Sony TA-E900

July
1 9 8 1 july 1981
1 9 8 7 1987

The real big one and logical evolution of the TA-E88B, by way of a prototype called... TA-E89 !

Sealed and potted modules, dual-mono structure, super-select componentry, 99,99% pure copper wiring, non-magnetic chassis, deported ZP-1 Perfect Balancer ALPS pots and a finish quality to die for, the TA-E900 is electrically 95% an upgraded TA-E88B with an even simpler signal path - thanks to the modules.

The circuit is a common-base complementary push-pull amplifier in cascode connection ; two regulated power supplies are used for each channel.
The following equalizer, input buffer, and flat amplifiers are a bootstrapped cascode differential amplifier, a cascode differential amplifier and a cascode mirror-load circuit ; the equalizer amplifier is of the non-NFb kind.
The output stage is a Darlington emitter-follower single-ended push pulI circuit.


A little Sony twist is, almost previsibly, present : the MC input is implicitly made for the PS-X9's built-in phono stage and/or the XL-55Pro so the 5,5 Ohm input the the E900 might be a problem with other MC cartridges. That part of the circuit is potted in a module so... no tweaks possible !

Also noted by Mirko Essling, the TA-E900's specs are slightly inferior to those of the original TA-E88's so, probably, Masaru Nagami's motto "only better sound matters" came in line here.
It really isn't by much anyway but surprising nevertheless, even if the actual specs, as delivered with each ESPRIT component, all exceeded those quoted in manuals and catalogs.


Unseen was the TAC-91 wood enclosure which was planned from the start but finally never shown anywhere. That is why ESPRIT components have removable rack handles and not a one-piece front like the pre-Esprit.
Beautiful enclosures but extra-rare items - even I have no catalog images and corporate sources like ES Review or DIGIC didn't ever mention them.

The black anodizing of the aluminium parts is extremely thin : the ESPRIT components all get scratched very easily so beware.

That anodizing also has a tendency to uncover a slight magenta undertone throughout the years due to UV exposure.
But I still think "pure black" didn't fit well the notion of ESPRIT and that a color closer to the "B" of the 86s and 88s pre-Esprit would've been much better...


Although fairly unvisible throughout the later 1980s and completely forgotten by the 1990s, Sony did sell a fair amount of ESPRIT units.
If they did all vanish from export catalogs in 1984, they remained available in Japan until late 1987, when the first R1 components were under way : CDP-R1 and DAS-R1.
The Sony ESPRIT division/subsidiary then closed its doors and Masaru Nagami retired.


If not as successful as the TA-N900 monoblocks or the TA-D900 4-way filter, the TA-E900 finally isn't all that rare... for an "ultra-component" made by an all too often laughed at brand that is.
But perfection always comes in small quantities.

Sony TA-E900, image 1 Sony TA-E900, image 2 Sony TA-E900, image 3 Sony TA-E900, image 4
Sony TA-E900 specifications
Title Value
MM input : 1,7mV / 23 / 47 / 90kOhm
MM pF settings : 130 / 220 / 440pF
MC input : 0,015mV / 5,5 Ohm
Aux/Tuner/Tape 1&2 : 102mV / 50kOhm
Outputs : 2x pre-out (1,5mV / 100 Ohm, 12V max.)
2x tape out (150mV / 100 Ohm, 12V max.)
Stereo separation : 85dB (MM)
75dB (MC)
88dB (line)
S/N ratio : 99dB (MM)
88dB (MC)
106dB (line)
THD : 0,0046% (20Hz)
0,0038% (1Khz)
0,0039% (10Khz)
0,0035% (20Khz)
TIM : 0,0055% (at 5V output)
0,009% (at 1V output)
Frequency response : DC...300Khz (+0 / -1dB)
± 0,2dB (RIAA)
Subsonic filter : 12dB/octave below 15Hz
Residual noise : 12µV
Convenience outlets : 1x 450W switched
1x 450W unswitched
PC : 18W
Dimensions : 44 x 10,5 x 45,5cm (sans handles)
48 x 10,5 x 45,5cm (with handles)
Weight : 13kg.
Optional accessories : rack handles
TAC-91 wood cabinet
List price : 600,000¥ (1981)
3200$ (1983)
Sony TA-E900 : 1 topic
(last updated topic shows up first)
  • Re capped TA-E900                             (1)last updated by stchedro - 12/02/2012, 23H53
page online since : june 2006
page updated : august 2010
page type : LGT / KNB
page weight : 192.6 Kb / 0 b

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