DAC for Yamaha A-S1100

For those who are looking for high-quality analog sound, the Yamaha A-S1100 is one of the top choices but it can be a bit pricey for some listeners. You do lose out on features though which some are essential components for high-quality digital music playbacks. The most notable missing feature will be a built-in DAC, as without it you won’t be able to enjoy listening to high-res audio.

The good news is there are plenty of dedicated DACs to choose from and the question now is which one of them will best match your Yamaha A-S1100. To answer this question, we will need to find out more about the Yamaha integrated amplifier and also to finalize all potential DAC requirements. Your DAC requirements will heavily influence your final decision and so let us start with the process.

Sound Characteristics of Yamaha A-S1100 and Your DAC Requirements

The Yamaha A-S1100 is a bulky integrated amplifier with a classic visual design, the left and right channel Watts level displays do bring back memories of the golden age stereo receivers. It still looks stylish and sleek enough to aesthetically match with most modern D/A converters though. It is a rather powerful integrated amplifier with an output power of 90 Watts per channel into 8 Ohms and almost doubling in power when it comes to 4 Ohms load which is a good sign. The frequency response of the Yamaha A-S1100 is 20Hz to 20kHz with a low total harmonic distortion of 0.07%.

It may lack digital features but when it comes to analog, the A-S1100 has a high-quality Phono input that supports both moving magnet and moving coil cartridges. This feature will be ideal for listeners who focus on listening to vinyl recordings. There are preamp outputs for us to connect to an external power amplifier and/or active subwoofer. Having an active sub in your stereo sound system will help boost the overall bass performance and deliver subterranean low frequencies that your loudspeakers are unable to produce. It is also a more affordable option to achieve full-range sound reproduction.

More Details at Amazon – Yamaha A-S1100 Integrated Amplifier (Silver)

When it comes to sonic performance, the Yamaha A-S1100 is able to deliver high amounts of music details with clarity. Subtle music details and nuances can be clearly heard as well. What’s more, it sounded natural and not over-emphasized, providing us with an accurate music presentation. Accompanying this accuracy will be the integrated amp’s amazing stereo imaging with exceptional separation and allowing us to hear each musician distinctively. If this is the kind of musical performance you are looking for, you might want to pair it with a DAC that can complement these sonic traits.

The highs are crisp and clear with plenty of details to boot but can be quite bright-sounding. It is recommended not to match with a DAC which will excite the treble even more unless this is what you prefer. The bass performance is equally incredible and precise. It is very deep and accurate, working together with the highs and mids to produce realistic-sounding musical instruments as well as natural-sounding vocals. If you require a more energetic performance, you can get a DAC with more enthusiasm and rhythmic drive. Do write down the kind of sonic characteristics you are after as they can be your DAC requirements.

There are other types of D/A converter requirements to consider other than just the sonic traits. It can be the physical size of the DAC and/or the pricing. The visual design of the digital-to-analog converter can be a requirement as well especially if you need to get your spouse’s approval. Adding a subwoofer into the mix will change the overall sound quality and you should take this into account when choosing a DAC. Please do add in more requirements and you should seriously think it through before checking out the list of the best matching DACs to go for. This list will be useful as a reference too.

Yamaha A-S1100 Specifications

  • Power Output: 90 Watts per channel into 8 Ohms, 150 Watts per channel into 4 Ohms
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Inputs: MM/MC Phono input, 3 RCA inputs, 2 REC inputs
  • Outputs: 2 Pre-out, Headphone output
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 435mm x 157mm x 463mm | 17.1″ x 6.2″ x 18.2″
  • Weight: 23.3kg (51.4lbs)

Best DACs to match with Yamaha A-S1100

Topping D50 is an amazing DAC choice to go for and it has similar sonic characteristics as the Yamaha A-S1100 which enables your stereo sound system to produce a very detailed and accurate music presentation. This is a DAC with a neutral sonic character and has a clear sound quality. The overall bass performance of the Topping D50 is tight and precise, not to mention, digs deep into the low ends too. It is also suitable for analytical audio enthusiasts due to how revealing the D/A converter is. When paired with the Yamaha A-S1100, the overall sound reproduction will sound brighter so you might want to hear them out first.

More Details at Amazon – TOPPING D50 HiFi Audio DAC (Silver)

For higher-end DAC models, the Schiit Audio Gungnir is one of the best to go for and match with the Yamaha A-S1100. It is also capable of retrieving a massive amount of music details and projecting it on a spacious soundstage which complements really well with the A-S1100 stereo imaging. The spacious sound quality is rich and airy, giving us a high-resolution music presentation that is both musical and accurate. Schiit Audio Gungnir sounds sweet and does ease any harshness, giving us music playbacks that are easy on the ears without sounding too dull or dark.

More Information at Amazon – Schiit Audio Gungnir Balanced DAC

Chord Hugo 2 is another remarkable high-end DAC and will be a worthy match for your Yamaha A-S1100. This is an award-winning highly dynamic D/A converter with impeccable stereo imaging and energetic musical performance, ideal for listeners who want a more engaging music presentation without sounding unnatural and/or harsh. The Chord Hugo 2 enthusiastic performance doesn’t compromise its transparency and detail retrieval capabilities. It is a DAC that can reveal lots of music details without sounding clinical and its neutrality with a hint of warmth will play well with the Yamaha A-S1100.

More Details at Amazon – Chord Hugo 2 Transportable DAC (Silver)

The Rega DAC-R is an entertaining performer with an exciting musical performance that will easily engage your senses and provide you with a memorable listening experience. The engaging music delivery of the Rega DAC-R will pair well with the Yamaha A-S1100 especially if you want more excitement and slightly faster pacing. Music timing is impeccable and there is accuracy in the overall sound reproduction. Along with the transparency of the A-S1100 integrated amplifier, the music presentation is lively and rich. It is easy to fall in love with the confidence of the Rega DAC-R and it will be worth your while to check it out.

More Details at Amazon – Rega DAC-R 32bit/192kHz Wolfson USB DAC

The Cambridge Audio DacMagic 200M is an award-winning DAC that comes with a plethora of features such as Dual ESS ES9028Q2M which supports up to 32-bit/768kHz and DSD512 high-res audio files. It also supports MQA technology to playback master quality sound sources. There is even Bluetooth (aptX) connection and you can wirelessly stream your music from your mobile devices. It will be an exceptional DAC partner for your Yamaha A-S1100, the Cambridge Audio DacMagic 200M is expressive and insightful, capable of providing its users with an engaging high-resolution music presentation.

More Details at Amazon – Cambridge Audio DacMagic 200M DAC, Lunar Grey

If budget is not an issue and you only want the best sound quality for your stereo system, the Chord Qutest will be the DAC for you and more than a worthy match for your Yamaha A-S1100 integrated amplifier. Feed the Chord Qutest with a high-res audio source and you can hear all the music details in pristine clean sound quality. More importantly, the music presentation sounded natural and realistic which suits the A-S1100 sound reproduction. With so much information and details, the Chord Qutest DAC doesn’t sound clinical, all thanks to its immaculate music timing and incredible dynamics handling.

More Details at Amazon – Chord Qutest DAC

To Sum It Up

Didn’t find the DAC you are looking for, if so, please feel free to use this list as a reference. We will suggest auditioning at least 1 or 2 DACs first before using them as references. After hearing how they sound when partnered with your Yamaha A-S1100, you will have a better grasp of what kind of sound quality and characteristics you are truly searching for. It is also recommended to audition these digital-to-analog converters in your own listening room using your own HiFi gears.

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