Yamaha has a great track record with budget AV receivers, with last year’s RX-V375 winning a Best Buy Award.
So can the new Yamaha RX-V377 continue the success of its predecessor? Yes...yes it can!
Read more HERE
The original style-oriented speaker system has rarely been away from the limelight since its launch in 2003. Several generations on, Radius gets to bask in the glow of another award, this time from What Hi-Fi? Sound & Vision, one of the world’s leading home entertainment titles. The stunning verdict in the ‘Best Style Package £1400-£1800’ category means that if you’re upgrading your home theatre sound with this kind of budget, you can’t buy better than the five-star Radius R90HT1 system! Seduced by the ‘punch and precision’ of our stylish space-saving compact, the review reads “the surround field is like an airtight unit, with effects flowing smoothly and consistently between each channel…with price, performance and practicality on its side, the Radius ticks all the boxes.”
Read the full review HERE
Monitor Audio's Silver 6 floorstanding speaker has been reviewed for Soundstage Access. Philip Beaudette was so impressed with our speakers that he had the following to say and awarded them a Reviewer's Choice Award.
"As sharp as the Monitors looked, what grabbed my attention was their sound... I could crank these speakers to great effect, enjoying clean output at volumes unsafe for extended listening. They were as comfortable reproducing the sound of a solo violin as of a symphony orchestra, and their ability to convey real-life dynamics was exemplary."
"No other compact music system that I am aware of could capture the scale of this music so effortlessly, or so energize a listening room, as did these in mine."
"...the Silver 6 is a great place to start -- and, perhaps, finish. This is a tightly contested segment of the speaker market, and there are other worthy options, but they don’t all look as good as the Silver 6, and even fewer offer the sort of clarity and resolution of these amazing performers."
Read the full review at Soundstage Access HERE
For a second year running, Yamaha’s entry level AV Receiver won Best Home Cinema Amp up to £350 with the stunning RX-V375. At the complete polar end of the spectrum, the high-end RX-A3030 AVENTAGE AV Receiver won Best Home Cinema Amp at £1500 plus. To win wards in consecutive years in such a competitive category is a glowing endorsement of Yamaha’s commitment to manufacturing products of the highest quality and attention to detail.
For more information on the winners at this years What Hi-Fi Awards, please click the links below
RX-V375 - http://www.whathifi.com/review/yamaha-rx-v375
RX-A3030 - http://www.whathifi.com/review/rx-a3030
Boston Acoustics A25
Safe, but not too safe, the A25s deliver an impeccably judged and likeable performance
Spacious, engaging and grown-up sound, with midrange resolution a particular highlight
Bass isn’t the most assertive; built from a jumbled mixture of materials
The A-25s are the first of a new three-strong range of Boston Acoustics standmounters to arrive in our listening rooms. It’s safe to say the smaller A-23s and the larger A-26s have a high standard to maintain when their time in the spotlight comes.
Compact and slightly curvy, the Bostons are fitted with magnetic grilles and are expertly finished in a curious mixture of modern (high-gloss black) and old-school (leather-effect vinyl) materials – the effect is a bit like seeing your Granny in a pair of Air Jordans.
The A-25s feature a 25mm soft-dome tweeter and 13cm mid/bass driver at the front, with a reflex port at the back along with a multi-directional eye to facilitate wall-hanging.
Unfussy about room position
They’re fairly relaxed about room position, and can (at a push) be considered realistic wall-hanging candidates, but sound their best in a little free space and, inevitably, on some dedicated speaker stands.
And their best is impressive. Peppy but not overenthusiastic, open but nicely focused, the A-25s sing with a poised, uncluttered voice that does full justice to the likes of First Aid Kit’s When I Grow Up.
There’s well-judged bite at the top end, balance and confidence in the midrange, and enough tonal variation at the bottom end to compensate for a slight lack of out-and-out substance.
A compelling option
The entire frequency range is well integrated, and there’s a fine sense of performance from the Bostons – even the most complex recordings enjoy a unity of tonality and presentation that’s by no means a given at this price point.
Rapid transients present no problems, dynamic upheavals are dispatched without alarms and timing is more-than acceptable too.
Sensibly, the A-25s never sacrifice their self-possession in a quest for excitement – and as a result they’re a pretty compelling option.
What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision - June 2011
"... includes four A25 monitors, the A225C horizontal center-channel speaker and the ASW250 subwoofer... ...you'd be hard-pressed to find a better stand-mount speaker than the A25... ...the ASW250 subwoofer, it's a truly impressive performer...
Altogether, this is one of the most well-rounded sets of ... speakers I've ever heard. For the price, you can't go wrong."
Home Theater Magazine, June 2011
Yamaha had good reason to celebrate at this years What Hi-Fi Awards held at London’s Dorchester Hotel.
To win one award is cause for celebration however the music company won a staggering three awards for three different products, two from its AV Receiver range and one from the Digital Sound Projector line-up.
The entry level RX-V373 AV Receiver won Best Home Cinema Amplifier up to £350 whilst the £500 RX-V673 won Product of the Year in the Home Cinema Amplifiers category. In such a hotly contested product category as AVR, this is an outstanding achievement!
The YSP-2200 notched up its second award in so many years for Best Soundbar in the Systems category. This is a sound endorsement for a Yamaha product category that is seeing year on year growth.
For more information on the winners at this years What Hi-Fi Awards please HERE
Yamaha Corporation announced that it has introduced four models in its AVENTAGE Series of high performance AV Receivers. The RX-A3010, RX-A2010, RX-A1010 and RX-A810 are designed to provide massive, full-bodied sound for movies and extremely accurate reproduction of all music sources. Employing Yamaha’s exclusive CINEMA DSP HD3 and CINEMA DSP 3D surround sound technologies, these receivers produce incredibly dense and expansive sound fields with unprecedented imaging accuracy. They also offer many advanced technologies and functions, including the A.R.T. Wedge (a fifth foot in the center of the unit), an aluminum front panel, Multipoint YPAO-R.S.C., extensive network functions, an AV Controller app and an advanced multi-language GUI.
Read Full Relesea ( PDF)
by on MAY 26, 2011
Available in South Africa beginning July - R4 400.00 retail incl. VATI remember 20 years ago when big sound came from big speakers, and deep rich bass required a 12" subwoofer in a giant box. But gone are those days!
...Boston Acoustics seems to have really perfected the art.
Boston Acoustics TVee Model 25 – Audio Characteristics
The first thing I noticed when I plugged in the TVeeM25's was the “big” sound coming out of the soundbar. It’s hard to describe other than to say that the sound seems to emanate from the entire wall where the soundbar is located. I found it nearly unbelievable that this much sound could come out of something so small.
It’s also hard to believe that the soundbar has only 2 drivers in it. Normally when you have only a single left and right channel speaker vocals and other center channel audio are muffled. But the TVee Model 25 replicates the center channel perfectly while still rendering excellent left and right channel separation.
Also of note, the relatively small wireless subwoofer, which contains only a single 6" down-firing driver, puts out more than adequate bass response. In fact, when watching iRobot through the system I found the bass to be tight, crisp, and just plain loud! Boston Acoustics doesn’t list full specifications for the unit, but I’m guessing the subwoofer has 100 watts of the stated 150 watt system power, leaving 25 each for the left and right channel drivers in the soundbar.
Boston Acoustics TVee Model 25 – Additional Details
If you want a soundbar that blends in seamlessly with its surrounding, the TVee 25 system will definitely oblige. The face of the unit is comprised of a single wide speaker grill with only a small BA logo at the bottom center and control buttons on the far right. It is designed to integrate nicely under TVs sized 32" or larger, and can sit right beneath on a counter, or be mounted to the wall.
...Volume control of the TVee 25 is simply awesome. The system will learn whatever remote control you want to point at it, and it’s an extremely easy thing to set up. (Here’s the complete manual.) I applaud the engineers for making the process so simple.
Unlike some competing units, the TVee 25 is perfect for bedrooms or other areas where you’d like to keep the room dark. The small operational LEDs near the control buttons only illuminate for a few seconds when buttons are pressed. The rest of the time they’re off, which saves the room from distracting light pollution when watching TV, or trying to sleep.
Installing the TVee 25 is quite simple. The soundbar requires a single power outlet, plus one cable to hook to the TV’s audio output jacks. You can use simple RCA cables for left and right channel connectivity, but for true surround sound you’ll need a digital optical output. Even if your TV doesn’t have one, your DVD or Blu-ray player will, and the unit will accept both connections. You can then plug the subwoofer into any power outlet anywhere in the room and the wireless transmitter will take care of the rest.
"You are truly listening to music"
"...The sound image that results has phenomenal depth, breadth and razor sharp focussing. The reproduction of the midrange is first class. Anything better is scarcely imaginable. Vocals and brass have a lovely breadth, size and energy, just as in real life. The A25 presents the sound image exactly as it ought to be. Not laid back, not upfront, but exactly as it sounds during the recording…"
"…the A25, irrespective of price, reputation and emotion, is one of the very best compact loudspeakers on the market."
This is a translation from an extract of the attached review from the Dutch magazine, ‘Music Emotion’, April 2011
At the beginning of the review, the speakers are described in great detail, followed by a description of the demonstration to the press by Ken Ishiwata at Boston’s showroom in Eindhoven.
Here follows the actual subjective review...
"…After an experience such as this you leap at the box with the A25 loudspeakers that have been delivered by the courier. You hastily plonk them down and connect them to a Quad 605/34 that’s lying around with run-of-the-mill cables. The result is really amazingly good. I spent one whole evening and night listening to the Bostons to play them in thoroughly. They don’t sound like two small minis. They sound like competent floorstanding speakers with bass that goes down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Because of this I wanted more and started looking for the limit and the final frontier in high-end. I borrowed some lovely equipment: A Sonore preamplifier with a McIntosh MC-30 power amp. The MC-30 is one of the best classic amplifiers imaginable - well-known for its phenomenal neutrality, speed, musicality, detail and dynamic possibilities. The Sonore preamplifier has similar qualifications and raises the entire combination from the noise threshold upwards – 140dB and through a voltage swing at the exit from zero to over 100 volt, to limitless dynamic possibilities. The set is fitted with new ‘zero storage’ cables that are very fast and neutral. The mains are also regulated (IsoTek). As a final touch a trace of the ‘Ken treatment’ has been added.
The sound image that results has phenomenal depth, breadth and razor sharp focussing. The reproduction of the midrange is first class. Anything better is scarcely imaginable. Vocals and brass have a lovely breadth, size and energy, just as in real life. The A25 presents the sound image exactly as it ought to be. Not laid back, not upfront, but exactly as it sounds during the recording. For instance, the voice of Katie Melua, spectacular in the sound stage, was recorded beautifully with exceptional clarity (the microphone helped of course). The reproduction is very natural and the reproduction chain doesn’t add anything that shouldn’t be there. Because of the enormous image and neutrality it is quite simple to identify the qualities of a recording. If there is a trace too much electronic echo on a vocal, it is perceivable. You can also clearly hear the sound qualities of the microphones, of the acoustic recording space and the sound characteristics of the instruments. This is excessively revealing. A big difference is audible between one CD recorded with the K2HD mastering process and CDs that were recorded by Mark Levinson, which sound very natural. On ‘We Get Requests’ the K2HD processing is clearly audible and this CD is after all one of the better examples in the K2HD series.
An outstanding feature of the A25 is the enormous evenness in tone, dynamic range and optimal tonal balance throughout the entire spectrum. The energy behind each frequency is identical and the bass is even and controlled right down to the lowest frequencies. You can’t hear the port. The dynamic range is phenomenal and the enormous image these tiny loudspeakers can achieve is impressive. The bass sounds nearly as strong and controlled as that of an excellent floor-standing loudspeaker. It is difficult to imagine that these are two minis of very modest dimensions. The bass is extremely fast and uncompromising. One of the most impressive achievements during the test weekend was obtained by listening to Wende. On the track ‘J’arrive’ an intense rhythmic accompaniment can be heard. This sounds stark, very dynamic and has an enormous intrinsic power. After listening to the track four times – you simply have to believe it is true. The above report might give the impression that everything was neutral, severe, technical and clinical. Quite the opposite - one of the most important characteristics of these loudspeakers is an unmistakable talent for rhythm, timing and involvement. Although the whole system is very neutral, the warmth in a recording is communicated in a very convincing manner.
Although it is difficult to specify what ‘musicality’ actually is in relation to sound reproduction, it can be said that there are very musical achievements that are extremely attractive to listen to. But the system sounds very realistic and reproduces the material to a large extent as it sounded during the recording. Is this therefore the ultimate loudspeaker? Obviously, but perfection also has its limits. They can be found when the A25 gets to process very complex recording material with very low frequencies. Minis have less of the enormous authority and the ease to play in large spaces than bigger loudspeakers. But it isn’t honest to expect such behaviour from the tiny A25’s. You won’t take on the Nürburgring with a Peugeot 307, although it will lead to a lot of attention from the German press. That is why Boston designed the A360 floor-standing loudspeaker. The A25 can be combined with the ASW650 or the ASW250 subwoofers as well.
The Boston Acoustic A25 mini-monitor is characterised by a very homogenous sound image with well-balanced energy distribution. As a result the loudspeakers are unbelievably dynamic at any frequency. Add to that the ability to present an impressive soundstage and a tremendous talent for rhythm and timing. The neutrality, the very attractive reproduction of the midrange and the mature manner of presenting the bass are particularly characteristics that form a unique combination of features in one single model. This justifies the conclusion that the A25, irrespective of price, reputation and emotion, is one of the very best compact loudspeakers on the market.
You are truly listening to music. There is no question that this is one of the best price/quality relationships that has ever been displayed, but in an absolute sense it is a loudspeaker about which competitors with products costing a hundred times more will have to think about. This loudspeaker joins others like the Monitor Audio BX5, the Indiana Line Nota 550, a few models of Paradigm and the more expensive Rosso Fiorentino Fiesole. Whether you will ever hear everything the A25 really can do, depends entirely on your talent to implement Ken’s ‘Magic Mojo Stick’. But it can be done, not only with compatible and modestly priced cables and electronics, but even an Audio Note set of €180k is no overkill. What will happen next? Five stars in What Hifi? Reference class in Germany? This is what they are prepared for.
Home theatre - First Contact
Taking the leap in buying your first home theatre system is by no doubt a daunting exercise, no matter what the scale - Whether you're in the market for an entry level, run of the mill work horse or wish to invest your hard earned cash into what you would presume to be an audiophile's dream. Dealing with the vast amount of options and configurations can soon become incredibly overwhelming, allowing you to easily fall into the trap of an overzealous salesman which may just flog you outdated technology or an inferior system without you being the wiser.
Over the next few editions I'll be discussing the most important aspects of an audio video (AV) system and guiding you in choosing one specific to your needs. Most importantly how to spot the lemons – yes they are prevalent, so beware.
Putting down on paper what you expect to get out of your system is half the battle won. I know – this is easier said than done, especially if you'd never owned one before (well at least not a descent one) or the last time you did, video had not yet killed the radio star!
The modern AV system comprises of a receiver/processor (which usually has a built in amplifier, but this could also be a separate component), speakers, sources, display and related interconnect/cable. Each of these components is equally important and should be closely matched. Incorporating a component far inferior to the best part of your system will pull the entire system down to it's level, leaving the rest to be considered overkill, and frankly a horrible waste of money.
CHOOSING YOUR RECEIVER/AMP
This is the heart of your system, so don't skimp. You'll kick yourself for opting for the 'bigger' speakers or 100" display, just to find your amp is not powerful enough to drive those speakers, does not have the ability to decode you supersize 3D image, or worse still – does not have the proper inputs to accommodate your shopping list of game consoles.
A good entry level receiver should AT LEAST include the following:
Numerous audio and video inputs - The more the better. The number of components such as BD/DVD players, satellite decoders and the like you have, would determine how many inputs you would actually need, but future proof yourself and try not to settle for anything less than four HDMI, two analogue, two digital and a media player input of some sorts.
Version 1.4 Hdmi/3D- Yes, we understand that 3D is 'not your thing', but having the latest in technology will prolong the shelf life of your electronics. Version 1.4 HDMI is far more than just 3D (which coincidently, may be decoded by a high speed v1.3), and not knowing what the future holds, you'd rather be safe than sorry.
True Dolby HD sound decoding – What's the use of having a descent Blu-ray player if the receiver can not decode it's entire band width of sound? Older receivers could only decode Dolby or Pro-Logic, which will leave your system lacking.
Honest power disclosure – There are numerous ways to measure the power output of a receiver and numerous variables that would effect how this rating translates into actual sound. Rule of thumb – stay clear of any system that rates their power "pmpo". This is an inflated figure, purely used to fool you in believing you're buying a good system. Look out for jargon such as "full disclosure" or "RMS" and compare apples with apples. Lack of power will limit the type of speakers you can plug into your system. If need be, seek professional advice.
From thereon you be the judge, as it's all about preference and budget. Higher up the price list, the focus shifts to more power, more bells and whistles, better video and sound processing and better components. The relation between each of these and discreet differences in sound are the greatest differentiations between premium brands, resulting in a signature unique to each.
This is the point at which emotion may be allowed to steer your pocket, before that – stick to common sense.
…. Next time: AV receivers- when 'basic' just won't kick it.
© 2011 Remedytec CC. First published
Nov 2011 on www.fivestarmagazine.co.za
12/10/09- The New RX6 is now available for demonstration at our offices. Phone us on 011 867 7755 to book a demonstration.
(14 September 2009- www.monitoraudio.co.uk)
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The first <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">UK</st1:country-region> review of the RX Series has arrived with a resounding maximum score! The magnificent five star result for the RX6 speaker in What Hi-Fi? Sound & Vision's November issue confirms RX to be a worthy successor to the acclaimed RS designs. As the magazine concludes, 'the new RX6s manage to better what was already an impressive proposition.'
About the RX6
The elegant floor-standing RX6 design places the new wider bandwidth RX tweeter in concert with freshly designed 6” C-CAM® bass and 6” C-CAM® bass/mid drivers to form a balanced two-and-a-half way system. Separate chambers are used within the enclosure to provide differential tuning for the 6” drivers, producing higher efficiency and exceptional low frequency extension. For such a slim, easy-to-position speaker, the innovative RX6 produces an extraordinarily wide bandwidth, enhanced with a natural tonality that breathes life into every format – even HD audio. An adjustable base plinth is supplied for added stability.
- New C-CAM® tweeter design with damped rear chamber, providing improved clarity and wider operating range for HD audio formats
- New 6” C-CAM® bass and bass/ mid-range drivers incorporate RST® technology, for better damping and improved mid-range clarity.
- New cast polymer bass chassis design for better rigidity and lower reflection properties.
- Dual Chamber Bass Reflex with Differential Tuning.
- HiVe®II port technology for better transient response and tighter bass.
- Single bolt through driver system, for increased overall bracing and rigidity.
- Rigid 19mm MDF construction throughout, employing radial and cross-bracing techniques for high rigidity resulting in low cabinet colouration.
- Floor level terminal location for easy access and neat cable routing
- Invisible magnetic grille fixing provides clean visual styling when used with the grille off.
- Selected premium quality wood veneers or high gloss piano finishes.