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Yamaha A-S300 Integrated Amp and CD-S300 CD Player Preview

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Yamaha A-S300 Integrated Amp

Yamaha A-S300 Integrated Amp

Summary

  • Product Name: A-S300
  • Manufacturer: Yamaha
  • Review Date: August 23, 2012 14:00
  • MSRP: $379.95 (amp); $349.95 (CD)
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • Buy Now

A-S300 Integrated Amp

Minimum RMS Output Power (8 ohms, 20 Hz-20 kHz) 60W + 60W (0.019% THD)
Maximum Power (8 ohms, 1 kHz, 10% THD) 100W + 100W
High Dynamic Power/Channel (8/6/4/2 ohms) 100/120/140/150W
Input Sensitivity / Impedance (Phono) 3 mV/47 k-ohms
Input Sensitivity / Impedance (CD) 200 mV/47 k-ohms
Output Level / Rec Out 200 mV/1 k-ohms
Frequency Response 10 Hz-100 kHz ±1 dB
Total Harmonic Distortion (Phono, 20 Hz-20 kHz) 0.025% - Rec Out (3V)
Total Harmonic Distortion (CD to Sp Out, 20 Hz-20 kHz) 0.015% (30W / 8 ohms)
Signal-to-Noise Ratio (Phono) 88 dB (Input Shorted, 5 mV)
Signal-to-Noise Ratio (CD) 100 dB (Pure Direct on, 200 mV)
Residual Noise (IHF-Network) 30 µV
Gain Tracking Error (0-99dB) 0.5 dB
Audio In / Out 6 / 2
Subwoofer Out Yes
Pure Direct Yes
Standby Power Consumption 0.5W
YID-W10 Connected Standby Power Consumption 1.2W
iPod Connected Standby Power Consumption 25W
Power Management (Auto Power Off) Yes (6 hours)
Dimensions (W x H x D) 17-1/8” x 6” x 15-1/4”
Weight 19.84 lbs.

CD-S300 CD Player

Type Single
Disc Compatibility CD, CD-R/RW (MP3, WMA), USB, iPod
Frequency Response 2 Hz-20 kHz (CD)
Harmonic Distortion 0.003% (CD)
Signal-to-Noise Ratio 105 dB (CD)
Dynamic Range 96 dB
Output Level 2 ± 0.3V (1 kHz, 0 dB)
Audio Digital Output Optical and Coaxial
Dimensions (W x H x D) 17-1/8” x 3-3/8” x 10-1/4”
Weight 7.72 lbs.

There are a lot of reasons to want a smaller system. Maybe you have a second room that you want to get audio to but can't. Maybe you just have upgraditius and you don't want to drop a chuck of change on upgrading your main system. Maybe you just have a few extra speakers floating around and you can't stand that they aren't being used. Whatever your reason, the Audioholic in you can't stomach the thought of tolerating sub-par audio. You didn't spend all these years tuning your system and ears just to have to endure some sort of mini-system that promised sound as good as systems 5x's the price but delivers a lot of boom and sizzle.

There are two ways to think about the new S300 offerings from Yamaha - either a stepping stone into a high-end two-channel system or a second system for discerning consumers. A third option could be budget consumers that want to start off at a high level of quality but, honestly, we don't think there are many of those that would think to look at Yamaha's new offerings (though we'd respect the heck out of them if they did).

The S300 offerings consist of the A-S300 integrated amp and the CD-S300 CD player. That's right, CD player. Remember those? Sure, it is an older technology but don't discount the CD-S300 out of hand. This single tray player sports both Optical and Coaxial digital outputs and RCA style analogue as wel. It is compatible with not only CD format (can play CD-R/RW as well) but can play back MP3 and WMA natively. The front USB port is Made for iPod certified so that it can play back your USB sources at full resolution.

Yamaha_CD-S300_front

The internals of the CD-S300 are no less impressive. Featuring short signal paths, digital and analogue section isolation, Burr Brown 192kHz/24-bit DAC, floating laser pickup (resistant to vibration), and an intelligent DSP for adjusting for warped or damaged discs (can even change spindle motor speed to compensate for problems). The Pure Direct mode shuts down the digital audio output and turns off the display to reduce any possible noise intrusions. Other notable features:

  • 10-key direct track and direct access
  • Random play
  • Repeat play (full/single)
  • 3-mode time display
  • 4 illumination levels
  • Last track resume
  • Auto ready mode
  • Play mode memory

What really drew our eye to the S300 offerings was the A-S300 integrated amplifier. At 17-1/8” by 6” by 15-1/4” and nearly 20 pounds, this is no lightweight offering. Sporting six analogue (RCA style) inputs and two (rec) outputs, there are plenty of connections for you. There is a dedicated Dock connection for adding one of Yamaha's aftermarket iDevice docks, a subwoofer output, and two sets of speaker connections for each of the two channels (labeled A and B).

Yamaha_A-S300_back

At 60 watts per channel, the A-S300 has more than enough oomph for most applications. There is an impedance switch for 4 or 8 ohm speakers plus a Power Management switch for automatically powering down the system after a period of inactivity. Aside from input and volume controls, the A-S300 has variable Bass, Treble, Balance, and Loudness controls. The Pure Direct mode bypasses all of these controls for the cleanest possible sound. 

Conclusion

The price is where Yamaha sold us on the new S300 offerings. At $379.95 for the A-S300 Integrated Amplifier and $349.95 for the CD-S300 CD player, we think a lot of people are going to be interested in at least one of these duo. While the iDevice integration on the CD-S300 CD player is nice, we believe it was an oversight not to include FLAC support. The A-S300 Integrated Amp, however, looks to be quite the steal and we'd love to get one on our test bench to see just how good it actually is. These may be the go-to purchases for those looking for a second system or just want an new toy to play with but don't want to break the bank.

For more information, please visit www.yamaha.com.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
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As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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