THE DSP-AX763 is the first of two Yamaha receivers to be featured in this test. Being the cheapest model here, you'd be forgiven for thinking that it could struggle to stay afloat...
However, if you saw our First Test back in November's issue you'll know that this couldn't be further than the truth.
Granted, you could argue that the DSP-AX763 is limited in terms of features and connectivity (no radio tuner, no video upscaling, only two HDMI inputs), but to counter-balance this, there's still onboard decoding for all HD audio formats, including Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.
The DSP-AX763 also has multi-channel analogue inputs, as well as a set of pre-outputs, including twin subwoofer connections. This machine is also compatible with Yamaha's optional iPod dock and Bluetooth receiver (the YBA-10).
Finally, don't forget all the DSP sound processing modes you can choose from – our favourite is ‘The Roxy Theatre'!
More after the break
Nothing better for the cashJokes aside, the Yamaha's decoding and surround processing are unrivalled at this price. You find yourself hurled into the middle of an immersive surround sound experience.
Effects fly past, over and across you with alarming accuracy. When Keanu Reeves crosses over into hell as the eponymous Constantine, the Yamaha transports the swirling debris straight into your living room.
The stonking dynamics take the tension up a notch or five, resulting in an extremely powerful and dramatic scene.
The DSP-AX763 also cuts straight to the heart of a soundtrack with its transparent presentation. Explosions hit you with fantastic precision and solidity. Move over to CD sound and you'll find that the same characteristics apply.
It's smooth without ever crossing over into the realms of overly rich. While it does sound a touch thinner at the top end than its more expensive sibling, the Yamaha gives a tremendous performance considering its lowly price.