The Yamaha R


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Jun 06, 2023

The Yamaha R

Yamaha R-N2000A OutputPower: 90 watts per channel into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at

Yamaha R-N2000A

OutputPower: 90 watts per channel into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.07% THD, with 2channels driven

145watts per channel into 4 ohms with 2 channels driven

Signal-to-NoiseRatio: 110 dB (Pure Direct ON)

Dimensions:17 ⅛" W x 6 ⅛" H x 19 1/16" D

Weight:48.7 lbs

Yamaha'sno-expense-spared 5000 Seriescomponents made a bold statement about the company's dedication to seriousHi-Fi when they debuted back in 2019. Their fully differential balanced designsgo to great lengths to ensure superior noise immunity and low distortion. Plus,they’re gorgeous. But most folks aren't prepared to drop $20K on a preamp andpower amp stack. Luckily, Yamaha claims to have captured a portion of thisflagship goodness in its new R-N2000A "next-generation network Hi-Fi receiver,"which sells for a more approachable $4,000. It is compatible with lossless andhigh-resolution streaming sources, and offers useful room-correction featuresthanks to built-in YPAO (Yamaha Parametric Room Acoustic Optimizer). Visually,the R-N2000A is nearly as striking as the extravagant 5000 Series. I’m a totalsucker for the elegant level meters, which Yamaha says are there to "evoke thenostalgic era of Hi-Fi" as they convey the dynamics and pulse of the music, imbuing "a warm feelingthrough their softly illuminated LEDs." This is marketing speak, sure, but italso happens to be 100% true. It's not all retro though; at the bottom of the(black or silver) front panel,there's a high-res OLED display to indicate the content being played, adding amodern touch to an otherwise classic aesthetic. These sophisticated touchesextend beyond the front panel, too. Around back, the R-N2000A sports speakerterminals cut from pure brass, promising to deliver a highly secure connection— and to look damn good doing it. And inside, the chunky toroidal powertransformer and high-quality ESS Sabre DACs are just as appealing as theexterior.

Wehave a long history and a loyal fan base for our Hi-Fi gear, and the 2000Series ushers us into a new age. We designed a real, high-performance receiver,supercharged it with cutting-edge technology, and then paired it with a newgeneration of speakers. We made an impact in the Hi-Fi community three yearsago when we introduced the award-winning 5000 series; today, the 2000 Seriesmakes this extraordinary listening experience more accessible.

—Alex Sadeghian, director of Consumer Audio for Yamaha Corporation of America

Yamahasays that the R-N2000A is made for "audiophiles with analog aspirations anddigital desires." I have to tip my hat to the marketing writer who came up withthat. I interpret it to mean that the receiver bridges the gap between thehabits of next-gen audiophiles (i.e., high-res music streaming), and thetime-honored sound quality,build quality, and design aesthetic that Yamaha became famous for in the firstplace. The amp "produces breathtakingly beautiful sound while providing thebreadth of content choices and ease of use that today's music enthusiastscrave," according to the company.

Inorder to produce that breathtakingly beautiful sound, Yamaha says that theR-N2000A borrows heavily from the engineering of the flagship 5000 Series,including the perfectly symmetrical right/left circuitry and a floating,balanced power amplifier that reportedly offers superior channel separation andsignal-to-noise performance. In a configuration that Yamaha calls its "originalamplifier technology," the power amplifier circuitry, including the powersupply, is independent from the ground, thus eliminating the influence ofminute voltage fluctuations and external ground noise. Yamaha's circuit designpromises a variety of benefits, including the perfect symmetry of pull-pulloperation in the output stage. Other claimed advantages are both objective andsubjective in nature, from a high signal-to-noise ratio to "an overwhelminglyexpressive power that perfectly draws out the sound of any musical instrument."The amp delivers 90 watts per channel into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.07% THD,with both channels driven, and 145 watts per channel into 4 ohms, also withboth channels driven. Gene has the very sample he covered in the Youtube video below and will be doing exhaustive bench testing soon.

TheR-N2000A features a perfectly symmetrical, folding-book construction layout,with a centrally-located power supply flanked on either side by the poweramplifier blocks. Yamaha says that this layout gives the unit ideal weightbalance and "suppresses adverse effects between channels" for extraordinarychannel separation. The result is "remarkably pure reproduction of every partof the sound," according to the company. The power supply is said to use a toroidaltransformer the likes of whichare "usually reserved for flagship Hi-Fi components," bringing "technicalproficiency and absolute musicality" to the table. The toroidaltransformer works in tandemwith an array of high-end componentsto ensure that "the musical emotion is conveyed to the listener." A peak underthe hood would reveal a 3 mm brass base sandwiched between the bottom of thetransformer and the inner chassis, designed to control vibrations in thetransformer.

It'sone thing for a company like Yamaha to claim "an overwhelmingly spacious soundfilled with realism," and it's another to explain how its engineering team hasgone about trying to achieve it. Yamaha mentions a number of specificapproaches, including its Low Impedance Concept, which involves the use ofthick wires for the ground connection in order to "thoroughly eliminate energyloss and degradation of the audio signal." Yamaha considers this a criticalfeature that helps establish the R-N2000A as being "truly premium Hi-Fi." Theground is further strengthened by a screw connection for the output from thepower amplifier section, which Yamaha says is important for an open, naturalsound stage. Another engineering approach at work in the R-N2000A is Yamaha'sMechanical Ground Concept, which begins with the bolts of the feet being weldeddirectly to the main chassis. These are heavy-duty, chrome-plated brass feet,which provide the type of solid and rigid foundation necessary to achieve a "rich, foundational low-frequencyresponse," according to Yamaha. Next, the large heat sink, power transformer,and block capacitors are directly bolted to the chassis, just as they are inthe company's Hi-Fi flagships. Yamaha claims that this mechanical couplingprevents unwanted vibration, resulting in "powerful, highly expressivelow-frequency response, allowing you to feel the deep groove of the music."

Thebuilt-in DACs in many stereo products — even some expensive ones — are oftenjust there for convenience. If you’re serious about sound quality, you’ll get aseparate DAC. But Yamaha says that's not the case with the R-N2000A, which hasa DAC section built around the state-of-the-art ES9026PRO digital-to-analogconverter from ESS Technologies. This high-performance chip reportedly achieveshighly accurate signal conversion and refined current delivery thanks to itsfour-channel operation and balanced analog audio output. The result is adigital section that reproduces "even the subtle ambience of concert halls anddelicate expressive nuances," while serving up "clear, transparent sound fieldreproduction (with) rich and fully detailed audio." Users can take advantage ofthis DAC in a number of ways. There are, of course, optical and coaxial inputsfor connecting a CD transport, Bluesound Node, or Roon endpoint like the WiiMMini streamer. There's also a USB inputallowing the R-N2000A to connect to a PC or Mac, or to a USB-based audio devicesuch as iFi Audio's affordable Zen Stream ($399) or the high-end music serversavailable from companies like Innuos, Aurender, and Auralic. The USB inputsupports PCM playback up to 384kHz, and DSD 11.2MHz native playback as well.This input also benefits from an ultra-precision dedicated crystal clockdesigned to improve signal accuracy, allowing you to take full advantage ofhigh-res audio sources. Finally, there's an HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel)input, allowing the R-N2000A to connect directly to a compatible TV to deliver a powerful 2-channel or2.1-channel home theater experience. In addition to accommodating these digitalsources, the built-in DAC can be used to enjoy a suite of Yamaha MusicCaststreaming services – including Amazon Music HD, Apple Music (via AirPlay 2),Spotify, Tidal, Qobuz, and many others — via Wi-Fi or ethernet.

Formany audiophiles, room-correction has become a must-have feature in a fully-loadedintegrated amp like the R-N2000A. While many brands, including NAD, JBL, andArcam, have turned to Dirac Live, others, such as Anthem and Lyngdorf, preferto roll their own room correction software. Yamaha has gone the latter routefor the R-N2000A, which is equipped with Yamaha Parametric Room AcousticOptimizer, or YPAO. This proprietary automatic calibration technology correctsfor differences in room acoustics to create "the perfect listeningenvironment," according to the company. Refined over many years in Yamaha'shome theater receivers, YPAO has been optimized for the R-N2000A and promisesto yield professional-quality results without requiring laborious manualadjustments. The system is said to perform exceptionally high-precision equalizationwith 64-bit /192 kHz audio resolution. The R-N2000A also features YPAO R.S.C. (Reflected SoundControl), which "accurately control(s) the important early reflection sounds,automatically adjusting and optimizing how the sound is heard in your room, dependingon the materials of the walls and the speaker placement."

TheR-N2000A receiver is available now, and is being launched alongside a newfloor-standing speaker called the NS-2000A ($8K/pair), which will be availablein late spring. As of now, we know that this 3-way, 4-driver tower promises tobring patented technologies from the company's flagship 5000 Series speakersinto a new, more affordable product with a different form-factor. The newspeakers will use the same newly-developed Zylon fiber blend for all drivers,with the goal of maintaining consistent tone color over the entire frequencyspectrum. Yamaha says the material has "excellent sound velocity and minimalinternal dissipation." The cabinets, made from the same wood used in thesoundboards of Yamaha's grand pianos,was designed for optimal dynamics using laser vibrometers and sophisticated FEM(Finite Element Method) analysis. Patented Yamaha technologies, including theAcoustic Absorber and Resonance Suppression Chambers, are at work to ensurethat "music is vividly reproduced without the detrimental effects of excesssound-absorbing material," according to the company.

Itremains to be seen whether the R-N2000A will "transform your life withbreathtakingly beautiful sound," as Yamaha claims, but it does appear to offerthe perfect blend of old-school cool-factor and new-school features. Gene and Don Dunn seemed extremely impressed with their listening demos as can be seen in our Youtube Overview video.

Thoseilluminated level meters and high-quality front-panelcontrols are hard to resist. Be sure to check out how much of Yamaha's technologies from their $20K5000 Series trickled down into the R-N2000A in our video. Product Manager of Yamaha Hi-Fi products, Susumu Kumazawa, paidGene a visit last month at the Audioholics Smart Home to answer questions and give Audioholics fans a glimpseof what's to come from Yamaha!

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

Jacob is a music-lover and audiophile who enjoys convincing his friends to buy audio gear that they can't afford. He's also a freelance writer and editor based in Los Angeles.

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R-N2000A Network Receiver Yamaha May 12, 2023 12:05 3,995 5000 Series —Alex Sadeghian, director of Consumer Audio for Yamaha Corporation of America