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Yamaha A-S701 Stereo Amplifier Review

Rate this amplifier:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 23 7.3%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 179 57.0%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 112 35.7%

  • Total voters
    314

amirm

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Yamaha A-S701 stereo integrated amplifier with included DAC and Phono stage. It is on kind loan from a member and costs US $800.
Yamaha A-S701 Stereo Amplifier review.jpg

The A-S701 is one of the best looking amplifiers I have tested. Yes the controls are plastic unlike the glory days when they were metal. But the feel is good, if a bit light. Here is the back side:

Yamaha A-S701 Stereo Amplifier back panel phono input review.jpg

I left the "impedance" switch at default high. In AVRs if you select 4 ohm, it will actually power limit to pass regulatory testing for excess heat. I am behind in testing this amplifier so focused on the amplification stage and not the DAC or Phono. If I get time and owner can wait, I can test those as well.

Yamaha A-S701 Integrated Amplifier Measurements
As usual we start with our 5 watt dashboard after setting the volume control to get 25 dB gain:
Yamaha A-S701 Stereo Amplifier Measurement.png

This is better than I expect, landing the A-S701 in the upper range of our "very good" rating category as far as noise and distortion:
Best Japanese stereo Amplifier Review 2024.png

Best Japanese stereo Amplifier zoomed Review 2024.png

Noise performance is excellent at 5 watts and nearly so at full power:
Yamaha A-S701 Stereo Amplifier dynamic range Measurement.png

Testing is done with CD direct unless otherwise noted. As you see above and manual states, it produces best performance. You lose all the controls though if you turn it on.

Frequency response is nice and flat in audible band:
Yamaha A-S701 Stereo Amplifier frequency response Measurement.png


For kicks, I tested the loudness response as you see above. I have never used an amp with variable loudness. The ones with switches made things louder, not less loud.

Multitone performance is respectable, sans the power supply noise:
Yamaha A-S701 Stereo Amplifier Multitone Measurement.png


Lack of much rise in distortion at higher frequencies translates into excellent performance in the 19 & 20 KHz intermodulation distortion test:
Yamaha A-S701 Stereo Amplifier 19 20 kHz intermodulation distortion Measurement.png


I wish crosstalk was better:
Yamaha A-S701 Stereo Amplifier Crosstalk Measurement.png


The amplifier is rated at 100 watts into 8 ohm and it nicely delivers that and then some:
Yamaha A-S701 Stereo Amplifier Power 8 Measurement.png


It nicely scales to 4 ohm:
Yamaha A-S701 Stereo Amplifier Power 4 ohm Measurement.png

Yamaha A-S701 Stereo Amplifier max and peak Power 4 ohm Measurement.png


We can see the nice predictable power as we step through frequencies:
Yamaha A-S701 Stereo Amplifier Power 4 ohm vs frequency Measurement.png

I think this is the first amplifier I have tested which doesn't cheat out on 20 Hz test signal.

The amplifier is essentially open for business on power up:
Yamaha A-S701 Stereo Amplifier Warm Up Measurement.png


Amplifier Reactive Load Stress Tests
Let's use the loadbox to simulate resistive and non-resistive peak power going all the way down to 2 ohms:
Yamaha A-S701 Stereo Amplifier Power Voltage Reactive Load Measurement.png

It doesn't quite double down on each impedance half but it still produces a ton of power:

Yamaha A-S701 Stereo Amplifier Power Reactive Load Measurement.png


Keep in mind that these are stereo tests so total power is twice as much. Very nice.

I should note that the amplifier handled overloads during this test as if they were not there. No protection. No powering down. No nothing.

EDIT: DAC and Phono Input Measurements.
Yamaha A-S701 Digital Input Measurements
Unfortunately there is no pre-out so I can only test digital input when going through the amplifier. Then again, that is how you would use it. Here is our dashboard then with Toslink input:
Yamaha A-S701 Stereo Amplifier Toslink DAC Measurement.png

Well, this is sad. Distortion spikes fair bit reducing SINAD by some 8 dB. :( We also lose 6 dB in noise department:
Yamaha A-S701 Stereo Amplifier Toslink DAC SNR Measurement.png


Yamaha A-S701 Phono Input Measurements
Per above, this is again with amplifier engaged:
Yamaha A-S701 Stereo Amplifier phono preamp stage measurement.png

We are dominated by the amplified power supply noise which I could not further reduce.

RIAA equalization is not the greatest, losing bass response by 1 dB @ 20 Hz:
Yamaha A-S701 Stereo Amplifier phono preamp stage Frequency Response measurement.png


I would have thought Japanese companies know how to do a phono stage cold. Doesn't seem like it especially when one sees the early overload:
Yamaha A-S701 Stereo Amplifier phono preamp stage saturation THD vs Level measurement.png


Conclusions
The Yamaha A-S701 is a beautiful integrated amplifier with a lot of functionality. Its design is very robust and is capable of easily exceeding its specifications. Overall ranking is at the high-end of "very good," bordering on excellent. All of this comes at a reasonable cost.

EDIT: both the DAC and phono stage are mediocre.

I am going to recommend the Yamaha A-S701 stereo integrated amplifier. If you are a fan of traditional class AB amplifier and you want something that looks good to boot, the A-S701 seems to be the ticket.

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As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 
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hold onto your britches ladies... this is going to be long one!

we've waited for this for LONG time.

This is the literally the standard with which all others are measured.
 
Thank you for your review Amir! :)

It was, as you could guess, a good class AB amplifier.
Pancake flat FR, good SINAD, passes Amplifier Reactive Load Stress Tests with flying colors, phono input, tone controls, 183W-4Ohm 118W-8 Ohm power. This is really good!:)

Good looks and it's also stylish. It is the cream and jam on the pancake flat FR so to say (yes i know, not a very funny joke).

Amir. Do you still have the amp? If you have time and feel like it, can you measure it with the loudness function on? Set at different levels then. In any case, I'm curious about what FR looks like then. Also how the phono section and the internal DAC measures would be interesting to see. :)

Edit:
I missed but now I see. Amir tested the loudness function.
Yamaha A-S701 Stereo Amplifier frequency response Measurement.png
 
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The Yamaha A-S701 is a beautiful integrated amplifier with a lot of functionality. Its design is very robust and is cable of easily exceeding its specifications. Overall ranking is at the high-end of "very good," bordering on excellent. All of this comes at a reasonable cost.
For sure, a good amp all around. For me, the only thing missing is good old peak power or VU meters!

@trl did a nice teardown of this model in 2019;


... so I'll just post these images here and members can look at the other thread for the balance of images;

1718695610707.png


1718695738186.png


Good to see this tested on the AP, thanks Amir and to the member that loaned this unit. These amps are fairly well priced for what one gets.


JSmith
 
Any measurements available for the headphone out? I'm afraid the output impedance is quite high (as often with integrated amps).
 
I'm sentimentally attached to those beauties (specially the black ones) as a Yamaha was the first amp I bought with my own money some 40 years ago (and still goes strong after passing from one family member to the other all this time)

To look like this,deliver as nicely as we saw and considering is a very old design is a marvel.

Really-really happy about this review,thanks Amir!
 
i'd love to see the AS1200 benched just to see some sacred cows slaughtered.

I think the 1200 brings things up to a more 'heirloom' level but its 3, 4x the price.
 
Yamaha is a serious brand whose products have aged well so far. Two of my old AVRs (2600 and Aventage 3020) given to relatives still work without any problem, even though they are 15 years old for one and more than 10 for the other...

Yes Amir, Bravo for this objective test... If you could test the digital part that would be very, very good...
And also the phono input...
Am I wrong, where does it have an output for a subwoofer?


PS. PS. I forgot an old stereo integrated whose reference escapes me at the moment (the model under the AX 892: perhaps AX 595): twice 100 watts at 8 ohms measured at much more by several serious sites... and whose amplifier card looks a lot like that of the 701... with a remarkable variable loudness and an ability to make all the speakers entrusted to it sing and which is a good 25 years old... and still works without any other problem than 'a small intermittent problem with the mechanical source selector.
 
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Thank you @amirm !

I was wondering about its performance, since it has been on a market for a while. You can often get deals for this at ≈500€, which is unexpected for some AB integrated DAC/Amp with this level of performance and power.

Any chance to measure the internal DAC ? Would be a good addition to the already existing measurements from @trl.
 
How does it sound?
Given Amir's measurements, fortunately this Yamaha amp does not sound: it will faithfully reproduce the signal injected at its input: the final sound result will therefore depend on the speakers, their placement in the listening room and the characteristics of the the latter!
 
Really a nice unit. Can connect two sets of speakers just like all those old-timey integrated amps grandpa used to buy. Also has a sub out. Certainly plenty of clean AB power, and a DAC and a Phono preamp thrown in for $800. A completely complete set of electronics.

Classic in a clean and modern kind of way. Looks like it would have a pride of place in any self-respecting audiophile's equipment rack whether the year be 2024 or 1964.
 
And here's the black one:

a_s701.jpeg



It's an absolute beauty.
I called my dealer (Europe) for an actual street price and it's about 600-650 euros,shipped.

I can't see any meaningful competition with that kind of performance,looks,features and the absolute warranty and ease of repair,return,etc at that price range.
 
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