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Yamaha A-S500 vs NAD C356BEE

After much contemplation and research, I have come down to two alternatives for my next hifi upgrade.

It's between the Yamaha A-S500 and the NAD C356BEE. The Yamaha got excellent reviews on this website, as the NAD (only) got 4 out of 5 stars. I realize that they're at different price points - and consequently perhaps rated accordingly - but I've scanned the web for deals and found offers that make them pretty much level in price.

I would pair the Yamaha with the CD-S300 or CD-S700, and the NAD with a C515BEE. Price difference between these two alternatives is negligible. 

Now, the conundrum is this: from what I've read, the Yamaha alternative is much better for iPod integration with USB inputs on both the amp and the CD players. The NAD amp only has a jack input on the front (not even sure it is digital). The Yamaha CD players are said to have excellent inbuilt DACs, which the NAD CD player lacks.

Bear in mind, my main priority is sound quality and bang for the buck. The iPod issue can of course be solved with an external DAC, although satisfying DACs are rather pricey.

I'm eventually going to run a pair of B&W DM683s with the system.

Your thoughts, advice and input from experience are greatly appreciated.

 

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Re: Yamaha A-S500 vs NAD C356BEE

If your going for the NAD C356BEE amplifier, you want the NAD 545BEE CDP with it instead of the 515BEE. Or you could go for the 565BEE. But the 515BEE is definitely a budget CDP and is meant to pair with the C315BEE. Can you demo both combinations (the Yamaha and the NAD)?

HiFi - Cambridge Audio 340C, Pioneer A30, Denon TU 260L, Dali Lektor 2. 

Anonymous
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Re: Yamaha A-S500 vs NAD C356BEE

Having demo'd both amps (and the Yamaha AS100/200 amps as well) I'd personally go for the NAD  C356BEE integrated amp if you're going with the B&W 683 speakers.

 

The Yamaha AS500 amp is good but it just doesnt have the overall guts and power to drive the B&W 683's at their best; the NAD does & in bucket loads Cool

 

I agree with the above comment as well that the NAD C545BEE CD player would be a much better fit in the system over the NAD C515BEE CDP.

 

The NAD C545BEE CD player is very good IMO and offers a great sound. However, at that price range dont rule out the Marantz CD6003 (or if you're happy with 2nd hand) and Arcam DiVA CD72 or CD73 CD player). You could also be fortunate to find an Arcam CD192 CDP close to that budget etc...

 

Are you able to demo the above systems? If so mix and match the CD players with the different amps and see which you like best

 

It'd be handy to know what music it is you generally listen to and also (if you're sorted it already) what cables you'll be using?

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Re: Yamaha A-S500 vs NAD C356BEE

 hifilover79, did you listen to the C375BEE against the AS1000, 2000 amps? What made you go for the pre and power route?

HiFi - Cambridge Audio 340C, Pioneer A30, Denon TU 260L, Dali Lektor 2. 

Anonymous
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Re: Yamaha A-S500 vs NAD C356BEE
Blackdawn:  hifilover79, did you listen to the C375BEE against the AS1000, 2000 amps? What made you go for the pre and power route?

 

Yes I did and thought they were fairly on a par (the C375BEE and the AS2000 amps anyways)

 

I felt that the pre-power combo gave me more clarity and dynamics with the system

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Re: Yamaha A-S500 vs NAD C356BEE

Okay thanks. Which would you say was better the Yamaha As1000 or the NAD C356BEE? CheersSmile

HiFi - Cambridge Audio 340C, Pioneer A30, Denon TU 260L, Dali Lektor 2. 

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Re: Yamaha A-S500 vs NAD C356BEE

I'm not familiar withe the Yamaha but I can vouch for the quality of the NAD C356BEE.

Great amp - I'm actually using it to drive a pair of Harbeth P3-ESRs with a Naim Uniti as a source. It's a fantastic upgade to the Uniti, beats the onboard, Nait 5i-derived amp hands down. I've never heard my Harbeths sing like they are now!

Anonymous
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Re: Yamaha A-S500 vs NAD C356BEE
Blackdawn: Okay thanks. Which would you say was better the Yamaha As1000 or the NAD C356BEE? CheersSmile

 

For me and my tastes I'd go for the NAD...

 

Even the NAD C355BEE amp or a decent 2nd hand NAD C352 integrated amp would be just as good.

 

The Yamaha is a superb amp but it's just a bit too smooth for my liking; very much along the same sound as Marantz amps.

 

The thing with the NAD's is that they're power houses! Even the NAD C320BEE amp that I had years ago was drive tough speakers with ease!

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Re: Yamaha A-S500 vs NAD C356BEE
hifilover1979:
Blackdawn: Okay thanks. Which would you say was better the Yamaha As1000 or the NAD C356BEE? CheersSmile


 


For me and my tastes I'd go for the NAD...


 


Even the NAD C355BEE amp or a decent 2nd hand NAD C352 integrated amp would be just as good.


 


The Yamaha is a superb amp but it's just a bit too smooth for my liking; very much along the same sound as Marantz amps.


 


The thing with the NAD's is that they're power houses! Even the NAD C320BEE amp that I had years ago was drive tough speakers with ease!



Crikey, you seem to prefer the Nad against any make. I know when auditioning for the Arcam A65+, I tested the Nad 352 and Rotel RA-02 and it was mightily close between all three; to be perfectly honest, based on the sources I had at the time (Rotel RCD975) and Wharfedale speakers - and KEF (can't recall what model it was), it was the connectivity and just a slight improvement on top-end clarity and midrange smoothness that swayed me towards the Arcam.


Oddly, I'm still grappling with the same issue now, although I'm more than convinced that better source(s) would sort that.


Anyway, the Nad is a really good amp, so are Rotels, but when it comes to smoothness and low level credentials the Arcam has the [slight] beating of them both.

Leema Tucana MKII; Arcam CD73; PMC TB2i; Pro-ject Xpression with a ClearAudio cart; Denon TU260 MKII

Anonymous
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Re: Yamaha A-S500 vs NAD C356BEE

No not at all; I loved the Leema Pulse but the overall sound wasnt for me. Even the Roksan K2 amp was great but again it didnt have the overall stability within the soundstage for my tastes in music

 

I love the Cyrus sound as well (I demo'd the 8XPd with the XPower with my speakers and sub set-up and it was an amazing sound but overall I didnt want to spend that amount of £££ BUT they'll more than likely be the next upgrade route).

 

I also love Arcam (still have my Alpha 10 integrated and an Arcam Alpha 9 CDP in the loft (all be it the CDP is damaged now Sad

 

I just feel that NAD offers an excellent soundstage and superb value for money. I agree they're build like tanks so not to everyones taste, looks wise but they have imense power in reserve and drive speakers with ease. They also have a lot of punch/clout about them and that's the sound I like with my music

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Re: Yamaha A-S500 vs NAD C356BEE

Absolutely - the Nad punches way above its weight, and many circumstances that's great. Sometimes, however, that hefty punch can be slightly ham-fisted, especially when you have long listening sessions. My amp is typically on approx 6-8 hours a day.


With all the testing I've done on almost every recommended amp below £1,000 the A65+ certainly is a match to the best in many areas, although the bass isn't the fastest or deepest - the midrange and treble is spot-on.


Another thing: most people bang on about Arcam being warm... true the Alpha range tends to err on the rich side, but the DIVA and FMJ ranges are as neutral as anything I've heard, including Kandy LIII, Creek and even Cyrus (based on my current source(s) and speakers).

Leema Tucana MKII; Arcam CD73; PMC TB2i; Pro-ject Xpression with a ClearAudio cart; Denon TU260 MKII

Anonymous
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RE: Yamaha A-S500 vs NAD C356BEE

You compare NAD 356BEE with Yamaha A-S500? If all you want to do a comparison NAD 356BEE VS Yamaha A-S700 Yamaha A-S1000 and Yamaha A-S500 compares to NAD NAD 326BEE or 316BEE. Yamaha A-S1000 make listening to some good enclosures A-S1000 caliber, type ELAC speakers FS 67.2, 68.2 ELAC FS, Dali Zensor 7, Dynaudio Excit X12,Dynaudio Xeo 3, Monitor Audio Silver RX2, Monitor Audio Silver RX6 and after talking the sound Yamaha A-S seri

 A good day :cheer:

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RE: Yamaha A-S500 vs NAD C356BEE

I've heard the yamaha as500 and didn't like it, to harsh, and after the yami the salesman connected the NAD 326 BEE, and, ahhhhh much much better for my ears, the loud speakers were MA RX6. 

This Month you have Hi Fi Choice with a blind test with:

NAD 356 BEE   2nd by a hair split decision

yamaha A S500

Cyrus 6a      group test winner

Audiolab 8200a

Cambridge Audio 651A

Myryad Z240

 

See for your self...

Rega RP6/Goldring Elite MC>Clearaudio Basic Plus

Synology NAS>Auralic Vega>Pathos Classic One MKIII>Dynaudio X12

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RE: Yamaha A-S500 vs NAD C356BEE

Hi-FiOutlaw wrote:

I've heard the yamaha as500 and didn't like it, to harsh, and after the yami the salesman connected the NAD 326 BEE, and, ahhhhh much much better for my ears, the loud speakers were MA RX6. 

This Month you have Hi Fi Choice with a blind test with:

NAD 356 BEE   2nd by a hair split decision

yamaha A S500

Cyrus 6a      group test winner

Audiolab 8200a

Cambridge Audio 651A

Myryad Z240

 

See for your self...

 

 HiFi Outlaw. I am thinking of buying the Rega Brio R, but have just become curious about the Nad 356bee. I take it you thought the brio r was better than the nad?

 TY.

CA 651C , Roksan K3 , Dynaudio dm2/7 , Denon TU 260l , Google nexus 7 

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RE: Yamaha A-S500 vs NAD C356BEE

a month ago a demoed both the as500 and the c565 and the nad was head and shoulders above the yam..full bloodied sound,whereas the as500 was somewhat a bit too thin to my liking..

Anonymous
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RE: Yamaha A-S500 vs NAD C356BEE

I personally can't  comment on either models since i have not heard them but i can vouch for both regarding the manufacturers.I owned a Yamaha AX496 until it gave up on me then i had to do some research on replacing it.I decided to go for the Nad 355 based on the reviews & the fact that many owners gave it a good response.I checked out the Nad website,studied the data & then made my choice.The verdict is very clear: Nad is definitely the one to choose! The 355BEE is the predecessor to the Nad 356BEE. This amplifier has enhanced my listening experience.The soundstage is more accurately produced,the sound is warm,detailed &  responsive even at low levels & this amp has power in reserve to easily drive most speakers.I currently employ The Tannoy V1's & V4's along with Tannoy TS10 subwoofer.Fitted with Chord Carnival Silver Screen speaker cables & Chord Cobra Plus Interconnects throughout,i now have a system that oozes quality in the bucketloads! The Yamaha i had was a capable amp but i often found it sounded too bright & i was always messing around with the tone controls to even up the sound on certain tracks.The Nad is a much more all round performer.So there you have it,i've read on the reviews of both the Yamaha A-500 & the Nad C356BEE - if you can arrange a demo then obviously that would help you in your choice but like i said The Yamaha has its good points however i just feel the Nad has so much more!Peace.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     System: Nad C355BEE amplifier, Nad C545BEE cdp, Nad C426 tuner, ADC SS-315X     graphic EQ, Teac V1050 tapedeck, Chord Cobra Plus Inter-connects throughout,Tannoy V1 bookshelf, Tannoy V4 floorstanders, Tannoy TS-10 subwoofer, Chord Carnival SilverScreen speaker cables,Chord Silver screen Mains lead,Chord Silverscreen ' custom' speaker jumpers to replace links. Chord Cobra Plus 2x 5metre lenght subwoofer leads.Tacima Mains conditioner.                                                                                                                         

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