Yamaha YSP-4000 Digital Sou1d Projector Hc<ne Tbeoi:er lo"'mP, » SDeP System:; Wrltet1 by .lm Swrlko SoJ'day, Oll.rJe 2003 IntrodU<tion l 'hOYd COOle to no 'c.<i=<i,e tho! f1tlt tole,;,oo, ",e .. the rogo the,e My', ond rO;tt~ '0. They _ ~eot, con be Cu1o;l on the w.. fOf lfIeIl'l-wow foclOf ond ",e the reMon fOf ,"",lol bl" t1 ccutle" hOfne' notoow>:le. The foci tho! f1tlt ,creer" ",e M IfOOh 0 fMr;oo lem M they ",e 0 "'Jce of ertert_ hM done w ~ , to eMe the ogo_~ conflct belWeet1 0 mon', de'''e fOf 0 "->;le ¥>:leo ,creet1 fOf wotc,...,. foctbol ond 0 WC<flOf1', de'''e to hove on Ofclet~ lvO;l rOOfTl l i' my ~f tho! the; conflct WM 0 i=<OMfy met",otoo fOf momfoclc.<er' to creote tole,;,oo, too eroco;jo to hono;l on the w.. t1 the f,." pIoce. Icon he'" the meet ' now: "MMe 1 _ rice, '0 wive' wi I<e l ond wile! the« rmbon(h CJ' crozy ond 'i=< fOf 0 "->;le, exper"",e TV _I', 0 focVoof pion." Goo" vo.tJot? The pion WOf,ed ~ 'c.<roo:o:t ,peoker, '0 'mol tho! they were L.rrJctceobie The; 'eemed I<e 0 ~eot deo, exce>t fOf one i=<obIem: the ,peoker Me,. ftMl, how obo<t Mole" ,peoker,? Tho! too ho' beet1 tried, W you "I need to power them, vo.tJich meon, elhet on <Vi AC oM>tOf Of bol:terle' tho! cte ond need con"ort repWoetTJet1 The f,." oI:t~, hod ,0p0I, The "e" ,OUOO i' 0 decOl=t",ety ,~ deo: lfIOrJip<t>te the "'->:to t1 'l.ch 0 woy tho! they bo«lce the 'c.<roo:o:t t1fOfmotOO frOO1 the frm of the rOOfTl, off the ,de w"', thet1 no yo<.< e"". Yolo, t1"ort 'c.<roo:o:t. h theory, the concOl=t WOf" ju" I<e bonk..... 0 poo:> bol off the r" ond no the COfnet poc,et. MYone ¥>tio ho' ever pIoyed poo:> con tel you te;, _ , IfOOh eMIe< thon l I,. Bonk ,W, reqoje 0 neOfiy perfee! ~ to _ e the ,W If you f~ ~ry t1 'chcd, "Ook to pnbol y""""", ho' odoI:ted te;, "rot= wlh the YSP_400J, I'.tJicI1 '" the« top of the ~ (tghl ,oo:o:t i=<e;ectOf, wlh 0 ret.. i=<ce of '1 ,7f!iJ. 1 u,e, on ",roy of fcoty, one_ond_f"'e_ eqth,-noh 'l:>e""'" ~",er" vo.tJich "eer the 'c.<roo:o:t t1fOfmotOO to the cOfree! ~ '0 l bo«lce' off the w.. ond to yo<.< e"'. l 01'0 ho' two, fcu_ond_tl....e_eqth'_rrh woofer' to horde the ~w freqoetJCie,. Eoch be"'" ~",er receive' two wol:t' of power ond the woofer' receive 20 wol:t' "Piece Boo:nc..... ,oo:o:t, off w.., lMy ,eem oIemert",y, W whet1 you con,_ the foci tho! 100" lvO;l rOOfTl' ",e fled wlh 0 v",iety of 'c.<foce' ot _ ~, ond of etffer..... moter"', 1 q"d~ becOOle' on OVervo.TleOrW1o;l feot to do '0 wlh cmr~. The Y""""", YSP_400J u,e, 0 microphone to mcOlOf te" tone, _oted frOO1 the be"'" ~"'er,. The cd" i=<oce"Of' the ,cuce L<ti the microphone tel, l tho! the 'c.<roo:o:t t1fOfmotOO ,oo:o:t, "'*'" ,0p0I, cOfree!. Th<ri:fL.«y, te;, i' 0 fL.«y oUC<Mted i=<oce" tho! toke, cdi 0 few Ifrite' to c_, The cd i' foif~ ""~, meMe<....... Ittle ove< 40 nche' w>:le, o'''''~ 'ix nche' hio;t1 <If)(f "!'Vox_ely f",e nche' deep, w ~ • 'okf :J.I poo.o:h. I con be e<defed .., ether bloc' e< ,lye< to -.:i .., eMl'i wth ne",~ oil tole,;,oo, (iWJe WM bloc,). I con be woll·lfOJted e< ,kfVy pIoced on • roe'. The frm hM • 'moll cme< ct,pIoy tho! i=<ov>:le, ~, of u,efei "'fe<lM!oo, 'L.Ch M vol.rne lev~, 'e<roo.rn _ - . . . oio;lcflrrn, rv.t <If)(f lTae. There i' 01'0 • ""~ oV»·runefOo ct,pIoy tho! i' u,ed fe< the oil the remoif'oino;l ..,fe<lM!oo tho! the U'e< moy eve< need. !Ulon' fe< powe<, -.me <If)(f rv.t ",e 01'0 ocoled on the frm of the cd, 'hOLid you lfj,pIoce the remcte. The frm ~ i' roto:led oo.t by on "'-'x....y rv.t fe< "'->:to clev>oe, I<e ycu lPod <If)(f the rv.t fe< the ncwed ,~.l4' iOCrophone The boc, of the cd hM piefty of rv.t' <If)(f vdeo oo.tpct, fe< the ,ve<"'7' U'e< fe< vdeo ,cuee" I hM two fo.t rv.t', two c ~ vdeo rv.t' <If)(f • ' 0 ; cOOV',le vdeo rv.t. fe< "'->:to, I hM two ,~, of ~ rv.t' <If)(f oecO\X' cto;Il:oI ,cuce, .... I, two coox <If)(f two 0I't000l T~lrj( ecrr,ecb•. There i' 01'0 on X~ IfJirj.tL.<Jef joc" M wet M on IPod doc' pc<t. The X~ tL.<Jef <If)(f lPod doc' ",e ,~ ,""",oIely, W ~ them wi _ e the n"'701oo of the,e clev>oe, IfOOh ,~ Set·up The ysp·400J ",r",ed 01 my hou,e ve<V wet pocloged <If)(f ncWed • ho,;l of coble' (vdeo, cto;Il:oI 0I't000l <If)(f coox, ~ "'->:to <If)(f on f~ """""") <If)(f • ve<V thc<co;t1 ..,,;Iredoo 1Mf>J0I, vo.tJich I WM pleM""~ 'e<i=<i,ed to 'ee. I om ane of tho,e people ¥>tio ,;II u,e, • ,;I<lf)(f rolher thon ~ the tole,;,oo on the woll. I om fe<tLOOte tho! my ,;I<lf)(f is deep eo:o;jo to hdd my tele,;,oo <If)(f i=<ov>:le eo:o;jo 'poee fe< the ysp·400J to be pIoced .., frm of I. I hoppef1, to -.:i .., perfect~ wth my Sony W-nch re"'·w;ec!oo ,~ <If)(f i' oil W "'';,l:4e crtl you 00< fe< I I';Ih the cd .., pIoce, I begon connect...... I to my ether clev>oe, I u,ed Wh of the fo.t rv.t' fe< my DifecTY box <If)(f my Yl£lu mecto 'e<Ve<. I 01'0 u,ed • poi< of ~ rv.t' fr"" my E,ete<Oo DY·50 LOve<'oI pIoye<. I connected the OI'tOnollPod dock...... ,;10100 <If)(f X~ tL.<Jef M wet. \"kjIe _ ...... the eonnectoo" I mOoed tho! the re", ~ is ""ely _ . Soole of the connecte<' ",e e<med down tow",d, the f1oc<, W the - . . . _ e , tm • The connecte<' ",e deeply rece"ed to oIIow fe< coble' to be rL<1 belWeef1 the tolemoo <If)(f the woll, 'hOLid you IfOJt I there norH""" Once oil the connectoo, we<e mode, I connected the otto ,~.l4' iOCrophone to the frm of the cd. Tri' is the f,,;I tOne tho! I hove 'eef1 • iOCrophone ,;I<lf)(f ncWed wth • i=<oo.d, <If)(f I', • '7eol de•. Seetoo, of the c",_d poe,"""'" hove bee<1 perfe<oIed '0 tho! you con pop oo.t two piece. tho! ne<oc, to fe<m the ,;I<lf)(f. The hctdef ,;I<lf)(f, • few fe~ hio;t1 <If)(f i' rem<rti>bly ,;Ie<dy. I', on de. '0 ,~tho! I bell' the que,;loo of why eVe<yane _'01 do tri'. I ~" Y"""""" i.d ho' lTae creol"'e eo;ineef' thon eve<vane ~,e Mh the iOC "',;I~, I i=<e"ed ,;Iort <If)(f len the rCOTl M ..,,;Ireded .., oro.t two ifWUe" the otto ,~~ WM c~e <If)(f I WM reody to ,;Iort 1,;1-", Music and Mov;"s The ysp·400J ~ de"'TJed to be the he",t 01 the me<taifrnert ,ystem "'" ~ extreme<y lJSef· friefdy "'" flexible, The runbef 01 dev>oe, thai: you ,on play \¥lh t "as , IUIe ove<~, ,onsidef...... thai: 99 percm 01 the tme I 1st.., to my ,ystem, t', or/y \¥lh CD!SACDs, _hef', I deeded I .,.,.jd >t",t \¥th the Red HoI: Chill Peppe<" CD ~ (Copit~), I wed up one 01 my Fovcde sorq;, "rnock Me Down," ond set the YSP-'!COJ to >teroo roode, I~e<,.., I rot>:ed Fie,', b.>s, ld5 hod plenl:y 01 ""l' ond speed ond Arthony K_' voce ,<its Fran/: ond c,"er, The f>:hi'lSfIS tilt ","ve ~ oo..tp<.t to rattle ""y ~ bet, consider..... the F'd thai: the wocJer' _ e Ie" th.>n F",e o:he, n _ e r , they realy (jd, nice job ~ up \¥lh the rru;O:, 1 deeded tMl: I "rled, IUIe mc<e ~ n the b.>s, dop.ytmert, so I connected the S'.bHoder <>..tp.t 01 the YSP to my Boston Acoust~ 12t>::h scCl, A, expected, l "'" QUite, bit better Fe< my tMtes, F« the over_ «()f)S(XJ)Or..tJo ~ consider..... , "od.d Ike tri>, the YSP', rl:erM wocJer,'" be mc<e th.>n odoquaI:e, My ~ 1st.,....,. ~ typicaly reloQal:ed to \lYrtl use only, bet sn:e Y""""",, "'" find ~ to rrl.de the« f'co:J doc....... >tatOn, I deeded to ~ l ' try ond see """ l scurlod \¥lh ~ _ th.>n e",pt>one" The doc....... >tatoo ~,rrost Fe< i>rIYone..tJo hM, W90 h",y 01 rru;O: on the f'co:J, It you to conl:r~ yrq f'co:J \¥lh the YSP', rerr>Xe ond 1 *"'" QUc~ re"'ed """ (onveO«< rru;O: server, realy ",e, I ,~ ""', 01 the ' - on my f'Dd ond "'" QUite "vessed \¥lh the soo.rJd, rru;O: tMl: I G<rJs N' R"""" (an/:roversiol """" "One n , MAon," From the G N' R lie' obJn (GofFffi), scurlod ,¥eat, 5iMh', ocoustic V'" scurlod de", ond nice<,.. dot","", Axi R"""" voce Ci>me tr."'-"i1 \¥lh 01 the '¥ovefy textln tMl: he ~ """"" Fe<, The "obIem, ""","ver, "'" thai: the ~ _ "'" F~ "" p.oncool<.e, lco:ljy, I rot>:ed, Feat,n ~ "~er" ond reod tMl: l "'" desioTJed to ~ ....... the ~ _ bock to ~3 rru;O:, It hM tr.oe settrq;: rq" 0.. ond oIF, Wher1l "'" octivated, the dtFerffiCe "'" > t _..... ' On the rq, sott..... ( _ I "eferrod), the ~ _ eMly do.bIed n _ h ond "Ob.OOIY tripled n depl:h, A, \¥lh rMny ~ th<q;, ""","ver, there ~,trode-oiF ond n &is CMel """ ,ocrf~e 01 , tny bit 01 dYly ond dotoil """'" ""'"" the ~er, To my e"", the berlefl' vMt~ oo..t~ the ,ocrfi:e ond I left the ~er on Fe< the refMiolder 01 the 1st.,....,., The next """" "ter Gf'.p ~ From H.on< WhrJs, l', "A CO<.rl:ry Boy C"" S<svive" ~ From the 11'31 obJn The PresSlXe I, On (CcrlJ rece<ds), The pod.>I >t~ V'" hod plenl:y 01 t"""" ond the f.d ,hsn "'" tifol: ond~, H.on<', voce, Ike AxI'" hod plenl:y 01 texte<e ond ,¥liFne", _ Ci>me tr."'-"i1 so de",~ yoo (cUd _ see the tob.>cco n ri> choek Tri> """" rMde me "co:J to be , ~, The YSP kept: my toe toppir\'J 01 the "'y tr."'-"i1 the ,- I deeded to corJ/roe ~ n the 1'«1s ond pi.>yed some oId-scroo h.>W mehl, Don DoIot.er1 ond the re>t 01 the boy, 01 DoIot.er1 f>:f.od its, &<"'-"i1 the Y""""",,, Gee<90 lyrrl', V'" tr.~ n 1t', No/: love" oIF lkrler lock ond Key (EIe+tr,) took me bock to my rq,-scroo ~ so"'chi-o< Fe< somec<le to Wi me some beer ond Fe< , rottle to 9"t <h.n< (ilfOOf>'J _ th<q;) \¥th, Sometrne, 1 realy "'" the ~ old doy" ond the Y""""",, "'" obIe to de4ver me , sutoble F~ to tMl: pIe"'rl pMt, Tri> ,y>tem "'" , biMt \¥th rru;O: ond .,.,.jd be perFect~ hoppy "0"""'" boc'voo.n:J rru;O: e< ser...... '" , j..hbox Fe< y<n: next p!lfty, """'" everyone "rl' to he", the« F,V«le lrrrny B<JFeI:t """" bet....." s!d:, 01 toqoJ>, Wlh the e",y stliF c~e, l "'" trne to 9"t serrus ond see """ the YSP (jd \¥lh l' "rn",y ""sian "" SlXroo.n:J ,y>tem, Accordlo< to the user',~, my room ~ F",~ opI:rn..I Fe< reflect..... ""-'lds, sn:e l', bMicaly , rect"",* \¥lh very lttle cUter to aobse<b e< dtFroct ""-'lds, My so"""" I<>:atoo ~ tr.oe-q.wter, 01 the "'y bock From the TV, \¥lh very lttle bet....." l ond the re", "oil, 1 ","ve to be hone>t ond soy thai: eVffi \¥lh "" opI:rn..I room, I "'" sI<.epI:~oI ooboo.J: tri> ~ I'<C<....... ' 1 (jd cd expect l to be obIe to convir>.:hii oIFer SlXroo.n:J efFect" I "OS ""CO<, bee"""" l (jd, """* The film The Prestige (Warner Home Video) is a tale of two magicians constantly trying to upstage the other, Many of the scenes take place in bars) where the magicians perform their magic in front of drunken crowds of disbelievers. The VSP was able to convincingly immerse me in that bar) while using the 5 Beam setting, Beer bottles were being dropped on the floor and breaking over my right shoulder, To the left) there were yells calling the magician a cheat and a fake, I was impressed, The three front channels were also impressive) as the Yamaha threw a wide soundstage) with voices and effects nicely placed, The biggest complaint I had was that the surround effects didn't have the dynamics and punch that dedicated speakers do) especially for action scenes. In Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)) the racecar engines behind Ricky (Will Ferrell) didn't have the bass growl that I had heard with my dedicated surround speakers) which is not a surprise) considering that it was generated from small drivers and reflected off a wall, This is a small quibble) considering that this product is not designed as a re'ference surround system, Rest assured) however) that Ricky Bobby's baby Jesus rendition of grace) along with the rest of the film) sounded great. Again) I was impressed, I decided to try some of the other beam-steering effects that the YSP offers and found some of them to be not only cool) but also really useful, One setting called My Beam creates a focused beam of audio) which can be directed up to 45 degrees offcenter of the YSP-4000, I'm sure we all know what it's like to try to watch TV in'a noisy environment) where someone else is running the Vacuum cleaner in the other room or talking loudly on the phone, Usually) you just turn up t,he volume until you can hear it or the person on the phone mouths a few expletives your way to turn it down. At this point) I typically leave the room for the garage. However) the Yamaha created a small cocoon of sound that I could control as I wished, I used this feature all the time and will really miss it i The Downside If you are looking for a reference surround system) this product isn't for you. The surround effects aren't as dynamic as you would get with a dedicated '7, 1 speaker system and a powerful surround receiver, You just can't cheat physics) but Yamaha comes close to doing so in a way that is truly impressive. The YSP-4000 is also fairly heavy) so if you plan to hang 'it on the wall) do yourself a favor and make sure you find some solid studs for screwing in the mounting bracket, Otherwise) you will be calling in a sheetrock contractor to rebuild your wall, Conclusion I love this thing. It's so simple that even the most non-technical of people can figur,e out how to use it, It's also just so damn convenient that you will find yourself listening to more music than you ever imagined) which is a compliment traditionally reserved for the most lofty audiophile products) with a price tag to match, Yamaha should be proud of how well the YSP reproduces music. from such a slim and relevant product, The Yamaha YSP-4000's uncluttered) elegant style will go with any decor. It offers real surround options that actually work without having to snake speaker wires through walls or under carpeting, So if yow are looking for a huge upgrade over your standard TV speakers with surround capabilities and the ability to listen to FM) XM) MP3s and switch multiple video sources) you need to take a long har,d listen to the Yamaha YSP-4000, It's one hell of a performer. Manufacturer 'IIaroaha Model Reviewer Jim S.wanEko OUND ma We've got you surrounded with home-/heatcr-in-a-box systems that deliver one-slop-shopping convenience wi/holll sacrificing first-class audio BY STEVE MORGENSTERN ILLUSTMTION BY ED rafllEKINGHAM Yamaha YSP-4000 A sound bar is a single unit that inCOllX)fmCS speakcr1I. amplification and sophisticated processing systems [0 fool rour ~r ima (hinking rear speakers arc present. These products usually rely on a science called psychoacoustics. a hit-nod-miss affaIr. Ust.'<I for years to mimic sumxmd sound in headphones and speaker systems, the effcct is pretl)' convincing for some JX'Oplc, docsn't work at all for others. and generally strikes me as bener than nOlhing, but not by much. This hefty Yamaha sound bar, though. f..Ir exceeded my expectations by relying more on uooitional acoustics than psychoaCOUStics. The 4O-inch-widc system boosts an arrdY of 40 individually controlled microdrivers thm beam wrround sound off the side and back w<l11s of your room. like a bank shol: in billiards, ro reach your ears from rhe proper angle. The included auromaric calibrntion system is crucial ro making this \l.'Ofk. and fonunately it's a simple process-rook jusr three minutcs and worked very well. Early on in [he Blu-my version of Rawwtlille a drenching rain fulls outside a French country house. and watching it ar home the Ynrnllha placed me smack-dab in the middle of the downpour. Big, sltlm-bang action movie sounduacks didn't have the explosive oomph of a full-fledged 5.1 setup, even when the sound bar mlS paired with the optional YST-fSW 150 subwoofer ($280). bur the audio experience wa'> still far more dramatic than any ""lily TV speakers. and the dialogue was pleasingly crisp and clear throoghour. The YSP-4<XXJ includes a built-in FM tuner (but no AM) and supports the XM mini-tuner dock. I tried the optional iPod dock ($49.95) and found it worked fine, though the on-screen menu display lacked visual polish. It has twO HOMI input jades and one output, and the ability ro upgrade any video input signal to 1080i high-def resolution is particularly welcome. ($1.800. www.).amaha.com) 7 Soundbars; Simple to Luxe April 2008 Yamaha YSP-4000 Yamaha was one of the first companies 10 see the possibilities of soundbars (or. as Yamaha likes to callIham. "digital sound projectors"). I reviewed two of their earlier-generalion efforts (the YSP-1 in May 2005 and the YSP-800 in FebJMarch 2006) and rlSOUNDVlSION)J ClIT1FIEIl .....UDIUI1llIlEll was thoroughly impressed. In particular, Yamaha used aggressive digital signal processing and a vast array of drivers to tackle the problem of creating spatial immersion from a line source, and the results were exceptional. The YSP-4QOO is Yamaha's newest entry in the soundbar category. It's a full-featured system containing decoders, amplifiers, and speakers. It also adds automatic room luning. as well as full video hookups and an onscreen menu. Wlen I say full-featured, I'm not kidding - this system has a full complement of HDMI jacks, can control an iPod. has an FM tuner onboard, and is even XM Radio-ready. (Hey, the owner's manual is 116 pages long.) In many ways, it's the most sophisticated soundbar in this roundup. Features aside. the YSP-4000 is also a minor sonic miracle. It houses 40 full-range 1.5-inch speakers and two 4.25-inch woofers driven by 40 amplifier channels with maximum output power of 2 watts (into 4 ohms) and two channels rated at 20 watts (into 4 ohms). The speakers are used in conjunction with upstream signal processing to create and steer "beams· of sound that mimic a surround-sound field. Different modes, known as 5 Beam, 3 Beam, 3 Beam + Stereo, My Surround. and My Beam, let you choose and customize soundfields that sound best to you in your room. The system also contains Dolby Digital and OTS decoders, as well as Yamaha's Cinema OSP ambience programs. This loaded feature set is match by the YSP-4000's loaded $1.800 price tag -the heftiest among all the bars tested here. Setup Price $1,800 I yamaha.com/yec / The YSP-4000 is a beefy bar with a prominent, silver 800-492-6242 metal grille that will either complement your silver flatpanel display or overwhelm it. Either way. it will add '(2) 4.4-in woofers: (40) 1,6-in beam some bling to your room. Its front panel has an auxiliary drivers input and a jack for the InteltiBeam microphone. There ·Finish: silver grille, black chassis are also inpul select and volume buttons and an LCD '40.25 x 7.75 x 5.75 in: 34.6Ib readout. The back panel is as thick with jacks as some stereo receivers. You'll find two HOMI inputs and one output. two component-video and three composite-video inputs, component- and composite-video outputs, a subwoofer output. two analog stereo inputs, four digital~audio inputs, an XM Radio input, IR input and output, an RS~ 232C port, an antenna jack, and a system connector used 10 hook up an optional Yamaha subwoofer. There's also a port to mate Yamaha's YOS-10 iPod dock ($100). I placed the soundbar under my TV and, taking the path of least resistance, connected it to my OVO player and display via HOMI cables. I connected my own subwoofer to the Yamaha's output. Next step was the InlelliBeam setup, which meant connecting the supplied microphone. placing it at my listening position, and then waiting while the system's lest tones probed the room's acoustics. In about three minutes. the system was optimized for my space. For fun, I also connected a YOS-10 iPod dock using the cable supplied with the dock. I was able to use the remote to control the iPod, and the on-screen display (OSO) made it easy to browse the player's contents, Wlile you can view video and photos when using a simple remote mode. you can't see video using the more advanced OSO mode. Also available in black Music Performance Features and high-powered virtual surround are cool, but they're useless unless the speakers sound good. Fortunately, I was immediately impressed with the YSP-4000's stereo sound quality. Kashmir's vocals were properly warm and detailed, and the ultra-cool snare sound was appropriately dark and moody - though crash cymbals were a touch bright. The soundbar played extremely loudly. but it also degenerated into seriously shrill distortion. (Even though this extra gain might be useful for sources with very low output levels, the system lets you set a maximum volume, and this small chore is worth doing to muzzle any potentially loud and distorted levels.) My subwoofer handled the bass line nicely and meshed well with the bar, but when I turned down the sub's level. the Yamaha produced some decent bass on its own. Turning to Blue Man Group, I punched in the surround modes. The first time you hear these, you'll smile. Sounds appear to originate from places where there are no speakers. Both the 5 Beam and 3 Beam + Stereo modes successfully placed images far on each end of the soundbar. The whooshing sound of the whipped boat antenna on "Sing Along" quickly swept far from side to side. Perhaps more important, the processing didn't significantly affect sound quality: Vocals and instruments remained tonally correct. Movie Performance I punched in the 5 Beam mode and spun Superman Returns. The sequences leading up to the "death" of Superman are dense with effects. both obvious and subtle. The YSP-4000 maintained dialogue intelligibility and timbral quality. while successfully expanding the soundfield far beyond the ends of the bar, placing images almost to either side of my listening position. (Your room acoustics might give a different reSUlt.) This yielded a broad and realistic sonic space that was plenty big enough to enjoy movies with surround soundtracks. Without my subwoofer, the LFE was a bit thin but serviceable; adding the sub delivered all the low end I needed, and the overall result was excellent. Bottom Line This is an impressive soundbar and - no pun intended - it raises the bar for any competitor. The YSP-4000 has every feature I can think of. and handles every detail of audio playback. Most important, iltakes its "sound projector" name seriously and performs near-miracles in its ability to project a soundfield that reaches far beyond its physical cabinet. The soundfield isn't as immersive as with discrete speakers, but it's darn impressive. It's not an inexpensive solutionyou can certainly bUy a decent fJ.N receiver and surround speaker package for the cost of a YSP4000. Still, if YOU've been considering a soundbar because of the convenience or cosmetic factors, but aren't wil1lng to give up the perks of true surround playback, this system might well overcome your objections.