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Stereo integrated amplifier
Our take on the Yamaha A-S3000 by Crutchfield's David Brown
Yamaha still builds ‘em like they used to
Remember those big ol' amplifiers with the level meters on the front? They were, and still are, the envy of many audiophiles, conjuring the glory days of overbuilt audio gear when sound quality trumped features and connectivity. But you don't have to scour specialty shops for the remaining few vintage amps out there. Yamaha has created a modern version, with all the benefits of those classic amps — even the level meters — alongside the latest audio technology. The A-S3000 integrated amplifier is a seriously sophisticated machine with an important mission: to get the best performance from your speakers while keeping every detail of your music intact.
Brute force and finesse in equal measure
The A-S3000's interior features high-quality components such as a large toroidal power transformer.
Beneath the A-S3000's thick aluminum top plate, Yamaha has carefully laid out this heavyweight amplifier for uncompromised sonic performance. There's a massive toroidal power transformer, delivering a heavy dose of clean current to satisfy even demanding 4-ohm speakers. But superior sound is about more than just brute force. That's where Yamaha's exclusive Floating and Balanced Power Amplifier comes in. It employs a symmetrical layout with isolated circuitry, ensuring a very high signal-to-noise ratio and a large, well-defined soundstage. This design also separates the power amp circuit from the "ground," so even tiny voltage fluctuations don't adversely affect sound quality. And the fully balanced signal path ensures an ultra-low-noise signal — all the way from your XLR-compatible sources to just before the output stage.
No (musical) detail is too small
Sophisticated circuitry is just one aspect of this amp's high-quality construction. Yamaha has paid particular attention to how those circuits interact. Crucial internal connections are made with screws rather than solder, and short cable runs are employed wherever possible — all to eliminate signal loss. The interior copper-plated frame reinforces the chassis's rigid construction, to minimize distortion-inducing vibrations while offering a sturdy mount for the power supply. Every circuit has been deliberately placed to prevent internal interference, preserving the integrity of each channel's output to your left and right speakers. It all represents Yamaha's dedication to preserving even the faintest musical details while offering sound marked by superior warmth and spaciousness.
The A-S3000 features front-panel level meters for each channel, just like those cool vintage amps of yesteryear.
A sight to behold
Those of us who cherish our audio gear don't like to hide it in cabinets. We want our signature pieces on display for others to admire. The gorgeous A-S3000 will attract plenty of attention. The size alone is bound to elicit the occasional gasp, as this 50-pound amp clearly means business. And, of course, those front-panel level meters always catch the eye of audiophiles and gadget-lovers alike. Turn this baby on, cue up your favorite reference track, and watch those dials dance and your guests' jaws drop as this amp powers your speakers to thrilling new heights.
What's in the Box:
- Integrated stereo amplifier
- 6.5' AC power cord
- Remote control
- 2 "AAA" batteries
- Owner's Manual
- Safety Brochure
- Online Product Registation Sheet
- Warranty Information
- "Yamaha Worldwide Representative Offices" Note
- 100 watts x 2 channels into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.07% THD (minimum RMS power)
- 150 watts x 2 channels into 4 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.07% THD
- 4-ohm capability allows use with a wide range of speakers
- signal-to-noise ratio: 103 dB (CD, etc.), 93 dB (phono MM), 85 dB (phono MC)
- large illuminated level meters (VU or peak) for left and right channels
- securely mounted large toroidal power transformer for high current delivery with low noise
- full-stage balanced signal transmission for exceptionally clean, transparent sound
- Floating Balanced Power Amplifier design reduces distortion and noise
- symmetrical amp layout separates left and right channel circuits for improved signal-to-noise ratio
- copper-plated frame and 1/4" non-magnetic aluminum top panel minimize vibration and interference
- crucial circuit wiring uses screw connectors rather than solder for minimal signal loss and low impedance
- discrete phono amplifier
- rotary bass and treble controls
- front-panel switching for 2 pairs of speakers
- binding-post speaker connectors with oversized screw-tops
- remote control
Connections and Dimensions:
- 2 sets of balanced 3-pin XLR inputs
- 5 RCA audio inputs, including MM (moving magnet)/MC (moving coil) phono input
- 1 stereo RCA record output
- preamp out/main in jacks
- full-size headphone jack
- 12-volt trigger and remote in/out for use with external controllers
- detachable power cord
- weight: 54.2 lbs.
- 17-1/8"W x 7-1/8"H x 18-1/4"D
- warranty: 2 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Features and Specs
|Watts RMS per Channel (8-ohms)||100|
|Watts RMS per Channel (6-ohms)||Not given|
|Watts RMS per Channel (4-ohms)||150|
|Minimum Impedance||4 ohms|
|Signal to Noise Ratio||103|
|Digital Music Features|
|Built-in DAC (Digital to Analog Converter)||No|
|High-resolution Audio Playback||No|
|Total Analog Inputs||8|
|Optical Digital Inputs||No|
|Coaxial Digital Inputs||No|
|Dimensions and Warranty|
|Parts Warranty||2 Years|
|Labor Warranty||2 Years|
Rigid Streamlined Construction: The Yamaha A-S3000 integrated amplifier has adopted a newly designed highly rigid double structure construction in order to achieve profoundly pure and accurate audio amplification. The bottom chassis and insulator ward off external vibration, and provide each circuit board a floating structure supported by an independent inner frame, thoroughly eliminating the impact of vibration. And the power source unit, which consists of a power transformer and capacitors, which are major sources of internal vibration, is fixed firmly with a three-dimensional structured inner frame, and is supported solidly by the front panel and the rear panel. The power amp circuit board and the weighty heat sink are attached to the left and right inner frames. The power supply unit and amplifier circuits are thus structurally isolated, achieving an ideal chassis structure which thoroughly blocks the transmission of vibration. Moreover, the inner frame that supports the power transformer is shaped with ample space below it, allowing passage of the wiring to each circuit over the shortest possible route. The newly developed chassis with this innovative structure helps to minimize the length of the signal paths and achieve low impedance, as well as providing high rigidity and anti-vibration benefits. The result is a dramatic reduction in signal loss, for remarkably pure audio amplification.
3-Dimensional Inner-Frame An independent three-dimensional inner frame has been employed in order to provide a more solid mount for the large toroidal transformer, which is installed in the center of the A-S3000, considering the ideal weight balance. The completely copper-plated inner frame has a structure which integrates the front-back and left-right frames with a convex-shaped highly rigid main frame as its base, reducing vibration coming from all directions. For the base, to which the power transformer is installed on the inner frame, brass was selected by strictest examining the particular sonic properties of various materials by exhaustive listening tests. This material effectively reduces vibration caused by the power transformer, helping to create sound of greater clarity and spaciousness.
Comprehensive Low Impedance Design: In order to achieve the absolute purest signal transmission, capable of communicating even the most subtle nuances of the music and its powerful dynamics, Yamaha methodically pursued low impedance throughout the A-S3000. Using a double construction design creates space for cables under the bottom of the chassis, enabling the shortest cable path for the supply of power from the transformer to the power stage and for the audio signal transmission path. This helps to eliminate signal transmission loss and to smoothly supply power, even during high-volume transients, and allows more direct audio reproduction without even the slightest adverse effect on the music. Also, the three-dimensional inner frame to which the power transformer is mounted is copper plated. Extremely low impedance is assured by lowering the ground potential. This sharply lowers the impact of noise, and delivers a profound and richly emotional sound-one that perfectly communicates all the original expression of the artist.
Direct Drawing Toroidal Transformer: The cabling of the power transformer adopts an ingenious method in order to significantly reduce impedance. The winding of the transformer itself is directly connected to the terminal with a screw, unlike with conventional cabling. This enables a power supply which thoroughly limits connection loss and energy loss caused by soldering. The toroidal transformer was selected with top priority on sound quality, contributing superior strength, as well as a profoundly natural and spacious sound.
Independent Pre-Amp & Power Amp Blocks: The amplifier circuit design features independent pre amp and power amp blocks, and perfect left-right symmetry. Separation of the pre amp, which handles low energy signals, from the power amp, which handles high-energy amplified signals, greatly reduces sound deterioration caused by mutual interference. Moreover, the left-right symmetrical design, which keeps the left and right power stages completely separate, ensures greater channel separation and enhances clarity of the stereo image.
Floating & Balanced Power Amplifier Technology: The basic design of the power amp circuit adopts Yamaha's own, uniquely developed Floating and Balanced Power Amplifier technology. Adopting output elements with the same polarity on the plus and minus sides of the output stage, and also completely separating the NFB (Negative Feedback) circuit and power supply into a total of four plus and minus sides of the left and right channels, results in thoroughly symmetric push-pull operation of the output stage, Completely floating the entire power amp circuit from the ground removes any negative impact of minute voltage fluctuations or ground noise. Moreover, the output elements are comprised of MOSFETs, which provide a warm and natural sonic character. The use of MOSFETs, which have the same polarity on the plus and minus sides, further evolves the ideal of a complete symmetrical design, to eliminate sound quality variations due to difference in polarity-a major distinguishing characteristic of the Floating and Balanced Power Amplifier-resulting in sound with a superior signal-to-noise ratio and a superbly well-defined sound field.
All-Stage Balanced Transmission: The A-S3000 features fully balanced signal transmission, combining high power output with audiophile-grade sound and outstanding S/N performance. Moreover, the control system circuits (volume, tone, etc.) of the pre amp feature totally balanced operation, realizing ideal balance in all stages.
Low Impedance Screw Connections: In order to completely eliminate signal energy loss, important parts of even the circuits employ screw connections. In addition to wiring of the block capacitor of the power unit-which is the real heart of the amplifier and as such requires high power-screw connections were adopted for all crucial spots of signal transmission, including the connection of the pre amp circuit with the power amp circuit, and the cabling to the speaker terminals from the output stage of the power amp. In addition to making the signal path as short as possible, this significantly lowers the impedance, and greatly reduces signal loss.
Aluminum Top & Front Panel The top panel and the front panel are made of aluminum, a non-magnetic material, in order to eliminate any adverse effect on the audio signals. In the course of strictest examination of the sound quality, the front panel thickness was set at 7mm and the top panel was set at 6mm. This helps to realize an exceptionally natural, spacious sound by providing a highly rigid chassis structure, and at the same time, skillfully controlling the impact of vibration. Moreover, heat dissipation openings on the top panel were formed by high precision cutting from both sides-front and back-of the panel, and finished with thorough scrupulous attention to every detail. Stylish slits in the centre, matching the companion CD-S3000 and its design, strongly emphasize the powerful power source unit inside by having the same width as the power transformer.
4 Insulator Feet: The insulators are crucial parts that block outside vibrations. They adopt Yamaha' s original metal legs in order to maximize vibration control performance. The user can select point installation by applying the supplied spikes or plane insulation with the supplied pads, and use these combined with an interlocking rack if desired.
Meticulously Designed Appearance: As befits a top-end audio component, the A-S3000 gives off the presence of a fine musical instrument, with absolutely no screws or fasteners that can be seen from the outside. Every single aspect of its construction and design exudes master craftsmanship and reflects an obsession with quality-a truly musical quality possible only for Yamaha, a world class musical instrument manufacturer. The amplifier with its refined design has been meticulously finished by the skillful use of advanced processing technologies: integrating the top panel and side wood connection, leaving no gaps while using different materials-metal and wood-for the connection
Balanced & Unbalanced Analog Inputs: The Yamaha A-S3000 integrated amplifier is fitted with both balanced & unbalanced analog inputs.
- Balanced XLR: The Yamaha A-S30000 features two sets of balanced XLR inputs for connecting high-end audio components, such as Yamaha's CD-S3000 CD player (sold separately). You can adjust the Attenuation and Phase of the XLR input.
- Unbalanced RCA: The Yamaha A-S3000 is equipped with six unbalanced analog RCA stereo inputs for connecting an external audio source such as a CD player, AM/FM tuner, Turntable, and/or cassette deck; as well a preamp or AV receiver. There is also one analog RCA stereo output for recording through the integrated amplifier.
Main Direct Input: One of the A-3000's analog inputs is labeled Main Direct Input. This input allows you to connect your preamplifier or AV receiver directly to the A-S3000 and use the Yamaha stereo amplifier as a power amplifier to drive a pair of speakers in your system.
Note: Audio signal coming into the amplifier's Main Direct Input is only output through the speaker outputs of the A-S3000. No audio signal will by output from the stereo amplifier's Pre-Out, Rec Out, or Headphone Output.
Discrete Phono Amp: The phono amp is comprised of an MC head amp and an equalizer amp, each of which are discretely configured, resulting in a rich sound with pronounced musicality, when playing vinyl records with both MC and MM phone cartridges. The unit's Phono input consists of stereo RCA jacks and a ground terminal.
Heavy-Duty Binding Post Speaker Terminals: The speaker terminals are the final link in the audio chain of this amplifier, and have also been designed with meticulous obsession. They are screw-type terminals with large handles featuring an original design, and have been crafted by cutting pure brass to enable a secure connection with no reduction in sound quality. Moreover, the shape conforms nicely to the human fingers-not only creating an elegant visual impression, but also allowing users to turn them easily and to firmly tighten them with minimal force.
Note: You can use the A & B speaker outputs to power two pair of separate speakers or you can bi-wire a single pair of speakers. If you use two sets (A and B) of speaker, the impedance of each speaker must be 8-ohm or higher. When only using one set of speakers (A or B), use speakers with an impedance of 4-ohm or higher.
Headphone Amp: The headphone amp is also equipped with fully discrete configuration, for preeminent drivability and damping properties. Included as well is a specialized level trimmer that responds to various load impedances. The unit's headphone amp uses a front-panel 1/4" headphone jack for connecting a pair of headphones (sold separately). Once a set of headphones are connected, the amplifier's speaker outputs mute automatically.
Note: The headphone amp does not function for the amplifier's Main Direct Input.
Pre-Outs: The Yamaha integrated amplifier is equipped with a stereo preamp output for connecting a powered subwoofer or to use the A-S3000 as a preamplifier and connect it to a larger power amplifier to power your speakers.
Trigger Input + Remote Input/Output: The A-S3000 features a 12V trigger input (3.5mm) to synchronize power on /off with another component that features a 12V trigger output. The integrated amp also has remote input and remote output minijack terminals for use with external IR receivers and compatible Yamaha components.
Level Meters: The A-S3000 features large level meters on the front panel, giving a direct visual sense of the dynamics and pulse of the music. These beautiful meters are softly illuminated by LED, lending a warm, lamplight look. The meter indicators can, in addition to the VU display, be switched to peak display, and can be selected according to the user's preference. Moreover, the glass window of the meters is diagonally cut and precision-fit to the back surface of the front panel, leaving no gaps and using no screws for connection-lending an exceptionally elegant appearance to the unit.
Textured, Easy-to-Use Controls: Since the controls-the volume dial, switches, and so on-are the parts of the amplifier which users actually touch and feel directly, their surface texture and design were created with the strictest attention to detail. Individual controls such as the volume or input switching dials, emanate a richly elegant feel thanks to the use of cut aluminum knobs. Switches, including the power switch, were made with obsessive attention to texture in every detail; they were shaped with refined craftsmanship so that when they are raised or lowered, the gap between the switch and panel surface is impossible to see.
Electronic Volume Control: Yamaha utilized a high quality digital volume control specially designed by New Japan Radio Co., Ltd., which consists only of ladder-type resistance, removing the impact of slew-rate decline or coloring of the sound, delivering higher purity in the sound, and excellent, fast response to large volume changes and steep transients.
Tone Controls + Trim Selector: The integrated amplifier provides adjustable Bass (+/-10dB), Treble (+/-10dB), and Balance (L-R). The tone controls do not effect the amplifiers Main Direct Input or Record Output. You can also adjust the volume level when headphones are plugged in to avoid sudden changes in volume; choose from -6, 0, +6, or + 12 dB.
Simple Designed Remote Control: The supplied remote control features a design complementary to the aluminum panel of the amplifier itself, with a simple, easy-to-understand button layout and gorgeous metallic texture. In addition to the basic volume adjustment and input switching controls of the A-S3000, it can also be used for operation of the companion CD-S3000.
Auto Power Standby: The unit enter standby mode automatically if not operate for approximately 8 hours.
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1 question already asked
Thanks for your question. For information on comparing two or more models I would recommend reaching out to an Advisor by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. They will be able to help determine the differences and help you make the best choice for your system and your budget. [ Krissy Feb 13, 2015 ] Staff