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I remember when this amplifier was released and all the praise it was given. Nobody who was interested in home cinema could ignore the positivity released from the press at the time. I remember a friend of mine who just had to have it for his home projection system. The amp was a revelation and offered specification beyond its price of £1600.
Years later I decided I needed one for my own cinema and purchased a gold edition (see photo) with the wood sides. It's a beautiful piece of kit which appears to be carved out of stone as opposed to manufactured. It weighs a bit too so make sure your a/v rack can support it!
At the end of the day it's all about sound and this unit excels in everything you throw at it. The cinema experience is superb offering great bass and placement through it's 5.1 configuration. You can also add further amplification to it which can make it a 7.1 system. Even music sounds warm and involving.
Revisiting my friend who years later replaced his beloved DSP-A1 with a newer Yamaha offering (to allow HDMI switching etc.) he was quick to note that sound quality wasn't a patch on the A1. So is it worth seeking out against newer offerings? Well yes - to a point. These units are quite limited by todays standards in terms of features but if sound quality is your main goal then these are hard to beat. You would have to spend a pretty penny nowadays to get equal performance.