Yamaha DSP-AX563 Home Cinema Amplifier Review
The Yamaha DSP AX563 Amplifier is a good looking beast - smart and simple in design, but yet it retains an air of purposefulness that give a hint to its acoustic capabilities.
The first thing you'll note is that the Yamaha DSP-AX563
is an amplifier, not a receiver, so you'll have to do without a radio if you go for this model. Where it does score though is it's flexibility with other music devices. Add on the Yamaha iPod dock and you'll have complete control over your digital music as well as seeing the song title on the display. There is also a USB socket on the front to connect a portable music player or USB memory stick. The 'compressed music enhancer' also shows the 563's digital music capabilties by processing the signal from your compressed MP3 music to improve the range and quality of the sound.
The four 'SCENE' buttons on the front are a nice feature enabling you to turn the amplfier on and immediately have available the preset for that 'SCENE' - so selecting the 'Game Playing' preset would turn the amp on and select the correct inputs ready for you to start blasting aliens in surround sound. There are sixteen presets available and you can select which four you wish to assign to each button.
The Yamaha AX563 is a full 7.1 amplifier with each channel giving 90W so it has more than enough power for most people. The amp will accept pre-decoded LPCM audio from your Blu-ray player to give you the high definition sound benefit and will also decode the usual standard sound formats like DTS and Dolby Digital. The 563 is also a breeze to set up with the supplied microphone enabling you to run the auto calibration set up and ensure your home cinema is sounding as good as it can.
Round the back of the amplifier, the DSP-AX563 has 7 speaker inputs if you're ready to venture into 7.1 surround sound, 2 HDMI inputs and 1 output, and component sockets which will upconvert to 1080i/720p.
Things to consider before you buy the Yamaha DSP-AX563 Amplifier
The most obvious omission on the 563 is the lack of an extra HDMI input, with only 2 making things potentially tricky if you have a DVD or Blu-ray player and more than one console. The lack of any high definition audio decoding is less of a problem at this price point as is the lack of HDMI upscaling, but it would have been nice to have had them included.
Why you should buy the Yamaha DSP-AX563 Amplifier
There are nice little features with the 563 such as the USB socket on the from enabling you to plug in a USB memory stick or other device, and you can't help but admire the authoritative design. The general consensus though is that the sound performance is the real winner here, and if you can live with its specification shortcomings, the AX563 makes a great purchase.
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