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Yamaha AS-1100 & AS-2200 integrated amplifier

JJB70

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Does anyone have any experience of the internal quality of these amplifiers? If I replace my Sony TA-F 700 I would like something with the same brutish feel and build quality, however quality like that seems hard to find these days. I would love an Accuphase integrated but they cost more than I would feel comfortable spending on an indulgence (I want it for the feel, aesthetic and build quality, I am under no illusion and realise that a much, much cheaper amp would meet my SQ demands). This may sound shallow or silly, but I have a thing for old fashioned Japanese hifi and the tactile feel, solidity and presence of the statement products they made in their prime. Wood side panels and VU meters preferred, no it does nothing for SQ but it looks good. I was looking at both the AS-1100 and AS-2200 which press all my buttons. Modern retro old style big bruisers that feel bomb proof, lovely tactile feel and with VU meters and side panels. Nothing high tech or fancy, just old style two channel stereo integrated amplifiers. Which is what I like. However I want something with quality that goes more than skin deep. Some of Marantz and Denon amplifiers press many of my buttons but their attractiveness is only skin deep. Looking at pictures of the Yamaha amplifiers they seem to have some of that old time Japanese goodness with a tidy symmetrical layout and neat construction but I do not know enough to judge. Has any of our build quality and component experts any knowledge of these?

I often say if I replace my old set up I would go with system speakers, but although I think that is the better option in terms of SQ I just like big solid amplifiers that will give me a hernia if I try and lift them. Another option would be to have my old Sony fully renewed with new capacitors etc.
 
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JJB70

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Thanks for the link, it's more the constructional quality (standard of components, assembly etc) I'm concerned about. Call me a cloth eared and tone deaf ignoramus but in terms of SQ I'd be happy with a cheap alternative (if looking at Yamaha for example, their AS-201 and AS-301 entry level models sound fine). As I say, I know this may sound silly to most here, but I have a passion for superior build and tactile feel and consider such quality worth paying for even if I don't think SQ will be noticeably better.
 
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JJB70

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Thanks for the Luxman and Accuphase links! I still lust after Accuphase, although the modern Luxman gear doesn't really do much for me, I prefer their older gear.
 

graz_lag

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Does anyone have any experience of the internal quality of this amplifier? If I replace my Sony TA-F 700 I would like something with the same brutish feel and build quality, however quality like that seems hard to find these days. I would love an Accuphase integrated but they cost more than I would feel comfortable spending on an indulgence (I want it for the feel, aesthetic and build quality, I am under no illusion that a much, much cheaper amp would meet my SQ demands). This may sound shallow or silly, but I have a thing for old fashioned Japanese hifi and the tactile feel, solidity and presence of the statement products they made in their prime. Wood side panels and VU meters preferred, no it does nothing for SQ but it looks good. I was looking at both the AS-1100 and AS-2200 which press all my buttons. Modern retro old style big bruises that feel bomb proof, lovely tactile feel and with VU meters and side panels. Nothing high tech or fancy, just old style two channel stereo integrated amplifiers. Which is what I like. However I want something with quality that goes more than skin deep. Some of Marantz and Denon amplifiers press many of my buttons but their attractiveness is only skin deep. Looking at pictures of the Yamaha amplifiers they seem to have some of that old time Japanese goodness with a tidy symmetrical layout and neat construction but I do not know enough to judge. Has any of our build quality and component experts any knowledge of these?

I often say if I replace my old set up I would go with system speakers, but although I think that is the better option in terms of SQ I just like big solid amplifiers that will give me a hernia if I try and lift them. Another option would be to have my old Sony fully renewed with new capacitors etc.

Disclaimer: I am poised by the choice I made in 2014 ... when I was comparing the A-S2000 over the Harman Kardon HK990 ... the differences were too big between the two in favor of the HK990 so the comparison was a bit unfair for the A-S2000, TBH.
https://www.stereophile.com/content/harman-kardon-hk-990-integrated-amplifier-measurements

Fast rewinding the experience, what I will do today if I would be in the market for an integrated amplifier is either looking for an HK990 in the used market (750 EUR or so) or for the Yamaha A-S3000, in the used market of course. (1,500 EUR or so)
(I try to source 'quality items' out from the used market as much as I can.)
 

Krunok

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Thanks for the link, it's more the constructional quality (standard of components, assembly etc) I'm concerned about.

Judging by these official photos and description it seems to me you've got nothing to worry regarding constructional quality of the A-S3000. :)

Some independent measurements can be found here.
 

garbulky

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I've used the A-S2000. In terms of looks, the thing looks just fantastic. Everything about it excluded just solid luxuriousness. Looking inside, the build looks just gorgeous.
index.php


In terms of subjective sound (no dbt performed), it was meh. Nothing to write home about. But not bad sounding either. My objection was that compared to some of the better amps I've heard it didn't have quite as smooth left to right transition. The soundfield didn't feel entirely coherent or gelled together or natural compared to say my XPA-1 gen 2 or XPA-1 L monoblocks.

I preferred the old Emotiva XPA-2 gen 2 or the Emotiva PA-1 monoblock coupled to an Emotiva DC-1 or dac of your choice any day especially when you take the price in to consideration. Though the PA-1 will not give you the build quality you want, the XPA-2 gen 2 will.
 

LTig

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[..]I was looking at both the AS-1100 and AS-2200 which press all my buttons. Modern retro old style big bruisers that feel bomb proof, lovely tactile feel and with VU meters and side panels. Nothing high tech or fancy, just old style two channel stereo integrated amplifiers. Which is what I like. However I want something with quality that goes more than skin deep. Some of Marantz and Denon amplifiers press many of my buttons but their attractiveness is only skin deep.
I'm not familiar with modern Rotel components but their old amplifiers (I'm talking some 20+ years ago, my wife had a RA-935 BX mk2) were always of good built and no nonsense engineering (and no VUs either, sorry). The current models don't look too bad either:
 

direstraitsfan98

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You're asking the wrong questions. You should first determine how much power you need. I'd say 6db of headroom is plenty, so find something that is comfortable with peak outputs of 4x the rated RMS wattage. Next, find out the sensitivity of your speakers, your listening distance, and room volume. Then you can figure out of this amp is right for you.

From my experience with amplifiers, they will all sound the same if they're being fed a good source and driving a stable voltage load, with no crazy impedance spikes, etc. You of course get what you pay for when it comes to chassis work, attention to detail and customer service. The latter is obviously not part of the deal if buying used.

Yamaha makes ALL their stereo gear in Maylasia at the moment. Even their M5000 and C5000 reference $10,000 amplifier and preamplifier are now manufactured entirely in the far east. Pretty shameful honestly. I suppose the price would be double if they kept their production in Japan but it's clear they are and have been cutting corners. I have not personally put my hands on the new AS-2100 or 3000 series but it's probably not up to par with Luxman. The aluminum chassis being used on the Yamaha looks quite thin, and probably has a lot of flex if you were to press your hand firmly down on the top. For me, that does not scream premium at all.

You know what I didn't really read your post properly until now and I realize you were asking about internal construction and aesthetics only, not if the amp is good for you or not. I'd say go see it in person. I'm curious if the knobs on the AS-2100 and AS-3000 are of adequete quality. I know tolerances in the Chinese and Maylasian factories can be lesser, and I wonder if the knobs have any sort of give or flex to them. If you compare an Accuphase to even a Luxman, the Accuphase knobs feel incredibly premium.

accuphase.png
 
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Zog

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Does anyone have any experience of the internal quality of these amplifiers? If I replace my Sony TA-F 700 I would like something with the same brutish feel and build quality, however quality like that seems hard to find these days. I would love an Accuphase integrated but they cost more than I would feel comfortable spending on an indulgence (I want it for the feel, aesthetic and build quality, I am under no illusion and realise that a much, much cheaper amp would meet my SQ demands). This may sound shallow or silly, but I have a thing for old fashioned Japanese hifi and the tactile feel, solidity and presence of the statement products they made in their prime. Wood side panels and VU meters preferred, no it does nothing for SQ but it looks good. I was looking at both the AS-1100 and AS-2200 which press all my buttons. Modern retro old style big bruisers that feel bomb proof, lovely tactile feel and with VU meters and side panels. Nothing high tech or fancy, just old style two channel stereo integrated amplifiers. Which is what I like. However I want something with quality that goes more than skin deep. Some of Marantz and Denon amplifiers press many of my buttons but their attractiveness is only skin deep. Looking at pictures of the Yamaha amplifiers they seem to have some of that old time Japanese goodness with a tidy symmetrical layout and neat construction but I do not know enough to judge. Has any of our build quality and component experts any knowledge of these?

I often say if I replace my old set up I would go with system speakers, but although I think that is the better option in terms of SQ I just like big solid amplifiers that will give me a hernia if I try and lift them. Another option would be to have my old Sony fully renewed with new capacitors etc.
Nothing exactly on point I'm afraid but I do have experience with the AS700. I felt it was good for its price. Presumably the higher models will be better. But here is something that is sublime: The Onkyo M-5000R! Some years ago I auditioned this and it was on my shortlist of two, the other being the ATC P1. I went for the ATC at as it was a used unit and therefore cheaper. The Onkyo has everything - power, incredible good looks, razorblade sharp. I think this has something to do with the Darlington transistors. I still have the ATC P1 in my office but I regret not going for the Onkyo. Might have been Hi-Fi Choice product of the year.
 

Hugo9000

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@JJB70 I found a video that shows the internals of the A-S1100. I think the main difference between it and the 2200 is the addition of balanced input on the higher-priced model. I've always wanted one, partly due to the meters haha! The 1100 is one of the least expensive 'old school' integrated amps with VU meters, so it caught my eye lol. I couldn't decide whether I preferred silver or black. Most of the time looking at pics, I think the silver looks best, but I've never seen any of these models in person.

 

Zog

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@JJB70 I found a video that shows the internals of the A-S1100. I think the main difference between it and the 2200 is the addition of balanced input on the higher-priced model. I've always wanted one, partly due to the meters haha! The 1100 is one of the least expensive 'old school' integrated amps with VU meters, so it caught my eye lol.
To me looks are important! If push comes to shove I guess I will go for sound quality over looks but my way of thinking is: Why not have both! The Onkyo and the Yamaha VU meters are just gorgeous. Likewise I love the look of tubes. One of my peeves is that in my second system I have an Ayon pre-amp. Lovely sounding 6H30 tubes but entirely hidden ?!?
 
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I was kinda idly speculating about those Yamaha amps for future reference, the consensus of opinion seems to be that the AS2200 is not really worth the extra unless you really need balanced connectors.

They sure are beauties though.
 
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JJB70

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The external fit and finish and tactile feel of the 1100 and 2100 is excellent, in fact the thing that has really sucked me into considering them is the very fact that they do very much look and feel like Japanese high end gear from 30 years ago. And they have VU meters and side panels.

In terms of specification both are more than sufficient for my needs and Yamaha 2 channel gear tends to be accurately specified unlike the power gaming of multi-channel AVRs.

Rotel are another company I have a lot of respect for, they always seem to have stayed true to their values of producing down to earth very well designed and built gear at sensible prices. In fact initially the two amplifiers I was considering were the Rotel A14 and Yamaha AS801, both of which are well specified nice feeling amplifiers with DACs on board.

However my eyes wandered and were drawn to the retro look and tank like qualities of the 1100 and 2100 and the shop is offering a very good deal on them. They are probably worse than the Rotel and 801 if looked at sensibly as they lose the digital inputs and both the A14and 801 perform well (I would be amazed if there is a meaningful discernible difference in SQ between them and the more expensive 1100, or indeed from cheaper entry level models at the power I need).
 

restorer-john

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You're asking the wrong questions.

No, he's asking all the right questions. He's got a Sony TAF-700 which along with the TAF-800 (444esX and 555esg) which is a fabulous amplifier. It's built to an excellent standard and performs faultlessly. How do I know? I've got a 444esxII, a 333ESR and a 730es (same as each other) as well as probably another dozen ES pieces including two TAN77es power amps and 4 TAE77es/d preamps, several DATs etc.

The only real contenders to replace the Sony would be the current range Yamahas. The Luxmans are too expensive and honestly not up to the standard they should be for the price. Personally, having played with them all (Yamahas) including the AS-3000 and studied their schematics, construction and finish, I wouldn't be swapping any of my Sony gear for them, even though I could have bought them at cost.

Yamaha makes ALL their stereo gear in Malaysia at the moment. Even their M5000 and C5000 reference $10,000 amplifier and preamplifier are now manufactured entirely in the far east. Pretty shameful honestly. I suppose the price would be double if they kept their production in Japan but it's clear they are and have been cutting corners. I have not personally put my hands on the new AS-2100 or 3000 series but it's probably not up to par with Luxman. The aluminum chassis being used on the Yamaha looks quite thin, and probably has a lot of flex if you were to press your hand firmly down on the top. For me, that does not scream premium at all.

There's absolutely no doubt whatsoever the quality dropped off a cliff when Yamaha purpose built the Malaysian factory. The first few batches of receivers (low end 2 channel ones) in 1992 came off that line and about 50% of them went back. I refused to sell receivers and CD players out of the Malaysian factory and when they started speakers- oh my goodness, they were bad. But the trouble is, even now, 26 years later, the speakers out of malaysia are still poorly made inside. The cabinetry is dreadful. Sure the rest of the lines have improved, but they needed to.

But I digress, the AS-2100 is nothing special. It may look the goods from the outside, but I am going to bet they will be landfill in 10-15 years due to the entire amplifier being run by a completely unnecessary micro and riddled with SMD electros. I do not need a stinkin' microprocessor controlled 2 channel integrated amplifier. The most I will tolerate is remote volume and source selection via the micro. The Yamaha is SMD, all lead-free, all not component level repairable on the low level boards. Even the amplifier boards are riddled with SMD.

The placement of this IC, uncovered means any and all dust and detritus will likely cause issues down the track, especially where moisture is concerned. The unit I saw had vents in front, but the main horizontal board and its IC only had a small central piece of metal over it- leaving the most vulnerable parts exposed.
1567496259065.png

The Sony on the other hand uses some of finest Sanken outputs ever made, is completely discrete through hole and every part is still available to repair it nearly 30 years after it was made. It's got a fantastic transformer, a chassis unlike anything else (Gibraltar cast), and solid, grub-screwed knobs, no superfluous BS and looks great. OK, it doesn't have meters, but trust me, I turn mine off most of the time on my big amps.

The OP would do well to locate a Sony TAF-730es (for the UK) or a TAF-333esR (Japanese/Asian with Rosewood sides) model. These were two years after the 700es and for whatever reason, they sound much better. They also tested basically without flaws.
 
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maty

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I preferred the old Emotiva XPA-2 gen 2 or the Emotiva PA-1 monoblock coupled to an Emotiva DC-1 or dac of your choice any day especially when you take the price in to consideration. Though the PA-1 will not give you the build quality you want, the XPA-2 gen 2 will.

The old XPA-2 (without gen 2):

https://www.audioholics.com/amplifier-reviews/emotiva-xpa-2/xpa-2-measurements

image



Emotiva XPA-1 Gen 2

https://hometheaterhifi.com/reviews...xpa-1-gen-2-monoblock-power-amplifier-review/

emotiva-xpa-1-gen-2-monoblock-power-amplifier-fig5-lg.png


XPA-1 8 Ohm Class A Data 12.5Watts


emotiva-xpa-1-gen-2-monoblock-power-amplifier-fig6-lg.png


XPA-1 8 Ohm Class A/B Data 12.5Watts


Ideally, there should be no harmonics above -90 dB. Much less that these are H3 or, worse, H5. That is why I would not buy those Yamaha for my home to play music.

Updated: now the last two pictures (optimized) are in ASR.
 
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graz_lag

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