Yamaha RX-V3900 vs RX-Z7 vs RX-A2000 - AVS Forum
View Poll Results: Yamaha RX-V3900 vs RX-Z7 vs RX-A2000
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post #1 of 28 Old 09-17-2010, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
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I am looking to upgrade my 10 year old Yamaha receiver now that I have a 50" Plasma TV, HD Cable box and PS3, and use a couple of HDMI cables. I also like to listen to internet radio.

The three that caught my eye are Yamaha RX-V3900, RX-Z7 and RX-A2000 which offer similar things at around the $1,000 price tag. I am sticking with Yamaha just out of personal preference as I love the one I have now and it still doing great.

I am leaning more towards the RX-V3900 as it has great offerings for only $800 from Amazon. Yes RX-V3900 and RX-Z7 ($1,200 on Newegg) have HDMI 1.3a vs the 1.4a on RX-A2000 ($1,400 Amazon). But if I will have Ethernet input on the receiver I don't see why i would ever need to send audio back from the TV to the receiver. Also, i don't see my self ever getting the 3D TV.

Between RX-Z7 and RX-A2000 I feel for extra $200 why not go with the newest model. That leaves RX-V3900 vs RX-A2000, with a price difference of $600, i don't see RX-A2000 having enough of the edge to warrant that premium.

Please weigh in and help me decide.
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post #2 of 28 Old 09-17-2010, 02:12 PM
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Not going to answer your poll. But having owned 2 out of the 3, I will give you some feedback.

The Z7 is practically the same as the 3900. A 4th zone, party mode and more video settings are the main features which some to mind. If you want the better video options, get the Z7.

I like the longer warranty of the Aventage line. Power of the A2000 will probably be similar to the 3900/Z7. I would guess the power supply is not quite as good on the A2000 vs the 3900, but that's a guess. The VP of the Aventage line is different. I consider that unimportant unless someone hooks an Aventage up to my system and wows me with it's ability to improve standard def cable - the Z7 did not wow me in this respect.

So...better warranty on the Aventage, HDMI 1.4 with it's advantages vs the discounts on the older models is my thinking on this.

If Yamaha fixed some HDMI interoperability options with Tivo, I would take the Aventage, personally. If not...it's a tough call. I would probably get the newer model if I had the dough. Nothing wrong with the old one, but hope springs eternal that the newer model is actually improved (which is likely wishful thinking.)

Note that the A2000 is like the 3900 in that the video settings are "crippled." So if you look at the A3000 manual, I think you will see that the video options are better just like the Z7's video options were better than the 3900 even though they have the same VP chip. This just means that you may not be able to adjust noise reduction and such on the A2000 (I have not confirmed this)

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #3 of 28 Old 09-18-2010, 07:17 PM - Thread Starter
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The video setting is somthing I was not sure about. Are they really that segnificat, or notisable I should say? How different are they from the settings on your TV? What advatages do they add that you can't get from your TV video settings?
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post #4 of 28 Old 09-18-2010, 07:49 PM
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The Z7 has settings like a TV would, such as brightness. That could be handy just because you run all inputs to the receiver, and thus are stuck with one setting on your TV normally. With the Z7, you can have settings for each input.

Probably more useful though, are some video processing settings having to do with noise reduction and such. You have no ability on the 3900 to adjust this (and probably it's not even enabled.)

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #5 of 28 Old 09-21-2010, 11:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Are there other amps that can be recommended for around $1000 price that can compete with the Yamaha I listed? I hear a lot of good things about Denon. I would like to get some what of a good deal and best bang for the buck as I don't necessarily need the latest and greatest as I will not be getting the 3D TV for example.
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post #6 of 28 Old 09-21-2010, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
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I actually like the network capability. I do have a question about it if anyone knows. How exactly dose it work, can I access any radio station for on-line radio? Can I access shoutcast stations?
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post #7 of 28 Old 09-21-2010, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misha322 View Post

Are there other amps that can be recommended for around $1000 price that can compete with the Yamaha I listed? I hear a lot of good things about Denon. I would like to get some what of a good deal and best bang for the buck as I don't necessarily need the latest and greatest as I will not be getting the 3D TV for example.

Your best bang for the buck , is the 3900 , in my opinion, and the quality and variety , of music from the Internet is as good or better than Shoutcast.

Cheers.
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post #8 of 28 Old 09-21-2010, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misha322 View Post

I actually like the network capability. I do have a question about it if anyone knows. How exactly dose it work, can I access any radio station for on-line radio? Can I access shoutcast stations?

It works via a database somewhere out on the internet. You can see channels by genre etc.

The stations are subject to change as there is no music service, just a channel database.

I believe the database used is vTuner. You can look online to see what stations are show in their DB. There may be a separate DB for Yamaha, so I would not assume everything in their main DB is available to the 3900. But it's an extensive list of channels, some commercial free I think, some are regular radio stations, etc.

http://vtuner.com/setupapp/guide/asp.../startpage.asp

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post #9 of 28 Old 09-22-2010, 05:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Looks like a close race between RX-V3900 and the new RX-A2000.
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post #10 of 28 Old 09-24-2010, 10:07 AM - Thread Starter
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So what you guys think about picking up Denon AVR4810 for $1,900? Good deal?
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post #11 of 28 Old 09-27-2010, 07:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Would you say that Denon AVR-4311 best compares to Yamaha RX-A2000 or A3000? And which you like more?
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post #12 of 28 Old 09-27-2010, 08:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misha322 View Post

Would you say that Denon AVR-4311 best compares to Yamaha RX-A2000 or A3000? And which you like more?

Unfair question being a huge Yamaha fan. My vote would be for the Yamaha's. If you feel you would use the extra channels of the 4311 then it would be the choice. If not then its a waste. I have no wants or needs for 11.2 channels from the 4311. You may. I just feel that Yamaha makes a more reliable product than Denon, but remember I'm biased.
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post #13 of 28 Old 12-20-2010, 12:35 AM
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I have both an A2000 and an z7. The z7 has slightly better audio specs and is more feature rich than the a2000. It's got a more advanced YPAO instance. It's got 22 sound programs vs. the a2000's 17. It supports both XM and Sirius. It has lots more s-video and a few more optical than the a2000. It's WAY heavier but with only 80 watts more power. There are a bunch of other things that make it a better unit - not to mention my gut says it sounds better but that's subjective.

On the otherhand, the A2000 is a great unit also. Because it's a year newer it's got a few more audio formats, 3d pass-through. One thing I really like is it's 7.2 vs. the z7's 7.1 .

I really love the z7 for so many reasons but the a2000 has 90% of that plus some updated technologies.

I'm trying to decide whether to sell the z7 or the a2000 because I don't need both but I'm having a hard time giving up the z7 for some of the above reasons.

Ron
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post #14 of 28 Old 12-20-2010, 06:33 AM
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I was looking at similar options to you and eventually wound up with a Yamaha RX-V1900 for ~$500. Ultimately, I couldn't justify spending extra money for features like networking and fancy video processing (which I don't really need, given my source devices) while also getting an apparent increase in the number of HDMI-related bugs.

Edit: Also, if you decide to get the RX-A2000, you can probably get a better price than you've quoted from Amazon by calling around. (The prices you've got for the RX-V3900 and RX-Z7 are probably reasonable because they're older models and restrictions on advertising below MSRP have been lifted.)
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post #15 of 28 Old 12-22-2010, 05:48 AM
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I picked up the Z7 for a little more than you paid for the 1900 and a 3900 for a lot less than you paid for the 1900

Best Buy( Magnolia Home Theater) is really fire saleing these units at most of their locations

If the manager there is slapped their discretionary "get it out of here" stamp on it...and ofcouse they still have some in inventory..you can't beat some of last years offerings...as their clearance prices are about 1/3 of what their "sale" prices were last year

As for the 3D pass through...buy a blu ray player with two HDMI outputs
I can't see 3D pass though as being a plus unless all other sound quality comparisons are equal


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post #16 of 28 Old 12-29-2010, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by turnne1 View Post

I picked up the Z7 for a little more than you paid for the 1900 and a 3900 for a lot less than you paid for the 1900

Best Buy( Magnolia Home Theater) is really fire saleing these units at most of their locations

If the manager there is slapped their discretionary "get it out of here" stamp on it...and ofcouse they still have some in inventory..you can't beat some of last years offerings...as their clearance prices are about 1/3 of what their "sale" prices were last year

Warren

Thanks Warren, I didn't wake up this AM expecting to be the owner of a brand new Z7, but after reading your post I made a B-line to BB and was fortunate enough to grab the last one in inventory in Bridgewater, NJ.
(The 4 yr. protection for an additional $89 was very tempting, but it kinda goes against my religion to ever buy extended protection on anything.)

I just wish it would work as advertized.
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post #17 of 28 Old 12-29-2010, 11:00 PM
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Just noticed this thread ... IMO unless u just gotta have 3D the z7 soundwize and build wise is a better unit.. It sure sounds powerful and clear.... However if you are dipping your toes into 3d and u have a 3d tv ... The rx-a series are getting good reviews ... Audioholics said the 3000 is a great sounding unit...
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post #18 of 28 Old 01-04-2011, 06:02 PM
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Just getting the Z7 set up & roughly dialed in. Ahhhh that sweet sound that makes you 100% sure your new setup blows away your old after spending your hard earned cash! eh? lol. Seriously... Yes, it is a great sounding unit.

Just a couple things worth mentioning:
1st... I have a TiVo & hoped the compatibility issues were not too bad... Can you point me to a thread that details them? Here are the issues I've run into:
speakers sometimes pop when using the TiVo skip feature & then some times it takes a very long time for the audio to pick back up whether they popped or not.

My TiVo subscription runs out in March & I doubt I'll renew it anyway so not a big issue to me.

2nd... I cannot find any "official" Yamaha claim of HDMI 1.3. As the HDMI specs go, 1.3 should easily handle 3D. Yamaha claims their 2 year old chips do not have bandwidth to carry it, but then Sony's PS3 has HDMI ports more than 4 yrs old (first released in US on November 17, 2006) that have been firmware updated & will handle 3D. So did Yamaha not meet true 1.3 specs or are we all being played to encourage swift obsolescence?

3rd... the menu can only display in 4x3??? really???

Misc ramblings:
I have Rhapsody through Verizon Wireless, so getting it through the Z7 for no extra cost is a great bonus & much more convenient than having to fire up a computer. Still looking for a "page down" option for that & internet radio. Doesn't look like I have any HD radio stations in range to test that. Has not been able to connect to any of my Windows Media Player 11 PCs on the network yet. Not sure why. Anybody have tips I might easily miss while setting this up? Thanks in advance!

I just wish it would work as advertized.
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post #19 of 28 Old 01-07-2011, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by remav View Post
Just getting the Z7 set up & roughly dialed in. Ahhhh that sweet sound that makes you 100% sure your new setup blows away your old after spending your hard earned cash! eh? lol. Seriously... Yes, it is a great sounding unit.

Just a couple things worth mentioning:
1st... I have a TiVo & hoped the compatibility issues were not too bad... Can you point me to a thread that details them? Here are the issues I've run into:
speakers sometimes pop when using the TiVo skip feature & then some times it takes a very long time for the audio to pick back up whether they popped or not.

My TiVo subscription runs out in March & I doubt I'll renew it anyway so not a big issue to me.

2nd... I cannot find any "official" Yamaha claim of HDMI 1.3. As the HDMI specs go, 1.3 should easily handle 3D. Yamaha claims their 2 year old chips do not have bandwidth to carry it, but then Sony's PS3 has HDMI ports more than 4 yrs old (first released in US on November 17, 2006) that have been firmware updated & will handle 3D. So did Yamaha not meet true 1.3 specs or are we all being played to encourage swift obsolescence?

3rd... the menu can only display in 4x3??? really???

Misc ramblings:
I have Rhapsody through Verizon Wireless, so getting it through the Z7 for no extra cost is a great bonus & much more convenient than having to fire up a computer. Still looking for a "page down" option for that & internet radio. Doesn't look like I have any HD radio stations in range to test that. Has not been able to connect to any of my Windows Media Player 11 PCs on the network yet. Not sure why. Anybody have tips I might easily miss while setting this up? Thanks in advance!
I don't think the HDMI 1.3 spec includes 3D

Hopefully you got your Z7 from MHT at their closeout prices


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post #20 of 28 Old 01-07-2011, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turnne1 View Post

I don't think the HDMI 1.3 spec includes 3D

Hopefully you got your Z7 from MHT at their closeout prices


Warren

Yes, being the OP I did Still cannot believe the deal!

You are right that 1.3 did not include 3D, however there is nothing preventing a 1.3 port from passing it just fine with the right firmware. (Other 1.3 Yamahas are getting a 3D firmware upgrade.) The truth is that nobody has been able to find anything stating that the Z7 is 1.3 certified. The manual says "based on 1.3a". No proof yet, but signs point to some component used not living up to true 1.3 standards in the bandwidth area.

On the bright side, I believe this is one of the reasons for the smokin' deal... and since there are easy work-arounds available I'm not going to complain too hard.

I just wish it would work as advertized.
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post #21 of 28 Old 02-08-2011, 03:38 PM
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I realize no one has replied to this in a while

I have the Z7 hooked up in a secondary room...I put it where the Onkyo 875 used to reside

Initial impression.....not that impressed...the 875 sounded better than this unit

After calibration...better sound...but still not to the level of the Onkyo 875
The onkyo is clearly more powerful...it sounds quite a bit more dynamic in its highs and lows
I guess I had the expectation that based on the Yamha's MSRP ...that was almost $1000 more than the comparable Onkyo.....that it was going to absolutely "sing"..and definitely sound better than the Onkyo

After listening to the two..in the same room with the same speakers..

I am thinking about pulling the Z7 out and putting the Onkyo back in....to my ears it just sounds better
I know the Onkyo is more powerful than the Z7...however I didn't think it would show itself with book shelf speakers

it does


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post #22 of 28 Old 02-08-2011, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turnne1 View Post

I realize no one has replied to this in a while

I have the Z7 hooked up in a secondary room...I put it where the Onkyo 875 used to reside

Initial impression.....not that impressed...the 875 sounded better than this unit

After calibration...better sound...but still not to the level of the Onkyo 875
The onkyo is clearly more powerful...it sounds quite a bit more dynamic in its highs and lows
I guess I had the expectation that based on the Yamha's MSRP ...that was almost $1000 more than the comparable Onkyo.....that it was going to absolutely "sing"..and definitely sound better than the Onkyo

After listening to the two..in the same room with the same speakers..

I am thinking about pulling the Z7 out and putting the Onkyo back in....to my ears it just sounds better
I know the Onkyo is more powerful than the Z7...however I didn't think it would show itself with book shelf speakers

it does


Warren

Just goes to show how we all hear differently. I'm using an Onkyo 876 that I think sucks when it comes to playing music as compared to the Yamaha 2600 that it replaced. It's good for movies but SACD's/DVD-A,and Cd's its not worth the metal it was made with. It may be the way I've got Audyssey set-up as compared to YPAO. To me there is no comparison between the Onkyo and the Yamaha. The Yamaha 2600 wins going away. This is with the same speakers and in the same room. My next purchase will be a Yamaha. Nothing against Onkyo (I've got two of them) its just to me the build quality on the yamaha is much better and can't beat their reliability. To each their own.
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post #23 of 28 Old 02-15-2011, 05:37 PM
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Just goes to show how we all hear differently. I'm using an Onkyo 876 that I think sucks when it comes to playing music as compared to the Yamaha 2600 that it replaced. It's good for movies but SACD's/DVD-A,and Cd's its not worth the metal it was made with. It may be the way I've got Audyssey set-up as compared to YPAO. To me there is no comparison between the Onkyo and the Yamaha. The Yamaha 2600 wins going away. This is with the same speakers and in the same room. My next purchase will be a Yamaha. Nothing against Onkyo (I've got two of them) its just to me the build quality on the yamaha is much better and can't beat their reliability. To each their own.


How does the 2600 compare to a Z7?

I have never heard a 2600...so I cannot comment

Powerwise...the 875 is a much stronger unit than the Z7

I looked up the bench tests with all channels driven of both units

Perhaps the THX ultra thing has something to do with that

I ran the Z7 through its paces with Avatar...with certain chapters where I know ever sound...and I do the demo at reference sound levels
The Onkyo is like a slege hammer...while the Yamha is a more delicate demeanor

The onkyo weighs at least 10lbs more than the Yamaha?...makes me think better amp and better power supply

The room correction..Audessey is a lot more advanved that YPAO..in fact I was setting up a friends Pioneer elite over the holidays and I think Pioneers MCACC is also better than the YPAO

The video processing is good on both the Onkyo and Yamaha units...though I only have high def sources...so upconversion is not that important to me

But as I look at MSRP...where did yamaha get $2599 for the Z7...its $1000 higher MSRP..than the Onkyo

As for music..I didn't really put the Z7 through those paces...as this was for a HT application for the most part


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post #24 of 28 Old 02-15-2011, 06:12 PM
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Warren, the Z7 is/was a better AVR than the 2600. I also don't believe that the THX certification has anything to do with you liking your 875 more than the Z7. My 2600 is THX certified also. My problem with my 876 is I do not like Audyssey one little bit. I am a certified Yamaha ho (ask ccotenj). Where you do prefer Audyssey over YPAO, in my man cave the Yamaha and YPAO do indeed make the Onkyo sound lacking something for music. The Yamaha sounds very good. The Onkyos are good to me,just not really good. I miss the reliability,the build quality, and the solid feel of the Yamaha's. Something that the 876 lacks. I also do not believe that this 876 will have the lifespan of my 2600. There is just something lacking with the 876 I can't put a handle on. Good luck with yours, whatever you decide to do.
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post #25 of 28 Old 02-15-2011, 06:43 PM
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I would never have paid list for a Z7 It was outrageous.

The 2700, 3800, 3900 and Z7 all had pretty much the same power supply. The 2600 may have had the same power supply as well, making all those models comparable. There might have been some differences in the pre amp sections of all those models. And the amp circuits may not have been identical, but were likely really, really similar (why mess with a proven design.)

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #26 of 28 Old 02-15-2011, 07:20 PM
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If you google the 2600 you can find a full test report on it at Yamahas website. The test was done at audioholics.com, all the info to compare the 2600 to the others Michael listed are there, if anyone is interested. Just for info sake.
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post #27 of 28 Old 02-16-2011, 04:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantom52 View Post

Warren, the Z7 is/was a better AVR than the 2600. I also don't believe that the THX certification has anything to do with you liking your 875 more than the Z7. My 2600 is THX certified also. My problem with my 876 is I do not like Audyssey one little bit. I am a certified Yamaha ho (ask ccotenj). Where you do prefer Audyssey over YPAO, in my man cave the Yamaha and YPAO do indeed make the Onkyo sound lacking something for music. The Yamaha sounds very good. The Onkyos are good to me,just not really good. I miss the reliability,the build quality, and the solid feel of the Yamaha's. Something that the 876 lacks. I also do not believe that this 876 will have the lifespan of my 2600. There is just something lacking with the 876 I can't put a handle on. Good luck with yours, whatever you decide to do.

Actually I think the THX Ultra certification has a lot to do with the reason I like the Onkyo....the 2600 was THX ultra or THX select certified?
There is a big difference
Not that its a guarantee of good sound...but just a guarantee of sufficient power

Here is an except from Sound and Vision from about 4 years ago remarking on the 875's power...I am certain this is applicable to the 876 as well as I am certain their use the same amp and power supply section

"I got stellar bench results from the TX-SR875. Noise and distortion were state-of-the-art, and frequency response was excellent -- though with an inconsequential rolloff of about 0.5 dB per octave above 10 kHz in all modes. Power results handily exceeded the receiver's ratings in all except 7-channel-simultaneous testing, which came very close (128 wpc). Bridged output measured in excess of 300 watts x 2 into 8 ohms. The receiver got quite hot during prolonged power testing, and the fan (which came on only under severe stress) was a bit noisy -- though with a program playing, users should never hear it."


Here are the bench tests of the 3900 by the same magazine

1 channel driven: 189/270 W (22.8/24.3 dBW)
5 channels driven (8 ohms): 100 W (20 dBW)
7 channels driven (8 ohms): 88 W (19.4 dBW)


Neither the Z7 or the 4310 meets its stated power ratings with 5 channels driven. I think explains some of my findings with my ears.

I put several receivers through the paces in the past 30 days...all with a set of Vienna acoustics speakers,,,which are 4ohn and very hard to drive
I picked them specifically to use as test subjects because anything that could drive them had to have some "muscle"
The used a mix of a mix of digital music from Pandora...some tracks from the Joe Sample CD..Samples This...and some scenes from the Blu ray movie Avatar( DTS-MA)
The receivers:..Denon 4310...sounds good and very technie...but runs out of gas at refernce levels of volume
yamaha Z7...a little better than the Denon..but still not enough real world "muscle".....sounded harsh and strained at louder levels
Onkyo 875..much better than than the Denon or Yamaha..never felt the receiver was out of "gas"...a lot more dynamic than the other two in the highs and lows
Curiosly the Onkyo weighs about 11-15lbs more than the Denon or Yamaha

Then for grins yesterday
I pulled out and old Pioneer elite VSX47TX...a 67# beast that I bought on ebay a couple of years ago for $225...I think retail was $3K when it was current in 2002-2003
I could not use DTS-MA on Avatar...but I have to say other than that it would be the clear winner of all the receivers...way more dynamic ...I played this at ridiculous volumes for a long while and it made the Viennas sound fuller and image better than the other three...easily


getting back to your situation
Build quality?
I can't say the build quality is bad on any of these...again..if I were to give a winner I would say its the old Pioneer elite that is the best built...there is copper plating all over the thing
On another note I have an Pioneer Sc07 as well...and the old VSX47 beats its hand down in build quality

In regard to the 876...and I understand it sounds just like the 875 except with better video processing
There is a huge weight difference in the 876 and the 2600..right?
I am not sure what you mean by solid feel
What's the weight difference in the 876 and the 2600
There is definitely a big difference with the z7 and the 875..if I were a betting man I would say that extra weight was amp section and power supply...which is likely the reason I prefer it

I like Audessey...and I like Pioneer's MCACC....Yamaha's room correction is the least tweak able...from my experience

though thats not a deal breaker and good sound beats room correction software any day of the week

as for reliability..I can't speak to that
I have had issues with the Onkyo...but the Z7 I bought was a floor display and it has issues as well right out of the gate

Ironically..it was the same issue for both the Onkyo and the Yamaha...the HDMI PC boards needed replacement...an expensive proposition if you had to do it on your own dime


Warren

Rm 1 Samsung 64F8500 Onkyo 5508 prepro Sherbourn 5/1500A amp Atlantic technology System 350 THX Ultra speakers
Rm 2 LG 47LE8500 Pioneer SC37 Celestion 305 speaker system
Rm 3 Samsung 51E8000 Yamaha A2010 Kef 2005.2 speaker system
Rm 4 Panasonic 50ST50 Onkyo 5009/906 Mirage Omni sat speaker system
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post #28 of 28 Old 02-16-2011, 04:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman View Post

I would never have paid list for a Z7 It was outrageous.

The 2700, 3800, 3900 and Z7 all had pretty much the same power supply. The 2600 may have had the same power supply as well, making all those models comparable. There might have been some differences in the pre amp sections of all those models. And the amp circuits may not have been identical, but were likely really, really similar (why mess with a proven design.)

agreed...I paid 80% off retail price for the z7..as you know

I have no idea where Yamaha came up with the retail prices of some of their higher end units...I also put Denon in this same category.
To me..realistically...these yamaha units should have been about 50% of their stated retail prices
did that correspond to the actual street prices?

...did the 1900 have the same power supply as well?

I had one of those recently...it also on the MHT clearance sale
I sold it recently.
It seemed very capable sonically...it just didn't have the video processing and a few other tricks of the Z7...but they sounded otherwise..pretty close


Warren

Rm 1 Samsung 64F8500 Onkyo 5508 prepro Sherbourn 5/1500A amp Atlantic technology System 350 THX Ultra speakers
Rm 2 LG 47LE8500 Pioneer SC37 Celestion 305 speaker system
Rm 3 Samsung 51E8000 Yamaha A2010 Kef 2005.2 speaker system
Rm 4 Panasonic 50ST50 Onkyo 5009/906 Mirage Omni sat speaker system
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