Yamaha A-S1100 or McIntosh MA5200

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by matrix-6, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
  2. fjn04

    fjn04 Forum Resident

    Location:
    clifton Park, NY
    I hate to be the one, but I use a Croft Phono Integrated with my P3esr's.... It is an interesting choice if
    you're using a vinyl source only. If you use an MM, you don't need anything else. Of the two you mentioned,
    the Yammy also peaks my interest. I've often wanted to feed the Harbeth's more power, just to see
    how they would respond, but the Croft really pulls off the tube sound quite nicely with only 2 signal
    tubes in the phono section, and 1 in the (hybrid) amp.
     
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  3. james

    james Summon The Queen

    Location:
    Annapolis
    Price wise, would it make more sense to compare the Mac with the 2100?
     
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  4. heathen

    heathen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Colorado
    Since most of my music listening is digital I guess I'd have to choose the McIntosh because the Yamaha doesn't have a DAC. If I were you (and you appear to be more focused on vinyl), I'd probably go with the one that has the better phono stage.
     
    matrix-6 likes this.
  5. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    I should have worded it this way:

    If someone were to give you either for free but you couldn't trade or sell it, which would you choose?

    As for the S1100 vs. S2100, I don't need the extras on the 2100, so you can compare them if you'd like as essentially and sonically for my purposes they are the same.
     
  6. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    I wonder if the Mac bypasses the DAC for the analog inputs.
     
  7. btf1980

    btf1980 Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    Honestly, I'd go for the Yamaha A-S1100. I'll list my reasons numerically below. I've had both these amps revolve through my system. I got the Mac for a screaming deal, but I would never pay MSRP for it.

    1. If you're going to spend almost 5 grand on a Mac, you might as well go all the way and add a few extra bucks for a Mac with autoformers.

    2. There's a two thousand dollar price difference between the A-S1100 and MA5200. The argument in favor of the Mac is that it has a DAC. Well, with an extra two grand, there are a a lot of DACs that will give you better performance than what is in the Mac. A dated DAC you're stuck with is no selling point to me.

    3. If you go used, you can get the Yamaha at very competitive prices. I saw the Yammie go for like $1300 once. The Mac is currently sitting steady at around $3500 used (give or take a few hundred), despite the fact that the MA5300 with a newer DAC is available. Why bother?

    4. The A-S1100 not only has the better phono stage, it supports both MM and MC carts. The MA5200 only does MM.

    5. The headphone section in the Yammie is better.

    In conclusion, there is nothing the Mac does better than the Yammie in terms of performance. However, it is a Mac, so it has sex appeal and better resale value.

    Seriously, save two grand and get the Yamaha. If you insist on a Mac, then step it up and get one with autoformers. Then you'll see and most importantly hear what McIntosh is really about.
     
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  8. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    T
    The price difference is actually only $800. The A-S1100 is $3500 and I can get the MA5200 for $4300. I wish people wouldn't focus on the price differences though. I just want the best sound period. I'm good with MM. I'll have a Nagaoka MP-200 to go with the SL-1210GR. Is the Phono pre-amp on the Yamaha better for MM than the MA5200? The guy I spoke to said he's been in the business for over 15 years and the Yamaha can't compare to the Mac. I don't think he is being driven by the commission. I don't need a headphone amp and I heard the one on the S1100 wasn't as good as the S2100 anyway.
     
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  9. lonelysea

    lonelysea Ban Leaf Blowers

    Location:
    The Cascades
    Oh, you want the best sound? Then get the Yamaha.
     
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  10. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    Why? What makes it better?
     
  11. Simon A

    Simon A Arrr!

    I honestly believe you should go for the one who will make the music you love sound best to your ears. Ultimately, that's all that really matters.

    I do believe that autoformers make a difference. I happen to have vintage McIntosh amps for my primary system and Vintage Yamaha receiver for my secondary system.

    I love my Macs and but will always have a soft spot for Yamaha. Different sounds for different moods.
     
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  12. lonelysea

    lonelysea Ban Leaf Blowers

    Location:
    The Cascades
    Umm, the way it sounds?
    I’ve auditioned many Mac amps, tube and otherwise, including the one you mentioned, and the higher end Yamaha integrateds just sound better and more natural to me. Also, the 1100 is $2500 in the U.S., not $3500. The 2100 is $3500, a better choice for a comparison against the MA5200 (and better sounding!).
     
  13. btf1980

    btf1980 Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    The A-S1100 is $2500. It's the A-S2100 that is $3500.

    With regards to what can compare to what, why don't you listen to the amps with your speakers and make your decision? You asked for opinions, I gave it to you. Reminder. I had both these amps. The Yamaha is still with me (although I'm using a Leben at the moment). The Mac is not.

    With regards to price, if price is not an issue and your heart is set on a McIntosh, as I previously stated, forget the MA5200. Get a Mac with autoformers. YMMV.
     
  14. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    Does the S1100 have autoformers? What are autoformers?
     
  15. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    You are right regarding the price. My bad, but regardless I am looking for advice regardless of price. Let me put it this way. If it was a gift and someone had a bunch of S1100s and MA5200s to just give away, which you take? The problem is I don't know you or you're motivations vs. the guy who swears the Mac is leagues above the Yamaha. I have no desire to sell, but he said there is a reason why Macs retain their value. He said Macs retain 65% of their value and the S1000 would go for well under a grand in a few years. He also said something about Macs being the only amps that put out a consistent wattage at all levels. He said the MA520o will put out 100 watts at all times while the Yamaha would not. He also said they do better over time with heat dissipation or something about the sound not degrading over time. He said if it were for home theatre he would recommend the Yamaha or Marantz or other, but for music he would recommend the Mac or British made amps. He said they are better hands down.
     
  16. lonelysea

    lonelysea Ban Leaf Blowers

    Location:
    The Cascades
    Cool. Instead of taking that “guys” word, why don’t you listen to both and come up with your own opinion about which sounds better?
     
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  17. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    Because I can't. There is nowhere here that has both.
     
  18. Aardvark23

    Aardvark23 Forum Resident

    Location:
    North Carolina
    Go take the plant tour in Binghamton NY and talk with the folks that actually make this equipment. You'll buy the Mac. I would bet there's little audible difference in the two, but those Macs are built to last.
     
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  19. Bananas&blow

    Bananas&blow Man of wealth and taste

    Location:
    Pacific Beach, CA
    Yammie. Never heard either of them.
     
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  20. lonelysea

    lonelysea Ban Leaf Blowers

    Location:
    The Cascades
    That’s unfortunate but not surprising. I gave you my opinion, but you’re welcome not to take it seriously, it’s simply my own opinion based on my experience.
    I’m guessing this will be one of the many McIntosh vs. Name-The-Japanese-Brand threads that pop up here frequently. Whatever.
     
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  21. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    That's what the guy told me. He said the craftsmanship and build quality is on a different level. He also said the Japanese buy more Macs than Yamaha because of how seriously they take their music.
     
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  22. lonelysea

    lonelysea Ban Leaf Blowers

    Location:
    The Cascades
    Damn, I been trolled!
     
  23. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    I'll take it! It's why I asked. I just want to be sure it's about the audio and not the price. I essentially have one shot to do this right. I would hate to put $2500 down on the A-S1100 only to realize later down the road that money could have gone to the MA5200. I respect your opinion and
    btf1980 above. Again the reason why I brought up no price was because I want an honest opinion on the sound only. I get that people have their favorites, their reasons, and thier budgets to consider. I want to do this only once and I don't want to regret it.
     
  24. Bananas&blow

    Bananas&blow Man of wealth and taste

    Location:
    Pacific Beach, CA
    I'm American and I buy Yamahas because of how good their products sound.
     
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  25. ThorensSme

    ThorensSme Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    I own the Yamaha AS1100 for a few years now. Great piece, phono stage is excellent and about as good as they come built in these days (I've compared this to the Lounge LCR, Graham Slee different models, and more). I think you'd have to spend about $800 plus to better it new in terms of the phono section. Though there is no flexibility or adjustments there.

    I have a soft spot for Mcintosh. Grew up listening to Mc, and had a vintage stack that I quite liked (C33/MC2105). That said, I don't think their currently quality matches their yesteryear (just my opinion folks.) Unless you step up to their amplifiers with autoformers which is what they are known for, I don't think it is personally worth it. I have not heard the MA5200, but it was on my list of interest when selecting the Yamaha.

    Use the search function on this forum, or google. You will find a lot of threads regarding the Yamaha AS1100 (not so many on the MA5200, but you read that however you want.) Many people here are taking time to give you advice/opinions, its customary to give some sign of appreciation, but your responses are a little blunt to be honest.
     

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