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ITEM – Yamaha A-1 Integrated Amplifier


LOCATION – Pymble N.S.W.


PRICE - $700.00 o.n.o. 


CONDITION –  Good to Very Good




PAYMENT METHOD – Cash on pickup, Paypal (buyer pays fees), Direct Bank Credit.




The Yamaha A-1 is an integrated amplifier made in Japan during 1979 -81


This is a very desirable silver version made only for the Japanese domestic market. As such these are very rare outside Japan. It is therefore a 100 VAC model. A 100 volt power supply / transformer are required.  


All export models are black and have a different case detail.


Many suggest that the silver version is a much nicer look, and this would be keeping with a number of vintage audio pieces from Japan, where in some cases, the Japanese manufacturer designed and made what is often a unique and at times superior article for their own market. Known as “keeping the best for themselvesâ€!


The cosmetic condition is good. There are some marks and scuffs on the case, the front faceplate is very clean. Amplifier is in original unrestored condition. Overall the amplifier presents very well.


Power ratings:

2 x 70 WRMS @ 8 ohms

2 x 80 WRMS @ 4 ohms

Weight – 15.8kg


This is a very good and discrete amplifier by Yamaha




After the middle of the 1970s, the "DC amp boom" occurred, which resulted in the removal of capacitors from signal paths and negative feedback loops, providing 0Hz (DC) playback performance.


At first it was only the main amp that was DC, and integrated amps with a DC main amp section were common in 1977, but the DC amp that Yamaha announced was the revolutionary A-1 all-DC integrated amp that achieved the original aim of simplifying signal paths to the limit.


Both the phono equalizer and the main amp were DC, and the use of a high-gain power amp allowed the intermediate amp stage to be eliminated, so the phono equalizer output or Aux line level signal simply passed through the volume control before entering the power amp, a "straight DC" configuration.


Up until then, the number of input channels was considered an indication of the "rank" of an amplifier, but the A-1 eliminated most of them (leaving one each of Tape and Aux) as well as the A/B speaker selector. To symbolize that, the majority of the input selectors and other controls were hidden in a sealing panel, achieving a minimalist design.


The front panel had only the volume knob, and "Disc", "Speakers", and "Power" lighted buttons. Pressing the Disc button caused the input selector and Tape Monitor switches to be ignored, giving priority to the Phono input, while the Speakers button allowed the smart feature of disabling the speakers while raising and lowering the phono cartridge to prevent noise.


The whole design was optimized for analog disc playback: setting the gain to 0dB defeat would turn on a fixed 10Hz, 12dB/octave high-pass filter, while setting the tone control to flat would make it function as a subsonic filter.


The power supply section was somewhat unusual, featuring two power transformers, and a pair of block aluminum electrolytic capacitors, but the idea was that the leakage flux from the two transformers connected in parallel would cancel. If you actually try using the A-1 you find that to choose a source other than Disc it is necessary to open and close the sealing panel (or more likely, just leave it open), so you notice a gap between the ideal and the actual, but it goes without saying that the concept of Disc Priority influenced later features such as the Pure Direct switch and the CD Direct Amp. **


** History of Integrated Amplifier --- Yamaha Corporation








Basic servicing and health check (June 2015).


  • Bias and DC offset adjustment to spec.   
  • Switches, knobs on the front panel cleaned and lubricated and operate smoothly and silently. 





The amplifier sounds excellent, performs really well.


Sound is clean and powerful, with a nice tightness to the bass.  It’s a typical Yamaha sound, revealing, articulate and neutral with excellent soundstage and stereo imaging. This is how Yamaha have developed their sound signature and the A-1 is the evolution of this from the original NS series integrated offerings starting with the CA-1000. Unlike the flagship CA models, no Class A switchable on the A-1. After owning both the CA-1010 & 2010, I can certainly hear that evolution as delivered by the A-1.


The tonal qualities are obvious. If you prefer your sound, without a lot of “warmth†a term often referred to with respect to another well known vintage brand, then the A-1 is for you.  Tone control circuit is very nice, just dial in a little more bass or treble to your taste, or take the circuit out altogether for a direct presentation.


The amplifiers main focus was on vinyl playback and both MM/MC phono inputs work and sound great.  The pre-out is also a great feature, I have used this into my Sansui BA-1000 FET power amplifier and the sound is excellent.  Headphone function is very good for those late night vinyl sessions.


The A-1 is a very desirable piece of audio heritage. It is very well built, has a stunning Japanese minimalist design and performs very well. Internally the amp is just as good, with excellent internal build quality, deploying audio grade parts from Elna and Nichicon.  





Generic Points


Top Vent

All Japanese A-1 models develop a yellowing of the top vent detail. Originally white, the small plastic square detail yellows over time. This amplifier is not too bad in this regard. I thought about refinishing the top vent; however I think keeping the amplifier original is best.


Front Flap

In my experience, nearly all A-1 models have either one or both front flap hinges broken. A hard plastic was used for the parts that unfortunately over time eventually broke.  The bonus when I acquired the amp was the flap was actually present, as many A-1’s with the broken hinges have long ago lost the front flap. I have created a fix for the flap, and it is now back in place and working nicely.


The fix involved making a new hinge that sits behind the front control panel, and a magnet under the front faceplate to affix to a small strip of very thin gauge steel. I have not permanently fixed the metal strip to the flap as I would like to leave that decision to the new owner.




This is a rare opportunity to acquire a true original statement piece from Yamaha. It is in my opinion, certainly visually one of the design icons of the 80’s hifi, and sonically, with the CA-2010 and the A-2000 one of the finest integrated amplifiers made by Yamaha.


Amplifier offered as a pick up only initially. Please register your interest if outside Sydney and if not sold locally, I’ll consider packing and shipping.


From the Vintage Knob – “Had the A-1 had V-FETs in its power stages, it would have been one of the true audio masterpieces; as produced, the A-1 was already a glorious if discrete way to wave goodbye to the 70’s.† I must agree.  


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Guest Hensa

I've heard this amp both in Stephen's system and with my own speakers and it is a beautifully smooth operator delivering a clean but full sonic landscape. GLWTS, Stephen!

On a side note, I'd like to put you on retainer to prepare any future ads I want to place! Great effort once again!

EDIT: The fix for the front flap is also perfectly designed and executed!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Edited by Hensa
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Wow always a surprise here…and find about another piece of lust worthy gear …..


and what an education the for sale ad is …good on you for taking the effort and hope goes to someone whom appreciates it :)

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Beautiful, such a minimalistic look-decades ahead of its time, GLWTS

Certainly the amplifier is a beautiful design IMO. Even though the amplifier sounds amazing, I often have it sitting on one of my cabinets in he office (with a few other objects)simply to admire the design.

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