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After some don't know how many years, 10?20?30?...what a feeling!
By The Fez
1977 160,000 yen 100w + 100w 8ohms 21kg Two independent monaural amplifiers Harmonic distortion .01% First stage â€“ voltage amplifier. Dual FET input, a differential cascode amplifier, current mirror output circuit at the first stage and a bipolar transistor cascode amplifier at the next stage.
Drive stage â€“ Fully complimentary push-pull power amp. â€“ Sony V-FETs 2SJ18 & 2SK60 plus bipolar transistors in cascode configuration. Triple dual output configuration per channel.
The TA-N7B is considered a statement product from Sony. Just looking at the rather small footprint of the N7B tells you itâ€™s built extremely well. Designed and built up to a standard, a standard in the late 1970â€™s that was very high.
Sonyâ€™s aim in designing and building the N7B was to produce a state of the art audio amplifier employing the very latest and best audio engineering possible at that time.
Some 37 years later, those experienced with this amplifier and technically qualified may look now and see the flaws in the designs. Iâ€™m no audio engineer; I donâ€™t claim to be of any technical expertise. But I do like listening to music, and this amplifier was no doubt built to reproduce music to the highest fidelity level possible.
Aesthetics, design, look? â€“ Itâ€™s a matter of taste. Iâ€™ve had someone tell me the amp looks like a dorm refrigerator they had in college! â€“ joking?, perhaps. When in the listening position and looking at the face, it is a very nice simple design. The backside, aint that flash in my opinion. It is unique that is the fact.
The amplifier has undergone an extensive rebuild. Over 180 parts have been replaced.
Also, some discrete enhancements or modifications have been done to make the amplifier more stable and to sonically take it â€œupâ€ to another level. The alterations were researched, tested, re-tested, applied, then re-tested, to exacting standards (as the N7B demands) to ensure the highest level of integrity, and sonic purity.
All replacements parts and substitues used are absolutely appropriate and precisely matched wherever required across all circuits.
Listening to the Sony TA-N7B
Plugged in and allowed to idle along at low volumes for a good hour before putting the foot down. Itâ€™s a bit like having a classic car restored, and youâ€™re taking it out for a drive. You know itâ€™s good, you know itâ€™s been restored very well, but you just want to treat her gently.
Once warmed up the Sony delivers a beautifully balanced sound, with what I describe as -- elegant power.
A stupendously articulate and detailed delivery. Tonally, very refined and nuanced, nothing but the music is heard, in front of a completely silent background. But it is not cold or clinical. You will hear instruments and detail never heard before. You will hear a wavering in a voice or a backing singer, you never heard before. The layering and purity of the sound is quite amazing.
Source and recording quality is therefore an even more important element when running the N7B. Critical of source is the TA-N7B no question. Transient speed and dynamics are wonderful. Itâ€™s a â€œquickâ€ amplifier this Sony, very quick.
Bass / low frequency is also superb. Mid bass, upper bass, low bass itâ€™s all in there. The amplifier goes so low and with wonderful definition and control. Midrange and highs are also excellent. In particular vocals and piano is where the Sony excels. Voices and instruments seem to leap into the room with you.
The only â€œweakerâ€ aspect perhaps is the stereo separation. Not as good as expected or doesnâ€™t seem to be in the same class as the other aspects of the amplifier. Itâ€™s very good, but not exceptional. Certainly the Sony ESPRIT TA-N902 (the best soundstage Iâ€™ve heard in an amp) & the Yamaha B2 seem to have better sound staging and separation
Speaker choices need to be considered. You want an excellent full range speaker that has excellent grip and control on the bass, images really well. I have developed an immediate case of â€“ floorstandis speaker-upgradeitis. Speaker placement as always is critical. Set up precisely to get the best from the Sony.
Put a decent preamplifier with the N7B, one with reasonably high outputs. The N7B, as a result of the wonderful design, and sonics is a low gain amplifier. But thatâ€™s just the way it is.
A beautiful highly accurate, linear, low noise (no noise!) and dynamic amplifier. Youâ€™ll really enjoy listening to your music with the Sony.
Sony TA-N7B Stereo Power Amplifier Emotiva XSP-1 Balanced Differential Preamplifier Squeezebox Touch (EDO) Audio-dg NFB1.32 ES9018 Sabre DAC Krix Apex Floorstanding Speakers â€“ 4ohms Quad 12L2 Standmount Speakers â€“ 6ohms Grave Science interconnects Music
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