These days, you can get an excellent-sounding stereo integrated amplifier for about $1,000 — the Peachtree Nova65se is a great example, as is the NAD D 7050, both of which offer digital inputs, on-board DACs and a respectable amount of power. So why in the world would one entertain the idea of investing four times that — $4,000 — into an integrated amp like Yamaha’s A-S2100, which doesn’t have any digital inputs or Bluetooth for wireless music streaming?
Simply put: Because it is Bad. Ass.
We’re not fooling around here, folks. What the A-S2100 lacks in modern conveniences and all-in-wonder appeal, it makes for with bullet-proof build quality, wicked-smart design, and a healthy dose of good-God-I’ve-just-gotta-have-that allure.
The A-S2100 is is 51.6 pounds of lean, mean, gorgeous audio-making machine. If you don’t feel a surge of pride in ownership when you pull it from its box, then you’re involved in the wrong hobby, my friend. This is a gear-nut’s integrated amp; a music-lover’s integrated amp; and yes, an audiophile’s integrated amp. It has no on-board DAC, because the person who buys it will probably want to keep that separate anyway. It doesn’t come with Bluetooth because the person who buys it would use a high-end network media receiver for that sort of thing, never a tossed-in add-on feature.
Equipped with balanced XLR inputs with reversible polarity, a top-notch phono pre-amp (both MM and MC cartridges welcome) and a discreet headphone output with adjustable trim, the A-S2100 is outfitted with everything a serious audio nutjob (like myself) is prone to salivate over.
As much a trophy as it is a music maker, this latest integrated amp delivers a lot for its $4,000 asking price, not the least of which is a healthy serving of cool by way of its dual VU meters. The Yamaha that ruled in the late 1970’s is back, folks, and it is back in a big way.
Now, if you’ll excuse us, we’re going to go spend a few days in a room with the A-S2100 and let it shower us with audio awesome. We’ll be back to tell you all about how it went.
This story originally appeared on The Manual’s brother site, Digital Trends.