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Sony TA FB940/S

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3 Reviews
  • Reliability
  • Expensive to repair.
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    3 Reviews
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      02.10.2011 18:36
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      A good amp ruined by poor innards, it seems

      A few years ago when I was at university I worked for the Technical Services Association, and came into contact with a lot of audio equipment as we provided sound rigs and DJ services. One of these such pieces of equipment is the Sony TA FB940 amplifier.

      The picture here is a brushed aluminium one, the one I used was a piano black (high shine), other than that it was technically identical.

      The amp weighs in at 10.5 kg which is rather heavy, but weight isn't always an indicator of good quality. It's size is quite typical of amps of the time at 15 x 43 x 42 centimetres. The amp has a remote, and works with a tuner, CD deck, turntables, tuner and two tape decks. I personally wouldn't run mp3s though an amp as the sound quality is too lossy, and there's too much distortion at higher volumes. Our set up of choice was via the CDJ1000 however times have changed and more modern setups would utilise more modern equipment.

      The amp feels very high quality - the volume turner for example is soft and not clicky, and has a good weight behind it. Whether you are using this with speakers (and trust me, we used this with BIG speakers) or headphones (our choice: Sennheiser), the sound quality is excellent, it handles bass, strings, synth, voice, anything you throw at it, it reproduces to a professional standard, in my opinion.

      However - I am unsure as to whether I can really recommend it. You can pick it up second hand for around £100 which is a great price for a home setup and certainly I think it will fulfil your needs. The reason I am holding back is that we used not one but two FB 940s and both gave up the ghost, the first just plain stopped working after six months (we didn't want to tinker with it to find out why as it was still under warranty) and was replaced with another that scraped by for about 18 months before finally going kaput. Now, we used this at high volumes week in week out. But considering it was designed specifically for this purpose I am not happy that it couldn't handle it. We replaced it with a Denon which to my knowledge is still going strong, and before that I had always thought of Sony as a quality brand. Maybe we were just unlucky but I've heard similar stories from other users that this range of amps just don't go the distance.

      So as an amp, yes, it is a decent amp. But it likely won't last you and therefore I can only really award a fairly generous three out of five. If I were buying an amp now, for home use, I wouldn't buy this one and if I were to get a Sony at all I'd make sure to get a warranty.

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      19.01.2008 12:34
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      Well worth it

      I have owned a TA FB940 amp for about 6 years, at the weekend it really gets some hammer driving my massive B&W 605 series2 speakers, which it does effortlessly. I wanted a really simple amp with no flashing lights or other distractions and that is what I got. I originally bought it to drive much smaler B&Ws and thought I would have to upgrade when I got bigger speakers, but it was soon apparent that this was not so. I have always been wary of the big brands like Sony, Phillips, Panasonic etc but as this is one of Sony's QS range I think you get a lot better quality than the usual, cheaper 'throw away' ranges. The one thing I do wish it had was a set of pre-outs on the back then I would have bought another identical amp and bi-amped them, at the moment I have bi-wired the speakers using both speaker outputs which takes the definition up a notch.

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      15.10.2002 06:08
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      • "Expensive to repair."

      Four years ago, I have bought this Sony amplifier TA-FB920 (940 is a follow-up one with slight modifications), after a good review I read in a magazine. Like all Sony products, it had an excellent price/functionality and price/quality ratios. Like with most Sony products (at least my experience), trouble with those ratios is that they do NOT last. It broke down after 3 years of much-less-than normal usage and Sony made me pay 35% of the original price for the repairs. In my accounts, it is a lot of money to waste on a 3,5 year old already expensive (or upper mid-market) amplifier. Come on! these things are supposed to for last years! My previous amplifier (Marantz) has lasted more than 10 years! My advise is: - Avoid Sony! Everything at my home was Sony and my home is almost like a Sony Junkyard. I may have been extremely unlucky, but you know, my very cheap Beko TV set already lasted longer than my previous expensive Sony "trinitron TV" (at the time, when I bought it, it looked like the same functions at a price cheaper than Philips, but...). - Be careful with magazine reviews! they only look at current quality and ignore the lasting ones. - In Hi-Fi, Go for specialized brands like Marantz, Harman-Kordon etc. Avod I-do-it-all brands like Sony, Philips etc.

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    • Product Details

      CD was a good idea... SACD is even better! Super Audio CD is much more than high-toned jargon and intangible technology. The benefits are very real. For those who really love music in all its nuances, SACD is really a leap forward in what can be expected and achieved. Unheard of fidelity that puts you closer to a truly pure sound than ever before. Compatibility allowing you to bathe in a soundscape of futuristic quality while never leaving your conventional CDs behind. And, security that what greets your ears is straight from the artist, and as they intended it.

      Full, rich sound delivery is within your reach. Representing the ideal partner for any QS range Super Audio CD player, the TA-FB940 stereo amplifier features the linear phase circuit to achieve highly stable phase characteristics. Together with extended frequency response this amplifier is made to ensure accurate reproduction of the high volume of musical data delivered by the SACD format.