For such an affordable receiver the RX-V473 delivers a surprisingly commanding performance, injecting Blu-ray soundtracks with pace and punch, dragging out plenty of fine detail and keeping everything composed.
Fed with a busy, boisterous action scene like Super 8’s stunning train crash, the Yamaha orchestrates the effects with confidence and thrilling energy. It’s a gorgeous combination of the brutal and the beautiful, following up a pummelling explosion with gently crackling fire effects so lucid you can almost feel the heat coming from the speakers.
It maps out its wide, immersive multichannel soundstage with crisp effects from every channel, whipping them from speaker to speaker with swiftness and precision. Dialogue is locked to the centre channel, spraying out words with pleasing clarity and depth, while top-end detail flits and scuttles between the rear channels, augmenting the tension in the build up to the big crash.
It can go super loud with few ill effects, dishing out dramatic action beats without getting too shouty and fatiguing as some budget amps are wont to do. Low frequencies stay tight and focused. Moving further into Super 8, its many jumpy bits are nicely handled – the jolting thump of sudden alien attacks sound fast and punchy, demonstrating how well the Yamaha handles dynamic shifts.
When streaming tracks from AirPlay, the RX-V473 shows off its musical chops, handling jazzy, acoustic soul from the likes of Amy Winehouse and Lianne La Havas with a bouncy, airy feel. It keeping rhythms tight and articulates vocals with a warm tone. It’s an impressive performance for the money.
The jury’s still out on the RX-V473 until we hear how it compares with the Onkyo TX-NR515 (review coming soon) and this year’s midrange Denons. But on its own merits the RX-V473 delivers a smooth, exciting and articulate performance that didn’t blow us away, but certainly ticked all the boxes.
This excellent value is boosted further by its wide range of features, primarily AirPlay support, DLNA and internet radio, which turn it into a versatile music streaming hub. USB support for iPods and storage devices are further strings to its bow, while the inclusion of YPAO will be music to the ears of newbies.
Where it falls down is in user-friendliness – the onscreen menus are rudimentary, the remote is cluttered and we couldn’t get DLNA streaming to work for no obvious reason. But in terms of sound quality and features Yamaha’s RX-V473 is a pleasing purchase.