We obtain a nontrivial upper bound for almost all elements of the sequences of real numbers which are multiplicative and at the prime indices are distributed according to the Sato–Tate density. Examples of such sequences come from coefficients of several L-functions of elliptic curves and modular forms. In particular, we show that |τ(n)| ⩽ n11/2(logn)−1/2+o(1) for a set of n of asymptotic density 1, where τ(n) is the Ramanujan τ function while the standard argument yields log 2 instead of −1/2 in the power of the logarithm. Another consequence of our result is that in the number of representations of n by a binary quadratic form one has slightly more than square-root cancellations for almost all integers n.
In addition, we obtain a central limit theorem for such sequences, assuming a weak hypothesis on the rate of convergence to the Sato–Tate law. For Fourier coefficients of primitive holomorphic cusp forms such a hypothesis is known conditionally and might be within reach unconditionally using the currently established potential automorphy.