I recently went only and saw a question where someone was asking if anyone has ever heard of, owns a TEAC AX Amp. The answers got me interested in the product and wanted to review it.
About the Teac AX-501 Amplifier
The response that most captured my attention came from a novice member. “A key feature, so the AX-501 is its large number of inputs, allowing users to connect both current and future audio components, along with the teac, the full-scale audio system.”
Well, this is a true statement. After using the teac for a while, I now realize there could be a lot of incredible amplifiers out there I don’t know about.
I like volume unit meters, which is why the retro styling of the TEAC AX caught my attention almost immediately.
This is an integrated class d power amplifier xlr input and DAC, featuring high-resolution USB streaming. This core power amplifier is a compact and beautiful device designed for all users.
The following features characterize the device:
- ALC0240 Class D Power amp from ABLETEC
- A fully balanced approach to design
- Maximum power of 120W + 120W into 4ohms for practical use
- A toroidal-core transformer for the power pre-amp
- Schottky Barrier diodes for power supply
- Fully balanced circuitry metal chassis
- Dual analog level meters
- Headphone amp
- 3RCAu analog line sin
- One XLR analog balanced in
- Speaker terminals: screw type
- Aluminum-weighted volume knob
- Headphone out
- Remote unit
- 3-pin AC-socket with a detachable socket.
The AX comes with a large number of xlr balanced-input and a toroidal core power transformer. I find the teac xlr balanced to be a very useful output power, considering there are so many audio sources in the world today. You just don’t know what will come up tomorrow. Besides, some of the audio output power devices we have today cannot be used with most amps because they don’t have the right connections.
With the inputs on this device, there is nothing that will not connect. The teac seems to have seen the future already and given their product a wide connectivity option for a large scale of audio systems.
But it is not only the XLR input terminals suitable for USB DAC use that interested me. The amp also features three sets of RCA analog inputs. With these, you are sure to connect your television screen and enjoy exciting moments.
There are too many amplifiers with complicated features today. With the Teac AX, it could be that the inputs are the only thing that makes it seem a bit complicated. Otherwise, it’s quite minimalistic.
The front panel has all the best features that make a good and simple amplifier seem high-end. It has twin volume meters, which are the main highlights of the device. The amber backlight makes things even more interesting. I felt the light created an illusion that it was more than just the best stereo amplifier,
It comes with a brushed metal chassis, which is very striking. And the details around the input and volume control shine more light on this design.
Using these details gave me a weighty yet smooth feeling that makes everything seem easy. The power switch looks simple yet very effective. It makes a satisfying “chunk” sound when you toggle.
Every part of the design on this AX is very satisfying. The design is an incredible basis from far, but a closer look reveals something more customized.
If you love shiny things, you should be sure to enjoy the lights on the front face. It is all about making the user feel happy.
Talking about the build, everything is housed inside a solid and sturdy cabinet. With its compact A4 size design, the A4 size will not take up much space in your house.
Many amplifiers in this price range are very large and heavy. For instance, some of the Sony and Yamaha amplifiers that compete directly with Teach AX are very weight and large.
Everyone loves a portable yet highly functional device. And if you get your hands on one, it becomes something to be proud of. This is the feeling I received with the amplifier.
I used my AX-501 as part of my desktop system, and it fits right in. I was having trouble with other larger amps because they make my working area seem so complicated and full. But this amp is small enough to fit anywhere.
It comes in either a black or silver finish, which lets you pick something that works best.
Generally, this Teach amp provides lovely use. I never experienced any trouble with the controls as they responded instinctively.
If you feel like standing up every time to push the buttons on the device is too much, remote control is provided to help you out. It is very nice and simple too.
The backlight of one of the meters is dim-able. You can use this feature to get the best lighting for the buttons. Also, switching between the inputs does not take up any sweat.
The sound quality
If there is anything that makes an amplifier excellent or bad, it is the sound quality. You can have all the features on an amp, but if it sounds like crap, it sucks all the fun from your music.
Luckily the Teach amp did not disappoint. I was not sure about it at first because it comes from a brand I have never heard of before. But it sounds just as good as it looks.
However, I was not fully satisfied with its performance in terms of sound. I could feel there is still a lot more I could get from the amp, consider what I had seen from the competition.
Don’t get me wrong, though. The sound was clean and offered a good impact, with a fine sense of timing. But it misses that necessary great grasp of rhythm or fluid dynamic.
My first tune was a 24-bit/44.1kHz file, the Blue Bleezing Blind Drunk by The Unthanks. I was playing through the USB, from which I enjoyed how it picked smoothly. It does wonderful work delivering clear and clean vocals. I was immediately drawn to every aspect of this sound delivery.
However, I felt like it was missing something. It is not one of the most involving or captivating performers like the ones I have used before.
The amp xlr input failed to reach the dynamic lows and highs the song called for. The result was a disappointing uni-directional sounding.
Perhaps it was because I was playing from the USB. Those who have used this technology before know that sometimes it loses some value from the song. Nevertheless, I did not like it.
When it switched to the line-level input, the amp softened a bit on the hard edge. Playing one of my favorite pieces by Rolling Stones, “Laugh, I Nearly Died, it gave out a beautiful and pleasantly steady rhythm that is attractive to the ear. However, more weight, more punch, and more insight could be more enjoyable.
There is no denying that the Teac ax 505 offers a reasonable amount of detail. But this may not be enough for someone looking for more. It is enough only for casual and easy-going listeners.
The song’s elements are laid out properly, but it does not go deep enough to get the basics of the songs on the table.
For this reason, it reduces the benefits of playing hi-res audio. It does not have the discerning power to differentiate between a 24-bit/192kHZ track and one that is ripped on a CS.
It sounds clean and punchy. I must admit this is not something I was expecting after the previous song. But still, it has to handle one single instrument or vocal. For instance, the opening bars of “Fallin” by Alicia Keys did not give me the best impression.
The remaining instruments and more complicated musical pieces do not work very well with the Teac. It almost feels as though the device gets confused with all the sounds.
I tried playing it against rivals like the NAD D-3020, and the TEAC failed. It was a bit low, as described by the sound it produced.
Also, the TEAC is not a product for those in need of bright and straight out-of-the-box sounds. You will need to run for a few days before it picks up pace.
Don’t be disappointed just yet. There is still something good from its sounding, which comes from connecting the perfect speakers.
I did run a few trials with a wide range of speakers. I tried my ATC SCM 11 but the amp could not drive them because they were too transparent,
When I connected to the Monitor Audio BX2s, I was surprised by the energy that came out. But it smoothed off a bit, and the delivery seemed too much.
I used some medium speakers on a similar product before, and it worked well. So I tried the TEAC with some Q Acoustics Concept 20s. This is where the natural pairing happened, and I was able to enjoy my music.
I have a mixed reaction about the TEAC AX. It looks really nice and has some incredible connections. But the sound is not that convincing.
However, if you have got the perfect speakers, this can be the best budget-friendly alternative.