I've owned this amplifier for over 12 months and have nearly always owned Yamaha amps and receivers.
The amp cost £249.99 from Richer Sounds in Birmingham.
I have quite a demanding set up in my home which requires a large number of inputs for consoles and music devices.
Power - 7 x 90 watts
Decoding - Dolby: Digital/EX, Pro-Logic/II/IIx Movie/Music/Game
DTS: /ES Matrix/Discrete 6.1, Neo:6 Cinema/Music, 96/24
Audio Options - 17 DSP Modes
Rear inputs/Outputs - 2 x HDMI in, 1 x HDMI out - 3 x Component in, 1 x Component out - 3 x optical digital in, 1 x optical digital out - 6 x analogue in, 2 x out (video and md/tape player) - Ipod dock input - 2 x s-video in 1 x s-video out - full 5.1 sound inputs, 7.1 pre output
Speaker - Stereo A & B speaker outputs (independently switched), front centre, surround left and right, surround back left and right, all binding posts or can be modified to accept 4mm banana plugs.
Additional stereo output can also be configured for additional presence front effects speaker connections, for use with Yamaha's advanced DSP modes, or to biamp front/main speakers in a 5.1 configuration
Front inputs - Composite video, optical and s-video
On-screen display, LCD screen (1 row, 5 characters...) remote.
I chose this amp because of the features and the price.... The model was about to be superseded and Richer Sounds were selling them off at a great value for money price... The features I was mainly after were the HDMI inputs, the 5.1 sound and the varied optical and analogue inputs for my music devices.
In the box was the amp, remote, instructions and a calibration microphone.
I connected up all my equipment which involved a good couple of hours and a couple of miles of cabling... At this point I encountered my first problem; the DVD input had been allocated an analogue, optical, HDMI and coaxial input, surely only one or two of these inputs would ever be used... Reading the manual further I realised I could remap the inputs to a newly allocated selection on the amp using the on-screen menu. I remapped the DVD optical input to the CD option, this allowed me to select CD on the amp and listen to my CD's through the optical input labelled DVD on the back.
After all the set up including wiring in the speakers, I plugged in the calibration microphone. I selected the relevant setting on the amp and it started sending signals to each individual speaker (5.1 set up) and then some random noises. The calibration lasts about 1-2 minutes and then displays the settings. I accepted the set up and started checking my inputs and outputs were correct. After a touch of tweaking everything was perfect; I had the right movie mode set up for my DVD player, my TV was also creating a movie experience with the surround sound, consoles worked perfectly transferring HDMI signals through the amp and out the speaker and the TV.
The sound itself is superb, the low sounds are tight and punchy, and the high sounds are crisp and precise.... Music is a real pleasure, with the Pure Direct option you can listen to the source without signal interference. The amp turns off all its effects, display and anything else that could hinder the sound. Turning up the volume is so satisfying; it never seems to reach a point where quality is lost.
The remote is a macro remote which can operate other equipment by other manufacturers. After 1 hour of punching in codes I gave up.... The remote operated basic functions on my TV but was a touch flaky and lacked more than volume, on/off and channel +/-. It functions perfectly when it comes to the amp and is well designed in the department.
I'm extremely happy with the amp, it's not perfect when looking at the issues with the remote, but I didn't buy it for the integration with other components. I don't use all the sound options, but the ones I do create the effects I'm after. The amp also has some other features which I've never really made use of mainly due to lack of requirements. The Scene options work well if you use a device for two purposes - DVD player to watch films and listen to music. You don't want to listen to music in Dolby Digital, so the Scene selection allows you to set the same inputs and outputs but with a different sound setting. Scene 1 would be watch a DVD, Scene 2 would be listen to music. As I have separate components for each purpose, I've never really found a use for them.
Overall the amp is perfect for what I need (possibly one more HDMI input) and it sounds amazing. Yamaha have won a number of awards for their theatre amps and receivers over the years and keep wining more...