Yamaha released this Home Cinema 3-channel Processor a few years ago to bridge the gap between people who wanted High Quality stereo playback but also wanted Home Cinema Surround Sound. Having owned one of these from new for over 5 years I can say that it does the job very well. I connect it's main channel pre-outs to an Arcam Delta 290 Integrated Amplifier. This means I can have stereo playback as usual from stereo Hi-Fi sources and then press PROCESSOR on the Arcam to use it with the Yamaha. The 3 amplifiers in the Yamaha then provide the amplification for the centre channels and rear surround while the Arcam becomes effectively a power amplifier for the front main channels.
But it does so much more...
With 2 digital coax inputs and 3 optical inputs in can decode a wide variety of signals from DVD players and CD players. Of course it has lots of analog inputs too and composite/S-Video switching. The best it gets is DTS sound which most DVD players will output over their digital output. This provides a noticeable improvement particuarly in the extremes of frequency. The subwoofer output is low level; designed to work with active subwoofers only.
If your stereo amplifer doesn't have a PROCESSOR button you can use any input and leave the volume at midway. You would then have to connect all your sources through the Yamaha but this works well, particuarly when using digital sources you can use the Yamaha DSP-E800 as a DAC!
You can adjust the bass level in lots of different ways. Dolby Digital, DTS and overall bass levels can individually be set. Delay function helps to match lip-sync. Other tweakable settings are level settings for all channels (except balance between front left/right). The preset sounds are all pretty much useless except ROCK CONCERT sounds pretty good with CD's. Remote control does everything and is very reliable. Selector knob on the front panel does a nice job of changing source too.
Back panel connectors are all very reliable and sturdy. Build quality is excellent.
Sonic performance is amazing and pure. The bass will go as deep as you like and it manages to maintain of all channels at high volumes. Voices are excellent but do sound better with a bigger centre speaker. It is also excellent for music- I use the digital coax from my CD player into the Yamaha which then acts as a DAC and pre-amp for the Arcam which acts as a power amp.
Not given full marks for features as it lacks the front left/right balance control and doesnt have control for bass/treble like a normal amp, only has it for the subwoofer bass.
Used with big speakers it is very impressive (I have used it with Definitive Technology Speakers) but with a big sub you can make anything sound excellent.