Integrated Stereo Amplifier (2004-07)
Power output: 70 watts per channel into 4Ω (stereo)
Frequency response: 7Hz to 70kHz
Damping factor: 80
Signal to noise ratio: 80dB (MM), 105dB (line)
Output: 200mV (line)
Speaker load impedance: 4Ω to 16Ω
Dimensions: 430 x 135 x 310mm
Accessories: RM-S325 remote commander
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Reviewed Feb 28th, 2014 by guest
I had no great expectations about this amplifier, because I knew that this is a very cheap and simple gear. The amplifier works well, I had no problems with that, but the sound of it is a compromise: sounds good only with high quality, well damped speakers. Cheap loudspeakers with thin sidewalls are not recommended, because this amplifier raises the â€žempty boxâ€ effect of those. It is very lightweight (only 5,5 kg) and compact, but quite powerful, only the serious heat up is worrying.
This Sony has clear, but a bit unkind, scratching tonality, something like sandpaper, comparing to Yamahas, which have smooth, but clear sound like silk.
Another bad thing is, that TA-FE370 cuts the deepest bass range. It is definitely sensible in large rooms, comparing to other amplifiers.
There are no preamp stages in this gear (only for phono), this means, that tone control circuit and record output uses directly the original input signal, this is an undemanding solution, and may cause problems like: improper impedance match; general signal level loss; unwanted loss some parts of freqvency range; noise etc.
Generally, Yamaha AX-396 and 397 are definitely better, Yamahas have much more musical and neutral sound, with better and more flexible tone control, a little bit more stable power, just for a little more money. Yamahas don't raise the â€žempty boxâ€ effect of cheap loudspeakers.
I recommend this Sony ampli if power, size and weight matters, but music doesn't.
If music matters, choose for example Yamaha AX-396 or 397 in this price class!
Design, quality: 7/10
Value for money: 7/10
+ lightweight, compact
+ binding posts
+ properly working knobs
+ good remote
- raises weakness of cheap loudspeakers
- only high quality loudspeakers recommended
- a bit unkind, scratching tonality
- cuts deepest bass
- small and cheap buffer capacitors in the power unit (6800 mF)
- no buffer- and pre-amplifier stages (only for phono)
- serious heat up (which maybe dangerous to output stage)
- average DC offset voltage
- simple, conventional tone control
- cheap parts inside
- plastic front