Yamaha CX-A5100 is one of the most interesting receiver models of today. Despite the fact, that the unit is not a novelty, it continues arousing passions and encouraging the interest even in skeptics. It has a modern processor and supports full bandwidth HDMI 2.0a with HDCP 2.2 copy shield. Thanks to the firmware updating it’s possible to keep efficiency for HDMI 2.0a and consistency with a High Dynamic Range. Generally, the Yamaha CX-A5100 is really a great choice for those ones, who care about high quality and sound perfection.
The design is standard, but that is normal because Yamaha definitely pays attention to creating better sound quality, more than having good-looking boxes. The remote control is large and too heavy. It’s uncomfortable to keep it in hand. I’d rather buy universal remote or control the receiver with the help of the mobile app. The device itself has an impressive aluminum anterior panel with a flip-down door stashing the additional buttons. The “fifth leg” helps “absorb” the vibration, frame with an H-shaped cross member really facilitates the rigidity and whole box construction protects the mechanism from overheating.
Thanks to the Ethernet and Wi-Fi it is possible to establish a local network connection, and the whole process takes only a few minutes. Integrated Bluetooth is also an amazing feature, which allowed me to stream music from other devices which are not connected to the network. The support of Spotify Connect, Pandora, AirPlay, Rhapsody, and DLNA is a great advantage. I was shocked when found out, that through MusicCast the receiver can stream audio on up to 9 devices. The source inputs can be different, starting with Bluetooth and ending with turntables. LCD-screen is easy to read and I was able to see the name of the track or played FM station even from great distance. By the way, the system has 40 preset stations and a built-in clock is a pleasant bonus.
Yamaha’s stellar control can cooperate with different platforms. I installed on my Android-phone an app and felt the real power. It was easy to turn the receiver on/off, to set the volume, and choose the desirable track. The unit quickly complied with the request, so it was a pleasure to control it. As were written in the Yamaha CX-A5100 specs, the device supports the Alexa voice control. I had an additional device so decided to check the quality of performance. Unfortunately, it was uneasy to use such an option, because my voice wasn’t recognized in a right way. The unit turned off when I asked about the next station switching. I didn’t get pleasure from such a peculiarity and hope that Yamaha will fix this problem in the future.
While watching action blockbusters, I mentioned that the Atmos sound effects move all around me. I even heard a car explosion behind my back, at least a thought I did. The classic 5.1 channel is amazing, but a new 5.2 channel brings you high and put in a central part of an action. Even an aggressive surround mix became a sound highlight, which emphasized the main dialogue. I understood and heard all the plot elements. The Atmos has created a condition for full immersion. The YPAO system is a great benefit. With its help, the CDs and multichannel SACDs enhance their soundstage. As mentioned in a general Yamaha CX-A5100 review, the device really takes compressed music and makes it sounds like a 96/24khz high-resolution audio. It is true because while testing my ears were getting a true enjoyment.
The device has 8 HDMI inputs (7 in the rear, one in front) and 2 outputs. All of them can handle 4K Ultra HD. Presence of a high-quality phono input is essential due to vinyl’s resurgence. Such feature really works well, because I made a connection on the first try and enjoyed the deep sound. Within several working hours the disconnection appeared only once, but I couldn’t find the reason for it, so my impressions were mixed.
The setting process is a little bit old-school here. Even with the help of an installation app to make all the manipulations is not easy. The on-screen guide is too slow and many things may be incomprehensible by the user. I had to go through the setup routine and take care of the speaker’s connection, calibration, and inputs naming. The modern YPAO system version allows getting information about angles and room measurement. It works well, and I didn’t have a thought to make a configuration manually. The one thing that I didn’t like: the system doesn’t perform a 3D measurement by default. I had to find a relevant section in a setting menu and enable it by hand. A user-friendly manual can bring the answers to all the questions and problems. Everything is written in a straightforward way, without complicated terms, and with understandable images.
Yamaha has a positive image, which is strengthened with the help of every new product. The CX-A5100 is not an exception to the rule, so a potential user may get modern processor, 7 HDMI inputs, HDMI 2.0a, classic design, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 4K UltraHD, MusicCast, high-quality LCD-screen, 40 preset FM/AM stations, Atmos sound, YPAO system, 8 HDMI inputs, 2 outputs, etc. I didn’t like the installation difficulty, rare disconnection appearing, and bad Alexa voice control, but after counting of all the positive and negative characteristics, I can make only one conclusion: the device is worth buying!