Yamaha MCR-B142 Quick Review

Yamaha MCR-B142 Quick Review

Thanks to Yamaha UK for the sample.

Brief:  Yamahas little Hi-Fi or gigantic alarm clock.

Price:  Circa £280 or circa US$350 in Americaland.

Specification:   http://uk.yamaha.com/en/products/audio-visual/desktop-audio/mcr-b142_b/?mode=model  There are rather a lot of numbers, from its diminutive dimensions to its more useful specs.  The note worth bits are: Total Harmonic Distortion(CD to Sp Out, 20 Hz-20 kHz)             0.07% (7.5 W/6 ohms), Output Power/Channel (6 ohms, 1 kHz, 10% THD) 15W + 15W, Woofer        11cm (4-1/2″) full-range cone, Tweeter Full-range bass-reflex, Frequency Response   50 Hz-20 kHz (-10dB)

Accessories:  Remote control with battery in it, a little cover for the Ipod dock, a radio areal.  Oh and it does come with speaker cables to wire it up.

Build Quality:  Very nice.  The head unit is all metal clad and the speakers red bits are metal.  The remainder of the enclosure is MDF I think.  Feels fairly solid anyway.

Aesthetics:  Variable.  It comes in 10 colours so presumably you get the one that appeals most, in pics I think the Dark Grey one looks great if sedate.  Then there is the vibrant bright red I have here.  Its visually attention grabbing and appealing.

Sound:  It is a singe 4.5 inch driver doing everything.  No surprises for guessing that it does mid’s best.  Highs are rather nicer than you would expect though.  Goodly detailed, it does a nicely delicate shimmer and trail away.  The bass though. Hmmmm.  It is a mixed bag.  You see that -10dB mentioned in the frequency response, well that means there can be a 10dB variation in its output for that specified response.  Cleary that poor little 4.5 inch driver and its enclosure is set up to maximise “bass” and it’s pretty humpy, it’s rather elevated at points and punches you in the head.  It really got annoying as I don’t like bass suddenly exploding so I ended up with a +5dB EQ on the mids so the bass was comparatively held in check.  I know that prolific bass output isn’t a problem for all.  Many will love its compact nature and that it can still roar out a bassy thump.  Bouncy pop was exceedingly vigorous, too vigorous if you ask me.  It also did a really accomplished rendition of symphonic pieces.  Elgar could bellow forth will with a glorious level of pomp and authority (even circumstance 😉 from something so diminutively sized.  It’s really quite impressive what they can do for their itty bity size.  It does a superb cello.  As long as you’re willing to forgive or approve of its overly excited low end these are really accomplished.  Oh and I must mention its Bluetooth control app.  It gives you all the music you phone can supply, Google Music, Spotify, Pandora, you name it its all there at the swish of a finger.  Words fail to express just quite how handy this feature is.

Value:  It’s a compromise device, particularly the speakers.  You trade linear lows and extended highs to get something this size.  The mids though are adorably nice for the money.  You also pay for the versatility, so many input options even if you’re only going to use the excellent Bluetooth option.  It’s a pretty convincing package I think so long as your happy with the compromises made.

Pro’s: Diminutive, great mid’s, immensely handy Bluetooth functionality.

 Con’s:  Humpy rambunctious bass and rear ported to boot.

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