Sony TA-F45 Amplifier
A cute but capable little slimline amplifier with support for both moving magnet and moving coil phono cartridges. Seems to be the last of an era when Sony made high quality stereo equipment.
I would normally pass on equipment from the 1980s, and I would normally pass on equipment made by Sony (especially from the 1980s) but this amp seems to be the last of an era when Sony actually made decent stereo gear for the average consumer. Sony did continue to make some really high end stuff, but it was considerably out of the price range of many people.
Rated at 50 watts per channel, and with extremely low distortion (0.008% THD) and excellent signal to noise ratio (104 dB), it has a very nice and clean sound. Not bad knob feel, either. I was actually first drawn to it for another interesting feature, actually. This amp supports both moving magnet and moving coil phono cartridges. There is a knob on the front to switch between different cartridge loads as necessary. For a turntable enthusiast, this is a really handy feature to have.
I picked it up in pretty good shape—it just needed a new bulb for one of the input selection buttons. Replacing it was a breeze, and after checking the bias and DC offset values, I found that it didn't require any other adjustments.
I bought the replacement bulb from djwogo.com. The guy who runs this site came highly recommended from Audiokarma.org, and he was able to ship to Canada for a very reasonable rate. The bulb required was 3mm in diameter, and rated at 8V and 40mA.