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"Immerse in Pure Sound with Yamaha"

Yamaha A-S501 Review

Elevate your audio setup with the Yamaha A-S501 integrated amplifier, a blend of performance and affordability. Explore its design, features, sound quality, user experience, and value.

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Yamaha A-S501
Yamaha A-S501
Yamaha A-S501
Yamaha A-S501
Yamaha A-S501
Yamaha A-S501
Yamaha A-S501
Yamaha A-S501
Yamaha A-S501
Yamaha A-S501
Yamaha A-S501
Yamaha A-S501
Yamaha A-S501
Yamaha A-S501
Yamaha A-S501
Yamaha A-S501

Introduction

Seemingly an ideal blend of performance and affordability: the Yamaha A-S501. This integrated amplifier from a reputed and long-standing manufacturer, Yamaha, is a testament to the company's dedication towards delivering high-quality sound. The A-S501 reinforces the brand's commitment to audio excellence and is an emblematic representation of their manufacturing prowess.

With this integrated amplifier, Yamaha has gone above and beyond to blend utility and audio finesse into a single device. The A-S501 is not solely a tool for audio amplification but a medium to experience music in its purest form. It serves as a technologically evolved bridge between your audio source and your speakers, facilitating a musical experience that is deeply immersive and satisfying.

This review will dive into the intricate details that make the Yamaha A-S501 a standout product in the audio market. So, whether you're an audiophile or a music lover seeking to enhance your home audio system, this review will provide a comprehensive understanding of what this amplifier brings to the table.

Without further ado, let's delve into the world of the Yamaha A-S501, examining its design, build quality, features, connectivity options, sound quality, user experience, and value for money. We'll also give you a sneak peek into what to expect when you unbox this stunning amplifier. Stay tuned!

Design and Build Quality

The Yamaha A-S501 is a stunning vision of an amplifier, sporting a sleek, minimalist aesthetic that would add a touch of elegance to any audio setup. The entire unit is dressed in a glossy black finish, and the silver control knobs contrast beautifully with this backdrop, giving it a contemporary look.

Despite its elegant exterior, the A-S501 is robust and built like a tank - a testament to Yamaha's commitment to durable design. The chassis is constructed from solid metal, which provides excellent resistance to vibration and other physical disturbances. The control knobs, too, are sturdy and have a reassuringly firm feel when turned or adjusted.

Attention to detail is visible in the design of the cooling vents, strategically placed to ensure efficient heat dissipation. The amplifier's overall size is compact, making it easy to accommodate in various setups. Yet, its weight, about 22 lbs, gives it a substantial presence.

On the front panel, the A-S501 features a neat layout with intuitive controls. It also incorporates a large volume knob, a pure direct switch, and perfectly aligned input selectors - all adding to the user-friendly design. The rear panel is equally well organized and adorned with gold-plated terminals for optimal signal transfer.

In summary, the Yamaha A-S501 scores high on both design and build quality. It displays a perfect blend of aesthetic appeal, user-friendly design, and durable construction. It's an amplifier that looks as good as it performs, and the build quality suggests it's built to last.

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Features and Connectivity

Talking about the Yamaha A-S501, this amplifier is packed with numerous features and connectivity options. To start with, it hosts a Total Purity Audio Reproduction Technology (ToP-ART) design, which ensures optimal sound quality by maintaining the integrity of the audio signal. The ToP-ART design is paired with Yamahas's custom-made power transformer and aluminum heat sinks which further enhance its audio performance.

For the tech-savvy audiophile, the A-S501 boasts a built-in DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter). This enables you to connect digital sources directly and enjoy high-quality playback of digital audio files. The DAC supports up to 32-bit 192kHz, meaning it can handle high-res audio files with ease.

Speaking of connectivity, the A-S501 comes well-equipped. It has both analog and digital inputs. More specifically, it features four RCA line-level inputs, a phono input for turntable connection, and two optical and two coaxial digital inputs. This wide array of inputs allows for the connection of a variety of devices such as CD players, turntables, TVs, and more.

But that's not all. This amplifier also has a dedicated subwoofer output, giving you the option to add a subwoofer for additional bass. Plus, it has two sets of speaker outputs, allowing you to connect up to two pairs of speakers and switch between them. And for headphone lovers, there's a front-facing headphone jack for private listening sessions.

Another notable feature of the A-S501 is its pure direct mode. With a push of a button, the audio signal bypasses the tone, balance controls and back buffer amp, presenting a pure and uncolored listening experience.

Finally, the A-S501 is equipped with an easy-to-use remote control, making it even more convenient to operate. The remote provides control over not just the amplifier, but also other Yamaha devices, such as CD players. All these features and connectivity options make the Yamaha A-S501 an incredibly versatile and functional piece of audio gear.

Yamaha A-S501

Sound Quality

Delving into the sound quality of the Yamaha A-S501, it's hard not to be impressed by what this amplifier has to offer. The unit produces a clean, detailed sound with a wide dynamic range, maintaining a clear vocal presence and crisp highs that never seem to distort, even at higher volume levels.

One might note a distinct ability of the A-S501 to reproduce accurate frequencies across the full spectrum. This ensures rich, deep bass while revealing subtle details in the midrange and treble frequencies. It's an accomplishment that denotes Yamaha's well-regarded legacy in audio technology.

What really sets the Yamaha A-S501 apart is its Pure Direct mode. By bypassing the tone control circuits, this feature allows the sound to be delivered with maximum purity, enhancing the listener's experience. The result is a remarkably transparent and direct sound that purists will appreciate.

Instruments are clearly separated and easily identifiable, giving a sense of space and depth in the audio landscape. The soundstage is spacious, offering an immersive listening experience that rivals even more expensive amplifier models.

However, while the A-S501 shines with a range of musical genres, particularly classical and jazz, some may find it slightly lacking in punch when it comes to more bass-heavy music. A slight lack of aggression in the midrange can sometimes make rock music feel a tad subdued. But this is a minor gripe in an otherwise exceptional performance.

It should be noted that while the A-S501 isn't particularly forgiving of poor source material, this is a common trait among higher-quality amplifiers. It's a worthwhile trade-off for the level of detail and clarity that the unit offers when fed with quality audio.

In conclusion, the Yamaha A-S501 delivers a sound quality that truly belies its price point. It's a delight to listen to, offering a precise and balanced sound that will please even the most discerning audiophiles.

Yamaha A-S501

User Experience

Turning our attention to the user experience of the Yamaha A-S501, it's clear that this amplifier provides a hassle-free and intuitive approach for users. From the moment you unbox it, the A-S501’s user-friendly nature is evident. Its intuitive design and straightforward controls make it easy for anyone, regardless of their technical expertise, to get it up and running quickly.

One point that numerous users have lauded is the unit's comprehensive remote control. It offers direct access to inputs and tone controls, allowing you to easily navigate through the amplifier's various functionalities. This remote, combined with the clear labeling on the front panel, provides an overall user experience that is seamless and intuitive.

Another commendable aspect of the A-S501 is its power management system. The amplifier automatically switches to standby mode after eight hours of inactivity, conserving energy and extending the product's lifespan. This is a nice touch from Yamaha that won't go unnoticed by environmentally conscious users.

Moreover, the A-S501 delivers a solid performance in terms of heat dissipation. Even after extended periods of high-volume usage, the unit remains relatively cool to the touch. This is thanks to its design that incorporates an ample amount of ventilation. The result is a reliable, durable amp that stands up to extended use.

It's also noteworthy to mention that the Yamaha A-S501 offers a smooth, noise-free operation. The amplifier is remarkably quiet, with no discernible hum or buzz even at high volumes. This enhances the overall user experience, making it pleasant and allowing you to focus on the music.

Value for Money

When considering the Yamaha A-S501 from the perspective of value for money, it's hard to overlook the tremendous offerings of this amplifier. Priced competitively within the mid-range category, this Yamaha model impressively manages to deliver high-end performance without breaking the bank.

Firstly, it has a sturdy build quality, the kind that you'd expect from a premium amplifier. Yet, it's available at a fraction of the cost of higher-end models. This really does highlight Yamaha's commitment to delivering excellent value to their customers.

You're also treated to an array of features and connectivity options that truly enhance the user experience, more so than many other amplifiers in this price range. The integration of a high-quality DAC, a subwoofer output, and advanced tone controls, make it an all-in-one audio solution suitable for most audio enthusiasts.

But what truly distinguishes the Yamaha A-S501 amplifier in terms of value is the exceptional sound quality. Yamaha has done a remarkable job taking a budget-friendly amplifier and infusing it with the audio performance of a much more expensive piece of gear. Listen to your favorite tracks through this amplifier, and you'll hear a tangible difference in clarity, detail, and depth.

Remember, the objective of any good amplifier should be to improve your overall audio experience, and the Yamaha A-S501 does that splendidly without making your wallet wince. Considering the quality and performance it delivers, it's hard to find another amplifier that offers a better balance between cost and quality.

In my viewpoint, the Yamaha A-S501 is not just about being affordable, but about offering genuine value for money. For those who are cautious about their budget but refuse to compromise on audio quality, the Yamaha A-S501 is an undeniably compelling choice.

Yamaha A-S501

What's in the Box

Opening the package of the Yamaha A-S501, you'll find that Yamaha has provided everything you need to get started. This includes the main event, the A-S501 integrated amplifier itself. It's wrapped securely to ensure it arrives in pristine condition.

Alongside the amplifier, you'll find a well-constructed remote control. This is not just a flimsy afterthought; it feels substantial in the hand and integrates seamlessly with the A-S501, allowing you to control all of its functions from the comfort of your couch.

Also included are two AAA batteries for the remote control, keeping you from the hassle of buying them separately. Yamaha has also added a detachable power cord. Its inclusion not only makes for easier initial setup, but also allows for easy replacement in the rare case of damage or if you prefer a longer or higher-quality cord.

And, of course, an instruction manual is included. It is comprehensive and easy to understand, even for those who might be new to the world of amplifiers. This manual provides detailed instructions on the setup, use, and care for your new A-S501.

Lastly, Yamaha includes a set of audio cables. While you may ultimately choose to use your own, higher-quality cables, it's nice to see that Yamaha has thought of everything to get you started.

To sum up, Yamaha has compiled a well-rounded package with the A-S501. It includes not only the robust and high-performing amplifier unit but also the accessories you need to start enjoying your music right away.

Conclusion

In closing, the Yamaha A-S501 delivers a riveting performance that's well worth considering if high-quality sound, sturdy design, and a reasonable price tag are your priorities. With its robust build, impressive features, and user-friendly interface, the A-S501 stands tall in a highly competitive market.

Moreover, it boasts impeccable sound quality, matching, and in some areas exceeding, the offerings of its high-end counterparts. The availability of versatile connectivity options, including digital inputs, is a definite plus, offering compatibility with a variety of audio sources. The A-S501 provides a seamless experience for both casual listeners and audio enthusiasts alike, and its intuitive controls allow for easy adjustments, even for the least tech-savvy among us.

Where value for money is concerned, it’s hard to find another amplifier within the same price range that offers such a comprehensive package. The Yamaha A-S501 is a testament to Yamaha's commitment to quality and affordability. The unboxing experience is also straightforward; you get everything you need to start enjoying your music in no time.

However, it's worth remembering that no product is flawless. As mentioned in the Design and Build Quality section, the amplifier's size might not be suitable for every setting. However, this minor drawback is easily overshadowed by the overwhelming number of positive attributes this amplifier holds.

In conclusion, the Yamaha A-S501 is an excellent choice for those seeking a reliable, high-performing amplifier that doesn't break the bank. Its strong points far outweigh any minor quibbles, making it a worthy investment for a superior audio experience.

Yamaha A-S501
Video by: Joe N Tell

Pros & cons

Pros

  • High-quality sound
  • Sturdy build
  • Versatile connectivity
  • User-friendly interface
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • Size may not suit all settings
  • Slightly lacking in punch for bass-heavy music

Technical specifications

Product Name Yamaha A-S501
Power Output 85 watts per channel (8 ohms, 20 Hz-20 kHz, 0.019% THD)
Frequency Response 10 Hz - 100 kHz (+0/-3 dB)
Total Harmonic Distortion 0.019% (50 W/8 ohms)
Signal-to-Noise Ratio 99 dB
Input Sensitivity/Impedance 200 mV/47 kohms (Line), 3.5 mV/47 kohms (Phono MM)
Dimensions (W x H x D) 435 x 151 x 387 mm
Weight 10.5 kg