Japanese electronics brand TEAC (Tokyo Electro-Acoustic Company) are well established within the audio industry as one of the leading manfacturers of hi-fi components. From the tape recorder days of the 1950’s to the Millennial pursuits, the brand has maintained a strong presence as makers of audio products for professional, high-end and consumer markets.
TEAC which took it’s initials from “Tokyo Electro-Acoustic Company” the name given the brand in 1956 three years after the brands inauguration. Similar to other HiFi companies it was founded on the premise that they could build a better product than what was currently available. Further extending the audiophile art and driving the pursuit of ultimate sound quality, TEAC’s founder Katsuma Tani was determined to make high fidelity audio accessible to the masses.
There’s not just TEAC in the corporation, a good proportion of development comes through other ventures such as “ESOTERIC” a super high-end audio brand and “TASCAM” who’s products fall in the pro-audio arena. These three divisions are joined Data Storage and Disk Publishing Products. Whilst originating with a tape recorder, TEAC has evolved to become an acclaimed brand known for their high quality amps, DAC’s, CD players, turntables and other hi-fi components which we have available at Audio Affair.
The 300 range is series of hi-fi components designed for class leading performance. Ergonomically focused, these separates are smaller than your standard “shoe box” kit meaning they’re easy to live with even if space is at a premium. Kitted out with an impressive list of specs, when compared to the competition, the inclusions of component parts in the 300 range are ones you’d usually see on much higher end kit.
TEAC UD-301-X-USB DAC is desktop friendly DAC with an excellent power output, enough to drive pretty much any headphone up to 600 ohms, for example the Sennheiser HD800S. The build quality is unsurpassed with TEAC, and this discrete unit embodies the brand’s flawless standards.
Implementing the digital to analog features of the above-mentioned model, the AI-301DA-X is an integrated amplifier that is ideal for those looking to drive a near-field monitor but need a quality DAC also. It also comes with a built-in Bluetooth receiver for high quality music streaming. Both of these models supports DSD128 native playback so you can enjoy hi-res audio from your desktop.
Although many manufactures are moving away from CD player, TEAC have always paid special attention to the physical modes of accessing music. The PD-301DAB-X CD Player is a great match your other TEAC kit or is a great addition to another system. With this exceptional build quality, a standard for TEAC, this CD player is a win, and an added plus is that it has built-in DAB-FM tuner as well.
Taking a step up where the 300 range stopped the 500 range starts to introduce higher spec’d components, better power supplies, DACS and on some models VU meters.
The two amps in the range are the AI-503 and AX-505 integrated amplifiers. They both boast Class-D amplification which means they benefit from an excellent power output, low heat and small footprint. The AX-505 however employs the highly efficient Hypex Ncore amplifier stage, one the best Class D stages on the market as it enables as beautifully musical sound performance, with greater resolution, clarity and transparency.
TEAC’s NT-505 network player doubles a streamer uses VERITA AK4497 in dual mono operation. The dual-mono design, which is usually only seen on more expensive models provides exceptional stereo separation and lowers interference, allowing for music to be fully expressed with expansive dynamics. To enjoy music as close to the original recording as possible, the NT-505 includes an MQA decoder and is able to decode Native DSD files. For the ultimate connectivity, the NT-505 accommodates Bluetooth and a range of other audio inputs.
Sporting the same cutting-edge DAC chip as the aforementioned model, but with without the streaming abilities, the UD-505 is a USB DAC with built in high-end headphone amplifier. Improving on 301 DAC, this model uses large toroidal transformer ensures the power supply is cleaner and more stable. With a A4 sized enclosure, the UD-505 can be easily installed in tighter spaces with no trouble. Featuring trickle down technology from the Estoeric division in the form of the Master Clock Regenerator, timing errors are greatly reduces and wavering temperature levels are stabilised.
Those looking for more power can take advantage of the AP-505 power amp, a “mini power house” which employs the same advanced Hypex Ncore tech as the AX-505 amp. It also features the same improved power supply as the UD-505. New to this mode is the VU meter on the front panel, which is as aesthetically pleasing as it is functional. However you want to set up your speakers, the AP-505 is a great host, allowing you to choose from bridged, bi-amp and stereo modes.
Master Clock Regenerator
Crucial to achieving the optimum performance, a DAC needs a good reference clock keeping it in order. With all aspects of high sound reproduction there are significant improvements in sound quality that can be achieved from ensuring your DAC is clocked correctly, and even more so for DSD. TEAC CG-10M clock takes the OC crystal oscillator which derives from the Estoeric brand for precise temperature regulation. For any device delivering hi-res playback, the CG-10M ensures accurate timing, and a faithful reproduction of the original recording.
For a further look at TEAC’s full range of hi-fi separates which are available over on our main Audio Affair website please follow the link.