Build Quality and Power Supplies
Before plugging either unit in and turning them on, it’s worth taking a peak at ‘what’s under the hood.’ The following pictures clearly show that, although both the TA-9000ES Processor and the STR-DA4ES Receiver have respectable build qualities; there are obvious features on the TA-E9000ES that do not exist within the STR-DA4ES.
Inside the Sony TA-E9000ES
Inside the Sony STR-DA4ES
Perhaps the most important feature of any Pre-amp/Processor or Receiver is the power supply. The power supplies ability to provide ‘noise free,’ clean power with ample current, is one of the keys to creating a quality unit. Characteristics of quality power supply are found in the transformer, capacitors and its isolation with respect to other electronics within the unit.
Sony TA-E9000ES Power Supplies
For a unit that contains no power-amplifiers or tuner, the Sony TA-E9000ES is filled to the top with electronics. Upon first glance, there are many tell tale signs that Sony “dotted their I’s” with this design in order to assure a clean, low noise Power Supply. To accomplish this, they use a Sony ES Stress Free Linear Rap Core Power Transformer for low distortion, coupled with two Nichicon ‘Gold Tune’ 35V x 6800uF Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitors. These Capacitors are specifically designed for high-grade audio equipment with a priority on high fidelity sound quality. The Gold Tune offers superior tone quality by using new materials that are designed specifically for pre-main amplifiers. Sony uses other variations of these Nichicon Capacitors such as the ‘Tune Gold’ and other assorted sizes of ‘Gold Tune’ throughout their circuitry, indicating that they made an aggressive attempt at selecting high quality Components.
Sony STR-DA4ES Power Supplies
The STR-DA4ES has more generic components and elements to make up the power supply. It contains a Bando Brand Power Transformer and two 71V x 15,000uF generic Capacitors. Interestingly, the capacitors used in the 5ES are of the same value, but they are the Nichicon Gold Tune models similar to the ones used in the 9000ES.