We begin our analysis with the usual sampling of CD tracks which contains materials ranging from sound effects to full-on orchestral pieces. This is a good way to gauge the speakers.
Like most iPod docking devices, the Yamaha TSX-130 suffered from a noticeable lack of width and soundstage. Using the Pod Race scene from The Phantom Menace, we noticed that while there’s sufficient oomph from the speakers to power the sound effects of the pod racers, the stereo effects that we were expecting was sorely missing. You do not get the sense that the pod racers are swishing across you.
However, despite the discernible lack of stereo width, the TSX-130 handled the two orchestral pieces, Theme from Jurassic Park and Theme from Cutthroat Island, with great aplomb. Although it didn’t sound as spacious as we’d have liked, it sounded majestic enough. It sounded even better when we turned the TSX-130 to the “Live” DSP setting, as it widened the sound stage considerably.
Moving on with our MP3 testing, we plugged in an iPhone 4 and started piping the usual four tracks we use for this segment. Beginning with the classic Hotel California, we were impressed by the TSX-130’s rich and full sound. The bongo drums that kick in at the start had terrific punch and the guitars had commendable precision and delicateness. Again, we found that the TSX-130 sounded best in the “Live” DSP setting.
Onto the Buckethead’s soulful Sail on Soothsayer, we found that the TSX-130 had sufficient speed to keep up with the guitar extraordinaire’s fast picking. The TSX-130 also exhibited the same excellent precision and delicacy that we’ve heard on Hotel California.
But where the TSX-130 really excelled was on DJ Tiesto’s Elements of Life. The TSX-130 had really deep, thumping and accurate bass, making it a real joy. In fact, we found the TSX-130 to be really great at handling dance tracks, because despite its rather compact size, it’s capable of some deep, rich, fulfilling bass.
However, the TSX-130 was slightly disappointing on Adele’s Melt My Heart to Stone as the British songstress’ sounded slightly harsh at certain parts of the song.
|Pod Race Scene from The Phantom Menace||7.5|
|Theme from Jurassic Park||8.0|
|Apollo 13 SFX||8.0|
|Theme from Cutthroat Island||8.0|
|Fanfare for Louis||8.5|
|Hotel California - The Eagles||8.5|
|Sail on Soothsayer - Buckethead||8.5|
|Melt My Heart to Stone - Adele||8.0|
|Elements of Life - Tiesto||9.0|