Yamaha A-S1200 Amplifier Review

Yamaha A-S1200 Integrated Amplifier Review

Yamaha introduced three new integrated amplifiers to the market: the Yamaha A-S3200, Yamaha A-S2200, and Yamaha A-S1200. The Yamaha A-S1200 is the most affordable model and, as such, has a few cost-saving measures that differentiate it from the other two models.

While it still uses many high-quality components from Yamaha’s flagship 5000 series, it also employs some single-ended preamplification and balanced amplification techniques in order to reduce costs. This means that it does not have balanced XLR inputs like the A-S2200 and A-S3200.

Despite these differences, the Yamaha A-S1200 still boasts impressive specifications and features that make it a competitive choice in its price range. It has MM/MC phono playback and EQ adjustment functions, and a powerful output of 90W (8 ohms).

Yamaha A-S1200 Integrated Amplifier

It also incorporates Yamaha’s latest design innovations. While the A-S3200 is the top pick due to its use of more premium components, the A-S1200 is a solid choice for those on a tighter budget who still want a high-quality amplifier. From left to right, the A-S3200, A-S2200, and A-S1200 are shown.

The Yamaha A-S1200 amplifier is the largest in size and has the largest dial. The A-S2200 and A-S1200 are the same sizes, with only minor differences such as the location of the phono control on the A-S1200 being located at the rear.

Design

The front of the Yamaha A-S1200 amplifier features mechanical control buttons with a nostalgically retro feel. In the center is an analog dial display that uses warm LED lights to show the output values of the left and right channels in real time. There are buttons to select OFF, PEAK, VU (output volume), and Dimmer (display brightness).

Yamaha A-S1200 Integrated Amplifier design image

The Bass, Treble, and Balance equalization adjustments are also very useful. If these equalization functions are all set to the middle position, it is equivalent to a direct signal to the amplifier, ensuring the purest sound transmission. The A and B speaker output selection is also very useful. For example, if you want to use two pairs of speakers for a bi-wire connection, you can turn on both the A and B outputs at the same time.

There are a total of six input selections, one of which is a Phono MM/MC phono playback. There is a large metal volume control knob on the right and a headphone output on the left. The bottom corner is made of metal, coated with thick silver, and can be adjusted for height.

Yamaha A-S1200 Integrated Amplifier Review

The Connections

The back of the Yamaha A-S1200 amplifier features pure yellow brass speaker output terminals. Please note that there are two sets, A and B, and the positive and negative poles are correctly connected.

  • PRE OUT is the preamplifier output and is used to connect the A-S1200 to an external amplifier.
  • MAIN IN is the amplifier input and is used when the A-S1200 is used as an amplifier (without going through the preamplifier, the sound control and equalization adjustments will not be effective).
  • AUTO POWER STANDBY: when turned on, the Yamaha A-S1200 amplifier will go into standby mode after 8 hours of inactivity.
  • PHONO phono playback input, MM/MC mode switch, and the ground terminal.
  • CD, TUNER, LINE 1, LINE 2 and other analog inputs, LINE 2 analog output.TRIGGER and REMOTE can be connected to other YAMAHA equipment for integrated control.
Yamaha A-S1200 Review connections

The internal design architecture of the A-S1200 is the same as that of the A-S2200 and A-S3200. The preamplifier is single-ended and the patent MOSFET floating balance amplifier circuit is used for the amplifier. The output is 90W AB class (8 ohms).

The A-S1200 has the same mechanical ground as the A-S2200 and A-S3200. The corners, case, large heat sinks, transformer, and capacitors are all directly locked to the case to avoid vibration interference.

Yamaha A-S1200 Integrated Amplifier design

The A-S1200 features a specially designed 625VA high-quality circular transformer, ultra-large wire diameter (2.0mm) low-impedance wiring, a Nichicon 18,000μF capacitor group, and high-quality PP film capacitors. The overall weight is a hefty 22kg.

The Yamaha A-S1200 is an excellent entry-level integrated amplifier with a very high value for money. It is probably one of the best pieces of equipment for small-budget music lovers. Firstly, it is fully functional and can be used as an integrated amplifier, a preamplifier, and an amplifier.

It also has a phono amplifier that can be used directly with a turntable, allowing users to integrate their existing system as they wish. In the future, other equipment including AV surround amplifiers can also be used together, making it a versatile and useful tool.

A-S1200

The Yamaha A-S1200 amplifier is capable of everything an amplifier can do, except for source and decoding functions. Its left and right channel output balance, treble, and bass gain can be adjusted through the front panel at any time.

This is one of the reasons why Japanese models are known for their versatility and reasonable prices. That is why many audiophiles always have a Yahama amplifier in their cabinet when they first enter the audiophile world. This is from HiFiReport.com.

Sound Performance

The Yamaha A-S1200 is an impressive entry-level integrated amplifier that offers excellent value for money. In terms of functions, it has everything a user could want, except for source and decoding capabilities. It can be used as an integrated amplifier, preamplifier, or power amplifier. It also has a phono amplifier that can be used with a turntable, making it extremely versatile.

The A-S1200 is capable of handling left and right channel balance, treble, and bass gain adjustments through the front panel, a common feature of Japanese-made devices that is known for its versatility and reasonable price.

Yamaha A-S1200 Integrated Amplifier volume

The A-S1200 has ample power, with a rated output power of 90 watts per channel. When paired with moderately efficient speakers, it has plenty of volumes to spare. It is expected to handle low-efficiency speakers without any issues.

When listening to Touch Yello’s “Kiss In Blue” the opening bass is crisp and has good speed, elasticity, and power. The sound is not thick, but rather clear and rational, with good clarity and cleanliness. Both the midrange and bass are solid, with clear and well-defined soundstage performance.

Overall, the Yamaha A-S1200 amplifier is a well-rounded device that performs consistently across all areas and is worth its price in terms of sound quality. It is a great choice for audiophiles who do not have a clear preference for a particular type of equipment, as it has many functions, a reasonable price, and no obvious biases or weaknesses. It can serve as a solid foundation and a reference for future upgrades to higher-end models.

Listening to Paganini’s “24 caprices for solo violin, Op. 1: No. 24 in A minor” the opening performance features the full range of the violin from low to high strings, and the four strings of the violin have different elasticities and the sound has different resilience.

24 caprices for solo violin, Op. 1: No. 24 in A minor

Through the Yamaha A-S1200 amplifier playback, in addition to feeling the sound has the woody flavor of the violin itself, in listening to the opening performance from low to high, the low strings have a plumpness with more space preserved.

As a result, the resonance of the violin can also be heard more. The high strings are thin and can produce sound with a gentle touch. In this piece, the performer uses more arm strength when bowing the strings, so the sound is wider.

This song is not just played with one instrument, but also with woodwind instruments such as oboes, flutes, and French horns, so the music is richer.

Although this is the case, the main performer, the violin solo, still maintains its attractiveness and skill, with a clear sound and powerful expression of strong beats, and smooth handling of the soft parts, connecting the song without any drop in rhythm. The overall rhythm is stable and clear.

Although A-S1200 is an entry-level integrated amplifier, its sound is not inferior at all. In the case of this song, the simple guitar accompaniment and the vocals are enough to leave a shocking feeling when the song reaches its peak.

Listening to Mozart’s symphony “Symphony NO.40 in G minor, K.550: molto allegro” the sound of the orchestra is evenly balanced, the volume of the strings and brass is well controlled, the position of each section is clear, and the contours of the melody lines of each section are clear.

Symphony NO.40 in G minor, K.550: molto allegro

This piece has a fast tempo, and the sound field of the strings is quite open. In this piece, it is possible to hear the sound of the bassoon, which has a warm tone. The low notes are deep and full, and the sound is also quite special. The mid to high notes sound like a male alto range, and the sound of it can be heard quite frequently in each phrase. It adds a fresh feeling to the listening experience.

The phrases flow smoothly, like clouds and a new flying car. The ups and downs are very obvious, and the position of the orchestra’s fan shape can be visually realized through auditory perception, giving a sense of being there.

The whole allegro tempo and music expression can immerse me in the music even more. The Yamaha A-S1200 amplifier clearly divides each part of the sound, and during the listening process, the orchestra arrangement needs to listen to the sound of each part added together.

However, when you listen to the strings at the same time, you can also hear the oboe playing scales, and the positioning is also very clear, the sound is not blurry, and each theme’s performance reaches a standard, so there is no need to deliberately concentrate on listening to which part.

In fact, when you really relax and listen, you can hear the details you didn’t notice, and for an entry-level integrated amplifier, the performance is quite excellent.

A-S1200 amplifier

Conclusion

The Yamaha A-S1200 integrated amplifier is a great choice for anyone looking to enhance their listening experience. Its clear and precise sound quality allows for a more immersive musical experience, with each instrument and vocal part clearly defined and positioned. The allegro speed and expressive musicality of the A-S1200 also add to the sense of immersion.

Additionally, the amplifier’s ability to clearly distinguish and position each part of the ensemble, as well as its clarity of sound, makes it easy to focus on and appreciate every aspect of the music. Overall, the Yamaha A-S1200 is a highly impressive and capable amplifier that is sure to delight any music enthusiast.