"Future Proof" Yamaha RX-V3000 Does 7.1, 6.1, 5.1 and Stereo

Two thousand bucks buys a lot of technology these days. Yamaha's RX-V3000 is a good example: with seven channels of amplification, auto-detect surround sound decoding, and a learning touchscreen, it's hard to beat.

The RX-V3000 is compatible with 5.1 Dolby Digital and DTS, plus 6.1 surround formats with matrixed rear channels. Its five main channels put out 100 watts each at very low distortion; the two front effects channels are rated at 25 watts each. Twin mono subwoofer outputs increase sound system flexibility, as do 49 inboard "HiFi DSP" and "Cinema DSP" programs that will approximate the sound of various venues by processing your audio signals through filters based on acoustic data from the actual venues.

Input terminals for six-channel external decoders are claimed by Yamaha to "future proof" the RX-V3000 for as-yet-undeveloped surround formats. A speaker impedance selector insures maximum power transfer from the Yamaha to any speakers you care to use with it. All output channels in the unit are capable of high current, low impedance drive, with "linear damping bass extension" for maximum impact with action movies. External power amplifiers can be yoked to the main unit by feeding them from the RX-V3000's pre-out jacks from any channel.

One esoteric feature is the RX-V3000's "auto priority" input selection, which default to the active source in your system. A speaker test function makes system calibration easy, especially in conjunction with the on-screen display. In addition to the learning touchscreen, Yamaha's second-from -the-top model includes an RS-232c terminal for advanced programming in custom installations, and a Zone 2 feed for a second system. Yamaha has also included a sleep timer function and a 40-Station AM/FM tuner with random access and auto-preset tuning. The $2000 price is for standard black; the optional gold finish is $100 additional.