Yamaha’s aggressive moves in home audio were apparent when we visited its booth this morning on the opening day at CEDIA 2013. We started off looking at the company’s two brand new sound bars, the YAS-152 and YSP-1400 and moved on to Yamaha’s yummy-looking premium A/V separates.
The YAS-152 is an update on the high-value YAS-101 we reviewed last year. This year’s model has been made wider to accommodate TV’s 55-inches and larger. It packs Bluetooth wireless connectivity and virtual surround sound technology which is intended to enhance movie surround tracks played from it’s 2.1 channel system. It features the same built-in subwoofer which we found added substantial (if not very low) bass and the same patented IR repeater technology which passes remote control commands back to the TV for those cases where it blocks the TV’s own infra red sensor. The $350 sound bar is due in October
The YAS-1400 is a new entry-level model for Yamaha’s sound projector line. It uses a 8-driver array of speakers to bounce sound off of surrounding walls, creating a more convincing virtual surround effect than is available in the previous model. It can also be controlled with a pretty nifty mobile app which allows users to specify the dimensions of their room for customized surround effect, adjust sound modes and control volume, among other features. This model will also be available in October and is priced at $450.
While we were there, we took a close look a the high-end Aventage series A/V separates Yamaha is offering this year. Yamaha literally took the lids off the components so we could ogle at their over-built components. For this series, Yamaha uses top-of-the-line ESS DACs, high-current toroidal power supplies and other premium componens, all built into remarkably robust chassis. The $3,000 CX-A5000 pre-amp delivers 11.1 channels of surround via both balanced and single ended outputs. It also offers a stereo set of balanced inputs for high-end Blu-ray and media players. Dual-zone HDMI outputs come standard as do 8 HDMI inputs (one of which is MHL compliant).
The MX-A5000 power amplifier is equally impressive from a build standpoint. You can see its glorious guts in the video above. The amp is so over-built that it’s hard to imagine needing another for several years (decades, even?) to come. Simply put, we walked away wanting one. At $3,000, the MX-A5000 can be paired with the matching preamp for a $6,000 high-end system. Not too shabby!