I finally got a chance to setup my new Yamaha RX-V661 this weekend. This receiver is the replacement for the Yamaha RX-V659 which has received glowing reviews from Home Theater HiFi
This is an overview of the unit to start a dialog about this nicely priced, and nicely featured a/v receiver.
The features are posted on Yammy's website here.
As you can see from the features list it has many trickle down technologies from Yammy's "higher-end" AVR receivers the 2700 and 1700. These features include:
- YPAO with subwoofer support down to 31.5 hz
- 1080p Capable
- Ipod Compatibility
- 192 hKz/24bit DAC's
- XM Ready
- Preouts for all channels (perfect for using the 661 as a Pre/Pro when you decide to upgrade the amplifier.)
- OSD (although not over HDMI)
- Multi-Zone control compatibility
- HDMI Ver. 1.2a with support for Super Audio CD
- Assignable amplifiers for bi-amp connection
- Video up-conversion and component video output with TBC (Time Base Corrector)
- 8-channel external decoder input
- Upgraded CINEMA DSP with 17 DSP programs
- Compressed Music Enhancer
This is by no means a complete list of common features between the 661, 2700/1700 series receivers but it gives you a good idea of the RX-V661's lineage. Which is to say it has a solid, well featured pedigree.
Worth noting is that Yamaha decided to change the box graphics from previous receiver, which may or may not be carried over to all its newer next generation (HDMI 1.2a +) receivers.
The RX-V661 comes with YPAO microphone which is nice to see. Since some early higher receivers did not even come with such microphones, let alone $549 (MSRP) receivers. Nice going Yamaha
I set the unit using a standard 7.1 configuration. Here is the breakdown of my system.The Room
My room is 15' wide, by 12.5' deep, by 8' in height. Room character I would say is slightly bright, or alive, due to sheet rocked walls without much high frequency absorbing adornments such as wall carpet pictures, etc.The Speakers
The speakers are all Wharfedale Diamond Line (except subwoofer):
- Front: Diamond 9.6
- Center: Diamond 9.1 CM
- Sides: Diamond DFS Surrounds
- Backs: Diamond 9.1's
- Subwoofer: Velodyne SPL-800R
The Supporting Equipment
- Oppo DV-970HD
- Comcast HD-DVR w/HDMI
- Mitsubishi WS-62528 RPTV LCD
- Cables from Wireworld, Generic brand, and RadioShack
I used the YPAO to setup the receiver and it did so with great accuracy. I tested everything with a Radio Shack analog SPL meter and all levels were on target...Ok, maybe one of the speaker outputs could have been 1+- off. Otherwise it did a great job of quickly (less than 5 min) going through its setup routine. There was an error however; it incorrectly identified my subwoofer as being 32' away. This is to be expected, due to the inherent room interactions the receiver microphone and Yammy's YPAO must deal with.
All in all the setup was easy to work with and smooth. The OSD could be GUI like the 2700, but hey what do you want for a $549 receiver with a street price of around $450? In the past I have to do all the setup myself, and now the receiver finally does it for me. What a Godsend.The Sound
The RX-V661 sound was open, detailed and a bit on the bright side. This is to be expected as the receiver has not yet had enough time to break in....time to settle into its skin so to speak. To be fair I should come back after it has had at least a few hundred hours of burn in time to rate its sound quality. On any format its bright nature will show through. So take the information below with this in mind.
To check out the new Music Enhancer mode I listened to some MP3's with encoding from 192 to 320 kps. The mode was a cool thin at first due to its bump in midrange and low end response, but this became fatiguing over the course of the listening. I switched back to one of the surround modes like DTS Neo Music, or DPLIIx Music, or 7 Channel Stereo. The Music Enhancer mode may fair better with lesser quality recordings.
I can tell already that the Yammy RX-V661 sound better than my previous receiver the similarly priced Onkyo TX-SR503. Not to mention the RX-V661 has many more features than the Onkyo.
I haven't had the opportunity to listen to the RX-V661 with movie material, so I'll report back when I do. My apologies
Well, all in all I like the Yamaha RX-V661, I think I'll keep it for awhile. I initially did not want a receiver like the Yamaha because I wanted to move to separates. I was looking at the Emotiva Ultra Lites, LPA-1, and LMC-1 combo. I decided to go with the Yamaha for many reason, two being the RX-V661
s full feature set and the robust reviews of its predecessor the RX-V659.
I will try out more features and report back as I try them and as time permits. Thanks for looking.