This tube amp comes with just single RCA input. Suitable for the minimalist. The built is solid and quite heavy for a small sized amp. Equipped with tubes.
I tested this headphone amp using SONY HAP Z1 ES hi res player and paired it with Sennheiser HD800S.
- Message In A Bottle by Machine Head in WAV 16/44
- Revocate The Agitator by Deicide in WAV 16/44
- New York New York by Andrea Bocelli and Tony Bennett in 24/96
- Billie Jean by Michael Jackson on DSD 2.8 MHz
- The Last Goodbye by Billly Boyd in WAV 16/44
Machine Head's rendition of The Police's Message In A Bottle sounded a bit tame in the beginning but once the drums kicked in, surprisingly it sounded very energised. The snare sounded very hard hitting with a solid thud rather than souding dispersed. The vocal on this track was heavily growling. I am quite suprised that this tube amp can deliver such powerful delivery on a metal song.
I gave the TA03S another scare by playing Revocate The Agitator by Deicide. No issues... no issues seriously. It made me asking how a tube ampncan really score high on metal music. Benton's growling vocal was clear and very energetic. The heavy guitar and double pedal on the drums didnt sound muddled up at all. Each hit by the drumstick can heard clearly. The guitar riffs were very clean sounding as well.
Andrea Bocelli live duet with Tony Bennett on New York New York was very entertaining. When it comes to a well recorded live performance, the TA03S can really simulate and deliver the sound in a live ambience. I felt that I was really listening to a live show, sitting smack in the middle.
Billie Jean by the King of Pop sound quite sharp on the highs. Had to lower down the volume for this track. But the clarity of vocal and bass eere evident in this track. The TA03S didnt hold back anything. Michael's vocal forceful and the bass was just insane. Very unfortunate that the highs were a little bit pushing on the fatiguing level.
Playing The Last Goodbye was the highlight of the review. Boyd's vocal goes deep and the overall presentation was huge and energised with strong emphasis on clarity with sweet highs and bold mids. I could do with a little bit more of bass but the way TA03S deliver the luscious sound on this track made up for the lack of bass.
Pair this amp with the right headphone and it will sing. Pair it wrongly like with an Audeze EL8, it will not give it its best. I would say this TA03S is best for vocal and live performance. Why I say this? Even in the metal music example,the vocal was still super clear. The highs can be a little bit sharp and I could do with more bass.
Try to demo this amp with your headphone. Contact TechX for a demo.