Product Type: Sony Amplifiers
Newest Review: ... 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 ... more
Quality, but Short-Lived
Sony TA FB940/S
Member Name: northernlovely
Sony TA FB940/S
Advantages: Decent sound, nice finish
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.
Summary: A good amp ruined by poor innards, it seems
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