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Is the Yamaha A-S 1200 integrated amplifier so mediocre in terms of instrumental measurements?

GiBo61

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I'm seriously thinking of buying a Yamaha A-S 1200 integrated amplifier to pair with my Elac BS 403 and Carina FS 247.4 speakers. The amplifier looks gorgeous, well made (like a piece of art and engineering) and is produced by a historic musical/electronic brand like Yamaha. Most users are happy with it, some audiophiles complain that it's too cold and analytical, whatever that means.
screenshot_569.jpg

My main concern is spending more than 2000 Dollars/Euros for a device with not very exciting instrumental measurements.
I found only one technical test of this amp, on the Polish site https://audio.com.pl/testy/stereo/wzmacniacze-stereo/3331-yamaha-a-s1200
Both the harmonic distortions and THD+N/power graphs look less than stellar:
screenshot_570.jpg

The manufacturer's manual also reports similar values of SINAD/power ratio:

screenshot_571.jpg



I currently own a Sabaj A30a full digital amplifier with Axign digital feedback architecture (no instrumental measurements available yet but should be a sort of twin of the SMSL VMV A2, made by the same company and tested here by Amir with more than positive results) and I am very happy with it. My fear is to buy an amplifier that costs 4-5 times more and performs worse.
 
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I would definitely stick to the A30A
I have three of those, they are stellar by all means
Measurement-wise they eat the Yamaha for breakfast. I simply cannot imagine that the Yamaha would sound better
 
whatever that means
Nothing.

My fear is to buy an amplifier that costs 4-5 times more and performs worse.
Probably won't hear a difference. If you have very sensitive speakers a higher noise level might be slightly audible at close range, but with most reasonable amps this won't be an issue in practice. Don't know enough about the two particular amps in question, they might be about comparable?
The Sabaj A30 is very inefficient in idle (and with low output) for its class at I believe 17W, this Yamaha though will be more wasteful still (nobody measured it, the 3200 draws 70W in idle, but it's a more powerful amp with a bigger transformer and all, expect maybe 40-50W for the 1200).
 
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I am an Yamaha fan, but not very knowledgeable. My AS1100 sounds better to me than Rotel A11 Tribute or Aiyima 07, on several speakers. You should try audition it first.
 
I can say, if you can afford then buy. Yamaha amp can last at least 20 years.
 
And not only that they can be repaired in any shop.
And if you sell the resell value is good to. Even maybe make a profit if the audiophiles somehow decide it has some secret sauce to the sound ;)
I have experienced before, repair shop refuse Onkyo amp because spare parts compared to Yamaha easily being repaired.
 
I would definitely stick to the A30A
I have three of those, they are stellar by all means
Measurement-wise they eat the Yamaha for breakfast. I simply cannot imagine that the Yamaha would sound better
That's what the reason (and likely the measurements) tells me, however I already know that sooner or later I will pull the trigger....
 
That's what the reason (and likely the measurements) tells me, however I already know that sooner or later I will pull the trigger....
I hope you did. It's a "proper" built amplifier that will last. It may not have the power to back up its hefty weight but it's a damn fine piece of equipment. Reg. noise and THD you won't be able to tell any difference between the Yamaha and the best measuring chinese chip amps anyway.
 
Dear @GiBo61 ,

For this kind of money, please have a look at the NAD C388 (Pic & review link below).

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GS
 
Dear @GiBo61 ,

For this kind of money, please have a look at the NAD C388 (Pic & review link below).

View attachment 345053

GS
It does not have the build quality and feel and retro design that the Yamaha does. Not even close. And that should be why you buy the Yamaha.
And NAD is also known to cheap out on components. Longevity would with all likelihood be in Yamahas favor.
 
It does not have the build quality and feel and retro design that the Yamaha does. Not even close. And that should be why you buy the Yamaha.

He should just buy the Yamaha, throw out the Sabaj, donate it to a thrift store, or just give it away.

The AS-1200 is a modern classic.
 
I agree with @restorer-john . The AS-1200 is great although if you can swing the extra cash, the R-N2000A is the better choice. The underlying amplifier architecture is the same, but the R-N2000a adds the following:

1) Variable loudness. Yamaha does a great job with this and it's a meaningful upgrade in terms of real-world sound in comparison to even a Benchmark AHB2.

2) YPAO room correction; user defeatable but Yamaha is smart and is very conservative with its corrections.

3) Integrated DAC/streamer

4) HDMI ARC support

 
I agree with @restorer-john . The AS-1200 is great although if you can swing the extra cash, the R-N2000A is the better choice. The underlying amplifier architecture is the same, but the R-N2000a adds the following:

1) Variable loudness. Yamaha does a great job with this and it's a meaningful upgrade in terms of real-world sound in comparison to even a Benchmark AHB2.

2) YPAO room correction; user defeatable but Yamaha is smart and is very conservative with its corrections.

3) Integrated DAC/streamer

4) HDMI ARC support

While all you wrote is true I think it looks confused in comparison to the A-Sxxxx

This.. Digital plastic line at the bottom. -Why?? It looks like an identity crisis.

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That's the hidden digital screen, not to mess with the rest of the classic design.
 
This.. Digital plastic line at the bottom. -Why?? It looks like an identity crisis.

I agree- they look terrible. It doesn't know what it wants to be, a big boy amplifier or a cheap-ass AVR.

It's a rare design misstep by Yamaha, but these things happen.

They are actually trying to hark back to their original design language, well before even the class CA-1000 with that black bottom panel BTW.
 
I can say, if you can afford then buy. Yamaha amp can last at least 20 years.
The ones I used to sell are pushing fifty years old this autumn/fall (CA400, 600, 800, 1000) and so many are still running and fetching good money I think on the 'bay :)
 
I agree- they look terrible. It doesn't know what it wants to be, a big boy amplifier or a cheap-ass AVR.

It's a rare design misstep by Yamaha, but these things happen.

They are actually trying to hark back to their original design language, well before even the class CA-1000 with that black bottom panel BTW.

You can follow the design from the 70's up into the 80's with that "line" at the bottom. It looks way way more harmoniously than their new attempt.

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While all you wrote is true I think it looks confused in comparison to the A-Sxxxx

This.. Digital plastic line at the bottom. -Why?? It looks like an identity crisis.

Agreed. I especially prefer the silver Yamaha’s and the plastic line on the bottom looks even worse. Yamaha has access to Japanese urushi lacquer side panels which would have made it look a lot LESS confused. Imagine piano black gloss from an actual piano maker…

I secretly do hope that their hifi line is a business success so that we will see updated processors and receivers from them. It’s hard when it’s a two horse race in the consumer space and two horse race in the processors under $4k space.

The CX-A5200 was a stumble and they may not have recovered from it.
 
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