Hello music lovers,
After years of owning a gorgeous pair of Martin Logan electrostatic speakers, I finally decided to upgrade to a suitable amp. Audiophiles know that this journey is rarely finished, but for the time being, I think I’ll be quite satisfied for several years to come.
There is a dizzying number of amplifiers to choose from, not to mention that I live in Tokyo, where pretty much everything in the world is available. But I am not a millionaire, and my budget was extremely limited.
The great news is that in 2018, Yamaha has the answer.
I don’t have a lot of time, so I’ll keep it simple: I wanted the capability to access my 700GB of mp3, flac, and Apple Lossless music files and play them whenever I wanted to. Utilizing an my MacBook, my wifi network, and my iPhone SE, I could connect and play anything I wanted to with my Yamaha.
I pre-ordered it (a month in advance) online from a store called Yodobashi Camera. Sure enough, four weeks later, they sent me an email saying that is was on its way.
Four hours later, it was home.
Just by reading the logos on the box, you can get a sense of the options and possibilities this amp offers.
The image on the box.
The most intriguing part of set-up was the YPAO (Yamaha Parametric Room Acoustic Optimizer) mic.
I wish Yamaha could utilize a more eco-friendly packing system. Anything but styrofoam.
Inside was a simple set-up guide, the manual, FM antenna, AM antenna, YPAO mic, warranty card, remote, and batteries.
My wife was worried that the inside will get dusty. I share her concern. Not sure what people do about this. We’ve covered it with a sheet of paper for now.
Many amps have a USB slot in front to insert a flash drive containing music files. Sorry, you can’t plug your external directly into the amp.
Four HMDI inputs, room for surround speakers (XMas 2020?), digital audio in (although HDMI does that for you), also room for a sound bar (XMas 2018?).
I’m finding that I use the ‘Direct’ button most often. Although the pride of Yamaha is their Digital Signal Processing (DSP) technology, I haven’t found the need to make my living room feel like a Viennese concert hall or a jazz club – yet.
I was anxious about how long connecting to my network would take. You need to view the TV menu for this.
No sweat. I read Japanese, but still…
Okay, so how many menus screens will this take, I thought.
Then one more.
Oh. That was fast! This is what I saw after entering the wifi password.
Using the AV Set-up Guide app, then the AV Controller and the MusicCast apps, I could either connect with my phone or with the amp remote to access ALL of my music.
Really, really happy with the entire process, especially because I knew I was one of the first people in the world to listen to this amp.
And the best part is: I could hear the difference.
You can also use Plex. But it’s all good news, because set-up is easy, and it’s free.