Would you recommend JBL studio 190 or Monitor Audio bx5 to go with this amp?
I got one of these and a pair of Diamond 121, biwired with audioquest cable. It sounded horrible. The Yamaha lacks detail and upper-bass disappears. Lower bass is all one note. There's plenty of it, but it's just not musical. Rhythmically, I honestly think it's the worst amp I've ever heard. I played the first Stone Roses CD and I hardly recognised it, I played some Spiritualized, Joni Mitchell, Kristen Hirsch, The Heavy, Massive Attack, Leftfield and some Brian Eno to test. Each of them sounded like a roomful of musicians playing different songs from each other. I found it impossible to pick an instrument and follow it.
To be fair to the Yamaha, the stereo image was decent and it did sound a bit better at higher volumes. I mostly used the tone defeat but I did try to make the best of a bad job by experimenting with the other controls.
I switched to a NAD 304 amp and things improved 1000%. When I switched to the NAD, at last my foot started tapping again. I bought the Yamaha on the basis of this review, without an audition, so more fool me. I am staggered that it gets 5 stars, maybe with the right speakers it can sound good, but in my living room it sounds absolutely dreadful. It will be going into the classifieds, only a month old and pristine but sounds like a bus.
What do you guys think of Yamaha A-S500 paired with Wharfedale 9.5 speakers?
That should work just fine.
Great, now only if I could replace my HK3490 with the Yamaha
I wonder if Yamaha A-S500 would be a suitable amp for Yamaha CD-N500 CD-network player ??
I have been considering such a combination, with KEF Q300 speakers.
It would be a very reasonably priced set here in Germany.
Also Arcam A19 amplifier would be an alternative ...
The CD-N500 should work well with the A-S500. However, if you can stretch to the Arcam A19 iI think it'll produce better results with the KEFs.
I'm definitely thinking of investing in one of these (particularly considering they have a rather nice reduction at Richer Sounds). I want to hook it up to my Mac via a DAC.
Any cons to doing this? Also any good reasonably priced DACs which work well with the AS-500?
This is a really good amp. Just avoid bright sounding speakers with it though. As for DACs have a listen to Arcam's rDAC, Audioquest's Dragonfly and we hear good things about HRT's microStreamer.
Any owners of Yamaha AS-500 know what the headphone output is like in terms of sound quality? many thanks.
I use german maestro with my as-500, sound quality is superb, but thats partly due to high quality of the headphones themselves.
I'm torn between buying a Yamaha AV 673 or this AS500...
I'm using Tannoy Mercury V4 and I can't help thinking they may sound harsh in the top range with the AS500.. any views on this ?
I run AS500 with Tannoy V4s for over a year and they are a fantastic combination. I started with the V4s and my existing Sony AV Reciever and they sounded terrible. All top end and no mid range or bass. My friend bought the same speakers at the same time and had the same issue with a Onkyo receiver.
We both bought two channel amps I bought AS500 and he bought a Denon 1510 and chalk and cheese with the difference for both our systems. Quality sound. Rule is for quality stereo speakers you are way better with a good stereo amp than a receiver.
Moving to the AS500 and the V4 speakers are a dream. Great sound, amazing detail and tight but deep bass. Make sure you bi wire the speakers and also give the amp a few days running to settle in. You will not be dissapointed - as long as you use reasonable quality source and recordings.
Capricorn36, thanks for your input. I bought Tannoy Mercury V4 and so far I have limited my choises to Yamaha AS500 and Denon 720AE. Could you describe what was the sound like with Denon 1510? Is it "livelier" than Yamaha? Thanks.
Yamaha was more detailed and controlled. Denon 1510 was more warm and bassy but not as detailed. My friend likes a heavier sound and bought the Denon and I went for the clarity and detail of the Yanaha (and at less than half the price also).
Note the lower price Denons didn't sound the same as the 1510 as did not have the same weight or bottom end hence weren't on either of our short lists.
Great amp for a great price. I would have a hard time explaining why one should spend 250 extra pounds to get the Rotel RA 06SE or the Marantz pm7003 when you can get the same audio quality, better build quality (apart from the volume knob), the same power and extra features for 330 pounds...I'm driving effortlessly a pair of Dynaudio DM 2/7....pure bliss. Thanks for the tip guys...
AS-500 is a cracking amp for the cost.
I've been enjoying mine for a few months now. I auditioned several marantz, rotel, NAD and CA amps up to the £700 price tag with varying speakers.
The speakers I settled on were MS Aviano 8's, they sounded great for the music I listen to, and were a step ahead of the others I tried (Aegis Neo, B&W's, Dali Ikon's) and seemed a worth while upgrade to my Royd Doublet's, but my existing Rotel would have struggled at 25w per channel so I needed something to get me by for a few months. Although the speakers were sounding great, the demo amp was also noticeably having a hard time running them at nearly 75% volume. So I tried other amps in the store, they all struggled to drive them, then I stumbled accross the Yamaha. Most of the amps had to run at 50% or more to drive them at a modest volume. The 85w per channel AS-500 drove them much more effortlessly, at around 30-40% volume there was plenty of 'oomph', and you could tell in the sound that was produced. It was a nice, detailed, warmer sound, not as bright as the others - very natural by comparison. I knew I had found the right bit of kit to partner with the MS's and at a bargain price tag.
I've not had any need to play with any tone controls, it just stays on source direct and produces a perfect sound.
I'm currently feeding it lossless through the latest DacMagic with Linn Silvers and it sounds fantastic - I've not looked back!
Originally when in the store I was buying an amp as a stop gap to last me until the start of next year, but it has turned out so well I really think there is no point in changing.
Top marks to Yamaha for producing such a great budget package.
A good amp has all to do with the "damping factor"
An amp with a damping factor 100 is ..so..so
No wonder the Yamaha A-S500 sounds good..damping factor is 1kHz.8Ohm=240 or more.
Reason why Rotel RA-04SE is a good amp..damping factor =180.
A high damping factor holds the base tight in hand.
I live in Belgium..I ordered the Yamaha amp A-S500 in Holland for 350 Euro.free transport to Belgium.
same amp cost 439Euro in a local shop in Belgium.
The silver amp I bought looks good and solid,except for the plastic buttons on the frontpanel.
The loudness button almost broke off as I wanted to turn clockwise and it only goes anticlockwise.
I connected the Yamaha to my KEF IQ3 Bookshelf speakers.
First listening impression is a happy one. With different sources like TV Philips DVB-T,DUNE SMART D1 and
Pioneer cd/DVD player DV600AV.
No harsh sound at all.Good balance on low volume between bass/mid/treble.
The loudness button is somehow special..like something I have never seen on other amps.
Loudness turning left seems to hold bass on same volume while reducing treble and midrange.
One tends to correct the loudness setting with the volume button.
The amp sounds very relaxing so far.
Phones connected to Sennheiser HD598 sounds bad,very very bad compared to my headset amp Fubar 4.
I tested the subwoofer out(I have an old Sony SAW10 active subwoofer)
nothing for me on a small appartement..only bonk bonk bonk
looks like the sub out is already filtered very low.
I would not need and skip 4 speakers ( I dont believe in Biwiring).
Rec out= useless..skip
As for me no need for the Dock input.
The new loudness system ,I like very much.
Just a pitty for the plastic square buttons..If buttons were round it would not be such an issue, being plastic.
The remote is solid holding 2AA batteries.
Most buttons serve yamaha cd player and tuner.
Volume works fine,you slightly hear the motor on low volume.
mute works gradually..a fine gadget.
YAMAHA A-S500 sound is good with Kef IQ3
bad sound on Phones Headset with Sennheiser HD598.
too many unnessary buttons and tools.
I would like to come back to the Phones on the Yamaha A-S500 Headset connection with Sennheiser HD598.
Indeed sound is very heavy,but after adjustments
Loudness/Bass/Treble , it sounds great.
Even better detailed and greater dynamics than Fubar 4 Headphone amp.
sound pressure level on the Sennheiser is 112dB.
away with my old Sony SA-W10 subwoofer.
I bought the Yamaha YST-SW012 Subwoofer on sale 87euro iso 199 euro.
Fantastic bass support to my bookshelf speakers.
Great amp the Yamaha A-S500.
I always wanted and amp with a subwoofer out.
Don't talk so wet.
I have used some quite expensive Amps and I have to say I was really impressed by the Yamaha. If I had to guess a price from the sound quality alone I would have said at least £800 and above this price in my opinion you are paying for the name, better casework i.e cosmetic appeal, but I do agree that satisfaction in owning something that is expensive and of real high visual & physical quality is quantifiable and does have some value though.
The Yamaha does however not appeal to me for its looks, although some like the retro-style apparently, the flimsy feeling knobs mentioned by others arent its best attribute although I dont think there is any real justification to say the knobs are less durable than the competition although they may give that impression.
The sound quality is absolutely exemplary in my opinion, the detail and tightness of the Bass and the clarity generally is as good as, and much better in many cases than Amps costing upwards of 3 times the price. I have not found harshness a problem.
The only downside compared to some other powerful amps I have had is that the positive aspects seem to diminish a little if you use a lot of volume but for normal listening it is superb.
I was about to buy this amp but notice in the review that it 'Doesn't like harsh partnering kit'. My speakers and CD player are pretty modest by the standards of other reviewers here (NAD CD player cost less than £200 11 years ago and speakers are 31 years old but were good for their time!). Should I look elsewhere?
5/12 2011 For me it sounded very harsh at start, but loadness control at 4clock and reduced bass and treble it soften, all with that rythmic, dynamic and very detailed sound. Its a fine amplifier and now i know why it got 5 stars.
Have you compared it with AS 2000 side by side ?
Got this amp today and very happy with it. It's only had about an hour run time so far and it sounds great. regardless of what others say the bass is good. The amp is worth every penny and more, Not sure it will even matter what speakers im using but im using roth oli 4's
Ran these through Totem Rainmakers and the sound was detailed, but lacked dynamics and musicality. Bass extension was also poor considering its 85W.
You'd probably get more response if you post the question in the forums, kumario9
Ingo what are you talking about ? It's built like a tank.
have had this amp for slightly over a month now. Have it hooked up to a pair of monitor audio bx5's and it sounds great. Seems to extract as much detail from the sound as possible and all for £297! All I can say is bargain.
Ingo i have to say i think this is some of the best made kit i have seen in along time no idea where your comments are coming from its built like a tank...
Great Review. How does this compare to the Cambridge Audio Azur 740A. I was thinking of getting one of those but am now considering this...
Great review, I will soon audition this one.
1. Can I conclude that this amp is overall better than the A-S700, or is it juist because the price is lower?
2. Would this amp also work well with floorstanders like the old KEF serie Q5?
Yesterday at Media Markt in Heilbronn/Gerrmany I saw the new Yamaha Series for the first time and I could not believe it: The AS amplifieres (they had the 300, 500 and 700 in their show-room) had such a bad and and cheap manufactoring quality which I have never seen from a well known brand in my live before. Never would buy an amplifier from that series. I wonder how such an amplifier can get 5 stars if maufacturing quality is that low. I feared the tone controls would fall off when touching them. Even the seller agreed that this series is really a bad joke though the AS 700 I tested sounded good.
Just taken delivery of a A-S500. First impressions are of power and clarity. I have replaced a Rotel RA-01 as I wanted more power to drive my Spendor BC1's. I was surprised and disappointed however that it has a captive mains lead. I had assumed that for an amp of this size and price it would have a detachable lead. I have invested in some good quality mains leads so this is frustrating and I'm now left imagining the improvement a good quality power cable would add. Someone commented on the poor build quality. I can only suppose that they are referring to the fiddly little switch on the front that has to be used to identify the source of equipment you record from, i.e. from tuner, tape, CD etc, otherwise it appears solid, heavy and very large! Pity about the mains lead though. I want to get it adapted, but don't want to invalidate the guarantee, so will have to wait for this. Anyone got any thoughts on if it's worth having the mains lead adapted?
John B. London
Planning to purchase Marantz CD6003 and Yamaha A-S500 amp (living hall 12 feet x 30 feet x 12 feet), any recommendation beside Monitor Audio BX 2 or Bx5? Looking floor-stand speakers and have short-listed below;
1) B&W 684
2) Acoustic Energy Radiance 2
3) Focal Chorus 726
4) Mission MX5
5) Tannoy Revolution DC4T
So far Mission MX 5 seems good overall but still seeking better floor-stand speaker under 1k pound budget (also can runs well on tube amp - future upgrade). Listen all kinds of music (Pop/Jazz/Rock/Musical). Recommendation / advise pls.
I got it for a month and it sounds perfect connected with Jamo C-407. Somebody mentioned that it`s a bit on the bright side- well,not at all-the bass is deep and well controlled and you can feel it with your bones. Impressive!
I have one ..and it is worth every penny..the review is spot on ..I hace it connected to B&W 601's and use a lenco deck ..this really IS a superb amp..try it , buy it ,if you had spent another �200 you would not be unhappy with it !
Hve Marantz cd player 6002, with Harmon Kardon 970 amplifier and Monitor BR2 Bronze speakers.Suspect the amp. may just be weak link.
Want to liven up, will the Yamaha really improve the system and be compatible, please? Originally found the Marantz amp. too "bright", for classical music.
I hate to rub it in, but I recently purchased this amplifier brand new for $280 US on sale.
I must say, I was ecstatic when I finally heard my system in action. I have a pair of B&W DM602 S2's and a B&W ASW300 subwoofer running off the A-S500. I play all my music from my iPod through the YDS-10 dock which I bought with the amp.
This amp really lets my speakers shine. My system sounds exceptionally clear and detailed. I love listening to songs with lots of dynamic range and crescendos because I get lots of guts while the nuances and subtleties are still preserved during softer passages.
In a nutshell, this amp has delivered an incredibly exciting and satisfying listening experience. I can't find fault with it, and I would wholeheartedly recommend it, especially to people like me who want impeccable sound on a reasonable budget.
My actual amp pre & power are Quad 34 & 306 (1999), very musical and smooth, but lacking some input and perhaps in bass punch, so I think to change, budget 500€ (430£) - I am afraid that Nad C326 has too dry high freq. and Yamaha A-S500 too present middle freq or annoying high freq. I’ve listen to Yamaha A-S700 with 2-way floor st. Proac, it seemed articulated in low and not so bright and cold in middle-high - never seen the A-S500 - I'm waiting for any suggestion and comparison referred to these 2 amps: what's the best with my speakers (B&W 1800, 2 way reflex )- whi someone says that as 500 is better than as700?
I absolutely LOVE this beauty. The sound and looks are great. At first I was a bit sceptical concerning partnering my speakers, Mordaunt Short's Mezzo 6, but it's great! Now i am wondering, what would bi-wiring do?
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