The Yamaha BD-A1060 Blu-ray player features a 4K upscaling function. Any resolution video image can be upscaled to the latest 4K resolution.
Yamaha BD-A10160: more than just blu-ray
That’s why you see more and more producers doing their very best to come up with players who can do more than just play a disc well. A blu-ray player now needs to provide all kinds of features. This has already started with, for example, being able to play 3D material. That feature now seems to be the first to die, because of the consumer’s disinterest. WiFi on board is also a must and otherwise a connection for wired internet.
The player must then also be able to be used as a media player, so that when an external hard disk is connected, sound or image can be played in various format files. And then we are not there yet. The player should preferably also be able to play various discs, such as CD, DVD and, of course, Blu-ray. Even better is it if sac-disks also get a chance. And last of all possible now is the ability to material for so-called 4K upscaling.
Yamaha BD A1060 makes CD player unnecessary?
Yamaha has put almost all of the above mentioned in the player with its new BD-A1060 blu-ray player. That should in itself be sufficient to get a good quality player on the market. But for Yamaha that was not enough. The Japanese manufacturer, I think, has done good market research among frequent users of blu-ray players. From this the conclusion could be drawn that especially in the field of audio some gain can be made.
There is still the dilemma of many consumers that they are satisfied with their player when it comes to the image display quality, but as soon as it is about playing CDs a lot is still being dropped on the old CD player. With the BD-A1060 Yamaha wants to put down a player who probably makes that old player superfluous. Or that the Japanese succeeded, you read further on.
Yamaha BD-A1060: turntable or blade driver?
The fact that Yamaha is serious about putting an audiophile Blu-ray player on the market soon becomes clear when you look at the back of the device. Then the well-balanced XLR-outputs are immediately included, for the true hi-fi fanatic. There is also a fairly standard equipment with the usual suspects : an HDMI output, an optical and coaxial output, a network connection and a few more ‘normal’ analogue outputs.
First we find a USB connection, a Pure Direct button, some control buttons and a switch button for so-called CD Direct. This option ensures that, for audio playback, the running gear is restarted and played at a lower speed in order to further reduce errors during reading. Furthermore, all components that are not required for the audio display are turned off. For sound processing, the specs in the manual promise optimum audio performance through the 192kHz / 32-bit DAC on board. The operation runs for the rest with a clear remote control. You can also choose Yamaha’s AV controller app.
Getting started with the Yamaha BD-A1060
The player promises to be able to play many discs: cd, dvd, blu-ray (also audio only) and even sacd. The brochure does not state that the player can also handle DVD audio. Still, I am going to start with just such a drive out of curiosity. And really, he just picks him up. So I just listen to the DVD-a from REM (‘Best of’) and that is not wrong I can tell you. On the contrary, the one hit after another passes and I actually start to fall in love with the music of the band from the nineties.
Then I want to start with other disks, but then the machine falters. Apparently, the specific DVD audio disc has somewhat confused the player. After turning the power button on and off, the BD-A1060 just plays it back and plays every other disc effortlessly. So a complete disk driver. But the player can do more. By connecting an external hard disk you can play both music and film in various formats. That possibility also exists by incorporating a NAS into your network and then having the blu-ray player handle the image or sound via the network. In that sense, the Yamaha BD-A1060 also forms as a turntable in your entire installation.
The lack of apps
However, I do miss the necessary apps that you already find standard with other Blu-ray players, such as those of YouTube or Netflix. This player can then again claim that he has Miracast: you can stream the necessary content directly from your mobile or tablet. Yamaha lets on request know that the popular apps nowadays are standard on most people on television and therefore they can not be installed on the device.
The BD-A1060 is not a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player and can only upscale HD and SD content to the 4K resolution, an important difference. I have tried several disks and I have to confess that I have been greatly impressed by the performance of the video processor, including upscaler. I started with a DVD, ‘The Kite Runner’. The scene where the kite competition starts with all those beautifully colored kites was really a feast for the eyes. You could see that it was not blu-ray quality, but I still saw an improvement over my own equipment.
Then I took a disc with an ‘oldie’ on it, the movie ‘The way we where’. Here too you could see that the film was recorded in the early seventies. But protagonists Robert Redford and Barbara Streisand were literally beautiful, with only a bit of that hazy (typical seventies?) Glow. Finally I took a more recent disc, that of the unfortunately much too early died George Michael, ‘Live in London’. That disc is still the standard in this house, both in terms of image and sound quality. This disc also contains quite a lot of dark recordings. There, the BD-A1060 showed to be able to handle excellent black displays with a lot of detail and a George Michael that appears to be on stage in 3D view at times. Very nice.
Yamaha BD-A1060: audio playback
As an image reproducer, the Yamaha BD-A1060 succeeds well. But as I mentioned at the beginning: this player should especially make the difference in the audio field. I have released several discs on the player, from CD, DVD audio to Blu-ray audio only (Simple Minds, ‘Sparkle in the rain’, very nice!). I also have several files played via an external hard drive. I did not try out sacd alone, it was missing in my collection during the test period.
Also in the audio field I can report that the Yamaha BD-A1060 knows how to impress. I honestly could not tell the difference between ‘normal’ play and CD playback via CD Direct modes. Occasionally I found the player slightly sharpened in the high tones in CD playback, but that was quite open when playing with the volume knob.
The Yamaha BD-A1060 blu-ray player knows how to convince both image and sound. Especially that last aspect can count in the crowded market. For the time being I see this player as a true universal slide driver instead of a media player in your home theater installation. Would Yamaha provide the player with several popular apps, then this player will be even more interesting for the discerning consumer who is satisfied with full HD. And although the price of this player is not on the low side (599 euros), the player with his qualities already competes with players from the higher segment. However, in all this it must be mentioned that the BD-A1060 does not offer the newest of the latest for home cinema enthusiasts. An Ultra HD Blu-ray player (which can really handle Ultra HD Blu-ray discs and HDR playback) is a must for those with an Ultra HD TV. Such a Yamaha model has not yet been announced.