Stereo integrated amplifier
Our take on the Sony TA-A1ES by Crutchfield's David Brown
An integrated amp for the high-res revolution
Sony has gone “all in” with high-resolution audio. This dedication to pure, audiophile-grade sound is on full display in their TA-A1ES integrated amplifier. Designed to be paired with Sony's HAP-Z1ES digital audio server, this amp ensures that all those musical details encoded in your DSD, FLAC, and other high-res files are preserved as they are delivered from your DAC to your speakers. With digital or analog sources, this amp's innovative design and meaty Class A power will bring your speakers to life with punchy dynamics and clean, accurate sound.
Class A power with improved efficiency
The streamlined look of the TA-A1ES mirrors the clean signal flow that takes place under the hood. A large toroidal power transformer ensures a heavy dose of current is always at the ready. The single push-pull, high-current Class A circuit preserves the sonic accuracy of recordings for a near distortion-free performance.
While most Class A amps are highly inefficient, Sony built a bias control into the TA-A1ES's volume control. So even though energy is constantly flowing to the output transistors, this amp reduces power output when you listen at lower levels. This means more energy is devoted to reproducing music rather than just generating more heat for the amp to dissipate. Plus, it eliminates the problem of distortion that occurs when output transistors switch on and off in Class AB amps. So you get the audio performance of Class A designs along with the increased efficiency of Class AB switching amps.
Less noise, more musical detail
All the TA-A1ES's internal components are securely mounted inside a sturdy chassis that is reinforced with rigid frames and beams. This reduces vibration-induced distortion to astonishingly low levels. Balanced XLR inputs also ensure that connections to high-end components like the HAP-Z1ES are noise-free, even across long runs.
Dedicated headphone amp
If you enjoy headphone listening as much as speaker listening, this amp has you covered. The TA-A1ES features a built-in dedicated headphone amplifier designed to power a wide range of headphones, from efficient to power-hungry models. The front-panel impedance selector lets you choose from high, medium, or low settings to optimize the output to match your headphones.
- 80 watts x 2 into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.09% THD
- Class A amplification with smart bias control for accurate, detailed sound delivered more efficiently than typical Class-A amps
- 4-ohm stable for use with a wide range of speakers
- 1 pair of balanced XLR inputs
- 4 pairs of stereo RCA inputs
- no phono input to connect a turntable you'll need to add a phono preamp
- discrete headphone amplifier with impedance selector and full-size (1/4") output
- toroidal power transformer delivers clean, steady current
- frequency response: 10-100,000 Hz (± 3dB)
- signal-to-noise ratio: 96 dB
- binding-post speaker terminals
- remote input for IR repeater (not included)
- detachable power cord
- remote control
- 17"W x 5-1/8"H x 17-11/16"D
- weight: 39.7 lbs.
- warranty: 5 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
What's in the Box:
- Integrated stereo amplifier
- 6' AC power cord
- Remote control (RM-AAU181)
- 2 "AAA" batteries
- Operating Instructions
Sony TA-A1ES Reviews
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Features and Specs
|Watts RMS per Channel (8-ohms)||80|
|Watts RMS per Channel (6-ohms)||Not given|
|Watts RMS per Channel (4-ohms)||80|
|Minimum Impedance||4 ohms|
|Signal to Noise Ratio||96|
|Digital Music Features|
|Built-in DAC (Digital to Analog Converter)||No|
|High-resolution Audio Playback||No|
|Total Analog Inputs||5|
|Optical Digital Inputs||No|
|Coaxial Digital Inputs||No|
|Dimensions and Warranty|
|Parts Warranty||5 Years|
|Labor Warranty||5 Years|
80W x 2Ch Class A Amplification: The Sony ES TA-A1ES integrated stereo amplifier is rated at 80 watts per channels (20-20kHz) in 8Ω or 4Ω. The Sony TA-A1ES uses a Class A amplification circuit hooked up to a tracking power supply that delivers only as much power as needed, so almost none is wasted as heat. This innovative amplification technology combines audiophile-pleasing sound with high efficiency for true high resolution audio performance.
Single Push-Pull Design: The TA-A1ES achieves dynamic output by using a single push-pull amplifier design. The power amplifying stage, which determines sound quality, consists of a single pair of transistors, successfully eliminating the emitter resistance used by conventional amplifiers to suppress overheating. The transistor output drives the speaker directly, reproducing sound with greater dynamics and less distortion.Simplified Power Amp Circuitry: By including fewer transistors and eliminating the emitter resistor and coil & capacitor needed in the amp's final stage circuitry, Sony has reduced the distortion that affects the quality of your music. This means the amp can deliver a higher power output, so you can push up the volume and enjoy great, undistorted, High-Resolution Audio.
Digital Sound Enhancement Engine (DSEE): High-Resolution Audio technology delivers every subtlety and nuance of a song in rich, immersive detail. With Digital Sound Enhancement Engine (DSEE) technology, you can hear all your music, even compressed files, in quality closer to the original recording.
Note: Sony's HA-PZ1ES High-Resolution HDD Audio Player (158HAPZ1ES, sold separately) is the perfect companion to the TA-A1ES integrate amp. Click here for more information on High Resolution Audio.
FET Input Buffer: The integrated amplifier has been fitted with a FET input buffer and discrete circuit for the pre-amp. This reduces the effects of distortion while enhancing the sound quality of High-Resolution Audio. As a result the integrated amp can produce the sharpness and detail that high-resolution audio brings to your music with minimal distortion.
Optimum Gain Volume Control w/ Smart BIAS: Sony has combined the electronic volume with a discrete buffer amp to enhance the overall sound quality by reducing the gain error experienced by conventional amps. For long-lasting, high performance, the TA-A1ES intelligently controls the bias by a volume position to heighten the sound quality. The built-in smart BIAS system controls the amp's BIAS based on the volume position. In doing so, the amp is able to utilize a field that experiences good transistor linearity without generating heat, so the sound quality always remains true.
Frame Beam Base (FBB) Chassis: A frame beam base chassis combines a conventional frame beam chassis with a transformer base to provide exceptional rigidity and stabilization. This exceptionally stiff frame helps the amplifier provide highly accurate sound with little distortion.
Balanced & Unbalanced Inputs: The Sony ES TA-A1ES integrated amplifier is fitted with both balanced and unbalanced inputs. There is one balanced stereo XLR input for connecting a high-end CD/SACD or Network player. There are also four unbalanced stereo RCA inputs for connecting your CD/SACD player, Network player, external DAC, and more.
Note: There is no phono input on this integrate amp. You will need to purchase an external phono preamp (sold separately) in order to connect a turntable to the TA-A1ES.
Heavy Duty Binding Posts: The Sony TA-A1ES integrated amplifier features heavy-duty binding posts to connect a single pair of speakers. The binding post speaker terminals will accept bare wire (up to 10AWG), pin-connectors, and single banana plugs. The integrated amp supports speakers between 8Ω to 4Ω.
Note: There is an impedance on the rear-panel of the integrated amp which allows you to switch between 8Ω and 4Ω.
Discrete Headphone Amplifier: To reflect the growing popularity of premium-quality headphones, this amp includes a specialized discrete amp with gain optimized to match headphone impedance. The impedance can be switched among the following settings.
- LOW: from 8Ω to less than 50Ω
- MID: from 50Ω to less than 300Ω (+10dB against the LOW)
- HI: 300Ω or higher (+16dB against the LOW)
- OFF: No sound from the headphones.
Remote Control: The Sony ES TA-A1ES comes with an IR remote control for wireless operation of the integrated amplifier. The remote offers Power On/Off, Volume Up/Down, Source Input (1-5), Mute, and Display controls.
IR Remote Input: If you connect this integrated amplifier to another Sony component with an IR repeater output jack, you can operate the amplifier from the component connected.
Auto Standby: The integrated amplifier switches to standby mode automatically when no sound has been output for about 10 to 15 minutes.
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Why did you buy this?
Remote control integration with Sony HAP-Z1ES. [ Michael Mar 22, 2017 ]
3 questions already asked
Sorry, no. For the Bose 901, you'll need a receiver/amplifier that features a "Monitor Loop" and this Sony does not offer the connection. You may want to consider a model like the Peachtree Audio Nova 150 which does offer the required connections: http://www.crutchfield.com/p_731N150GE/item.html I hope that helps! My Bio: http://www.crutchfield.com/Support/Bio.aspx?bio=5 [ Ryan Jul 27, 2016 ] Staff
Some home subwoofers have speaker level inputs and outputs and those are the only ones that can work with the outputs on this amp. [ Paul Dec 24, 2015 ] Staff
I forwarded your question to an Advisor and they responded with the following: No it does not have Left/Right balance controls If you would like to discuss further you can contact an Advisor directly by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. [ Krissy Jun 08, 2015 ] Staff