Yamaha has always been and will continue to be one of my favorite brands for audio products. I have always used their products, and no single day was I disappointed.
So, when the company announced a success, the A-S501, I was so excited and wanted to try it out immediately. Here is my
One thing I know about Yamaha s501 is the love to keep their identity. This is why most of their products look fairly similar.
In this case, the A-S501 is very much similar in design as the 500. It is a large amp, featuring a thick aluminum faceplate and an asset of controls. All the controls are arranged in a vertical pattern and set in the middle of the front panel.
There are a few minor adjustments to the A-S501, though. This new amp aims at restoring all-analog A-S500, into the digital realm. In other words, it comes with all the digital ins and outs of the modern generation.
It has incorporated a built-in DAC in the space of the iPod connection in its predecessor. The DAC makes use of the Texas Instruments PCM5101. Apart from this, it supports the resolution of up to 24-bit/192kHz.
But Yamaha s501 has not forgotten the analog foundation of this amplifier. Only now the A-S501 amplifier enjoys five line inputs, including two recorder loops. The amplifier inputs also come with a moving magnet phono stage.
There is no change in amplifier power output. It still delivers 85W per channel into 8ohms, which makes the amplifier highly competitive with all modern amps. This amplifier same output that made the previous amp very popular.
The impedance selector remains the same too. Like on its predecessor, it adjusts the amps’ power supply to pump more power into low impedance speakers.
Another difference is that the power supply on the 501 comes with a custom transformer and a custom-made 12000UF block capacitor. It is the same with the 500; only the current model bears separate supplies for the analog and digital area. This feature ensures that there is no interruption between the two. You can use the analog section without having to touch the digital.
There are two digital inputs signal path speaker relays with an optimized circuit layout. This feature ensures that the Yamaha enjoys the shortest signal paths. It also comes with Yamaha’s pure direct mode, which allows one to bypass the tone, loudness, and balance sound controls. And when included with the input buffer amp, it makes the signal path even shorter.
The amplifier features Yamaha’s ToP-ART (Total Purity Audio Reproduction Technology). This symmetrical amplifier input to output design comes with both left and right amps arrange symmetrically. The result is a pure signal with minimal distortions. The crosstalk between channels has also been eliminated.
The chassis is built with Anti-Resonance and tough (ART) technology, which includes a solid base and central bars for more support.
Vibrations are the biggest threats to audio inputs sound quality for amp users. The ART technology and the central bar in the Yamaha A-S501 help reduce these vibrations, ensuring that the user gets nothing but the highest quality sounds. The sensitive electronic components have been protected from these vibrations as well.
It is the way as701 Yamaha ensures a quality cd player that makes their product stand out as the best. The A-S501 has all the connections in just the right places.
I have never expected anything less from Yamaha as701 when it comes to packaging. And the A S501 comes with the same function.
The amp comes wrapped in a foam-like cloth material. It is set on a strongbox connected by a thin block of polystyrene.
Also, the box does not have the amp alone. There is a remote control, some batteries, and some documentation.
From first glance, I already had the impression that this amp will be one of the best stereo amplifier I have ever owned. Though simple, it is very effective.
When I opened the box, I started to get the real feel of the Yamaha A s-501 amplifier. Weighing about 10Kg, it gives that weighty, substantial feel you get from lifting the box. It is also this weight that ensures you don’t suffer too many vibrations that come from using many amplifiers.
The top cover features huge cooling vents. It is supported by the internal central bar, held together with a top screw near the panel. These features ensure the cover is firmly held, and there is no resonance. You only hear soft thuds when you tap.
The vents work better than what you can get from other products in the same price range. Even during the toughest times, the amp will remain cool.
Looking at it from the front, the distinctive Yamaha A s501 design comes into view immediately. The right side carries an oversize volume control that defines much of the front panel. A smaller rotary dial with a similar design sits next to it, used for selecting a source.
The inclusion of an LED around the source selection makes it not only look beautiful but professional too. Besides, this is the pure direct switch beneath the two functions.
The digital inputs volume control is motorized, which means you can operate using a digital audio remote control. Its electric functionality, with a resistor-type control, can be switched in or out of the circuits. With A-S501’s microprocessor, it can be operated as an analog potentiometer.
The middle part features four large verticals, dials, giving bass, treble, balance, and multiple loudness control. It lets you enjoy the brand’s variable loudness control.
There is an IR receiver to the left of the energy button and a headphone jack. Also, there is a speaker’s selector, with which you can use two output terminals.
Yamaha A S501 has always placed a lot of emphasis on details, which makes this product one of the best. It comes with banana terminals, just in case you want to use such plugs.
The built-in DAC for as501 Yamaha accessories, Bluetooth adapter, and the analog inputs and output power ensure everything is needed for high-end sound solutions.
An amplifier is only as good as its quality sound quality. My first impression with the A-S501 amplifier was good. The amplifier sounds more masculine than its predecessor, offering a more robust presentation with even tone.
Delivering 85-watts-per-channel with 20 Hz-20 kHz frequency response, the frequency response is decently loud. I connected a wide range of speakers, including Diamond 220s by Wharfedale, and the amp drove them beyond my expectation.
I started with Lucky Dube’s “Different Colors,” and I was pleased with the details it offered. Its presentation was clean and clear.
Dube’s vocals came out expressively with a wonderful sense of detail.
Even a more complex Danse Macabre by Saint-Saens came out with incredible goodness. It produced an excellent detail resolution.
What other customers say
Before buying this amp, I went online to check what other users said and loved the positivity.
Fogalu says he has been very pleased since buying it. “My speakers are old, and to be honest, not of the highest quality… I needed an amp with tone controls, a loudness option, and an output of at least 80 ohms. it should sound fine if you have good speakers.”
The only downside of the Yamaha AS501 is that it lacks the composure and excitement of the best. Nevertheless, it is an amp that will give the best performance.