Yamaha R-N2000A Network Receiver Page 2

This makes the R-N2000A an enjoyable-sounding amplifier with none of the slight leanness older models could exhibit. Music is presented with full-bodied verve, but without losing that sense of fresh detail and airiness. That last aspect is, to my mind, what makes Yamaha's model different from, say, Denon's PMA-1700NE integrated [HFN May '23]. There's a touch of delicacy there, but also a little bit of colouration that especially delivers when playing more refined material.

Take, for example, the beguiling Esja [Gondwana Records GONDLP030; 44.1kHz/16-bit], from Polish piano virtuoso Hania Rani, streaming via Roon. The R-N2000A's portrayal felt deft, gentle and authentic, helped by the music on this 2019 album being well suited to the Yamaha way of doing things. 'Sun' and 'Biesy' are just two of the standout tracks reminiscent of Philip Glass and, more contemporarily, Ólufar Arnalds and Nils Frahm. It's all meant to sound dreamlike, with repetitive sequences of chords and Rani's dynamic playing, and the soft touch of the R-N2000A fit like a glove.


Digital connectivity includes two optical, one coax, USB-B, wired/wireless Ethernet and HDMI ARC adjacent to a combined DAB/FM antenna, three line inputs, MM phono, preamp and subwoofer outs. The A/B speaker outlets are switchable

Not that this amplifier's retro looks preclude it from digging into more contemporary fare. Tightly defined basslines underpin the tracks on deadmau5 and Kaskade's Kx5 album [Mau5trap Recordings MAU50533A1X; 44.1kHz/16-bit], giving a powerful feel to songs such as 'Alive' and 'Take Me High' – and considering I was listening on a set of relatively diminutive DALI Rubicon 2 standmount speakers the bass extension and control was exemplary. Certainly, the R-N2000A prefers control above low-end boisterousness, but that's fine – I'd rather less wooliness than too much.

On the track 'Eat Sleep', the amp also created a larger than expected soundstage. A dense beat track was pulsing in the room while some African-sounding percussion was presented on a grander scale. Richard Walters adds vocals to the latter part of this techno hit, and the Yamaha positioned him far off in the distance. All in all, the R-N2000A's ability to create a three-dimensional soundstage is excellent, with YPAO boosting the sense of scale without invoking noticeable artificiality.

Easy Listening
Another difference with the Denon PMA-1700NE mentioned earlier: where just a slight turn of that amp's volume knob led to high volume levels, on the R-N2000A I was really turning the dial to get to regular listening levels – it was therefore far easier to seek out the desired volume. That said, during testing my impression was that Yamaha's amp is on the 'adequate' side of things regards power, rather than being blessed with huge grunt.

While YPAO certainly improved depth perception, analogue proponents will probably opt for the R-N2000A's Pure Direct mode, as this doesn't digitise the phono input. If you want to use that mode you'll have to drag yourself out of the seat, as it's not accessible from the remote control or MusicCast app, and unless you're profoundly opposed to digital processing – in which case there are better amps out there for you – it's probably more beneficial to use that YPAO function. It certainly helped to make the harps at the beginning of 'All That You Give' on the 20th anniversary vinyl re-release of The Cinematic Orchestra's Every Day album [Ninja Tune ZEN 59XX] sound more vivacious. An entrancing start!


Yamaha's RA-X39 system remote offers control over volume, mute, input selection and A, B, A+B speaker output switching

Love Me Tender
Yamaha has lavished attention on its phono stage here. When spinning Anna B Savage's beautiful in|FLUX set [City Slang SLANG50470LP] on a Pro-Ject X1 deck [HFN Aug '19], I was treated to a very smooth and organic sound ideally matched to the intimate feel of the music. Opener 'The Ghost' was especially impressive, with the close-mic'd, subdued voice of Savage conveyed with texture and tenderness.

But the real jewel on this album is found on the B-side. 'Hungry' features the remarkable and slightly nasal vocals of the London-based singer, with some restrained acoustic guitar playing that the R-N2000A unpicked with panache. Digital or analogue, this new network amp plays across the pitch.

Hi-Fi News Verdict
This multi-talented 'streaming receiver' is compelling. Without straying off Yamaha's reservation, the R-N2000A manages to project an 'analogue' feel and sound while also offering great MusicCast- driven digital connectivity and features, including YPAO room optimisation, under the hood. Confident with largescale orchestrations but also delicate when required, the R-N2000A is an all-rounder in sound and body.

Yamaha Corporation
Supplied by: Yamaha Music Europe GmbH (UK)
0844 811 1116