Sony TA-E1

1 9 9 9 may 1999
2 0 0 2 2002

Part of Sony's last series of High-End units, specifically designed for the SACD format and the SCD-1 flagship - all with outer-space bandwidth requirements.

As for the xxx-rare R10 units, no expense was spared for the "1" mini series. High-bandwidth oblige, the star of the show is the Phase Linear Amplifier, allowing phase to remain linear up to 100Khz, with only 5dB attenuation around the 100MHz region !

The chassis of the TA-E1 is a sandwich of 1cm aluminium and 2x 2mm copper plates ; the top plate is 7mm thick, enlarged to 10mm for the front and back parts.
Power supply and rectification are set in a separate enclosure, very much like the pre-Esprit preamplifiers :)

The resistive plastic ALPS attenuator has a 5cm diameter and allows channel balance error of only 0,5dB between 0dB and -100dB ; depth is of 9,5cm while the structure of it is full oxygen-free copper made under hot casting conditions. Ultra-low resistance plastic is used.

The power transformer is "amorphic" and toroidal with ultra-magnetic materials (nickel, cobalt and iron) used for the metal core and precise winding arrangement ; it is housed in a ceramic box for optimal damping and avoidance of any possible flux leaks.

The four die-cast Metal Core Modules hold the input/output stages PCBs and are used as heatsinks as well (decoupling the boards from the chassis along the way) and as components are surface mounted, shortening signals paths as well.
The rest of the parts is on par with all the above, and so was the pricetag.

How many E1s were produced is a mystery : it is even said that only the initial production was completed - that would make one 100. However, the highest serial spotted outside Japan was #500 104 and outside Japan a bit lower than that. So probably around 200 made - few at any rate.
But then, as a prospective replacement to CD, SACD wasn't that successful either...

Sony in 2004 sort of launched a Japan-only and even more reduced set of high-end separates (SCD-DR1, TA-DR1 and TA-DR1a) with this time really undefendable design à la melted ice cream.
The DR1 set ended Sony's adventure in high-end audio (bar the SS-AR1 loudspeaker all-time masterpiece).

But you can still read the enthusiastic april 1999 Sony press announcement online.

Sony TA-E1, image 1 Sony TA-E1, image 2 Sony TA-E1, image 3
Sony TA-E1 specifications
Title Value
Gain : 18dB (CD-in to pre-out)
Inputs : 1x Line unbalanced
1x Line balanced
1x CD
1x Direct
2x Tape
Outputs : 2x Tape
1x pre-out unbalanced
1x pre-out balanced
Input level : 250mV / 20 kOhm (balanced in)
Output impedance : 47 Ohm (unbalanced)
220 Ohm (balanced)
Pre-out level : 2V (12V max.)
Frequency response : 5Hz...300Khz (+0 / -1dB)
S/N ratio : > 115dB
THD : 0,005% from 20Hz to 20Khz
(volume att. 0dB, 2V output)
Idle current : 50mV (± 5mV)
Dimensions : 43 x 10,8 x 44,5cm
Weight : 21,5kg.
List price : 600,000¥ (1999...2003)
Sony TA-E1 : 1 topic
(last updated topic shows up first)
  • Sony ta-n1 and ta-e1                             (13)last updated by Axel - 13/07/2011, 23H51
page online since : 2007
page updated : march 2010
page type : LGT / KNB
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