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Yamaha BD-S1065 Blu-ray Player Review Print E-mail
Thursday, 12 November 2009
Article Index
Yamaha BD-S1065 Blu-ray Player Review
Blu-ray / DVD Performance
Music Performance and Conclusion

Audio and Media:

As an audio device running with a 192/24khz Audio DAC, Yamaha’s BD-S1065 performs extremely well – if a bit more rigid than expected.  Working out the high-definition capabilities, 2L Nordic’s presentational disc was utilized – specifically the harp-heavy Vera Mininga and North Country II.  Each one exhibits delicateness in sound design, with a broad range of high and mid-range piano tones, that was sublime to the ears.  Jumping between the DTS HD Master Audio track and LPCM track offered practically the same experience, only with a minor amount of heightened clarity to the raw stream of material from the Mater Audio track.  Typically, only few tracks are tested at a time from this demo disc; however, the sound presentation was so engaging with Yamaha’s player that the disc was run much, much longer. 

Yamaha’s player also carries the ability to play CD, CD-R, and CD-RW discs.  CDs themselves also sound terrific, if light on availability to tailor the sound.  With a CD inserted, it defaults to a simple GUI navigation that enables individual selection and repeat function for the audio files.  Sonic notes run the gauntlet with Sigur Ros’ ( ) album, presenting a broad range of rock and new age elements throughout its eight beautiful tracks.  It’s a disc that can easily rattle the lower-frequency channel too hard (certainly has on other players), but the Yamaha handles the broad span of aural intricacies with aplomb.  Testing the waters with the orchestral accompaniment from the Lord of the Rings soundtrack provided an equally immersive experience, tracking the broad spectrum of the ensemble – strings being the most prevalent -- to great degrees.  Sound can be toggled between two-channel and L or R sounds accordingly.  The Yamaha BD-S1065 doesn’t offer support for the high-resolution SACD or DVD-Audio discs. 

Unfortunately, the rear USB port is strictly for BD-Live content, as photographs and MP3s can’t be accessed via the storage port.  Under the Setup function, a Photos option can access the images from a disc for display on the screen – only in JPEG format. 


Yamaha BD-S1065 Right Side

Overall Impressions:

Pros: Phenomenal A/V Quality, Great Upscaling, PAL-capable, Relatively Quiet

Yamaha comes out of the gate with their BD-S1065, and the results quality-wise are impressive.  It delivers an outstanding 1080/24p image, both of demo-worthy and not-so-pristine qualities.  However, its sound capacity trumps its strong visual delivery, holding the capacity to decode and bitstream DTS HD Master Audio / Dolby TrueHD audio to astonishing levels.  The company’s legacy of fine audio equipment can certainly be ascertained from giving several Blu-rays a spin, both boisterous and delicate varieties.  As a high-definition player itself, it delivers one of the stronger experiences out there, comparable to others in its price range.  This great sound quality carries over to a sensational presentation of audio discs, both of Master Audio/5.1 PCM and CD varieties. 

It’s also a very strong 1080p DVD upscaling machine, rendering exquisite detail within standard-definition DVDs.  DTS tracks in particular work a robust amount of magic through this player, though the other tracks certainly hold their weight as well.  PAL signals can also be processed by the S1065, including Region 0 discs and the special features on imported Blu-rays.  During movies themselves, the player operates on a very quiet, cool level, only letting out noticeable sounds from the unit upon shifting through menus and first popping in the disc for its initial load-up.   Boot-up noises are audible, yet not distracting and certainly not obtrusive during the whisper-quiet playback.

Cons: Competitors, No Wireless, Mediocre Load Times, Heavy/Thick

However, the Yamaha does have a few stipulations to its strengths.  First off, the price factor really comes into play here.  Ranging in between $500 to $600, it doesn’t offer enough advantages over its competition – namely Oppo’s BDP-83 – to compensate for the elements that it lacks.  One of the other things that it lacks that several other lower-priced models carry is an internal wireless device, essentially making the process of getting online to access BD-Live or other online functions a bit more difficult (requiring a permanent Ethernet cable to be run to the system). 

Along those same comparative lines, the S1065 also doesn’t have the fastest of load times – in fact, they can be downright sluggish at many points.  This issue largely involves booting up BD-Java applications from Blu-ray discs, which can be jerky and slow once they’ve finally been accessed.  Finally, and we’re talking on a purely aesthetic level here, this is a hefty, thick player.  It’s a quality machine, absolutely, and the weight and height of it (15 pounds and a good inch taller) can attest to the components riding inside, but the bulk isn’t terribly pleasing to the eye.

Final Thoughts:

Yamaha’s foray into Blu-ray technology is largely a successful one with their BD-S1065, though it’s not without hesitations.  It provides first-rate Blu-ray and DVD quality, as well as strong audio with Master Audio / CD discs, yet the versatility lacks when compared to that of its primary competitor and falls short with a few avoidable fumbles – namely load times, design aesthetic, and the lack of an internal wireless communicator.   The quality’s certainly there in Yamaha’s player to merit timid approval, but it’s missing the added punch that its easier-to-recommend competition offers. 


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