Yamaha took quite a long break from producing micros, before going balls-out with this feature-packed, wallet-friendly M-430. As well as playing CDs the Yamaha also has DAB and an iPod dock that’s actually built into the chassis.
This means you don’t lose any shelf space or get tangled in a trailing cable, and it provides full iPod functionality too. You can charge your iPod and fully browse its menus on the Yamaha’s display using the remote control.
We’re big fans of the M-430’s looks – the piano black speakers look great next to the aluminium fascia of the main unit and it all feels very solidly put-together.
There’s a reasonable number of connections on the back, including stereo RCA-ins and outs and a subwoofer output. The standard banana plug type speaker terminals mean swapping the speakers is dead simple.
Talking of which, Yamaha’s speakers cost £75 on top of the micro’s standalone price, and for that money they’re pretty good. Pay a bit more, though, and you can make up for some of the system’s sonic shortcomings – a pair of Roth OLi1s will make bass tighter and improve excitement.
The system has 25W of power per channel, and like a lot of recent Yamaha products, it produces a smooth, warm sound that works really well with vocals and acoustic guitars.
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If you’re the kind of person who’s into intimate, chilled-out music like Badly Drawn Boy or Laura Marling, you’re going to love the richness on offer here.
Troubled by pace
The problem comes when you want to listen to something a bit pacier. The Yamaha just doesn’t have the rhythm and swagger to completely convey a dancey feel, and there’s a touch of fine detail missing.
Still, there’s deep, weighty bass, and even though it’s a touch fat at times, it helps produce tracks with solid scale and authority.
And that’s the Yamaha in a nutshell really: solid. It’s just with cracking systems like the Denon D-M37DAB around, that’s not quite enough.