Hi Fi News

Philips FA860 amplifier

Philips should have been a dominant player in the hi-fi arena, yet many of its products somehow missed the mark. Despite these repeated failures, every now and again the sleeping giant would wake from its slumbers and produce something miraculous – Compact Disc, Motional Feedback speakers – only to disappear until inspiration struck again.

The FA860 amplifier seen here is a product of one of the times Philips decided to try and take the lead at the top end of the hi-fi market, a move spurred by an important advance in CD player design.


The first Philips players used 14-bit DACs, unlike the 16-bit devices employed by the Japanese and it was generally agreed that in terms of sound quality, Philips led the field for the first few years. However, hi-fi marketing is all about numbers and so it was necessary for Philips to come up with a 16-bit DAC of its own. This emerged in 1985 as the TDA1541 chip, first seen in players such its CD450 [ Aug ’14].

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