Yamaha. That’s a good brand. The Yamaha CA-1010. That’s a great amp. The CA-1010 by Yamaha is one of my favorite pieces. It’s also one of the favorite pieces of many people not just reading this e-zine [in this forum], but across the world. Built like a tank, the sound stays positively true to the Natural Sound philosophy of the company. During a time when companies were competing for the crowns of world’s most powerful, fastest, or esoteric amplifier, Yamaha seemed to take an approach practiced by few and considered a novelty by many: build a decent amplifier, couple it to a well executed preamp, and when all is said and done, sell it for a fair price at the end of the day. The industrial design of the CA-1010 almost seems out of place for a product of its vintage. Aside from a set of fashionable meters (that are more functional than beautiful), the appearance is almost plain. No unnecessary affectations here. Nothing overly complex or counter intuitive. The one novelty that Yamaha indulged in was the use of a coaxial/concentric volume/balance control. Yamaha had to sell nothing. The sound would sell the CA-1010 for them. The sound, of course, is what is so impressive about the CA-1010. Or, rather, the lack of sound- its own sound, that is. With the CA-1010, the music speaks for itself. The amplifier is nearly passive, only conveying with utmost respect the signal passing through it, and nothing more. It has no signature. Nothing that is not in the recording is superimposed. It is not warm, cool, bright, mellow, or even smooth, fluid, or otherwise. It’s just natural. I was thinking… Reading reviews of audio equipment, professional or amateur, there is no end of adjectives used to describe the sound. What is really amazing, to me anyhow, is when you come across a quality piece that needs none- Especially when it lives up to its pretension. ----- This was the beginning of a review I was working on in January for the CA-1010 that was to be submitted to Affordable Audio. Unfortunately, things being as they were at the time, I never finished it, never mind submitted it. So please excuse its obvious incompleteness.