YSP 4300 is a fantastic piece of equipment. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 08-08-2013, 08:39 PM - Thread Starter
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After marriage and kids forced me to dispose of my old tube amplifier and big energy-hog speakers, I had been forced to endure average surround sound through the multiple small speakers that encircled the room where the big-screen HDTV was located. When we recently decided to redecorate that room, my wife demanded we get rid of all the "ugly" speakers on the walls that didn't match the new decor.

After multiple estimates from local media companies, describing ingenious and very expensive ways of hiding wiring and speakers using the state-of-the-art electronic devices combined with some destruction and reconstruction of walls and ceilings - it came down to better quality 2-channel sound or poorer quality surround sound, but they said we couldn't have both.

That's when I noted the Yamaha YSP series of sound processor/sound bars. I took a chance on the most recent model, the YSP-4300 (which isn't cheap, but can be purchased for more than 1/3 off retail price if you look hard enough) and the results have been fantastic. You get a wireless sub and a large, but trim and stylish soundbar that looks great under the TV. Actually the term soundbar doesn't do the 4300 justice. It's actually a 24 speaker array plus subwoofer, amplifiers and digital signal processing technology to generate up to 7.1 output. There are 4 HDMI inputs, optical inputs, USB, etc. It can process Dolby digital, DTS and various other audio formats to generate surround sound from two channel input. It even imports iPad video with the apple HDMI cable. All at a price less than 1/3 of what the stereo installer guys wanted to charge.

I've eliminated 2/3 of my previous wires, which helped make set-up actually fairly fast and easy. The manual is on CD, which is unfortunate, but is easier to navigate on-line from Yamaha on a tablet you can have with you where you need it. The instructions are a little minimalistic, and there are a few quirks, and some things needed to be done twice to work right, but in particular the sonic calibration is fast, easy and automatic -- an included microphone sets speaker distance, angles, volumes, etc. accurately in only several minutes Set-up of the entire unit takes a while, but only because of the many, many features and variations the system includes.

I was worried because the TV is in a room with a loft above, an irregular height tall ceiling, several open walls, a staircase and multiple other features that I thought would interfere with good surround sound - but the system calibrated 7.1 with the wireless subwoofer and the sound is GREAT. I get great surround sound as well as high-quality audio. It's not the audio quality I had with my tube amp and speakers, but I wasn't expecting or needing it to be.

There are available modes for everything including FM, iPhone/iPod/iPad, cable, sports, music, DVD's and Blu-ray's, and virtually every kind of audio/video input you can think of - including 4K pass-through for stuff that hasn't even been invented yet. The remote works well, and can control some of my other equipment. My Logitech Harmony universal remote recognizes the 4300, and controls the functions without a problem - except the 4300 has so many features and choices that they go on for pages and pages on the remote's little screen. Easier to use the Yamaha remote to do anything complex.

All in all, I'm ecstatic that the sound quality and available features are as well designed and implemented as they are, and that I don't have to worry about my wife complaining about the ugly speakers any more. For me, it's a "win-win" situation, and one of the best purchases I've ever made.
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post #2 of 4 Old 08-11-2013, 07:42 AM
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Thanks for the review! Very timely for me as I am in a similar situation: renovating the old theatre and the design change eliminates the bookshelves. I don't expect a sound bar to equal a system of dedicated 5.1 speakers. However, my room is not that large and most of movie enjoyment is not dependent on the rear channels, so I think a sound bar is good compromise.

Can you confirm you have eliminated your AV Receiver? All of your sources are going directly into the YSP-4300?

For me, I plan on 4 HDMI inputs, one audio-only input (e.g., Sonos) and then one HDMI output to the projector. I am little surprised that for the price point, the Yamaha doesn't offer Bluetooth or WiFi to enable music sharing or a smart phone app.

Can anyone speak to the placement of sound bars? That is, I assume it cannot be placed inside a media console. And if placed on top of a media console, the front edge of the sound bar must be at the front edge of the console (to avoid reflection off the hard surface).

...and if it is "front justified" along the front edge, how do you avoid the ugly look of 6 cables out the back of the sound bar and across the top of the console. I haven't seen any with cable grommets in the top/middle.

Thanks in advance. Help, opinions and recommendations for alternatives to the expensive YSP-4300 also appreciated.
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post #3 of 4 Old 08-11-2013, 12:41 PM
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This is probably going to sound naive and it probably is, as I'm just beginning to weed through the soundbar market a bit.

I've got a Pioneer Kuro plasma that had been previously used for gaming only. It's been gaining traction as I've added a dedicated Blu-ray player and D* box to the config. To date I've simply used some AudioEngine self-powered speakers for gaming. Now that I'm using it for movies and such, I'd like to add some somewhat functional speakers that can take advantage of lossless audio and provide some measure of surround. These look like they'd fit the objective pretty well.

My primary questions are in regard to the cabling arrangement and the potential for additional latency. I'm assuming that all of the components I have will input to the soundbar via HDMI, while the soundbar will connect to the display with a single HDMI. Is that correct?

Regarding latency, for the gaming aspects will I be then adding significant latency when using these?

Thanks!
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post #4 of 4 Old 08-12-2013, 03:01 PM
 
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You won't add much if anything for latency.  The Yamaha will give a better surround effect but might be a decrease in sound quality over the Audio Engine 5+.  If you have the Audio Engine 5+ I'd consider getting a sub instead of the sound bar.  It depends if you value the surround sound more than the quality of sound.  If you have the Audio Engine 2 then the sound bar will be an upgrade.

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