Sharing the same retro A4-sized 'full metal jacket' casework used by the rest of the range components (with aluminum front, side and top panels) the AX-501 amplifier doesn't need the assistance of cooling fans. That's because it employs a cool-running Class-D ABLETEC power amplifier stage, equally notable for the fact that it consumes just 0.5w (in power-saving mode).
As with the other separates in TEAC's Reference 501 series, an over-sized toroidal transformer has been fitted inside, its output being rectified with the aid of Schottky barrier diodes to provide noise-free internal current.
Connectivity includes three sets of analogue inputs (via RCA sockets) plus a set of fully balanced XLR inputs. The latter, which when correctly implemented offer lower noise levels than RCA, complement the XLR-outputs provided on the UD-501 DAC. A fully-balanced pre-amp analogue stage in the AX-501 promises to preserve the enhanced fidelity of such signals.
Unlike the headphone stages found on many similar-priced amplifiers, this amplifier boasts something special for fans of cans. It features a new CCLC (Coupling Capacitor-less Circuit) system that, as the name suggests, dispenses with coupling capacitors to ensure headphones receive get a stronger, higher-fidelity signal.