By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Buena Park, Calif. – Yamaha is launching its first new two-channel integrated amp and first new CD player in a few years, targeting both to entry-level audiophiles with new opening price points.
The CD-S300 CD player is available at a suggested $349, and the 2x60-watt A-S300 integrated amplifier ships in October at a suggested $379. Both feature iPod connections.
The company cited a hi-fi stereo resurgence in bringing out the new models, which Yamaha senior VP Tom Sumner said would “anchor a formidable, affordable component music system.”
The company’s previous opening price points were $999 for a single-play CD and $449 for a two-channel integrated amp.
The CD-S300 CD player incorporates front-panel Pod-compatible USB port that captures iPod-stored music in digital PCM form. The USB port also streams MP3 and WMA music files stored on other digital music players and USB memory devices via the USB port.
The player’s remote control can be used to operate a connected iPod’s play, pause, skip and forward/backward functions, and the song, artist and album names will be shown on the CD-S300’s front panel display.
The CD player also features a high-grade acoustic capacitor, a new low-noise high-gain-bandwidth op amp, damping material under the transformer and around signal cables, and Yamaha’s Pure Direct technology, which enables the audio signal to travel the shortest possible route for the purest sound reproduction, the company said. It also features Burr-Brown 192kHz/24-bit DAC that, combined with proprietary digital technology, is said to deliver high signal-to-noise ratio and dynamic range.
The CD-S300’s laser pickup is isolated on a floating mechanism to prevent interference from vibrations. Yamaha’s proprietary Intelligent Digital Servo technology uses a Digital Signal Processor to monitor the audio signal and adjust pickup tracking and spindle motor speed to compensate for problems caused by warped discs, dust and other problems, the company said.
The A-S300 integrated amplifier features aluminum-extruded front panel, dual aluminum extruded heat sinks, and compatibility with Yamaha’s optional $99-suggested wired YDS-12 iPod/iPhone dock and the wireless $149 YID-W10 yAired dock, which consists of a wireless receiver that connects to the amp and a wireless-transmitter dongle for the Apple mobile devices.
Like the CD-S300, the A-S300 features Yamaha’s Pure Direct technology, and it comes with proprietary ToP-ART (Total Purity Audio Reproduction Technology) to fully protect audio signals from vibration-induced noise and distortion.
The integrated amp also features subwoofer output and continuously variable loudness control, which lets users turn down the volume while maintaining a balanced frequency response.
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