Yamaha A S701Bl

Yamaha has always impressed me with how they present their high-end digital products. They seem to always know what the user wants, and they strive to deliver.

I have seen the same dedication in the Yamaha A S701BL integrated stereo amplifier. It is just the right fit for the modern audiophile.

About Yamaha A S701BL

In 1980, the Japanese market was filled with amps that were integrated with built-in 16-bit DACs to change the DAT, CD, and pre-DAB digital broadcasting technologies. But they never held roots on the UK market and the regions around.

This is the same impression I almost got from the first impression of the A-701 amplifier. I looked at the appearance, including the aluminum frontage and almost disliked it.

But then, a closer look revealed an incredibly functional modern best stereo amplifier. It is truly a device of the modern age.

It comes with retro styling in certain aspects. The classic use of control knobs for Yamaha that dates back to the 70s has been dropped. But there are some notable improvements from the manufacturer such as their overall efficiency in input and output for this Yamaha a s701 amplifier.

First, I noticed the A-S701 does not come with that 1973-classic piece’s switchable Class A mode. Rather, it has complemented the Class AB layout featuring a pair of Sanken power transistors that can give out up to 100 watts per channel into 8-ohms speakers. This means you get a lot of power consumption per channel. There are a ton of other improvements give it’s a more modern appearance. And that is all that makes Yamaha a unique brand. This audio amplifier has tech input and output for both TV and blu ray disc player. It also has input to output direct symmetrical design in this amplifier.

Talk about tone controls, and yes, they are here. I also noticed the presence of Yamaha’s continuously-variable loudness control. This yamaha product also comes with a useful remote control and cd player. The remote control can change the audio tones, by verifying the input and output in the yamaha a-s701 amplifier. This could be the biggest downside to the sound quality we need amplifiers.

The design

After unpacking the package, I met a pretty solid amplifier with enough room to hold all my speakers. I have an impression, after connecting that perhaps the bass was not going to work well with some great old Pioneer A-219R MOSFET output stage amp. But I stayed with the device for a few days and tried again, this time the test was successful, and the bass was at par.  

The Yamaha A-S701 comes with almost the same appearance as the A-S801. The only major difference is in the DAC, whereby the 701 used PCM5102A with SPDIF and COAX transport, whereas the 801 features ES9010K2M includes USB transport. Besides, these two products carry relatively identical parts and schematic as their predecessor, the A-S700.

The front plate bears the look of a black thick aluminum foil glued plastic. It is not fully aluminum but appears good looking all the same.

It features the adjustable Loudness contour that is very useful when you just want to watch your movies silently in the evening. You won’t disturb your sleeping family members.

Even though I never use Bass/Treble controls easily, I didn’t fail to notice how different they are on the Yamaha. Most companies use 100Hz and 10000Hz controls, whereas Yamaha has used 20Hz and 20000Hz. This gives it a great ‘boomy’ sound and is only unique to the brand.

The back of the amplifier carries all the digital inputs and output of a modern receiver. Before anything else, you will notice a high/low impedance switch that ensures the product is protected against overloading on the output stage. This happens a lot when two pairs of low impedance speakers are connected in parallel.

In this case, the oversized transform comes with four windings, which includes a pair capable of delivering two by 40 VAC and another capable of giving out two by 33 VAC. This means you get the biggest voltage output when you choose the ‘high impedance’ function on both positive and negative rails that are. And when you choose ‘low impedance’ it gives out the lowest voltage.

For this selection, you will have to use the power knob OFF. However, the newer AVR models from Yamaha come with an on-the-fly selection on the front panel LED.

You will need to set the speaker impedance in the correct mode; otherwise, the amplifier will skip into the protection mode because of the current overflow. This may make you think there is a problem with your device, but you can easily fix it by getting it right.

I find this a downside on the Yamaha side, considering most competitors use the automatic setting. Anyway, I never had these issues with my 4-ohms speakers.

One thing I love about Yamaha is that they give you the capacity to conquer gadgetry. In this case, there are two modes that enable you to get there. One is the “Pure Direct’ that puts off the loudness and tone controls. And the other is a ‘CD Direct Amp’ that bypasses both the CD tone controls along with the phono input signal selector. This ensures that you get a direct course for the CD direct input.

The A-S702 comes with lots of connections on the back panel. It begins with three-line input and independent input for tuner and CD. And then, there is the relevance phono stage that works well with MM or high-output MC cartridges.

Also, the devices with a DAC onboard. It features PCM-only coaxial and optical input signals that will extend all the way to the 24-bit/192kHz, thanks to the Burr-Brown PCM5102A DAC.

There is no USB phono input signal. This is one feature missing that made me very disappointed. Nevertheless, Yamaha has catered for two pairs of loudspeakers and cans. You can have both speakers active or none-active, whatever you wish.

Sound quality

The best way to get the most from the Yamaha A-S701 is by using smaller bookshelf-type speakers. The amp can work well with speakers, but I am usually very particular with my sound quality needs,

Many of Yamaha’s products from the 70s and 80s will still sound satisfying today. And the S701 has taken on the same challenge.

Sources such as Squeezebox Touch have always given me unlimited access to audio. Hence, use an SD card to play some of my favorite pieces from the MKII 540 speakers.

The first track was the Violin and Piano works of Miklos Szenthelyi, Denes Kovacs, and Zoltan Szekely, in their “Contrast for Clarinet” by Bela Bartok. This is an old 1970 record sourced from analog systems, which I thought could be hard for most amplifiers. But I was impressed with how the A-S701 handled this jazz-influenced performance with vibrant tonal color and intimacy I never heard before. Every movement and rhythms flowed to the exact specifications of the performance, displaying just how detailed Yamaha is.

Some slight blurring of the stereo image was noticeable when I changed to Squeezebox’s analog out. And when I connected some DAC64 between the CD line in and the Squeezebox, I could not match the musical passion the device produced. Talk about organic flow with exciting, yet natural feel and the S701 will deliver. Audio input 12 technical information frequency response of 20 hz impedance 8 ohm maximum frequency response and cd direct amplification. The down side with the overwhelming power amplifiers and total harmonic is it’s harmonic distortion and weight 24. The harmonic consumption comes from a overload in power consumption with pure direct output and loudness. Harmonic currents produced by nonlinear loads are injected back into the amplifier supply systems.

I realized the phono stage is a bit vague as it does not reach the height scaled by Yamaha when the musical realm was on the 33rpm scale. Even with the apparent timing and energy, it still lacked the bass. This yamaha has been known for it’s great advantage in input and output. The output allows you to hook an EQ as well.

Yamaha A S701 Review


The Yamaha A-S701 amplifier offers a lot of value for its price and generally performs well. However, it is recommended to avoid using tone controls unless necessary. The amplifier’s loudness control is noteworthy, as it maintains its performance even during intense orchestral climaxes.