Introducing the Yamaha R-N1000A
Yamaha, a renowned name in the world of hi-fi, has expanded its range of streaming receivers by introducing the Yamaha R-N1000A. This model, priced at around 1,600 euros, is positioned below the R-N2000A and adds another contender to the streaming receiver/amp market. This review’ll delve into the features and performance of the Yamaha R-N1000A, the third candidate in a series of streaming receiver/amp tests following the Nubert nuConnect ampXL and the Technics SU-GX70.
Yamaha’s Hi-Fi Legacy
Yamaha, a stalwart of Japanese hi-fi, boasts a rich history of innovative audio technologies. Despite its primary focus on musical instruments, Yamaha has made significant contributions to the world of hi-fi. From pioneering the use of beryllium membranes in the Yamaha NS-1000M in 1974 to introducing the first preamplifier with a DSP surround sound processor (CX10000) in 1986, Yamaha has consistently pushed the boundaries of audio technology. One of its notable innovations, the Yamaha Parametric room Acoustic Optimizer (YPAO), initially reserved for surround receivers, has now found its way into stereo amplifiers, including the R-N1000A.
The Yamaha R-N1000A: Features and Specifications
The Yamaha R-N1000A is a feature-rich streaming receiver/amp that caters to audiophiles and casual listeners seeking high-quality audio performance. One of its standout features is the inclusion of Yamaha’s YPAO (Yamaha Parametric Room Acoustic Optimizer) calibration technology. This advanced calibration system tailors the sound output to the specific listening environment and speaker placement, ensuring optimal audio quality. YPAO is particularly beneficial in achieving a balanced soundstage, correcting issues related to room acoustics, and fine-tuning speaker characteristics. This technology sets the R-N1000A apart from many competitors and makes it a powerful tool for achieving an exceptional listening experience.
Regarding power, the R-N1000A offers 2 x 100 watts at 8 ohms, providing ample power for driving various speakers. Its amplifier architecture follows the classic Class AB design, which, combined with high-quality components, including a substantial core transformer and Saber DAC, contributes to its impressive sound quality. The amplifier’s capabilities extend to handling high-resolution audio formats, such as DSD at 11.2 MHz and PCM at up to 384 kHz/32-bit, catering to audiophiles who demand the utmost fidelity in their music playback.
Connectivity options on the R-N1000A are comprehensive, offering versatility for various audio sources. Users can connect analog and digital devices, including turntables, CD players, and more. Including HDMI-ARC facilitates seamless TV connectivity, enhancing the home entertainment experience. Moreover, network streaming is made accessible by integrating popular streaming services like Qobuz, Amazon Music, Tidal Connect, Spotify Connect, Deezer, and Napster. The Yamaha MusicCast app further simplifies control and provides access to these streaming platforms, giving users a convenient and unified way to enjoy their favorite music content. Overall, the Yamaha R-N1000A’s features and specifications make it a compelling choice for those who value both versatility and audio quality in their audio components.
|Perfomance:||2 x 100 W an 8 Ohm|
|Streaming:||qobuz, Amazon Music, Tidal Connect, Spotify Connect, deezer, napster Internetradio|
|Particularities:||YPAO-HiFi room measurement|
|Dimensions (W x D x H):||43,5 x 39,5 x 15,1|
Design and Build
The R-N1000A distinguishes itself with its larger size and weight, coming in at a hefty 12.3 kilograms. This weight is largely attributed to its substantial core transformer. The classic Yamaha design features a front panel adorned with numerous buttons, large knobs, and toggles. A discrete OLED display sits at the bottom edge, contrasting with the rest of the silver front panel. It also houses the YPAO microphone socket and the IR sensor for the remote control.
Mechanical Elements and Controls
The front panel controls provide a tactile experience, with knobs and toggles offering a satisfying feel. However, some may question the necessity of bass, treble, balance, and loudness controls, given that YPAO automatically ensures a balanced sound image. The “PURE DIRECT” switch bypasses all tone controls and DSP calibration, emphasizing a purer audio experience.
While the front elements are mechanically neat, they don’t quite reach the same level of robustness as Yamaha’s higher-end models. Nevertheless, they provide smooth and precise operation. With its non-linear design, the volume control offers fine-grained control over the volume.
The remote control features a wide array of buttons, granting control over various functions. However, the small labels may be less legible than some competitors’ remotes.
Build Quality and Cooling
The Yamaha R-N1000A sports a top lid with large ventilation slots and even a warning sticker for a hot surface. However, during testing, it didn’t heat up significantly. The device’s sides feature visible screws, similar to the Technics model. The underside boasts four device feet designed for effective anti-resonance properties.
Connectivity and Inputs
The rear panel houses a well-organized array of analog and digital inputs, including network connectivity, DAB+/FM antenna connection, WLAN/BT antenna, HDMI, and a Phono MM input. Two service sockets and two sets of loudspeaker terminals are also present. The R-N1000A accommodates two pairs of speakers, which can be operated individually as pair A, B, or A+B. Notably, it includes separate pre- and sub-OUT jacks and a trigger port.
USB Audio Port
The amplifier features a USB audio port for asynchronous transmission from Mac/PC, supporting DSD at 11.2 MHz and PCM up to 384 kHz/32-bit. This functionality extends to network streaming as well.
Power Connection and Efficiency
The power connection utilizes a C18 socket without a protective contact, adhering to the one-point earthing system with a protectively insulated housing. The R-N1000A has a suitable power cable, but it can also accommodate existing cold device cables with a protective contact (C13). The device demonstrates remarkable power efficiency, consuming approximately 1.5 W in network standby mode and around 23 W during idle operation.
One of Yamaha’s standout features is the YPAO calibration function, optimized for HiFi. YPAO for HiFi is distinct from its multi-channel counterpart, focusing on optimizing the placement of stereo pairs rather than balancing sound across different speaker types and sizes. It addresses challenges such as non-ideal speaker placement and varying room characteristics.
YPAO offers several benefits:
- Simple setup: YPAO is user-friendly and requires minimal adjustment after calibration.
- Bass management: When a subwoofer is connected, YPAO optimizes its parameters, including level, transition frequency, and delay.
- YPAO Volume: This feature provides volume correction by adjusting the midrange, offering a dynamic and aurally correct correction.
- Separate speaker calibration: YPAO can calibrate two pairs of speakers separately using terminals A and B.
- Preservation of Musical Coherence: YPAO’s calibration process goes beyond equalization. It preserves the musical coherence of your audio, ensuring that the rhythm and dynamics remain intact. This results in a more natural and engaging listening experience.
- Problem Solving: YPAO shines when room acoustics are less than ideal. Whether you have a near-field desktop setup or face constraints in your living space, YPAO adapts to these challenges, delivering optimal audio quality even in less-than-ideal conditions.
- Subwoofer Optimization: YPAO handles subwoofers adeptly. When a subwoofer is connected, YPAO optimizes its level, crossover frequency, and phase. This ensures that the subwoofer seamlessly integrates with the main speakers, enhancing the overall audio experience.
Usability of the Yamaha R-N1000A:
The usability of an audio component is a crucial aspect that can greatly affect the overall user experience. In this section, we’ll explore the usability of the Yamaha R-N1000A, including its setup process, controls, remote operation, and app integration.
1. Setup Process:
The setup process of the Yamaha R-N1000A is designed to be straightforward and user-friendly. Here’s an overview of the setup:
- Physical Connections: Connecting the amplifier to your speakers and audio sources is relatively simple, thanks to well-labeled input and output terminals on the rear panel. The included user manual provides clear guidance.
- Network Setup: Configuring the network connectivity, including Wi-Fi or Ethernet, is intuitive. The amplifier supports both wired and wireless connections for streaming and control.
- YPAO Calibration: If you choose to use Yamaha’s YPAO calibration feature, the setup involves placing the included microphone at your listening position, initiating the calibration process, and following on-screen instructions. YPAO ensures that the speakers are optimized for the room’s acoustics.
2. Front Panel Controls:
The front panel of the Yamaha R-N1000A features a classic design with a variety of controls:
- Tone Controls: The amplifier includes bass, treble, balance, and loudness controls. However, these controls become somewhat redundant when using the YPAO calibration, as YPAO aims to achieve a balanced sound automatically.
- PURE DIRECT Mode: The “PURE DIRECT” switch bypasses all tone controls and DSP calibration, delivering a purer audio signal path for those who prefer unaltered sound reproduction.
- Volume Control: The volume control knob offers smooth and precise adjustment, with non-linear behavior that allows for fine-grained volume changes.
- SELECT Button: The SELECT button, designed as a rotary push-button, is practical for navigating between different inputs and settings.
3. Remote Control:
The included remote control provides convenient access to various functions and settings. However, there are some considerations:
- Button Labels: Some users may find the labels on the remote control buttons relatively small, which could affect legibility, especially in low-light conditions.
- Functionality: The remote control allows users to control nearly all amplifier functions, making it a valuable accessory for everyday operation.
4. App Integration:
The Yamaha R-N1000A is compatible with the Yamaha MusicCast app, which extends its usability and convenience:
- Control and Streaming: The app allows users to control the amplifier remotely from their mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets. It provides access to various streaming services such as Tidal, Qobuz, Spotify, and more. Users can select and play music directly from their digital libraries or online services.
- YPAO Calibration: YPAO calibration can be initiated and controlled through the app, making it easy to optimize the amplifier’s performance based on room acoustics.
- Multi-Room Audio: The Yamaha MusicCast ecosystem enables multi-room audio, allowing users to connect and synchronize multiple Yamaha devices for a seamless audio experience throughout their home.
5. Network Standby:
The Yamaha R-N1000A offers a network standby mode, which is energy-efficient and convenient. When in this mode, the amplifier remains connected to the network and can be awakened remotely, eliminating the need to physically power it on. This is especially convenient for users who frequently stream music.
In summary, the Yamaha R-N1000A is designed with user-friendliness in mind. Its setup process is straightforward, the front panel controls offer easy access to essential functions, the remote control enhances convenience, and the Yamaha MusicCast app expands its capabilities, making it a versatile and user-centric audio component. The network standby mode also adds to its usability by providing efficient and remote power management.
The Yamaha R-N1000A consistently impresses with its characteristic Yamaha sound signature, characterized by its silky and refined presentation. This quality is in line with what was observed with the larger R-N2000A. However, the R-N1000A deserves special commendation for its performance when calibrated with YPAO.
YPAO is a real problem solver, especially when room acoustics are less than optimal. Whether in a near-field desktop environment or dealing with challenging placement options in a confined living space, YPAO ensures that the audio is well-balanced and coherent. The frequency response remains consistent, from the deepest lows to the upper hearing limits. Moreover, YPAO’s ability to maintain timing and musical coherence is notable.
Regarding basic character, even without activated DSP enhancements, the R-N1000A stands out with its coherence and precision, delivering a cleaner and more three-dimensional performance. While the Nubert may outperform the R-N1000A regarding raw power in critical situations, the Yamaha delivers a more refined and cohesive listening experience.
Sound Test and Sound Quality:
The sound quality of an audio component like the Yamaha R-N1000A is paramount to audiophiles and music enthusiasts. In this section, we’ll delve into the sound test and the subjective sound quality assessment.
Sound Test Procedure:
- Setup: For the sound test, we configured the Yamaha R-N1000A in a controlled listening environment, ensuring optimal placement of speakers and minimizing external factors that could affect the audio quality. The room was acoustically treated to minimize reflections and resonances.
- Source Material: We used various high-quality source materials, including lossless audio files, streaming music from services like Tidal and Qobuz, and vinyl records through the integrated Phono MM input.
- Speaker Configuration: The Yamaha R-N1000A was connected to a pair of high-quality speakers, and in some cases, a subwoofer was added to evaluate its bass management capabilities.
Sound Quality Assessment:
- Clarity and Detail: The Yamaha R-N1000A consistently impressed with its ability to deliver clarity and detail in the audio playback. Instruments and vocals were well-defined, allowing listeners to pick up subtle nuances in the music.
- Frequency Response: The amplifier exhibited a well-balanced frequency response, covering the entire spectrum from deep bass to sparkling highs. Bass notes were tight and controlled, while treble frequencies were clear without harshness.
- Dynamic Range: The dynamic range, or the difference between the softest and loudest sounds, was notably wide. This contributed to the amplifier’s ability to convey the full emotional impact of music, from the softest whispers to the thundering crescendos.
- Imaging and Soundstage: The Yamaha R-N1000A demonstrated an impressive ability to create a three-dimensional soundstage. Instruments and vocals were accurately placed within the stereo field, providing a sense of depth and dimensionality to the music.
- Coherence and Timing: The use of YPAO calibration played a significant role in maintaining the coherence and timing of the audio. This ensured that the rhythm and pacing of the music remained engaging and natural, even in less-than-ideal listening environments.
- Subwoofer Integration: The Yamaha R-N1000A’s bass management capabilities shone through when a subwoofer was added to the setup. The subwoofer seamlessly blended with the main speakers, enhancing the low-frequency performance without overpowering or muddying the sound.
- Volume Handling: The amplifier’s volume control, with its non-linear design, allowed for fine-grained volume adjustments. This ensured that even subtle changes in volume were easy to achieve, catering to various listening preferences.
- Pure Direct Mode: Engaging the “PURE DIRECT” mode bypassed tone controls and DSP calibration, delivering a more purist audio experience. This mode was appreciated by those seeking unadulterated sound reproduction.
In conclusion, the Yamaha R-N1000A excelled in the sound test, showcasing a remarkable sound quality characterized by clarity, balanced frequency response, wide dynamic range, precise imaging, and impressive coherence. The integration of YPAO calibration further enhanced its performance, making it a versatile and capable amplifier for audiophiles and music lovers alike. Whether you enjoy high-resolution audio files, streaming music, or vinyl records, the R-N1000A delivers an engaging and immersive listening experience.
Reasons for Buying the Yamaha R-N1000A:
- Yamaha’s Audio Legacy: Yamaha has a long-standing reputation for producing high-quality audio equipment, and the R-N1000A is no exception. Buyers can trust the brand’s commitment to sound excellence.
- YPAO Calibration: The inclusion of Yamaha’s YPAO calibration technology is a significant selling point. It optimizes sound quality for the specific room and speaker placement, ensuring an exceptional listening experience.
- User-Friendly Setup: Setting up the R-N1000A is straightforward, and the included user manual provides clear instructions. This makes it accessible to both audio enthusiasts and those new to hi-fi systems.
- Versatile Connectivity: The amplifier offers various input options, including analog, digital, HDMI-ARC, and network connectivity. Users can connect various audio sources, from turntables to streaming services.
- Remote Control and App Integration: The included remote control, along with the Yamaha MusicCast app, enhances usability. Users can conveniently control the amplifier and access streaming services from their mobile devices.
- Network Standby: The network standby mode is energy-efficient and practical, allowing users to power the amplifier on remotely. This feature is convenient for those who frequently stream music.
- Sound Quality: The Yamaha R-N1000A delivers impressive sound quality, characterized by Yamaha’s signature silky and coherent audio performance. It excels in providing a balanced and enjoyable listening experience.
Reasons for Not Buying the Yamaha R-N1000A:
- Price: With a price of around 1,600 euros, the R-N1000A may be considered relatively expensive, especially for budget-conscious buyers. There are more affordable options available.
- Overkill for Basic Needs: If you have simple audio requirements and don’t require advanced features like YPAO calibration, the R-N1000A may offer more capabilities than you need. You could potentially find a more cost-effective solution.
- Size and Weight: The amplifier’s larger size and weight, while indicative of its quality components, may not be suitable for those with limited space or prefer more compact audio equipment.
- Tone Controls Redundancy: Tone controls may seem redundant for users who rely on YPAO calibration to achieve a balanced sound. These controls may not be necessary for some listeners.
- Small Remote Buttons: The remote control’s small button labels could be challenging to read, especially in dimly lit environments. This may be a drawback for users who prefer larger, more legible controls.
- Not Roon Ready: If you specifically require Roon Ready integration for your audio setup, the R-N1000A does not offer this functionality, potentially limiting your streaming options.
In conclusion, the decision to buy the Yamaha R-N1000A depends on your specific audio needs and budget. It offers impressive sound quality, advanced calibration features, and user-friendly controls, making it an excellent choice for those who prioritize audio excellence and ease of use. However, its price, size, and features may not align with everyone’s preferences or requirements, so potential buyers should consider their individual needs and priorities before purchasing.
Conclusion: The Ideal Problem Solver
The Yamaha R-N1000A proves to be an outstanding contender in its class. If you appreciate its design aesthetics and the price aligns with your budget, this streaming receiver should rank high on your list of considerations.
With its YPAO calibration feature, finely tuned for HiFi, Yamaha takes a significant leap ahead of many competitors. The system is remarkably user-friendly, leaving no excuse not to utilize its capabilities. However, YPAO renders the tone controls on the front panel largely redundant, as it ensures a balanced sound image automatically.
In practical terms, the R-N1000A shines. It’s straightforward to set up and operate, offers quick access to all functions, supports an extensive range of streaming music services, and provides a well-designed app. While it may not be Roon Ready like some competitors, it caters to a different target audience. Nevertheless, it would be a welcome addition if Yamaha addressed this gap.
In summary, the Yamaha R-N1000A is a versatile, affordable, and reliable streaming receiver with exceptional problem-solving capabilities. Whether dealing with challenging acoustics or simply seeking faithful music reproduction, the R-N1000A ensures a remarkable listening experience.
Advantages of the Yamaha R-N1000A:
- YPAO Calibration: The inclusion of Yamaha’s YPAO calibration technology sets the R-N1000A apart, allowing users to optimize sound quality for their specific listening environment. It corrects room acoustics and speaker placement issues, ensuring a balanced and immersive audio experience.
- High-Quality Sound: With a Class AB amplifier design and high-quality components, including a substantial core transformer and Saber DAC, the R-N1000A delivers impressive sound quality. It can handle high-resolution audio formats, providing audiophiles with exceptional fidelity.
- Versatile Connectivity: The amplifier offers a wide range of input options, from analog to digital, and includes HDMI-ARC for seamless TV connectivity. Users can connect various audio sources, making it suitable for diverse setups.
- Comprehensive Streaming Support: The R-N1000A integrates popular streaming services like qobuz, Amazon Music, Tidal Connect, Spotify Connect, deezer, and napster. The Yamaha MusicCast app enhances the streaming experience, offering control and access to these platforms.
- Energy-Efficient Network Standby: The network standby mode consumes minimal power, making it energy-efficient and convenient for users who frequently stream music. It allows for remote power activation, adding to its usability.
Disadvantages of the Yamaha R-N1000A:
- Price: The R-N1000A’s price, around 1,600 euros, may be considered relatively high, making it less accessible to budget-conscious buyers. There are more affordable options available with similar features.
- Overkill for Basic Needs: Users with simple audio requirements who don’t need advanced features like YPAO calibration may find the R-N1000A to offer more capabilities than necessary, potentially leading to higher costs.
- Size and Weight: The amplifier’s larger size and weight, while indicative of quality components, may not be suitable for those with limited space or who prefer more compact audio equipment.
- Tone Controls Redundancy: Tone controls may seem redundant for users who rely on YPAO calibration to achieve balanced sound. These controls may not be necessary for some listeners.
- Small Remote Buttons: The remote control’s small button labels could be challenging to read, especially in dimly lit environments. This may be a drawback for users who prefer larger, more legible controls.