High Fidelity: We review the Yamaha R-N2000a Network Receiver

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High Fidelity: We review the Yamaha R-N2000a Network Receiver

Words by Andy Lloyd-Russell

There are few brands that hold such an esteemed place in the history of Hi-Fi as Yamaha.

Having created some of the most iconic products in the space, it’s no surprise that the brand’s relatively new network enabled stereo receiver and integrated amplifier, the R-N2000A is a perfect blend of Yamaha’s ‘True Sound’ ethos, but with all the convenience afforded by digital circuitry and modern networking capabilities.

The result is something both classic and pure at the amplification level, but with more than enough connectivity to allow for easy playback across multiple formats.

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Pushing out a healthy 90W per side at 8-Ohms (20Hz-20kHz, 0.07% THD), the R-N2000A has plenty of oomph, but never at the expense of clarity or depth. To aid stability and overall performance, the bolts of the feet are welded to the main chassis and the large heat sink, power transformer and block capacitors are directly bolted to the chassis, in turn eliminating unwanted vibration and allowing for a rock solid low frequency response (something that any integrated amplifier strives to accomplish). This all adds up to give the R-N2000A the kind dynamics and low end normally reserved for a much more expensive amplifier, something which is sure to pique the interest of those with a keen ear for audio quality.

From a component standpoint, the R-N2000A has remained true to Yamaha’s reputation for exceptional build standards. From its thick gauge wires and screw terminal for secured grounding, every component and connector is scrupulously selected ensuring ultimate in performance and reliability. This commitment to quality also extends to the digital components, with the ESS Technologies ES9026PRO DAC providing stellar signal conversion, working in tandem with the aforementioned analogue circuitry to provide a sense of dimension, depth and separation that many other amplifiers would struggle to achieve.

In contrast to the classic minimalism hinted at by its looks, the R-N2000A’s wealth of connectivity is steeped very much in the now. Phono, CD and audio line inputs are all included or course, as well as an FM tuner, but where things get really interesting in in its high-resolution streaming connectivity, as well as the HDMI (with ARC), rounding out the potential of the R-N2000A being the centrepiece of a 2.1 home theatre system. For those wanting to enjoy the highest quality of digital playback, DSD file formatting is supported as well as the usual .WAV, AIFF, FLAC and MP3. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and AirPlay connectivity are all supported as well as USB and Ethernet.

Back on the topic of aesthetics, the VU meters on the front panel are gorgeous and absolutely scream classic Yamaha-albeit with a slight modern twist in the form of the bottom stripe of the front panel doubling as a touchscreen, allowing for easy menu navigation and configuration.

It’s both subtle and forward thinking and is yet another way in which this amp effortlessly straddles the line between old and new.

This also extends to the amplifiers approach to acoustic optimisation. Working in chorus with the aforementioned heavy duty bracing of its internal topography, the R-N2000A also packs some groundbreaking modern technology, like YPAO (Yamaha’s Parametric Room Acoustic Optimiser) under the hood to maximise the listening experience and helping smooth out any anomalies present in the room.

Sonically speaking, the R-N2000A is anything but a colour box; but rather a lesson in pleasant, workable neutrality. An amplifier built with the design principles of allowing a speaker’s true unique character to shine through, without imparting any of its own artefacts to the source material or peripheral components. The result is an integrated amplifier with an impeccably detailed playback, with remarkable separation of instruments and audio content in general, a result of Yamaha’s commitment to end-to-end quality throughout the signal chain. From the build quality of the chassis, to the transformer, power amplifier and meters and then on to the DAC and networking connectivity. It’s a class act throughout.

Coming in a bit below the R-N2000A’s price point, the new R-N1000A and R-N800A also sport many of these same desirable features found on the R-N2000A, like YPAO, a plethora of streaming connectivity and Yamaha’s rock solid construction, the new R-N family of integrated amplifiers truly covers all bases – from peak flagship performance and features, through to more affordable but equally reliable options, each oozing the same classic Yamaha vibe that we know and love.

Find out more here.

This article was made in partnership with Yamaha.