Help me Decide on a Receiver. Yamaha vs. Onkyo - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 11 Unread 06-23-2015, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Help me Decide on a Receiver. Yamaha vs. Onkyo. EDIT: Denon??

Hi everyone.


I'm in the market for a new AVR and have pretty much narrowed down my choices to an Onkyo TX-NR636 and a Yamaha RX-v677. (comparison link)

Edit - now also considering Denon AVR-X2100W and the AVR-X3100W.

Although the Yamaha is discontinued on Crutchfield, it is still available on Amazon as is the Onkyo.


They seem pretty close specs wise, and my needs are pretty simple. The only devices I will have connected are the HD Cable Box, an Xbox One which I'll use for gaming, BluRays, Netflix, etc, and possibly my computer. The TV is a Vizio E601i-A3 1080p 120hz model. Right now I just have crappy little HTiB speakers, but am planning to upgrade to HTD's In-Wall HD Speakers soon after.


Side note: the reason I'm upgrading the receiver first is because my current receiver is quite underpowered. I went down to the HTD showroom with the intention of buying 5 in wall speakers, and demoed them. They sounded great, but just for my own curiosity, I hooked up my existing HTiB speakers to their receiver, and it sounded so much better! I think upgrading the receiver first will give me the most bang for the buck starting out.


The Onkyo unit comes highly recommended by the guys over at the wire cutter, but I've read some unsettling things about Onkyo's reliability and trouble with the HDMI ports.


The Yamaha unit is a little cheaper, but both units fit within my budget so I don't care about the cost difference.


Even though I have an Onkyo right now, I'm not really committed to that brand. There's a couple things in the settings menu that annoy me, but I couldn't name them off hand.


Both units have zone 2, which I won't be using right away, but may in the future. Streaming music from my devices isn't a huge deal to me as we don't have a large collection of audio files on our local machines. Almost all the music we listen to is from a service like Spotify or Pandora. Does anyone know if either unit can send audio from these services to zone 2?


Also - any experience with the Onkyo or Yamaha smart phone apps?


I'm now leaning slightly towards the Yamaha unit because I have read more negative reports of Onkyo equipment and it's kinda spooked me. Plus (and I know this isn't a scientific or empirical reason), I have known the Yamaha name to be around longer, and I kind of feel like changing it up from my current equipment might be a good thing.


But none of these convictions are particularly strong.


Any help appreciated!!

Last edited by imdandman; 06-23-2015 at 11:16 AM. Reason: Added Denon to consideration list
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post #2 of 11 Unread 06-23-2015, 10:47 AM
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Generally speaking Onkyo gives you the most bang for the buck, but Yamaha is more reliable. I would get the Yamaha as having a receiver go bad is a major hassle.

I would get a new 2015 model over either of them for HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 ports. Needed for UHD TV.
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post #3 of 11 Unread 06-23-2015, 11:00 AM
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It may be different in todays market but I have found a difference in sound from those two brands (or maybe the units I had in my home). I much preferred the Onkyo and tried to talk myself out of it when I purchased a Yamaha sound bar years later but had similar issues and replaced it.
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post #4 of 11 Unread 06-23-2015, 11:08 AM - Thread Starter
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I've now also seen recommended the Denon AVR-X2100W and the AVR-X3100W. How do these fit in to your recommendations?
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post #5 of 11 Unread 06-23-2015, 12:12 PM
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Hi all,
I'll chime in....
I have all Pioneer in my home for AV duties.
Living room has a Pioneer Kuro Plasma with the Elite VSX 53 as the control center, my bedroom has an Elite VSX 60.
My Elite VSX 60 just recently started dropping the audio via HDMI 1 & 2 In.
I took my receiver to the local Pioneer Authorized service center and they determined that it was the HDMI PCB.
Repair cost is $618.92
The VSX 60 has a March 2012 sticker on the back which makes it 3.3 years old.
In talking with the technician that looked at my Pioneer he told me to make sure and keep it cool because a lot of time manufacturers place PC Boards above the power transformer and this obviously bakes the board above it like a hot plate.


I asked what does he recommend as a replacement if Pioneer will not do anything for me.
He said that Onkyo is buying Pioneer and thusly for his tech support, he only has one rep left at Pioneer.
He use to like Yamaha but does not any longer he said that their quality has fallen.
He does not like Onkyo and expects that once Pioneer is under Onkyo's rule they will no longer be the quality that they have been known for.


At this point if I have to go looking I know that it will not be Yamaha or Onkyo.
I may trust Pioneer one more time Pre Onkyo but probably not afterward.
Other than that the phone rang and he had to go so I was not able to drill him on Denon or other brands.
If my recourse with Pioneer fails and I have to go looking I may call him back.


Take this for what it is, everyone has opinions they are like you know what, but I trust a technician that repairs these things 8 hours a day more than anyone else.
What reason can he have to BS me?

I also heard that when manufacturers had to go to lead free solder there would be a lot more problems with solder joints.
That lead free solder does not hold as good as the old lead solder.
I don't know if that is like the hype over the year 2000 and computers crashing (that never happened) or not!

The last thing I will say is that if you are looking at a specific receiver, see if you can find a picture of how the inside is setup.
Was it manufactured with a board sitting right over the power transformer.
This may cause problems in the long run and keep a lot of space around your receiver...put your hand in there and feel how hot the area is.
Heat is the enemy!


Buyer beware!


Good luck,


Bud B
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post #6 of 11 Unread 06-23-2015, 06:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud B View Post
Hi all,
I'll chime in....
I have all Pioneer in my home for AV duties.
Living room has a Pioneer Kuro Plasma with the Elite VSX 53 as the control center, my bedroom has an Elite VSX 60.
My Elite VSX 60 just recently started dropping the audio via HDMI 1 & 2 In.
I took my receiver to the local Pioneer Authorized service center and they determined that it was the HDMI PCB.
Repair cost is $618.92
The VSX 60 has a March 2012 sticker on the back which makes it 3.3 years old.
In talking with the technician that looked at my Pioneer he told me to make sure and keep it cool because a lot of time manufacturers place PC Boards above the power transformer and this obviously bakes the board above it like a hot plate.


I asked what does he recommend as a replacement if Pioneer will not do anything for me.
He said that Onkyo is buying Pioneer and thusly for his tech support, he only has one rep left at Pioneer.
He use to like Yamaha but does not any longer he said that their quality has fallen.
He does not like Onkyo and expects that once Pioneer is under Onkyo's rule they will no longer be the quality that they have been known for.


At this point if I have to go looking I know that it will not be Yamaha or Onkyo.
I may trust Pioneer one more time Pre Onkyo but probably not afterward.
Other than that the phone rang and he had to go so I was not able to drill him on Denon or other brands.
If my recourse with Pioneer fails and I have to go looking I may call him back.


Take this for what it is, everyone has opinions they are like you know what, but I trust a technician that repairs these things 8 hours a day more than anyone else.
What reason can he have to BS me?

I also heard that when manufacturers had to go to lead free solder there would be a lot more problems with solder joints.
That lead free solder does not hold as good as the old lead solder.
I don't know if that is like the hype over the year 2000 and computers crashing (that never happened) or not!

The last thing I will say is that if you are looking at a specific receiver, see if you can find a picture of how the inside is setup.
Was it manufactured with a board sitting right over the power transformer.
This may cause problems in the long run and keep a lot of space around your receiver...put your hand in there and feel how hot the area is.
Heat is the enemy!


Buyer beware!


Good luck,


Bud B
Too bad you didn't get any info on the Denon systems. That would be useful as that is now what I'm leaning towards.
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post #7 of 11 Unread 06-23-2015, 07:21 PM
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A market research study done in 2014, ranked Yamaha #1 and Denon #4 for reliabiity...

Just my $0.02...
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post #8 of 11 Unread 06-23-2015, 07:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M Code View Post
A market research study done in 2014, ranked Yamaha #1 and Denon #4 for reliabiity...

Just my $0.02...
I've seen this posted a few times.

Link to study?
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post #9 of 11 Unread 06-24-2015, 04:33 AM
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I've extensive experience with the Yamaha, denon, and marantz apps. Since marantz and denon are from same company the app is the same except for the skin overlay.

Yamaha control app:
The Yamaha app is by far the best out of all of the bunch. It connects quickly and does not lose connection when you go back to the home screen of samrtphone. With the app you will no longer need the original remote. The app has the navigation buttons just like the one on the physical remote. Accessing music on your USB, network, internet radio, pandora, etc can be done all in the app without you even turning on your TV. In the app swiping up, down, left, and right are ways to navigate and also pusing on icons and words. This is the most complete app out of all the other brands. Full control of zone 2 functionality, including switching sources for zone 2 and controlling the volume.

Onkyo control app:
I do not own an onkyo receiver but have downloaded the app and used it in demo mode. The app seems to be a remote control replacement also. I don't know anything about how good the connectivity is with the app.

denon and marantz control app:
This app can replace the original remote if you have patience. If you don't leave the network connect on in the menus of your receiver, it'll take a good 1minute to connect and be functional. It also takes about 45seconds to reconnect when you return to the home screen on the phone and return back to the app. Other downsides are the method of scrolling and returning back to the main menu of the app. On the Yamaha app there is a button that takes you back to the main app screen when you're navigating music. With the denon app when you're navigating music there is no swiping up or down to quickly scroll through your music, instead they have this wonky up and down buttons that you'll need to press. While in the navigational screen for music, internet radio stations to get back to the main app screen to change inputs, you'll need to first press the back arrow on the top left of the smartphone screen, than press the back to main menu icon. When pression the back arrow button it takes about 3-5seconds to respond.

If you want instant control of the receiver get Yamaha rx v677. The app is superior to denon's.
I used the Yamaha control app on a Yamaha RX V673. I don't even have the original remote for my rx v673 and can access all the features with the app.

I've used the pioneer app also and although it connects faster than the denon app, It is not full functional and cannot replace the original remote.

The Harman Kardon app is a joke and doesn't work properly with my Harman Kardon avr1700. I had to buy an app on google play call myavremote that controls the receiver half way descent.
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post #10 of 11 Unread 06-24-2015, 01:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Well... I ordered the Denon X2100W unit off Amazon for $399. Here goes nothing!

It seems to be the most recommended unit that also wasn't plagued with reliability issues. Plus it has the Audyssey calibration tool which is a nice bonus over the others.

I'm still unsure of myself, but I always feel this way when I make big tech purchases. It should be here Friday, so hopefully I can get it set up without too much hassle.
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post #11 of 11 Unread 06-25-2015, 04:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imdandman View Post
Well... I ordered the Denon X2100W unit off Amazon for $399. Here goes nothing!

It seems to be the most recommended unit that also wasn't plagued with reliability issues. Plus it has the Audyssey calibration tool which is a nice bonus over the others.

I'm still unsure of myself, but I always feel this way when I make big tech purchases. It should be here Friday, so hopefully I can get it set up without too much hassle.


Good choice, the avr2100w has nice features. If you never used audyssey multiEQ XT before it's nothing special. All it really does is calibrates just like all the others like Yamaha's YPAO system. Some say audyssey EQs the subwoofer, but it's really nothing special. If you like tweaking equalizer settings the Yamaha rx v677 and the higher end yamahas are superior to what denon and marantz has. If you love floorstanding speakers as fronts you'll love dynamic eq on the denon avr2100w. Dynamic eq will give you super loud bass kind of like a huge bass boost at low volumes. As you increase the volume the bass equalizes with the rest of the frequencies. I only use dynamic eq sometimes when I feel like hearing lots of bass, other than that dynamic eq makes the music sound boxy and clogged.

Side note: In pure direct I do like the sound of my denon avr1912 better than my yamaha rx v673. The denon avr1912 is just more neutral and more gentale on the ears, while the yamaha rx v673 is slightly brighter with more in your face sound. I own 2 other yamaha receivers and although each has a different sound in terms of tonal balance. All the yamahas are in your face kind of sound. I would compare the sound to a closed back pair of headphones. The denon is more laid back and open sounding, easy on the ears.

I'm planning on getting one of those newer denons when the price gets cheaper on accessories4less.
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