:

    In some ways, it sounds similar to my PS Audio Stellar Pre/DAC and S300 stack. The difference was not as dramatic as I anticipated. However, I read that PSA did voice the S300 to have some "Class A and tube-like qualities", so perhaps that is why.

    As far as differences, the highs are noticeably less bright with the Sony. This could be a symptom of it not being broken in. However, in a way, this is proving to have good synergy with the KLH Albany speakers that I'm reviewing. I've not yet tried it with my PMC speakers. The sound is a bit more localized to the speakers vs the PSA stack. Again, this could simply be related to break in.

    In general terms, the flow of the sound is different than the PSA stack. There's a slightly smooth characteristic to the sound. The sound has a good sense of rhythm that encourages toe tapping. I find it to be enjoyable. When given the opportunity to shine on well recorded acoustic and electric guitars, it does, with a nice palpable texture.

    I'm afraid that's all I can say for now until I log some more hours on it.
    "Electronic music is human sound adapting to indulge technology, and for some, it feels like the signature sound of energy. New and abstract sounds over hypnotic rhythms can conjure vast soundscapes for escape, pleasure, and transcendence."
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 7,199
    Also I measured one area of the vents above the heatsinks to be at 112f according to my infrared thermometer. I will try putting it on the top of the rack so that there's no shelf above it and see if it runs cooler.
    "Electronic music is human sound adapting to indulge technology, and for some, it feels like the signature sound of energy. New and abstract sounds over hypnotic rhythms can conjure vast soundscapes for escape, pleasure, and transcendence."
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 7,199
    edited July 6
    I moved it to the top shelf today and it got up to about the same temps, about 114f in the warmest spot. Imagine how hot it would get if it was really Class A! *gasp!*

    Cranked it up for a bit today and it was remarkable for as loud as it was playing, that the treble wasn't bright/harsh at all. Perhaps it's a little rolled off on top, which means it pairs up well with the aluminum dome tweeter in the Albany. Not exactly sure of the cause, but there seems to be some good synergy there.

    Also tried some CDs from the Njoe Tjoeb 4000 today and that was interesting. The combination of what I'm perceiving at this time to be an amplifier with a somewhat "darker" top end, paired up with the tube buffered CDP resulted in a very liquidy, warm, and smooth sound. It was almost too much of a good thing, but ultimately very enjoyable.

    I hooked the PSA Stellar stack back up because I need to continue evaluating the KLH speakers on the gear I started with, and that bright/forward nature of the aluminum dome tweeters was back immediately. I cranked it up to "dynamic" levels, about 80db, and on a track that had a large dynamic burst after a short period silence, it actually hurt my right rear because it was too loud/bright.

    At least I know that the speaker can be "tamed" by switching to a more laid back amplifier. I was thinking that some of the brightness in the tweeter was being caused by the crossover needing more time on it, but now I'm not so sure about that, as it seems to be more related to the amp that's driving them.
    "Electronic music is human sound adapting to indulge technology, and for some, it feels like the signature sound of energy. New and abstract sounds over hypnotic rhythms can conjure vast soundscapes for escape, pleasure, and transcendence."
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 7,199
    edited July 6
    In case anyone is interested, the PSA stack also brought a different soundstage presentation. It's a less "localized to the speaker" sound, instead, there's more information coming from between and outside of the speakers. Also, the bass was a little faster and more impactful.
    "Electronic music is human sound adapting to indulge technology, and for some, it feels like the signature sound of energy. New and abstract sounds over hypnotic rhythms can conjure vast soundscapes for escape, pleasure, and transcendence."
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 7,199
    @F1nut, I counted six relay clicks after powering on before it's ready, 7 if you count one faint one that happens immediately after one of the others. When you turn it off, there are three relay clicks.

    The 6 fuses all say T2.5AL 250V next to them.
    "Electronic music is human sound adapting to indulge technology, and for some, it feels like the signature sound of energy. New and abstract sounds over hypnotic rhythms can conjure vast soundscapes for escape, pleasure, and transcendence."
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 42,897
    That's crazy.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 12,174
    Amazing. What are they trying to protect? I would be scared to touch it while playing. :)
    Bud - Silicon Valley

    Lumin X1
    Sony XA-5400ES SACD
    Pass XP-22 pre, X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers, SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on preamp, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 23,298
    I'll be interested to hear/read about the KLH Albanys. :|
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 7,199
    I treated myself to a new experience tonight, and played a SACD (Tears for Fears - Songs from the Big Chair) on the Marantz SA-KI Ruby, running into the Sony TA-A1ES connected to Elac Adante AS-61 speakers.

    This was my first time playing "high res" music to the Elacs and they definitely responded well to being fed quality content. I'm pleased to report that the Sony also does justice to higher end source material. What an enjoyable listening experience from this combination of gear!

    I do find the Sony a bit lacking for rowdy and intense electronic music with big basslines, but it does a wonderful job for just about all other genres of music. It has a very "fluid" sound to it with plenty of body. I don't regret buying it whatsoever.

    u275wxbbpfny.jpg
    "Electronic music is human sound adapting to indulge technology, and for some, it feels like the signature sound of energy. New and abstract sounds over hypnotic rhythms can conjure vast soundscapes for escape, pleasure, and transcendence."
  • joecoulsonjoecoulson Posts: 3,560
    Thats great man - so glad you are seeing some resolving power on the Elac's like I have
    Nice looking gear too!
    Auralic Vega G1/Rega TT/Denon SACD - Parasound P6 - PS Audio M700x2 - Elac Adante AF-61
  • joecoulsonjoecoulson Posts: 3,560
    this quote from you:

    "In general terms, the flow of the sound is different than the PSA stack. There's a slightly smooth characteristic to the sound. The sound has a good sense of rhythm that encourages toe tapping. I find it to be enjoyable. When given the opportunity to shine on well recorded acoustic and electric guitars, it does, with a nice palpable texture."

    is what I am experiencing now with that change
    Auralic Vega G1/Rega TT/Denon SACD - Parasound P6 - PS Audio M700x2 - Elac Adante AF-61
  • kwongkfkwongkf Posts: 4
    edited October 29
    Clipdat wrote: »
    Indeed. Also when powering it on there are like 6 or 7 relay clicks before it's ready. I'll count them tomorrow.

    This is not normal. My TA-A1ES been here for more than 2 years, made in year 2014, only exhibits 2 clicks. One is right after pressing power on, another one is right before you can hear sound from speakers. And I have just replaced the fuses (total 8) with the freshly new Synergistic Research Orange. I can say it performs like at least 5X the price offered from other manufacturers.
    deacwz7l7rq9.jpg
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 7,199
    I probably have a newer revision with more relays that engage, there's definitely more than two relay clicks. It is operating completely "normal" in the sense that all functions and features are working as intended.

    Anyway, glad you are enjoying yours. What changes did you hear after swapping fuses?

    Also, why are the tops of your capacitors discolored?
    "Electronic music is human sound adapting to indulge technology, and for some, it feels like the signature sound of energy. New and abstract sounds over hypnotic rhythms can conjure vast soundscapes for escape, pleasure, and transcendence."
  • joecoulsonjoecoulson Posts: 3,560
    Clipdat wrote: »

    Also, why are the tops of your capacitors discolored?

    I was going to ask the very same question..
    Auralic Vega G1/Rega TT/Denon SACD - Parasound P6 - PS Audio M700x2 - Elac Adante AF-61
  • dorokusaidorokusai Posts: 25,487
    Those caps are blown.
    CTC BBQ Amplifier, Sonic Frontiers Line3 Pre-Amplifier and Wadia 581 SACD player. Speakers? Always changing but for now, Mission Argonauts I picked up for $50 bucks, mint.
  • kwongkfkwongkf Posts: 4
    edited October 29
    Clipdat wrote: »
    I probably have a newer revision with more relays that engage, there's definitely more than two relay clicks. It is operating completely "normal" in the sense that all functions and features are working as intended.

    Anyway, glad you are enjoying yours. What changes did you hear after swapping fuses?

    Also, why are the tops of your capacitors discolored?

    No. I paint Total Contact from Perfect Path Technologies onto it. It is a graphene base tweak.
    And the fuses make everything sound more direct and correct. Just like removing a barrier in the signal path.
    And I also put this from Mad Scientist Audio onto the transformer. Helps a lot as well.

    4lua5ns8usdh.jpeg
  • joecoulsonjoecoulson Posts: 3,560
    LOL !

    what? $300 grease tweak?
    Auralic Vega G1/Rega TT/Denon SACD - Parasound P6 - PS Audio M700x2 - Elac Adante AF-61
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 7,199
    edited October 29
    "The Total Contact Enhancer is the most powerful, innovative and revolutionary next generation electrical contact enhancer. It rapidly improves and maintains the conductivity of metals as well as eliminates the oxidation indefinitely. The Total Contact Graphene Contact Enhancer develops a highly conductive bond between two surfaces to stop any degradation. It can be used for any metal-to-metal contacts, such as RCA plugs and sockets, loudspeaker leads, fuses, and more.

    Micro-arcing can smear the sound of your system. Our electronic contact enhancer eliminates this micro-arcing and thus ends the distortions. This audio contact enhancer comes with layer thicknesses, measured in nanometers. Thus, it truly ‘fills in the gaps’ and gives a significant enhancement to system performance. When the enhancer is applied to the important contacts in a system, such as interconnects, speaker leads, power cords, fuses, and tube pins, it does not endure the problems that silver-based products do. Hence, our enhancer will not cause short circuits or oxidation, as its conductivity is at the macro level."

    I don't see anything in their instructions about putting in on top of capacitors. That's not a conductive surface or a contact.
    "Electronic music is human sound adapting to indulge technology, and for some, it feels like the signature sound of energy. New and abstract sounds over hypnotic rhythms can conjure vast soundscapes for escape, pleasure, and transcendence."
  • kwongkfkwongkf Posts: 4
    edited October 29
    The users in Audiogon did this and they can hear difference.
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 14,599
    kwongkf wrote: »
    The users in Audiogon did this and they can hear difference.

    Fair enough...
  • joecoulsonjoecoulson Posts: 3,560
    kwongkf wrote: »
    The users in Audiogon did this and they can hear difference.

    I stand corrected.
    Auralic Vega G1/Rega TT/Denon SACD - Parasound P6 - PS Audio M700x2 - Elac Adante AF-61
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