File this one under the heading of Pleasant Surprises. Yamaha has been doing some great stuff in the receiver market for the past couple of years with its AVENTAGE lineup. But let’s face it: for serious home theater systems, you need separates. Not that there’s anything wrong with receivers, mind you. I always run receivers in my secondary bedroom home theater system, and I’ve heard many a great one. But one thing most receivers cannot do is deliver oodles of power and dynamic overhead, with the ability to drive really difficult speaker loads. For that, you simply need a dedicated amp (or amps), and either a preamp or a receiver whose internal amps you bypass to drive it (or them). So the new Yamaha AVENTAGE CX-A5000 11.2 channel AV preamplifier and MX-A5000 11 (ELEVEN! I SAID ELEVEN)-channel power amplifier should certainly meet with some excitement in the home theater market.
If I have one complaint about the MX-A5000, though, it’s that Yamaha only lists its power output capabilities with two measly channels driven. Blargh. With that handicap in place, Yamaha lists its power output with a full bandwidth, 8Ω load at 150 watts with 0.06% THD. I’m going to guess just off the top of my head that, with all channels driven, that would translate into less than 100 watts per channel. But that’s still plenty of juice to drive most home theater speaker systems quite well.
The upside is that the MX-A5000 features robust bi-amping capabilities with selector switches, as well as both balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA inputs, and Yamaha lists stable dynamic power ratings for loads as low as 2Ω, which is nice.
Pair it with the CX-A5000 11.2 Channel AV Preamplifier and you’ll probably want to use those XLR connections. The CX-A5000 also features ESS Technology SABRE32™ Ultra DACs and Yamaha’s proprietary Cinema DSP HD³, along with advanced second zone output capabilities, and even a dedicated Zone 2 GUI.
The CX-A5000 also includes a number of features you just normally don’t get on a high-end AV processor, including MHL support, AirPlay connectivity, IP control (including Yamaha’s own AV Controller App), streaming audio apps built in, and support for 192/24 FLAC and WAV playback.
Yamaha has also set up a dedicated page where you can learn more about the CX-A5000 and MX-A5000 at 4wrd.it/AVENTAGE_SEPARATES.
Both new models will be available exclusively at authorized AVENTAGE dealers in August $2,999.95 MSRP each.