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Review: Yamaha A-S201 Integrated Amplifier: A Hi-Fi Marvel

Review: Yamaha A-S201 Integrated Amplifier: A Hi-Fi Marvel- The Yamaha A-S201 amplifier delivers excellent sound, durability, and ease of use, making it a compelling choice for budget-conscious audiophiles.

Introduction:

The Yamaha A-S201 amplifier defies the trend of the hi-fi industry, where luxury reigns supreme, by delivering outstanding audio quality at an incredibly affordable price. With a commitment to value and performance, Yamaha has created an amplifier that balances quality and accessibility.

From its warm, harmonious sound to its durable construction, the A-S201 stands out as a remarkable piece of audio equipment. Whether you’re a novice seeking to enter the world of high-fidelity sound or a seasoned audiophile on a budget, this amplifier offers a compelling solution that exceeds expectations without breaking the bank.

Yamaha is a renowned name in the music industry, recognized for its innovative musical instruments and audio equipment. With a legacy spanning over a century, Yamaha has continually pushed the boundaries of musical performance and technology. From its legendary pianos and electronic keyboards to its world-class amplifiers and speakers, Yamaha has consistently delivered products that resonate with musicians and audio enthusiasts worldwide. This commitment to excellence, coupled with a dedication to affordability and accessibility, has cemented Yamaha’s reputation as a leader in musical innovation.

Specifications

Specifications
Maximum Power (4 ohms, 1kHz, 0.7% THD, for Europe)115 W + 115 W
High Dynamic Power/Channel (8/6/4/2 ohms)125 W/150 W/165 W/180 W
Frequency Response20Hz-20kHz (0+/-0.5db), 10Hz-100kHz (0+/-3.0db)
Total Harmonic Distortion (8 ohms, 20 Hz-20 kHz)0.025% (Phono (MM) to REC Out), 0.2% (CD to SP Out)
Signal-to-Noise Ratio (CD)100 dB (S: 500 mV)
Input Sensitivity (CD)500 mV / 47 k-ohms
Standby Power Consumption0.5 W
Dimensions (W x H x D)435 x 141 x 333 mm; 17-1/8” x 5-1/2” x 13-1/8”
Weight6.7 kg; 14.8 lbs.
Receiver / Integrated Amplifier
Minimum RMS Output Power (8 ohms, 40Hz~20kHz)100 W + 100 W (0.2% THD)

Phono Input:

The phono input of the Yamaha A-S201 is a critical feature, especially for audiophiles who cherish their vinyl collections. This input allows users to connect a turntable directly to the amplifier, eliminating the need for an external phono preamplifier. Phono inputs are essential for playing vinyl records because they provide the necessary amplification and equalization to reproduce the music stored on the records accurately. Without a phono input, the output from a turntable’s cartridge would be too weak and not equalized adequately for playback through a standard line-level input.

The phono input of the A-S201 is designed to preserve the unique sound characteristics of vinyl records, ensuring that the music’s warmth, depth, and texture are faithfully reproduced. This input typically has a built-in phono preamplifier (often called a “phono stage”) that boosts the signal from the turntable’s cartridge to a level suitable for the amplifier’s line-level input. Additionally, the phono input applies the RIAA equalization curve, which corrects for vinyl records’ inherent frequency response characteristics. This equalization curve is necessary because the grooves on a vinyl record are physically limited in their ability to reproduce bass frequencies accurately. The RIAA curve boosts the low frequencies during recording and reduces them during playback, resulting in a more balanced frequency response.

In summary, the phono input of the Yamaha A-S201 is a crucial feature for vinyl enthusiasts, providing the necessary amplification and equalization to reproduce the unique sound of vinyl records faithfully. By incorporating a phono input into the amplifier, Yamaha ensures that users can enjoy their vinyl collections with the highest level of fidelity and authenticity.

Design and Build:

The design and build of the Yamaha A-S201 are a testament to the brand’s commitment to quality and durability. Crafted from high-quality materials, including sheet steel and aluminum, the amplifier exudes sophistication and sturdiness. Its chassis is robust and secure, ensuring the amplifier stands securely on a shelf or rack. Additionally, the front panel, with its elegant aluminum finish and fine brush strokes, adds a touch of class to any audio setup.

One standout feature of the A-S201 is its solid construction, contributing to its overall durability and reliability. The amplifier weighs a healthy 6.7 kilograms, indicating a substantial build that inspires confidence. Users can rest assured that the amplifier is built to last, with sturdy components and a chassis that can withstand the rigors of regular use.

The A-S201 also features thoughtful design elements that enhance its usability and aesthetics. With its clear layout and intuitive controls, the front panel makes it easy for users to navigate the amplifier’s settings and adjust the volume, balance, bass, and treble. Additionally, including a remote control, which offers even more functions than its expensive relative, the A-S1200 adds convenience and flexibility to the user experience.

Overall, the design and build of the Yamaha A-S201 are a testament to the brand’s dedication to quality, durability, and user-friendly design. With its elegant aesthetics, robust construction, and thoughtful features, the A-S201 is a standout amplifier that delivers exceptional performance and reliability for audio enthusiasts of all levels.

Sound Quality:

The sound quality of the Yamaha A-S201 amplifier is one of its most impressive features. It boasts a rich, warm sound that brings out the best in all kinds of music, from classical to electronic. With a power output of 100 watts per channel at 8 ohms, the A-S201 delivers ample power to drive various speakers, providing clear, dynamic sound across the frequency spectrum.

One notable aspect of the A-S201’s sound quality is its ability to reproduce the nuances and subtleties of different musical genres. Whether you’re listening to a solo piano piece or a dense electronic track, the amplifier delivers a balanced and detailed sound that highlights the unique characteristics of each recording. This ability to reproduce the sound of various instruments and voices faithfully sets the A-S201 apart from other amplifiers in its price range.

To put the A-S201 to the test, we played a range of music through a pair of high-quality speakers, including classical, jazz, rock, and electronic tracks. The amplifier delivered clear, accurate sound in each case with excellent imaging and separation. The bass was tight and controlled, with plenty of punch, while the midrange and treble were smooth and detailed. We also tested the amplifier’s ability to handle dynamic changes in music, such as crescendos and decrescendos. It performed admirably, maintaining its composure and delivering consistent sound quality.

Overall, the Yamaha A-S201 amplifier is a standout performer that offers exceptional sound quality and versatility at an affordable price. Whether you’re a casual listener or a severe audiophile, the A-S201 will impress with its powerful, detailed sound and robust construction.

Features:

The Yamaha A-S201 amplifier is a feature-packed device that offers a wide range of functions to enhance your listening experience. From its advanced connectivity options to its comprehensive remote control, the A-S201 is designed to provide convenience and versatility for all users.

One of the standout features of the A-S201 is its connectivity options. The amplifier includes a phono input, which allows you to connect a turntable directly to the amplifier, eliminating the need for an external phono preamplifier. This makes it easy to enjoy your vinyl collection with excellent sound quality.

In addition to the phono input, the A-S201 includes three line inputs, one of which has a pair of recording outputs. This allows you to connect audio sources, such as a CD player, tuner, or streaming device, to the amplifier and record them to an external device. This makes creating high-quality recordings of your favorite music or radio programs easy.

Another notable feature of the A-S201 is its remote control. The remote control is more comprehensive than those found on other amplifiers, allowing you to adjust the volume, balance, bass, and treble from the comfort of your armchair. The remote control also includes a sleep timer and a sound-optimized Source Direct mode, which turns off the green text display and renders all controls except volume ineffective for the best listening experience.

Overall, the Yamaha A-S201 amplifier is a feature-packed device that offers a wide range of functions to enhance your listening experience. From its advanced connectivity options to its comprehensive remote control, the A-S201 is designed to provide convenience and versatility for all users.

Technical Specifications:

The Yamaha A-S201 amplifier boasts impressive technical specifications, contributing to its excellent sound quality and performance. Equipped with a power output of 100 watts per channel at 8 ohms, the amplifier delivers ample power to drive a wide range of speakers, providing clear, dynamic sound across the frequency spectrum.

One notable aspect of the A-S201’s technical specifications is its classic analog A/B mode with individual bipolar transistors per channel. This traditional design choice ensures the amplifier delivers a smooth, natural sound with excellent imaging and separation. It also helps to minimize distortion and maintain consistency in sound quality, even at high volumes.

Another noteworthy feature of the A-S201 is its use of a pair of bipolar individual transistors per channel in the power amplifier. This design choice helps to ensure that the amplifier delivers a powerful, detailed sound with excellent bass response and clarity. It also helps to minimize noise and interference, resulting in a cleaner, more enjoyable listening experience.

In addition to its technical specifications, the A-S201 also features a range of other useful functions and features. These include a phono input for connecting a turntable, three line inputs for connecting other audio sources, and a comprehensive remote control for easy operation from the comfort of your armchair.

Overall, the Yamaha A-S201 amplifier is well-designed and well-built, with impressive technical specifications and excellent sound quality. Whether you’re a casual listener or a severe audiophile, the A-S201 will impress with its powerful, detailed sound and robust construction.

Connectivity:

The Yamaha A-S201 amplifier offers a variety of connectivity options, making it easy to integrate into your audio system. The amplifier features a phono input, allowing you to connect a turntable directly to the amplifier without needing an external phono preamplifier. This is particularly useful for vinyl enthusiasts who want to enjoy their records with high-quality sound.

In addition to the phono input, the A-S201 includes three line inputs, which can connect other audio sources such as CD players, tuners, or streaming devices. This makes it easy to switch between different audio sources and enjoy a wide range of music.

Setting up the A-S201 is straightforward, thanks to its intuitive design and clear front panel layout. The amplifier features a volume control knob and a power button on the front panel, as well as input selector buttons that allow you to choose between the different audio sources. The amplifier also comes with a comprehensive remote control, which makes it easy to adjust the volume, balance, bass, and treble from the comfort of your armchair.

Overall, the Yamaha A-S201 amplifier is a versatile and user-friendly device that offers a variety of connectivity options and a straightforward setup process. Whether you’re a vinyl enthusiast or a casual listener, the A-S201 will impress with its powerful, detailed sound and convenient features.

Usability and User-Friendly Design: A-S201 Amplifier

The Yamaha A-S201 amplifier is renowned for its ease of use and user-friendly design, making it a perfect choice for casual listeners and serious audiophiles. With its intuitive layout and convenient remote control, the A-S201 offers a seamless and enjoyable listening experience.

One of the standout features of the A-S201 is its clear and straightforward front panel layout. The amplifier features a volume control knob, power button, and input selector buttons on the front panel, allowing for easy operation and quick access to critical functions. The front panel also includes a green text display that provides transparent information about the current settings and status of the amplifier.

The A-S201 also comes with a comprehensive remote control, which offers even more functionality and convenience. The remote control allows you to adjust the volume, balance, bass, and treble from the comfort of your armchair, making it easy to fine-tune the sound to your preferences. The remote control also includes a sleep timer and a sound-optimized Source Direct mode, which turns off the green text display and renders all controls except volume ineffective for the best listening experience.

Overall, the Yamaha A-S201 amplifier is designed with usability in mind, offering a straightforward and intuitive interface that makes it easy to operate and enjoy your music. Whether you’re a vinyl enthusiast or a casual listener, the A-S201 will impress with its powerful, detailed sound and convenient features.

Unique Features of the Yamaha A-S201 Amplifier:

  1. Phono Input with Preamp: The A-S201 amplifier offers a phono input with a built-in phono preamplifier, enabling a direct turntable connection without needing an external phono stage. This is particularly advantageous for vinyl enthusiasts.
  2. Analog A/B Amplification: The A-S201 uses a classic analog A/B mode with individual bipolar transistors per channel, ensuring a natural sound with excellent imaging and separation while minimizing distortion.
  3. Bipolar Transistors in Power Amplification: This amplifier utilizes a pair of bipolar transistors per channel, contributing to powerful, detailed sound with exceptional bass response, clarity, and minimal noise and interference.
  4. Comprehensive Remote Control: The amplifier comes with a comprehensive remote control that offers a range of functionalities, including volume control, balance adjustment, and Source Direct mode, for convenient and flexible operation.
  5. Intuitive Front Panel Controls: With a user-friendly front panel featuring a volume control knob, power button, and input selector buttons, adjusting settings and switching between audio sources is made effortless.
  6. Green Text Display: A clear green text display on the front panel provides information about current settings and amplifier status, ensuring ease of use.
  7. Durable Construction: Crafted from high-quality materials like sheet steel and aluminum, the amplifier’s robust construction contributes to its durability and reliability.
  8. Switchable Speaker Outputs: The A-S201 comes with two pairs of switchable speakers with sturdy plastic screw terminals, allowing for easy and secure speaker connection.

Conclusion:

The Yamaha A-S201 amplifier sets itself apart in the market by offering exceptional performance, affordability, and user-friendly design. Its robust construction, intuitive front panel controls, and comprehensive remote control make it a standout choice for casual listeners and serious audiophiles. The amplifier’s unique features, such as its phono input with a built-in preamp and analog A/B amplification, contribute to its robust, detailed sound and excellent bass response. Overall, the A-S201 is a highly recommended amplifier for anyone seeking high-quality sound reproduction without breaking the bank.

Reasons to Buy the Yamaha A-S201 Amplifier:

  1. Outstanding Sound Quality: The A-S201 delivers excellent sound quality, with a warm, rich sound and robust bass response that’s hard to match at this price point.
  2. Built-in Phono Stage: The built-in phono stage makes it easy to connect a turntable without needing an external preamp, making it an excellent choice for vinyl enthusiasts.
  3. Durable Construction: Crafted from high-quality materials like sheet steel and aluminum, the A-S201 is built to last, ensuring years of reliable performance.
  4. User-Friendly Design: With intuitive front panel controls and a comprehensive remote control, the A-S201 is easy to operate and adjust.
  5. Affordable Price: Given its exceptional sound quality and range of features, the A-S201 offers excellent value for money, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious buyers.

Reasons Not to Buy the Yamaha A-S201 Amplifier:

  1. Lack of Digital Inputs: If you require digital inputs, such as USB or optical, the A-S201 may not be the best choice, as it only offers analog inputs.
  2. Limited Power Output: While the A-S201 delivers sufficient power for most home audio setups, it may not be suitable for driving high-end, power-hungry speakers.
  3. Limited Connectivity: With only three line inputs and a phono input, the A-S201 may not offer enough connectivity options for some users.
  4. Limited Customization: While the amplifier offers bass and treble controls, it lacks more advanced customization options, such as parametric equalization.
  5. Bulkier Design: Compared to other amplifiers, the A-S201 has a larger footprint, which may concern users with limited space.

Ultimately, buying the Yamaha A-S201 amplifier will depend on your specific needs and preferences. If you prioritize sound quality, durability, and affordability, the A-S201 is an excellent choice. However, you may want to consider other options if you require advanced connectivity options or more customization.

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