Yamaha DSP-A1 - Does not power on - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 01-04-2012, 11:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi everyone,

I recently purchased an excellent condition DSP-A1 from its original owner. The item was shipped from Washington State to Missouri and it was well packaged, with no apparent physical damage. The unit is in excellent condition and the original owner really took good care of it.

The problem is this: I cannot get it to power on. Of course, I made sure the outlet is hot (all the circuits are new and tested.) I even plugged in a Pioneer DVD player to the "Unswitched" power outlet on the DSP-A1 and the Pioneer powered up with no problems. So, the DSP-A1 is getting power and yet, it will not turn on. The power switch on the DSP-A1 (physically at least,) is in excellent condition and does not seem to be the problem. Has anyone experienced this problem? The original owner states that the unit was fully functional with no defects, prior to shipping and the excellent over-all condition of the DSP-A1 seems to support this.

I would like to have purchased a Yamaha RX Z11, but it is still very pricey (maybe in another five to ten years?) The DSP-A1 will be replacing a "cranky" DSP-3090 that has a hard time staying on selected input source. (It jumps from one item to another and it is especially "cranky" when in Cinema/Surround modes.)

I am hoping someone out-there may just have the "fix" solution. Thank you all in advance, for your time.
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post #2 of 20 Old 01-04-2012, 11:59 PM
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If it doesn't power on, it's toast. You ought to return it.
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post #3 of 20 Old 01-05-2012, 07:22 AM - Thread Starter
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The unit is in excellent condition and is obviously coming out of a loving environment and it would be a shame to just give up on it, without a try.
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post #4 of 20 Old 01-05-2012, 07:31 AM
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I have one and have "given up on it." It doesn't have HDMI so it is obsolete. No point investing in it further although it was a wonderful unit in it's time.
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post #5 of 20 Old 01-05-2012, 08:36 AM
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Sure, it was fully functional. The owner swears to it. It was lovingly taken care of. For the hell of it, you might want to open it up and see if there are fuses. Maybe one of them is blown.

"I've found that when you want to know the truth about someone that someone is probably the last person you should ask." - Gregory House
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post #6 of 20 Old 01-05-2012, 09:03 PM
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Had the same problem, if it does not power on... it is TOAST and now worth repairing. Send it back if you can ASAP!
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post #7 of 20 Old 01-05-2012, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yamaha DSP Fan View Post

The unit is in excellent condition and is obviously coming out of a loving environment and it would be a shame to just give up on it, without a try.

It sounds like this unit has never worked for you, and that the seller simply claims it worked at one point (and I'm sure at some point, maybe in the 1990s, it did work). That doesn't mean its in "excellent condition" - it's obviously not, as it doesn't work now.

It's not worth putting any money into it, given the age. The lack of HDMI by itself doesn't preclude it from being functional, but a lot has happened in 15 years. Aside from checking the fuse(s), there's nothing else I'd bother with.

Hope you didn't pay too much for it; unlikely you'll ever see the money again. Although, something tells me that such a "lovingly cared for" unit probably commanded a premium wherever you got it from.
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post #8 of 20 Old 01-05-2012, 09:44 PM
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My neighbor back in the early 90's (Maybe even 90,91) had a Yamaha DSP that plugged into the tape loop.. I think It was an E1000 or something..

It was a pretty interesting toy..

It had tons of nifty little sound fields that were fun to toy with then I was young.. Yamaha has been doing surround sound for a long time..
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post #9 of 20 Old 01-05-2012, 10:32 PM - Thread Starter
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So far, I did the following:

1. After contacting the seller and obtaining his permission, I removed the top to check the fuse and unfortunately, this was not the problem.

2. I then removed the fuse and used needle-nose pliars to bridge the gap, still the unit would not power up. (There is power at the fuse contacts.)

3. I further checked the unit for obvious shipping related mishaps (i.e., dislodged connections, internal damage, etc.,) and could not find anything obviously wrong. The unit is very clean, internally and externally and nothing seems amiss, at least visually...

4. I "smelled" for tell-tale signs of electrical issues and this too yielded no results. Often than not, when something burns-up within such a device,
the smell can be felt for a long time.

5. I called Yamaha USA and endured a 40+ minutes of hold! I had to hang up when I received an incoming call... I had called Yamaha USA in the off chance that maybe one of their techs would have an idea; that perhaps there is something common with these units that lead to such no-powering issues.

6. I called a local authorized Yamaha dealer/service center and asked them for their opinion. They said that it will cost $55.00 to trouble-shoot the unit and if any repairs are needed (and the repairs are performed at this particular service center,) they will then apply that amount to overall repair costs.

7. The seller stated that he is willing to issue a refund (he does seem to want to be helpful in this matter) and that he has no idea what happened to the unit.

8. I offered for the seller to pay for the bench-testing with no further responsibility on his part (this would come out of the funds which I have already paid him and he would keep the difference.) I am still hoping in my heart that because of the very clean condition of the unit and no obvious signs of 'abuse' or electrical mishap that repairs needed will not be very high. In the worse case scenario, I would sell the well preserved (hinged) remote and the owners manual to help defray my loss. The unit would simply get put aside as a "parts" unit, in the chance that I get another DSP A1 (albeit a functional one!)

I know many folks feel that this unit is far too old to put too much of an effort; but, I have wanted one for a very long time and I have a number of older Yamaha DSP units (few DSP A1000's and a DSP 3090) which I like very much (and the DSP-A1 is decidedly better than the other two...) If I can get this unit to function, it would be lots of fun to explore all the settings, etc. The unit can also support twin center-channel speakers, R/L main speakers, two front-effect speakers and two rear-effect speakers and can accomodate subwoofers in the following fashion: one single sub, or two front subs, or two subs with one front/one rear configuration. While not THX certified, it is able to emulate THX-like settings and offers DTS (and AC3) decoding, in addition to the old Dolby pro-logic, etc., surround modes. It is a well-built, tank-like device (though unfortunately, even well-built tanks fail, time-to-time...)

I am still stymied and hope against hope that someone who has specific experience/knowledge regarding this unit will stumble upon this post with the "winning" answer...

Thank you all for the advices thus far given.
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post #10 of 20 Old 01-06-2012, 02:06 AM
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The DSP-A1 was certainly a great amp/processor in it's time. I did find when going from the A1 to other pre-pros that it was not as acoustically transparent as my new one's.
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post #11 of 20 Old 01-06-2012, 09:04 AM - Thread Starter
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@Theresa:

I've always viewed the recently defunct Yamaha RX-Z series (1/7/9 & especially 11) as the successors to the original Yamaha DSP family of processors. Especially, the RX-Z11, which has amazing capabilities; albeit with a very steep list price of $5,500.00. I think possibly that Yamaha has recently given up on the pricey flagship DSP approach and has downscaled itself. I think this, because there does not seem to be a successor to the RX-Z11 flagship.

What are your opinions on the subject?

Also, what are you currently doing with your DSP-A1? I would assume that it would still be a formidable unit for music, etc.? Or have you retired it completely?

Many years ago, I purchased a Yamaha DSP-1 (this was Yamaha's first DSP unit and it was a stand-alone processor with no amps, etc.) By the early 1990's, it was mostly obsolete and after purchasing a Yamaha DSP-1000 back in 1992, I "retired" the DSP-1. I have no idea what happened to this unit, as it sort of "disappeared," over the years... It was still in its original box, with the purchase receipt (I think I paid around $700.00 for this unit, in the late 1980's,) adverts, numerous magazine's with related articles, etc., etc.)
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post #12 of 20 Old 01-07-2012, 12:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Update:

1. The seller was very helpful and issued a full refund.
2. The unit will be returned to the seller and he hopes to be able to get it fixed and return it to use in his own house, as a secondary unit.
3. I've since located a Yamaha RX-V1 (which I believe was what followed the DSP-A1) within a reasonable driving distance and am negotiating its purchase (barring of course, there're no problems with the unit.)

Thank you everyone for all your helpful suggestions.
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post #13 of 20 Old 01-07-2012, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yamaha DSP Fan View Post

Update:

1. The seller was very helpful and issued a full refund.
2. The unit will be returned to the seller and he hopes to be able to get it fixed and return it to use in his own house, as a secondary unit.
3. I've since located a Yamaha RX-V1 (which I believe was what followed the DSP-A1) within a reasonable driving distance and am negotiating its purchase (barring of course, there're no problems with the unit.)

Thank you everyone for all your helpful suggestions.

Sorry to hear that your DSP-A1 purchase didn't work out.
I purchased the A1 back in 1996 and have been using it daily ever since. It started in our HT and is now in my main room facilitating not only 5.1 for TV/movies yet audio for house and patio listening. I'm a Yamaha fan as well and also have a Z11 in the HT. It will take something quite substantial in new audio and/or video to cause me to part with it.
The only issue that my A1 has manifested is the small LED on the volume knob tends to flicker every once in a while as if it has a loose connection or something. Other than that it is flawless. I have installed two 120mm fans under the hood for cooling however. They just don't make them like they use to. Hopefully the Z11 won't be the last "beast" out of Yamaha. The current A1010, A2010, A3010 AVRs however nice, are not in the "flagship" territory.

Good luck on the V1. I would also recommend you check out any available RX-Z1s or Z9s. Both great vintage Yamaha AVRs.

Keep us posted

Cheers

Love DIY
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post #14 of 20 Old 01-08-2012, 08:29 AM
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I've owned almost every Yamaha "Flagship" model starting with the DSP-A1000. The only model I skipped was the RX-V1. Besides the A1000 I previously owned the DSP-A2070, DSP-A3090, and the DSP-A1. I currently own an RX-Z1, RX-Z9, and RX-Z11. At this point it looks unlikely Yamaha will ever resurrect their "Flagship" receiver program.
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post #15 of 20 Old 01-08-2012, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi Steven,

I'm assuming by the number of RX-Z units you own that you're very pleased with them? I was seriously considering finding an RX-Z11, but due to it's decidedly high list price, I gave up on the idea. I think both the Z9 and the Z11 (I'm not familiar with the earlier Z series units,) are fine units and it would be hard to find any other brand that can match what Yamaha has managed to do with these two models! The relatively high-price of these units has likely severely limited their marketability. And, they're also complex to set-up and to operate (relative to much lesser, plug-and-play units available for general consumption.) This too has likely scared away customers, however deep the pockets. After all, there comes a time, even after a professional set-up, when one is alone with the unit and manage to push just the wrong buttons!

About twelve years ago, I was playing a solo venue (I play the guitar and keyboards,) at the residence of a well-to-do couple and I was shocked to see a DSP-A1, stashed away in their garage, just sitting on a shelving unit! I asked about it and the gent stated that they had purchased it recently and that it was not very user-friendly, from their perspective, and that they purchased another, easier to use brand since, and that they were simply storing the A1, to give to one of their kids!

As for me, I could be content with just a nice looking, functional dinosaur like an A1 or a V1 (though it would be absolutely fantastic to stumble onto more modern, Z series unit, for the right price!)

By the way, it's a shame that Yamaha has given up on the idea of flagship receivers! I've also noticed the relative lack of coverage of high-end Yammy products by mainstream publications! Can you recommend a review-source for the Z9 and Z11 series?
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post #16 of 20 Old 01-08-2012, 06:38 PM
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I have a DSP-A1 sititng in a box in a closet. I replaced it because I wanted HDMI and some of the newer features offered today. In my opinion the A1 sounds as good if not better that than the A3000 I am currently using. It is a great integrated amp and if I ever decide to go back to a secondary system it will certainly be put back in use.
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post #17 of 20 Old 01-08-2012, 07:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yamaha DSP Fan View Post

Update:

1. The seller was very helpful and issued a full refund.
2. The unit will be returned to the seller and he hopes to be able to get it fixed and return it to use in his own house, as a secondary unit.
3. I've since located a Yamaha RX-V1 (which I believe was what followed the DSP-A1) within a reasonable driving distance and am negotiating its purchase (barring of course, there're no problems with the unit.)

Thank you everyone for all your helpful suggestions.

Glad to hear that the seller is actually taking care of you here; that's a rare feature nowadays. Hope the V1 works out. I'll be honest, the V1 is a model I'm not that familiar with, but from what I've read it should have a few "extras" over the A1; 6.1 processing and a tuner are what stand out from a quick glance.

Regarding the Yamaha flagship receivers, the RX-A3000 and A3010 have very similar processing features to the RX-Z11 (they have the 11.2 processing and advanced YPAO with sub EQ and so on), although I'm not sure how the amplifier sections compare (they claim to be equivalent, but the Z11 is likely more robust; the A2000 doesn't quite rise to the level of the Z7 or Z11 in bench tests, so I'm skeptical). That said, for the price of the Z11 when new (some $5000), the A3000 or A3010 (at around $1900) could be mated to a very competent amplifier for the difference, and produce a more modern 11.2 set-up (you would gain HDMI 1.4 and newer networking/integration features over the Z11, and with external amplifiers, you would have more output power (well, depending on what you bought)). Just some food for thought.
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post #18 of 20 Old 01-09-2012, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yamaha DSP Fan View Post

Hi Steven,

I'm assuming by the number of RX-Z units you own that you're very pleased with them? I was seriously considering finding an RX-Z11, but due to it's decidedly high list price, I gave up on the idea. I think both the Z9 and the Z11 (I'm not familiar with the earlier Z series units,) are fine units and it would be hard to find any other brand that can match what Yamaha has managed to do with these two models! The relatively high-price of these units has likely severely limited their marketability. And, they're also complex to set-up and to operate (relative to much lesser, plug-and-play units available for general consumption.) This too has likely scared away customers, however deep the pockets. After all, there comes a time, even after a professional set-up, when one is alone with the unit and manage to push just the wrong buttons!

About twelve years ago, I was playing a solo venue (I play the guitar and keyboards,) at the residence of a well-to-do couple and I was shocked to see a DSP-A1, stashed away in their garage, just sitting on a shelving unit! I asked about it and the gent stated that they had purchased it recently and that it was not very user-friendly, from their perspective, and that they purchased another, easier to use brand since, and that they were simply storing the A1, to give to one of their kids!

As for me, I could be content with just a nice looking, functional dinosaur like an A1 or a V1 (though it would be absolutely fantastic to stumble onto more modern, Z series unit, for the right price!)

By the way, it's a shame that Yamaha has given up on the idea of flagship receivers! I've also noticed the relative lack of coverage of high-end Yammy products by mainstream publications! Can you recommend a review-source for the Z9 and Z11 series?

Yes-I'm a big Yamaha DSP fan from way back. I would suggest looking for at least a Z1 unit as it has much improved DAC's, processing power, and DPLII. The front face on the V1 has goofy wings on the sides because it was so tall they thought it looked bad and added those at the last minute. Really, in this day and age buying any receiver w/o HDMI seems crazy. The Z11 price dropped dramatically at the end of its life cycle, and many like me picked it up for under 2K new. I think buying an A2010 or A3010 and adding external amps if needed would be your best bet if you can't find a good used Z11.
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post #19 of 20 Old 01-09-2012, 09:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenC56 View Post

Yes-I'm a big Yamaha DSP fan from way back. I would suggest looking for at least a Z1 unit as it has much improved DAC's, processing power, and DPLII. The front face on the V1 has goofy wings on the sides because it was so tall they thought it looked bad and added those at the last minute. Really, in this day and age buying any receiver w/o HDMI seems crazy. The Z11 price dropped dramatically at the end of its life cycle, and many like me picked it up for under 2K new. I think buying an A2010 or A3010 and adding external amps if needed would be your best bet if you can't find a good used Z11.

Yes, I wouldn't think of buying a processor without HDMI. My DSP-A1 is a beautiful unit and in its time was top of the heap. But when I replaced it with a more modern unit I was amazed at how much more transparent processors are these days. I do miss the flexibility of the sound fields of the DSP-A1. The benefits of a modern processor are many, not just having HDMI. DACs are much better these days IMHO.
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post #20 of 20 Old 01-09-2012, 09:54 PM - Thread Starter
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@KJSmitty: It is great that you're getting such a long-term enjoyment from your A1 and I think it was smart to install additional cooling. By the way, where did you mount these fans and was it easy to find a power source for them, without creating noise related issues?

I would love to go the route of RX-Z11, however, they're still fairly pricey and well, perhaps it would be best if I waited a bit longer.

By the way, do you use external amps with your ZX11 or are the internal amps up to the task, in your particular set-up?

If the Z11 is indeed the last flagship from Yamaha; at least we'll have the pleasure of knowing that the company went-out of such production, with a proverbial big-bang!

@Walbert, Thank you for your suggestions. It may be that Yamaha will not be producing another flagship for some time to come. (Especially with the 4K hi-def in the horizon.) I wish this weren't so, as I've always viewed Yamaha to be an innovative builder of such components

By the way, the most recent Home Theater Magazine has a couple of very informative articles, dealing with the 4K high-definition video format (which will replace the current 1080p standard, eventually, in the consumer market.) It seems Sony has already produced 70 or so movie titles, in this very high-definition format and will likely lead the consumer market push in this area as well.

While I am excited about the upcoming 4000 line resolution video (which is touted as the format that will likely kill-off print film,) I find myself thinking: Great, yet another pricey conversion to worry about! On the other hand, thanks to various "extinctions," I have a comprehensive array of components in my home theater line-up and I can play the following formats (whether dead or not!): Beta, VHS, Super VHS, Laser Disk, RCA Vision, 1 tape, Interactive CD, DVD and of course, BlueRay (As well as: Eight track tape, reel-to-reel tape, cassette tape, etc.)

The moral of the story is that, if you live long enough and keep at least some of your old hi-fi and a/v equipment, you will end up with a proverbial audio-video museum, whether you like it or not!
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