Yamaha RN803 alternatives

Pauel

Standard Member
Long story short - after two months of usage my Klipsch The Fives are going to be replaced with something less buggy and more classic without any DSP engineered sound. I'd write a review someday, but not now - it is a bit painful at the moment. If I was young again I'd start a vendetta!

So, I'm building the setup from the scratch.
The speakers model will the one of the following:
  • Spendor 3/5 or 4/5 or A1
  • AE1 Classic or AE 500
I need a piece of advice about the streaming integrated amplifier for Spotify. They swore blind they'll add some lossless format around the end of this year.

A top dog - Yamaha RN803. The main obstacle is the heat. How much heating produces this guy?
The only place for him is a niche inside the TV stand. That niche is just 1/2 inches bigger in every dimension than the amplifier. The rear and front are open, but the sides, top, and bottom are made from solid thick wood. So, I'm interested if this Yamaha survives inside such a small niche. Who has such experience? I like Yamaha since I was a boy. This brand is my soft spot.

An underdog - Audiolab 6000A Play - how good this guy is?

Does anyone have an idea what else should I consider? Please, share with me your thoughts. I'd appreciate any feedback.

My preferences are:
  • Streaming network amplifier, just-add-speakers, because my room is tiny - 13sqm.
  • At least ~50W, just to drive the speakers above
  • Spotify
  • AB class amplifier if possible
  • A budget - similar to 803 and 6000A or a little bit more
  • Preout or preout for sub (SB-1000, bought a month ago)
  • Less than RN803
Marantz, NAD - looks like I don't like such sound, big No-No.

Please, share with me your thoughts. I'd appreciate any feedback.
 
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Solution
I need a piece of advice about the streaming integrated amplifier for Spotify. They swore blind they'll add some lossless format around the end of this year.

A top dog - Yamaha RN803. The main obstacle is the heat. How much heating produces this guy?
The only place for him is a niche inside the TV stand. That niche is just 1/2 inches bigger in every dimension than the amplifier. The rear and front are open, but the sides, top, and bottom are made from solid thick wood. So, I'm interested if this Yamaha survives inside such a small niche.

I would suggest that only a 13mm gap between the top of the amplifier case and cabinet is pushing it for any amplifier which relies on convection cooling through top mounted vents. This means...

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
As soon as my local Richersounds is open, I'll go in and see if I can get the Node2i & Yamaha WXC-50 both on home demo for a side by side comparison, hooked up to the 6000A. Happy to report back when done.

Edit: The only thing with the WXC-50 is I don't think it has gapless playback. Maybe someone can confirm? This is why I'm leaning towards the Node 2i - as this does. Not having gapless is a definite deal breaker for me.

Something to consider, when looking at options.
After a quick google check apparently not. But I don’t know if you could use some extra hardware.
 
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Jester1066

Well-known Member
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Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
@Pauel, the Yamaha streamer with the Cambridge Audio AX100D stereo receiver might suit you. But the power NODE2i is perhaps the best shot. But Cambridge is known for their dynamic, neural sound. It had subwoofer out also. But I believe Piwernode NODE2i also has that. The latter uses hybrid power supply I believe. So both Class AB and Class D in one box.
 
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Jester1066

Well-known Member
But I believe Piwernode NODE2i also has that
It does indeed have a dedicated sub out (along with an HDMI (ARC). So it can also be connected to a TV:

Powernode 2i Rear
POWERNODE-2i-BLK-Rear.jpg
 
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Pauel

Standard Member
@Pauel, you do of course have the Marantz streamer model. Still it’s expensive. But it’s very good. What could do instead is let’s say buy an amplifier in the PM6007 price range, then NODE2i or Yamaha own streamer.
I'm a little bit afraid to take 7000N without any sound test. However, it's almost perfect in terms of functionality.
@Pauel, the Yamaha streamer with the Cambridge Audio AX100D stereo receiver might suit you. But the power NODE2i is perhaps the best shot. But Cambridge is known for their dynamic, neural sound. It had subwoofer out also. But I believe Piwernode NODE2i also has that. The latter uses hybrid power supply I believe. So both Class AB and Class D in one box.
Interesting guy. I would tell it's a perfect companion for WCX, if it had a 12v trigger input.
 
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muljao

Well-known Member
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Pauel

Standard Member
No they don't
If so, that makes the lowest price for me. WXC + AE1. At the moment I'm considering them as a fallback as they sound excellent but to me a bit monitor-like, aggressive.

The main options for speakers are AE1 Classic or Spendor 3/5 and I just haven't finished the sound test. AE1 Classic is sold out but there is a small hope the buyer won't finish the deal.
 
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mseve1

Active Member
I need a piece of advice about the streaming integrated amplifier for Spotify. They swore blind they'll add some lossless format around the end of this year.

A top dog - Yamaha RN803. The main obstacle is the heat. How much heating produces this guy?
The only place for him is a niche inside the TV stand. That niche is just 1/2 inches bigger in every dimension than the amplifier. The rear and front are open, but the sides, top, and bottom are made from solid thick wood. So, I'm interested if this Yamaha survives inside such a small niche.

I would suggest that only a 13mm gap between the top of the amplifier case and cabinet is pushing it for any amplifier which relies on convection cooling through top mounted vents. This means you really need to look at units with a shallower profile than the RN803 and this also rules out separating the amplifier and streamer into two boxes unless you consider either a) a narrow width amplifier such as a Rega IO to sit next to a streamer such as the Yamaha WXC50 or b) having the streamer box in a different physical location to the amplifier.
Lower profile streaming amplifiers worth considering include the previously mentioned Bluesound Powernode 2i and Audiolab 6000a Play together with the Quad Vena II Play all priced around £800. For an extra £100 the Marantz 7000N should also fit the bill even though its a little larger than the other models (but still 25mm shorter in height than the RN803).
To be honest I would forget about all about the advertised specs (both amplifier class and power output) since all the above are more than capable of performing well with your intended speakers/room. Ideally, you should get a comparative demo of each one and don't forget that the relative functionality of each model's streaming application is at least as important as the overall SQ.
 
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Pauel

Standard Member
To be honest I would forget about all about the advertised specs (both amplifier class and power output) since all the above are more than capable of performing well with your intended speakers/room. Ideally, you should get a comparative demo of each one and don't forget that the relative functionality of each model's streaming application is at least as important as the overall SQ.
Ok, I got your point. Thank you for the detailed answer!
 
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Onlythesound

Active Member
No worries @Jester1066, just a bit sarcasm from me to you😀. @Pauel, it looks like Yamaha is going to release new models later this year. That is just a rumor from my hifi dealer. So nothing certain. A pity still, since you want that model.
This makes sense to me - the AS 3, 5, 7 and 801 models have been around for a while now and the RN 803 & 603 & the little WXA and WXC 50s are also getting on a bit. With the acceleration of new tech since these were introduced, there’s great opportunity for the mighty Y to consolidate a lot of ideas into a few special Amplifiers/streamers.
 
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Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
I would suggest that only a 13mm gap between the top of the amplifier case and cabinet is pushing it for any amplifier which relies on convection cooling through top mounted vents. This means you really need to look at units with a shallower profile than the RN803 and this also rules out separating the amplifier and streamer into two boxes unless you consider either a) a narrow width amplifier such as a Rega IO to sit next to a streamer such as the Yamaha WXC50 or b) having the streamer box in a different physical location to the amplifier.
Lower profile streaming amplifiers worth considering include the previously mentioned Bluesound Powernode 2i and Audiolab 6000a Play together with the Quad Vena II Play all priced around £800. For an extra £100 the Marantz 7000N should also fit the bill even though its a little larger than the other models (but still 25mm shorter in height than the RN803).
To be honest I would forget about all about the advertised specs (both amplifier class and power output) since all the above are more than capable of performing well with your intended speakers/room. Ideally, you should get a comparative demo of each one and don't forget that the relative functionality of each model's streaming application is at least as important as the overall SQ.
I tend to agree, still it depends on which sound @Pauel likes. All of the amplifiers mentioned ranges from warm to neutral. And speakers are also important. If he likes neutral sound, then Cambridge with the warm sounding Spendor speakers we’ll sound wonderful.
 
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Pauel

Standard Member
I tend to agree, still it depends on which sound @Pauel likes. All of the amplifiers mentioned ranges from warm to neutral. And speakers are also important. If he likes neutral sound, then Cambridge with the warm sounding Spendor speakers we’ll sound wonderful.
Indeed, Cambridge and Spendor combo looks promising. The entire set is a bit expensive, because in my country CA AX61 is much more expensive, than 803, plus some preamp streamer, which costs about half of 803.
In total, the full set will be more then three grands + cables.
 
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Pauel

Standard Member
There is an Arcam streaming amplifier called Solo Uno. Pretty cheap too. But design wise it is no looker.
Interesting option WXC + Solo Uno. Meanwhile, I found that Parasound has Zamp v3 for about the same price as Solo Uno which gives plus one more option on the WXC base.
Actually, WXC is a treasure :)
 
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Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
However, if you like the sound to be more detailed, dynamic then perhaps the Arcam amplifier we’ll sound too warm. They resemble Marantz in some ways but different in certain aspects. So I would not call them neutral. Still we hear things differently. Speaking of cables. I’d go for the cheapest ones you can get. Not to thin speaker cables since you may loose some volume then. So I’d go for either 14AVG, 12 AVG speaker cables. But even so I doubt you’ll hear any sound difference between thin speaker cables against thick ones. But the reason for using 12-14 AVG is because then you’re certain the speakers get the current they need, since the impedance curve can drop all the way to 4ohm. If you want to buy an audiophile brand like Chord Cables, then I strongly suggest you terminate them self with gold banana plugs, then using Chord fabric terminated silver plugs. Silver can tarnish over time. And! The original Chord banana plugs are more less impossible to connect to the amplifier, speakers. Same goes for QED Airlock plugs.
 
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Pauel

Standard Member
Speaking of cables. I’d go for the cheapest ones you can get. Not to thin speaker cables since you may loose some volume then. So I’d go for either 14AVG, 12 AVG speaker cables. But even so I doubt you’ll hear any sound difference between thin speaker cables against thick ones. But the reason for using 12-14 AVG is because then you’re certain the speakers get the current they need, since the impedance curve can drop all the way to 4ohm. If you want to buy an audiophile brand like Chord Cables, then I strongly suggest you terminate them self with gold banana plugs, then using Chord fabric terminated silver plugs. Silver can tarnish over time. And! The original Chord banana plugs are more less impossible to connect to the amplifier, speakers. Same goes for QED Airlock plugs.
I'm looking forward to test a couple or two. I'm interested if I hear any difference or not.
Good point about cables. Thanks!
 
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Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
In my home country, the Powernode 2i ,is no longer available to buy any more, so perhaps Bluesound is delivering a new amplifier in stores soon. Not to mention the strange times we live in, but after having a chat with the hifi store, many producers are having problems getting hifi eq to the stores, customers.
 
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Pauel

Standard Member
In my home country, the Powernode 2i ,is no longer available to buy any more, so perhaps Bluesound is delivering a new amplifier in stores soon. Not to mention the strange times we live in, but after having a chat with the hifi store, many producers are having problems getting hifi eq to the stores, customers.
The same we have here. Hell knows when it finishes.
 
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Pauel

Standard Member
Folks, thanks for the answers - 3/5 will be paired with 5si and both have been waiting for the unboxing. Tried m10, primaluna, hegel, onkyo, marantz, Zamp v3, was going to check powernode 2i, rega brio but suddenly changed my mind.
The only question remains is a streamer with a proper DAC. I'll start a new thread in a couple of weeks. At the moment I'm a bit exhausted and need some cooldown.
 
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