Today I have this Yamaha A-S1200 and A-S2200 article for you where we are looking at the Yamaha A-S1200 as it takes on the Yamaha A-S2200. I have actually looked at the 2200 a few times already, but this article marks the first time that the Yamaha A-S1200 is stepping into the ring. This is going to be a pretty interesting match-up and like when the 2200 went against its big brother, I think this is going to be very interesting to look at, especially when you consider how expensive both of these amplifiers are.
We have to start off by looking at how much these things are going for. These are both very expensive amps, but they are high end and made for people who truly care about their sound quality. Your average joe who got a cool, but basic Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth Portable Suitcase Record Player and five records for Christmas is not who these are aimed at.
The Yamaha A-S1200 is considerably cheaper than its bigger brother. On Amazon right now this is priced at $2,995,95 which is probably the max I personally would pay for an amp if I am being honest. Still, the 1200 is not something that is overpriced. For those that want to be considerably under that 5 grand mark, this is probably one of the best options out there for you. I had a look on eBay and things are very interesting, you can get one of these shipped all the way from the UK to the USA and save several hundred bucks in the process! Of course, you will have to make sure there are no issues with voltage or anything like that, but this could be something to consider if you want to save some money.
As the middle child (if my math is right) of this series, the price of the Yamaha A-S2200 is kind of in the middle of its brothers. This is priced at $4,995.95 and that is pretty much the price this is going for everywhere. You can shop around a bit and you might save a few bucks here or there, but there are certainly no huge deals for this that I have seen out there just yet. The best place to go would be eBay, where I have seen close to a grand shaved off the price from a seller or two, but you do have to deal with eBay! This is very expensive, but the big question is if it is worth the extra money over the A-S1200.
The price jump between the Yamaha A-S1200 and the Yamaha A-S2200 is not as large as the one between the 200 and the Yamaha A-S3200. However, let’s not kid ourselves, $1,500 is a lot of money. Just think about what you could do with all that money! You could get a new turntable, a set of speakers, some new vinyl. This is a hard one to call as in my heart I am not sure that it is worth paying that extra grand plus for the 2200.
Next category in our Yamaha showcase is looking at the design of these two things. These come in black and silver, which is the case for the Yamaha A-S3200 as well. However, one of these that I am looking at is the silver version and the other is black! I have to try and not allow that to sway my decision as I do have a real preference for black.
Available in both black and silver the Yamaha A-S1200 has a very smart design. What I am writing here is going to be pretty much echoed down below as this and the Yamaha A-S2200 have a very, very similar design to each other. This is just a hair smaller coming in at 23.5 x 23 x 10 inches. You can tell when side by side, but the difference is so small, it is a non-issue for me. I did get the black version of this to check out and I love the design. The silver version which you can see in this Yamaha A-S1200 Integrated Amplifier Hands on Unboxing, Unscrewing, Initial Review & AS1200 Specs video has a more old-school kind of vibe and I am sure that is going to appeal to people as well. For me, black is the way to go. No matter which one of these you get, you will notice just how well made and high-quality this thing is as soon as you take it out of the box.
The front of the Yamaha A-S1200 is something that I really do like. You have that classic looking display right in the middle and I really do dig how this thing looks. You have your volume dial to the right of this and under the display, we have our various dials and switches for controlling the kind of sound you are getting. Being able to give the bass or treble dial a little twist to see how it affects a song is pretty cool. It is missing the MM and MC switch that the Yamaha A-S2200 has, but more on that in just a second. Overall, I really do like the way they have things organized on here. It gives you full control, but not at the expense of it being too cluttered.
It is the back of the Yamaha A-S1200 where you see the biggest difference when it comes to the design. You are missing those microphone style ports and the MM and MC switch that is located on the front of the 2200 can be found on the back of this one. In all, I do not have any complaints about the overall design, but I do think it is handier to have that MM and MC on the front than round the back, especially if you are going to have this in a tower style entertainment center.
Each time I have talked about the Yamaha A-S2200 I have always said that I like the way it looks. While the version I am talking about is the silver version, check out his Review! The Yamaha A-S2200 Integrated Amplifier! video that shows off the black version of this amplifier. This is a solid size and weight for an amplifier, the dimensions of this are, 24” x 23.5” x 11 so it is certainly something you are going to notice when it is out on display. The silver design of this gives it a very classic and retro kind of personality and that is something I am always a fan of. I like how the sides have a bit of black to them too as it breaks up that silver and gives the amp a bit more of an outgoing personality than if it were not to have it if you get what I am saying.
On the front of the Yamaha A-S2200, you have a very cool looking display that I really get a kick out of. After seeing the 3200, it does appear a bit small, but it is still pretty awesome. On the front, you have your various controls. There is a good sized volume dial next to the display and underneath that, we have our controls. There are dials and switches that are the same as the 1200. However, the Yamaha A-S2200 has an extra switch as it has one for phono selection with a MM and MC switch which is pretty cool. You can play around with the bass, treble, and also the source as well with the controls on the front.
When you flip this thing around to check out its rear, you will be very impressed at how stacked this thing is. You get those two mic style inputs on here which is a bonus, but that is not something I would probably use if I am being honest with you. With five analog inputs on the back of here, I do not see anyone being left wishing for more when they are hooking their stuff up to this amp.
With the two units I was sent to review side by side I would have to say that the Yamaha A-S1200 is the winner as I much prefer the black design! However, taking that out of the equation, the Yamaha A-S2200 is the winner here, you get those mic style ports on the back of here which I am sure many people will find handy. Plus, I do prefer having the MM/MC switch on the front of the device rather than the back of it. There is not much in this, to be honest, but those couple of things do make the 2200 slightly better.
So far when I have put two amps side by side the sound is always the main event and that is not changing with these two amps battle. These are two amps that are well and truly going to show off your music collection. I have been playing around with this Yamaha TT-S303 Hi-Fi Vinyl Belt Drive Turntable so that is what I have used to test these amps out.
The Yamaha A-S1200 is a little lower down the totem pole when it comes to raw power. Yet, it is not a difference that I think most people will take a whole lot of stock in, especially considering the large price difference between the two. The first record I tested out with this was Powerslave by Iron Maiden, by the way, no band in history has cooler album art than Iron Maiden. The first thing I did was fire up Two Minutes To Midnight, as a kid, this song really sparked my imagination and I wrote a whole story in English class around it! Anyway, the sound quality and the raw power that this thing provided was amazing and that was without even playing around with the settings at all. I consider myself an audio connoisseur more than a hard-core audiophile and while I did notice a difference between this and the Yamaha A-S2200, however, it was not a massive difference.
As much as I would like to just rock out to some Maiden, Priests, Guns n Rose and other hard rock, I have to test these things out with a variety of different music types. I am what you would call a casual fan of Paul Simon so I picked up his Ultimate Collection record when it was on sale on Amazon. His sweet voice and the melodic nature of his music really did sound fantastic when aided with the Yamaha A-S1200. I think that you can play around with the dials a tad (or just use the remote, we are not cavemen!) and get a sound that is just perfect for your own taste. I went into this expecting a fairly big difference in sound quality over the 2200, but it was far closer than I thought it would be.
Out of these Yamaha amps, the Yamaha A-S2200 was actually the first one I tested out. So that does kind of make this an amp I have a lot of affection for. Look, you know already that Yamaha knows what they are doing and the way this brings your music to life is truly amazing. You can crank the volume up and it is epic and at the mid range, this just hit me perfectly. An album I tested out on this was Home Alone Christmas – Exclusive Limited Edition Christmas Slush Colored Vinyl Soundtrack which arrived late so I did not have it in time for Christmas! Anyway, Darlene Love’s, All Alone On Christmas with those bells and that saxophone at the start of the song truly knocked my socks off. Hell, it filled me with the Christmas spirit and I was playing around with this at the end of January!
There are not actually a ton of reviews for the Yamaha A-S2200 floating around on YouTube, but I do really like this Yamaha A-S2200 Integrated Amplifier | The Listening Post | TLPCHC TLPWLG video. I am kind of at a loss with what to say about the Yamaha A-S2200 at this point. It is just an amazing piece of tech and if you were to use this and then a more modest amp even someone who does not consider themselves an “audiophile” is going to notice a massive step up here. Just try listening to something live like Live From The Ryman And More by Cheryl Crow and then come back and talk to me. From the crips vocals to the pinpoint precision of the instruments, this is what a great amp can do for your record collection.
Both of these are amazing amplifiers, but I do think that even someone who does not normally notice a huge difference will notice one here. The Yamaha A-S2200 has to win this round. It just sounds that little bit better to me. If that “little bit better” is worth over a grand more is really up to you. If it were me, even after hearing both amps, I do not think the difference is big enough to get me to part with that extra money, but I am a tight fisted Scotsman so take that into consideration!
The Remote Control
I can tell you that the remote control category of this Yamaha contest is the easiest one for me to write. I am a big fan of an epic remote control and Yamaha has always made good remote controls and I am happy to tell you right off the bat that they have continued that tradition here.
Even with their smaller remotes that they like to use with their various soundbars such as the YAMAHA YAS-109 Sound Bar, Yamaha makes great remote controls. The Yamaha A-S1200 comes with a remote control that I really like. It is pretty much the perfect size for what I like from a remote control. It has all the buttons you could possibly need and the buttons are clearly laid out and it is very easy to figure out what everything does. This remote control is so good that Yamaha uses it with the two more expensive models as well.
Yamaha gives you a very stylish remote control with the Yamaha A-S2200. This thing just screams class at you and I love the whole build quality and the form factor too. For some of their soundbars, Yamaha does make their remotes a tad on the small size, but this one is perfect. It gives you all the buttons you need, it is easy to figure out what each button does and it looks cool…. Isn’t this what I just said before. Well, yes it is, that is because this is the same remote as the one that comes with the Yamaha A-S1200! However, as the actually amp here is silver, the remote goes with it more.
Both the Yamaha A-S1200 and the Yamaha A-S2200 threw a punch that connected at the same time so we have a tie here! As these use the same remote I cannot pick a winner. However, I do think that with the black version, they should give you a black remote. I know this sounds nuts, but as great as these amps are, my OCD would have a hard time having a metallic silver remote controlling an amp that is black!
What Is The Best?
Thank you my fellow music fanatic for coming on this Yamaha A-S1200 and A-S2200 showcase journey with me. I have to say that truth be told both the Yamaha A-S1200 and the Yamaha A-S2200 are great. They will make you fall in love with your record collection all over again and that is something I am sure many of you would find very exciting. Listening to an older record that you have not checked out in a while with the help of either of these is going to blow you away. Look, the Yamaha A-S2200 is the better amp. It has a slightly better design and the sound (to my ears at least) is slightly better so it wins this contest. However, $1,500 is a lot of money more to play for the 2200 and I am not sure it is worth it in all honesty. I just do not see that much of n upgrade to warrant the jump in price. I am sure someone who is a much more hardcore audiophile than me is screaming that I am crazy. However, for me, I would buy the 1200 and use that extra 1500 bucks to improve the rest of my setup.