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Yamaha Amps

Wharfedale Diamond 12 Series

siddharthbarman

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Dec 29, 2008
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Pune
Hi,

Has anyone used Yamaha 2 channel amps?
How do they perform?

I have shortlisted the Yamaha AX497 Stereo amp to drive my Wharfedale 9.1s.

I mostly listen to Rock, RnB & Metal like GnR, Richard Marx, Dire Straits, Megadeth and Metallica. Occasionally Akon, Rihanna.

Presently I am using a 7.1 channel to power the Diamond 9.1 and I am not 100% satisfied with the way my music sounds. I am sure music can sound much better and I think the 'weak-link' is my AVR. I am convinced I should be using a stereo-amp for music.

I am also considering budget offerings from Denon (PMA-series), Marantz, Cambridge Audio and Norge.

What I find is that Marantz and Cambridge-Audio, Rotel and other European/US brands are costing much more. Also, power ratings are lower compared to the Japanese brands like Yamaha at the same price point. As you may know the Diamonds have low sensitivity (86 or 87..I guess) so should I worry about power output? How much is enough? 50W RMS? 125W RMS?

Also, Magazines like "What HiFi" seem to slam Yamaha and Denon budget amps so much so that no one would want to buy them after reading their reviews. Yet, indian HiFi mags seem to laud the very same Yamaha/Denon amps!

Confused? definitely I am.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
 

Raghav

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Dec 18, 2008
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Since you are using Yamaha AVR and not satisfied with sound, you should go for other brands. Anyways Yams are more for their AVRs than Stereo amps.

Marantz (marantz stereo amplifier) has good stereo amps in 15-20k range. They can drive the 9.1s with ease. Also some members have tried Norge with 9.1s and found it decent.

Hi,

Has anyone used Yamaha 2 channel amps?
How do they perform?

I have shortlisted the Yamaha AX497 Stereo amp to drive my Wharfedale 9.1s.

I mostly listen to Rock, RnB & Metal like GnR, Richard Marx, Dire Straits, Megadeth and Metallica. Occasionally Akon, Rihanna.

Presently I am using a 7.1 channel to power the Diamond 9.1 and I am not 100% satisfied with the way my music sounds. I am sure music can sound much better and I think the 'weak-link' is my AVR. I am convinced I should be using a stereo-amp for music.

I am also considering budget offerings from Denon (PMA-series), Marantz, Cambridge Audio and Norge.

What I find is that Marantz and Cambridge-Audio, Rotel and other European/US brands are costing much more. Also, power ratings are lower compared to the Japanese brands like Yamaha at the same price point. As you may know the Diamonds have low sensitivity (86 or 87..I guess) so should I worry about power output? How much is enough? 50W RMS? 125W RMS?

Also, Magazines like "What HiFi" seem to slam Yamaha and Denon budget amps so much so that no one would want to buy them after reading their reviews. Yet, indian HiFi mags seem to laud the very same Yamaha/Denon amps!

Confused? definitely I am.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
 

dinyaar

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Joined
Dec 3, 2007
Messages
1,616
Points
63
Location
Mumbai
Hi,

Has anyone used Yamaha 2 channel amps?
How do they perform?

I have shortlisted the Yamaha AX497 Stereo amp to drive my Wharfedale 9.1s.

I mostly listen to Rock, RnB & Metal like GnR, Richard Marx, Dire Straits, Megadeth and Metallica. Occasionally Akon, Rihanna.

Presently I am using a 7.1 channel to power the Diamond 9.1 and I am not 100% satisfied with the way my music sounds. I am sure music can sound much better and I think the 'weak-link' is my AVR. I am convinced I should be using a stereo-amp for music.

I am also considering budget offerings from Denon (PMA-series), Marantz, Cambridge Audio and Norge.

What I find is that Marantz and Cambridge-Audio, Rotel and other European/US brands are costing much more. Also, power ratings are lower compared to the Japanese brands like Yamaha at the same price point. As you may know the Diamonds have low sensitivity (86 or 87..I guess) so should I worry about power output? How much is enough? 50W RMS? 125W RMS?

Also, Magazines like "What HiFi" seem to slam Yamaha and Denon budget amps so much so that no one would want to buy them after reading their reviews. Yet, indian HiFi mags seem to laud the very same Yamaha/Denon amps!

Confused? definitely I am.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

The yamaha amps are decent. Its been a while since I heard one though. Had heard the earlier generation 396/496/596 and they were average.
With your Wharfies I guess u need an amp with some spark & the Yamaha may not fit the bill.
At 86/87db i would presume for any kind of control & SPL u should go for a 100 W SS integrated.
If I remember right the Yamaha mentioned 2 power ratings. RMS & Dynamic power and they generally output less than what Yammy mentions which is a common practise with some Cos anyway.
Rgds
 

venkatcr

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Jul 1, 2008
Messages
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Location
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Presently I am using a 7.1 channel to power the Diamond 9.1 and I am not 100% satisfied with the way my music sounds. I am sure music can sound much better and I think the 'weak-link' is my AVR. I am convinced I should be using a stereo-amp for music.

Much of this depends upon what you mean when you say 'music can sound much better'.

1. If you are looking for clarity, you have to go for a stereo amp that has reputation in that area. I would rate your choice of amps as follows for this - Rotel, CA, Denon/Marantz, Yamaha, Norge

2. If you are missing deep bass, then what you need is an amp with a Point 1 or sub out. An AVR has that, and if you are looking at a stereo amp, look for a 2.1 amp.

What I find is that Marantz and Cambridge-Audio, Rotel and other European/US brands are costing much more. Also, power ratings are lower compared to the Japanese brands like Yamaha at the same price point.

Prices aside, each of these brands cater to a particular requirement. Generally an US/Canadian amp will be transparent with little colouration of the sound signal, an European amp will enhance the sound stage as they listen to a lot of Western Classical, while Japanese amps cater to the young and lean towards enhanced bass or low frequencies.

BTW, Marantz is also a Japanese brand.

As you may know the Diamonds have low sensitivity (86 or 87..I guess) so should I worry about power output? How much is enough? 50W RMS? 125W RMS?

In addition to sensitivity, impedance, and power, a lot depends upon your listening environment. If you have of collateral noise, you may need some additional juice. If you listen to music in the night when the surrounding noise have died down, I would look for an amp that has more clarity and transparency than power.

If you understand what sensitivity is, you will also understand that the power of an amp is not that critical with your speakers. Sensitivity refers to the sound level (in dB) that a speaker can generate when fed with 1 watt of power and listened to at a distance of 1 meter from the speakers. In other words, you speakers can generate 86db of sound level with just 1 watt of power from an amplifier. A well constructed 3 watt amplifier will be able to load your speakers to ear splitting levels.

So when you look for an amp, look for sound signature (transparent, clear, bass enhancing, etc) rather than power. With your speaker, any amp that delivers a dynamic power of (say) 40 watts and above will be sufficient.

Also, Magazines like "What HiFi" seem to slam Yamaha and Denon budget amps so much so that no one would want to buy them after reading their reviews. Yet, indian HiFi mags seem to laud the very same Yamaha/Denon amps!

As I said before this is based on tastes and, of course, some amount of regional politics. WhatHiFI is a British magazine and it will always favour components made in the UK, followed by those made in Europe. Stereophile is an US magazine and it will favour US and Canadian brands. AV Max will generally favour Asian brands as the reviewers lean towards enhanced bass.

Cheers
 

doors666

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Joined
Sep 15, 2008
Messages
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Points
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Location
bangalore
Hi,

Has anyone used Yamaha 2 channel amps?
How do they perform?

I have shortlisted the Yamaha AX497 Stereo amp to drive my Wharfedale 9.1s.

I mostly listen to Rock, RnB & Metal like GnR, Richard Marx, Dire Straits, Megadeth and Metallica. Occasionally Akon, Rihanna.

Presently I am using a 7.1 channel to power the Diamond 9.1 and I am not 100% satisfied with the way my music sounds. I am sure music can sound much better and I think the 'weak-link' is my AVR. I am convinced I should be using a stereo-amp for music.

I am also considering budget offerings from Denon (PMA-series), Marantz, Cambridge Audio and Norge.

What I find is that Marantz and Cambridge-Audio, Rotel and other European/US brands are costing much more. Also, power ratings are lower compared to the Japanese brands like Yamaha at the same price point. As you may know the Diamonds have low sensitivity (86 or 87..I guess) so should I worry about power output? How much is enough? 50W RMS? 125W RMS?

Also, Magazines like "What HiFi" seem to slam Yamaha and Denon budget amps so much so that no one would want to buy them after reading their reviews. Yet, indian HiFi mags seem to laud the very same Yamaha/Denon amps!

Confused? definitely I am.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

I am driving B&W 602 with a yamaha avr and marantz cd player and htpc with m-audio revolution 7.1 card. quite satisfying...

what's your source..

Before you spend your hard earned money, identify which component is the culprit. For all you know, after buying a better amp, you might find that the sound is still the same because your speakers/source are culprit. I always found wharfdale to be shitty speakers (all of them including their top of the line model), though thats my personal opionion and a lot of forums members will shout at me for saying this:lol:
 

siddharthbarman

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Location
Pune
Amazing 'feedback' (hummm), thank You all!

Yeah, thats exactly what I'm scared of, finding out that my speakers suck even after spending on new amp-hardware.

Oh I forgot to mention, my powering-unit is a Pioneer 7.1 and NOT a Yahama AVR.

Does anyone know if there are any dealers/shops in Pune where I can hookup my speakers to prospective AMP and CDP for demo? -- I guess this is the only way to arrive at the right conclusion.
 

subhash

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Joined
May 11, 2008
Messages
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Points
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Location
bangalore
Hi,

Has anyone used Yamaha 2 channel amps?
How do they perform?

I have shortlisted the Yamaha AX497 Stereo amp to drive my Wharfedale 9.1s.

I mostly listen to Rock, RnB & Metal like GnR, Richard Marx, Dire Straits, Megadeth and Metallica. Occasionally Akon, Rihanna.

Presently I am using a 7.1 channel to power the Diamond 9.1 and I am not 100% satisfied with the way my music sounds. I am sure music can sound much better and I think the 'weak-link' is my AVR. I am convinced I should be using a stereo-amp for music.

I am also considering budget offerings from Denon (PMA-series), Marantz, Cambridge Audio and Norge.

What I find is that Marantz and Cambridge-Audio, Rotel and other European/US brands are costing much more. Also, power ratings are lower compared to the Japanese brands like Yamaha at the same price point. As you may know the Diamonds have low sensitivity (86 or 87..I guess) so should I worry about power output? How much is enough? 50W RMS? 125W RMS?

Also, Magazines like "What HiFi" seem to slam Yamaha and Denon budget amps so much so that no one would want to buy them after reading their reviews. Yet, indian HiFi mags seem to laud the very same Yamaha/Denon amps!

Confused? definitely I am.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

i had the yamaha AX 497 they are extremely good for thier price of under 20k
it has good power , and can drive most spkrs and for sure will not disappoint.
was happy with it until one of my frnds introduced me to a pre/power combo

the ax 497 is definetly recommended and it will suite your music tastes well, i was not willing to let go but as it was sitting idle my frnd has picked it up to drive his jbl towers
 
Last edited:

deba

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If budget permits go for Rotel they are the best or else go for Cambridge Audio...........:cool:)
 

asliarun

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Ventak, thanks for your post. As usual, your posts are useful not just for the original poster, but for others as well.

A small doubt: Isn't Marantz a subsidiary of Philips?
 

reignofchaos

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May 12, 2008
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Prices aside, each of these brands cater to a particular requirement. Generally an US/Canadian amp will be transparent with little colouration of the sound signal, an European amp will enhance the sound stage as they listen to a lot of Western Classical, while Japanese amps cater to the young and lean towards enhanced bass or low frequencies.

Maybe true of bargain basement brands. However this is definitely not true of higher end equipment and is a gross generalization. The most transparent and involving amps I've heard are those from Symphonic Line and Leben - one is German and the other is Japanese. At the same time I've heard very many US amps that do the diametrically opposite - biggest example is McIntosh and Pass Labs.
 

ripesoul

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Oct 22, 2009
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Location
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Much of this depends upon what you mean when you say 'music can sound much better'.

1. If you are looking for clarity, you have to go for a stereo amp that has reputation in that area. I would rate your choice of amps as follows for this - Rotel, CA, Denon/Marantz, Yamaha, Norge

2. If you are missing deep bass, then what you need is an amp with a Point 1 or sub out. An AVR has that, and if you are looking at a stereo amp, look for a 2.1 amp.



Prices aside, each of these brands cater to a particular requirement. Generally an US/Canadian amp will be transparent with little colouration of the sound signal, an European amp will enhance the sound stage as they listen to a lot of Western Classical, while Japanese amps cater to the young and lean towards enhanced bass or low frequencies.

BTW, Marantz is also a Japanese brand.



In addition to sensitivity, impedance, and power, a lot depends upon your listening environment. If you have of collateral noise, you may need some additional juice. If you listen to music in the night when the surrounding noise have died down, I would look for an amp that has more clarity and transparency than power.

If you understand what sensitivity is, you will also understand that the power of an amp is not that critical with your speakers. Sensitivity refers to the sound level (in dB) that a speaker can generate when fed with 1 watt of power and listened to at a distance of 1 meter from the speakers. In other words, you speakers can generate 86db of sound level with just 1 watt of power from an amplifier. A well constructed 3 watt amplifier will be able to load your speakers to ear splitting levels.

So when you look for an amp, look for sound signature (transparent, clear, bass enhancing, etc) rather than power. With your speaker, any amp that delivers a dynamic power of (say) 40 watts and above will be sufficient.



As I said before this is based on tastes and, of course, some amount of regional politics. WhatHiFI is a British magazine and it will always favour components made in the UK, followed by those made in Europe. Stereophile is an US magazine and it will favour US and Canadian brands. AV Max will generally favour Asian brands as the reviewers lean towards enhanced bass.

Cheers

Bang on the nail.
 

psychotropic

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hey TS, how big is your room? And a used amplifier from one of the more expensive brands would bean option........for instance I picked up a 5 year old NAD C320BEE for 10k (more like 11.5k if you include my bus tickets to hyderabad, but still). You could probably snag yourself an amp of a similar age from CA, NAD, Marantz or someone else in that price range.
 

doors666

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you speakers can generate 86db of sound level with just 1 watt of power from an amplifier. A well constructed 3 watt amplifier will be able to load your speakers to ear splitting levels.


not really. 1 watt will give u 86 db at 1m, at a usual 2m listening levels, it drops to 83db. 3w at 2m will give you something like 87.5 db, with absolutely no head room. this can hardly be called ear splitting levels....
 

psychotropic

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sorry to go slightly off topic does anyone remember one of the jackie chan 'police story' movies where they wheel out a marantz tape deck in a courtroom?
 

sumeetbagade

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Yamaha 497....
best under 20k stereo amp.... have tested all of them and finally settled for 497.... it is quite BRIGHT, but will do for the kind of music u listen to...
go for it...
 
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