For a hardcore audiophile, nothing but dedicated high end separate components will suffice for the ultimate listening experience. The end result of carefully planning each new component introduced to a sound system is satisfaction measured in smiles. But these ultimate systems usually come with an ultimate price tag -- more money than many people are willing to spend. That's why audio/video receivers that can do the job of many separate components are valuable pieces of hardware for countless home theater systems.
To complement Yamaha's long tradition of building rock-solid receivers, their new RX line of eight versatile audio/video receivers packs plenty of punch into a line-up that ranges from $299 to $2,799. Near the middle of the group is the Yamaha RX-V730, with features previously only available on flagship receivers. This gives their entry level units the performance characteristics of the pricier Yamaha electronics of a few years ago.
A strong selling point of the RX-V730 is the laundry list of decoding options included. Everything from Dolby Digital EX to Prologic II & DTS-ES compatibility is supported. The technology included in this receiver is pretty impressive. One of Yamaha's crowning glories is the Quad-Field Cinema Digital Surround Processor with 21 surround programs with a total of 41 sound environment variations. The DSP is a combination of Yamaha and Dolby technology that adds an additional channel for a rear center soundfield for 6.1 channel movie enjoyment. Preset soundfields for a variety of processing include music halls, movie theaters, sports arenas and gaming formats.
Adding to the abundant connections offered is a six channel input for DVD-Audio and SACD media plus input jacks for an external decoder. This adds the flexibility to attach future ground-breaking equipment to the receiver down the road. The RX-V730 also comes equipped with 40 station presets for tuning in AM/FM broadcasts. The presets can be programmed into five groups of eight stations-- good for family use or separating music genre, but you might run out of local stations before you run out of presets.
The multi-way speaker binding posts found on higher end models are a nice inclusion. Unlike other receivers in this class that have spring loaded speaker connections, the binding posts allow for different possible connections including banana plugs, spade connectors and even heavy gauge cable.
The front panel is very basic with the necessary buttons well positioned. Advanced features can be accessed via the included RAV232 remote control. The remote is versatile with programmable functions for other manufacturer's components. A small orange backlit LCD display window is placed near the top third of the remote to show source components selected rather smartly. The name of each source can be changed to reflect your exact system setup for a custom touch.
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