The RX-V430 is the baby brother in the RX series of Yamaha receivers
and, as the youngest of eight, it has the fewest connections available. But, given the application of such an affordable A/V receiver, the connections are sufficient. The back panel is spacious with well labeled inputs and outputs that are perfect for a novice. I was able to connect several pieces of equipment to the RX-V430 and set up my speakers without being thrown a curve ball. Yamaha describes the setup procedures in the manual and offers good explanations of sound fields, Cinema-DSP and Dolby Digital effects with diagrams to better clarify these functions. I discovered the speaker connectors to be adequate, allowing for the use of bare wire or banana plugs. But the spring loaded speaker connections are less desirable than more common multi-way speaker binding posts found on other receivers.
Once the hardware was connected, I moved on to the speaker level adjustments. By playing a test tone through the RX-V430, simple adjustment of each speaker's volume can be made from the remote control. Additional modifications to the delay time of the rear speakers can also be manually set. The purpose of adjusting the delay time is to mimic sound effect generation and to compensate for room size and seat location. Yamaha has the factory set delay times listed for the DSP programs if automatic adjustments are preferred.
I've enjoyed other Yamaha products, so I was eager to audition the RX-V430 with a formidable amount of media. Starting out with some top 40 compact discs, I sat back and listened to my Sony CD changer feed the RX-V430 a steady stream of music. The pop music I listened to had a very active sound, especially in the mid-range, with good clarity and openness. Moving on to some jazz and classical recordings, I felt the sound was a bit bright and lacked deep resonance in the higher octaves. The mid-range with this style of music overpowered the vocals and the deep lows were somewhat underwhelming. After making some adjustments during playback, I was able to compensate for some of the shortcomings, but I still heard some harsh tones.
I received a better result when playing DVD movies through the Yamaha. Movie soundtracks with active dialogue and special effects had good dispersion both with and without the Cinema DSP effects turned on. The 75-watt power output to every channel was ample for most every application, which is fine for an entry-level receiver.
The overall impression I was left with was that the RX-V430 did a nice job with home theater duties and is well suited for lighter mainstream music versus fuller more rich sounding music selections such as classical, jazz or orchestral pieces. The Yamaha is a great value for the money because it has a lot of performance features found in more expensive models. With the sound quality, simple controls, easy setup and versatility, I believe the RX-V430 would make a college student or novice home theater fan very happy.
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Yamaha RX-V430 A/V Receiver
5 x 75 watts at 8 ohms
Dolby Digital Matrix 6.1, Dolby Digital 5.1,
Prologic 11 & DTS Processing
Multi-channel 5.1 output
21 DSP programs/41 variations
4 composite video inputs, 1 composite video output
1 optical, 1 coaxial digital input
6 analog RCA inputs
Preset remote control
17" wide x 515/16" tall x 151/16" deep