Opinions on Yamaha A-S501 Integrated Amp?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Johnny Wong, Jan 6, 2015.

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  1. Johnny Wong

    Johnny Wong Ya der hey. Thread Starter

    Location:
    Wauwatosa, WI USA
  2. fogalu

    fogalu There is only one Beethoven

    Location:
    Killarney, Ireland
    I bought the Yamaha AS-501 about two months ago. Personally, I am very pleased with it but I may not be the best judge because my speakers are old and, to be honest, not of the highest quality, so I needed an amp with tone controls, a loudness option and an output of at least 80 watts per channel. The original AS-500 was an award winner and this new version is identical except for the inclusion of digital inputs. It has plenty of power.

    Be aware that some listeners find this amp on the bright side. I certainly found it so when I first switched it on but after a few weeks it settled down and now sounds very sweet. (You may not believe in amplifier burn-in but I definitely experienced it.)
    If your speakers are good and not too edgy, it should sound fine.

    Here is a link to a review - probably not an independent one - but you will find plenty reviews of the older AS-500.

    http://www.creative-audio.co.uk/HDLIST.php?HOTDEAL=YAM_AS501
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2015
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  3. PearlJamNoCode

    PearlJamNoCode Forum Resident

    Location:
    Philadelphia
    I've got a AS-500 (which is nearly identical to the 501) and am very happy with it. A real bargain for the price!
     
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  4. norman_frappe

    norman_frappe Forum Resident

    Well I use mine with speakers that retailed for $4k originally and I can say I am more than pleased with this amp. Does everything I need an amp to do and it appears to be well engineered with usable tone controls, nice remote and full use of the volume knob. I don't know about long term reliability I guess we shall see. But at $350 I am not too worried. You can buy things that are well designed, perform well, all for a reasonable price. Yamaha appears to have hit it out of the park with their new line up of amps.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2015
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  5. Opeth

    Opeth Forum Resident

    Location:
    NH
    I bought an AS-500 in August 2014, got it for under $290 new. Was such a steal, this is the best amp I have ever had so far, paired with epos epic2's. VERY PLEASED
     
  6. Johnny Wong

    Johnny Wong Ya der hey. Thread Starter

    Location:
    Wauwatosa, WI USA
    Wow, great reviews... Thanks. I'm gonna pull the trigger on this... It looks real purty as well!
     
  7. wgb113

    wgb113 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chester County, PA
    So what are your thoughts? I've narrowed my search down to this and the Cambridge Audio 651A to pair with my Paradigm Monitor 90p v3.

    Bill
     
  8. Isaac K.

    Isaac K. Forum Resident

    How is the low end? I have a Sony av receiver at the moment and the thing that I'm beginning to notice that with every av receiver I've checked out lately is that they all seem to lack a good low end. It seems inherent in the circuitry that the only way to get decent bass is with a subwoofer, even if you auto calibrate the system for 2.0. And I detest sub woofers! I borrowed an old Yamaha stereo receiver the other day and it delivered what my Sony could not. Do you think the A-S501 will deliver a comparable improvement?
     
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  9. riddlemay

    riddlemay Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I see on Crutchfield that there's also a 301 and a 701 in the range. Is it safe to say that if the 501 is good, the 701 (for $250 more) is even better? Or is the 501 the "sweet spot" in the range?
     
  10. Isaac K.

    Isaac K. Forum Resident

    I was thinking about the 701, but as near as I can tell the differences between the two aren't worth the extra $300 to me, at least on paper. For my purposes, I doubt I need the extra 20 watts of power, and I almost never listen to CDs anymore so the "CD Direct" capability is pretty worthless. I would've gone with the 801 for the USB feature, but it isn't the kind that you can connect an iPod to, so why bother?
     
  11. John76

    John76 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Midwest
    I have an A-S301 that I use in my family room with a TV and a pair of Linn Tukan loudspeakers. I bought it because it had optical inputs and the price was right. It also brings back memories of the CR-620 receiver I had back in the 70's.

    It also programs with my Comcast voice remote which controls on/off and volume. If you have Comcast and haven't upgraded t0 X1 with the voice remote, do it! It's a great remote and operating system.
     
  12. Isaac K.

    Isaac K. Forum Resident

    So it compares favorably to the CR-620? That's great to know, because when comparing the CR-420 to our present system it definitely had superior sound.
     
  13. John76

    John76 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Midwest
    No clue, it's been 35 years since I last heard the CR-620. Even if I still had it, it wouldn't suit my needs like the A-S301.
     
  14. Done A Ton

    Done A Ton Birdbrain

    Location:
    Rural Kansas
    Why in the world couldn't you connect your ipod to the usb input?
     
  15. wgb113

    wgb113 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chester County, PA
    I think part of that depends on your speakers. I'm using mine with a pair of Paradigm Monitor 90p v3 and people often ask where the sub is with the tone controls defeated. The Paradigms have three powered 8" subs per side so there's gobs of bass when it's in the source material.
     
  16. Isaac K.

    Isaac K. Forum Resident

    Good question. It isnt that kind of USB, apparently. It says so in the specs, not compatible.
     
  17. Isaac K.

    Isaac K. Forum Resident

    I know that my speakers are capable of delivering good bass so I know the problem doesn't lie there. I've had a number of different brands of stereo and av receivers connected to them.
     
  18. wgb113

    wgb113 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chester County, PA
    Not so much how low your speakers go but that old amp/speaker synergy and how it drives them.
     
  19. tdogzthmn

    tdogzthmn Active Member

    I'm thinking about getting this amp down the road and wondering if it would be a noticeable step down from my current amp which is a Rouge Audio Sphinx.
     
  20. thommo

    thommo Senior Member

    Location:
    London, England
    Yeah, "basic" usb just does charging and plain file playback (designed for thumbdrives etc), while an "ipod compatible" usb also has to handle the ipod's operating system and file protocols to get to the music.
     
  21. ishmaelk

    ishmaelk Forum Resident

    Location:
    Madrid
    I bought one to replace an old Harman Kardon A-402 and wasn't very impressed. I wanted the digital inputs and not spending a lot, so that Yamaha A-S501 was what I needed.
    I loved the design but after a couple of weeks I realized that's all I liked about it. The A-402 was so much better, and I returned the Yamaha. When the A-402 stopped working, I tried other amps and ended up buying a Exposure 2010 S2D. No tone controls, no digital inputs... but I love it.
     
  22. Humbuster

    Humbuster Big hat, no cattle

    My 501 serves duty in my secondary system (TV, music). It is a fine amp and has performed flawlessly since day one.
     
  23. The Pinhead

    The Pinhead KING OF BOOM AND SIZZLE IN HELL

    FWIW I auditioned an RS-700 (AS-700 with built-in radio) and even with Klipsch speakers the sound was as muffled as if the speakers were inmersed in a deep pool. My guess is there's not much difference between the RS and the AS judging by price; just don't buy blindly. Audition it first.
     
  24. head_unit

    head_unit Senior Member

    Location:
    Los Angeles CA USA
    I've liked Yamaha's stuff. My one observation is I do not see pre-out/main-in jacks. There IS a subwoofer output, but read through the manual and see if "highpass crossover" is mentioned anywhere. If not, you will not be able to PROPERLY connect a subwoofer (i.e. cutting the bass out of the main amp and main speakers).
     
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