Sony TA-E2000ESD A/V Preamplifier

TA-E2000ESD

User Reviews (26)

Showing 1-10 of 26  
Gary   Audio Enthusiast [May 13, 2013]

I wonder how many SONY 1000/2000 pre-amp owners are aware that these units have a factory-programmed Demonstration Mode? Press DIMMER and VIDEO 1 together on the front panel to activate. This will cycle the unit through all its many functions. The demo lasts nine minutes and will repeat endlessly until canceled by pressing a source or adjusting the volume. Put on your favorite program, adjust the volume to a moderate level, and watch this unit do its thing. Not only useful for observing its functions, but for seeing just how those functions change the sound. Can be more instructive than the owner's manual, which, by the way, does not mention the Demo Mode. Pretty cool! You may also want to know about some experiences I have had with the SONY 2000. I have owned two of these units and I am convinced there is an engineering problem with them. And that concerns ventilation. There is a large number of heat vents on the top panel and you can see three small heat sinks just underneath. The 2000 only draws 38W, so you may be able to see that SONY thought that would thoroughly adequate. But reality seems to intervene. This unit gets very hot and can even burn your fingers by touching the top on a hot day with no a/c on. It thoroughly surprised me with my first unit, but the second does exactly the same thing. What's up with these units? On closer examination, I discovered there is NO heat vents on the bottom at all, except for a few miscellaneous holes. What' s more the 2000 is densely packed with circuit boards so that even if there were vents, air could not circulate upward to cool the admittedly small heat sinks. The result is that the heat sinks just sit there and cook. And cook and cook and cook. The longer the unit is used, the hotter it gets! But we/re not done. The power supply sits on the lower left side and it is oversized as you would expect in a SONY ES unit. However, that also gets very hot! And with no underside vents to let in air, we just get more and more heat. I thought it was very unusual for this pre-amp to get so hot, especially since my SONY 110 and 220 power amps hardly heat up at all. Even the SONY 55ES power amp only gets about half as hot. The SONY engineers must have been asleep in thermodynamics class. This ventilation problem may have been corrected on the later 9000 pre-amp. I don't know. But what to do about this? The first thing I did was to remove the wood side panels. SONY ES component owners are justifiably proud of these beautiful rosewood accents, but I think it is time to get back to earth. The bare metal case acts as an auxiliary heat sink and helps the 2000's situation. I have long been a believer in the "heat stove" engineering principle that disc players and tape decks should be located at the bottom of a stack of components, tuners and pre-amps in the middle, and power amps at the top. If any excess heat is produced the power amps are more likely to handle it. A disc player defintely will not. So accordingly, I placed my first 2000 pre-amp just underneath the power amp(s). In less than an hour of ownership, I noticed how hot it was getting. So I laborously built a special shelf over the pre-amp with 399 holes in the top and open-air sides as well. That worked pretty well for five years until the unit mysteriously failed. With the new 2000 I have gone to more extreme measures as I don't want to lose this one too. The heat stove principle is out the window and it now sits on top of the stack. But that still is not enough to keep it cool. So I bought a small, noiseless fan and turned it on it. Now my SONY 2000 is just as happy (and cool) as a pre-amp processor can be! A four-hour movie on a hot day? No problem. All day CD listening? No problem. Have fun.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Mike Sprecher   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 23, 2000]
Strength:

Loads of inputs, nice design, large display

Weakness:

Quality, Price, its not really "ES"

Ever since i got my 2000ESD, i think it did what i really need it to do. But on the other hand, i discovered one backdraw after the other. Forgive me, but the whole unit sounds like a bad joke compared to its price. In the Inside, the quality matches that of a 100$ CD-Player.

It has *many* features i like, but it lacks Graphical Equalizer display! Argh! It also makes strange sounds with certain Audio Material regardless of the input source.

It also started to display weird think when newly turned on, like garbage in the display.

WE DO NEED A ROM UPGRADE FOR IT, SONY! IS IT YOUR GENERAL POLITICS NOT TO ANSWER *ANY* USER FEEDBACK? I tried to get in touch with you 5 times... never got a reply...

Similar Products Used: none, excactly
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
1
Richard   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 03, 2000]
Strength:

A high number of inputs, especially for it's time of manufacture.

Weakness:

I got a lemon!

My unit ran hot. Solder connections had to be redone time and time again. Components were replaced over and over. Memory settings immediately lost when A/C power disconnected.

Audio output of this preamp is lower than industry norm and very low for the needs of my amp. Surround decoder is only average compared to other 1995 preamps and very inferior to equipment available today. Replaced with an old, used Crown stereo preamp and my wife said "Wow! the Crown is so much better!". Now I need to find a surround preamp that reproduces music as well as the Crown.

My opinion: Sony is too big to mass-produce and support quality audio. I love the looks and features of Sony audio equipment, but am no longer interested in owning another "high-end" Sony.

Similar Products Used: Denon AVR-5700
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Erik Berthelot   Audiophile [Aug 07, 2000]
Strength:

Flexibility, DSP, Parametric EQ

Weakness:

Workmanship, Motorised volume knob, unprotected input level

I have had this unit for 4 years now. I must say it is the best sounding Pro-Logic I have ever encountered. I did not get that *Popping on the left channel* yet. My fingers are still crossed.

The loud popping sound everyone experiences due to high input levels with that piece of equipment is serious business to you speakers, however. Some protection circuitry should have been included to protect your end-of-the-line investment (speakers, that is..). Digital popping is SO harsh when it happens that it could litterally kill your drivers at high volumes. Usually, it happens with an explosion in a movie. Talk about bad timing...

Its parametric EQ is probably the thing I will miss the most when I'll switch to the 9000. Again, to be used with precaution in the low end, because of the loud digital pops that may occur. Why did they take it away?? No one knows except Sony, I guess.

I use it mainly for stereo listening, with an old Luxman M120a and a pair of TOA 300sd. Weird choice, you'll say. It sounds beautiful, with that extra UNF on the bass end.

The thing I don't like about it is the slight clicking and buzzing I get when I use the remote to control the volume. They would have had to fix that before they put that thing on the market. I just don't use it. The analog bypass doesn't even correct this. Makes you wonder how much bypassing is really going on here....

However, I like it's sound, the fact that it's got a Phono stage (pretty neat sounding too) and the many inputs (digital, analog and video) it provides. If DTS hadn't come along to try re-establishing a new standard (which is inevitable), it would probably have been my last pre-amp. I still prefer VHS to DVD, at the moment, so Pro-logic is the way I'll go for a while.

In a nutshell, it's a great machine, well worth the 400$ (or even 500) U.S. you'll pay for one used, if the remote is is great shape. If not, you'll pay big bucks to get a new one.

I give it a four stars, mainly for the sound, the cost of fifth star for the lack of workmanship found in the bottom front panel which is funky, the analog input level which is not bypassed in the *source direct* mode, and the questionnable rigidity of the back panel if one were to do a lot of plugging-unplugging.

Similar Products Used: Many Yamaha preamps
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Blah Blah   Casual Listener [Aug 11, 2001]

This is a correction to a tupo in the review below (I wrote that review)

"I prefer, slightly, the sound of the 1000 for 'dry' listening. It's reverbs are also a bit more smooth, but not as lush in some way. It's hard to describe."

The comment above relates to the 2000, not the 1000. The 2000 is better for dry listening, but neither the 1000 or 2000 are better than even a cheapie '70's receiver for dry listening - but designed more for the reverb and effects stuff. If you want dry listening, go minamilist - but do get tone controls whatever you do. WHenever I see anohter switch box labeled as a 'preamp' - no tone, no versatility, billed as 'audiophile' I just laugh LOL :) What a joke high end is! OF COURSE you need user-equalization - you think engineers can hear? Nearly all of them are practically deaf! Don't tollerate crap just becasue the engineer (or band or producer) likes crap :P

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Michael Lang   Audiophile [Aug 02, 2000]
Strength:

Good sound, versatil, sophisticated, 2nd' generation, Digital Pre, Good Dolby Pro.

Weakness:

Bad workmanship from SONY!

The first unit supplied was returned with a problem in the D/A stage.
The second unit, was fine, till it's left output dead.
It had some bad soldering on the Audio / RCA to print contacts.
After I'd fixed it (my self) I had no more problems.
The unit is used mostly as a remote DAC converter with a SONY ES CD player, an Audio Alchemy Anti-jitter device and as an optical to COAX converter.
The PRE drive a CARVER TFM-35x (250Wx2 Power Amp.)
I use for the front Klipsh Forte-II (99dB SPL/W/m).
It also had some problems to drive the rear (Rotel 970, BOSE 201) to fit overal balance. I did not have the gain (+10dB was too low!)
It's output to the CARVER is most then fine, never clipped.
The volume goes fine up to 12-13 O'clock to get load.
In between, it has a nice control range, not to get too loud
or too soft ever time I touch the RC's volume.
I'm happy with the sound quality, as well as with the inputs and controls.
The Pre has many options from a 1/9 octave Eq. to DSP Pro logic. I tryed to set it with other then factory modes, but
most just did not give a better sound.
It also was used as a test instrument to twick Freq. bands
in room Acoustics problems.
It did a grate job.
The Pre is used most of the time in direct mode. No games.
It's sound and DAC quality are grate. It has a very clean and airy sound, putting a lot of value into details.
I use a VDH the second to hook the Pre with the Power.
It sounded better then any other cable I used.
The Pre is olready old. It leaks the option to add a Dolby digital or DTS.



OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Robert G. Raynor, Jr.   Audiophile [Mar 28, 2000]
Strength:

Grossly underated on this site.

Weakness:

Old, but you can't fault the unit, itself.

This unit is grossly under rated on this site. Quite candidly, I too had problems with a popping sound coming from the left channel, but, I sent it to Sony and it was repaired in less than a week and a half. The problem noted on the repair slip was a soldering problem. In any event, the unit is the state of the art for pro-logic reproduction, and sony makes another pre-amp, the SDP-EP9ES which attaches to this unit and makes is Dolby Digital, although it will not play DTS. In any event, it has a stellar learning remote which is better than Sony's new TA-E 9000ES and it has an analog by-pass switch which the newer pre-amps, including the Lexicon, seem to be omitting on the newer ones. If you can find a used one, buy it because this may be a classic piece of equipment. It bettered the high end units of its time costing thousands more including the Lexicon, Fosgate, and Citation. If you don't believe me, go to Cybertheater.com where the author of "The Perfect Vision" magazines gives a most comprehensive review of this product complete with charts and frequency graphs. The Sony ES are the point of diminishing returns for high end audio. You have to spend an exponential amount of money to better them, and then its only ever so slightly better.

Similar Products Used: Other sony pre-amps, Krell, Lexicon and Parasound.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Chris   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 22, 1999]
Strength:

Great sound, very flexible.

Weakness:

Have had same quality problems with one channel popping. Not due to input overload.

This unit is a big pile of garbage. Sound quality is great and it's very flexible. But,I have had it for several years and had it serviced numerous times. Everytime the problem reappeared soon after I got it back. The unit is out of warranty so there is no way I'd pay to have it repaired.
Now after checking this review site I see I'm not the only person having this problem. It is definitely not caused by input overload. The overload light never comes on but I've had a LOUD pop coming from the left front channel. I originally changed speakers, amplifiers, etc. and the problem always remained with this preamp.
I sent Sony an email telling them of the problems and that I will NEVER buy another Sony product. Very poor quality for their high end product line. Makes you wonder about the rest of their equipment is like.

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Brad Bridges   an Audio Enthusiast [May 10, 1999]

I bought this unit in February of 1998. Let me tell you I love the sound that this unit produces it has the best Pro-Logic i've ever heard and I have heard just about everything in this price range. After purchacing this unit from the good guys for about $699 I had the unit about a week and the unit started to make loud poping noises. I double cheked by hooking up another Sony recievers pre-outs to my amp just to make sure that it was not my amplifier making the noises and it sounded fine. I ended up returning it to Sony because I figured that it was just an out of the box failure or somthing. I got the unit back with a service report stating that this problem was due to an intermittent solder joint about two weeks later. It worked fine for about a week then it started making the exact same noises. I sent it back to Sony for the second time and three weeks later they sent me a new unit. Now just recently this second unit started having the same problem that the first unit was having and I called Sony and arranged to send it back and the person I spoke to said that this particular unit is no longer made? Overall I would have to give this unit 5 stars for sound quality, flexibility, and the number of inputs and options that this unit has (WHEN IT IS WORKING). But only 1/2 of a star for reliability. After reading some of the other Sony reviews on this site a lot of people seem to think Sony has terrible customer service so I will just have to see how Sony handles this one.

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
Joe Blow   Audiophile [Aug 06, 2001]
Strength:

Lots of independent EQ. Even though it has some drawbacks, you can't beat it for the price - but keep in mind that 1000 preamps are going for $100 on Ebay now (yes, 100 dollars - half the price!)

Weakness:

much cheaper and crappier looking and feeling than the 1000 preamp. The 2000 is on the road to mediocrity visual wise.

Sony 1000 drawbacks:
- more diffuse sound
- more edgy (can fix with EQ)
- no separate EQ for rear and center channel
- no source direct mode

Sony 1000 advantages:
- larger, more elegant display
- more classy looking build quality
- longer parameter knobs make adjustment easier
- cool sampling rate display leds
- muting funciton
- green line LED for volume makes level easier to see
- nicer rectangular LEDs for front parameter functions - CLASSY!
- sound is more 'airy' and 'ethereal' - which is what reverb is about anyway isn't it? Not best for critical dry listening, but reverbs are more ethereal - a cool sound - but a coloration nonetheless
- totally silent switching and volume knob operation via remote (motor)

Sony 2000 drawbacks:
- uglier cosmetic - not 'ugly' but does not have that "ES" quality vibe like the 1000 - too much dot matrix stuff, dinky displya, more plastic, less metal, curved bottom door comes off cheap looking
- volume knob LED is useless round dot - can't see where knob is pointing
- ugly volume knob
- parameter knobs short and uncomfortable compared to 1000
- no cool sampling rate indicator lights :(
- round (cheapie looking) LEDs for parameter indication
- non-symetrical writing on front of unit, and too much of it, make it look less "ES" and more cheap - like a receiver
- Unit is VERY noisy switching inputs (relays are loud). 1000 is SILENT
- volume knob is LOUD when adjusting. 1000 is SILENT
- sound is slightly more 'closed in' sounding than 1000, but a bit more accurate in absolute terms. Sound is not as lush and expansive, but less brittle than 1000 - a trade off?

Sony 2000 advantages
- Independent EQ for rear and center and front
source direct mode
- 16 Q choices for EQ (but not that necessary, and have to hit button 16 times to scroll through them :P )
- slightly smoother sound due to 1 bit pulse DA converters
- gold plated jacks (not necessary but some people think they are)

That's it!

I prefer, slightly, the sound of the 1000 for 'dry' listening. It's reverbs are also a bit more smooth, but not as lush in some way. It's hard to describe. The 1000 is more glassy and hard, but also more detailed it seems. The 2000 is more 'round' and 'together' sounding. Overall I would choose the 2000 over the 1000 if they simply kept the same interface and cosmetic. That is the problem with Sony - they giveth and they taketh away - for every new advantage, they seem to fu*k something else up! It is truly sad ;(

Maybe one day Sony will wake it's silly ass up - but I guess not. They have bad 'cosmeticians' I guess - their elite line keeps looking worse and worse - eventually it will be entirely black plastic, with no window or buttons - just some hunk of plastic you want to HIDE rather than fiddle with and enjoy - that is the trend of Sony :(

But for dry listening, what is the point of having a reverb preamp at all? Everything else is really a waste of time on the 2000, except the additional EQ features, which are good if you have mismatched speakers and no other way to adjust them :)

SO it's your choice - now you have the information - the truth. You decide what matters to you - classy looks and 'air', or 'smooth' and cheap looking :)

Have fun!


Similar Products Used: sony 1000
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-10 of 26  

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