Yamaha A-S801 Integrated Amp unites analog and digital audio

gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
Ratings
4,584 23 9
#1
The Yamaha A-S801 is an honestly rated 100 watt/ch integrated amplifier. The inclusion of a high performance USB-B DAC updates its vintage appeal to the 21st century. Whether you're playing analog or digital audio, you can rest assured the A-S801 will bring your system to new sonic heights.

Check out our review with comprehensive bench tests to see how this product really performed.



Read: Yamaha A-S801 Two-Channel Integrated Amplifier Review
 
Last edited:
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Warlord
Ratings
5,014 22 9
#2
The LPF on the sub out seems pointless; I think we can expect any sub you would use with this receiver to have its own LPF.
I wish they had instead installed a switch to engage a HPF for the mains when you use a sub (even if it was preset/fixed at 80Hz). This would allow a cleaner integration between the sub and the mains instead of having the lowest bass still making demands on the mains when most subs can deal with it much more casually.

I am a fan of this series of integrated amps; I have an A-S700, which I have enjoyed. I enjoy the styling and straightforward design (but wish the DAC had been an option when I bought mine).

Did the A-S801 really drive your <3 ohm reference speakers without effort? That is one heck of a claim!

At 1:15 in the video, you mention "the Yamaha Sound"! Can you give specifics on what the Yamaha sound is?

Last, the table of your power measurements does not appear in the written review. Is this an accidental oversight, or some new trend?
 
3db

3db

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
3,570 11 12
#4
Impressive product from the amplifier perspective. I'm curious to know if Yamaha changes their built in phono stage circuits or do they keep it the same across their model lines? My older RX-V1800 sports a phono stage as well and it just sounds good period. To answer your you tube question, I picked my main system to excel in both 2 channel and HT. I'm greedy so I need both capabilities at hand. :)
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Seriously, I have no life.
Ratings
7,635 21 6
#5
IMO, these Integrated Amps (from any manufacturer) seem like Stereo Receivers minus the LCD and the derogatory word "Receiver".

I think most people can buy AVR with more power and less money that will measure better than most of these Integrated amps.

For example, the Denon X4100 is $800 on Amazon.

But I guess some people will always say, "Electronic Measurements don't mean much. So what if the AVRs have more power, less THD, higher SNR, better crosstalk, and flatter FR.?":D
 
gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
Ratings
4,584 23 9
#6
The LPF on the sub out seems pointless; I think we can expect any sub you would use with this receiver to have its own LPF.
I wish they had instead installed a switch to engage a HPF for the mains when you use a sub (even if it was preset/fixed at 80Hz). This would allow a cleaner integration between the sub and the mains instead of having the lowest bass still making demands on the mains when most subs can deal with it much more casually.

I am a fan of this series of integrated amps; I have an A-S700, which I have enjoyed. I enjoy the styling and straightforward design (but wish the DAC had been an option when I bought mine).

Did the A-S801 really drive your <3 ohm reference speakers without effort? That is one heck of a claim!

At 1:15 in the video, you mention "the Yamaha Sound"! Can you give specifics on what the Yamaha sound is?

Last, the table of your power measurements does not appear in the written review. Is this an accidental oversight, or some new trend?
I didn't use my 8Ts as the reference speakers. Most of my listening was done on the RBH 41-SE/B's and a pair of NHT towers. I plugged it into my 8Ts for quick vinyl playback to show Hugo but not at very loud levels. No this amp isn't adequate to drive my 8Ts at reference levels especially with LFE content for movies.

I can't describe objectively the "Yamaha sound" and it could very well be psychological based on past good experiences with the brand that really turned me into a fan when I upgraded from an RX-V992 to a DSP-A3090. I'd categorize it as highly detailed without being harsh but again it's just a feeling likely unsubstantiated.
 
gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
Ratings
4,584 23 9
#7
IMO, these Integrated Amps (from any manufacturer) seem like Stereo Receivers minus the LCD and the derogatory word "Receiver".

I think most people can buy AVR with more power and less money that will measure better than most of these Integrated amps.

For example, the Denon X4100 is $800 on Amazon.

But I guess some people will always say, "Electronic Measurements don't mean much. So what if the AVRs have more power, less THD, higher SNR, better crosstalk, and flatter FR.?":D
The Yamaha has about as big of a power supply and 4 output devices/ch instead of 2. It also runs extremely cool to the touch. If I were only doing 2CH I would go this route over a $1k AV Receiver personally.
 
gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
Ratings
4,584 23 9
#8
Guys we had a glitch when posting this review. The site didn't show the interior pages with measurements. Please refresh and let me know if you see the whole review. thanks.
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Warlord
Ratings
5,014 22 9
#10
Just looking at these and the differences between the A-S701 and A-S801 are interesting. It looks like they both may have the same amp section (12,000uf capacitors and 100WPC). Both have digital inputs, but only the 801 has the USB input (and I suspect the 701 does not have the extreme digital format flexibility that Gene liked so much on the 801).


I guess we should include the A-S before the numbers so nobody thinks this is about Bose speakers!:eek::(
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
5,246 7 1
#11
IMO, these Integrated Amps (from any manufacturer) seem like Stereo Receivers minus the LCD and the derogatory word "Receiver".

I think most people can buy AVR with more power and less money that will measure better than most of these Integrated amps.

For example, the Denon X4100 is $800 on Amazon.

But I guess some people will always say, "Electronic Measurements don't mean much. So what if the AVRs have more power, less THD, higher SNR, better crosstalk, and flatter FR.?":D
Good point, if you compare the measurements with those of the 5200's (the 4100's should be similar) also measured by Gene, they are very comparable. For two channels, such integrated amps are good quality alternatives when compared to current AVRs but outdated AVRs at deep discounts are also viable alternatives, as weird as it may seem.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
5,246 7 1
#12
Guys we had a glitch when posting this review. The site didn't show the interior pages with measurements. Please refresh and let me know if you see the whole review. thanks.
No problem seeing everything now, thanks for the great in depth review.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Seriously, I have no life.
Ratings
7,635 21 6
#13
Good point, if you compare the measurements with those of the 5200's (the 4100's should be similar) also measured by Gene, they are very comparable. For two channels, such integrated amps are good quality alternatives when compared to current AVRs but outdated AVRs at deep discounts are also viable alternatives, as weird as it may seem.
I don't think there is a wrong solution either way, just personal preference.

Years ago when I had 4 Acurus RL11 preamps + 4 Acurus 200x3 amps, there was no way you could have convinced me that AVRs were equals in any way. :)

Today, I would unequivocally take an $800 Denon X4100 (or X4200 next Summer) over any $1000 Integrated Amp.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
5,246 7 1
#14
Today, I would unequivocally take an $800 Denon X4100 (or X4200 next Summer) over any $1000 Integrated Amp.
I completely agree, the trick is to wait for those higher end AVRs to become fully outdated, currently that is the X4100 that has Audyssey XT32 and Sub EQ HT, or the Marantz SR7009 that Amazon just dropped their price from 1999 to 1199, that's what I call deep discount. Yamaha RX-A2030 is in that category too. I am tempted to get a X4100 or SR7009 now to replace my $1,600 preamp, but it still feels wrong to use such monsters for my 2 channel stereo system just for bass management.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Seriously, I have no life.
Ratings
7,635 21 6
#15
I completely agree, the trick is to wait for those higher end AVRs to become fully outdated, currently that is the X4100 that has Audyssey XT32 and Sub EQ HT, or the Marantz SR7009 that Amazon just dropped their price from 1999 to 1199, that's what I call deep discount. Yamaha RX-A2030 is in that category too. I am tempted to get a X4100 or SR7009 now to replace my $1,600 preamp, but it still feels wrong to use such monsters for my 2 channel stereo system just for bass management.
If I were going to spend $1K on an IA, I would definitely take a $2K Marantz or Denon AVR for $1K or $1200.



Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N900A using Tapatalk
 
3db

3db

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
3,570 11 12
#16
The Yamaha has about as big of a power supply and 4 output devices/ch instead of 2. It also runs extremely cool to the touch. If I were only doing 2CH I would go this route over a $1k AV Receiver personally.
I agree. All the bells and whistles and room correction would be extra baggage for a strict 2 channel system. This unit measures respectably well in the power department and on par with 1K AVRs. It however looks far better than any AVR I know of.
 
A

AndyG333

Audiophyte
#18
I see there are no dedicated inputs to use for an AVR Pre-Out source. Would it be possible to use this just as a power amp for an AVR's L/R channels by using it in pure direct mode? Sorry if this is a dumb question but I've not ventured into a more audiophile set up so far - long over due as over 90% of my listening is music rather than movies.
 
haraldo

haraldo

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
1,393 4
#19
Thx for nice review guys :p

What about reliability of the new line of Yamaha integrated amps. On another site (Steve Huff) the top-of-the-line A-S3000 got a rave review that turned into an online slaught as the amplifier persistently shut-down and refused to say even "bling".

So the question is, can we expect as-good-as-it-gets stability and life expectancy from this new breed of products?

You're a big Yamaha fan Gene and I'm sure it's for a good reason :p
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Warlord
Ratings
5,014 22 9
#20
Thx for nice review guys :p

What about reliability of the new line of Yamaha integrated amps. On another site (Steve Huff) the top-of-the-line A-S3000 got a rave review that turned into an online slaught as the amplifier persistently shut-down and refused to say even "bling".

So the question is, can we expect as-good-as-it-gets stability and life expectancy from this new breed of products?

You're a big Yamaha fan Gene and I'm sure it's for a good reason :p
The Yamaha has about as big of a power supply and 4 output devices/ch instead of 2. It also runs extremely cool to the touch. If I were only doing 2CH I would go this route over a $1k AV Receiver personally.
Short of a malfunction during the review and the companies reputation for reliability, I believe the above bolded statement is the closest thing to a reliability assessment which you can expect from a review.

Was the A-S3000 issue a defect in the design or in defect in that specific unit?
 

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