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.


smrex13
I mean it could just be a shipping issue which might have damaged the amp. What does Yamaha have anything to do with that? Their recent series of integrated stereo amplifiers are getting great reviews and look fantastic.
Sounds like the OP is saying it was a piece of ...... right out of the box and things just got worse. There is nothing wrong with expecting a solid piece of equipment for $650.00, I know I would. Just sayin.
The list cost of the A-s801 is $1000, and I’ve had several other integrated amps at that price point and below - Rega Brio, Arcam A19, NAD 316BEE and 375 BEE, Jolida, and they were all very solidly made. The Yamaha binding posts and control knobs were like something you’d find on a $250 Target table radio. I am sure the Yamaha sounds good (based on the reviews), but the construction was so shockingly bad compared to others at its price point that I would certainly not recommend it to anyone. Perhaps the A-S1100 and above are more robustly built, but I have little desire to find out.
Didn't you check this unit out (physically) before you bought it? It's worth the effort for your time and travel, if possible.
It says right in the accessories4less ad that it's factory refurbished.  Probably best to avoid those.