Incorporating an IEEE-1394 interface for DVD-Audio and SACD, Yamaha’s newest flagship receiver, the RX-Z9, was the highlight of the company’s forthcoming products being promoted in Indianapolis.
The RX-Z9 is Yamaha’s first THX UltraII certified product; expected to retail for $4,500, the receiver incorporates 1,290watts of amplification that drives no less than nine channels. Aside from the extended Surround EX “7.1” array, the RX-Z9 adds a pair of front ‘effect’ speakers, to be mounted above the regular front left/right pair. Also included in the feature-set is automated parametric room EQ (ten bands for each channel across 20Hz to 20kHz) and the ability to up-convert video sources to component outputs entirely within the digital domain.
The RX-Z9 is scheduled to appear in the autumn in the United States and will compete directly with Denon designs that are already equipped with a digital interface, albeit in proprietary form, for transmitting DVD-Audio and SACD from player to decoder. This begs the question; will Yamaha have a suitably IEEE-1394 (Firewire) equipped transport?
Only one new ‘universal’ DVD product was promoted at CEDIA, the DVD-S2300 Mk.II, which is scheduled to ship in September priced at $1,000, but there was no mention of a high-resolution digital interface in the press literature circulated by Yamaha.
Also on the cards are at least three new CinemaStation home-theatres-in-a-box, all-in-one solutions that include DVD player, receiver/decoder and loudspeakers that are specifically designed to accompany the company’s existing range of ‘lifestyle’ products and plasma displays. Of most interest is the $1,000 DVX-S200P (or $600 without the loudspeakers), which boasts both DVD-Audio and SACD capabilities alongside standard DVD-Video playback.