Yamaha A-S801 - horrible experience
I've read many good reviews of the Yamaha gear that I thought I'd give the A-S801 a try. Through Accessories4less.com, it was only $650 and had a return policy, so there was little to lose. I took the unit out of the box and set it in my rack. I noticed the that the speaker selector button had come off during shipping. I hunted through the box and found it under a layer of cardboard. Not a good start.
I tried to hook up my speaker cables and found out that it wouldn't take spades. The plastic guide has such a narrow opening that there is no way to fit an average sized spade through it. I tried to put one end of the spade in it and tighten down, but the weight of the speaker cables made the binding posts sag quite a bit. They have a very flimsy connection to the chassis, and I was afraid that I would rip them off completely. I found some old bare wire cables, and hooked them up.
I put on a Lucinda Williams song and it sounded ok. A little thin, but it wasn't warmed up. I wanted to see how piano sounded, so I put on a Thelonious Monk album. Here's exactly how it sounded: pop, hiss, crackle, silence. The amp died on the second song I played.
I know that every company has the occasional defective unit, but there were so many things wrong with this amp that it was comical. Just a warning that if you have speaker cables with solid spades, the unit will not be usable. I certainly won't try another Yamaha product after this. Live and learn.