Musings of the Yamaha CA-1010

Discussion in 'Solid State' started by M Jarve, Jul 2, 2007.

  1. M Jarve

    M Jarve Audio Geek and NGE Freak Subscriber

    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.
     
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  2. bully

    bully member

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    I have several Yamaha pieces, and agree that they are excellent sounding, or perhaps that should be excellent non-sound :yes:
     
  3. Twenty20Man

    Twenty20Man Is that you Michael?

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    excellent write up, I love the Yammies I have and have had...(even my DT-1)
     
  4. REDone

    REDone Super Member

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    I would be much obliged if people would hold off posting about the quality of Yamahas .. at least for a few months .. I've noticed prices have climbed recently & there are a few amps I want to buy & try & I don't have deep pockets. Bear in mind prices in UK are near double.

    Most Grateful

    Thanks
     
  5. Marantzaholic

    Marantzaholic Active Member

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    308
    I second REDone's thoughts.

    Yes, REDone, you are totally correct. Yamahas are JUNK! Totally WORTHLESS. All those people on Ebay selling their old, decrepit, out-of-date and tinny sounding Yamahas should relist them all for $10 buy-it-now and put them out of their misery.
    :D

    Just in case it didn't carry through, I am of course being sarcastic. I love Yamahas and have also noted the price creep. Marantz prices also, have just been going
    through the roof. Good for sellers, not so much for those of us trying to buy.
     
  6. pmsummer

    pmsummer simul justus et peccator

    Hello. My name is PM, and I am a Yamahalic.



    (CA-2010, CT-1010, CR-1000, CR-1020, CR-420, T-7, T-760, CDC-505, DVD/SACD-S1500 and counting...)
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2007
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  7. Cuthbert

    Cuthbert Member

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    I purchased a Yamaha CR-600 on a whim. I loved the sound so much that I then sought a CR-1010 and now it is my favorite and I listen to it daily. Prior to getting the Yamaha, I was using a HK-730 and A Marantz 2245, They are collecting dust now and get used sparingly.
     
  8. M Jarve

    M Jarve Audio Geek and NGE Freak Subscriber

    My apologies. What nobody knows about the CA-1010 is that it is tweaky as all hell, requiring constant maintenance and fixing. The Class A operation is capable of actually de-soldering components! When that happens, you better be a praying man or any speakers connected are sure to die save for a miracle.

    If it’s not bad solder joints, it’s dirty relays. If it’s not dirty relays it’s intermittent contact in the switches.

    Quite frankly, it’s a wonder that anyone actually gets to listen to one of these heaps.
     
  9. REDone

    REDone Super Member

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    Exactly the same thing with my CA 600 as it happens even without Class A
     
  10. packrat

    packrat Super Member

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    yup, and the meters start acting up or not working. full of troubles. :D
     
  11. M Jarve

    M Jarve Audio Geek and NGE Freak Subscriber

    To all who care, the above post (about the failings of the CA-1010) were a bit tougnue-in-cheek. I did have some problems (as I described in a different thread where another fellow was having issues), but I worked them all out and it has been very reliable since.

    To REDone, I do hope you work out your troubles with your CA-600. Your ears will thank you for it.
     

     

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  12. Acoustic

    Acoustic This Amp Is HOT!!

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    M Jarve.... any plans on finishing and submiting the article?

    The CA line of amps have been in my life since my first CA-600 in 1977 (the one I could afford at the time)... I never in a million years thought I'd own three more years later! I got a CA-1010 and CA-810 last fall and then right before Xmas scored a CA-2010 with left channel issues off of the bay for $125 shipped. Just turned the input selector switch a few times quickly and the left channel has worked since. I hope to be listening to my Yamaha's for a long long time to come. Though...there darn lamps don't seem to last long... the 10,000 hours or so (??) life expectancy adds up quickly.... at least for me. :D
     
  13. OvenMaster

    OvenMaster RIP Mommy 1935-2018 Subscriber

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    The CA's were in stores when I was a senior in high school. I always wanted a 1010 or 2010 and never dreamed I'd get to own one at any time in my life. In 2005 I was lucky to get a 1010 in 9.5/10 shape (three dead lamps) for $150 shipped from Audiogon. It's lived up to everything I'd dreamed of back in high school and then some. :yes:
    And bluntly, I don't care who knows about them. I got mine! Bwa ha ha ha ha ha!

    Tom
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2007
  14. bully

    bully member

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    Great Yamaha Natural Sound throughout the Yamaha lines.
    If you think the receivers and integrated amps sound great, and I do :yes:
    you owe it to yourself to try Yamaha separates.
    I have an M-70 200 wpc amp, & the M-80 250 wpc amp. The C-80 & CX-2 preamps. The R-2000 150 wpc receiver.
    Only downside is with the M-80. They run warm, and in Class A heat the room. Because electric rates are high and I'm cheap, I have tried not to run the AC (had to turn it on for the past several days, but at 80F). My shelf unit with the M-80 doesn't have as much room as I would like for good ventilation. Well, it is good ventilation, but not what I would like. I guess I could swap places with the PA5001 that runs cool, but then it would be the PA5001/CX-2 and the M-80/Luxman C-383. Hey, I haven't had those combinations. Damn amps are heavy. Hmmmmmmm :scratch2:
     
  15. M Jarve

    M Jarve Audio Geek and NGE Freak Subscriber

    I had some of the lower-end Yamaha separates for a while. First, a C-45/M-45 set, which I thought was good, but a little dry sounding. It is entirely possible that it was just a difference in my audio tastes at the time, though.

    Later I had a different C-45 that I used with a bunch of other stuff, ranging from a Marantz 15 to McIntosh MC240's. I appreciated that one a little more, especially when using it with the Kenwood L-07M's. Then I bought a really nice C-2 from a fellow off of AK (can't remember who). That's still in use at work- ever since I fouled up one of the tape record outs. I recapped it (it really needed it) and it was a darn good preamp.

    And I will add this: If I were not so bent on this h/k and Citation gear, Yamaha would certainly be the brand I would be pursuing.
     
  16. packrat

    packrat Super Member

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    OK, I'll 'fess up to currently having two 1010's (one does have flaky meters....so I bought a second one!), a 2010, a C2, an M4, a CA-400, CR-66II, CR-600, and 3 CD players....
     

     

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  17. legal eagle

    legal eagle Sound Hound

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    On my way to Hell, for sure.
    Kenwood prices are on thge hike too. A 9100 sold on ebay for nearly 420$ lately (in near perfect condition). Although vintage Marantz have never been chep, 3250 are getting rediculously pricey (I should know...tried to get one), and Marantz 7 tube preamps go for rediculous $4K. Good Sansui gear is reaching Mcintosh stratospheres: A Sansui AU-9500 integrated sold recently on Ebay for 450$ - worth every cent BTW, I have one, and it sounds incredible, putting to shame just about anything else.

    Time to sell???

    NO!!!
     
  18. packrat

    packrat Super Member

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    I find Yamaha prices to fluctuate a lot - and certain models are just plain stupidly cheap. Marantz I find to be over priced, same with Sansui, but that is just my opinion. Pioneer flucuates as well - a TX-9500 sold for under $20 last week(!!), yet it often sells for over $200! The vintage market is strange...

    But I love the CA-1010. I had one from 1992 to about 2001 then sold it - regreted it very soon after. I was lucky to get the two I now have from within Canada, both from non-audio sellers, and one of them is a 9/10. Eventually I'll sell one of them, as I got a 2010 and like it very much. I don't notice too much difference in sound between the 1010 and 2010, but I think they both should be recapped. The tone controls don't seem to have very much influence, although maybe they aren't supposed to.
     
  19. M Jarve

    M Jarve Audio Geek and NGE Freak Subscriber

    It has tone controls (o_O)?
     
  20. Yamahalic

    Yamahalic Well-Known Member

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    CA-1010 Question

    The vintage Yamaha units (such as the CA-1010) seem to have thick wood structures (as seen in photos)? I presume that the wood is decorative and not structural, but I am curious since their is so much wood. My not quite so old Yamaha CDX-2000 CD Player has wood sides, but upon removal I noted that they were structural without any metal substructure behind them.
     

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