First amp listening session - Yamaha A-S700, Rotel RA-12

Jan 6, 2017
Hi all, greetings from (-18deg chilly) Estonia!

I'm in the process of figuring out my preferred components for a linving room stereo setup. The WHF forum has been a great resource btw!
Currently thinking about
- Monitor Audio Bronze 2's or B&W 685 S2 (because of the looks and quality for the price, but never say never until you have 'em, right)
- (possibly, will need to give it a listen) a sub; if it's the MA's then Bronze W10, if B&W then something matching,
- A decent amp. If new then the Yamaha R-N602 receiver (580€ at a local shop) looks promising. Also the Arcam A29 (but that would stretch the budget). If used... Marantz PM7001, PM8200, PM68 (or something else with pre-out, regarding the sub).

What should sound good with my setup? Coldplay's atmospheric sounds (a nice wide soundstage), indie stuff, Adele (detailed vocals), movie soundtracks (it'll be a stereo HT setup, possibly 2.1).

So, all that being said... paid a visit to one of my local stores to see what they have on offer. No 685 to listen to, they don't carry MA either. But the amp shelf had a Yamaha A-S700 and a Rotel RA-12. So we gave them a spin.

Listened to Bo Ramsey's "Can't Sleep" (from CD). The speakers? B&W Diamond 805.
The Yamaha was first. Having read no reviews or no real previous starting point regarding the amp or any other serious amp, really, from 30 seconds in, the A-S700 seemed warm. There's plenty of low end presence to it, especially when we had it hooked up to a pair of Dali floorstanders at first (can't remember the model). Again, having listened to literally nothing else serious before, the A-S700 was kind of good, dynamics-wise, with the 805's. I felt I was looking for more, but could not point my finger on it.

Then the Rotel RA-12. From the first notes... more detail, more guitar riffs, more precision with the bass guitar, the vocal and highs as well. Maybe a bit too detailed highs even. Definitely more forward sounding. The Rotel demands you listen to it, while the Yamaha is laid back. I felt a bit less low end presence with the Rotel, I think.

The conclusion? I think I'd pass on both of them :) If possible, I'll may try and get a listen to a Rotel with the B&W 685 S2's.
Why I'm not going straight ahead with a pair of MA Bronze 2's and a sub? A bit scary about the metal tweeter and driver, but will have to listen.
Which would rule out the combination of a Rotel and MA's, me thinks. Anyone care to differ?

I know there's stuff to deal with when adding a sub to the mix, but that first listen confirmed that bookshelf only could hinder the movie experience a bit. Besides, it's splendid when you have the lows deep but well-controlled. And the detail of a bookshelf at the same time. Thus, the only real considerations at the moment are amps with pre-out or separate sub pre-out.

So, this is my first 2 cents here from my first ever listening experience, so to be taken with some caution, maybe.
Any comments or suggestions about amps matching for Bronze 2's or 685 are welcome!


Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
Hi Jaan and welcome to forum. I'd suggest to copy and paste your post as our residents don't visit this part of the forum

Please if you can post in Hifi section you're going to receive more suggestions :)


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