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Yamaha A-S1100 or McIntosh MA5200

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

  1. Helom

    Helom Forum member

    Location:
    U.S.
    Really can't say. I have no experience with that particular model.
     
  2. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    Questions on setting up the Klipsh S-W311 sub (SW-311 Subwoofer | Klipsch ):

    1. The Klipsch Heresy IIIs have a 99 dB sensitivity rating. The Harbeth P3s have an 83.5 dB rating. Should I set the sub to -15 or -16 dB when using the P3s compared to the IIIs?

    2. Anyone know if Klipsch designed the S-W311 to work with the IIIs best set to 0 dB out of the box on the S-W311s?

    I am finding setting the 311 to 0dB for the IIIs and -15 for the P3s seem to sound best at 50 to 70 dB 9' away from the speakers. If I leave it at 0 with the P3s, I notice the dreaded boomy bass thump at these levels.

    I want it to sound as the material is intended to sound. I tested with the following video and the Decibel X app on my iPhone:



    The Hereseys' are rated down to 58 Hz and the P3 down to 75 Hz. I set the SW-311 crossover point to 75 although I can hear it going well above that when I test with the III's and P3s off. I left all other settings alone - flat EQ, 24 db filter slope, etc. I do notice there is a drop in volume between 52 Hz and 70 Hz in the video and overall the lower frequencies sound much lower in volume. Is this normal? Is there some sort of phase cancellation going on with my P3s or IIIs?
     
  3. George P

    George P Notable Member

    Location:
    NYC
    Does the A-S1100 have the Pure Direct and/or CD Direct Amp features?
     
  4. bradleyc

    bradleyc Forum Resident

    Location:
    Midwest
    The A-S1100 has main direct, Google is your friend :)
     
  5. ThorensSme

    ThorensSme Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    Nope, it does not. Main Direct is for using an external pre-amp or HT setup.
     
  6. George P

    George P Notable Member

    Location:
    NYC
    Thanks

    Anyone else find it odd? I'd assume Pure Direct would be something their higher end amps would have.
     
  7. scobb

    scobb Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    You can turn the meters off and leave all the settings on zero which amounts to the same thing doesn't it? It's "only" an amplifier so no av/digital inputs or receiver to interfere with anything.

    Many high end amps only provide balance, light on/off (or no lights at all) and volume control which negates the need for pure direct as they are always pure direct.
     
  8. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    Correct. There's a video in this thread with a guy walking through the schematics that talks about this. Setting the Bass and Treble tone controls to neutral bypasses them completely for the equivalent of "direct" mode on other models. There is no Loudness control. You hear the relay switch for Bass and Treble each, when you set either to neutral. It sounds the same as when clicking the direct button on the R-N602. So in away I guess there are two independent "direct" modes? One for Bass and one for Treble.
     
    Helom, Shawn and scobb like this.
  9. George P

    George P Notable Member

    Location:
    NYC
    Interesting. Thanks for sharing that.
     
    matrix-6 likes this.
  10. Lebowski

    Lebowski Hey, careful man, there's a beverage here!

    Location:
    Greater Boston
    There's the video. I watched it last night. The entire 55 minutes. It is strangely fascinating. Makes me want to buy the A-S1100. (I recently traded my A-S701 towards a used HK990 and kinda regret it).

    @lollerberry thanks for sharing the original video. I really liked it, it's such a helpful comparison. Wish something like it was available for all kinds of amps (and other components). I know that ultimately it boils down to how things sound but still, I found this comparison interesting and helpful.
     
  11. Lebowski

    Lebowski Hey, careful man, there's a beverage here!

    Location:
    Greater Boston
    He also posted a follow up video with a correction and additional information:

     
  12. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    Summary at 18:54 for those pressed for time. He doesn't say if the larger cap on the A-S2100 and A-S3000 makes a sonic difference though. Not sure if he mentioned anything earlier though as I skipped ahead to the summary.
     
  13. lollerberry

    lollerberry Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    Yeah, glad you liked them as well. I think Yamaha is so awful at marketing these amps that ultimately they're not selling many, and dealers end up liquidating them off with large discounts. I wish the A-S1100 would house a small DAC as well, like the lesser models, but I use my NAD C 368 as a DAC for the time being...
     
    Lebowski likes this.
  14. ThorensSme

    ThorensSme Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    So, @matrix-6, how are you getting along with your Yamaha A-S1100?
     
  15. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    Great. Love it. But, not sure how much better it sounds than my R-N602! I need to get a proper A/B switch setup. Right now, by the time I switch the speaker cables and adjust the volume I don't know if what I'm hearing is placebo or not.
     
  16. Lebowski

    Lebowski Hey, careful man, there's a beverage here!

    Location:
    Greater Boston
    Do you know of any dealers who are selling them at discount? I can’t find any, aside from the dubious eBay sellers.
     
    ThorensSme likes this.
  17. George P

    George P Notable Member

    Location:
    NYC
    Have you tried Music Direct? I called them today to order some cables and I asked for a discount. They asked me if I had bought there before and I said I had, many times. They then offered me 10% off. Not huge, but it was something.

    They have the A-S1100 in stock, in black and silver, too: Yamaha - A-S1100 Integrated Amp | Shop Music Direct
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2019
    Lebowski likes this.
  18. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    OK, I did a longer listening session where I switched back to the R-N602 for the first half of the day. I just switched back to the A-S1100 and the difference was obvious. The A-S1100 definitely sounds better - fuller and more open - it just sounds natural and there. The R-N602 is like the A-S1100 going through a filter. But here's the deal - you wouldn't notice it unless you heard them side by side, and you likely wouldn't miss it. Your ears adjust. It reminded me of the difference I heard going from the KEF Q100 to the Harbeth P3ESRs. The Q100s sound great over time, but as soon as you switch between them and the P3s you notice the difference. So, unless you are unsatisfied or feel like something is missing, or you have money to burn I wouldn't bother upgrading. There will always be something better and there will always be something worse. Just enjoy what you have. Does the A-S1100 sound $2k better? I would say that all depends on how much $2k means to you. Personally, I don't know if I would have gotten the A-S1100 considering, however, now that I have it, I am definitely glad I did. With my budget and listening space I am set. And I highly recommend getting two sets of speakers that sound different if you can afford it. I was a bit worried I wasted money on the Heresey's but the experience is so different from the P3s I have zero regrets. I was worried I'd be conflicted as to which set to listen to, but that's not a problem either. I just fall in the mood for one or the other and know at the time. If I don't, I just listen to whatever I have currently selected.

    P.S. I asked my wife if she hears the difference between the R-N602 and A-S1100 and she said yes, the A-S1100 sounds richer, but the R-N602 sounded great too. So that pretty much sums that up.

    I'd recommend the R-N602 (or R-N803) as a great all-in-one integrated starter amp and the A-S1100 as a great upgrade path. You can keep the RN as the Tuner and Streamer for the A-S1100. You just have to get used to using the two master remotes, but it's not bad once you do.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2019
    Clay B and ranch 22b like this.
  19. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    One more thing. With the R-N602 I enjoyed listening to music, with the A-S1100 I find that I'm craving it. When I'm not listening I want to get back and listen. I'm also finding that I'm enjoy exploring new music more and re-visiting older music. This was so much the case with the 602. The 602 music was more in the background except for the times I turned it up and specifically tuned in. On the A-S1100 it's as if the music is always in the foreground, and that is a great thing. It's a much more engaging experience.
     
    Razakoz, weavzy and George P like this.
  20. ronm

    ronm audiofreak

    Location:
    southern colo.
    Having neither the money or heard either I'll take the Yamaha.Yamahas just sound better than any other makes I have heard.
     
    matrix-6 likes this.
  21. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    They are a pretty safe bet if you don't have the ability to test systems out. My older brother had a Yamaha CR-1040 that I loved. I miss that glow of the displays:

    RECEIVER YAMAHA CR-1040

    It looks good in this updated green as well. Makes me wonder if I can mod the A-S1100 - it would be awesome if they had multicolored LEDs that you can pick from like LED strip lights.

     
    lollerberry likes this.
  22. Lebowski

    Lebowski Hey, careful man, there's a beverage here!

    Location:
    Greater Boston
    Well, I've gone and done it! Pulled the trigger this morning on a "like new" A-S1100 that Amazon Warehouse was selling for ~$1,400!!
    Had it in my cart for several days and the price went down twice. Would've liked to see it go lower, but got worried someone else would snatch it up.

    Sadly I missed the one that Echo HiFi sold last month for $975 :doh:
     
    bradleyc, 4xoddic, lonelysea and 3 others like this.
  23. George P

    George P Notable Member

    Location:
    NYC
    Best of luck!!
     
  24. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    Congrats! Post back with your thoughts.
     
    George P likes this.
  25. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    So, I finally got around to a turntable and phono pre A/B test - sort of. I thought I'd share my findings here for anyone interested.

    My Pro-Ject Carbon Classic with 2M Blue is hooked into the phono pre of my R-N602.
    My Technics SL-1210GR with Nagaoka MP-200 is hooked into the phono pre of my A-S1100.
    The R-N602 pre-out is hooked into the tuner in of my A-S1100, so the Pro-Ject is bypassing the amp section of the R-N602 and going through the main amp section of A-S1100.
    I listened with both Harbeth P3ESRs and Klipsch Heresey IIIs.

    That said, the only differences should be the turntables, the carts, and the phono pre-amps. The amp is the same with the A-S1100.

    So to recap:

    The Project Carbon Classic & 2M Blue through R-N602 phono pre
    The Technics SL-1210GR & Nagaoka MP-200 through A-S1100 phono pre
    Both go through the A-S1100 amp.

    The results?

    The Project was noticeably lower in volume so I had to constantly turn the volume up and then down. It wasn't that big of a deal though as it was quick and didn't ruin the comparison. It would have been nice to get them at the exact same levels but it's not possible as far as I know. Adjusting the phono gain level or the main volume level on the 602 does nothing as it bypasses the amp section, which is good in this case.

    Take this for what it's worth considering the differences, but I could barely tell any difference. They were extremely close and they sounded equally good. I noticed a tiny bit more isolation and definition on the Pro-Ject w/ 2M Blue for certain instruments, and the Technics MP-200 seemed just slightly rounder/warmer. I suspect the main difference was with the carts based on what I've read about them. If that is the case, then the phono pre design on the R-N602 is just lower in volume/output compared to the A-S1100 and I'm guessing the turntables essentially made no difference. I would have to swap carts to be sure, but I don't want to mess them up and I don't care enough to go through the hassle. I just wanted to see what the differences were with the current setup and pass it along for anyone interested.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019
    lollerberry likes this.

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