Yamaha A-S301 stereo receiver review

Yamaha used Top-Art technology in the manufacture of the amplifier, which means a symmetrical design. This results in much higher signal clarity, noise and distortion-free sound. Thanks to ART technology, vibration damping is also optimal.
The Yamaha A-S301 promises rich sound at a relatively affordable price.

Stereo receivers

Stereo receivers generally use simpler switching techniques and shorter signal paths than multi-channel home theater receivers. Depending on the complexity of the receivers, the signal may go through multiple circuits, which degrades the quality. In the case of stereo receivers, one of the main focuses is on the short signal paths, as this reduces the chance of sound degradation. When choosing a stereo receiver, it is important to get as much as possible be equipped with fewer extra functions and look not at the output power but at the value of the power consumed!

So before you buy an receiver, think carefully about what you want to use it for in the first place. A stereo receiver may be enough for home entertainment and listening to music, but it may be more practical to get a multi-channel home cinema receiver for a movie theater.

Design

Yamaha-A-S301-receiver-review

The A-S301 is thick, rugged in design, and appears to have used quality parts in its manufacture.
The front panel features a volume, input selector, and power button, as well as a headphone output, A / B speaker selection, and a button to turn on Yamaha Pure Direct mode. The A-S301 also uses a volume control that adjusts to the desired volume. This it also controls the balance of low and high frequency sounds, providing a full range of sounds at any volume.

Features of Yamaha A-S301

The A-S301 receiver has a power of 60 watts per channel, the number of channels is 2.1. Equipped with 2 speaker outputs and 1 subwoofer output. Dimensions: 435 mm wide x 151 mm high x 387 mm deep, weighs 9 kg. Although the performance is not the most muscular, but completely suitable for ordinary, average use.

In addition to a number of RCA analog inputs, the A-S301 has digital, one coaxial and one optical connection, and a built-in phono input for turntables. These are all located on the back of the amplifier, as well as the amplifier’s two speaker connectors and subwoofer outputs, a 5V DC USB power connector, and high or low impedance selection buttons, and Yamaha’s timed standby mode on and off.

Thanks to the YBA-11 function, you can stream music wirelessly from a mobile phone or PC with a Bluetooth connection.

A-S301-remote controlEven though it’s a bit light, we can’t have too many complaints about the remote control.
The Auto Power Standby function detects when the receiver is not used for a long time (approx. 8 hours) and automatically switches to standby mode.

Test

We tested the receiver in a smaller room, paired with Q Acoustics 3020i  bookshelf speakers. The room was recently renovated so the acoustics weren’t really ideal yet.
The room was quite echoed due to the smooth, empty walls and ceiling. Multiple acoustic panels will be required for optimal sound. We recommended broadband sound panels, double leather membrane panels and diffusers for walls and ceilings. We have proposed an acoustic mat for the floor, which also improves a lot in acoustics.

Even the best receivers and speakers will only sound if we eliminate the acoustic problems in the room. Care must also be taken not to over-attenuate the rooms, because without basses the result will not be perfect. It is worth entrusting acoustic specialists with acoustic measurement and design.

During the Yamaha receiver test, we found that the mid-ranges were particularly strong, with sounds of pleasant warmth that allowed for extremely enjoyable, easy listening. High frequencies are less soft and subtle than more expensive receivers.
The receiver is characterized by a smooth, balanced, intense sound, neutral lower ends and strong depths.
The dynamics of  the receiver are also ideal, although momentum and rhythm were sometimes lacking during testing. The stereo effect is not always the most optimal, but it is an excellent choice for an entry-level receiver.
Even at high volume, the clarity of the sounds was maintained. We lacked some sense of detail, but it wasn’t that dangerous.

Conclusion

Although the Onkyo A-9010 receiver proved to be better in some respects than this stereo receiver, it is still a worthy rival. The receiver has a rugged, stable design, balanced and clear sound, and proper dynamics. Compared to being affordable, it also uses Yamaha’s Top-Art technology, which is responsible for improving the sound. The detail and momentum is not perfect, but in this category is an absolutely correct and pleasant-sounding receiver.

Written by Róbert Polgár