Fans are often added to deal with either cost, aesthetic,
and/or space issues.

Keep in mind that heat is dissipated by some combination
of conduction, convection, and/or radiation (from a "heat 
transfer" point of view).

For example, proper heat sinks designed to dissipate a lot
of power/heat can be (a) large and expensive and (b) 
unatractive to some people.  So to address this, a 
smaller/compact heat sink is used instead (ie. less 
conduction) and a fan is added (ie. more convection).  Fans
are generally cheaper than heat sinks.

I have several monoblock amps (Threshold SA-1, Kenwood
L-07M) - all of which are large and heavy, and have healthy
heat sinks and no fans.  None of them are pretty, except 
perhaps in an industrial sense.

In any case, you don't have a "lemon" or "bad" amp.  It is
simply a design choice by the manufacturer.  "High-end" in 
the case of Yamaha might translate as "high power".  In 
order to keep the same aesthetics as other Yamaha products,
adding a fan may have been the only way to deal with the
extra power.

And as others have already pointed out, there are some 
benefits to having fans, particularly when placing equipment
in racks where convection and heat sinks may not work quite
as well.  And equipment with fans tends to be smaller than 
their non-fanned counterparts - important when space is 

WARNING: I want to digress a bit on audio components and 
systems in general.  I believe earlier in this thread a few 
brands of amplifiers were bandied ("brandied") about as 
"superlative", but there's more to it than just picking an 

There is no single "superlative" amplifier - there are plenty
of them.  Remember that an audio component like an amplifier
is part of a SYSTEM.  For example, if your speakers provide a 
difficult load or are especially inefficient, you may want a 
high current, high power solid-state amplifier.  But maybe you 
have very efficient speakers like horns or Lowthers - you might 
want to consider a lower powered SET (single-ended triode) or 
other tube amp - you certainly won't need a high power amp in
these circumstances (not that a high power amp hurts, it's 
just the power is not really utilized).

Audio equipment is all about compromises and trade-offs in 
sound, cost, space, aesthetics, even heat.  And always 
remember, it's an audio system - if you spent a fortune buying 
all "Class A" recommended components and put it all together, 
there's a strong chance that the system will sound horrible.
Even the room acoustics are a big part of the system - sometimes
people are trying to fix a sound problem with the equipment, and
they should really be trying to fix the room.

Also, every person's ear is physically different - a system 
that may sound too "bright" (too much treble) to you, may sound 
perfectly smooth to someone else.  This may not simply be a 
matter of preference, it is actually a physical difference where
the other person actually hears something differently.  I find 
that in high-end audio, it is not about "better" sound, but 
instead "different" sound tailored to the ears and preferences
of each listener.  Of course, there are some combinations of 
equipment that many agree do sound very good together.

Find someone whose ears, taste and judgment seem to match 
your own, and try to learn from them.

As someone suggested earlier, try to break away from the
receiver and go with separates.  You'll have to do more work
matching the system of separates, but in the end you can 
achieve better sound because you have more control over the
pieces in the system.  I've had good luck with second-hand
equipment - that's certainly a good way to build a cost 
effective system.

Good luck!

Eric Jacobs
The Audio Archive

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Scott Phillips
Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2005 12:25 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] fan noise in yamaha rx-v740

Fans on consumer gear are usually pretty quiet. (IMHO !) Fans on pro
products can be fairly loud, as the quantity air moved is more important
in SOME pro applications.. 

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Michael Ridderbusch
Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2005 9:22 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [ARSCLIST] fan noise in yamaha rx-v740

Thank you for the input.

I called Yamaha and according to them, the fan is a feature found on
their high end amplifiers (so ignore the online product reviews), which
makes me wonder, are fans:

a) ok (meaning my amp is a lemon), or
b) bad, or
c) ok on some models?