More Yamaha 801 questions...

Mid-Fi

Mid-Fi

Audioholic Intern
Ratings
4
#1
This is from Yamaha's "features" blurb....

  • Optical & Coaxial Digital Inputs: The A-S801 is equipped with both optical (toslink) and coaxial (RCA) digital audio inputs. The optical and coaxial inputs will accept 2ch PCM (not Dolby Digital/DTS). The audio stays in the digital domain, giving you pure, pristine dynamic sound for all your entertainment sources, from sports and other programs to movies and concerts.
What does that mean? "The audio stays in the digital domain"?

Also does anyone know what Class amplifier it is?
Thanks for the help.
 
WaynePflughaupt

WaynePflughaupt

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
629
#2
If you have a source component with a digital output, then the signal through the Yamaha stays digital until the amplifier stage.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 
Montucky

Montucky

Full Audioholic
Ratings
169
#4
Yup. Gotta hand it to Yamaha for kind of keeping it simple in this regard. I really do think there's something to them not over-complicating things. The A-S801's one of my favorite amplifiers as it's a superb value and sounds really, really good IMO. Sure, I prefer my A-S2100, but the 801's clearly the MUCH better value. Haha. I've used them in commercial applications where they run some serious overtime and continue to prove reliable.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
4,965 7 1
#5
This is from Yamaha's "features" blurb....

  • Optical & Coaxial Digital Inputs: The A-S801 is equipped with both optical (toslink) and coaxial (RCA) digital audio inputs. The optical and coaxial inputs will accept 2ch PCM (not Dolby Digital/DTS). The audio stays in the digital domain, giving you pure, pristine dynamic sound for all your entertainment sources, from sports and other programs to movies and concerts.
What does that mean? "The audio stays in the digital domain"?

Also does anyone know what Class amplifier it is?
Thanks for the help.
Your questions have been answered, I just want to add that if you have a media player (CD, BDP, external DAC etc.) that has better quality DAC than the one in the A-S801, then you should use the analog inputs. The A-S801 has a decent DAC chip, the ES9010K2M but that's for the USB DAC, not for the optical/coax input signals.
 
Mid-Fi

Mid-Fi

Audioholic Intern
Ratings
4
#8
Your questions have been answered, I just want to add that if you have a media player (CD, BDP, external DAC etc.) that has better quality DAC than the one in the A-S801, then you should use the analog inputs. The A-S801 has a decent DAC chip, the ES9010K2M but that's for the USB DAC, not for the optical/coax input signals.
Cool Peng, thank you. So the DAC only converts the USB input. The optical or coaxial stay digital until the amp stage and doesn't go through the converter?
So without getting too technical, what eventually turns the optical/co-ax signals into audio?
Thanks for your help.

(edit: changed "phase" to "stage")
 
Last edited:
Mid-Fi

Mid-Fi

Audioholic Intern
Ratings
4
#9
Yup. Gotta hand it to Yamaha for kind of keeping it simple in this regard. I really do think there's something to them not over-complicating things. The A-S801's one of my favorite amplifiers as it's a superb value and sounds really, really good IMO. Sure, I prefer my A-S2100, but the 801's clearly the MUCH better value. Haha. I've used them in commercial applications where they run some serious overtime and continue to prove reliable.
Good to know. Learning things here. I have a number of Yamaha products(Steinberg, little portable guitar amps, keyboards, some software(plugins) all of them digital type stuff and I am always satisfied with their products.
Always great build quality and always doing exactly as advertised.
(you never answered my question about Montucky...I guess I was too intrusive. Sorry. LOL)
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
4,965 7 1
#10
Cool Peng, thank you. So the DAC only converts the USB input.
No I didn't say that, I said the ESS Sabre ES9010K2M DAC is used in the USB DAC, so if you connect your computer via the type B USB connector, the ES9010K2M DAC will do the conversion.
http://esstech.com.tw/PDF/ES9010-2M PB v1.9 141016.pdf

The optical or coaxial stay digital until the amp stage and doesn't go through the converter?
No, it has to be converted, but the optical/coax input signal get converted to analog by a different DAC using the lower end DAC chip PCM5101, it is not a bad one, just not as good as the one for the USB input, or the chips in the mid range Yamaha, D&M, Onkyo AVRs.
http://www.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/pcm5101a.pdf

The A-S801 service manual is downloadable, if you can follow schematic diagrams, you can see that it really is some sort of "AVR derived" (IIRC, this term was invented) by @AcuDefTechGuy).:D Nice looking and functional, but I wish it comes with HDMI (even just for audio),network streaming functionality, and YPAO.
 
Last edited:
Mid-Fi

Mid-Fi

Audioholic Intern
Ratings
4
#11
No I didn't say that, I said the ESS Sabre ES9010K2M DAC is used in the USB DAC, so if you connect your computer via the type B USB connector, the ES9010K2M DAC will do the conversion.
http://esstech.com.tw/PDF/ES9010-2M PB v1.9 141016.pdf



No, it has to be converted, but the optical/coax input signal get converted to analog by a different DAC using the lower end DAC chip PCM5101, it is a bad one, just not as good as the one for the USB input, or the chips in the mid range Yamaha, D&M, Onkyo AVRs.
http://www.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/pcm5101a.pdf

The A-S801 service manual is downloadable, if you can follow schematic diagrams, you can see that it really is some sort of "AVR derived" (IIRC, this term was invented) by @AcuDefTechGuy).:D Nice looking and functional, but I wish it comes with HDMI (even just for audio),network streaming functionality, and YPAO.
Yes I understood what you meant(sort of...). So there's two different DACs.:)
Why isn't the Sabre used for everything in the 801, like some of these external DACs?
Also is that a typo above, did you mean "it is NOT a bad one..."
That should be fine anyways. I'm sure I won't be able to discern the difference between the two of them.
The optical will be for TV or movies etc....that's fine. I don't need high fidelity in those areas.
And I like stereo.
One of the reasons I want this 801 is for the USB input so I can run alternate audio from my DAW.
I want to monitor the sound through a different DAC, amp and speakers.
I run my sound through Steinberg(Yamaha) audio interfaces now.
I want to run the final mix through the 801 and different speakers for a final critique.
I was using my car radio's USB input for this purpose but it only accepts MP3 level USB input.
I mix my audio down to 24/48. So that wasn't working that good. I had to convert them down and try dithering and all that garbage.
Any feedback you have on this would be welcomed. Thanks a whole bunch.
I looked at that pcm 501 spec sheet a little. Most of that is over my head.
In response to your other thread reply, I don't need that DSD or SACD stuff.
A regular CD through a boombox or car stereo is rock and roll to me. It's good enough.
I'm listening to alot of music on You Tube. It doesn't get more lo-fi than that.:D
Thanks again.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
4,965 7 1
#12
Yes I understood what you meant(sort of...). So there's two different DACs.:)
Why isn't the Sabre used for everything in the 801, like some of these external DACs?
Also is that a typo above, did you mean "it is NOT a bad one..."
That should be fine anyways. I'm sure I won't be able to discern the difference between the two of them.
The optical will be for TV or movies etc....that's fine. I don't need high fidelity in those areas.
And I like stereo.
One of the reasons I want this 801 is for the USB input so I can run alternate audio from my DAW.
I want to monitor the sound through a different DAC, amp and speakers.
I run my sound through Steinberg(Yamaha) audio interfaces now.
I want to run the final mix through the 801 and different speakers for a final critique.
I was using my car radio's USB input for this purpose but it only accepts MP3 level USB input.
I mix my audio down to 24/48. So that wasn't working that good. I had to convert them down and try dithering and all that garbage.
Any feedback you have on this would be welcomed. Thanks a whole bunch.
I looked at that pcm 501 spec sheet a little. Most of that is over my head.
In response to your other thread reply, I don't need that DSD or SACD stuff.
A regular CD through a boombox or car stereo is rock and roll to me. It's good enough.
I'm listening to alot of music on You Tube. It doesn't get more lo-fi than that.:D
Thanks again.
I think it has to do with cost. They probably feel that optical and coax don't need a higher end DAC chip. Their AVRs also use a lesser DAC for the secondary zones, for example, and in some cases, for the surround channels.

Yes it was a typo, I meant to say the PCM 5101 is not a bad one; and I think humans are not capable of telling the difference between it and the Sabre chip, not in blind tests anyway. If the build in USB DAC feature is important to you, then I can see why you prefer the A-S801. For me, I prefer external USB DACs anyway, and I have quite a few. Even some $200-$300 ones will do better than those build in ones. That's on paper only of course, as audible difference or not, is a controversial topic. I will never buy such integrated amps, because that's like paying more for less, obviously ymmv.. If you don't need DSD capability, and something like the PCM5101 is good enough for you, then you can get an external USB DAC that doubles as headphone amps for under $100.
 
Mid-Fi

Mid-Fi

Audioholic Intern
Ratings
4
#14
I will never buy such integrated amps, because that's like paying more for less, obviously ymmv.. If you don't need DSD capability, and something like the PCM5101 is good enough for you, then you can get an external USB DAC that doubles as headphone amps for under $100.
I feel the inverse about these AVRs and other items. Even if they're cheaper, the vast majority of their feature sets are things I won't use. Multi Channel, Atmos, Pandora, Bluetooth, WiFi, I phone connectivity, on and on.
I like to keep it simple. No menus. No updates. No remotes with 100 buttons.
Thanks again for your help.
 
John Parks

John Parks

Full Audioholic
Ratings
186 1 1
#15
I read many reviews on this amp. I want one but it is an older model. Does Yamaha still produce them? Is there a newer model?
It's still in production. I believe the latest 2-channel Yamaha (aside from their streaming only units) is the R-N803 Receiver, which has the same amplification (I believe) as the A-S801.
 
Mid-Fi

Mid-Fi

Audioholic Intern
Ratings
4
#16
I read many reviews on this amp. I want one but it is an older model. Does Yamaha still produce them? Is there a newer model?
As far as I know they do. Their website still lists them. There isn't a newer model, but there is a whole family of them. Economical all the way up to astronomical.
The 801 falls somewhere near the low-middle end.
Maybe someone knows more.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
4,965 7 1
#17
I feel the inverse about these AVRs and other items. Even if they're cheaper, the vast majority of their feature sets are things I won't use. Multi Channel, Atmos, Pandora, Bluetooth, WiFi, I phone connectivity, on and on.
I like to keep it simple. No menus. No updates. No remotes with 100 buttons.
Thanks again for your help.
I hear you. Sometimes I wish I could still buy a V6 Camry or V8 Pontiac with manual transmission and AC but nothing else, not even radios............ Jokes aside, for people who consider form follows function (something like that?),they may not buy something with too many functions they don't need even if they are almost free. Sorry, can't resist..:D By the way, if there are concerns about the Yamaha's being aged, you may consider similar offerings by Parasound, Cambridge Audio or NAD's.
 
John Parks

John Parks

Full Audioholic
Ratings
186 1 1
#18
I hear you. Sometimes I wish I could still buy a V6 Camry or V8 Pontiac with manual transmission and AC but nothing else, not even radios............ Jokes aside, for people who consider form follows function (something like that?),they may not buy something with too many functions they don't need even if they are almost free. Sorry, can't resist..:D By the way, if there are concerns about the Yamaha's being aged, you may consider similar offerings by Parasound, Cambridge Audio or NAD's.
I looked at Cambridge Audio and NAD (and many others!) as I was shopping around before I settled on the Yamaha. If I had had the budget, I would have gone for the Parasound HINT; a couple grand more and it would have been the Anthem STR...
 
Mid-Fi

Mid-Fi

Audioholic Intern
Ratings
4
#19
I hear you. Sometimes I wish I could still buy a V6 Camry or V8 Pontiac with manual transmission and AC but nothing else, not even radios............ Jokes aside, for people who consider form follows function (something like that?),they may not buy something with too many functions they don't need even if they are almost free. Sorry, can't resist..:D By the way, if there are concerns about the Yamaha's being aged, you may consider similar offerings by Parasound, Cambridge Audio or NAD's.
Oh believe me, I have looked more deeply at this topic and the available options since I have talked with several of you on this forum.
Every bit of it was good information. I'm still considering options.
 
Mid-Fi

Mid-Fi

Audioholic Intern
Ratings
4
#20
I looked at Cambridge Audio and NAD (and many others!) as I was shopping around before I settled on the Yamaha. If I had had the budget, I would have gone for the Parasound HINT; a couple grand more and it would have been the Anthem STR...
I looked up that Parasound Hint 6. What's the price on that?
I checked their website and followed links to their listed dealers. Those don't even list products let alone prices.
They just say "contact us for a consultation."
 

newsletter
  • RBHsound.com
  • BlueJeansCable.com
  • SVS Sound Subwoofers
  • Experience the Martin Logan Montis