After purchasing the HAP-Z1ES I decided to pull the trigger on this one, too. They are a great match together. Like the HAP, the design concept is minimal and simple elegance. The two are linked with Audioquest Mackenzie XLR interconnects. The sound quality is top notch: very natural with good presence for vocals. Did a comparison with my prior integrated a Denon PMA-2000IVR. I thought that unit had great sound but this is definitely better. Smoother sound, little or no high frequency edginess which results in less listening fatigue. Vocals, both male and female sounded more natural. Being very particular about volume level adjustment, the front panel display of relative power in 1/2 dB increments is nice. All in all if you just want a simple system that works really well this amp (and the HAP player) are a great choice!
Pros: smooth sound. great vocal presence.
Cons: limited connection flexibility - but who cares?
0 of 2 found this helpful
We listened to music switching between the Sony TA-A1ES and NAD C 375BEE stereo integrated amplifiers (using the same cd player, speaker cable, and three-way speakers). The Sony TA-A1ES sounds like a very nice stereo. It does a nice job reproducing music. However, the NAD C 375BEE sounds like the singers and instruments are actually in the room. I give the Sony TA-A1ES two stars, because a class A SONY ES should have knocked it out of the ball park at this price point.
15 of 28 found this helpful
2 of 12 found this helpful
My hi-res stereo system: Sony TA-A1ES (amp), Sony HAP-Z1ES (player), Sony XA5400ES (SACD), Definitive Technology BP10B (speakers). It sounds great. The amp and player are a perfect match, connected by XLR and mini-plug cables. The amp is a masterpiece of simplicity and power. Five inputs (only one is XLR) and 80 watts of output. Easily drives the speakers with an abundance of clarity and range (frequency and amplitude). The player remote (provided and iPad app) controls the amp too. Connection to speakers is facilitated with large terminals, seemingly designed for simple wire connections; I opted for cables terminated with locking banana plugs. My SACD has XLR, but unfortunately the amp has only one XLR input (used for player), relegating me to a high quality RCA cable connection. Sounds great anyway. The convenience of the player and the increasing availiblity of hi-res downloads biases me toward use of the player, although it's nice to be able to play my collection of SACDs. Bottomline: this amp satisfies my needs now and into the future; it's simple and powerful (enough), matches the HAP-1ZES to perfection (they even look alike), and it's moderately priced for hi-res equipment. I just need to build an audio designed room commensurate the capabilities of my system. A man needs his dreams. (Wife suggests a good pair of audiophile headphones. Christmas list addition: Sennheiser HD 800 headphones, $1000+. She may change her mind.) Buy the amp and some speakers!
Pros: Simple and powerful. Easy to operate and integrate into your system. Moderately priced for hi-res component. Good match with Sony HAP-Z1ES hi-res player.
Cons: Multiple XLR inputs would be nice. Study the speaker terminals before you invest in cables, or opt to use 12 or better gage wire, just stripped or with locking banana plugs.
9 of 9 found this helpful
Don't let the absence of digital inputs guide you away from considering this amplifier. With the appropriate external DAC containing digital inputs you can easily overcome the absence of direct digital inputs. THD is on the high side as compared to other Amps in this price category but the fact that you can join Sony's Media Server is a real plus. They are designed to compliment each other. With a sixty day trial period you might well want to consider this integrated amplifier.
4 of 6 found this helpful
There are no digital inputs or outputs and this may be a deal breaker to some but I was looking for a dedicated stereo-only amplifier and digital inputs/outputs are not needed for the setup I have or plan to have in the future. I can certainly understand why it would put some off but I like the fact that the design is so simple (and elegant). There aren't thirty sliders or knobs to fiddle with to get "the sound". I totally understand why some may want that control but I have pretty much always preferred keeping everything flat anyway. What you hear is what you get and so far I have heard nothing but sweet, glorious music from this amp when coupled with the HAP-Z1ES high-rez audio player and Klipsch Reference RF-62 II speakers. I really feel like this product was targeted at me or at least people with a similar need. You can definitely get an amplifier with more options for less money. There's no way to overlook this fact. However, it's simple and it sounds great and was supposedly designed to go hand-in-hand with my player of choice. The last bit may be marketing at work but I have to say that my needs and desires were simple and I have been absolutely impressed in every conceivable way by this device. In most cases my high expectations have not only been met but exceeded. If you are like me (which you probably are if you reading this) then I highly recommend this product. There isn't much information about it online but it's definitely a great buy. I love it!
Pros: Sounds fantastic! It is simple, easy to setup and works great with sister product HAP-Z1ES.
Cons: No digital inputs or outputs. Not many "features".
21 of 21 found this helpful