Originally Posted by zoey67
Honestly, I really don't know how can you guys lump the YSP's with the other junk like sony, vizio and jvc. For starters have you physically picked one these things up? I was at Fry's and went to pick up the sony ct-150 and it literally felt like some cheap toy you buy in china town's gift shop. The ct-150 weigh 2.3 lbs & the ct-350 is 5.5 lbs. The YSPs are beefy and built solid and weigh 3-4x times the vizeo and sony's soundbars at nearly 30 lbs.
I had the YSP-3000, loved it but sold it and now just got the 5100 and wow these things are just incredible at filling up a big room when paired up with a decent sub. My 5100 is now paired up with a pair of ULS-15 and I don't want to brag or anything but my HT is nothing short of a real live cineplex. And I thought maybe it's just me with my recent high buyer's jubilee but I read some reviews of the YSP1100 which is couple models below the 5100 in which 2 reviwers say they have 20K audio systems and one guy with a 10K bang & Olufsen both say how impressed they are with the 1100 and that it was nothing short of amazing. I feel the same as my previous 5 speaker set up of flagship Polk 1600 and Kef's ACE9000 that was 5K and now I get the similar performance with a single YSP-5100 that creates such a big, wide sounds stage only good 5 speakers can create. Don't give me that hogwash and tell me those 40 drivers don't mean anything because the assault of sound comes at you and all around you like those thousand flying arrows in Hero count for something. You guys want to go with the measly, puny 4-5 drivers one dimensional soundbars from Jvc, vizeo, unisen, bose, go right ahead.
I am sure the 5100 sounds very good. A close friend had a 4100 on a 30 day audition and he and I spent several nights auditioning the unit along with wives and a few assorted sons and daughters drifting through from time to time. At the same time we also had a Sony CT-150 and my personal JVC. We auditioned with movie content only so I have no idea how games or other content would fare. My friend and I both felt the primary purpose of the bar was to enhance TV and movie sound. Prior to listening, we had spent a solid three hours on a Sunday afternoon setting up the Yamaha as it required much more setup than the others. We used two sets of saved settings for 5.1 channel sound. One was from the calibrated microphone settings, the second had some minor customization with the calibrated settings as a starting point. All three devices had been set for an SPL of approx. 95db using an inexpensive Radio Shack sound meter. Not extremely accurate, but close enough for what we wanted to accomplish. In his living room this was loud but not deafening, so at extreme SPL's these findings would more than likely differ. Movies used for comparison were "The Dark Knight", "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and "Slumdog Millionaire", all Blu-Ray. Playback was a Panasonic DBP-60 Blu-Ray player from 2009 set to Bit-Stream using a single optical cable and I was the one switching the cable between devices and was the only one 100% sure of which device was active.
Each had its own sonic signature and everyone that listened could readily pick out which device was playing after just one or two passages from one of the movies, so this was in no way a double blind comparison.
First off, the Yamaha sounded very good and as you say, very full. It was easily everyone's choice on first listen. However, after hearing the other two units, most thought that the Yamaha was slightly lacking with high frequency and low frequency transient content. The you are there quality that many good speakers exhibit. Everyone said that they would have no problem living with the Yamaha as their primary speaker system if no other choice were available. Sound was greatly superior to the YSP-900 that had been my primary home theater speaker for two years and spent an additional six months in the master bedroom following that. The 900 is still in use by my son and his family and sounds better in his home than it did in either room at my own. However, and this was a consensus except for one wife who never wanted to hear anything even as loud as 95db in her home, the new Yamaha was almost as constrained in dynamics and headroom as my previous 900. Since the 900 was not on hand for a direct comparison, I do believe the 4100 was superior, but it was easy to tell that the unit was running out of head room much earlier than either the JVC or Sony.
Both the Sony and JVC gave more of a multi-channel feel with the JVC being ahead of any of the others when it came to detail, bass and transient response. The Sony had a slighly fuller response than the JVC, but not equal to the Yamaha.
My friend wanted the HDMI switching, so even though he liked the JVC also, his prefence came down to the Yamaha and Sony. For him the Sony won out because of price and absolute volume, headroom and dynamics. His wife preferred the fullness of the Yamaha until she was told that the Yamaha was more than five times the price of the Sony. So even though our little test was not quite double-blind for sound, there was no way to keep from introducing the price differences after listening. And for the most part, my friend went into this thinking his final choice would probably be the Yamaha because he could not imagine the sound not being at least several magnitudes superior based on price and the Yamaha name and his memories of the YSP-900 that made him start thinking along these lines several years ago. The difference in price would have meant little had the Yamaha been clearly superior to the others. But that was not the case after all had listened.
Like you, I associate weight with well made speakers. My personal speakers for music are Infinity Beta 50's which weight about 60# each. Over the years, I have owned a number of very good loudspeakers and most have weighed in the neighborhood of 40 to 60 pounds. But I have heard good and bad speakers that weighed hardly anything to weights that required two good men to move them around. When dealing with loudspeakers, the weight was a secondary factor to how dead the cabinet was. With the exception of the two speakers I owned (wish I still had) that had no cabinet (Qual ESL and Magneplaner). The weight on the soundbars in question, has little to do with the quality. Part of the weight of the Yamaha is in the forty two amplifiers to power each of the drivers. The portion of the Sony that you picked up was speakers only as all of the Sony electronics are in the sub-woofer. If you take combined weight of the soundbar and subs, I believe the weights for the two units are very similar.
Also, I do not share your enthusiasm for multiple drivers in a speaker system. In my experience, loudspeakers with too many drivers had many more issues and seldom gave the nice accurate sound of simpler systems. The Yamaha makes good use of its multiple drivers to deliver a very full sound using sonic delay and phase shift. But to my ears, these are the factors that limit the Yamaha in being able to reproduce the detail I hear with the other two units. I also have problems with Yamaha's various sound processing modes. They all add a layer of coloration that everyone could hear that were not present with the other two units in our tests. Several of the other people liked the colorations and thought they added to the overall viewing/listening pleasure, so this is a personal thing.
I still look forward to having the chance to audition the YSP-2200 as I feel that this unit has more potential than anything that Yamaha has so far produced. But please know that my opionions do not rise from some dislike of Yamaha or being a schill for one of the other manufacturers. While not as prolific as Davyo, I have owned soundbars from Yamaha, Sony, Vizio and JVC in the past 18 months and think I have a fair handle on the good and bad points of each. I am glad that you enjoy your new Yamaha, and very possibly there is just enough difference between the 4100 and 5100 to have changed my mind, but understand that the users who have heard both and end up liking the less expensive choices are not necessarily cheap or unexposed.
On a closing note, if you ever have a chance to hear one of the Definitive Technology soundbars, these can be a quite revealing experience. Probably the best sound I have ever experienced from a soundbar and by quite a wide margin. Not for everybody as they require a good clean amplifier and they both are really beasts as far as size and weight. And their weight does not include electronics.