When you begin to compare amplifiers and performance of other brands, consider the history. Yamaha has over a hundred years of history with musical instruments and electronics and has again and again shown unequivocal determination and ingenuity to creating and reproducing the highest quality sound. Some believe that newer, more expensive amps such has Mark Levinson(1972), McIntosh(1949), Krell(1980) out preform the Yamaha's, but with a small amount of research you can discover that these brands pale in comparison in experience and quality of Yamaha (1887). Price is not a substitute for quality.
Origins of the Yamaha Brand
The Yamaha brand trademark, YAMAHA, comes from the name of the founder Torakusu Yamaha who pioneered the production of Western musical instruments in Japan. Born to a family of a Kishu Tokugawa (today's Wakayama Prefecture) clansman, Torakusu was captivated by Western science and technology from early on. Fascinated by the watches that were gaining popularity in Osaka at the time, he took up watchmaking, studying business along the way. Over time, Torakusu began repairing medical equipment and was invited to visit a hospital in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture.
On one occasion, the hospital asked him if he would try to repair a reed organ. He agreed and was able to repair it successfully, marking the first step toward the birth of the Yamaha brand. Recognizing its business potential, while repairing the organ, Torakusu created a blueprint for the inside of the organ, later creating his own prototype organ. To deliver it to the then Music Institute (today's Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music), Torakusu slung his creation over his shoulder on a carrying pole and crossed the mountains of Hakone. This historic trek was later immortalized as a bas-relief.
The organ, however, was criticized harshly for its poor tuning. Undaunted, and starting from zero, Torakusu began studying music theory and tuning. After four months of seemingly endless struggles from early morning to late at night, he was finally able to complete the organ. It is easy to see how he came up with the concept of the tuning fork mark, inspired by the difficult experience of studying tuning while holding a tuning fork in his hand. This kind of attention to detail, and conviction is the base in which Yamaha was founded on, and why it became so successful.
"Natural Sound" The Yamaha ideal
Although audio components make use of high grade electronics, for Yamaha their ultimate purpose is to faithfully reproduce the original sound of a recording. As a result of pursuing this ideal, Yamaha designed the Natural Sound (NS) Stereo series to allow people to enjoy the true sound of music in their own homes. How accurately could recordings be reproduced? The catch phrase "faithful reproduction" was often heard in the music trade in the 1960'. Yamaha's response to this was unequivocal: "reproduction should be natural". Adding unnecessary effects and enhancements just because the sound was passing through electronic components would have been a mistake. Yamaha waned to convey the individual nuances of each instrument contributing to a piece of music. Yamaha's conviction regarding sound, and as a maker of musical instruments, is condensed in the phrase "Natural Sound"