Yamaha's YSP-4000 Flagship Surround Bar Does Upscaling, HDMI, XM/iPodsS

Today, Yamaha introduced a new flagship in its YSP "sound projector" faux-surround bars. The YSP-4000 is a follow-up to the YSP-1100, with a similar setup: 40 individual "beam" drivers that have individual amps, and two midbass speakers. The YSP-4000's main upgrade seems to be HDMI pass-throughs, and analog/720p/1080i upscaling to wonderful 1080p.

No word on who makes the upscaler, but I notice that their new flagship receiver uses a not so great scaler by the usually high-end Anchorbay.

But back to audio. Those speakers all coordinated by a DSP, and by tweaking delay and volume, convincingly eliciting sweeping surround audio that seems to come from all 360 degrees, and then some. There are "seven Cinema DSP programs (three movie, three music and one sports)" and "Dolby Digital, DTS, Dolby Pro Logic II and DTS Neo:6," all of which are selectable via the remote and on screen display or LCD. The YSP-4000 is iPod and XM ready and goes for $1800.

Yamaha's YSP-4000 Flagship Surround Bar Does Upscaling, HDMI, XM/iPodsS

Then there's a YSP-3000 and YSP-900, which only have 21 beam drivers, two midbass speakers. It has the same surround format compatibility, and the YSP-3000 has 2 HDMI inputs/outputs, but no analog upscaling. (The YSP-3000 is iPod/XM ready, btw.) Oh, like the YSP-4000, you'll still need a subwoofer to go along with these things, which is Yamaha released a slim, downward firing models:

Yamaha is also debuting two new subwoofers, the YST-FSW150 (130w; $279.95 MSRP) and YST-FSW050 (100w; $199.95 MSRP), with slim, rack-mountable, down-firing active designs that work perfectly to give its new YSP systems extra low-end audio presence. The YST-FSW150 and YST-FSW050 both have minimal heights of 5 15/16-inches and 6 7/16-inches, respectively, that make them ideal for rooms and installations with space limitations. They both feature the company's latest proprietary Yamaha Active Servo Technology II (YST II), which provides extremely stable performance and high sound pressure levels that result in natural and energetic bass reproduction and linear ports for minimizing extraneous noise.

The YSP line is my favorite, despite the inability to table mount without blocking the bottom portion of a TV. Can't wait to hear these at CEDIA.

LATEST DIGITAL SOUND PROJECTORS OFFER HDMI, VIDEO UPSCALING, iPOD COMPATIBILITY, FM TUNER AND ADVANCED LISTENING SETTINGS

—Three New Models Enhance Market-Leading Single Component Surround Sound Solutions; New Entry-Level YAS-70 Features Exclusive Air Surround(TM) Technology —

BUENA PARK, Calif.—Yamaha, the innovator in home theater and digital audio and video reproduction, today unveiled the YSP-4000, YSP-3000 and the YSP-900 Digital Sound Projectors, each of which provides true multi-channel surround sound from a single component that can easily be installed underneath a flat-panel television. All of these units provide true surround sound performance by focusing audio signals into precisely controlled and directed "beams" that keep consumers from having to install numerous speakers throughout a room. Members of the press are invited to experience the new systems at CEDIA 2007 in Denver, Colorado, at Yamaha's booth (#450), between September 5 and 9.

The top-of-the-line YSP-4000 sets a new standard in single component surround sound and home theater installation capabilities. It features 40 beam drivers, two built-in subwoofers, 42 corresponding digital amplifiers, seven Cinema DSP programs (three movie, three music and one sports), analog to HDMI video upscaling, high definition video upscaling to 1080i/720p and advanced custom installation compatibility. The YSP-3000 and YSP-900 both feature 21 built-in beam drivers and two built-in woofers, with 23 corresponding digital amplifiers and three Cinema DSP modes, but the YSP-3000 also includes a 1080p (24Hz and 60Hz) compatible HDMI interface with two inputs and one output to facilitate pure digital connections with the latest home theater components.

The YSP-4000 and YSP-3000 are fully XM Satellite Radio ready with XM HD surround sound powered by Neural Surround. An integrated FM tuner further broadens the user's entertainment choices. The YSP-4000 and YSP-3000 also offer iPod compatibility via the optional YDS-10 dock. Once docked, the iPod can be operated (song selection, play, etc.) via the YSP's remote control and on-screen display. Yamaha's proprietary Compressed Music Enhancer technology compensates for the lost detail of audio that is compressed during the "ripping" process, recapturing the essence of the original recording.

All three models create a wider soundstage than previous Digital Sound Projectors, to fill the whole room with convincing surround sound regardless of where listeners are seated. The YSP-4000 and YSP-3000 offer two all-new modes: 5-Channel Stereo and My Surround. To accommodate even the most difficult installation environments where walls may not be present or are covered with unsuitable materials, My Surround mode provides surround sound without needing to reflect the beams off walls.

Each model offers additional sound settings, including 5-Beam Mode, 3-Beam Mode, Stereo+3-Beam Mode, Stereo Mode and My Beam Mode, which allows users to focus sound to a specific position in the room to avoid disturbing others. Yamaha's proprietary IntelliBeam(TM) automated system calibration enables users to quickly and easily set up each system for the optimal listening experience and intuitive, multi-language on-screen displays.

All three systems offer full support for surround sound standards, including Dolby Digital, DTS, Dolby Pro Logic II and DTS Neo:6. Each also features Yamaha CINEMA DSP technology to create realistic soundscapes in any room. For late night movie and music enjoyment, a Night Listening Enhancer mode that allows dialog and quiet passages to be heard clearly, even at low volumes. Moreover, a TV Equal Volume mode prevents sudden bursts of sound from TV programs and commercials.

All three of the new models feature SRS TruBass technology to provide exceptionally deep and rich bass response, and a subwoofer output to accommodate one of Yamaha's new slim design subwoofers (YST-FSW150 and YST-FSW50) for clean, rich bass reproduction.

The YSP-4000 ($1,799.95 MSRP) will be available in October and the YSP-3000 ($1,199.95 MSRP) and YSP-900 ($899.95 MSRP) will be available in August. The SPM-K30, a new YSP bracket which is adjustable for use with all three models, will also be available in August for $79.95 MSRP. For wall-mounting applications, an optional 15-foot cable (YDS-CBL15) for the Yamaha YDS-10 iPod dock will also be available for $49.95 MSRP.

Slim Subwoofers Offer Ideal Complement to YSP Models

Yamaha is also debuting two new subwoofers, the YST-FSW150 (130w; $279.95 MSRP) and YST-FSW050 (100w; $199.95 MSRP), with slim, rack-mountable, down-firing active designs that work perfectly to give its new YSP systems extra low-end audio presence. The YST-FSW150 and YST-FSW050 both have minimal heights of 5-15/16-inches and 6-7/16-inches, respectively, that make them ideal for rooms and installations with space limitations. They both feature the company's latest proprietary Yamaha Active Servo Technology II (YST II), which provides extremely stable performance and high sound pressure levels that result in natural and energetic bass reproduction and linear ports for minimizing extraneous noise.