Yamaha YAS 101 review - AVS Forum

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Gened45's Avatar Gened45
10:38 PM Liked: 10
post #1 of 2
12-28-2011 | Posts: 43
Joined: Dec 2011
If you need the specs then proceed to the Yamaha web site -
This review is more of the findings that I have made so far.
The soundbar almost disappears while watching my 52" Samsung TV. It looks as though it belongs there, glossy black and thin enough so it doesn't stick up in the viewing area and being that the Samsung TV IR sensor for the remote is on the far right vertical part of the Tv surround it didn't block the IR sensor. I didn't have to turn on the pass through to use the Tv remote. Nice feature though. I unboxed it and placed it in position on the tv stand just in front of the tv and hooked up the Optical digital cable that came with it. Optical Digital cable jack out from the TV to Optical cable jack in on the soundbar. Plugged it in to the power strip and ready to go. The TV passes 5.1 through to the soundbar and I was pleasantly surprised at the fullness of the sound right out of the box.
Now my wife is not a fan of any additional audio enhancements to say the least. She remembers that in order for her to play a movie with my previous 5.1 system she needed a remote for the tv, one for the receiver, and one more for the DVD player, plus the wires for the back channel and in general much aggravation on her part.
After I set the Yamaha up, she has come around a little. The one great thing about the YAS101 is that the soundbar can be programmed to accept the tv's remote to control Volume up and down and on and off. Pretty much not having to learn anything new to watch tv. I just set it at stereo set the bass control to minus numbers and put speech enhancement -called Clear Voice on and she is happy.
I have to say though, when watching a movie from a TV channel through the digital cable box HDMI'd to the TV, the sound was great. I could discern hi mid and low levels of audio and there was a fullness to what I was hearing. There was spatial separation and it's funny that while most movie scenes are played at the front of the soundbar. I did notice that some sound effects do come from around the room. I put on Tron the Legacy for the Grandchildren and myself to watch on the DVD player and was greatly impressed by the sound and especially the bass of the movie. Esp since I hadn't changed the sound output cables from the DVD/TV connection.
Once I played with the bass and the volume I do prefer some volume to what I listen to. My Grandkids and I listened to my non bluray DVD player hooked up to my TV via component/composite cables from the player and I really am hard pressed that the sound would be any better if the bar and the player were hooked up coaxially. Though I might just try it.
There has been some discussion on the lack of ability to discern just what level the sound or bass was at on the 101 but I found that there are twelve steps from minimum to maximum. The direction of the soundbar lights when the volume or bass button is pressed show whether the sound or bass is increasing or decreasing. When there is a solid green on the left and no more decreasing is available then that is the minimum (the direction of the lights go from right to left and to a multi steady green), When going in the other (left to right) direction the lights go up to orange which is neutral or zero and then proceed toward a flashing red then to a solid green when the maximum is reached for bass or volume depending on which button is being pressed. Unless you see it probably you won't understand what I just noted. Just remember there are six adjustments from min to neutral and six adjustments from neutral to max. Also after several seconds of no remote use all the lights on the bar dim and are barely noticable.
I had a hard time programming the Time Warner remote to the soundbar until I turned off the tv and closed the blind on the window to stop sunlight from falling across the front of the bar. I did read that the sensor on the soundbar was sensitive to any outside light and once I had done that it was a piece of cake to program. ( I at the time was thinking that two remotes would be unacceptable for poor Ms bitter half! er I mean Ms better half!
Anyway the more I play with it, the more I really appreciate Yamaha's attention to detail. I do think tho that they could have incorporated a jack on the front or even the back so I could plug in my Itouch and play some music through the system.
All in all so far it's a keeper. I need to rent some movies that have low bass to see just what the bass capabilites are. We don't rent too may movies and I've only purchased Nemo, Tron the Legacy and the original Ocean's Eleven with the ratpack. I will say that the scene with Daredevil and Michael Clarke Duncan with his deep voice in his office scene tussle was loaded with bass! And clear as a bell.
Gened45's Avatar Gened45
07:46 AM Liked: 10
post #2 of 2
01-13-2012 | Posts: 43
Joined: Dec 2011
Bumping this for several questions on performance in the forum re the 101
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