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Question Amplifier dilemma - Yamaha A-S2100 perhaps?

Crazeenick

Active Member
My current setup is:

Naim CDX2 with Teddy XPS (main source, I have 3000 CDs!)
Denon TU1800 DAB tuner
B&W CM10 S2 speakers
B&W ASW 10CM subwoofer
Arcam A85 integrated amp + Arcam P85 power amp (bi-amp setup with CM10s)

My Arcam amps are about 17 years old and the P85 has developed an annoying transformer hum, so I am going to change and upgarde the amps. I'll probably try to get a nice condition secondhand amp around the £1,500-£2,000 mark.

I tend to prefer amps with tone controls so I can tweak poorly recorded/mastered recordings when necessary.

I recently bought a secondhand Marantz PM14S1 Special Edition integrated amp to replace the Arcams, but found it to be a bit too smooth/warm/boring compared to the Arcams which, although old, offer a more lively and detailed delivery. I have now sold the Marantz amp and am back to using the Arcams until I get something else.

I suspect a Naim Supernait 2 would give me the sort of detailed, exciting sound I like - it would also complement my CDX2 nicely. However, the Supernait2 has no tone controls.

So what other options are there which have tone controls and give a lively sound?

I have been looking at the Yamaha A-S2100 which gets some good reviews, but am concerned that the Yamaha AS series amps are described as a bit boring in some reviews. Maybe they sound similar to the Marantz PM14 that I tried?

What do people think of the Yamaha A-S2100? Or A-S1100, or A-S2000, or even the A-S3000?

Do people have any other suggestions for a lively audiophile amp with tone controls up to £2k used?

Thanks,
Nick
 

Timmy C

Distinguished Member
This may not be what you had in mind but if you liked the Arcam then you could consider trying to track down a C30 pre amp and perhaps a pair of P1 power amps. The C30 was their flagship model but when they replaced it with the C31 they did away with the tone controls. I've owned both but sold the C31 as I liked the C30 better and still use it to this day.
 

Timmy C

Distinguished Member
I could be wrong. It was going to be my first suggestion but a snippet of a review I spotted when doing a google search suggested it didn't. Might be worth the OP looking into it further though.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Seems like I was wrong.

I know they exist on the A18 and I foolishly assumed it was a feature across the range.
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
Think I'd be inclined to start with a listen to Rotel's RA-1592 as Rotel are in the same stable as B&W.

But your budget takes you into the realms of amps with room correction software & I'd definitely recommend an audition or two there. Lyngdorf TDAI-2170 & Arcam SR-250 are two different approaches. Down side for you is the desired tone controls. Lyngdorf doesn't have them but instead has "voicings". Whether these would offer enough for you would only be found in a home demo. The Arcam has bass/treble but being based on an AVR, the controls are only available on a TV.

Never heard the Marantz but I did briefly own an A85 that was dull as ditch water. Hard to imagine a modern amp being worse. The A85 was replaced by a Rotel RA-1062 which was superb.
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
I'm so tempted to buy that. The lack of warranty puts me off for the price. But at the same time it is an amp that had a rrp of 4k, and is supposed to be awesome. Looks like a bargain.
Apparently it is under warranty but for some reason more expensive here. Presumably open to offers in line with the Ebay listing.
 

dollag

Well-known Member
ive seen lyngdorf tdai-2170's in that price range and imo nothing can touch it.
 

Nat64

Active Member
I have a Yamaha A-S2100 and cant speak highly enough about it.

I looked at a lot of amps before I bought mine and I am very pleased by its quality and performance. It is beautifully made and is a top quality item.

Have a look on this site for the reviews about it. Quite a few of us here have either an A-S 1100 or an A-S 2100 .

I am no expert and it was just my own market research but I went and physically looked at and tried many others and you can't touch the Yamaha for quality .

Also if you look there are none / very few for sale second hand so that tells me people hang on to them .

All I can suggest is you try and find one to demo , which I did but i found it very hard as not many dealers stock them .
 

dollag

Well-known Member
this also

 

Crazeenick

Active Member
Thanks for the comments so far guys.

I am interested in hearing more views on Yamaha A-S1100, A-S2100, and A-S3000 amps. Will they sound more exciting/dynamic than Marantz PM14S1SE?

Someone suggested NAD C375BEE - any views on that?

Thanks
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
The Nad will drive just about anything.

Huge current swing capability such that I doubt any combination of music signal or speaker ohm dip would faze it at all.

Having said that, if you can find a Lyngdorf at your price point I’d powerfully recommend one.
 

Crazeenick

Active Member
I visited a dealer today and auditioned a Yamaha A-S1100 back-to-back with a Naim Supernait-2. Used my own Naim CDX2 player (with XPS) and the shop's Monitor Audio Gold 200 floorstanders. The shop had just sold their last Yamaha A-S2100, but they said in their experience the 1100 and 2100 sound exactly the same, except that the 2100 has a dedicated headphone amp, which the 1100 lacks.

Whilst I quite liked the Yamaha, and preferred it to the Marantz PM14S1 that I previously tried, I definitely liked the Naim Supernait-2 better. However, the Supernait-2 has no tone controls (and is nearly 3x the price!). I would deifinitely be happy with a Supernait-2 with tone controls, but there is no such thing!

I did wonder whether the Yamaha would improve with "burning in" - any comments from Yamaha owners on this?

Otherwise it's back to the drawing board - what other amps can I try with tone controls?
 

Hixs

Distinguished Member
Burn in isn't really a thing. It's audiophile code for 'I've adjusted to the sound'.
 

dollag

Well-known Member
I have mentioned the lyngdorf tdai 2700 already twice, but seems to have gone unnoticed.

I had the supernait 2 on home demo with my kef r300’s and reference 3’s and was not impressed. The naim struggled to control the kefs lower end. My creek evo sounded better and also has tone controls.

Creek evo 100a

But I still feel that most amps would struggle to touch the lyngdorf. It has room perfect which imo would negate the need for tone controls and optimise your room.
 

Crazeenick

Active Member
Most input seems to have been ignored...

Not at all - I have carefully read every post on the thread and have looked up all amps suggested.

Auditioning the amps suggested is going to take some time - there are hardly any hifi shops in the towns nearest to me - most people have no money around here! Also, "esoteric" brands like Lyngdorf are quite hard to track down.

I am grateful for all input.

Cheers,
Nick
 

Nat64

Active Member
When you change from 1 amp to another they do sound different.

I went from a Technics pre amp/amp which I had from new back in 1989 and i was very happy with the Technics and I would say it sounded full and with a certain bass quality.
The Yamaha was very detailed, the bass was tighter and far more controlled. It is a much better amp compared to what i had even though the Technics was the high end in its day.

Yes the Yamaha sounded very different , but after a couple of weeks of listening all I can tell you is I I love everything about the Yamaha.

That burning in period you talk about is your ears. After years of being used to hearing a certain sound you are now get used to the new sound.

Also consider that equipment can and will sound very different in your living room than it did at the dealer demo room .

Just what i found.
 

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