TEAC AI-1000 Amplifier

Teac has re-entered the two-channel market at this price point after some time away as well as the AI-1000 is the smallest of three incorporated stereo amps in a new range with fitting SACD players. Little is a relative term and other than the Pioneer that is burly, this is the largest amp here. It is also the simplest of all the models in regard to the specification. In a subject of layouts with phono stages and digital input signals, this is actually the one that is only to be fitted with only line inputs. As the most expensive amp (along together with the more specified Pioneer), that is a bold move and traces in another philosophy.

Internally, the AI-1000 shows where a few of the cash has gone. The 85W asserted power output design is a beautifully assembled amp outside and inside - with only the smaller Creek being matched by it for the standard of fit and finish. Touches like the high quality WBT speaker terminals and casework that is substantial mean the Teac looks the part and the controls the volume knob especially - all feel well weighted and engineered. The AI-1000 feels worth the price although, the dearth of digital input signal might put some people away. The remote is well laid out, easy and attractive to use.

Sound quality

The Teac quite quickly shows some characteristics that place it right up at the very very top of the evaluation, but then additionally reveals some infuriating areas of functionality that count against it. With Muse in particular, the AI-1000 is a fine balance of detail drive and control. The sound is big into being overblown without tipping over as well as the detail and tonal correctness can be extremely powerful. It is not unable to fit the NAD offering for absolute scale, but associates this performance using a bass response which is more profound and much more comprehensive than most here. The assurance it possesses with the Neil Cowley Trio is also quite remarkable, even though the piano takes on a slightly harder-edged quality than it does with a few of the other amplifiers examined.

This scale and detail runs into some difficulties with Scratch Massive, because it is less sumptuously produced than the primary two bits. A more minor criticism, but one worth flagging up is that it doesn't prove quite as engaging as other amps on test here and somewhat lacks life and the excitement that some of other integrated designs can bring with their performances.

In a variety of ways, the Teac is a proposition that is powerful and for well-recorded material it includes a scale and control which is one of the best within the group. Some of the other amplifiers outpace the AI-1000 on evaluation here, when in addition, you take into account the fairly high cost and limited characteristics.

TEAC AI-1000 Amplifier photo