Yamaha R-S300 vs A-S501

Q

qba

Audioholic
I have one similar to one of these, and it's the noisier one (and used out in my workshop) https://www.coolerguys.com/collections/fans/products/coolerguys-120x25mm-rear-exhaust-blower-fan-5-volt-with-usb-connector and the other I don't particularly see at the moment but it's similar but is dual units with a speed controller/wall wart and on low speed is quieter...
Thanks lovinthehd, since my amp is going to be on its side maybe 4 or 5 internal powerful but quiet fans will do, if they don't fit inside I place them outside. Similar to what this guy did but I don't need to tap on the board for power.

 
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P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Thanks Verdinut for your input, let's hope it sounds better too once it gets here in less than 10 days :)
For a desktop system, the A-S501's would offer no advantage in terms of power output whatsoever. I am using the so called hard to drive LS50 for desktop and have been driving it with my little 50 W 8 ohm rated NAD integrated amp with great results, seem like having infinite headroom too.

If you don't do a blind listening level matched comparison you may prefer the A-S501 because...;)

I would use that $160 to grab an external DAC that is far superior than the PCM5101 in the A-S501 or even A-S801's. To me, that would have a better chance to let you hear better sound quality. It is not so much about the much better specs and measurements but about the flexibility to play digital files that the A-S501 up to S801 cannot play.

Take a look of an extreme example below, the Hegel integrated amp, and you can see all the hypes about the H80, H90 and now the H95 might have been just users subjective preference, or even hearing things.. Its DAC measured truly horrible though reasonably fine under some conditions of use. It is a myth that integrated amps with DAC is better because everything would match well.

Hegel H95 Review (Streaming Amplifier) | Audio Science Review (ASR) Forum

Just pick one that you consider affordable in the blue or even green zone and it will beat any Yamaha integrated amp's DAC by a wide margin.

1639057591098.png


Some examples of <$170 desktop DAC with excellent specs, measurements and can play just about any high resolution digital files you can buy.

Amazon.com: TOPPING E30 DAC Hi-Res AK4493 32Bit/768kHz DSD512 HiFi XMOS XU208 Decoder (Black) : Musical Instruments

Amazon.com: S.M.S.L SU-6 DAC ES9038Q2M XMOS DSD PCM768kHz/32Bit Bluetooth 5.0 LDAC USB Decoder (Silver) : Industrial & Scientific
 
Q

qba

Audioholic
For a desktop system, the A-S501's would offer no advantage in terms of power output whatsoever. I am using the so called hard to drive LS50 for desktop and have been driving it with my little 50 W 8 ohm rated NAD integrated amp with great results, seem like having infinite headroom too.

If you don't do a blind listening level matched comparison you may prefer the A-S501 because...;)
Once it arrives I will do a truly blind test, with someone else switching the amps for me

I would use that $160 to grab an external DAC that is far superior than the PCM5101 in the A-S501 or even A-S801's. To me, that would have a better chance to let you hear better sound quality. It is not so much about the much better specs and measurements but about the flexibility to play digital files that the A-S501 up to S801 cannot play.
So when you say the "sound quality" is not that the quality of the DAC will improve the sound of a file I'm playing, but it will let me play some files format that may be non-compatible with Chromecast Audio or the two amps internal DAC? So the conversion of digital to analog is all the same just ones and zeros? I have seen some super expensive DAC that the Darko guy on youtube was suggesting. I told youtube to hide his videos from the suggestion I don't need to go into the world of overpriced everything, at least that is how I see it.

The first one is available on amazon Canada so I could buy it, but first let me try to understand, I run an optical cable from CCA into this external DAC, then I run analog RCAs into the back of the amp right?

I know I asked this question above so ignore it if you already answered, but would this improve the quality of the music because of the way it does the conversion internally so it gets more out of the data? or is just the fact of playing a file or not?


Just pick one that you consider affordable in the blue or even green zone and it will beat any Yamaha integrated amp's DAC by a wide margin.

View attachment 52125
That is a very cool graph but I can't read those small lettering lol, are those two external DACs that you suggested on the blue line or The one of the blue area of the graph are supper expensive DACs?

Edit: I just finished reading the reviews for TOPPING E30 DAC most of the reviewers are emphasizing the quality this bring to the music, I guess it does affect the quality or this is just another case of confirmation bias?

I'm ready to pull the trigger and purchase this thing, just waiting on your reply, to make the desicion.
 
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F

Fxpost

Enthusiast
I wasn't planning to but I ended up buying two Integrated Amplifiers the R-S300 and the A-S501, I bought them both second-hand but in almost new condition at a very reasonable price, I right now only have one of them, the second one will arrive in 10 days. I want to keep only one and sell the other, the price difference I paid is only $160, so money shouldn't be a big factor in this decision. I'm running the A-S501 right now with a pair of inexpensive but spectacularly sounding (To me) sets of speakers, the Sony SSCS5, and a subwoofer.

The main factors are:

1: Would it be noticeable differences in the quality?
2: Would the A-S501 be more future-proof in case I want to upgrade my speakers in the future?
3: Overall is the A-S501 a better build 2 channel amp?

Thanks

Alex
May I ask where did you buy your AS501. I'm looking for a AS1100.
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic Ninja
Thanks Verdinut for your input, let's hope it sounds better too once it gets here in less than 10 days :)
Had I known that the amplification was for a desktop system, I wouldn't have recommended the A-S501 over the R-S300. You don't need much power for such system for the first obvious reason being that you are sitting so close to the speakers.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
That is a very cool graph but I can't read those small lettering lol, are those two external DACs that you suggested on the blue line or The one of the blue area of the graph are supper expensive DACs?

Edit: I just finished reading the reviews for TOPPING E30 DAC most of the reviewers are emphasizing the quality this bring to the music, I guess it does affect the quality or this is just another case of confirmation bias?

I'm ready to pull the trigger and purchase this thing, just waiting on your reply, to make the desicion.
Pretty sure they are in the blue, the E30 is much more affordable. I would buy it but I already have 7, after giving away 3.:D Under some conditions, the specs and measurements will matter in terms of sound quality, but in many cases I do believe it has to do with expectation bias. That's why I always want to say there may not likely be an audible difference between different DACs but the ones with good specs will allow you to hear the best recording you can find.

For example, the E30 can decode the following:
  • USB Sample Rate:
    • DSD: DSD 64-512 (native)
    • PCM: 44.1-768kHz, 16-32bit
  • Coaxial & Optical Sample Rate:
    • PCM: 44.1-192kHz
    • DOP: DOP 64-256
TOPPING E30 DAC (Digital-to-Analog-Convertor) – Apos Audio

With the A-S501's DAC you are limited to the following:

1639081602600.png
 
Q

qba

Audioholic
Had I known that the amplification was for a desktop system, I wouldn't have recommended the A-S501 over the R-S300. You don't need much power for such system for the first obvious reason being that you are sitting so close to the speakers.
I'll do a truly blind test once it arrives before I sell one of them, I'm so happy with the R-S300 that I doubt I will notice the difference.
 
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Q

qba

Audioholic
Pretty sure they are in the blue, the E30 is much more affordable. I would buy it but I already have 7, after giving away 3.:D Under some conditions, the specs and measurements will matter in terms of sound quality, but in many cases I do believe it has to do with expectation bias. That's why I always want to say there may not likely be an audible difference between different DACs but the ones with good specs will allow you to hear the best recording you can find.
So a file that has the best specs may not be able to sound as good with the CCA or the internal DAC because it has limitations to what can decode? But this doesn't mean the file won't play it just means or that with the E30 the same file will sound better?

For example, the E30 can decode the following:
  • USB Sample Rate:
    • DSD: DSD 64-512 (native)
    • PCM: 44.1-768kHz, 16-32bit
  • Coaxial & Optical Sample Rate:
    • PCM: 44.1-192kHz
    • DOP: DOP 64-256
TOPPING E30 DAC (Digital-to-Analog-Convertor) – Apos Audio

With the A-S501's DAC you are limited to the following:

View attachment 52135
What about the CCA? when you say "USB Sample Rate" means connected via USB and "Coaxial & Optical Sample Rate" when connected via "Coaxial or Optical" I guess. Which one is better via USB or Optical seems like PCM are the same for both but one decoded DSD and the others DOP whatever that is.
 
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P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
So a file that has the best specs may not be able to sound as good with the CCA or the internal DAC because it has limitations to what can decode? But this doesn't mean the file won't play it just means or that with the E30 the same file will sound better?



What about the CCA? when you say "USB Sample Rate" means connected via USB and "Coaxial & Optical Sample Rate" when connected via "Coaxial or Optical" I guess. Which one is better via USB or Optical seems like PCM are the same for both but one decoded DSD and the others DOP whatever that is.
I mean USB DAC that is "asynchronous". I'll let someone else explain that to you:
What is Asynchronous USB? | Do You NEED It? - Home Studio Basics

Most external dac does asynchronous, but not AVRs and integrated amps. The A-S801 does have the USB DAC via the class 2 port, but not the 501 and 701.

The CCA could take advantage of an ext. DAC such as the E300 if you use the digital output (bitstream in that case). I wouldn't bother with that though, and would use the E300 with you laptop using media player such as Foobar (free), or the more advanced ones such as JRiver that sells for $60 or more when not on sale.
 
Q

qba

Audioholic
I mean USB DAC that is "asynchronous". I'll let someone else explain that to you:
What is Asynchronous USB? | Do You NEED It? - Home Studio Basics

Most external dac does asynchronous, but not AVRs and integrated amps. The A-S801 does have the USB DAC via the class 2 port, but not the 501 and 701.

The CCA could take advantage of an ext. DAC such as the E300 if you use the digital output (bitstream in that case). I wouldn't bother with that though and would use the E300 with you laptop using media player such as Foobar (free), or the more advanced ones such as JRiver that sells for $60 or more when not on sale.
Thanks PENG, I don't want to use my company laptop to have entertainment on it and I don't want to have my personal Mac book pro just sitting there at the desk either, so my set up will be wireless from my Pixel 6, pretty much Chromecast Audio using its internal DAC or Chromecast Audio using an external DAC are the options for me. Do you think is not worth it buying the Topping E30 if I'm using CCA to send data to it via an optical cable?
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Thanks lovinthehd, since my amp is going to be on its side maybe 4 or 5 internal powerful but quiet fans will do, if they don't fit inside I place them outside. Similar to what this guy did but I don't need to tap on the board for power.

Yeah one caution in using an avr's usb port to power a fan is that's got limited juice, some fans need more and a wall wart would be better, also frees up your usb port for music....

ps overall I'd just try without adding fans at all and see how warm it runs or not....
 
Q

qba

Audioholic
Yeah one caution in using an avr's usb port to power a fan is that's got limited juice, some fans need more and a wall wart would be better, also frees up your usb port for music....

ps overall I'd just try without adding fans at all and see how warm it runs or not....
Thanks lovinthehd, I will buy one of those Infrared thermometers, to do some accurate testing on the vertical position and then horizontally, the thing is that I don't use it long enough for it to get that hot, but I would leave it on for 4 hours and test the temperature in each position. Maybe I could have it running with the volume on 0 for 4 hours in each position. You could be right and based on my usage I don't even need the fans ;)
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Thanks lovinthehd, I will buy one of those Infrared thermometers, to do some accurate testing on the vertical position and then horizontally, the thing is that I don't use it long enough for it to get that hot, but I would leave it on for 4 hours and test the temperature in each position. Maybe I could have it running with the volume on 0 for 4 hours in each position. You could be right and based on my usage I don't even need the fans ;)
I find such a thermometer most useful in the kitchen, but they are very nice to have for a variety of uses....
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Thanks PENG, I don't want to use my company laptop to have entertainment on it and I don't want to have my personal Mac book pro just sitting there at the desk either, so my set up will be wireless from my Pixel 6, pretty much Chromecast Audio using its internal DAC or Chromecast Audio using an external DAC are the options for me. Do you think is not worth it buying the Topping E30 if I'm using CCA to send data to it via an optical cable?
I would say don't bother then, unless and until you are ready to try something else. I only brought up the option because you seem to be very keen and good at learning the new stuff and thought you may be on the path of becoming crazier like some of us audioholics.:D I also was under the impression that you are using it as a desktop system (or at least most of the time) so wire or wireless would make no difference. So again, now that you have figured out how to get the best out of the reasonably competent CCA dongle, just focus on seeking out the best recordings you can find to stream, sit back and enjoy, forget about external DAC and/or even the internal DAC of the 501 (in that case, no need to pay $160 on something that won't do anything for you).
 
Q

qba

Audioholic
I would say don't bother then, unless and until you are ready to try something else. I only brought up the option because you seem to be very keen and good at learning the new stuff and thought you may be on the path of becoming crazier like some of us audioholics.:D I also was under the impression that you are using it as a desktop system (or at least most of the time) so wire or wireless would make no difference. So again, now that you have figured out how to get the best out of the reasonably competent CCA dongle, just focus on seeking out the best recordings you can find to stream, sit back and enjoy, forget about external DAC and/or even the internal DAC of the 501 (in that case, no need to pay $160 on something that won't do anything for you).
Thanks for the reply PENG, I know it makes sense to have the music wired since I'm at my desk when I listen to music at the office, but the thing is that as you can see in the pics, I'm surrounded by two monitors and a laptop that I don't want to use for entertainment, so even if I added a laptop in front of the receiver, it would be inconvenient to interact with it. So for me would be easier to control all my entertainment from my phone, that is always attached to the magnet that you can see in the photo right below the main monitor.

A friend suggested me to add a raspberry PI that I could control from the phone, then I guess I could hardwire the external DAC, but would this really increase the music quality? So it is better to have a raspberry PI hardwire to the external DAC, than to send the music to the CCA hardwire via optical to the external DAC?
 
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