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Motorcycles Yamaha A-S3200

20:00  07 june  2021
20:00  07 june  2021 Source:   whathifi.com

New Yamaha MotoGP bike “ready” to race – Vinales

  New Yamaha MotoGP bike “ready” to race – Vinales Maverick Vinales believes the 2021 Yamaha MotoGP bike is “ready” to race after topping the penultimate day of pre-season testing in Qatar. © Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images Maverick Vinales, Yamaha Factory Racing Vinales continued evaluating the 2021 chassis on Thursday, riding three different specs of Yamaha on his way to the top of the timesheets with a 1m53.244s. The eight-time race winner spent the first test focusing on his own riding style and was “surprised” at how good his long run pace was on the 2020 bike.

Yamaha's A-S3200 isn’t quite what we expected. The retro-styled flagship integrated amplifier isn’t a fashion item, chosen by potential buyers for its nostalgia value. Nor is it a cutting-edge technology statement where Yamaha throws down the gauntlet to rival manufacturers by flexing its undoubted engineering might.

a close up of electronics: Yamaha A-S3200 review © Provided by What Hi-Fi? Yamaha A-S3200 review

What we have here is a rather straight-laced, all-analogue integrated that’s been designed with considerable care. It has a sensible features list and, most importantly, a performance that justifies its hefty price tag.

Build

The A-S3200 is a beautifully built product, as expected at this level. Every panel lines up perfectly, and each control and switch works with crisp precision. A large part of the amp’s retro vibe comes from those twin signal meters. We love the way they look, but in practical terms, they are not of much use. It’s nice to have them, anyway.

Vinales feels “Yamaha is back” after Qatar MotoGP win

  Vinales feels “Yamaha is back” after Qatar MotoGP win Qatar Grand Prix winner Maverick Vinales believes Yamaha “is back” to its full potential following his commanding victory in the 2021 MotoGP season-opener. © Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images Race winner Maverick Vinales, Yamaha Factory Racing Despite dropping to sixth as a quartet of Ducatis rocketed to the front at the start of the 22-lap race, Vinales rallied to fight his way through to the front of the pack by the 15th tour. From there, he opened up a gap of over a second to come under no threat through to the chequered flag for his ninth MotoGP victory.

This amplifier is an impressively solid beast thanks to its chunky casework and back-straining 25kg weight, so make sure your support is sturdy enough to be up to the job. It runs a little warm, too, so it’s a good idea to leave plenty of ventilation space.

Take a look inside that immaculate casework and it’s obvious that Yamaha has refused to cut corners. The overall electronic circuit is a fully balanced design in order to minimise noise and improve resolution. There’s a substantial 623VA toroidal mains transformer and a generous 88,000uF of smoothing capacitance.

The engineers have obsessed over the details, such as the quality of the internal connecting cables and the mechanical integrity of the casework. Even the bolts on the feet are welded into place to provide greater rigidity. Those silver-plated brass feet are height adjustable to compensate for any unevenness in the supporting surface, too.

Yamaha tester Crutchlow allowing Vinales to focus on racing

  Yamaha tester Crutchlow allowing Vinales to focus on racing Maverick Vinales says the introduction of Cal Crutchlow as Yamaha MotoGP test rider for 2021 has allowed him to “concentrate on racing”, following his commanding Qatar GP win. © Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images Maverick Vinales, Yamaha Factory Racing Vinales stormed to victory in last Sunday's 2021 season-opener at Losail after surmounting a quartet of Ducatis and Yamaha teammate Fabio Quartararo. Over the winter Yamaha installed three-time MotoGP race winner Crutchlow as its new test rider, with the Briton present in the Qatar test earlier in March.

Features

Accepting that this is an all-analogue product, there’s little to complain about when it comes to connectivity. There are six line-level inputs, including two balanced XLR options.

The XLR inputs have small toggle switches positioned underneath and these can attenuate the signal (so there’s not a big jump in level between the single-ended and balanced sources) or swap its phase. These aren’t common features and we’re glad that Yamaha has gone to the trouble of including them.

Those with record players can rest easy. The A-S3200 has a switchable moving magnet/moving coil phono stage, though it’s a shame there’s no electrical loading adjustability to optimise the results for any specific cartridge.

While the phono stage’s 47ohm moving magnet input impedance will work well with pretty much any cartridge of that type, it’s a little odd that Yamaha has chosen to go with a 50ohm value for the moving coil option. While MCs vary in terms of their loading requirements, a 100ohm value would have suited many more cartridges. It’s not a make-or-break situation, but you’ll need to be careful with the cartridge choice if you want optimal results.

Quartararo pips Miller for fastest time in Sunday MotoGP test

  Quartararo pips Miller for fastest time in Sunday MotoGP test Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo beat Ducati’s Jack Miller by 0.077s to record the fastest time on the second day of MotoGP testing in Qatar. © Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing As is typical during the Qatar test, the Losail circuit was sparsely populated in the early part of the session, with KTM test rider Dani Pedrosa setting the early pace at 1m58.290s as one of just four runners on track in the first hour. Pramac’s Johann Zarco rounded out Hour 2 fastest of all with a 1m55.

Elsewhere, there is a preamp output and the ability to connect directly to the power amp section by bypassing the A-S3200’s preamp circuitry. There are two switchable sets of speaker outputs for those that need such things. The chunky brass multiway speaker binding posts feel suitably luxurious.

Any amplifier at this level demands good quality partnering equipment. We use the Naim ND555/555 PS DR music streamer alongside our usual Technics SL-1000R record player. We have Goldring’s 2500 moving magnet cartridge and Kiseki’s Purple Heart moving coil to test both parts of the Yamaha’s phono stage.

At the other end of the system, we use the ATC SCM50 speakers for the bulk of the testing. We also give KEF’s LS50 Meta, Wilson Benesch’s Precision P2.0 and ProAc’s Response D2R a listen to see how this integrated reacts to the differing speaker loads. It turns out that it drives all of these to good levels in our medium-sized test room without issue, at least as far as electrical compatibility is concerned.

Sound

Beginning with the A-S3200’s line stages, we are impressed from the start. This is a surprisingly clean and clear performer that renders the leading edges of notes with crispness without ever veering towards sounding hard or edgy. That’s a difficult balancing act that quite a few alternatives fall foul of.

Rossi unsure if MotoGP form will rebound in Europe

  Rossi unsure if MotoGP form will rebound in Europe Petronas SRT Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi admits he is unsure if his poor form from the Qatar MotoGP races will rebound when the series returns to Europe next week. © Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images Valentino Rossi, Petronas Yamaha SRT Rossi endured a bruising brace of races at Losail to start the season, the nine-time grand prix world champion emerging from the Qatar Grand Prix 12th having qualified fourth – and came away from the Doha round without points in 16th having registered his worst ever qualifying result of 21st.

We’re pleased with the articulate way this Yamaha delivers Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, a beautiful piece that comes through with a great deal of subtlety and finesse. The A-S3200’s sound is expressive and nicely textured, and the music flows with elegance, the amp able to reveal slight changes of pace well.

We switch to Radiohead’s In Rainbows set and are pleased to find that the Yamaha has no trouble digging up lots of detail and organising it into a musically cohesive whole. Tracks such as 15 Step can easily sound messy and cluttered, but not through this Yamaha. It’s a responsive performer – one that’s happy to charge along at full throttle when the music demands. We’re particularly taken by the A-S3200’s bass performance, which is taut, tuneful and textured. The lows are seamlessly blended into the midrange, too, thanks to the shared agility and insight.

Tonally, this amplifier stands on the lean side of neutral, particularly through the midrange. This affects the A-S3200’s ability to convey solidity and punch through these frequencies and gives it a more analytical presentation than most. The class leaders produce a more ‘blood and guts’ presentation with this album, leaving the Yamaha to sound a little reserved in comparison.

We’re pleased to find that the A-S3200’s phono stage is a good one. It sounds best through the moving magnet option, delivering much of the clarity and detail we hear through the line stages. The phono stage sounds lively and has us playing record after record thanks to the combination of finesse, control and detail. It’s a relatively quiet circuit, even when we’re using the moving coil option. Here, we’re more aware of a loss of dynamic punch and verve, so if you have a high-quality moving coil-equipped record player, consider going for an outboard alternative such as the Vertere Acoustics Phono-1.

Lorenzo: Yamaha not treating Morbidelli well with old MotoGP bike

  Lorenzo: Yamaha not treating Morbidelli well with old MotoGP bike Triple MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo believes Yamaha is not treating Petronas SRT’s Franco Morbidelli “in the best way” by not giving him machine parity with its factory riders. © Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images Franco Morbidelli, Petronas Yamaha SRT Morbidelli remains on the ‘A-spec’ M1 for the 2021 season, which is effectively a slightly upgraded 2019 Yamaha, on which he rode to second in the championship last season and scored three of the Japanese marque’s seven victories.

We have no such issues with the 6.3mm headphone output. Yamaha has provided a number of gain settings to allow for the variation of sensitivity between different models of headphones. We use the Beyerdynamic T1 Mk3 along with the Focal Stellia, and both work well, echoing the clarity, low-end punch and overall finesse we hear through the speaker outputs. The company has done a good job here, particularly as some rivals treat the headphone output as a box-ticking exercise and don’t engineer it with care.

Verdict

If you’re looking for a well-equipped high-end integrated amp, this Yamaha is well worth a serious look. It’s carefully engineered and has a hugely appealing sense of sonic precision and clarity. There are certainly more robust sounding alternatives, but make no mistake, the A-S3200 is a classy performer.

SCORES

  • Sound 4
  • Features 5
  • Build 5

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