Renowned Japanese audio equipment manufacturer, Yamaha, has stepped into the realm of high-end headphone amplifiers with the announcement of its first-ever audiophile-grade amplifier, the HA-L7A. Unveiled to complement Yamaha's flagship YH-5000SE headphones, the HA-L7A introduces a host of cutting-edge technologies and features, promising an uncompromised audio experience.
The HA-L7A, scheduled for release in November, marks Yamaha's foray into the world of premium headphone amplification. Yamaha's extensive expertise in amplifier engineering has been leveraged to develop a device that not only caters to its flagship YH-5000SE headphones but also accommodates a broad range of wired headphones.
At the core of the HA-L7A's design are Yamaha's patented Floating and Balanced Power Amplifier technologies, derived from the company's rich history of amplifier engineering. The amplifier boasts an innovative L-shaped chassis, featuring two toroidal transformers meticulously mounted on the main frame above the power supply board, minimizing the power supply path for optimal performance.
Yamaha has prioritized the reduction of noise and distortion, incorporating a design where the three circuit boards (main board, amplifier board, and power supply board) remain isolated from each other. This ensures that all circuitry is entirely independent of the ground, effectively canceling external ground-related noise.
The digital-friendly HA-L7A offers multiple input options, including USB type B, coaxial, and optical inputs powered by ESS Technology's top-tier ES9038PRO 32-bit, 8-channel DAC chip. The inclusion of XLR and 4.4mm Pentaconn balanced headphone outputs, along with a single unbalanced headphone connection, provides versatility in headphone compatibility. Furthermore, XLR and RCA pre-out/line-out outputs enable the HA-L7A to function as a DAC or preamplifier.
A standout feature of the HA-L7A is the introduction of Yamaha's Sound Field mode, offering six sound presets to create an optimal sound field based on the music or video source. This incorporation brings Yamaha's soundfield technologies and processing from its AV receivers into the realm of headphones.
The HA-L7A's chassis, crafted with precision and attention to detail, boasts a highly rigid structure weighing 5.3kg. The top panel is constructed from 8mm-thick aluminum, and toroidal transformers are securely mounted onto a 2mm-thick steel plate. To minimize vibrations, the device includes five conical feet with dampers between them and the bottom panel.
However, the premium features come at a price, with the HA-L7A set at £3499 / AU$6999. The UK market can expect availability in November, while Australian availability is scheduled for 'Q4', with information on the US market to follow.