T+A E-Series Music Receiver

Founded in 1978, German maker T+A is well-known for high-performance, high-value audio products. New to the company's E-Series is the Music Receiver, which combines the other two products in that series—the Power Plant integrated amp and Music Player CD/digital-file source—into one chassis.

Of course, the Music Receiver can play CDs, and it includes a high-quality FM tuner and Streaming Client board that can access Internet radio, UPnP networked music servers, USB media-storage devices, and the iPod. A high-end DAC (digital-to-analog converter) feeds the analog preamp, which provides control of balance, tone, loudness, frequency response, and high-pass filtering for use with satellite speakers. The PWM (pulse-width modulated) output stage is the same as in the Power Plant, albeit with less power (94Wpc into 8Ω, 160Wpc into 4Ω as opposed to 140Wpc into 8Ω, 240Wpc into 4Ω).

The rear panel provides a plethora of connections, including three analog inputs (one of which is part of a tape loop), five digital inputs (three coax, two optical), two USB ports, Ethernet port, and WLAN port. Outputs include a subwoofer out, line out, pre out, and digital out. All digital inputs are processed through the internal 32-bit, dual-mono DAC, and the three coax inputs can accommodate resolutions up to 24-bit/192kHz.

Such a sophisticated all-in-one music maker is bound to be a bit pricey—$4200 to be exact. But if you want to consolidate several separate pieces of gear into one high-performance unit, this seems like a good way to go.