Yamaha A-S801 owners. Did you upgrade?

My A-S801 is driving Bryston Mini-T speakers (86db, 4ohm) well.  I'm enjoying the sound as well as the versatility of the A-S801.  I listen to 100% Deezer Premium via Sonos Connect (optical to 801's dac).

But, I feel more power might make the Mini T's sing a bit more, and I'm considering a change.

My budget is about $2500.  Right now, my frontrunner for a demo is the PS Audio S300 with Gain Cell DAC combo (300w at 4 ohm).  Due to amp placement (credenza), amp heat has to be considered.

If you've have/had an A-S801, I'd be interested to learn your experience around "upgrading" to a different amp.  If you've heard the S300/Gain Cell, I'd appreciate learning about your thoughts on that too.


I’d move up the Yamaha line to an A-S1100 or 2100 (the 2100 can sometimes be found online for around $2500). These amps have similar power specs to your 801 on paper, but their power supplies are much larger so they can better handle dynamic peaks, which is really what matters.

No other SS amp I’ve heard does string and piano tones quite like a Yamaha. Some of the more modern sounding tube amps can manage it, something like the Cronus Magnum II, but that amp has a higher noise floor, as will most amps because they don’t "float" the ground like Yammies.

A cheap class D amp like the PS audio (yes, class D amps require much less iron and copper so they’re cheap to manufacture) is the last thing you want IMO. All that additional "power" won’t drive your speakers any better than 100 Yamaha watts. I owned a 350 watt/Ch (4 ohms) Rogue Pharaoh that produced weaker, less-controlled bass than my lowly 85 watt/Ch A-S500.
Thanks for your insight, helomech.  Very helpful - especially the Rogue class D vs A-S500. 

I'd love to get the A-S2100, but there are two issues I have to resolve: The 2100 doesn't have a built-in DAC (easy, just $$$), and it's too deep to fit in the space as where the A-S801 currently resides. (WAF issue)

Life is compromise, though.  I'll seriously consider how to work through those issues.
Stick to a heavy class AB amp. The Parasound Halo Integrated is very good, has a built-in DAC and relatively compact chassis. 
Anybody else have experience upgrading from this amp?  How does the A-S2100 compare?
I ended up going with the Kinki Studio EX-M1 and I’ve been very happy.

Before discovering the EX-M1, I was looking closely at the A-S2100, but I had some space constraints and that amp was too deep.

The AS-801 really has exceptional sound for the price, and I’d say that it can beat the Kinki in some areas with the right speakers.

Yamaha just released 3 new models of the AS line: 1200, 2200 and 3200. The A-S1200 is 90w @ 8ohms and 150w@4ohms - weighs 48 pounds. $2800, and has those nice meters.