Yamaha TSX-130 iPod dock

Quality player?

Station search and switching is fast and the DAB platform can store a generous 30 stations, all easily programmable and accessible. During tests, the DAB stations delivered a strong and clear sound with no pops or drop-outs – something that our reception often suffers in this region. With its ability to deliver a natural sound, the TSX-130 performs better still with FM, producing plenty of warmth and sonic detail on Radio 3 and 4. Thoughtfully, 30 presets FM stations can be stored too.

Yamaha has a lot of experience in building platforms for discs, so you would expect the CD deck to be pretty good and you would not be wrong. Reading from CD, including CD-R/RW, is quick and, again, the information displayed is plentiful. To kick things off with the CD testing, we decided to give a few tracks from Audioslave a spin. Lots of rumbling base, vocal pyrotechnics and attacking rock guitar offered a decent challenge.

Yamaha TSX-130 iPod dock

Easy access to iPod functions from this remote

Now you could argue that the band themselves never really gelled as a unit, so the mix can feel a little disjointed and unfocused, especially with weaker systems. However, the TSX-130 has the punch needed to carry the music and recreates a surprisingly wide sound stage with good depth. The unit can achieve a 30W output from its 15Wx2 amplifier, delivered through its twin 8cm speakers. Indeed, it can go surprisingly loud with very little distortion, helped along by two rear-mounted bass ports.

The product also gets some brownie points for providing non-iPod owners with a top mounted USB port. There’s no 3.5mm audio input socket. Instead, the TSX-130 can read from USB storage devices and players. We plugged in a Samsung MP3 player from the company’s YP range and opted for a bit of Little Fluffy Clouds by the Orb. Again a wide and detailed sound stage was produced, although not on the same level as the CD player. Still, the machine does a decent job of maximising the sonic capabilities of MP3 files, and will also play WMA files.

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