Yamaha DSP-Z9 v Denon A1SR


Distinguished Member
I've looked at the specs and the manual for the Yamaha DSP-Z9 and Mr Yamaha has my attention!

I actually want an amp that provides split L & R 'stereo' subwoofer pre-outs, and DPLIIx.
The Yamaha provides them, well, what doesn't it provide? It looks like an absolute monster.

So, now might be the time to upgrade.
In the spec department it seems the Yamaha beats Denon hands down, but obviously specs aren't enough on their own.
My amp is actually an upgraded Denon A1SE and I'm very happy with the sound quality.
Has anyone heared both the flagship Denon & Yamaha and can give their opinion as to which has the sonic edge?

Years ago I owned a Yamaha DSP2070, and my memory of it in comparison to my current Denon is not very favorable at all.
But have Yamaha caught up in the sound quality stakes?


Why won't you check aswell the new H&K 7300? It have a very good set of feature lists, plus video Upconversion at a very good price compared with the high end!


i have a z9 and everything about it is superb.demoed it against a1sr at sevenoaks and i thought the difference was substantial enough to go for the yamaha.


Active Member
I am also the owner of a DSP Z9. The support for twin sub woofers if very good. You can configure them to be L&R or Front & Back. I've been running front & back just for the hell of it... romms really to small but couldn't resist.

There are some many things to mention, if you have any specific questions fire away....

My only complaint about the Z9 is it's video functions. For basic up conversion it is fine but the actuall scaling and picture enhahncement is flawed IMO.


Standard Member
how much did you pay for the yamaha z9?Did you get any discounts?


Active Member
Didn't get a masive discount, but lots of pre and post sales service, important when you are buying expensive stuff IMO. If I recall got about 300 GBP of list, but it was part of a larger set of purchases.


Standard Member
Thank you for the info jhjerpe.

What kind of speakers you have?


Active Member
The Z9 is driving:

B&W 703s front L&R
B&W HTM7 Centre
B&W CM4 Surround L&R
B&W 601s Surround Back x 2
B&W ASW675 sub

The CM4 used to be at the front along with a CM C centre but these got upgraded to the 703s.


Distinguished Member

The video up-conversion would be handy, but I'm not interested in the scaling / de-interlacing as the rest of my gear (Sony VW11HT projector) already does it very well indeed.

I am interested in the sound quality though and an intuitive user interface.
Denon's AV amps have to me always been sweeter sounding and more musical. How does this new Yamaha sound?

How much does it cost?
Yamaha have historically been a fair bit cheaper than Denon.


Active Member
The Denon is currently much cheaper as it is a relatively older product, if you ignore yearly upgrades.
I suspect it will be a while before this product is cheaper in the UK as Yamaha are joining Denon etc in price controlling their latest products (IMO !).
You may get a better price from Germany, and it can still be returned to Yamaha UK for service. The yamaha 2400 costs approx 25% less in Germany.

I like my A1SRA, and the £1000 saving over the Yamaha.
But I did like the Yamaha Z9, it's ease of operation, and it's sound, I thought it was the only amp I've heard that is as good as the Denon. Then again I did'nt audition the recent HK amps.



Active Member
The on screen user interface of the Z9 is very good. Makes operating this complex bit of kit very simple.

Not compared the Z9 with any Denon kit but the performance gets very close to some of the mid range processor / power amps I tested before I went for the Z9.


Standard Member
Hi Jhjerpe,

Interested in a comment about the Z9 you posted earlier in this thread ..

My only complaint about the Z9 is it's video functions. For basic up conversion it is fine but the actuall scaling and picture enhahncement is flawed IMO.


Could you explain this a bit more please. I am looking to upgrade my A1 for a Z9 & would be interested to know why you think the scaling & picture enhancement flawed ?
Would you consider it equal to , say, an iscan ultra, or something, or are the options not that extensive (or do they just not work properly ?).

Any info would be great, cos' I would like mine to upconvert my Laserdisc input to maybe 720P and component out and also to do it's stuff on Sky+.

Also, if you set it to scale up a picture, does it attempt to do this to DVD sources or do they just pass thru un-altered. (reviews state it won't upscale copy protected DVD's ?)



Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
I have now played with a Z9, an A1 and a Marantz SR-12 and I think that my ideal amp is something of a mix of the three. I rate the set up and configuration options of the Yamaha, the sheer grunt of the Denon and the musicality (and appearance!) of the Marantz. The Marantz is also beautifully screwed together.
Of the two you're considering- I would go for the Yamaha.


Active Member
This was orginally a PM, but thought I would post it as well.

First the Z9 is a great bit of kit, and would buy one again!

The video side of things – the positives:

It has extensive features, it will scale to 720p or 1080i, has various enhancement filters and settings. It will up-scale any source to component video. Has more inputs and outputs than most people will ever need. All this can be controlled via the GUI and is very simple to use.

The negatives:

Wont scale any copy-protected materials; in my experience about 60% of DVDs have the copy protection flag. This includes VHS (e.g. tried Star Wars) and guess it covers Laser Disc as well. It will however output progressive scan at the source materials native resolution.

The progressive scan output is not as good as the output from all of the players I have tried (Denon 2900, Pioneer 868 and Harman Kardon DVD25).

The video scaling and progressive scan introduces several flaws to the image. The image looks very ‘digitally’ processed and introduces lots of artifacts and color bleeds. It also suffers from poor horizontal pan jitters. The built in scaler on the Pioneer 868 beats it every day!

Video conclusions.

The video enhancement does a good job on S-video sources such as SKY, comparable to the iScan ultra. It cleans up a lot of the noise and gives you a good progressive signal.

For DVD sources I don’t use it, if you set your player to Component – the Z9 will simply pass signal through.

Final thoughts.

The Z9 is a great bit of kit. The sound processing for movie use is stunning. The raw power is impressive. Its two-channel performance surprised me, so sold my Arcam amps (A85, P85). The ease of use through the GUI is a revelation. The room equalizer does work – but requires good speaker placement and quality speakers.


Standard Member
I have also been trying the Z9 with the Pioneer 868 and Denon A11 to a Panasonic via component and DVI.

It's early days and I am satisfied with the component signal relayed through the Z9. I have'nt yet done any direct comparisons with DVI -- enjoying watching movies rather than tweaking -- although I have noticed what looks like posterisation with some DVI disks.

So if you have time, further and better particulars would be most welcome.

Found some relevant test lab results at http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/assets/download/yamaharx-z9inthelab.pdf

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