Why not simply go with Yamaha RX-A660? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 120 Unread 04-16-2017, 11:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Why not simply go with Yamaha RX-A660?

Thanks to generous advice I've received on AVS Forum, I've upgraded my old speakers to a 3.1 system (Q Acoustics Concept 20 bookshelf, QA Concept Center Console, and an SVS SB12 sub). As I've mentioned on another thread, I would like to upgrade my 11-year-old Pioneer VXS-516 receiver, and I'll be done. In our 19'x13' living room, I doubt I'll add even surround speakers.

I've researched probably much more than I need to, looking primarily into Denons and Yamahas. The choices are dizzying, features added on higher models with correspondingly higher prices, but my needs really aren't that great. We have a 51" Samsung plasma television (OTA antenna), stream movies and shows through Roku, steam audio through an Apple Airport Express, and have a DVD player and a CD player.

I'm very tempted to order a Yamaha RX-A660 from Best Buy on sale for $299.98 and call it a day, but before I do, I wanted to ask more knowledgeable persons what I may be overlooking.

I can spend more money, and though I don't want to spend more than needed, a higher-featured Denon X1300W can be had for $399.99 and the next step up X2300W for $499.99 (though this latter deal may be gone before I decide). The question is this: Considering my needs, what do I gain with one of the two Denons over the Yamaha A660?

Any thoughts?

(And unfortunately, I'm not close to a Fry's for the great deals they run on Denons that are local areas only.)
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post #2 of 120 Unread 04-16-2017, 11:45 PM
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If you're only going 3.1 probably not much except more HDMI inputs and different brand room calibration. If your needs are this simple stay with the Yamaha and save some money.
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post #3 of 120 Unread 04-16-2017, 11:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by afrogt View Post
If you're only going 3.1 probably not much except more HDMI inputs and different brand room calibration. If your needs are this simple stay with the Yamaha and save some money.
Thanks. You speak to the reasonable part of me that I sometimes lose site of.

Would the possibility (probability) of not upgrading for another ten years modify your counsel? It would be almost as easy to order the Denon X2300, perhaps for peace of mind. Would the X2300 be more future proof?
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post #4 of 120 Unread 04-17-2017, 12:02 AM
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In 10 years all kinds of new features and formats may evolve. You can't future proof that far ahead. Stay with the A660 and see where the industry goes over the next few years.
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post #5 of 120 Unread 04-17-2017, 12:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by afrogt View Post
In 10 years all kinds of new features and formats may evolve. You can't future proof that far ahead. Stay with the A660 and see where the industry goes over the next few years.
That makes sense.
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post #6 of 120 Unread 04-17-2017, 07:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Broadus View Post
That makes sense.
One thing I had not thought to mention and may or may not have a bearing on inputs needed is that we watch television OTA and branch the sound to the Pioneer receiver via a TOSLINK Digital Optical Cable. From reading AVS posts, it seems that better audio is produced when the television signal goes first to the receiver and then to the television, but is this possible with an antenna cable?

If I still need to continue with the the optical cable route like I'm doing presently, would it be good to have two optical digital inputs, one for the television and a second for the Airport Express? The Airport Express doesn't require using an optical digital cable, but my understanding is that the sound is better, using utilizing the analog/optical audio jack with a a Toslink to mini-Toslink cable. It seems that having two optical digital inputs would be preferable in this case (again, if my understanding is correct). If this is true, only the X2300 has two optical digital inputs.

Last edited by Broadus; 04-17-2017 at 08:08 AM.
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post #7 of 120 Unread 04-17-2017, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Broadus View Post
One thing I had not thought to mention and may or may not have a bearing on inputs needed is that we watch television OTA and branch the sound to the Pioneer receiver via a TOSLINK Digital Optical Cable. From reading AVS posts, it seems that better audio is produced when the television signal goes first to the receiver and then to the television, but is this possible with an antenna cable?

If I still need to continue with the the optical cable route like I'm doing presently, would it be good to have two optical digital inputs, one for the television and a second for the Airport Express? The Airport Express doesn't require using an optical digital cable, but my understanding is that the sound is better, using utilizing the analog/optical audio jack with a a Toslink to mini-Toslink cable. It seems that having two optical digital inputs would be preferable in this case (again, if my understanding is correct). If this is true, only the X2300 has two optical digital inputs.

It doesn't necessarily sound better, it just gives you the option of lossless audio which you won't get over the air anyway so not a factor. Where it would be useful is routing your blu ray through the receiver to the TV, that way you can take advantage of Dolby TrueHD or DTS:MasterAudio once you complete your speaker system.

Nothing you have posted would lead me to choose the Denon over the Yamaha.

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post #8 of 120 Unread 04-17-2017, 08:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mdbrown View Post
It doesn't necessarily sound better, it just gives you the option of lossless audio which you won't get over the air anyway so not a factor. Where it would be useful is routing your blu ray through the receiver to the TV, that way you can take advantage of Dolby TrueHD or DTS:MasterAudio once you complete your speaker system.

Nothing you have posted would lead me to choose the Denon over the Yamaha.
Thank you. This may be a $200 answer.

Speaking of connecting to the receiver, does it matter whether the Roku is run through the receiver or the TV? Will audio be better through the receiver?
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post #9 of 120 Unread 04-17-2017, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Broadus View Post
Thank you. This may be a $200 answer.

Speaking of connecting to the receiver, does it matter whether the Roku is run through the receiver or the TV? Will audio be better through the receiver?
No, audio will not be any better. I run all sources that I can through the receiver for convenience only. Streaming sources are limited to Dolby Digital which ARC or Toslink will pass just fine.
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post #10 of 120 Unread 04-17-2017, 09:05 AM
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Why not simply go with Yamaha RX-A660?

If you want to be future-proof for a few years, or retain some resale value of the AVR you get, consider this news of 2016 Yamaha units getting firmware updates for the latest specs, incl. Dolby Vision:

https://ce-pro.eu/2017/04/yamahas-20...-tidal-deezer/

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Originally Posted by Broadus View Post
Thank you. This may be a $200 answer.



Speaking of connecting to the receiver, does it matter whether the Roku is run through the receiver or the TV? Will audio be better through the receiver?

Depending upon your streaming device, run it through the AVR. The Roku may provide Dolby Digital+ or PCM 5.1/7/1, which some TVs can't pass through ARC. If the Roku has an HDMI output, putting that directly into the AVR will guarantee the highest quality audio.

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post #11 of 120 Unread 04-17-2017, 09:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ChromeJob View Post
If you want to be future-proof for a few years, or retain some resale value of the AVR you get, consider this news of 2016 Yamaha units getting firmware updates for the latest specs, incl. Dolby Vision:

https://ce-pro.eu/2017/04/yamahas-20...-tidal-deezer/
Looks like neither the A660 nor the A760 make the cut.


Quote:
Depending upon your streaming device, run it through the AVR. The Roku may provide Dolby Digital+ or PCM 5.1/7/1, which some TVs can't pass through ARC. If the Roku has an HDMI output, putting that directly into the AVR will guarantee the highest quality audio.
It's a Roku 3 with an HDMI output. We've had it for three years and haven't seen a reason to update it.
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post #12 of 120 Unread 04-17-2017, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Broadus View Post
One thing I had not thought to mention and may or may not have a bearing on inputs needed is that we watch television OTA and branch the sound to the Pioneer receiver via a TOSLINK Digital Optical Cable. From reading AVS posts, it seems that better audio is produced when the television signal goes first to the receiver and then to the television, but is this possible with an antenna cable?

If I still need to continue with the the optical cable route like I'm doing presently, would it be good to have two optical digital inputs, one for the television and a second for the Airport Express? The Airport Express doesn't require using an optical digital cable, but my understanding is that the sound is better, using utilizing the analog/optical audio jack with a a Toslink to mini-Toslink cable. It seems that having two optical digital inputs would be preferable in this case (again, if my understanding is correct). If this is true, only the X2300 has two optical digital inputs.
You may not need to use your airport express for streaming audio as both the Denon and Yamaha have built in Airplay. You could use that instead.
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post #13 of 120 Unread 04-17-2017, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Broadus View Post
Looks like neither the A660 nor the A760 make the cut.




It's a Roku 3 with an HDMI output. We've had it for three years and haven't seen a reason to update it.
Depends on the rest of your system too. My TV is a high end set and it does not have Dolby Vision and will not so far as I am aware. HDR10 is considerably more common than Dolby Vision. I do know the A660 is scheduled to get an HLG update. More to the point, if a disc is DV encoded it's going to be HDR10 encoded as well as that's more common.

Again going through the receiver is always preferable but hardly a necessity. Dolby Digital + has 2 advantages over standard Dolby Digital. It is encoded at a higher bit rate to allow for better resolution/sound quality and it's a more efficient encoding method so it's possible to get a 7.1 signal from it.

I've heard both and I'd be very surprised if most people could hear the difference between DD an DD+. As for 7.x that's only a concern if you have a large listening room with a minimum of 6 feet behind the seated position. If not a 7.x system does not sound good.
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post #14 of 120 Unread 04-17-2017, 09:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by afrogt View Post
You may not need to use your airport express for streaming audio as both the Denon and Yamaha have built in Airplay. You could use that instead.
That's true, but one thing I like to do is have speakers throughout the house playing the same music or podcast, etc., which I can control through my MacBook Pro. I was thinking I could not do that without the Airport Express.
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post #15 of 120 Unread 04-17-2017, 09:42 AM
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yeah maybe, don't know enough about Apple products to give advice on that.

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post #16 of 120 Unread 04-17-2017, 06:32 PM - Thread Starter
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I've spent a good deal of time today trying to justify moving up to at least an A860 but am having trouble doing it.

What's pitiful is I've started thinking of the A660 as an entry-level, $299 receiver (and it has to be quite inferior at that price, right? ) instead of a very good sounding $649 MSRP receiver on sale for $299.

Still, is it reasonable to expect the A760 and A860 to go on sale soon? Right now, they're typically priced at $650 and $900, respectively. Only a couple of places have the A660 at this very low price, and it's out-of-stock at Crutchfield. Perhaps it's possible that some authorized dealers may sell out of some of their 2016 Aventages before they have to drop prices to clear out stock for the 2017 models.

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post #17 of 120 Unread 04-17-2017, 06:58 PM
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It seems odd that the RX-V681 is getting the upgrade but not the RX-A660. Aren't they virtually the same AVR or am I mistaken.
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Originally Posted by phantom52 View Post
It seems odd that the RX-V681 is getting the upgrade but not the RX-A660. Aren't they virtually the same AVR or am I mistaken.
I think the RX-A660 is closer to the RX-V581.
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A660 is = to the RX-V581 and related to my newly purchased TSR-5810. I purchased at AC4L for great $269.99 price

Almost bought the A660 for $299 but didn't because it doesn't have Atmos or DTS:X. Wanted to have that for secondary system just in case, my primary has an A2050 with 5.1.4 Atmos set-up which I love

Edit: A660 does indeed have Atmos & DTS:X; my mistake
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Originally Posted by Broadus View Post
I think the RX-A660 is closer to the RX-V581.
So get the RX-V681 when it goes on sale. Should be soon enough. It's also a step up in room EQ over the A660.
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post #21 of 120 Unread 04-17-2017, 07:16 PM - Thread Starter
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A660 is = to the RX-V581 and related to my newly purchased TSR-5810. I purchased at AC4L for great $269.99 price

Almost bought the A660 for $299 but didn't because it doesn't have Atmos or DTS;X. Wanted to have that for secondary system just in case, my primary has an A2050 with 5.1.4 Atmos set-up which I love
But it does: http://usa.yamaha.com/products/audio..._u/?mode=model
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post #22 of 120 Unread 04-17-2017, 07:35 PM - Thread Starter
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So get the RX-V681 when it goes on sale. Should be soon enough. It's also a step up in room EQ over the A660.
I have to admit that I am tempted with the V781 for $600 from Stereo Advantage through Amazon. The question is: Will it make for a better experience with what I do (more music than HT) with my simple 3.1 than the A660?
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Originally Posted by Broadus View Post
I have to admit that I am tempted with the V781 for $600 from Stereo Advantage through Amazon. The question is: Will it make for a better experience with what I do (more music than HT) with my simple 3.1 than the A660?
The 781 has pre-outs, which you probably don't need.

I believe that it has a superior multipoint YPAO compared to the A660.

I think that it allows individual speaker crossover settings.

The 781 has many virtues, but do you want or need them?
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post #24 of 120 Unread 04-17-2017, 07:52 PM - Thread Starter
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The 781 has pre-outs, which you probably don't need.

I believe that it has a superior multipoint YPAO compared to the A660.

I think that it allows individual speaker crossover settings.

The 781 has many virtues, but do you want or need them?
That's the question, and I've not convinced myself that I need them or will need them in the next few years. I'm even perfectly content with my plasma Samsung. I would like for my 3.1 speakers to sound good, especially for music but also for HT. I doubt I'll add anything to it, outside of the possibility of a couple of rear speakers.

I would like the multipoint YPAO, but not for another $300.

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Originally Posted by Broadus View Post
I have to admit that I am tempted with the V781 for $600 from Stereo Advantage through Amazon. The question is: Will it make for a better experience with what I do (more music than HT) with my simple 3.1 than the A660?
So what does the RX-V681 sell for there? The 681 uses the same YPAO as the V781. Not enough in the difference of the two to warrant the price charge IMO.

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So what does the RX-V681 sell for there? The 681 uses the same YPAO as the V781. Not enough in the difference of the two to warrant the price charge IMO.
It looks like it's the same price. It's a strange time, it seems, as 2016 stock is being cleared out. You never know what might come along at a good price.
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post #27 of 120 Unread 04-18-2017, 06:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdbrown View Post
…I've heard both and I'd be very surprised if most people could hear the difference between DD an DD+. As for 7.x that's only a concern if you have a large listening room with a minimum of 6 feet behind the seated position. If not a 7.x system does not sound good.
The difference shouldn't be audible. DD+'s advantage is variable bitrates, making it more efficient for online streaming applications. At least, that's what the Dolby marketing docs told me.
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Welcome to Analysis Paralysis, population: you. Get that A660 and be happy to have found a good deal.

Plug the Roku into the AVR for simplicity and best quality audio. Same with any other devices you currently plug into the TV due to the age of your old AVR.
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post #29 of 120 Unread 04-18-2017, 07:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Welcome to Analysis Paralysis, population: you. Get that A660 and be happy to have found a good deal.
I'm a long-time citizen. I think it's driven because I seldom replace things, keeping them for a long term. But I think you're right--for my usage, I don't think I'd notice a difference with a higher priced receiver.

Quote:
Plug the Roku into the AVR for simplicity and best quality audio. Same with any other devices you currently plug into the TV due to the age of your old AVR.
Other than the Roku, my other devices are, I think, older than my old AVR. After replacing the Pioneer receiver, I probably need to turn my analysis paralysis into upgrading them.

Speaking of older devices (and older video), is the A660's lack of HDMI upscaling a concern? Is that something my Samsung PN51F5300 (manufactured January 2014) handles if needed?
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post #30 of 120 Unread 04-18-2017, 02:26 PM
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I was a little miffed that my PS2 (yes, you're not hte only one with antiques) component output was "upscaled" (transcoded) to HDMI out to my TV with my RX-v663, then when I plugged in an RX-v775, that little luxury went away. No 480p, 1080i component transcoding to HDMI OUT. So I had to duplicate component video output to the TV from the AVR just for the PlayStation.

It happens.

“Phil? Phil Connors?!”
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A: Yamaha RX-V775. Bose 401 mains, 301 Series III surrounds, Yamaha NS-C444 center, Hsu VTF-2 Mk4.
V: Samsung UN40ES6150, Panasonic DMP-BDT215, Yamaha DVD-S550. Apple TV 4gen. Chromecast 1gen.
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