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Amplifier Teac A-X1000 review

Unlike its range of CD players, which are updated every season, Teac’s cast of matching amplifiers has now been available for over two years. The A-X range is based upon a series of common themes, seemingly worthwhile precepts like short-path signal switching, individual calibration of the output bias level and a ‘high power drive capability’.

This last claim is hardly borne out in practice though there’s no mistaking the superficial similarity between the Teac A-X1000 and its relatives. Its black facia, for example, is dominated by four rotary controls catering for bass, treble, input and rec-out selection (inc MM phono) while loudness and source direct facilities lie in-between. Incidentally, its mic input and level control is a decidedly novel addition.

Sound quality

The Teac started out at speed with a busy, bass light version of the Fourth World track, the complex percussion work sounding controlled but a little hazy at high frequencies. The rendition was quite familiar, having the same controlled liveliness as some other amplifiers.

The Kenny Davern combo sounded reasonably enthusiastic if a little small, the saxophone gaining a slightly dusty quality that hadn’t previously reared its head, and probably wasn’t on the disc. The clarinet was either clarinetty or too hard, depending on the listener, but the timing was definitely a bit suspect.

By the third track, the panel’s enthusiasm was beginning to wain. Comments like ‘lacks power’ and ‘potentially mediocre’ began to appear in the notes. It never got unpleasant, but lacked anything that could be described as thrill power, and the higher frequencies seemed to be conspicous by their absence.

The phono option sounded a bit more relaxed and made a welcome change. However, one listener complained that it turned Julia Fordham into Alison Moyet. There are worse transformations.

Conclusion

The Teac A-X1000 is a reasonably competent amplifier, but it has its limitations. It can’t drive anything too tricky and it doesn’t sound all that swift either. But it is worth considering as a budget option.

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