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Yamaha RX-V1500 7.1 Channel THX Select Home Theater Receiver - Review

Performance, Flexibility, and Power to Spare

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Yamaha RX-V1500

Yamaha RX-V1500 7.1 Channel THX Select Receiver - Front View

Yamaha
AV receivers in the $500 - $1,000 price range now provide performance and flexibility that was once reserved for much higher-priced units. The Yamaha RX-V1500 is great example of a mid-range home theater receiver that provides excellent value, with it extensive connection capabilities and power to spare (with a very low distortion level). For those wishing to upgrade their home theater AV capabilities, the RX-V1500 is a great option to consider.

RX-V1500 Product Overview

The RX-V1500 is a midrange AV receiver that is designed to deliver solid performance, while supplying a number of useful features. A discrete 7-channel amplifier supplies 120 RMS WPC into standard 8 ohm loads (0.04 THD). It has both front and rear analog/digital AV connections (Audio inputs: 10 analog, 8 digital (5 optical, 3 coaxial). Video inputs: 7 composite, 7 S-video, and two Component video inputs) as well as multi-channel analog inputs for an external surround decoder or SACD/DVD-Audio sources. On the output side, the 1500 offers 6 analog audio line outputs, two digital optical audio outputs, 7 video outputs (including composite, S-video, and Component video monitor outputs), and a Subwoofer line output.

Also included are 2-channel second and third zone preamp outputs, headphone connection, and AV switching of composite, S-video, and component sources, with the additional usefulness of two-way video conversion. This feature actually converts S-video input to standard composite output or vice-versa.

In addition, composite and S-video signals can be converted to Component video. This enables the user to hook-up a VCR, DVD player, and TV using a combination of Component, S-Video, and composite connections.

In addition to multi-format DD/DTS surround decoding, Pro Logic IIx, and DTS Neo:6, which create effective 5.1/6.1/7.1 channel surround fields from two channel sources. THX Cinema processing, Yamaha's DSP (Digital Soundfield Processing), and Silent Cinema Headphone Surround options are also featured.

Testing Setup

Components used in the evaluation inlcuded a Denon DCM-370 CD/HDCD Changer, Panasonic LX-1000 Laserdisc Player, Pioneer DV-525 DVD player,Samung DVD-HD931 DVD Player, Kiss DP-470 DVD Receiver, Syntax LT32HV LCD television and an Optoma H56 DLP video projector. A variety of loudspeakers, including Klipsch B-3s, Klipsch C-3, Optimus LX-5IIs, a Yamaha YST-SW205 Powered Subwoofer, and additional speakers, in both matched and mismatched setups were used. All line-level (including subwoofer) and digital audio connections between components were made with Accell and Cobalt Interconnect cables.

A sampling of the software used included standard CDs: HEART - Dreamboat Annie, Nora Jones: Come Away With Me, Lisa Loeb: Firecracker (HDCD), Blondie: Live (HDCD), Telarc: 1812 Oveture. One Laserdisc was used: Godzilla 1998. DVDs used included: Master And Commander, Kill Bill,Vol 1 and 2, Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, Moulin Rouge, Chicago, Minority Report (DTS/Dolby Digital), and U571(DTS). DVD-Audio/DTS music discs used included: Queen: Night At The Opera/The Game, Eagles: Hotel California, Sheila Nicholls: Wake, Alan Parsons: On Air. Also included: The Corrs: In Blue (Dolby Digital). Portions of other software titles in the above categories were used as well.

Overall Performance

The Yamaha RX-V1500 proved to be great performer with each of the connected components and with all software program material used in this review. Stereo and surround sound performance was very good on a wide range of movie and audio-only material from both analog and digital sources.

In addition to the standard Dolby Digital, DTS, etc... modes, the addition of Yamaha's Cinema DSP modes does a great job of placing the above soundfields into realistic environments, such as a movie theater or concert hall. Unlike some AV receivers, the RX-V1500 also holds up well in two-channel sound reproduction, providing good music-only performance.

The RX-V1500 has power to spare. Its discrete high-current amplifier design supplied enough power to respond quickly to dramatic changes in sound levels, and was also able to provide a consistent high output over long periods of time.

Proceed to Page 2 - Useful Features and Conclusion

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