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Stunning Sony TA-FA777ES Amplifier Service & Review

Sony took its hi-fi product lines very seriously back in the day and the Sony TA-FA777ES is a testament to it. Let’s take a closer look at one of the last ‘proper’ integrated amplifiers from Sony.

The Sony TA-FA777ES is part of Sony’s ES product range from the 1990s. Tragically and as Sony fans around the world lament, this was the last of the really serious stuff from Sony. They knew it and, as a send-off, boy did they build them well!

Sony TA-FA777ES

As usual, I’ve made a video about the amplifier as well. Check it out, along with the rest of my YouTube channel.

Sony TA-FA777ES Features

The TA-FA777ES features premium parts throughout including my favourite Nichicon Fine Gold capacitors, literally as far as the eye can see. The chassis is copper plated, uses copper-plated screws and the heatsinks and toroidal transformer are things of beauty.

Sony TA-FA777ES
I swear that volume knob weighs about 500 grams…

The TA-FA777ES contains an excellent phono preamplifier, uses premium HEAVY knobs and features superb overall build quality and aesthetic appeal, in keeping with its several thousand dollar price tag in 1999.

You will find more about this lovely amplifier at the always-interesting Vintage Knob.

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Nobody knows what this actually means, but it’s cool!

Sony TA-FA777ES Specifications

Courtesy of HiFi Engine

Power output: 100 watts per channel into 8Ω
Frequency response: 2Hz to 100kHz
Total harmonic distortion: 0.005%
Damping factor: 100
Input sensitivity: 0.25mV (MC), 2.5mV (MM), 150mV (line)
Signal-to-noise ratio: 78dB (MC), 87dB (MM), 105dB (line)
Output: 150mV (line)
Speaker load impedance: 4Ω to 16Ω
Dimensions: 430 x 175 x 455mm
Weight: 23kg – that’s what I’m talking about…
Year: 1999 – 2001?

Sony TA-FA777ES


With the lid off, you can see the Sony TA-FA777ES is a serious unit. Big filter capacitors mean lots of stored energy, great for dynamics.

Sony TA-FA777ES
Plenty of room inside this 23kg golden monster. Note the preamplifier boards sit in a shielded rear section.
Sony TA-FA777ES inside view
This is where the action happens. Note the beautiful transformer, heatsinks, fit and finish. Copper-plated heatsinks – who does this anymore..?
Sony TA-FA777ES inside view
Expensive Elna for Audio main filter capacitors. 18,000uF @ 63V is a big cap too, especially so in a Japanese integrated amplifier.
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Ah, the beauty of Fine Gold, Fields of Gold…
Sony TA-FA777ES
Never a frown, with golden brown…
Sony TA-FA777ES
Dare I say, it’s a New Gold Dream..?! (one of my favourite albums, grab it immediately if you don’t already own it)


OK, enough golden puns, time for service. For this Sony TA-FA777ES, I cleaned and lubricated switches and controls and adjusted the output device bias current. I also cleaned the entire unit, treated the connectors, and so on.

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You can see my custom-made grey test fixtures extending out from each side of the amplifier in this shot. this is for bias current measurement and adjustment.
Sony TA-FA777ES inside view
Lubricating the volume potentiometer shaft. I know, nobody else does this stuff but that’s why people bring their gear to me. Lifting that volume knob back into place took some effort…
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Here, I’ve accessed (or am about to) the volume pot for service, from behind a copper-plated panel.

Comparing New and Gold…

It’s always very satisfying to listen to an amplifier like the Sony TA-FA777ES after servicing it. Only during final testing do I get to hear the combined results of my work. The silent controls, the added warmth, punch, and smoothness in this case. Definitely worth it.

Before you ask about new amplifiers and the latest technology, let me save you some time. There is very little new technology in modern amplifiers that improves sonic performance. Sony doesn’t even make high-end amplifiers anymore. Denon, Luxman, Marantz and Yamaha do, and you pay dearly for modern amplifiers like this, so let’s look at some current ‘equivalents’.

The Yamaha AS-3000 is a lovely amplifier, priced at $8,999 AUD and featuring a similar build and power output. The AS-2100 is not as good but costs less @ $3,999. Luxman makes the gorgeous L-507uXII, a snip at just $8,499, or the L-505uXII @ $6,499. The pretty Marantz PM11S3 is definitely not as well-built as the Sony yet costs $8,600 AUD. Perhaps the closest in spirit is the Denon PMA2500NE, priced at $5,199. It contains a DAC and is nearly as well put together. Yes, I said nearly. Which of these would I have? This Sony, or the Yamaha AS-3000.

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Yamaha’s very tasty AS-3000 integrated amplifier.
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The Luxman L-507uXII, very nicely put together. Luxman is angling to be another Accuphase these days and doing a great job, but not quite there yet.

Hopefully, you see the problem. There’s kind of similar stuff out there, but not really, and it’s scary-expensive. Needless to say, this Sony’s owner, a gentleman who works for one of the last real hi-fi stores in Perth, is very happy with his amplifier and doesn’t want or need to take out a second mortgage for a replacement. He’s not parting with this beauty any time soon!

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Look at this thing. Very lucky owner!
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Sony TA-FA777ES serviced
Sony TA-FA777ES serviced

If you would like Liquid Audio to service your cherished Sony ES series components, don’t hesitate to make a booking.

Sony TA-FA777ES Integrated Amplifier

$1000 - $2000 AUD

Build Quality




Sound Quality




Bang per Buck



  • Beautiful Sony ES build quality
  • Smnooth, refined, relaxed sound
  • Excellent phono preamp
  • Serviceable, repairable, lovable


  • Lacks a little resolution and bottom end

16 thoughts on “Stunning Sony TA-FA777ES Amplifier Service & Review”

    1. Hi Stu, you may have missed my attempt at humour there, it’s a jab at the technobabble so typical of hi-fi marketing and especially prevalent with Japanese hifi. I’m not sure many people know what “MOS Exclusive Design” means..!

  1. You don’t compare the current Sony TA-A1ES? It lacks a little power at 80 wpc and has no tone controls but I think it sounds lovely and a set of balanced inputs.

    Not as pretty I admit.

    1. Very good point Joseph and thanks for making it. I didn’t compare them only because I hadn’t seen the TA-A1ES. I’ll add it to the list for comparison as soon as I get a moment!

  2. Hello Mike, how good is a Denon PMA A-110 compared with this Sony? Greetings from the Netherlands, Marco.

    1. Hi Marco, I’d choose the Sony over the Denon. The Denon is really just a recycled PMA-2000R/2000AE. It’s a solid amp, though not particularly powerful and with some caveats that limit performance. If you need details or further advice, hit me up via the contact page.

  3. I had a Sony TA-FA 50 ES for over 25 years now in a combination with an XA 50 ES CD-Player, a 77 ES DAT-Player, a JA 50 ES Mini Disc-Player and a TC K 75 Tape recorder (the last two ones went out of duty over the decades due to lack of media and were my recorders for outdoor-sound at car and elsewhere – had a 7-slot MD-Player at the car at that time – unbelievable today) But they all work flawlessly till now. The speaker cabinets are Canton Digital 1 – the first consumer-digital processed cabinets at that time, which allow the linearity of the frequency response and the running time of the single speaker chassis to be measured to the listening position by computer. Over all these years I have been very happy with this system in the living room area, although I as well have a 5.1 system in a music production studio in the house with an awsome Genelec active speaker system, which is able to play down to 18 Hz and as well is processed by six orchestral electronic DSP´s in linearity and run time. (But as well with large Helmholtz-resonators I built myself for the room-modes and other damping systems to bring all to a balance before final tuning with the electronics)

    In Januar of this year I had the opportunity to get one of those very rare Sony TA-FA777 ES (I have not seen any serial number above 600 by now) – a very well preserved and well maintained one without any traces of use and replaced the TA-FA 50 ES with it! Although the general sound as well as the construction of both devices are very similar, the 777 is especially at higher volumes, much less strained and more precise. Complex material in particular is resolved even more finely. I am very satisfied!

    What I miss is a good address for maintenance here in Germany, in case something should fail eventually in the future.

    1. Hi Klaus, thanks for sharing this great story of the lovely system you have there. Believe it or not, you can still considerably improve on the 777ES, nice as it is. One or two TA-N77ES power amplifiers would be another move in the right direction!

  4. Hello. I know that this post is old but if you give me your opinion I would be very grateful. I have a deal for this amplifier and another treatment for the sony ta-n90es and ta-e90es combination and I don’t know which one would be better. I don’t know if you’ve heard both. Thanks a lot

    1. Hi Manuel, we offer an advisory service for these sorts of enquiries, but briefly, they are different, one is an integrated amp and one is a pre-power combo. I would always pick the pre-power combo, other things being equal. Both sound great, the amplifier circuits are similar from memory.

      1. Thank you for responding. I don’t understand what I could win by choosing stage and amplifier separately. Whichever you choose, I will always have the doubt that I missed something. The seller of the ta-fa777es told me that he had the preamplifier and stage 90 combo and that it sounded dull, that his amplifier sounded better. I don’t know if he told me the truth or lied to me

        1. I think that if you are worried about missing out on something, you should get something altogether better, like an Accuphase pre-power combo, or maybe the Sony TA-N77ES, with a suitable pre.

          1. Ha ha. Thank you. I wish I could but it doesn’t give me the economy for so much. I have to settle for something like this. I meant to miss something between one and the other

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