Yamaha’s budget RX-V371 proved that you don’t have to pay through the nose for a decent amp, although with some missing features and sound quality issues it stopped short of greatness.
So if you’re a little more serious about your home cinema sound – and have more cash to spend, of course – you’ll need to look further up Yamaha’s range, where you’ll find the RX-V671, a 7.1-channel network-enabled model with greater power and better features.
In terms of looks Yamaha hasn’t done much to distinguish the V671 from its other models past and present, but why tamper with a winning formula? The sleek black styling and angled lines have served the company well over the years and they work again here. Build quality is excellent too, with bodywork that’s every bit as sturdy and rigid as you’d expect for the money.
The fascia is dashed with buttons controlling everything from input selection to sound modes. Four of these, labelled BD, TV, CD and Radio, relate to the Scene function, which switches the unit to the relevant input and selects the correct settings at the touch of a button.
You’ll also find several inputs, including USB, HDMI, composite video and analogue stereo, plus a headphone output (which uses Yamaha’s Silent Cinema feature). We like the dot matrix display, which uses large digits instead of hard-to-see icons like some amps. And at the risk of sounding like Sid James, we always like to see a nice big knob and Yamaha duly obliges with a chunky volume dial.
The back panel is teeming with sockets. Five more HDMI inputs take the total to six, and they’re all 3D-ready (including the ARC-compatible output). Other inputs include component (x 2), composite (x 4), S-video, digital audio (x 4 – 2 x optical and 2 x coaxial) and analogue stereo (5, including 1 x phono). Outputs include component video, composite (x 2), analogue stereo (x 2), stereo Zone 2 and a subwoofer pre-out. Bear in mind that there are no multichannel analogue inputs, which means 7.1 Blu-ray signals can only be fed in digitally.
Aside from AV sockets, there’s an Ethernet port, an interface for optional Yamaha devices (the YID-W10 wireless iPod/iPhone system or the YBA-10 Bluetooth audio receiver) plus remote control and trigger ports, extra springclips for zone 2 or ‘presence’ speakers (see page 2) and FM/AM antenna inputs.