Yamaha RX-V583

What Hi-Fi (UK) - - Contents -

“The Denon and Sony amps have an ar­tic­u­late, ag­ile and rhyth­mic qual­ity that does jus­tice to stereo mu­sic. The Yamaha re­ceiver doesn’t fare too badly ei­ther”

You’re get­ting more than just a wall of low fre­quen­cies – the RX­V583 re­veals the gritty tex­tures and earthy booms with­out get­ting out of hand or be­com­ing over­pow­er­ing.

Else­where, cars skid around from right to left and each gun­shot is well placed. If we’re be­ing picky, we’d like a lit­tle bit more pre­ci­sion from the Yamaha – play­ing the same scene through the Sony STR­DN1080 gives a greater sense of the lo­ca­tion of each sound. Gun­shots are ter­rif­i­cally pre­cise, and punches land with a sat­is­fy­ing im­pact. The ag­ile and sure­footed man­ner in which the Sony con­ducts it­self around the film’s equally ag­ile chore­og­ra­phy is ad­mirable.

And there’s so much low-end depth and tex­ture. It’s not quite as brawny as the Yamaha, but the Sony pulls each bass note taut and has such sub­tlety – it’s a more en­gross­ing, sat­is­fy­ing per­for­mance.

Harsh treat­ment

Un­for­tu­nately, the Yamaha re­ceiver doesn’t have the same de­gree of so­phis­ti­ca­tion in its midrange as demon­strated by ei­ther the Denon or the Sony. Even the at­mo­spheric sound­track car­ries a lit­tle less ten­sion in its notes com­pared with the Denon AVRX2400H’S de­liv­ery, which han­dles the scene with a lit­tle more re­fine­ment and ex­pres­sion.

While the Yamaha is pow­er­ful, weighty and en­er­getic, it has more dif­fi­culty with the qui­eter mo­ments. Dy­nam­i­cally, it pales in com­par­i­son to the Sony, which is as fun as it is in­sight­ful. Quiet mo­ments are cap­ti­vat­ing as huge ex­plo­sions go off in ev­ery cor­ner of the open sound­field – and the DN1080 han­dles the chang­ing shifts mas­ter­fully.

There’s also a harsh edge to the RX­V583’S tre­ble that be­comes more ob­vi­ous when you turn up the vol­ume, so care­ful speaker part­ner­ing is needed.

It’s a crit­i­cism we’ve aimed at Sony in the past, but this ap­pears to have been ironed out in the DN1080. High notes are reached with plenty of head­room. The sound is clear and crisp, but the vein of so­lid­ity run­ning through the Sony amp stops it sound­ing bright or harsh.

Pre­ci­sion

Some of that so­lid­ity and dy­namic sub­tlety is miss­ing from the Sony’s cur­rent arch ri­val, the Denon AVR­X2400H. The Sony is demon­stra­bly more de­tailed, of­fer­ing a big­ger scale of sound with more grunt, drive and low-end depth than the Denon can muster. Next to Sony’s more ro­bust char­ac­ter, the new Denon sounds a lit­tle del­i­cate.

All three amps are par­tic­u­larly adept at steer­ing sound around the room, with the Sony and Denon’s pre­ci­sion giv­ing them the edge over the Yamaha’s blunt mus­cle. Sur­round ef­fects swirl around con­vinc­ingly and you can track ex­actly where each noise – whether it’s a spell, a crash, a gun­shot or a mag­i­cal crea­ture – is placed in the sound­field.

They en­velop you in a co­coon of sound, and that’s be­fore you en­gage the Dolby Atmos or DTS:X 3D sound­tracks.

En­joy­able mo­men­tum

A home cin­ema amp is never likely to be a match for ded­i­cated stereo am­pli­fiers such as the Rega Brio, but the Denon and Sony amps have an ar­tic­u­late, ag­ile and rhyth­mic qual­ity that does jus­tice to stereo mu­sic. The Denon sounds dy­namic and en­joy­able enough when lis­ten­ing to a con­cert Blu-ray or Blue­tooth-streamed songs, while Sony han­dles dy­namic shifts and vo­cals in a fluid, ar­tic­u­late man­ner that sounds more musical than most AV amps.

The Yamaha re­ceiver doesn’t fare too badly ei­ther – play Ste­vie Won­der’s Su­per­sti­tion, and the amp kicks into gear, with the slick gui­tar riffs and con­fi­dent drums rolling along with an en­joy­able mo­men­tum and tight tim­ing. As lis­ten­able as it is, it isn’t quite enough to make it the win­ner of our Group Test. Ul­ti­mately, this is Sony’s show.

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