Amp Review: Yamaha A-S1200 Excellent Integrated Amplifier
The Yamaha A-S1200 is an impressive integrated amplifier that delivers excellent sound quality with its 90 watts x 2 channels into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.07% THD and 150 watts x 2 channels into 4 ohms power output. The 4-ohm capability of the A-S1200 allows you to use a wide range of speakers, giving you the freedom to choose the best speakers for your audio setup.
The Yamaha A-S1200’s substantial size and sturdy build offer a glimpse into its impressive audio performance. It may not immediately impress during the first few minutes of listening, as it can sound a bit conservative depending on what is connected to it. However, the longer you listen, the more you appreciate its qualities. The Yamaha’s bass delivery is particularly noteworthy, with genuine depth and impact without being bombastic or overblown.
As you move up the frequency response, the A-S1200 remains refined and believable, thanks to Yamaha’s extensive experience in crafting musical instruments. Voices are also consistently well-handled, and the longer you listen, the more the amplifier’s tone, timbre, and soundstage enchant you.
Moreover, the Yamaha can handle even large-scale material such as a full orchestra without sounding strained or congested. While it may not offer the most energetic sound at its price point, the A-S1200’s all-around abilities across various genres make for very satisfying listening. Additionally, it can tame slightly forward-sounding speakers as well.
One of the most remarkable features of the A-S1200 is its frequency response of 5-100,000 Hz (-3dB), which ensures that the sound is clear and detailed across all frequencies. The signal-to-noise ratio of 110dB (114dB balanced) is also impressive, ensuring that the sound quality is free from noise and interference.
With its toroidal power transformer and enormous energy, the Yamaha A-S1200 integrated amp produces a pure musical sound that is both dynamic and powerful.
The Yamaha A-S1200 boasts exceptional build quality, even at the rear. Yamaha did not compromise on the finish, and the loudspeaker terminals are large and made of metal. This attention to detail is a hallmark of a hi-fi device with roots in the past. Additionally, the A-S1200 has provisions to connect two pairs of speakers, with a button on the front panel to switch between them.
The A-S1200 features analog cinch inputs, with five pairs, as well as an additional pair of inputs for a turntable. This amplifier is ready for both MC and MM cartridges, making it an excellent choice for vinyl enthusiasts. In contrast, not every amplifier has a pre-out and a line-out, but the A-S1200 does, making it easy to connect a subwoofer. The lack of streaming or room correction may seem like a downside, but it’s a deliberate decision to maintain an old-school concept. Yamaha has MusicCast and YPAO technologies in-house, which it incorporates into other amplifiers, such as the R-N803D, which costs around 900 euros. While this amplifier is also exceptional, it is not as purist-oriented as the A-S family.
One of the most striking features of the A-S1200 is its gorgeous level meters, which convey dynamics and music pulse with a nod to the nostalgic Hi-Fi era. This attention to detail in design adds to the overall appeal of the amplifier, making it a great addition to any audio setup.
The floating balanced power amplifier of the A-S1200 ensures that the sound is clear, balanced, and free from interference, while the mechanical ground concept maximises rigidity for expressive and rhythmic bass. This feature ensures that the sound quality is clear and detailed across all frequencies, providing an immersive audio experience.
In addition to its exceptional performance, the Yamaha A-S1200 also comes with a 2+3 extended 5-year warranty via product registration, which is a testament to the confidence Yamaha has in the quality and durability of their product.
The analog level meters illuminated by soft LED light add a touch of elegance to the amplifier, while the large toroidal transformer and rugged Mechanical Ground Concept construction reduce unwanted vibration and provide a stable, noise-free performance. The chrome-plated iron feet also enhance the overall aesthetics of the amplifier.
The Yamaha A-S1200 is a stereo amplifier that not only delivers excellent sound quality but also boasts a stylish retro design. While the visual appeal of the amplifier may be a selling point, it is important not to overlook its other qualities. The lack of streaming or digital features may be seen as a downside for some users who prioritize convenience, but for others, it is a positive as it eliminates the need for software updates and potential obsolescence.
This amplifier can handle a variety of speakers and provides an ear-friendly sound that is more suitable for a broader range of speakers than some of Yamaha’s more analytical models. It is easy to use and control typical speakers. The A-S1200 has no built-in DAC or streaming capabilities, making it an excellent choice for those looking for a high-quality stereo amplifier at a reasonable price point without unnecessary features.
The A-S1200 also features a defeatable auto-power standby, detachable power cord, and remote control, which makes it easy to operate and control. The four pairs of unbalanced RCA inputs, dedicated tuner and CD inputs, and phono stage for connecting a turntable with moving magnet or moving coil cartridge, give you a lot of flexibility when it comes to audio sources.
The RCA main direct input and no signal output to pre-out, line 2 out or phones, and RCA line out lets you use an external power amplifier, and the two pairs of pure brass binding-post speaker connectors provide a solid, secure connection to your speakers.
The Yamaha A-S1200 integrated amplifier also comes with an IR remote control in/out, 12-volt trigger input, and a front-panel 1/4″ headphone jack, which makes it a versatile amplifier that can handle all your audio needs. The A-S1200 earns the title of ‘Premium Hi-Fi’ with its adoption of the Mechanical Ground Concept, which is inherited from both the A-S2200 and A-S3200 models. This concept is implemented by directly welding the bolts of the feet to the main chassis and bolting the large heat sink, power transformer, and block capacitors directly to the chassis. As a result of this design, unwanted vibrations are prevented, which helps achieve expressive and rhythmic bass. This presents the ‘Groove’ of the music to the listener, delivering an exceptional listening experience. (price:£2,000).
|Yamaha A-S1200 integrated amplifier|
|Maximum Power (4 ohms, 1kHz, 0.7% THD, for Europe)||160 W + 160 W|
|High Dynamic Power/Channel (8/6/4/2 ohms)||105/135/190/220 W|
|Damping Factor||≧ 250 (1 kHz, 8 ohms)|
|Frequency Response||+0 / -3 dB (5Hz-100kHz) , ＋0 / -0.3 dB(20 Hz-20 kHz)|
|RIAA Equalization Deviation||＋/-0.5 dB (PHONO (MM/MC))|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||435×157×463 mm; 17-1/8″ x 6-1/8″ x 18-1/4″|
|Weight||22.0 kg; 48.5 lbs|
|Rated Output Power||[20 Hz-20 kHz, 0.07% THD] 90 W ＋ 90 W (8 ohms), 150 W ＋ 150 W (4 ohms)|
|Total Harmonic Distortion (20Hz to 20kHz)||[Input 0.5 V] PHONO MC→LINE2 OUT: 0.02% (1.2 mVrms), PHONO→LINE2 OUT: 0.005% (1.2 Vrms), CD, etc.→SP OUT: 0.035% (50 W/8 ohms）|
|Signal-to-Noise Ratio||PHONO MC: 90 db, PHONO MM: 96 dB, CD, etc.: 110 dB|
|Input Sensitivity||[1 kHz, 100 W/8 ohms] PHONO MC: 150 uVrms/50 ohms, PHONO MM: 3.5 mVrms/47 kohms, CD, etc.: 200 mVrms/47 kohms, MAIN IN: 1 Vrms/47 kohms|