Sony TA-E88B

Sony TA-E88

October   1 9 7 7 october 1977
1 9 8 1

Sony's big push toward... understatement !

Strict dual-mono structure with two transformers, select parts, an (almost) outboard power-supply and no superfluous controls, the TA-E88B was the second pre-Esprit component to appear and was introduced along its Class D TA-N88B mate.

The underlying philosophy was : no ICs ! The sealed volume and balance controls are stepped with 150 gold-plated contacts, made by ALPS on Sony's specifications : ZP-1 Perfect Balancer.

Germany saw the limited edition WEGA version of the TA-E88B in the Lab Zero series : 250 units. Same preamplifier with revised looks (actually a complete E88B in a supplementary enclosure) with an added sub-enclosure for the bright & shiny LED level display.

The TA-E88 is the original japanese version (silver), TA-E88B is the export version in grey or "gun metal". However, the first export batch was silver.

The final design was drawn in the spring of 1976 by Shigeo Takahashi, along with various layout versions which would later on resurface in other Sony products..

Sony sold thousands and thousands of TA-E88 and TA-E88B worldwide - a real bestseller which remained available in Japan until 1981 and Germany until about 1984.

Apart from the ESPRIT TA-E900 (directly derived from the E88) and the much later TA-ER1, the pre-Esprit TA-E88B is probably Sony's best preamp and one of the best ever at any rate.
Given the scarcity and current pricetags of the TA-ER1, the TA-E88B can be seen as Sony's best... which one can actually own and use !

Detailed images and actual 100Khz measurments of a real E88 at the indispensable

Sony TA-E88B, image 1 Sony TA-E88B, image 2 Sony TA-E88B, image 3 Sony TA-E88B, image 4
Sony TA-E88B specifications
Title Value
Input sensitivity : 2,5mV (phono 1 & 2)
0,125mV (phono 1 & 2 + head amp)
150mV (lines)
Input impedance : 50kOhm (phono 1)
10kOhm...100kOhm (in 10kOhm steps, phono 2)
25 Ohm or 100 Ohm (phono 1&2 + head amp)
50kOhm (lines)
Input capacitance : 100pF (phono 1)
100pF...500pF (in 100pF steps, phono 2)
Maximum input : 250mV (phono 1&2, 1Khz)
12,5mV (phono 1&2 head amp, 1Khz)
Outputs : 2x Tape (150mV / 1kOhm, 15V max.)
2x pre out (1,5V / 100 Ohm, 15V max.)
THD : 0,002% or less at 10V output
IMD : 0,002% or less at 10V output
Frequency response : DC...500Khz (+0 / -1dB)
20Hz...20Khz (±0,2dB ; RIAA)
Residual noise : 6µV (IHF-A)
S/N ratio : 88dB (2,5mV input ; phono 1 & 2)
100dB (10mV input ; phono 1 & 2)
80dB (0,2mV input ; phono 1 & 2 + head amp)
105dB (150mV input ; lines)
Phono gain : 27dB
Subsonic filter : 15Hz @ 12dB/oct.
Componentry : 30 FETs
174 transistors
29 diodes
PC : 22W
Dimensions : 48 x 8 x 37cm
Weight : 9,4kg.
> Direct-coupled reference-standard preamplifier, with straight-path signal,
> Separate monophonic preamplifier for each channel including separate
voltage-regulated power supplies,
> Built-in head amplifier,
> Head amp includes exclusive Sony LEC transistors and its own power supply,
> Selectable phono input capacitance and impedance,
> Sony-developped, cascode-connected dual-FETs and bipolar transistors in EQ amp
and buffer amp stages for low distortion and high thermal stability,
> Buffer amp isolates tape-out connections from circuitry for low-distortion signal flow,
> Select-grade components used throughout, including silver and gold-plated control
contacts, plus metalized-film resistors and polypropylene-film capacitors.
Sony TA-E88B : 2 topics
(last updated topic shows up first)
  • Sony ta-e88b issues                             (3)last updated by petef - 22/11/2012, 23H07
  • TA-E88B....advice                             (16)last updated by pw8888 - 01/05/2011, 10H42
page online since : january 2006
page updated : september 2011
page type : LGT / KNB
page weight : 759.65 Kb / 513.85 Kb

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