Yamaha A-S3000 Integrated Amplifier Home Trial Notes

Discussion in 'Yamaha' started by SeanMG, May 5, 2014.

  1. SeanMG

    SeanMG Member

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    Sure, I like Yamaha but more high-end HiFi folks than not are actually biased against brands like Yamaha due to their success in selling inexpensive equipment in big box stores.

    Also, I don't think What HiFi is particularly credible for my ears as I rarely agree with them on anything other than tha A-S2000 (at the time of their first review). Also, this review seems to be predicated on the price of the amplifier and not the sound of it. I shared my impressions after comparing the A-S3000 to McIntosh amplifiers in its price range. While it would be sacrilege to suggest that the McIntosh is overpriced, I personally found more of what I was looking for in the Yamaha.

    I think that Yamaha and ATC have a house sound and that sound--what's on the recording an little/no coloration is what I prefer. Just like What HiFi doesn't get my ideal sound, some amplifier and speaker brands don't get me either. That's fine but I need to know what gear sounds like for myself and I enjoy sharing my impressions with people who are looking for similar qualities. The Austrailian HiFi review of this amplifier was profoundly positive and actually involved test and listening. More importantly, the Australian HiFi review supports what I hear from the amplifier day-to-day in my listening room.
     
  2. SeanMG

    SeanMG Member

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    66
    Location:
    Beautiful Downtown Detroit
    So you haven't heard the amplifier but you are sure that the folks who own it are hearing flaws but are too forgetful or prideful to report them? This could also just be a really good amplifier for certain users.

    There are probably three pro and semi-professional reviews of this amplifier. Steve Huff thought it was stellar but had a defective unit. Australian HiFi issued a thorough review and could only criticize the weight of the unit and the complex remote. What HiFi goes into the review looking for dynamic grunt, finds an amplifier that conveys loads of detail and a few other things but they focus on their perception of dynamics.

    Trust me, I have a lot of options in HiFi. I bought this amplifier twice over and would do it again because more importantly for me than what a professional reviewer says, it ticks the boxes for what I'm looking for.
     
  3. SeanMG

    SeanMG Member

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    66
    Location:
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    Updated picture. Bought a silver unit to match my Sony HAP-Z1ES

    [​IMG]
     
  4. iamjaymo

    iamjaymo Well-Known Member

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    Michigan
    The silver looks great!
     
  5. Enthusiast2

    Enthusiast2 Well-Known Member

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    828
    Lot of quality modern used stuff out there at that price. I wonder how much better it is than the CR 2040 I have.
    Gear is something I would never buy new. Somebody has to though.
     
  6. Mark B

    Mark B Yamaha Fan Subscriber

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    It looks great in silver.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2015
  7. restorer-john

    restorer-john Super Member

    Messages:
    4,235
    Location:
    Australia
    It does look lovely, especially in the flesh. I've listened to it and the new AS-2100 and compared them with a dozen or so amplifiers in my collection of a similar ilk.

    I would say this, there are better buys in the vintage field for thousands of dollars less than the price of these amps.
     
  8. Dr. Ear

    Dr. Ear Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    660
    Location:
    Austria
    Even in carefully restored vintage gear you will have occasional problems with failing components, bad contacts and solder joints needing repair. If you are able to fix it yourself it might be fun. Having lots of vintage Yamaha's I know what I'm talking about. On the other hand you get a brand new amplifier that comes with a two years warranty and very probably won't need any service for the next 20 years. Sound is a matter of taste, I know. The A-S series has been extensively tweaked to suit "modern" listening habits. While I like the clarity and detailed presentation of the M-4 and M-2 I also appreciate the punch and warmer sound of the A-S3000. The A-S2100 is a bargain, anyway.
     
  9. restorer-john

    restorer-john Super Member

    Messages:
    4,235
    Location:
    Australia
    Two years warranty in the US, Ten (yes 10) in Australia, and so it damn-well should be, for AU$8999 RRP!

    It is lead free solder, a huge amount of SMD and the entire unit is run under the control of a CPU. None of this bodes well for a two decade lifespan you suggest or hope for.

    The AS-3000 has enough issues in terms of poor low impedance capability (due to not enough SOAR and over aggressive current limiting/current brick-walling) and a S/N that is barely above 1970s levels due to a significant PSU ripple finding its way into the front end, to be anything other than a retro-hipster, cum-baby-boomer nostalgia driven aspirational item in my book.

    On my bench (not motivated by advertising or vested interests), it was good. I have 1990s amps that obliterated it at a quarter of the original RRP.

    If anyone is actually interested in facts, not 'reviews' driven by people with cards in the game, I ran it alongside 6 amplifiers of a similar spec all over 15 years old and it didn't come close, but then again, I was selling gear when the Yamaha and Pioneer reps would roll in with the latest 'rave' review from our friends at Australian HiFi, usually accompanied by a stack of the latest month's magazine to 'give away' to out best customers. That magazine has always been a joke here.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2015
  10. ehoove

    ehoove Old & New - Carpe Diem Super Mod Subscriber

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    Solid points by many, but let's not let this dissolve into another Modern vrs. Vintage debacle.
    Regards,
    Jim
     
  11. iamjaymo

    iamjaymo Well-Known Member

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    632
    Location:
    Michigan
    Oh brother...here we go...

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  12. restorer-john

    restorer-john Super Member

    Messages:
    4,235
    Location:
    Australia
    I think it is a lovely amp (the AS-3000) and so is the AS-2100. Yamaha made their 125th Anniversary pretty special with that range.

    A worthy successor to their 100th Anniversary Range:

    [​IMG]

    Makes you wonder what the 150th Anniversary gear will look like...
     

    Attached Files:

  13. Dr. Ear

    Dr. Ear Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    660
    Location:
    Austria
    The phono stage is extremely quiet when I compare it to my C-70 or C-4 (both refurb'd). No hum and hiss.
     
  14. Dr. Ear

    Dr. Ear Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    660
    Location:
    Austria
    So, the B-6, M-2 and some others do not have "over aggressive" current limiting?
    Those amps are labeled "8-16 Ohms" I see.
    I had the A-S2100 hooked on Magneplanar's and Acoustic Research AR 11 and 90. I did not find it had difficulties driving those demanding speakers (3.2 Ohms impedance minimum and complex load for the AR's), it was a perfect match. Years ago I owned a Pioneer SA9800 amp which I loved for its build quality. The Pioneer could not handle the AR's even at medium volumes. It became totally unstable, there was only distortion audible and I had to "restart it" like a PC.
     
  15. AudioGeek

    AudioGeek too hip to function

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    973
    Location:
    some bi-radial universe

    I'm not "too forgetful or prideful to report them", I just didn't feel like digging up the comments. If the amp works for you that's great, but for the price I might go for something else and btw, I have nothing against Yamaha. I like a lot of their stuff such as the CT-7000 tuner I had that was my fave.
     
  16. Mark B

    Mark B Yamaha Fan Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,228
    Location:
    usa
    That's an awful lot of trouble to go to. Do you own an A-S3000?

    I am very interested in facts. Please list the details of all this testing. Surely you have pictures or video?
     
  17. OMGCat!

    OMGCat! AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,874
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Wow, lots of anger about stuff that makes other people happy in here.
    I have about 30 minutes with an A-S3000 at a customers house so can weigh in a little. He had it with a CD-S3000 as a source driving a set of B&W Nautilus speakers (I forget the exact model unfortunately). I listened to a few tracks off of Time Out on SACD and can say that it brought a really big smile to my face. Maybe it was just that disc or the pairing of the components or whatever but I could have sat there and listened for hours happily. I guess I should have been looking for flaws or comparing it to some 40 year old receiver and speaker combo but I missed my chance to annoy someone in real life.

    I think that the worry about surface mount component and ICs are pretty much unfounded these days unless you're looking for reasons to poo poo something. It's not the 70s anymore where the tech was new and untested. I've got plenty of gear, including my vehicles, that have many decades old components running ICs and they all work just fine. Surface mount is also fine as long as they engineer it correctly for thermal expansion and whatnot. I haven't heard of common failures in any of the newer Yamahas but haven't researched it much either.
     
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  18. iamjaymo

    iamjaymo Well-Known Member

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    632
    Location:
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    ...


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2015
  19. Yamahaha

    Yamahaha Active Member

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    425
    I am interested too.
     
  20. SeanMG

    SeanMG Member

    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    Beautiful Downtown Detroit
    This is getting good

    The comments about price and vintage gear are entertaining--you ought to start a thread about that. All of my friends with vintage gear spend more time lugging it to repair than listening. My time is too valuable and I'm too young to be that nostalgic about my equipment.

    I love the old Yamaha stuff too. Still have my NS1000's and a YP-801. I just don't have a garage full of tools and electrical know-how to fiddle with this stuff. I will keep my wonderful sounding and surely out of spec NS1000's but I'd like to keep the weak links to a minimum and 40 year old capacitors are a weak link.

    I'm guessing that if I do keep my A-S3000, my ears will be suitably out of spec by the time it fails.
     

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