Yamaha is expanding its Digital Sound Projector selection to three from two and adding a fourth system that also delivers single-speaker surround. All incorporate speakers, amplifiers, decoding of DVD-based surround formats, and virtual surround processing in a single horizontal enclosure.
The expanded Projector series consists of the $1,799-suggested YSP-4000, $1,199 YSP-3000 and $899 YSP-900, all delivering a wider sound stage than their predecessors. The latter two shipped in August, with the top-end model due in October.
The three Projectors can be mated with two rack-mountable down-firing powered subwoofers designed for use with the Projectors. The subs are priced at a suggested $199 and $279.
The top two Projectors are Yamaha's first with HDMI (1.3a) ins and outs, integrated FM tuner, Neural Surround, five-channel stereo mode, analog-to-HDMI transcoding, 720p/1080i up-scaling, XM-ready port, compressed-music enhancer circuitry, and port for Yamaha's optional YDS-10 iPod docking station. The HDMI interface on the top two models accept 24 fps and 60 fps 1080p signals.
Each model incorporates multiple small drivers, individual amps for each driver, steering logic, DSP, Dolby Digital/DTS surround processing to create a 5.1-channel surround field, and DTS Neo:6 to create a six-channel surround field. DSP controls the delay times of the individual drivers. Select drivers beam sound off the side walls to reflect surround channels toward the listeners.
The fourth system, the $599 YAS-70, isn't officially part of the Sound Projector series, but it seems to use similar technology. Company literature says it features six built-in beam drivers, amplification, surround processing, built-in FM tuner, iPod-dock connectivity and a companion outboard subwoofer. It ships in October.