Is this comparison of Yamaha A-S2200 and Yamaha A-S3200 a fair comparison? I mean the Yamaha A-S3200 is basically the upper model of what the Yamaha A-S2200 is already offering. These are two awesome amplifiers that are going to take your music listening to a whole new level. I hold Yamaha in pretty high regard and I have already looked at the A-S2200 a few times, but getting to pit it head to head with its big brother is going to be pretty cool.
We have to start this battle of the amplifier brothers off by looking at the price. These are two expensive amplifiers, but if you want the best for your turntable, you need to pay for it. I really think that this all boils down to how much better is the A-3200 than its little brother!
First of all we have the Yamaha A-S2200 which is actually right in the middle of this series of amplifiers as there is also a Yamaha A-S1200 too. The going rate for the A-S2200 is four and a half grand which is no small chunk of change by any means. It seems to keep this price at most retailers who are offering it. If you do decide to try and save a few bucks, eBay is the place to go as there are some fantastic deals for this on there. I have seen it in the $3,500 to its RRP more than once so if you are patient and willing to use eBay, you could save yourself a fairly decent amount of money.
As I write this the Yamaha A-S3200 is listed on Amazon at an eye watering $7,800! I have seen it on there for a few hundred bucks cheaper, but that is a massive increase from the price of the A-S200 which was already an expensive piece of tech! I mean, this amplifier is clearly not for the average joe. Had I not been sent a unit for review (which I did have to send back) there is no way I would have been able to check this out unless it was in a store. Also, at the time of writing this article, I could not find one of these on eBay! I think the high asking price probably puts a lot of sellers of trying to sell something like this on eBay. You can maybe find it closer to seven grand if you shop around, but there looks to be very few “deals” for this amp floating around online.
Is the Yamaha A-S 3200 worth the three and a half grand extra over the Yamaha A-S2200? That is the ultimate question here. I have to say if it was me that had to throw down the money, I would say no. Look, the 3200 is undoubtedly better, but I could not get past all the other things that I could do with that extra money. I think if money is no object at all for you, you go for the 3200, apart from that the 2200 wins this round.
We move to the design round of our contest next. These have a really classic design about them and that is something I think is pretty cool. Also, I tested the silver version of one and the black of the other so that does throw things a tad in how I am comparing them. Anyway, let us take a closer look at the way these two amps look.
We start with the little brother the Yamaha A-S2200 . I have spoken about this a few times on the site and I always talk about how I really like the old school kind of design that it has. I am specifically talking about the silver version of the A-S2200 here as that is the one, I was sent for review. While it is silver, it has a bit of black on the sides which I think gives it a very stylish kind of look and adds a fair bit of personality to the overall design. Had it been all silver, I do not think I would have liked it as much as I do. The Yamaha A-S2200 is a solid size, coming in at 24” x 23.5” x 11. It certainly is going to stand out in any room or entertainment center you have it placed in that is for sure. Overall, I think that Yamaha did a fantastic job with the design of this amp and it is hard to explain, but this silver version certainly has that classic “Yamaha” look about it.
While I was lurking around on YouTube, I did find this Yamaha A-S1200 Amplifier Review video which goes into more detail and gets up close so you can see the finer details. I really do dig the design here that retro looking display on the front is something that I think is very cool and it is kind of mesmerizing to look at when this thing is powered up. Towards one side of this, you have a nice and large volume dial. The other dials and switches are located at the bottom and these have a high-quality feel to them and give you all the control you need of the amp with things such as source select, bass, and treble.
Hey, we cannot just be gawking at the front of the Yamaha A-S2200! We have to check out the rear as well! This is where you will find a great selection of hookups for you. You have your phono input and five analog inputs as well, there is no digital here my friends. Overall, I think that Yamaha has done the best they possibly could with the hookup options on here to make sure people are nice and happy with what they are offering.
You could probably scroll past the Yamaha A-S3200 along with its little brother and think that they are the same thing. However, there are some pretty solid differences here. Like the A S2200, this comes in both black and silver, the black version being the one that I had the pleasure to check out and play around with. I suggest you have a watch of this Yamaha A-S2200 integrated amplifier unboxing and deep unboxing video if you want to see all the nooks and crannies that the Yamaha A-S3200 has. It is a bit bigger coming in at 24 x 23 x 12 inches. I know that it does not sound like it is much bigger, but it certainly looks more imposing and impressive when right next to the Yamaha A-S2200. As I said, it was the black version I got to check out and I just love the design of this thing. You do perhaps lose a bit of that “retro” charm that you get with the silver version, but side by side, I would take the black every time.
On the front of the Yamaha A-S3200, we have a larger display this time around and it looks fantastic. I really, really do dig what Yamaha has done here with this display as it looks very cool. I really do think that this larger display gives the Yamaha A-S3200 much more personality than its little brother. Interestingly the rest of the front is pretty much the same as the 2200. You have that same large volume dial on the right and then under the display, you have the same switches and dials to give you control over the amplifier. To be honest, there was no need at all for Yamaha to make any changes here so I am more than cool with it.
On the rear of the amp, you notice a fairly big difference from what the other model looks like. There are two extra inputs on the back of here which I am sure for the right person may make a massive difference. I know you are thinking that two is probably not that big of a deal, but that is two more things that you could have connected to this. At first, I was thinking that they could have had a digital connection option on here as it is so much more expensive. However, that would then have made this a completely different model of amp from the 2200, so I get why that is not a thing on here.
At first glance, how can I pick a winner when they both look so similar. Well, taking away the whole black and silver thing (black would win most of the time for me) I do have to say that the Yamaha A-S3200 is the winner for me. It is a little bigger, but when in an entertainment center or sitting on a shelf, I like the way it looks better. The display on it is also larger and I think it looks better too.
If you have been tempted by either of these, I would wager you have skipped straight to this section of this battle. These are very similar and the real question as I said before is going to be about if the 3200 is worth that extra money. I have spent quite a bit of time with both of these and these are my honest thoughts. I do also want to tell you that both of these were tested with the Audio-Technica AT-LP120XBT.
We are starting with the Yamaha A-S2200 . There are more than a few video reviews like this Yamaha A-S2200 Integrated Amplifier | The Listening Post | TLPCHC TLPWLG video online. As you are looking at spending a lot of money here, I suggest you watch as many as possible! The first time I fired up the Yamaha A-S2200 I was very impressed with just how much power it provided. If you listen to an epic live album like One More From The Road by Lynyrd Skynyrd you will truly experience this thing at its best. Free Bird is one of my top five, hell, top three guitar solos of all time, and hearing it live in this kind of quality truly did make me see why so many people are willing to spend so much money on this amplifier.
Above all else, the Yamaha A-S2200 just hits notes so perfectly. No matter if you are listening to a bit of Led Zep, Guns n Roses, or something more mellow like Sings the Blues by Nina Simone. You are going to be getting a truly amazing experience. I would love to see someone’s reaction to an amplifier like this who is coming from a more basic one or even a record player that has an amp and speakers built in. The jump in audio quality must truly be astounding. Of course, you can tinker with the sound and get it just perfect for you with the remote or the dials on the front of the amp.
The million dollar (well three and a half grand) question that you are asking about the Yamaha A-S3200, has to be about the sound quality. I can tell you right away that this has more power and a better overall sound than the Yamaha A-S2200. However, I do also have to state that most folks would probably not be able to tell as big a difference as I can or someone else who has a real ear for sound. Look, the Yamaha A-S3200 is truly amazing and I would wager that any turntable hooked up to this is going to sound truly epic. Speaking of “epic” you will see what I did there in a moment, I have this awesome Who Cares A Lot: The Greatest Hits Limited Gold, Faith No More record and that was one of the first albums I played through this while I was messing around with it. To say it rocked the house is a massive understatement. It takes a lot to truly make me say wow these days, but this managed it.
I was so impressed by how that Faith No More record sounded, I went down a rabbit hole of playing some of my favorite records with the aid of the Yamaha A-S3200. One, in particular, I want to mention is The Lost Boys Soundtrack which has one of my all time favorite movie songs, Cry Little Sister. Anyway, it was truly haunting stuff and I am not exaggerating when I say that I had goosebumps as it filled the room and felt like I could feel the sound going through me… ok, so that is perhaps a tad on the dramatic side, but no matter what is pumped through this amp, it is going to sound phenomenal. Check out this Yamaha AS3200, Eurek , Yamaha CDS2100 with my first SACD Demo video, this guy has an amazing setup and you get a better idea of what this amp is going to offer you.
Look, side by side when it comes to sound the Yamaha A-S3200 wins this hands down. It is a bigger and better version of what Yamaha has with the A-S2200. The whole point of its existence is to be better than the model that is below it. It offers a bit more power and the sound is just a bit crisper. When it comes to the sound, the Yamaha A-S3200 takes this round in some serious style. However, I do have to say that the Yamaha A-S2200 is no slouch at all in the sound department.
The Remote Control
In this round, we are looking at the remote control. I have looked at many Yamaha products over the years and I do not think I have ever not been happy with the remote control they include and that is doubly true here!
I really think that the remote control that comes with the Yamaha A-S2200 is pretty damn awesome. It is the perfect size for a remote control in my opinion as it feels like you are holding a really high-quality product. It has all the buttons you will need, but it is not overloaded with unnecessary buttons which some remotes do have a tendency to do… who are we kidding, I am a real sucker for a ton of buttons on a remote! However, I get that some people prefer when a remote control keeps things simpler.
To be real with you I could just cut and paste what I wrote above as the Yamaha A-S3200 is running with the same remote control. To be fair to Yamaha, this is true to form for them. I have looked at many of their soundbars here on the site and they tend to use the same or a very similar remote control with various models. So, the fact this comes with the same remote as the 2200 does not shock me. I do think that the black model should come with a black remote control and not a silver one though, that is my only complaint. Perhaps there is a black remote out there, but I sure as heck could not find one if there was. If by some chance the one I was sent was supposed to come with a black remote then the 3200 would win!
As the remotes for these are the same it has to be a tie. However, if I am picking a winner based on my own experience with them the A-S2200 wins. How can this be when they are the same? Well, the remote is silver no matter what color the amplifier you get it. I am pretty OCD so having a black amp, but a silver remote is not something I am cool with! In all seriousness, this is an awesome remote and one that I would not have any problem using at all.
What Is Better?
Here we are at the end of our blood brothers feud that is the epic Yamaha A-S2200 and Yamaha A-S3200 showdown. I have to pick a winner here and for me, the winner is the Yamaha A S3200. I prefer the way it looks and it does offer more connection options and most importantly of all, it does sound that extra bit better. To be fair, it is the more premium option of the same series of amps so that is to be expected. The real question you have to ask yourself is if there is a big enough upgrade from the sound of the Yamaha A-S2200 to make it worth all that extra money. For me, it would have to be a no. If we were talking a couple of hundred bucks then without question, you go for the A-S3200. However, if you are an average joe who has to save their hard earned money for cool stuff like this, I am not sure in good conscience I could suggest you save up over three grand extra.