One word: wow. Sweeping away any doubts caused by the RX-V371’s shortcomings, the RX-V671 turns in a sensational performance. The sound is atmospheric and breathtakingly exciting thanks to its attacking nature and expertly steered effects, but it’s backed up by real finesse in the high frequencies and an easy tone that doesn’t leave your ears reeling.
The Star Wars trilogy on Blu-ray provided all the evidence we need – Empire’s battle of Hoth is a maelstrom of sharp, punchy laser blasts, taut explosions and crisply-rendered spacecraft effects that sweep seamlessly around the soundstage.
Jedi’s fight between Luke and the Rancor plays out with all the drama and tension it deserves, while the iconic score is reproduced throughout the movie with all its majesty intact.
Quieter moments reveal the RX-V671’s impressive insight, easily drawing out the ambience and distant noises on Dagobah, plus dialogue is always clear. For the money, this Yamaha really is hard to fault.
It’s equally impressive when given a CD to chew over – the stereo imaging is surprisingly accomplished for a multichannel amp, while smooth highs and an overall lack of muddiness in the mix left us feeling privileged to be its company.
The RX-V671 is a remarkably good receiver that poses a real threat to our current champion, the similarly-priced Onkyo TX-NR609. The Yamaha’s skills with a Blu-ray soundtrack are top-drawer, plus the friendly, logical user interface makes it a breeze to operate and build quality is superb.
Connections are plentiful too and network functionality is always welcome, although the lack of AirPlay and built-in wireless streaming might put one or two people off.
As an overall package the Onkyo still gets the nod due to its superior feature list, but Yamaha certainly matches it pound for pound in the performance stakes and you won’t be disappointed if you decide to give it a whirl.