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Yamaha amplifiers

Discussion in 'audio' started by novak, Mar 30, 2021.

  1. novak

    novak pfm Member


    I have been reading a few threads about Yamaha amplifiers of late, and being a Harbeth owner I have decided to give one a try. As many will have read, Harbeth advocates the use of a well-powered, competently designed amplifier with the features you need.

    My main setup is... Harbeth SHL5+, a Jadis Orchestra Ref SE (40wpc), Chord Qutest DAC, Apple Mac Mini. It's a lovely system, I enjoy it daily. I have owned the Jadis for 6 years and it has always delivered a beautiful, engaging sound – and preferred it (albeit differences are quite small IMO) to other amps I owned, including Naim various up to 282/250, Devialet 140, Croft 7r/25r, Sugden, Luxman, and I few more I have lost track of. They were all great designs, but Jadis delivered something different – in particular, a more open mid-range alongside extended and delicate high frequencies. Like I said, subtle differences, but enough for the Jadis to be a long-term keeper.

    Occasionally, I would like tone controls for when I'm listening early and late so I don't disturb others, and also like the idea of a loudness function for lower-level listening. I couldn't resist the temptation to try a Yamaha integrated. I found an A-S501 online. 85 wpc. Looks smart in silver, has tone controls, loudness, and a remote. Will it be any good? I'm sure it will. Will it have me packing the Jadis? Hmm... I doubt it, but I have to give it a try and put my money where my mouth is. I'm certainly intrigued.

    Has anyone else taken a similar path, and what have your experiences been?
  2. Del monaco

    Del monaco Del Monaco

    501 is very good for its modest outlay. I sold mine on and the buyer was very happy with it. I replaced it with the 803D which is a worthwhile upgrade and includes many other facilities. They are excellent vfm and are very reliable with excellent after sales support. If you want an amplifier only go for the 801. Plenty of current and a detailed well balanced sound. It’s not very coloured or signature led like some amps but I like the music to come through unfettered without manipulation.
  3. novak

    novak pfm Member

    Thanks... yes, I tried to find the 801 and 701 but they're few and far between. Hopefully, the 501 is a good experiment.

    The 803D looks great, and well spec'd.
    Del monaco likes this.
  4. Del monaco

    Del monaco Del Monaco

    It’s quite powerful. The older 500 had great reviews as well and I think it had a pure direct specifically for CD so may be worth a fling.
  5. jamesd

    jamesd pfm Member

    I have an 801 driving Vienna Acoustics Bach Grands and it’s the best they’ve sounded. The Yamaha is powerful, clear and uncolored, with a really good digital section.
    Del monaco likes this.
  6. Del monaco

    Del monaco Del Monaco

    The 801 has a slightly better Dac than the 803D. I was a little concerned about the Sabres initially as I’d read reviews that said the detail retrieval made them a little fatiguing to listen to. But not the case in practice. It works nicely with the sound profile of the amp and my LRS speakers.
  7. twotone

    twotone pfm Member

  8. GF670

    GF670 pfm Member

    I'm interested in this too (for Harbeth M30.1's). I'm hoping to change my current Croft amplifiers to something with more power and fewer boxes, and have to say that the Yamahas look very nice.
  9. Bas V

    Bas V pfm Member

    I would like to know how good the regular Yamaha's are compared to the one-box solutions. Especially the ones with VU-meters...:rolleyes:
  10. twotone

    twotone pfm Member

  11. twotone

    twotone pfm Member

  12. early

    early pfm Member

    I've owned a Jadis Orchester Ref ( I've a feeling you own my old one ;-) , and via Accuphase and two Luxmans ended up with a Yamaha AS2100 . I find the AS2100 to be all the amp I need .
  13. ryder

    ryder pfm Member

    Perhaps try the Yamaha A-S501 if you are curious but I seriously doubt it will sound better than the Jadis Orchestra Ref SE that you currently have with the SHL5+. The higher range Yamahas look like a better bet.

    FWIW I have tried many amps with the Harbeth SHL5+, the latest being the TOTL Luxman L-590AXII Class A amp. To my ears and preference the Harbeth still sounds better with Naim 282/250DR. A more lively and exuberant sound with the Naim. The Luxman is more balanced and neutral in its presentation but the overall sound of the Harbeth is slightly dull, lacking punch and drive when it's driven by the Luxman.

    The Luxman sounds better than the Naim when used with Marten speakers though.
  14. G.smith310

    G.smith310 pfm Member

    @novak let me know how you get on. I'm probably one of the ones you've seen talking about the Yamahas. I've had a different journey to you but still very interested (also interested in Denon)
  15. barryb

    barryb pfm Member

    I've used both an A-S501 and A-S2100 with Harbeths. For me, the 501 did not prove to be a good match, erring toward steely in its presentation. The 2100 is better, but like Ryder, I found Naim better still. Seems likes there's plenty of Naim and Harbeth owners..
    ryder and Del monaco like this.
  16. novak

    novak pfm Member

    I’m sure you’re right on this one, but it’s worth a try nonetheless!
  17. Del monaco

    Del monaco Del Monaco

    They all have their ideal partners.
  18. twotone

    twotone pfm Member

    I used a dirt cheap amplifier with phono stage from Farnell @ about £80 with Harbeth P3Ers speakers, the speakers sounded amazing with any amp even that cheap one.
    Durmbo likes this.
  19. Tarzan

    Tarzan pfm Member

    l myself use an integrated amplifier with tone controls, loudness button etc and find it a Godsend, in my listening room.:)

    Amplifiers with tone controls certainly can have their merits.:D
    Del monaco and booja30 like this.

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