Yamaha R-N500 Network Receiver Review 19


As the variety of music sources available has increased, so has the size of our hi-fi systems. The basic systems of yesterday consisted of an amplifier, cd player, turntable and a cassette deck. These days, our kit racks are groaning under the weight of DACs, streamers, docks, phono stages, and many more devices covering every imaginable music source.

For audiophiles with higher end systems, these devices are necessary – with each source component, preamplifier, and converter being chosen so that its characteristics perfectly match those of their system. However; for audiophiles on a budget, or in listening spaces where space is an issue, more compact systems are required.

Realising this, Yamaha developed their R-N500 – a powerful integrated amplifier, FM/AM tuner, DAC and streamer in 1, amp-sized package. Loosely based on the award-winning A-S500, the R-N500 aims to offer a quality all-in-1 hub for all of your music sources – significantly reducing the footprint of your system, while retaining high quality audio and an extensive feature list.

Features

Packed into its solid, aluminium-fronted chassis are a wealth of technologies to get the best from all of your music sources. A powerful 2X 80W amplifier provides ample power to drive any decent, price-appropriate loudspeakers, and 2 sets of speaker outputs allow you to bi-wire your speakers or run a second set in another room.

The pure direct circuit allows you to bypass the tone controls and other unnecessary circuitry for a more direct signal path, while Yamaha’s continuously variable loudness control allows you to retain tonal balance at any volume level to compensate for the human ears lack of sensitivity to high and low frequencies at low listening levels.

Yamaha’s ToP-ART (Total Purity Audio Reproduction Technology) features a direct symmetrical design from input to output, with the left/right channels organized in a straight, symmetrical layout for highest signal purity and lowest noise and distortion.

5 Analogue line inputs are provided, including a moving magnet phono stage and 2 tape loops. The phono stage is the same as that found in the budget A-S201 – which is no bad thing. It’s a fine sounding stage, perfect for a basic turntable – and there are plenty of inputs should you wish to upgrade it later.

The DAC

The built-in, fully featured DAC features 2 optical and 2 coaxial inputs, as well as a front-mounted USB port for FAT16/32-formatted mass storage devices, and mobile devices – including apple’s iProducts – the iPod, iPhone, and iPad.

You can stream content from DLNA media servers, or mobile devices via apple’s AirPlay or the NPController app. The latest firmware also supports Spotify Connect – giving you access to millions of tracks direct from your receiver.

The unit supports WAV (PCM Only), MP3, WMA, MPEG-4, AAC and 2 channel FLAC at sampling rates of 192KHZ for WAV and FLAC, and 48KHZ for all other formats. The Texas Instruments PCM5101 DAC employed by the unit can support sampling rates of up to 32-bit, 384KHZ – Yamaha don’t specify a maximum sampling rate or bit depth for the optical or coaxial connections

The Tuner

An onboard FM/AM tuner allows you to listen to analogue radio – with 40 presets for your favourite stations. The unit can automatically fill the presets with stations, or they can be manually assigned.

The tuner supports RDS – the Radio Data System, a system used in many countries, can display information such as the current time, text defined by the radio station you’re currently listening too.

Basic antennas are provided – a wire antenna for FM, and a plastic framed AM loop antenna which can be affixed to a wall or stood on a fold-out stand. If you’re serious about radio, you’ll get better sound with outdoor antennas – and the R-N500 uses standard coax and bare wire antenna connectors, so using outdoor antennas won’t be an issue.

For a greater variety of stations, the R-N500 supports the vTuner internet radio service giving you access to thousands of online stations and a huge library of podcasts from all over the world.

Power

The unit features independent power supplies for the analogue and digital sections, as well as an eco mode that reduces power consumption by up to 20%. In standby, the R-N500 draws just 0.1W – much less than many other AV components. There’s also a sleep timer that can be set to turn the unit off after a set period of inactivity.

If you wish to disable the power-saving features, you can do so in the units configuration menu – Yamaha recommend disabling them if you wish to play music at high volumes.

The App

Yamaha’s NP controller app, available for both iOS and android, allows you to control every feature of your R-N500. You can control the R-N500’s user interface, and stream content direct from your device.

The app allows you to change sources, control the volume, and even control the onboard tuner and internet radio. The only thing lacking is the ability to alter the configuration menus or initiate a firmware upgrade via the app – the same can be said for many streamers, but it’s an oversight nonetheless.

The Packaging

As with most Yamaha products, a thick, strong box keeps the R-N500 protected during its travels to your kit rack. Rectangular strips of polystyrene keep everything in place, and provide designated slots for everything from the remote, to the batteries and provided antennas.

The A-S201 is wrapped in a foam-like cloth material, neatly taped in 2 locations. The power cable, with its plug wrapped in a plastic bag with the usual plastic pin cover, is neatly tied and situated behind the unit – it’s plug fitting into a designated slot in the polystyrene block.

It’s a very neat presentation, similar to that of the budget A-S201 Integrated Amplifier.. A great first impression.

Initial Impressions

Build Quality

Lift the R-N500 from its packaging, and the great first impressions continue – it’s reassuringly weighty, its full metal chassis feeling solid and substantial. There’s no flex in the casework, and the top panel is nicely damped – yielding only a dull metallic ‘thump’, with only a slight rining, when tapped.

The Back

Despite a multitude of inputs and outputs, Yamaha have managed to retain a clean, neat layout on the rear panel. The block of IO connections includes 2 optical, 2 coaxial, 4 line ins, 2 rec outs, and the input for the moving magnet phono stage. There’s a mono subwoofer out, but sadly no stereo pre outs.

2 Pairs of solid speaker terminals can accept bare wire or banana plugs. If you want to use banana plugs, you’ll have to remove the little end plugs – these are a pain to remove, and require a thin tool such as a bent paperclip or pair of tweezers. The terminals themselves are solid – with no flexing when inserting banana plugs.

Unusually, there’s no speaker impedance switch – though the amp does provide an impedance setting, which adjusts the power supply to deliver the appropriate amount of power to your speakers. To alter this setting, you’ll have to power on the amp and alter a setting in a hidden advanced configuration menu – which is a pain; Yamaha should’ve implemented a simple switch. Generally, leaving the amp set to 8 Ohms will be just fine – I didn’t mess with the setting and had no problems.

A single RJ-45 jack is provided for connection to your network. There’s no onboard WiFi, or even Bluetooth – for those, you’ll need Yamaha’s YWA-10 and YBA-11 adapters. Both adapters require power – and as there’s only 1 DC out jack on the rear of the unit, you’ll need to find a second power source should you wish to use both together.

This is a huge oversight – most, if not all, streamers on the market have at least WiFi connectivity built in. It’s unusual for a stereo setup to be within reach of a router – something which Yamaha should’ve foreseen.

The power cable is permanently attached – this means there’s no bulky power plug protruding from the amp, but does mean if the cable should become damaged the amp will require servicing – perhaps a plug-in power cable would’ve been better.

The Front

The front panel of the A-S201 features a multitude of controls. The tone, balance and loudness controls immediately stand out – they’re large, vertical dials similar to those found on the equipment of yesterday. They’re physical knobs, too – no digital potentiometers here, which is nice to see.

The usual bass, treble and balance controls are all catered for, as well as Yamaha’s variable loudness control. This control allows you to adjust the tonal quality of the sound, to compensate for the human ear’s lack of sensitivity to high and low frequencies at low listening levels.

The tone and loudness controls have click stops in their central, flat positions (or in the case of the loudness control, at the maximum position). When moved to the centre, they produce a solid click and lock in to place – They feel great, a welcome departure from the usual cheap afterthoughts found on a lot of equipment.

A large volume knob features on the right-hand side of the front panel, along with the pure direct button, and a dial used to select options in menus and navigate the player’s user interface. The volume control is smooth to turn – it does use a digital potentiometer, but it appears to be of decent quality. Turn it quickly though, and the unit takes half a second to respond – causing the volume level to jump abruptly, rather than the expected gradual increase.

Another rotary dial is used to select inputs – I much prefer direct-access buttons. It too though feels great to turn, with minimum resistance. Pressing either the FM or AM select buttons will switch to the tuner – it would be nice if, when connecting a USB device for example, that source were automatically selected.

Controls for speakers A+B, tuner controls, and a display dimmer are provided, along with a physical power button; rather than the usual standby control. The display panel is neatly situated above the tone controls, with a minimal surrounding gap, lending to the clean, uncluttered appearance.

And, finally, a headphone jack allows you to connect headphones for private listening. There’s no dedicated headphone stage – the signal is fed directly from the power amplifier section. That said; it still sounds pretty decent, and the 2 record outputs allow you to connect a better headphone amp if you’re a fan of the phones.

The Remote

The R-N500 is supplied with a Yamaha system remote. This remote is unusual – not only can it control the R-N500 and all of its features, but it can also be setup to control a complete entertainment system – including your TV. The user manual provides an extensive list of IR codes for various brands of TV and AV kit, allowing you to configure the remote to output the correct IR codes for your particular model.

It’s solid, if a little light – and fits well in the hand thanks to the thumb-sized indent which allows it to sit perfectly in the hand.

The buttons have a nice tactile feel, though due to the sheer number of buttons locating them can, at times, be difficult. Essential controls such as the volume are easy to find – the rest just take some getting used to.

The remote takes standard AAA batteries, situated behind the rear cover – a welcome departure from the frustrating coin cell arrangements that are becoming more common as remotes become more compact

Usage

There are several methods for controlling the R-N500. Many functions can be accessed using the units front panel, or you can choose to use the remote control. Yamaha’s NPController app provides full control of the unit from your android or iOS smartphone – and that’s what I chose to use throughout this review. Some features may differ as a result – while I’ve tried to keep things as consistent as possible, there may be some options within the app that aren’t available from the unit itself.

The Tuner

As previously mentioned, the R-N500’s built-in tuner can receive both FM and AM analogue broadcasts. There’s no onboard DAB or DAB+ – which is a shame, given the impending digital switchover.

40 Presets, combined across the 2 broadcast bands, allow you to store your favourite stations, either manually or automatically. In automatic mode, the R-N500 will scan from the lowest frequencies, automatically filling the presets as it locks onto strong signals. In manual mode, the current station is stored in the next empty preset – there doesn’t appear to be a way to select a specific preset in which to store your station.

Presets can be accessed using the remote control or the navigation buttons on the front panel – unfortunately, the front features no direct-access preset buttons, so you must scroll through until you find the station you want. RDS does make this easier – but not all stations broadcast RDS signals, so there may be times you find yourself struggling to remember frequencies. I’d also like to see the ability to name presets so they can be recalled more easily.

USB

The front-mounted USB port allows you to connect USB mass storage devices or an iPod,iPad or iPhone. You can browse the content on your device using the navigation keys on the remote, or the dial on the front of the unit.

The navigation menu is easy to use, and self-explanatory. Unfortunately, if operating the unit from the front panel, skipping tracks must be done with the navigation wheel – it would be nice if the tuner preset controls could double as skip controls for USB devices.

If you’re using an iDevice, 2 play modes are available – normal and ‘simple play’ mode. In simple play mode, playback is controlled using the iDevice itself, with only the input name displayed on the units display.

The usual repeat and shuffle options are present; you can choose to repeat only the current track or the current album (or folder in the case of mass storage devices), and can play tracks in random order.

Playing From a Server

You can use the R-N500 to play files from any DLNA-compatible NAS or PC on the same network. If you’re streaming from your windows-based pc, you must first configure media streaming options – a simple process detailed in the R-N500 manual.

If you want to play FLAC files, it’s worth noting you’ll need server software that supports the playback of FLAC files, or a NAS that supports FLAC file playback.

Once you’re up and running, playback of content is the same as with USB – controlled by the remote’s navigation keys or the wheel on the front of the unit.

Internet Radio

The vTuner internet radio service is built right into the R-N500, giving you access to thousands of internet radio stations around the world. The unit also supports the vTuner bookmarking service – to use this function, you’ll need to sign up for an account and provide the MAC address of this unit.

You can browse stations by location, genre, recently added or most popular. There’s also an extensive library of podcasts which can be filtered by location or genre.

The amount of content available is mind-blowing – the chances of running of of music are slim. It would be nice to see a search option – as scrolling through endless lists of stations can be a time-consuming process.

Sound quality of internet radio will depend heavily on the station you’re listening too. Most broadcast in low bitrate MP3 to save bandwidth – and as a result, sound quality suffers. Many do sound better than the analogue tuner though, which is a plus.

Streaming From Devices

The unit offers several options to stream from devices such as smartphones, PCs or tablets. Apple’s AirPlay technology is built right in, allowing you to stream from any iDevice, apple TV, or iTunes-equip Mac or PC on the same network. You can even power on the unit with your airplay-compatible device, after enabling an option in the units configuration menu.

Using the NPController app, you can stream music directly from your smartphone or tablet’s music library. Content is delivered over the network – meaning there’s no loss of signal as is often the case with other streamers that employ technologies such as Bluetooth.

The Sound

Yamaha’s hi-fi components are designed to follow their key principal – ‘natural sound’ – remaining as faithful as possible to the original performance. The R-N500 can definitely be described as a ‘natural-sounding’ amp, favouring detail and refinement over power and excitement.

Play the goo goo dolls’ Better Days, and the piano and vocals simply sound sublime; there’s a certain warmth to the track and plenty of detail for the Yamaha to get stuck into.

At times, it’s a little too smooth – play a track such as ‘Rock Show’ from Halestorm’s The Strange Case Of… album, and the Yamaha fails to convey the excitement in the track. it’s like being at a rock show while the crowd around you browse Facebook and tweet pictures of the £1.50 meals they bought during the refreshments break.

Unsurprisingly for a world-renowned manufacturer of musical instruments, the R-N500’s strength is in its ability to accurately reproduce the sound of a musical instrument; the subtle nuances of the piano, the breath through a woodwind instrument, or the resonance of a drum. Play ‘Can’t Take it’ by the All American Rejects’, and the Yamaha makes short work of the powerful, orchestral backing allowing the powerful vocals to take centre stage.

Whether you’re listening to internet radio, a CD transport connected via a coaxial cable, or files from a USB stick – the smooth, refined sound of the R-N500 remains the same. I like the consistency – though I find myself longing for more excitement and ‘get up and go’.

 ‘Like You’ from Evanescence’s The Open Door album displays a beautifully wide, open sound stage Amy Lee’s voice hanging in the air, dead centre; while the music flows around her.

There’s certainly no lack of power – bass notes are delivered with precision, the R-N500 maintaining a vice-like grip on the drivers.

It’s certainly not a bad sounding amp; but as the opening drum fill of ‘November rain’ fills the listening room, I’m losing interest. The R-N500 fails to grab my attention long enough to prevent me lowering the volume.

Summary

In terms of features, it’s hard to beat the R-N500. A powerful integrated amplifier, fully-equipped network streamer, and DAC would ordinarily cost a lot more – and require a full kit rack. However, the unit lacks several important features – there’s no WiFi, meaning you must locate your stereo next to a router or Ethernet socket, use a wiFi bridge, or run cables around your house – all things the average consumer doesn’t want to have to deal with.

However; in terms of sound, the R-N500 could benefit from more excitement and rhythmic drive. It’s too natural, too laid back. If you favour detail and refinement over excitement and fun, or just want to shake the room with sheer power, the R-N500 is the amp for you.

If you want the music to stir your soul as well as your stomach, consider Yamaha’s A-S500 and match it with a different streamer. Sorry, guys – this one wasn’t for me.


About Ashley

I founded Audio Appraisal a few years ago and continue to regularly update it with fresh content. An avid vinyl collector and coffee addict, I can often be found at a workbench tinkering with a faulty electronic device, tweaking a turntable to extract the last bit of detail from those tiny grooves in the plastic stuff, or relaxing in front of the hi-fi with a good album. A musician, occasional producer and sound engineer, other hobbies include software programming, web development, long walks and occasional DIY. Follow @ashleycox2

Share Your Thoughts

19 thoughts on “Yamaha R-N500 Network Receiver Review

  • Kris

    Hi,
    I’ve been reading up on the A-S501 and really liked what I saw.
    I’m not too much “at home” in the world of audio systems, but I’m on the hunt for one that I can just connect to my laptop and play the music/films from that. Bluetooth is not an option.
    My laptop is currently connected to my TV via an HDMI cable, so you can imagine that it’s not great to listen to music!
    I’ve also read up on the R-N500; I did like its features and all, and perhaps it would be the perfect system for I want to use it, but this review much preferred the A-S501 when it comes to music. Which kind of put me off the R-N500.
    Can anyone recommend me an amp that will be suitable for my purposes, with the musical capabilities of the A-S501? I definitely want to go Yamaha, not interested in other makes.
    Thanks guys!

    • Ashley Post author

      Interesting question. The answer really depends on how you’re going to be connecting the laptop and which speakers you’ll be running. Yamaha have a couple of new receivers (the R-N402D and R-N602) which sound a lot better, but they only feature optical and coaxial inputs. Does your laptop have an optical digital output? If not, you’ll need an external DAC anyway, meaning that unless you want the streaming capabilities there’s really no point in going with a receiver like the R-N500 or either of the models mentioned above. Was there any reason you specifically wanted a Yamaha and nothing else?

  • Peter

    I own a Yamaha R-N500 coupled to a CD-S300 and recently upgraded my speakers to B&W 683 s2. Compared to my previous speakers (vintage KEF speakers…) this a huge improvement, especially the increase in the amount of detail is significant. Also the natural sound is very pleasing, although sometimes it sounds a bit too pleasing… Especially while listening to rock songs I miss punch and dynamics, the songs sounds a bit laidback while the R-N500 certainly delivers enough power to drive the speakers to a high volumes.

    For my taste, an ideal receiver would produce sound with the open detailed character of the R-N500 but adds nice dynamic behaviour and gives “a kick in the stomach” even at a normal listing volumes.

    After reading your reviews of the R-N500 and A-S501, I come to the conclusion that the A-S501 has these qualities compared to the R-N500. Do I see this correct?

    As my speakers are quite big floorstanders and have impedance going as low as 3 ohm (however rated as 8 ohm), I wonder if the A-S501 would be a significant improvement in combination with these speakers? Or should I look to the A-S701, which is more powerful?

    Thanks in advance for your clarification and answers!

    • Ashley Post author

      Sound is of course subjective, but you’re correct in that in my own listening tests I found the A-S501 to be more dynamic than the R-N500. The sound character of Yamaha amps does lean towards neutrality rather than the ‘kick in the stomach’ feeling. The A-S501 would give you more of the sound you’re after, though I’d also consider other options especially with those speakers. I’m sure someone will be along to wrongly accuse me of brand bias for this suggestion, but the Cambridge CXA-80 is perhaps one of the most punchy dynamic amps I’ve heard in a long, long time. It certainly gives you a kick in the stomach and then some, but it’s very detailed also. Also look at Marantz, particularly the 7005 and 8005. They sit somewhere in between the Cambridge and Yamaha in that they’re more neutral in character, though with a little warmth and punch thrown in when required. I’d recommend auditioning the A-S501, PM-8005 and CXA-80 if you can because only you can decide which you prefer.

      • Peter

        Meanwhile the puzzle pieces are coming together. Thanks for your advice!

        First off all I’m currently using a vintage yamaha amp (AX-592, I guess it is an ancestor of the AS700) and this has improved things drastically. Now the speakers are controlled by the amp and not vice versa. The bass is deeper and controlled, there is more dynamics and finally I have the feeling that the B&W 683s2 speakers are coming to life. Looking backward the 683s2 aren’t suited for the R-N500, they are too difficult to be driven by the amp.

        Secondly I’ve visited some hifi-shops and auditioned some other amps, all on the B&W 683s2. I’ve heard the Yamaha A-S501, NAD365, Vincent SV-400, and the more expensive NAD375 and rotel RA1570 in one shop. They all have their own character. The yamaha had the familiar sound I know (neutral), the vincent had more detail in the high tones and was a bit more open but lacked a bit bass (probably not powerful enough for the speakers), the NAD365 was punchy and had a nice drive and dynamics. The NAD375 sounded like the NAD365 but had more detail and openness, the rotel RA-1570 sounded warmer but I didn’t listen long enough to get a clear signature.

        Today I had a long listen to the Cambridge CXA80 and could directly compare it to the NAD365. The smooth, spacious sound, without becoming dull was apparent. It’s an intriguing amp: it sounds laid-back yet powerful, it’s detailed without being analytical, its fluent without being flat. I really liked it, a lot. The NAD365 has an in “your face” direct sound, with a great drive and more punch then the cambridge. But it lacks the more refined character and the “creamy” tone the cambridge produces, which makes it very pleasing, comfortable and interesting to listen to.

        Next on the auditioning list is a Rotel RA-12 and RA-1570. I’m curious if they can give me the same sensation and same amount of goose bumps i experiences while listing to the cambridge CA80. Because, after all that is what listing to music is about 🙂

          • Peter

            Today I’ve had some time with the Rotel RA-12 and RA-1570 in combination with the 683s2. Compared to my current system (old but powerful yamaha amp) I could hear the increase in detail and the more precise sound they produce. While directly switching forward and backward between both amps, there are some differences in detail and control of the bass (in favor of the RA-1570) but back-to-back these two amps are clearly from the same family. For my it was sometimes difficult to hear the differences. Overal they are both nice amps, with a clear and detailed sound, but at times it sounded a bit analytical and they couldn’t move me like the CXA did last week.

            Tomorrow I’l have a second listen to the CXA80. I wonder if and how it will move my senses…

            • Ashley Post author

              It sounds like you’re after excitement as opposed to neutrality, and that being the case the CXA80 is the amp for you. Give the Arcam A19 a try too and the Marantz 8005. You may find that the Arcam doesn’t quite have enough power (depending on how loud you listen), but you may like the Marantz.

              • Peter

                It was nice to hear the CXA80 one day after the Rotel amps. This clearly revealed that they both are great, but both have a different character. The CXA80 has a nice soundstage and produces a dimensional and musical sound. Both the RA-12 and RA-1570 reveal a bit more detail, they have a firm and decisive character but they also sound somewhat analytical. I think for listing to classical music they would have been my preferred choice, as I listen more to rock, indie, electronica music and pop, the CXA80 is more fun to listen to. So yes, I guess I’m after excitement 🙂

                The past weeks was a nice exploration of the audio market and I could have taken it a bit further by including Marantz and Arcam or other brands such as Primare and Exposure, but price-wise the CXA-CXC combo fits within my budget and sounded really great so I’ve ordered the combo.

                Hopefully it arrives quickly and then… it’s time to simply enjoy music 🙂

                • Ashley Post author

                  Excellent! The music is, after all, the most important thing. If the CX gear gives you musical satisfaction, there’s no need to look any further.

  • Arie

    How would you describe or compare the Yamaha A-S501 and the R-N500 soundwise?
    You recommended the first highly, while the second wasn’t for you. It could benefit from more excitement and rhythmic drive, so you wrote.

    Are these amps really so different in character? I heard the R-N500, didn’t hear the A-S501 yet. Do they have different DACs inside?

    I recently bought the R-N500, mainly because of its network capabilities. The receiver sound rather well to me, coupled with my B&W 684 S2’s. But streaming from a NAS with lots of music files on it is not going very well because of the way I organized my music library (artists in directories, albums in subdirectories). Not all files are properly tagged, which makes it hard to search by artist, album or song.
    Streaming from a 1TB external USB drive via the USB port at the front also gives me much trouble. So maybe I shouId go back to streaming the way I did before.

    Now I’m wondering if I should bring back the R-N500 and get me a A-S501 instead. Most reviewers praise the A-S500 and the A-S501 highly. Is it a better sounding amp compared to the R-N500?

    • Ashley Post author

      I much prefer the A-S501. I thought the R-N500 was a very boring sounding amp. Lovely sound stage, but ultimately listening to music on it wasn’t an enjoyable experience. Having also spent a while using a CD-N301 as a streaming transport, I can’t claim to be a fan of the Yamaha’s streaming features or the app either. In my opinion Cambridge Audio are the streaming kings, and one of their streamers hooked up to one of their amps (or another manufacturer’s amp of course) is the way to go.

      • Arie

        Thank you Ashley for your quick answer. So the A-S501 is actually very different soundwise from the R-N500.
        Is it the different construction, a different DAC?
        Anyway, I will try to have a listen in a store myself.

        • Ashley Post author

          Of course sound is subjective, but I certainly found it to be different. I believe from memory that the R-N500 is entirely digital and that all digital decoding is done in software. I’m afraid I can’t be more specific than that other than to say I’m 99% sure the 2 share few similarities in terms of their DAC hardware. The DACs in both are very basic either way, so depending of course on budget you may be better off finding an all analogue amplifier and either an external DAC or a streamer with a decent DAC stage.

  • Jonathan Waugh

    Glad you came to the conclusion you did as I bought an AS500 and Yamaha's CDN500 cd payer/steamer on a whim at reduced prices from Richer Sounds but the combo still cost a £100 more than the RN500 and is not, excluding the CD player, as well equiped. Pleased to hear you summarise that there is a price to be paid for sound quality! For what it's worth I found the Yamaha AS500 so good it made my old Audiolab 8000 pre and power amps redundant and thus sold which covered the cost of my 'whim' purchase in the end. Other favorite equipment, old Marantz CD67SE CD, Castle Howard S2 speakers and Cambridge Audio DAC magic plus. Favorite music right now London Grammer and some old Blondie. Love your site!

    • Ashley Post author

      Nice – glad you're enjoying your A-S500/CD-N500! I had an A-S500 with a CD-S300 bought also from Richer Sounds just over 3 years ago; I loved it. I later sidestepped to a Marantz 6004 combo – which offered slightly better build quality, but lacked the power of the A-S500 – something which I missed. I prefer the design of the yamaha, 2 – those dials on the front are much nicer than the tiny controls found on most equipment.. I paired both setups with Tannoy Mercury V4 speakers.

      The audiolab gear is lovely, also – especially the original 8000 kit. The CD-67 is a classic, too – I have one of those, it sounds stunning. Thanks for your comments on the site – glad you're enjoying the content! 🙂