YHT-S401 or YSP-2200? This may be the wrong question
I just finished removing my YSP-2200 and installing a YHT-S401 with a pair of surround speakers to make a true 5.1 system. If you do this, you will find that the question should be, “YHT-S401 with surrounds, or YSP-2200?” (Note: the discussion below, assumes you like to hear surround sound. If you’re OK with 2.1 sound it doesn’t matter.)
Originally Posted by weneversleep
Congrats on your choice. However, I recently bought a YSP-2200, and couldn't be happier. I think it's in another league from the S401, IF you take the time to set it up properly (manual setup). You don't have to have a "perfect" room, but it does help. Of course, the 2200 is a few more $$$, as well...
Um. it’s definitely not that simple. The YSP-2200 can achieve surround sound only if your room has both side walls available to bounce the surround off of. This means walls without a doorway or upholstered furniture or window coverings where the sound needs to be bounced. Treat this requirement seriously. Since you’re not likely to have the TV in front of the entrance door for the room, the door probably is on one of the other 3 walls so you may have a 1 out of 3 chance of not meeting this requirement. All 3 of the recent houses I have lived in, including my current one, were essentially missing the part of the left side wall that the YSP-2200 needs so when I played pink noise generator sounds for testing all 5 “speakers” in the YSP-2200, I hear the right surround “speaker” but not the left. I'm talking actual measurements here. And you know it’s missing when watching movies.
Originally Posted by supu007
I notice that the S401 does not even have tweeters. How can this sound good. Every other sound bar has tweeters.
Cute, but the problem with the YSP-2200 is that it has tweeters but doesn’t
have speakers to cover the lower mid-range part of the sound spectrum. Sound and Vision Magazine
measured the frequency responses: Soundbar 600 Hz to 10 kHz ±2.7 dB; Subwoofer 41 to 128 Hz ±3 dB. So there’s a sonic hole from ~130 Hz to 600 Hz - see their frequency response curve:
and this hole is in the lower end of the most sensitive part of human hearing
. Although it’s not all that noticeable for movies you can definitely hear the hole when you play music. It looks like Yamaha specifically addressed this problem in the new 3300 and 4300, which include mid-range speakers similar to the YHT-S401's speakers.
I like surround sound and playing music on my HT system, so I got a YHT-S401 and added a pair of Boston Acoustics surround speakers I already owned. I ran the wires below the floor (across the unfinished basement ceiling) although you can make this sorta wireless with a wireless surround unit from Soundcast or Rocketfish. After tweaking the output level of each speaker with pink noise, measured on my SPL meter, I watched my two current reference BDs for sound: The Avengers and Fast Five.
I could not be happier! The S401 really delivers what I was looking for. A few other comments:
1. At the high frequency end the 401 indeed doesn’t go as high as the 2200. When I play high the frequencies from the Jackstuff Audio Test Tones
CD, the 401 seems to drop off at around 8kHz. But this is definitely better than the sonic hole of the 2200. As I went through the frequency range there’s no
sonic hole between the 401’s soundbar and sub.
2. I’d prefer the 401 to be physically wider – at least as wide as the 2200 for a better front sound stage.
3. It would also have been better if the 401 had a microphone and automated speaker balancing routine like the 2200 (and most Yamaha receivers) has. It’s not a problem for me but most folks probably don’t have a SPL meter.
4. The 401 is a true receiver, in the sense that it has an FM tuner and you can use its amps to drive different front speakers (although if that’s what you want to do you’d be better off starting with a receiver and set of speakers).
5. The 401’s woofer is 5.25” versus the two 4” woofers in the 2200, and that larger cone does seem to go lower. This is hard to quantify because the room has a lot to do with it, but in my case the 2200’s sub dropped off at around 50 Hz and the 401 drops off at around 40 Hz. YMMV.
6. The 401’s front display reads out the specific mode of surround sound being played (Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD, etc.) but the letters are so tiny you need binoculars to read them from your listening position (I’m not kidding). Frankly I think the 2200’s red or blue light is more practical.
EDIT: 7. The 2200 has a feature where you can set the turn-on volume instead of having it turn on with the volume it was set to when you last turned it off. This is a good feature that I wish the 401 also had.
Sooooo, the 401 with surround speakers, in my room
, smokes the 2200 on movies. And it will always smoke the 2200 for music – there’s no getting around the 2200’s sonic hole.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
TedEdited by tkurkowski - 1/23/13 at 3:13pm