Yamaha DSP-AX863SE review

An excellent amp, and a very worthy step-up over the £500 pack Tested at £600.00

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Our Verdict

An expertly tuned AV amplifier that, sonically, is a cut above the other machines in this line-up

For

  • Breathtaking dynamics
  • powerful, solid bass
  • natural, detailed presentation
  • excellent surround sound processing

Against

  • Specification could be more comprehensive

When we originally reviewed this amp in December, it had an £800 price tag, but Yamaha has shrewdly slashed the price to make it ultra-competitive.

Compared with its cheaper sibling, you get a slight increase in power, an extra HDMI input, and 1080p upscaling. You've still got Deep Colour, x.vColour support, HD audio decoding and Yamaha's YPAO auto set-up technology.

You'll also notice that the chassis carries a special ‘UK tuned' badge. This indicates that it has been specifically modified for the UK market.

How? Yamaha conducted research into how UK users want their products to sound and they came up with two aims: to make audio natural and to recreate the effects/music as the filmmaker or recording artist intended.

To achieve this, Yamaha has included special components ranging from power transformers to diodes to help promote a sound that Yamaha claims to be agile, transparent, powerful and balanced.

Bags of bang for your buck
And Yamaha has hit the nail squarely on the head. With £200 off the price, the performance-per-pound ratio has gone through the roof – and this amplifier romped to our Product of the Year Award.

It magnifies all that's good about its sibling, but adds greater detail, refinement and richness to the mix. It sweeps Iron Man's surround effects around the room with precision.

When our metal chum tries to evade the US fighter pilots, his agility is mirrored in the sound. Add transparency and detail to the mix and you're exposed to every subtle nuance in a film soundtrack.

Both in surround sound and stereo use, the Yamaha stamps its dynamic authority.

Spin a CD, turn on Pure Direct (so all unnecessary circuitry is shut down) and it exhibits a level of refinement that can give £1000 receivers a serious run for their money.

Click here to watch our video review of the Yamaha DSP-AX863SE.

Specifications

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General Information

Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.yamaha.com/
Brand NameYamaha
Product TypeA/V Receiver
ManufacturerYamaha Corporation
Manufacturer Part NumberDSP-AX863SE
Product NameYamaha DSP-AX863SE
Product ModelDSP-AX863SE

Miscellaneous

Package Contents
  • DSP-AX863SE A/V Receiver
  • Remote Control

Interfaces-Ports

HDMIYes
Number of Digital Optical Outputs1
Number of HDMI Inputs3
Number of Digital Coaxial Inputs2
Number of Digital Optical Inputs4
Number of HDMI Outputs1
Number of Analog Audio Inputs14
iPod SupportedYes

Technical Information

Minimum Frequency Response20 Hz
Impedance8 Ohm
Maximum Frequency Response20 kHz
Total Harmonic Distortion THD0.1%

Video

Upscale Scan Format1080p

Physical Characteristics

Width435 mm
Depth393 mm
Weight Approximate11.90 kg
Height171 mm
ColourBlack
Dimensions171 mm (H): 435 mm (W): 393 mm (D)

Power Description

Operating Power Consumption440 W

Audio

Sound SystemDolby Pro Logic IIx, Dolby Digital Surround, Dolby Pro Logic II, Dolby Pro Logic, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS Neo:6, DTS HD, DTS-HD High Resolution, DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital EX, DTS 96/24, DTS-ES Discrete, DTS-ES Matrix
Audio Channels7.1

Warranty

Limited Warranty2 Year