Monaural Power Amplifier (1991-94)
Power output: 100W into 8Ω (mono)
Frequency response: 5Hz to 50kHz
Total harmonic distortion: 0.05%
Damping factor: 50
Input sensitivity: 1.1V
Signal to noise ratio: 120dB
Speaker load impedance: 4Ω to 16Ω
Dimensions: 466 x 188 x 462mm
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Reviewed Nov 16th, 2015 by Lefurules
I have got two TAN R1 SONY Monoblocks 100v Japan version. First of all they look great and are massive, well made no plastics but pure metal cast iron body hence the weight of 52Kg each. When powered up through a step down transformer from 230 to 100v it takes about 10seconds by soft start system to get things going and once all is OK you hear a click of the power relays. After that just silence no HUMMING no HISS from speakers just pure silence. So I think it must sound great I hooked the two TANR1 to an other great SONY product the fabled pre-amp one of the best in the HI END gear range the TA ER1. The source of music was the WADIA 851i cd/sacd player.
The sound at first was disappointing, it was OK but no WOW sort of feeling just sound like any good power amp. I let it play for about half an hour and the sound got better but still ( it did get warm) no thrills no nirvana of any kind. Then I looked at the original users manual and read that it would get to full hifi sound after about 100hours of play and especially when not played for a long period of time. So I started count hours! End result still not what i thought it would sound then I read somwhere that after such long period it would be best to recap the amps with new capacitors. So I did the research and found out that this would improve the sound. My TANR1 were made in 1989 so i took the decision and replaced the old caps for new. It is a simple job because all the major power caps are screwed to the PCB. There are two large ones both 22000uF I replaced those with 48000uF and four smaller size also screwed two 3300uF and two 6800uF. These were replaced by same value, all large and small made by NICHICON low ESR type.
When that was done it just needed small adjustment on BIAS current of output stage of the amp and That's it.
So new caps in and powered on ..... and all worked perfect,but what about the sound ? Did it improve or stayed the same well I can just say one word.. AWESOME .
The highs and mids were detailed clear sound no harshness and bass well tight with a punch!!! and that's just after a few minutes of play.
Conclusion : YES it does improve the sound when recapping the old caps. YES it brings back the true value of amps sound and I believe it to be High End sounding amp.
I never had any high end amps but I am happy i did the recap and all my CD / LP collection sounds a new to me.
Detailed without any fatigue after long hours of listening!
Final conclusion Yes the gear from the so called golden age of HiFi works sounds much better or as well as new very expensive amps. Just needs recapping/refurbishment of any part that is used up.
My advice if you like the SONY design then go for it because they do not and will not make the amps like in the old days of HiFi any more. To be honest my Sony's did cost a substantial amount of money but not close to any High End amps price tag. It is worth it to restore classic gear be it SANSUI/ ONKYO/ SONY it will beat higher priced amps.