(1990 – 1993)
Last serious series for Yamaha before the gradual plumeting of its lineups, before the market really went under.
All very well built, inheriting from most of the engineering dispensed over the Centennial series (1987) : Hyperbolic amplification, beefy dual power supplies, FET inputs, Hi-Bit converters and other nifty low-distortion circuits. If the d/a section do sound nowadays a little bright and forward, the mechanical structure of these was… 28kg for the AX-2000 and 16kg for the CDX-2000 – very vintage. Design-wise, this also was Yamaha’s last good call before they stupidly junked their traditional slants, and these look much better in the flesh than on any photograph : very impressive, massive. I believe the CDX to be based on Yamaha’s last mechanism before the switch to OEMs.
The AX-2000 was updated slightly later as an AX-2000A, doing away with all video switching and replacing the digital circuitry with a pair of balanced inputs – that one is still worth getting and using, daily. Even if disparaged from the pure Class A mode, the AX series sold well in Japan but really not on the scale of the original CA-1000 / CA-1000II / CA-1000III / CA-1010 / CA-2010.