Yamaha A-S801 vs RX-A3070 dac performance

dirk wood

Standard Member
Hi all, I've got myself into a bit of uncertainty. I currently have a Yamaha A-S801 hooked up to a pair of Monitor Audio Silver 8s using a Yamaha WXC-50 to stream Qodus. It sounds almost perfect to my ears!!

With the Silvers now on clearance due to the release of the 6th gens, I've picked up a bargain on the remaining 3.1 speakers.. So now it's time for AV shopping.. (I hear your minds, wrong section, but oh no it's not).

My main passion is music, the addition of surround is just there for the odd movie (expensive movie pass, I know).

--- Finally my question ;) ---

Both the A-S801 and RX-A3070 use the Sabre 2 DAC (models ES9010K2M and ES9026PRO if that means anything). Does this mean two channel music through the RX-A3070 to the MA 8s will sound the same?

Basically could I sell the stereo amp and streamer to help fund the AV receiver, and the 2-channel music quality will be just as damn awesome? With the bonus of an additional 7.1 channels for movies.. :)

Thanks, Dirk
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Your choice, but you seem satisfied with your system now, I wouldn't change to a AV Receiver for the odd movie now and then. The Stereo system will be fine for that. Still that's your choice, but that's a very considerable amount of money for someone who rarely watches movies.

There are many of us here, myself included, who are more than content to watch movies in Stereo. But again, that is a personal choice.

ESS Sabre DACs are all good, so I don't think this is something you should be worried about. I would be more concerned about switching from Class-A/B amps to Class-D amp. Though today Class-D amps sound pretty good. A AV Receiver does bring some advantages, Room Correction, EQ, Sub/Front Bass Management, Network Streaming, and so on. But you said yourself, your current system - "...sounds almost perfect to my ears!!".

Still, there are advantages to a AV Surround Sound system, but only for movies. For music, a Stereo tends to work best. This is purely your choice, you are getting Yamaha's TOP AV Receiver, so that's a good thing, and on the high end, AV Receivers do sound pretty good. But once again, you are dedicating a pretty considerable amount of money into something that you only seem to have a causal interest in. Your money though, dedicate away. But I would be inclined to suggest you listen to a few movies with your existing system, then try to decide if the extra expense is worth it.

One additional point, unless you set the Music to Pure Direct Mode (or whatever Yamaha calls it) any analog inputs are converted to digital to apply the Room EQ, then converted back to Analog again. Most would prefer to listen to Music with OUT any digital conversion or correction, so they use the Pure Direct mode, but that also bypasses the tone controls. That is neither good nor bad, it is simply a case of knowing what is happening.

Yamaha UK/IE - A-S801 - Overview

  • USB DAC function supports 2.8MHz/5.6MHz DSD native resolution and PCM384kHz/32*bit reproduction
  • * Windows support. Mac support is 24-bit.
  • High efficiency ESS 32bit DAC (ES9010K2M)
  • Digital signal indicator shows 2.8MHz/5.6MHz DSD and PCM playback formats and sampling frequencies

Yamaha UK/IE - RX-A3070 - Overview

  • ESS ES9026PRO SABRE DAC and SABRE9006AS Ultra DAC for ultra-high sound quality
  • DSD 2.8 MHz/5.6 MHz, FLAC / WAV / AIFF 192 kHz/24-bit, Apple® Lossless 96 kHz / 24-bit playback
The Yamaha 3070 will have Network Streaming built in, so you won't need the additional Yamaha WXC-50.

  • AirPlay®, Spotify®*, Pandora®*, Napster®*, Tidal*, Deezer*, Qobuz*, JUKE* music streaming service
The Yamaha 3070 does have a bit more power, but probably only in 2.0 or 2.1 mode.
I think the DACs in both products are well above average, and in that one respect, I don't see either one of the compromising the sound in any way.

Beyond pointing out the differences between the amps, there is not much I can do or say. It is purely up to you to determine if this is a move you want to make. Myself, if I can only have ONE, then I choose a Stereo. However, if I could have TWO systems, I would still have a Stereo dedicated to Music, but a also dedicated AV Surround System for Movies. But that's just me.

However, on the one question you asked regarding the DACs, and the DACs alone, I don't think it will make a difference, both will preform extremely well on any music or movies you are likely to encounter.

I would not sell the existing equipment until you are sure the new AV equipment will do the job for you. Though I suspect it will.

Steve/bluewizard
 
Last edited:

dirk wood

Standard Member
Steve, many thanks for your detailed response. It's highly appreciated.

I have watched a couple of films using the stereo amp. The sound dances around the front creating an absorbing ambience, however it's the dialogue that puts me off. The simulated central sounds are formed in the middle of the room rather than appearing as if they are coming from the screen. So I need a central source..

Despite being a self confessed audiophile in regards to music, I'm a relative novice to surround sound. My plan is to attempt to build something future proof regardless of the direction I take. With a 1k budget for an AV receiver.. I could just buy a separate receiver as suggested, but route it through the A-S801 for the fronts. The RX-A1070 springs to mind (I love the MA Yamaha pairing), alternatively I guess the 1060 would give me everything I need for less..

Although for future proofing a 9.2 would be ideal to take advantage of 7.2.2, if I go down that path in the years to come.

Cheers again, Dirk
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
I'd keep the 801 as the heart of the system & go with a much cheaper receiver than the A1070, as surround is not the main focus of the system. Maybe even something used as long as it has pre-outs to feed the 801. I think spending a lot of money now on features you may use in the future is a waste. Trying to future proof is also pretty futile as things move too quickly in the world of AVRs.
 

dirk wood

Standard Member
Thanks Crocodile, I've been thinking a bit about this today.. your comments match my logical thoughts. I'll likely buy something secondhand for a low price for now. I'll only need it to power a centre and two rears, the MA 8s have plenty of bass for my taste.

The perfect surround project is something for the future, cheers guys!
 

dirk wood

Standard Member
Just an update and endnote for now..

I picked up a Marantz SR4600 on the cheap to power the centre for movies, it pre-outs to the Yamaha stereo for L+R. It makes the dialogue much clearer, no more changing the volume throughout a film :)

I've cancelled my order for the FX speakers, whilst I look into dipole, bipole, monopole.. My love for perfection looks towards monopole..

I also cancelled the W12 sub, I need to research placement (my room shape isn't perfect.. some creativity may be required, I'll likely share my plans at a later date).

Cheers again,

Dirk
 

powercosmic

Novice Member
Your choice, but you seem satisfied with your system now, I wouldn't change to a AV Receiver for the odd movie now and then. The Stereo system will be fine for that. Still that's your choice, but that's a very considerable amount of money for someone who rarely watches movies.

There are many of us here, myself included, who are more than content to watch movies in Stereo. But again, that is a personal choice.

ESS Sabre DACs are all good, so I don't think this is something you should be worried about. I would be more concerned about switching from Class-A/B amps to Class-D amp. Though today Class-D amps sound pretty good. A AV Receiver does bring some advantages, Room Correction, EQ, Sub/Front Bass Management, Network Streaming, and so on. But you said yourself, your current system - "...sounds almost perfect to my ears!!".

Still, there are advantages to a AV Surround Sound system, but only for movies. For music, a Stereo tends to work best. This is purely your choice, you are getting Yamaha's TOP AV Receiver, so that's a good thing, and on the high end, AV Receivers do sound pretty good. But once again, you are dedicating a pretty considerable amount of money into something that you only seem to have a causal interest in. Your money though, dedicate away. But I would be inclined to suggest you listen to a few movies with your existing system, then try to decide if the extra expense is worth it.

One additional point, unless you set the Music to Pure Direct Mode (or whatever Yamaha calls it) any analog inputs are converted to digital to apply the Room EQ, then converted back to Analog again. Most would prefer to listen to Music with OUT any digital conversion or correction, so they use the Pure Direct mode, but that also bypasses the tone controls. That is neither good nor bad, it is simply a case of knowing what is happening.

Yamaha UK/IE - A-S801 - Overview

  • USB DAC function supports 2.8MHz/5.6MHz DSD native resolution and PCM384kHz/32*bit reproduction
  • * Windows support. Mac support is 24-bit.
  • High efficiency ESS 32bit DAC (ES9010K2M)
  • Digital signal indicator shows 2.8MHz/5.6MHz DSD and PCM playback formats and sampling frequencies

Yamaha UK/IE - RX-A3070 - Overview

  • ESS ES9026PRO SABRE DAC and SABRE9006AS Ultra DAC for ultra-high sound quality
  • DSD 2.8 MHz/5.6 MHz, FLAC / WAV / AIFF 192 kHz/24-bit, Apple® Lossless 96 kHz / 24-bit playback
The Yamaha 3070 will have Network Streaming built in, so you won't need the additional Yamaha WXC-50.

  • AirPlay®, Spotify®*, Pandora®*, Napster®*, Tidal*, Deezer*, Qobuz*, JUKE* music streaming service
The Yamaha 3070 does have a bit more power, but probably only in 2.0 or 2.1 mode.
I think the DACs in both products are well above average, and in that one respect, I don't see either one of the compromising the sound in any way.

Beyond pointing out the differences between the amps, there is not much I can do or say. It is purely up to you to determine if this is a move you want to make. Myself, if I can only have ONE, then I choose a Stereo. However, if I could have TWO systems, I would still have a Stereo dedicated to Music, but a also dedicated AV Surround System for Movies. But that's just me.

However, on the one question you asked regarding the DACs, and the DACs alone, I don't think it will make a difference, both will preform extremely well on any music or movies you are likely to encounter.

I would not sell the existing equipment until you are sure the new AV equipment will do the job for you. Though I suspect it will.

Steve/bluewizard
Bluewizard, the aventage rx-a1080 and above have a class AB amplifier. It is NOT class D
 

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