Yamaha DSP-Z7 review

Anyone lucky enough to have two grand to spill on a multichannel amplifier needs to hear this Tested at £1960.00

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Our Verdict

Anyone lucky enough to have two grand to spill on a multichannel amp needs to hear this

For

  • Cast-iron control and authority
  • communicative with movies and, to a lesser extent, music
  • lengthy specification
  • built to last

Against

  • Internet radio may not suit everybody

As befits a £2000 home cinema amplifier, Yamaha's bruising DSP-Z7 is bristling with sockets and features.

The Z7 upconverts any input video signal to HDMI, and upscales the same signal to 1080p; it decodes all HD audio codecs; it can power as many as four zones; and it's packing five HDMI inputs and two outputs, in case you run a TV and a projector.

Add in wireless networking, unburstable build quality, accurate mic-driven auto-setup and a useful remote control and the Yamaha reads as if it should be worth the money.

More importantly, it sounds as if it's worth the money too. Playing the Dolby TrueHD soundtrack of The Dark Knight, the Yamaha extracts prodigious levels of detail, punches with implacable solidity and steers effects with alacrity.

Big dynamic shifts are handled dismissively, voices are well integrated, and the soundstage enjoys a rare uniformity and cohesion.

More than capable with every kind of audio
Lesser formats are treated with equal assurance – the Z7 has pitiless authority over the toughest soundtracks and the fussiest speakers.

It's also pretty musical by the standards of its peers. Ultimately it lacks outright subtlety and timing can be hit-and-miss, but there's no shortage of attack or attitude.

Using the aforementioned upconverter/upscaler, there's no that doubt standard-definition movies and TV are more watchable as a result.

The simple HDMI throughput, where audio is stripped from the incoming HDMI source and the pictures passed through to a display, has absolutely no impact on picture quality – whatever goes into the Yamaha comes out intact.

So it ain't cheap, but sometimes – like here, for instance – you get exactly what you pay for.

Specifications

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General Information

Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.yamaha.com/
Brand NameYamaha
Product TypeA/V Receiver
ManufacturerYamaha Corporation
Manufacturer Part NumberDSPZ7
Product NameYamaha DSP-Z7
Product ModelDSP-Z7

Miscellaneous

Package Contents
  • DSP-Z7 A/V Receiver
  • Remote Control
DLNA CertifiedYes

Interfaces-Ports

Number of Digital Optical Outputs2
HDMIYes
Number of HDMI Inputs3
Number of Digital Optical Inputs8
Number of HDMI Outputs4
Number of Analog Audio Inputs14
USBYes

Network and Communication

EthernetYes

Audio

RMS Output Power140 W
Sound SystemDolby Pro Logic IIx, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS HD, Dolby Digital EX, DTS 96/24, DTS-ES Discrete
Audio Channels7.1

Physical Characteristics

Width435 mm
Depth441 mm
Weight Approximate19.60 kg
Height196 mm
Dimensions196 mm (H): 435 mm (W): 441 mm (D)

Technical Information

Total Harmonic Distortion THD0%