Mis à jour le 10 March 2023.
With advanced stereo sound and extensive features, the Yamaha R-N2000A connected amplifier represents the Japanese manufacturer’s renewal. This model, which delivers 2 x 90 watts into 8 ohms, is more versatile than ever thanks to its wide range of connectors that include analog and digital inputs, notably USB-B and HDMI eARC ports. Its network features with MusicCast and AirPlay 2 provide access to the vast majority of streaming services and web radios. It can also play music shared via DLNA at up to 32-bit/384kHz and 11.2 MHz DSD. The icing on the cake is the YPAO acoustic calibration, which automatically adapts the settings to suit the listening room and associated speakers. Available for €3,699, will this next-gen hi-fi amplifier become one of the best in its category?
Yamaha R-N2000A: packaging & accessories
The Yamaha R-N2000A amplifier comes with all the necessary accessories: a power cable, an FM/DAB antenna, an infrared remote control with batteries and a wired microphone for the YPAO calibration. For easy configuration, the Yamaha R-N2000A amplifier also comes with a quick start guide.
Yamaha R-N2000A: presentation
The new Yamaha R-N2000A’s design is different to that of the Japanese manufacturer’s other connected amplifiers. It has a more luxurious appearance, inspired by the brand’s most prestigious hi-fi models, such as the Yamaha A-S1200 and Yamaha A-S2200. Like the latter, the Yamaha R-N2000A amp has two needle VU meters on the front panel. They can be configured as a dB meter to display the volume, or as a peak meter to indicate the peaks on the speaker outputs.
Underneath the needle VU meters, the Yamaha R-N2000A features a plethora of controls, which are all made of metal. These allow you to adjust the balance and tone (bass and treble) and to set the intensity of the loudness. If needed, these settings can be bypassed using the Pure Direct mode, which also has a dedicated function on the front panel. Large metal knobs are used to select the source, set the radio station and adjust the volume. Thanks to a preset control, you can quickly find your favorite FM/DAB or web radio stations. For the first time on a Yamaha hi-fi amp, a small digital display appears at the bottom of the front panel. This screen displays the volume and makes it easy to navigate through the various menus and functions of the amplifier.
The build and assembly of the Yamaha R-N2000A’s chassis is based on proven methods used on premium models. Its metal structure is combined with lacquered solid wood sides for a sophisticated finish. The bottom of the amp is doubled, and the different elements are mounted according to the manufacturer’s own mechanical grounding concept. Consequently, the silver-plated brass feet are bolted onto the chassis, as are the heat dissipator, the transformer and the capacitors. This reduces unwanted vibrations and interference. Moreover, a 3mm thick brass base is sandwiched in between the bottom of the transformer and the inner chassis to control the vibrations inside the transformer. As a result, the sound is purer and more transparent.
Inside its robust and luxurious chassis, the Yamaha R-N2000A amplifier has a perfectly symmetrical construction, with the left and right channel power blocks placed at either end of the amp. They use Sanken MLE20 and MJD20 Mos-Fet transistors mounted in a double push-pull configuration. At the center of the amplifier is a huge 600 VA toroidal transformer. It is combined with four 18000 µF capacitors to maximize current capacity and rise time. As a result, the Yamaha R-N2000A amp can confidently handle the most challenging music. Its power of 2 x 90 watts into 8 ohms and 2 x 145 watts into 4 ohms is matched by a high current capacity that allows it to tame demanding speakers such as the Focal Aria 948 or Klipsch Forte IV.
The Yamaha R-N2000A benefits from a wide range of connectors to meet all your needs. Its digital stage features two optical inputs and a coaxial input to connect a CD or SACD player for example. There is also a USB-B port to play music from a Windows or Mac computer. The 8-channel ESS ES9026PRO ensures optimal support for the vast majority of formats, including WAV, FLAC, AAC, etc. It can read PCM streams up to 32-bit/384kHz, as well as DSD files up to DSD 11.2MHz (DSD 256). It is a shame that MQA isn’t supported despite the amp’s Tidal compatibility.
For greater ease of use, the Yamaha R-N2000A amp is also equipped with an HDMI ARC input that allows you to connect a television. It can then retrieve the PCM soundtrack (up to 24-bit/192kHz) of the program being viewed and of the various sources connected to the TV. Thanks to the CEC protocol, it is even possible to automatically turn the amp on and off at the same time as the TV and control the volume with the TV’s remote control.
The Yamaha R-N2000A’s analog stage is just as complete, with three line level RCA inputs and an MM compatible phono input. The Yamaha R-N2000A features a stereo RCA pre-out port and a subwoofer output. Like all of the manufacturer’s high-end models, the speaker terminals are made of brass to maximize contact. A button on the front panel lets you easily switch between two pairs of speakers (A or B) or play music on both pairs simultaneously (A + B). Lastly, a headphone output on the front panel allows you to enjoy a more private listening session.
To optimize the sound according to the speakers and the room, the Yamaha R-N2000A connected amplifier benefits from the YPAO (Yamaha Parametric Room Acoustic Optimizer) calibration system. The latter has been used for many years on Yamaha’s AV receivers and more recently on the Yamaha MusicCast R-N803D. It works alongside the included microphone to measure the room and the speakers’ acoustic characteristics and adapt its settings accordingly. On the Yamaha R-N2000A amp, this technology is boosted by a 64-bit/192kHz processor and the RSC (Reflected Sound Control) system to provide exceptionally high-precision equalization. It allows you to actively control the reflections in the room, align the phase and create a custom equalization curve. The benefits are indisputable when the listening conditions aren’t optimal, with incorrectly positioned speakers or in a room prone to resonance, for example. The stereo image is more precise, the lows are tighter and, overall, the sound is more balanced.
For streaming, the Yamaha R-N2000A amplifier uses the Yamaha MusicCast ecosystem shared by all the brand’s connected devices. This system provides access to the majority of streaming services such as Spotify, Amazon Music, Qobuz, Deezer, Tidal and Napster, as well as a plethora of web radios. It can play music shared via DLNA over the local network and streamed using UPnP. All of this is easily done from the Yamaha MusicCast mobile app, which is now more comprehensive and user-friendly thanks to a recent update (Important update to the Yamaha MusicCast app).
The MusicCast technology also allows the Yamaha R-N2000A to be added to a multi-room group so that you can enjoy music throughout the house. Multi-room streaming can also be carried out through AirPlay 2. Finally, bi-directional Bluetooth lets you stream tracks from a smartphone or a computer to the amp, or to listen to your music with Bluetooth headphones or True Wireless earbuds. However, it is disappointing that HD codecs such as aptX HD or LDAC aren’t supported as they would have provided even more precise playback.
Yamaha R-N2000A: configuration
It is recommended to connect the Yamaha R-N2000A amplifier to the internet to enjoy all the features it has to offer. This can be done very easily via the Yamaha MusicCast mobile app for iOS and Android, which guides the user through the setup. Simply select the WiFi network, enter the password and the room in which the amp is installed. The Yamaha R-N2000A is then completely operational. If necessary, you can connect the microphone and launch the calibration to optimize the sound. This procedure is done automatically and by emitting a series of frequencies at high volume.
For our review, we connected the Yamaha R-N2000A to the Elipson Legacy 3210 bookshelf speakers, as well as the Elipson Legacy 3220 and B&W 702 S3 floorstanding speakers. We used the network player built into the Yamaha R-N2000A amp and the Thorens TD 124 DD turntable for music playback.
Yamaha R-N2000A: listening impressions
The Yamaha R-N2000A amplifier marks a turning point for the Japanese specialist’s connected models. Its sound signature was softer and more refined. While certain older models tended to be excessively bright depending on the associated speakers, the Yamaha R-N2000A amp was much easier to pair. It offered smoother highs and mids while retaining the trademark neutrality of the brand. We enjoyed a great analytical character which allowed the amp to reproduce each frequency range naturally and transparently, without any tendency to pull the message towards the high end of the spectrum. The timbres and tessituras were accurate.
The Yamaha R-N2000A amplifier managed to extract a high level of details with precision. Every nuance was clearly audible. This meticulous exploration of the various frequencies was carried out with a constant vitality. The different sound levels were expertly layered, with a perfectly constructed stereophonic image. The soundstage was wide, bringing transparency and openness to the music. This contributed to the excellent materialization of instruments and orchestras. The Yamaha R-N2000A’s neutrality, finesse and transparency also played a part in the effective vocal reproduction. The incredibly fine details provided a pleasant feeling of proximity to the artists.
The Yamaha R-N2000A’s high current capacity ensured a dynamic listening experience and plenty of presence in the lows. The bass was tight and incredibly lively. The Yamaha R-N2000A explored this frequency range with consistency to add energy and texture to the soundscape. This helped to achieve a very realistic reproduction of the instruments. They were embodied with authority and intensity. The attacks of the string instruments were well-defined and had a convincing edge. They were reproduced without any aggressiveness. The most subtle passages were clearly defined thanks to the finesse of the reproduction and the willingness of this Yamaha amp to process each piece of information with the same rigor.
Yamaha R-N2000A: compared to…
Atoll SDA300 Signature: available for €3,999, this French-built amplifier can deliver up to 2 x 150W into 8 ohms, play music shared over the local network (DLNA) and access many streaming services and web radios. However, its DAC is limited to 24-bit/192kHz and it has fewer connectors, lacking a USB-B port and HDMI eARC. Moreover, the mobile app is less intuitive than Yamaha’s. Nonetheless, the Atoll SDA300 Signature shines with its sound quality and warm, romantic and smooth reproduction. The highs are sumptuous and the lows more extensive.
Cambridge EVO 150: priced at €2,990, the Cambridge EVO 150 is a connected model delivering 2 x 150W into 8 ohms. Like the Yamaha amp, it has the advantage of being equipped with an HDMI ARC input as well as a 32-bit/384kHz and DSD256 compatible USB-B port. It is also compatible with aptX HD Bluetooth, DLNA, Chromecast and AirPlay 2. Access to countless online music services, such as Qobuz, Tidal and Spotify Connect, is also possible. Sound-wise, the Cambridge EVO 150 is very powerful, with full-bodied and dynamic lows. It is also neutral and balanced. However, the Yamaha R-N2000A explores the highs with more finesse and offers a more transparent sound.
Yamaha R-N2000A: who is it for?
The Yamaha R-N2000A is designed for music lovers looking for a sophisticated and uncompromising connected amplifier. Its biggest advantage is its versatility, with an exhaustive set of connectors that allows you to connect both analog and digital sources, including a TV and a computer. Its expansive network player lets you listen to digital music and enjoy streaming services. The Yamaha R-N2000A amp manages to combine all the standard equipment of a separates hi-fi system in a single unit. This versatility is achieved without the slightest compromise on listening quality, with consistent musicality at all times. It will appeal to those who love natural, dynamic, lively and analytical sound signatures.
Yamaha R-N2000A: conclusion
Yamaha has been a leader in the field of connected hi-fi for many years. The new Yamaha R-N2000A gains in versatility with its extended connectivity, but also in performance and musicality with its 32-bit/384kHz and DSD256 DAC. While maintaining the brand’s trademark neutrality and transparency, the Yamaha R-N2000A explores the mids and highs with greater finesse and smoothness. They are rich, highly detailed and very natural and are accompanied by a low end that is full of energy and vitality. The sound is very dynamic, always balanced and perfectly coherent. The high current reserve allows the majority of speakers to be powered, including the most demanding models. To top it all off, the YPAO calibration system ensures that this amp is used to its full potential. Its vintage design, its metal front panel, its exemplary build quality and its VU meters also give it undeniable charm.
- The design and VU meters
- Its versatility
- The transparent sound
- The dynamism
- The exquisite build quality
We would have liked:
- aptX HD or LDAC Bluetooth
- MQA compatibility