Should I Upgrade my Yamaha A-S801?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by George P, Oct 16, 2020 at 10:23 PM.

  1. George P

    George P Notable Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
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  2. jwoverho

    jwoverho Senior Member

    Location:
    Mobile, AL USA
    I upgraded from the A-S501 to the A-S2100. I've found my endgame integrated amp.
     
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  3. Helom

    Helom I'll take the monkey coffins

    Location:
    U.S.
    The 501 and 801 are indeed great values but the upper-tier amps are as well. I went through close to a dozen competing integrateds from the likes of Parasound, Marantz, Sony and Rogue before settling on the 1100. I wouldn’t doubt the brands you mentioned are superior if we were discussing amps from 30+ years ago.
     
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  4. Vibrolux_Reverb

    Vibrolux_Reverb Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Orleans, LA

    I auditioned Rogue and Parasound as well before getting the A-S1100. They were great amps, but the Yamaha is just special imo. It has the PERFECT balance of detailed, lush, non fatiguing, and realistic for me. It reminds me of a great tube amp in many ways, but with a little more accuracy. I find these amps to share the best of both worlds when it comes to tube and solid state. I could never own a tube amp though. I'm not responsible enough to turn it off, so this one is perfect for me.
     
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  5. bgiliberti

    bgiliberti Will You Be My Neighbor?

    Location:
    USA
    I see you have the 1100. Would you say the 1000 series is the sweet spot in the Yamaha range in therms bang for the buck? I'm not in the market now, but I may be at some point if I ever get around to setting up a system in basement. I'm a big fan of the 801, but based on your comments and those of others here, I could see going up higher in the range to the 1000 or 2000 series, if I go through an open box or Yamaha factory refurb. Would probably be using a fairly inefficient British monkey coffin, more likely an LS3/5a variant, or possibly Wharfdale Linton. I have heard the Lintons on an 801, and I was impressed, but spending more wouldn't bankrupt me.
     
  6. Vibrolux_Reverb

    Vibrolux_Reverb Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Orleans, LA

    I would look at hi fi heaven. I bought a "like new" (it was new) 1100 for $1600. Cant beat that. I truly dont think another amp that comes with a warranty can compete at that price point. I've seen them post like new 1200s already for $2000. They were great to work with and vend through amazon.
     
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  7. Helom

    Helom I'll take the monkey coffins

    Location:
    U.S.
    I think they’re a worthy upgrade at their street prices, and when paired with the right speakers. LS3/5as or Lintons should pair well. I only surmise these integrateds are not an ideal choice for the OP because the newer B&W towers have an equivalent-peak-dissipation-resistance that’s not unlike a large Wilson ... :shh: Maybe some Progression Monoblocks are what he really needs. :winkgrin:
     
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  8. james

    james Forum Resident

    Location:
    Annapolis
    I’m also thinking about swapping out the 801. I actually don’t find it lacking in anyway. It’s a fantastic package and unlike other amps I’ve had, nothing about it leaves me wanting.

    BUT, I just like audio gear for audio gear’s sake and am not ashamed of it, so I’m interested in swapping something else in. I’ve always wanted to try a Naim amp, so maybe that? I also have a big Rotel power amp that I’m curious to try with a Schiit Freya in front of it.
     
  9. George P

    George P Notable Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    Can you tell me the signs that would be present if my speakers were underpowered? In other words, what could I listen for as indicators my speakers were underpowered?
     
  10. George P

    George P Notable Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    Hi James,

    The first sentence of your post scared me a bit :) because a few posts you made (and another member made) on another thread were very helpful to me in deciding to stick with the A-S801. I'm glad you still really like it. Here's a link to that interchange, as it is certainly on the topic of this thread:

    2020 Yamaha Integrated Amps A-S1200/2200/3200
     
  11. james

    james Forum Resident

    Location:
    Annapolis
    I’m not being rational. With its digital inputs, it’s the perfect amp for my current needs. As to not have seller’s remorse, I’ll probably bring something new in and run them side by side to see if I’m making a big mistake.

    I’m never really looking for an “end game” amp. I just like having new gear coming in because gear is fun!
     
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  12. George P

    George P Notable Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    Also on the topic of Yamaha upgrades, regarding power, I recall looking up the specs on the 3200.

    It delivers 100 W + 100 W (8 ohms), 150 W + 150 W (4 ohms)

    And I know my A-S801 has been measured by Audioholics to be 105 W + 105 W (8 ohms) and 185 W + 185 W (4 ohms.)

    So it looks like from the perspective of power alone, I already have the Yamaha with the most power.
     
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  13. George P

    George P Notable Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    :laugh:

    Thanks for explaining.
     
  14. james

    james Forum Resident

    Location:
    Annapolis
    I had the 2000 and now the 801. The 801 feels more powerful to me with more grip. The 2000 felt a little more polite and tubey.

    interesting to see that confirmed in measurements, thanks
     
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  15. LostArk

    LostArk Well-Known Member

    Location:
    New York
    "Compressed" dynamics during loud peaks, easiest to hear on classical recordings with huge dynamic range (think 1812 overture). What's actually happening is clipping for a fraction of a second, but you don't really perceive it as distortion per se. On any modern 50w+ amp (with 85db+ speakers) you're probably suffering hearing damage if you're pushing it to audible distortion during peaks anyway. Peak power handling on the 801 is 165w into 8ohms @ 1% THD+N, which is quite good. If you want endless headroom at <0.1% THD, you need 400w mono blocks at least. Bottom line, all modern 50w+ integrated deliver adequate power, and if it's not adequate (which it may not be), you need separates (or a PM-10).
     
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  16. George P

    George P Notable Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    Thanks, I am not sure I completely understand, but:

    If my listening range at my listening position is 68dB to 80dB (this is peaks, not average. Average is 70dB to 75dB max) am I covered with the AS801.
     
  17. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles CA USA
    You're probably not running close to clipping. Heck, you're probably only around one watt depending on your listening distance and room. If you REALLY want to know, either:
    (a) Buy a good quality multimeter with peak-hold voltage and/or
    (b) Get a LED meter (ideally also with peak hold)
    Your Yamaha rail voltage calculates as around 27 volts from the Audioholics results. Understand that speakers are NOT resistors, so those power tests have a lot of limitation. The results are pretty simple though: if you're getting near 27 volts then get a bigger amp. FOUR ohm ratings (or better yet TWO ohm) are the most indicative, regardless of speaker impedance, again because speakers are not resistors.

    Personally I'd leave your fine amp alone, unless you want to get into exotic stuff. (And IF you change amps, #1 priority is a reasonable return policy, since you may well not hear improvement). I'd focus instead on considering integrating a subwoofer or two or three; you have fine speakers but hey they have just two 5" cones! And room correction software, which can make a considerable difference (see the result of Buchardt's room correction below-no wonder my friend said the previous speakers had little bass!!!)
    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Martin Takamine

    Martin Takamine spinning black and silver

    Stereophile measured the A-S3200 with both channels driven, maximum continuous power into 8 ohms clipping (defined by 1% THD+noise) at 110Wpc and into 4 ohms clipping at 168Wpc.
     
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  19. bgiliberti

    bgiliberti Will You Be My Neighbor?

    Location:
    USA
    On paper, that doesn't strike me as a lot of power for an amp in this price range. Is it biased toward Class A by any chance?
     
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  20. rednedtugent

    rednedtugent Forum Resident

    Location:
    Funk, Ohio
    I'm glad you asked, :winkgrin:
    If I had to do it all over again, I'd do it all over again
    and get the A-S2100 or maybe the A-S3000...
    but I'm not trying to fill a large hall with music.
    I've used the 2100 with monitors or easy load floor standers mostly.
     
  21. Helom

    Helom I'll take the monkey coffins

    Location:
    U.S.

    Sometimes the signs only become obvious after you switch to an amp of higher power. The 801 may indeed be powerful enough, I cannot say for certain, but I would wager your speakers can take hundreds of watts in stride. And based on the Audioholics measurements, the 1100 or 2100 are not likely to provide a more effortless sound, only more refinement.

    What is your max budget? If $3500^ I think you’d be better off with separates. For example, a Schiit preamp and Parasound A21 will give you a boost in both refinement and power. I’d also take a serious look at the new Adcom power amps.
     

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