Review! The Yamaha A-S801 Integrated Amplifier!

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“Is the yamaha as 801 integrated amplifier it retails for nine hundred us dollars. And and it s been in production for nearly half a decade. So what i want do in this video is not only am i going to go over things like features and performance. But i also want to comment on whether or not this unit has a place in today s competitive marketplace.

So yeah. Let s roll the intro alright guys so here it is and as usual before i talk about how it performs i want to briefly go over some of the features with you all we re going to take a look at the front on the back. We re gonna take a peek under the hood and then i m gonna talk about how it sounds so at this chord. A yamaha is a 2 1.

Is a class a b solid state integrated amplifier. It ll output a little over a hundred watts into. 8. Ohms and up to 185 watts in the forums and all credit goes to the audio holux for discovering.

What the true output ratings are just because yamaha actually never published. What it ll output into 4. Ohms. As it turns out this integrated amp.

Is just a little bit more powerful than what the specs would suggest and again all credit goes to the audio holux before discovering that now let s turn our attention towards the front of the unit. It definitely has this clean retro look that i really like and what we re gonna do now is we re gonna go over some of the features starting from left to right so on our left. We re gonna have the square. This is gonna be our power button to turn on to unit.

You just press. It and the led is gonna glow this nice amber color. Which is nice and understated. It s definitely refreshing from all the bright blue leds that bring your retinas whenever you re trying to listen at night.

So good on you yamaha moving on we have our headphone jack. This is going to be a 1 8. Jack. It doesn t have a dedicated headphone amplifier.

So i m assuming. It s just going to be our normal 2 volt output. There we are speaker. Terminal switch.

This is a b a plus b and you can even turn it off if you want we have a couple tone controls for basin for treble. The bass is going to be up 400. Hertz the treble is going to be at 35 kilohertz and they re both going to have negative 10 db. Worth of attenuation there we have our left to right balance and we even have a loudness control.

But i m a lot of loudness controls. You actually turn it down and when you turn it down this actually kind of draws out the mid range. So you noticed the treble into bass. More and the idea is for low level listening beneath that you re gonna see some lights for pcm and dsd.

This will do pcm up to thirty two bit 384 hertz and dsd up to five point six megahertz. So this actually has a really nice ess saber dac. If you want all the specifications for that just click on description box below and i have a link to the product page over here we have our input selector and over here. We have our volume control.

And we also have these two buttons right here cd direct and pure direct them. What s going on here is if you have something plugged into the cd input. That s basically supposed to create the shortest signal path. So you get the best sound and outside of that you have pure direct and that s gonna be for the rest.

And the analog inputs you can t run them both at the same time. So..

It s going to be either or anyways. That s it for the front of the unit. Now let s take a look at the back alright. So here s the back of the 801 and just like before we re gonna go over everything from left to right so on the left you re gonna notice our photo input.

This is where you plug in your turntable. And it s worth noting that the 801 has a built in moving magnet. Phono stage. Which is pretty cool beneath.

That is gonna be a set of analog inputs for a cd player. We also have a number of other analog inputs to the right to include a tape in and out moving to the right of that you re gonna notice a dedicated symbol for output that s kind of cool. But those are caveat to that and that it s a low pass filter that s fixed at ninety to a hundred hertz. The manual actually has both numbers claimed either way there s not much you can do about that i do wish that they just had a set of variable prions instead.

But it is what it is up top here. We have our digital inputs. We have optical coax usb. We have a dc out that s for other yamaha products.

We have our five way binding post and over here. We have something interesting an impedance selector. Switch basically pretend like it doesn t exist. This is for a ul heat dissipation test.

Something that they had to put on there just ignore. It doesn t matter what kind of speakers. You re running ignore it so right here. We have our iec for the power cord.

And that is it so now. Let s take a look under the hood okay so one of the first things you guys are going to notice is gonna be this large iron core transformer. I m not sure what the voltage rating. Is just because i never had a chance to speak with the engineer above that is going to be our power board.

We re gonna have this large beam for chassis rigidity back here. We re gonna have our filter caps. I believe if we have a total of twelve thousand microfarads. This is gonna be our digital board with the ess saber chip.

This is gonna be our analog input board. This is gonna be your phono stage. It s gonna be our potentiometer. We re gonna have our transistors and a push pull configuration with a heatsink per channel and overall yeah fairly well made stuff so now let s talk about how it sounds okay so to kick off this evaluation.

I admit that i was curious to know whether or not the 801 was gonna take on more that old yamaha sound. But old yamaha sound. I mean something that had this forward presentation along the top end. Something that featured thin mid range strong base and a character that just let you know that it was around.

And what i found with the 801 was something that s actually quite a bit different. Because when you listen to the 801. What you encounter is a product that instead of being forward and aggressive is more laid back sounding in fact. There s a little bit of warmth to the sound thanks to the base and the top end is actually gonna be pretty smooth leading me to conclude that this is gonna be a great unit for somebody who says hey look i have a thousand bucks.

I want a full featured integrated amplifier. I want something that s powerful and i want something that s easy to listen to if that s you then yeah. There s a good chance you re really gonna like this unit. Now.

What i m gonna do is i m going to break everything down into sections starting with the treble. So..

The treble is gonna be the thing that separates the 801 from the rest of the pack. Because unlike most of its competitors. It doesn t feature artificially boosted up top end making it sound smooth by direct comparison. Now i m not gonna tell you all that it s gonna make your trash recordings suddenly sound like gold that s not what it s going to do.

But i think. This is gonna be a great option for a lot of people because let s face it a lot of you out there stream your music a lot of you out there to listen to compressed files. And this is going to be a really good match for that now obviously if you re somebody who wants a little bit more sparkle in your top end. Then you have these buttons to peer direct buttons.

Which is going to give you that it basically opens up the top end a little bit gives you more inner and plus. You also have tone controls to mess with so you have options here. But without pressing anything i would say that the top end is actually pretty smooth and easygoing now let s move on to the mid range. So the mid range is gonna have some great density to the sound for something like this.

But it s still gonna have some character right even though. It s balanced still a little bit of character in there the lower mid range is gonna have just a little bit of warmth as it meets the base and then the upper mid range has something of a hardness to the tone. This is something that i ve noticed was just about every yamaha product and a good example of that would be when listening to piano. I ve noticed that when you run piano through something like a yamaha product yes the sound is full bodied but the upper registers are gonna have that little bit of hardness to the tone.

I m not sure why i m struggling to speak right now anyways moving on let s talk about the bass. So the bass of course is gonna be strong as you would expect from a yamaha product is it gonna be the last word in finesse. No not really. But it s not exactly one note and if you have speakers that are capable of moving a lot of air this is not gonna hold your speakers back whatsoever.

So the bass is gonna be nice and full and strong sounding and it will take on that slightly warm character moving on the noise for two units gonna be really low. So. If you re running power sensitive speakers. Like say jbl s or clips.

Or whatever you re not gonna hear any noise or hiss coming from the tweeters. So that s going to be nice when it comes to dynamics. I would say it s dynamically okay it handles micro dynamics. Very well but when it comes to big christian those that s where i noticed that well you only have so much capacitance reservoirs basically to rely on so yeah.

I would say it s just okay with dynamics. When it comes to imaging. It s just okay in that regard. If you have speakers that can lay down a wide soundstage.

This isn t gonna hold it back nor is it gonna make them sound like you re in a cathedral. So ultimately. It s a really good sounding piece. But clearly.

It s not going to be for everybody. So let s go over those caveats now okay so when i sit back and i look at the 801 for what it is there s really not much to pick apart. I mean. It has good power.

It has good features and has the kind of presentation that i think is very easy to listen to in fact when it comes to performance. The only thing that i could pick apart is low level listening. I think. It s good at low level listening volumes.

But to me at least. I feel like you have to crank the volume just a little bit in order for the sound to breathe life into the music that you re listening to otherwise. The only complaints. I have are more related to features obviously you can t stream directly to the unit.

If you want to stream your music. You re gonna have to get a separate streamer to do so also the subwoofer output..

I don t know why they went with a fixed output. I wish it just would have given us a set of variable pre outs. But you know it is what it is other than that though i don t really have too many complaints and that of course leads me to my final thoughts. Okay so i m gonna wrap up this whole evaluation.

By answering a question that i asked at the beginning of this video. Which is do i feel like the yamaha. A sa to one has a place in today s competitive market and i think the answer is unquestionably yes. It has great features good power.

It has a sound that s easy going and ultimately. It s just a product that i think matches how people experience music. Nowadays because a lot of people are streaming a lot of people are listening to compressed files a lot of people own bright. Sounding speakers.

And it makes sense to have something that will restore a little bit of body to the sound. And something that s just going to be easier to listen to than a lot of competing products ultimately. Leaving you with a very charming solution. So yeah.

The 801. It s still a very relevant integrated amplifier and i m curious to know what yamaha offers above this line. Because sometimes you kind of lose that charm in exchange for superior objective performance. So that s something i hope to answer later on but for now.

This is gonna be my take on the 801 stick around if you want to know how it compares to some pieces don t i have hanging about otherwise guys thanks for watching. And until next time peace okay. So before i get to the comparisons. I need to mention that this unit was not sent to me from yamaha instead it came from a retailer named adorama now normally i wouldn t go in this direction.

But i figured so many of you wanted me to review this piece that this was the best way to get it done in a time efficient manner. Now i m not affiliated with the company nor. Am. I gonna get any kickbacks if you buy anything from them.

But i will have a link down the description box below in case. You do want to support the people who made this review. Possible and now let s get on to the comparisons alright so getting right to it let s compare the yamaha 801 to the moran s pm eight zero zero six. Now this isn t gonna be a completely fair.

Matchup just because the marantz retails for 1200. Whereas. The yamaha retails for 900. Still they re close enough in price.

Where i feel like this is a fair comparison plus. I know some people will be cross shopping both models. And this is how it goes down first focusing on the sound. They re gonna give you a different experience.

And what you prefer just depends on personal taste. The yamaha has that smooth top end. It has that full sounding mid range with some good density to it the base is strong whereas. The marantz by comparison is gonna give you that more audiophile like experience.

The top end isn t going to be quite as smooth. But it is going to be more airy. It is gonna be just a little bit more nuanced. It s gonna be just a little bit more tilted up now to mid range again.

It s not gonna sound. Quite as full as the yamaha..

But it s going to be more honest more linear sounding than the yamaha and then the bass again not as strong. But it s gonna be tighter cleaner more articulate now when it comes to the dynamics. I would say both units are relatively similar to one another when it comes to imaging. I m gonna go ahead and give the advantage to the marantz.

I noticed that through the same speakers. The marantz will allow them to lay down a wider deeper soundstage. The yamaha is not bad in that sense. It s just not as good as the marantz moving on let s talk about what it pairs well with in terms of loudspeakers.

I feel like the marantz is just a little bit more particular i am hesitant to recommend it with bright sounding speakers. Whereas with the yamaha. I feel like i could recommend it to just about anybody so ultimately that s how they compare now. Let s talk about features.

So the marantz does have a little bit of an edge in terms of build quality and features of course you can control the mid range on the marantz whereas you can t on the yamaha on the here you re gonna notice variable pre outs in case you want to connect an amp or subwoofer whereas this just use that fixed sub outputs and then of course beyond. That you have the build quality. This unit has just a little bit more heft. It uses a nice toroidal transformer with a large heatsink and overall.

It just feels like you re getting more of that proper audiophile piece. But nonetheless both of them are very good units. And it s just a matter of what it is that you prefer alright so lastly. I m gonna compare the yamaha to the io to vx stack.

Which consists of an integrated amplifier and a power amplifier that when combined retail for roughly the same price as the yamaha. So the big question is okay. Well how do they compare okay so to be honest with you all the i o 2vx stack easily takes it in fact. There s only one thing that the yamaha does that i would say is better and or more preferable.

And that s gonna be its smooth top end and i think this is a huge strength though because there s a lot of people out. There who listen to low quality. Sources or they stream music. Which is a pretty low quality way of doing things unless you spend bucco bucks.

And the yamaha is gonna be way more forgiving of that whereas the i of the x deck it s gonna be brighter. It s gonna be more aggressive it s gonna have a lot more grit to the sounds and people are gonna like that some people won t. But that s gonna be the major difference here otherwise when it comes to performance yeah i owe to vx stack takes it i mean the mid range is going to be a lot larger it s gonna be more totally accurate. It s gonna be more balanced between the other frequency bands it s just better when it comes to the bass.

The bass is gonna be similar in strength to the yamaha but the iota vx stack is gonna sound cleaner it s gonna sound more articulate it s just gonna be better when it comes to imaging again. It s gonna be better on the i o 2vx stack in terms of width and depth. Tonal accuracy is gonna be better on the ayad of vx stack. I mean you can go on and on.

But you get the idea and the features are also going to be very comparable. It s just on the eye out of the x stack. It s more buried in a menu versus having actual knobs. Which may or may not mean something to you so overall that s how they compare honestly it doesn t sound like it s very good for the yamaha.

But the ability to have that smooth top end. I think that s a huge one and is definitely something worth reinforcing anyways. Guys that is finally my take on the 801 integrated amplifier if you ve made it this far. Thanks for watching.

And as always enjoy the music and until next time ” ..

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