For My Vintage Experiment - Yamaha CA-810 vs CA-1010 or 2010?

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
#1
So, for my attempt to match the sound quality and listening enjoyment of a modern piece of gear, I have narrowed things down to a Yamaha integrated amp. I had originally set my sights on a CA-2010, but then I realized that it was missing a feature that I love on old Yamaha's, and would love to play with - the variable loudness control. For some reason, Yamaha left this out of their top models. As I do a lot of late night listening, I think this would be a great feature to have.

So Yamaha fans, other then the bonus loudness control, do I lose out on sound quality by going with the 810? It's output of 65 watts is more then enough for me. However, I do lose the Class A button too! Decisions, decisions.

Thoughts?
 

Juncers

Senior Member
#2
If you're listening late at night, I'm assuming you're keeping it under 90db. Most amplfiers don't switch into B until they exceed a few watts which you shouldn't in that situation. The Class A switch increases that by 10+ watts or so, but at the price of blown output transistors if you're not careful( I've done it 3 times!). I agree that variable loudness is a very useful feature. The 65 v 80 watts shouldn't be relevant.



YMMV,
Ray

 

fiddlefye

Senior Member
#3
Well.... over the past four decades or so (yikes, scary to note that!) I've owned all of the series except the CA-2010. The CA-410 was my very first piece of audio gear, not counting a CA-400 that was stolen a couple of months after I got it. The CA-610 wasn't all that dissimilar to the CA-410 in sound quality, both decent. When I got the CA-1010 it was a big jump up the scale without changing the basic character.

I picked up a CA-810 a few years ago, had it restored, kept it for awhile and then passed it on to my father. The 810 and 1010 come across as very similar until you turn on the Class A. I never did try the phono stage in the 810, but the one in the 1010 is very good, vastly superior to what was in the rebuilt and modded Dyna PAS 3 I had, no comparison. I would definitely trade the variable loudness for the Class A any day. On the other hand if you went with a CA-1000 you could have both! I have that one as well and my assessment would be that it is a slightly warmer sound than the 1010. Slightly lower power, more along the lines of the CA-810.
 

mhardy6647

Señor Member
#4
are you deliberately avoiding the previous generation of Yamaha integrateds, Your Excellency? ;-)
The CA-xx00 series are, if nothing else, physically beefier (and a bit smoother in terms of 'feel') than the CA-**10s (IMO, YMMV, etc., etc.)

 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
#5
I had a CA-1010. Pretty beefy and sounded nice. Wasn't my thing as it was fairly opposite of organic and tubing. But it was a looker and it really didn't sound bad at all. I think I traded it for a pair of Diatone speakers.
 

fiddlefye

Senior Member
#6
mhardy6647;n39486 said:
are you deliberately avoiding the previous generation of Yamaha integrateds, Your Excellency? ;-)
The CA-xx00 series are, if nothing else, physically beefier (and a bit smoother in terms of 'feel') than the CA-**10s (IMO, YMMV, etc., etc.)
To be quite honest the CA-xx00 series are much thinner on the ground than their CA-xx10 successors. Yamaha got their toe nicely into the market with the xx00 units, but the xx10 models came along when they were really hitting their stride. Between the CA-1000 and CA-1010 I would say the 1010 falls slightly more in the "modern" camp in terms of sound. It is also a whole lot heftier to move around, that is for sure. Pairing with speakers is important with these IMO. Back in the day EPI worked beautifully, Dynaco not so much (for example).
 

Try1256

Very Special Member
#7
I sold my CA-810 after I got the AX-900u. Something I will probably regret sooner or later. The 810 was a much more neutral amp than my Pioneer and Sansui amps of similar vintage. It had a very smooth presentation. The phono section was nice and pretty versatile. 2 MM inputs and an MC. One of the MM inputs had some optional loading choices. I had originally intended to acquire a CA-2010 to take its place but I too was unsure I could live without the variable loudness. It is not at all like the loudness button on most units. It really is useful and when I found the AX-900u which was 130 wpc with variable loudness AND 3 band eq, I had to give it a try. So far I am very pleased. I have never had a 1010 or 2010 so I can't compare them directly but I have never heard any one who owns one say anything bad about it. Ron over at New Record Day did a comparison between a CA-2010 and a new Yamaha A-S2100 and he gave the 2010 very high marks with the 2100 only edging it out slightly. Not bad considering the A-S2100 is a $3500.00 amp and the 2010 is 40 years old.
 

mhardy6647

Señor Member
#8
fiddlefye;n39498 said:
To be quite honest the CA-xx00 series are much thinner on the ground than their CA-xx10 successors. Yamaha got their toe nicely into the market with the xx00 units, but the xx10 models came along when they were really hitting their stride. Between the CA-1000 and CA-1010 I would say the 1010 falls slightly more in the "modern" camp in terms of sound. It is also a whole lot heftier to move around, that is for sure. Pairing with speakers is important with these IMO. Back in the day EPI worked beautifully, Dynaco not so much (for example).
The CA-**10s are more impressive looking than the CA-**00s, but I think the former focused a little more on flash than substance. Relatively speaking, of course. E.g., where it counts (listening to music), I'd put the CA-800 ahead of the CA-810. Size, aesthetics, and number of knobs buttons and things it can do, the latter wins. I mean, look how big the volume control knobs are on the CA-**10s! :-) I mean, that's a sure sign of quality -- much bigger than the CA-**00s were.

Just to be clear, I retain a nonlinear (as I like to say, sort of the analytical equivalent of irrational in my lexicon) affection for them all. Indeed I own more examples of the CA-**10s than the CA-**00s... but if I had my druthers... it really would be nice to have a CA-1000 in the house.

Guess I really should rehab my CA-2010 one of these days...

DSC_6689_z by Mark Hardy, on Flickr


 
#9
I've listen to all of these models before and feel all are wounderful in sound & build quality. But I must say the models with the class A mode steels the show. Also I would not over look the CR-820 receiver.
 

mhardy6647

Señor Member
#10
... or the CR-1000/1020/2020... ;-)

No Class A on those, though.

I concur (FWIW), the Class A bias mode of operation (on those models of the Yamaha integrateds that offer it) it makes for a pretty clean and transparent sounding amplifier.
 
#11
A friend has the CR-1000. Nice looking receiver.

He actually has it up for sale for a very reasonable price but it's on the south side of the border.
 

fiddlefye

Senior Member
#12
One feature to consider (if this matters to you) is that anything below 1010 will be a vinyl rather than wood veneer case. Not bad looking vinyl, but vinyl nonetheless.
 
#13
- I was lucky enough to buy a new Yamaha CA-810 in the 1970s, along with Tangent RS4 and Rega 3 with an Ortofon Moving Coil as my first proper HiFi system. And even though I have since auditioned many amp and speaker combinations up to around £10,000, my ears have not heard better. However my problem right now, and my reason behind my scouting around the Net, and finding these posts, is my CA-810 has stopped working. So I need someone to repair/restore it. Any help or pointers here will be very gratefully received? I would also like to buy a good CA-2020 if anyone has a good one to sell, or might point me in the right direction? Many thanks if you can help? Alan.
 

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
#14
- I was lucky enough to buy a new Yamaha CA-810 in the 1970s, along with Tangent RS4 and Rega 3 with an Ortofon Moving Coil as my first proper HiFi system. And even though I have since auditioned many amp and speaker combinations up to around £10,000, my ears have not heard better. However my problem right now, and my reason behind my scouting around the Net, and finding these posts, is my CA-810 has stopped working. So I need someone to repair/restore it. Any help or pointers here will be very gratefully received? I would also like to buy a good CA-2020 if anyone has a good one to sell, or might point me in the right direction? Many thanks if you can help? Alan.
Welcome to the Haven, Alan

As you are quoting £'s, I'm guessing you are in the UK. I know a couple of techs who could perform their magic on your Yamaha, but they are all in North America, and I'd think shipping wont be cheap.

Give us some more info, and we can see how we can help.
 
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