Just about figured out speakers, now need receiver. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 02-25-2014, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello gentlemen,

I have thread going in Speakers:http://www.avsforum.com/t/1518268/dialogue-too-quiet-tv-speakers-looking-to-add-5-1-or-other-solution

I've settled on going with bookshelf speakers, either Ascend Sierra 2's or Philharmonitors, depending on which I like better when they arrive. These will be Left and Right mains.

For the time being I'm reusing my Def Tech CLR 3000 for center channel duties, and Axiom QS8's for rear surrounds.

Illustrations of my room can be found in posts 14, 15, and 16 in that thread. I'm either going to fish the carpet, or rip open drywall to get a 5.1 system going.

I don't yet have a receiver picked out. I was leaning toward a Yamaha 1030, but then I was told that I'd have to go up to the 2030 if I wanted my sub calibrated with YPAO.

I am also considering the Denon X-4000. Maybe even the 4520?

Movies and tv well dominate the usage, but I will also use for music listening.

I'm going to eventually connect speakers to the sun porch as a zone 2, and possibly a zone 3 in my attached garage where I keep my pinball machines.

I'd also like to be able to control with an app on my phone or tablet. I've read reviews on the Yamaha app and they were mediocre, but I couldn't tell if the reviewers were home theater guys like us or Joe Six Packs.

Are the apps for the Yamaha and Denons as nice or better than the Sonos systems? I've seen the Sonos and the app was very straight forward and that system worked really well.

Obviously, sound quality is very important too, just thought that would be a given requirement. smile.gif

Are there other units I should consider?

Is there more info I should provide for your help?

Thanks, guys.
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post #2 of 12 Old 02-25-2014, 12:42 PM
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If you are serious about sound quality, I would recommend either a Cambridge Audio or a NAD receiver.

IMO they are the only ones that will give consistently low distortion when driving REAL SPEAKERS (and sound much better as a result).

The specs that most companies quote show extremely low distortion when connected to an 8 ohm resistor. These specs are essentially worthless. ANY amplifier will do that.

You have to be pretty uninformed to think that these low distortion numbers are anything like what you get when a real speaker system is connected (which has inductance and capacitance; which amplifiers don't like at all).

Most receivers have a LOT of distortion when driving speakers; 3% to 6% would be common at higher power levels.

The NAD and Cambridge receivers are much better, and SOUND much better due to their superior amplifer/power supply designs.

Any engineer or person experienced in the audio field knows that there are many 40 or 50 watt integrated amplifiers that are well-designed that SOUND way way better than the typical low-quality receiver "rated" for 3 times as much power.

POWER is NOT the issue; SOUND QUALITY is the issue. Comparing power specs is foolish and tells you NOTHING about the way it will sound.

The well-designed receivers cost more because they ARE designed better, and sound better. If you buy the poorly designed stuff, you get the crappy sound that goes with the territory.
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post #3 of 12 Old 02-25-2014, 01:12 PM - Thread Starter
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How would you rate Cambridge and NAD to B&K? I have a B&K Reference 50 and 200.7 amp that I haven't been using since I moved in with my wife. I really liked how that pair sounded with my Martin Logan Aeon i's. Unfortunately I can't use the ML's in this room due to size and me not wanting them ruined by animals.

Do the Cambridge and NAD units have the extra functions like zones, network control, etc?
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post #4 of 12 Old 02-25-2014, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geocab View Post

Do the Cambridge and NAD units have the extra functions like zones, network control, etc?

The feature set of NAD and especially Cambridge are very restricted compared to Yamaha, Denon etc....

I can pretty much guarantee that YOU couldn't tell the difference in SQ between any AVR of similar cost or even any over $500.

Buy the AVR that has the features you like, want or need. They all will sound great.

IMO the only benefit the Denon X4000 or 4520 has over the Yamaha 2030/3030 is the ability to set up and eq 2 subs independently. Other than that Audyssey is like Apple's iOS compared to Android. It functions, it's pretty slick and usually works well, BUT if you don't like what it's doing, you can't make any changes. The 4520 does allow for Audyssey Pro calibration, if you can afford it.

The Yamaha is more user configurable. Plus Crutchfield still has some 3020s for $1500. The real deal though was when they had the 2020 for $1000. Wish I could've got in on that. frown.gif

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post #5 of 12 Old 02-25-2014, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

The feature set of NAD and especially Cambridge are very restricted compared to Yamaha, Denon etc....

I can pretty much guarantee that YOU couldn't tell the difference in SQ between any AVR of similar cost or even any over $500.

Buy the AVR that has the features you like, want or need. They all will sound great.

IMO the only benefit the Denon X4000 or 4520 has over the Yamaha 2030/3030 is the ability to set up and eq 2 subs independently. Other than that Audyssey is like Apple's iOS compared to Android. It functions, it's pretty slick and usually works well, BUT if you don't like what it's doing, you can't make any changes. The 4520 does allow for Audyssey Pro calibration, if you can afford it.

The Yamaha is more user configurable. Plus Crutchfield still has some 3020s for $1500. The real deal though was when they had the 2020 for $1000. Wish I could've got in on that. frown.gif

+1. I think room calibration is a minor reason to choose an AVR. All of them do a decent job. Choose the features you want and will use. It's a little hard to tell how important subwoofer EQ is but I can tell you it is far less important than in the higher frequencies.
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post #6 of 12 Old 02-25-2014, 07:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Maybe I misunderstood what I was told about the sub being calibrated with YPAO? I'll have to ask in the Yamaha thread. I just can't imagine with today's AVRs that a function like that would be left out.

I wish there was a thread comparing the different features of the different products together. They do a good job of showing the differences between the progressive models in each of their respective lines, but I'd like to see a list of what I'm getting with the X-4000 vs. the 2030. It's hard to read thread after thread after thread to find different pieces of info.
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post #7 of 12 Old 02-25-2014, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geocab View Post

Maybe I misunderstood what I was told about the sub being calibrated with YPAO? I'll have to ask in the Yamaha thread. I just can't imagine with today's AVRs that a function like that would be left out.

I wish there was a thread comparing the different features of the different products together. They do a good job of showing the differences between the progressive models in each of their respective lines, but I'd like to see a list of what I'm getting with the X-4000 vs. the 2030. It's hard to read thread after thread after thread to find different pieces of info.

YPAO on the 2000 and 3000 series does EQ the sub, just not 2 independently.

IMO the 3020 for $1500 at Crutchfield is a better deal than a 2030 for the same price.

I also think from an audio and video quality standpoint the Harman Kardon AVR 2700/3700 for $700 and $900 respectively are good buys. Check out sound and visions review of the HK3700. 5 star for audio and video.

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post #8 of 12 Old 02-25-2014, 07:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post
 
...

IMO the only benefit the Denon X4000 or 4520 has over the Yamaha 2030/3030 is the ability to set up and eq 2 subs independently. ...

 

Those upper Yamaha receivers allow for independent setup of the 2 subwoofers, and so did their predecessors:

 

The subwoofer outputs on the RX-A2030 can be configured as  Left + Right, Front + Rear, or Monaural x 2.  This means you can configure them as a stereo pair or mono.

 

http://www.audioholics.com/av-receiver-reviews/yamaha-rx-a1030-a2030-a3030-receiver

 

Regarding the older RX-A2020 and RX-A3020 units:

 

The subwoofer outputs are labeled front and rear indicating that we are finally seeing configurable subwoofer outputs with independent level and delay controls  rather than the parallel dual outputs of the others in the line.

 

http://www.audioholics.com/av-receiver-reviews/yamaha-aventage-rx-2020-rx-3020-pre

 

EQing them is a different matter.  But one can set the delays and levels differently with these Yamaha receivers (and YPAO will do it automatically if you wish).

 

 

 

To the OP:

 

I would go with Yamaha.  Probably go for a discontinued model, like this:

 

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_022RXA3020/Yamaha-AVENTAGE-RX-A3020.html

 

Or:

 

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_022RXA1020/Yamaha-AVENTAGE-RX-A1020.html


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post #9 of 12 Old 02-25-2014, 08:54 PM - Thread Starter
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I don't see me getting 2 subs in this room so the EQ'ing of them independently isn't much of an issue for me in this instance. So I'm sort of leaning toward the Yamahas. Regarding the older line versus the newer, I'll have to research reviews of Burr Brown vs ESS chips. I'd also lose MHL capability which I'm not sure I understand what it is. Is that when you can mirror your phone's display with your tv? Another thing I need to look up.

How are the phone/tablet apps of the Yamahas and Denon compared to a Sonos system?
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post #10 of 12 Old 02-26-2014, 09:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geocab View Post

I don't see me getting 2 subs in this room so the EQ'ing of them independently isn't much of an issue for me in this instance. So I'm sort of leaning toward the Yamahas. Regarding the older line versus the newer, I'll have to research reviews of Burr Brown vs ESS chips. I'd also lose MHL capability which I'm not sure I understand what it is. Is that when you can mirror your phone's display with your tv? Another thing I need to look up.

How are the phone/tablet apps of the Yamahas and Denon compared to a Sonos system?

 

One of your questions I can respond to.  The DAC chips in both the old ones and the new ones are superb, and it is a virtual certainty that you would never hear any difference in properly conducted DBTs.  I would not let that affect my choice at all.

 

However, there is a potential advantage to the old receivers, as the RX-A2020 and RX-A3020 have HQV Vida video processors, which are known to be good (and known to be well-implemented by Yamaha), whereas the replacement models use a Yamaha video processor, which is of unknown quality until someone properly tests it.  Of course, if you do not use the video processing in the receiver, this will not matter, and I do not know (and probably, no one else knows right now either, though I have not looked recently for any tests) how well the new Yamaha video processors perform.  But I do know that the old ones (the two top models only) had great video processors.


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post #11 of 12 Old 02-26-2014, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Jack D Ripper View Post

One of your questions I can respond to.  The DAC chips in both the old ones and the new ones are superb, and it is a virtual certainty that you would never hear any difference in properly conducted DBTs.  I would not let that affect my choice at all.

However, there is a potential advantage to the old receivers, as the RX-A2020 and RX-A3020 have HQV Vida video processors, which are known to be good (and known to be well-implemented by Yamaha), whereas the replacement models use a Yamaha video processor, which is of unknown quality until someone properly tests it.  Of course, if you do not use the video processing in the receiver, this will not matter, and I do not know (and probably, no one else knows right now either, though I have not looked recently for any tests) how well the new Yamaha video processors perform.  But I do know that the old ones (the two top models only) had great video processors.

I wouldn't worry abut Yamaha. They have an outstanding engineering reputation. I certainly agree with Jack that there is no reason worry about the DAC chips. Mentioning their names is a marketing effort. It doesn't have anything to do with the sound of the system. One thing I like about the old models is that some of them have metal face plates. The Yamaha may still, I don't know. But most of the factories are turning out plastic faceplates these days which I find unappealing personally.
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post #12 of 12 Old 02-26-2014, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
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I believe that in the spec sheets for the 2030 and 3030 they list metal face plates. I agree too, I like that better than plastic.

What would one use the video processing chips for? DVD upconversion? Netflix? Or will there be processing on blu-rays as well. I'd prefer my signals not being processed if not necessary such as a blu-ray disc.
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