Back in October 2001, when Larry Greenhill told us
about the Sony TA-P9000ES multichannel preamplifier, it seemed the best thing since sliced bread. This affordable ($700) analog controller had two six-channel inputs, a six-channel bypass input, level controls for all channels, and a stereo bypass input. For those of us just dipping our toes into multichannel, it was welcome. Though no longer manufactured, the Sony is still a unique component, and one highly prized in the second-hand market. The TA-P9000ES was not, however, the answer to all
our prayers—made to complement a digital processor, it basically has only two 5.1-channel inputs, if the TA-P9000ES is used independently.