This $2799 powerhouse puts out a minimum 130 watts (@ 8 ohms) in each of its six main channels, and 45 watts each in its two front effects channels. The power rating rises to 180 watts per channel in the mains with 4-ohm speakers – more than adequate with almost any speakers likely to be used with this receiver. Yamaha has included decoding for all current standard surround formats - Dolby Digital EX, DTS Digital Surround, DTS 96/24, DTS-ES Discrete 6.1, DTS-ES Matrix, Neo: 6, and Dolby Pro Logic II, as well as offering the proprietary "Quad-Field Cinema DSP" and "Virtual Cinema DSP." The RX-Z1 offers a total of 61 different surround variations.
Innies and outies: Six-channel analog inputs provide the best interface for use with high-resolution SACD or DVD-Audio multichannel disc players; digital-to-analog conversion is performed by ten Burr-Brown PCM-1704 DACs, operating at 24bits/192 kHz. Eight video inputs and three video outputs – all with both RCA and S-Video connectors - insure accommodations for the most elaborate systems.
With 100MHz component video bandwidth, the RX-Z1 has component video inputs for DVD, DTV and cable or satellite receivers, as well as a set of front panel A/V inputs for use with camcorders or other devices that might be connected temporarily. There are also four audio-only inputs, seven optical and three coaxial digital inputs. A pair of digital outputs can be used to feed external DACs or other processors. Should you wish to use separate power amps, Yamaha has provided pre-main coupling for the main-front, center, and front effects channels, as well as pre-outs for all channels, and three subwoofer pre-outs.
With so many channels of amplification, the RX-Z1 is ideal for use in "whole house" or multi-zone/multi-source situations. Zone 1 and Zone 2 have independent power control commands, and Yamaha has provided for extended I/R codes for completely independent multi-zone operation. 12-volt trigger signals enable remote operation of light dimmers, motorized screens, window shades, and power amps. Touch-pad controllers can connect with the RX-Z1 via an RS-232C port on the back panel. Firmware updates can be installed through this port. The RX-Z1 comes with a backlit remote control. The RX-Z1 comes equipped with a detachable power cord, especially useful for custom installations.
Home Theater audio editor Chris Lewis takes the RX-Z1 for a full test drive in the November issue.