Summary: Sounds good, easy to set up. The remote is odd, or maybe it's my brain, because I keep wanting to hold it upside down for some reason. The mute doesn't click the sound off but rolls it down, which I don't see the point of, and there's no visual front-panel indication of how loud the volume is set. But otherwise, good sound for a decent price!
Summary: Just unpacked this unit from Amazon, and I like it in many ways. The sound is good, the interface is clean. It's basically what you'd expect from an integrated amp. However, I do have one criticism. Surprisingly, the subwoofer output is active whether you select the A or B set of speakers. If the intent is to provide multi-room capability, or even to provide the capability to use two different sets of speakers in the same room (why?), this doesn't work.
Good unit in an area where there are not many choices
Robin M "robin_M", Amazon
30 July 2011
Summary: So it's more than adequate for an integrated amplifier, however, there are not many choice at this price level so not too much to compare. The other alternate units on my short list were from Cambridge audio (CA), Emotiva, Marantz, Onkyo and NAD. The Onkyo was closer in price and also had a digital line-in however I ended up with the Yamaha on a deal for over one hundred dollars less than list price. Sonically it's quite articulate and has good power/headroom.
Nice 1970s Retro Looking Amp with 21st Century Sound
27 May 2011
Summary: The look of this amp is simple and straight forward. Nothing fancy here. Yeah, the plastic vertical knobs are a turn-off and the quality of the controls could be better at this premium price. What were Yamaha engineers thinking when they shaved a minuscule $5 off their production costs on a primo "audiophile" amp by employing plastic knobs? Jeeze! Inside is a different story.
Summary: Let me first say, I like the simple, retro, understated look of the A-S500. Photos on the web make it look solid, sturdy, well made, etc. I did read reviews re: plastic knobs. So upon opening the box the first thing I checked were the knobs. I can't fault their movement characteristics (the way volume knob rotates or selector knobs click) but the plastic material used for the knobs makes the unit both appear and especially feel cheap.
Excerpt: this little amp that many did not see fit to listen to will offer you a lot of surprises and good! it has everything a big, it definitely blew me away, and I'm not at my first amp, now I ordered the a-s1000 to see what was in the belly.
Summary: Excellent build quality, good remote and plenty of functional inputs & outputs. Sounds virtually the same (to my ears anyway) as the A-S500. Produces plenty of lean and detailed sound with very little tonal exaggeration and, if you like that kind of thing, it has Yamaha's Pure Direct function that bypasses all tone controls.