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Yamaha RX-A820 a good choice for my setup?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thinking of replacing my H/K AVR2600 with the 820. I have a 7.1 system in a 14x22 ft room. These are my speakers.
Mains:http://usa.yamaha.com/products/audio-visual/speaker-systems/home-speaker-systems/ns-555/?mode=model#page=2&mode=paging
Center:http://usa.yamaha.com/products/audio-visual/speaker-systems/home-speaker-systems/ns-c444/?mode=model#page=2&mode=paging
Surrounds:http://usa.yamaha.com/products/audio-visual/speaker-systems/home-speaker-systems/ns-333/?mode=model#page=2&mode=paging
Would the RX-A820 be a good choice for this setup?
post #2 of 12
Thread Starter 
Well I just ordered the 820. I'll post more when I receive it. Surprised there isn't an official thread on the 820. Only saw one for the 1020,2020,3020.
post #3 of 12
Hey, jtenn, I just purchased the rx-a820 and set it up on Wednesday. I'm very happy with it. I hooked up new def tech pm1000's for my fronts and sats, a procenter 2000, and a klipsch rw-12d sub. I'm still tweaking things and haven't calibrated the speakers yet and everything still sounds incredible. Two things I am not happy with, you have to purchase a separate wireless adapter to connect to a wireless router ($99 extra), and no screen saver mode when listening to music on an iPod.
post #4 of 12
I've had the A820 for exactly one month and I like it a lot. The features are great and I LOVE the fact that I can watch a movie in the living room and listen to music on the porch at the same time. It does the switching automatically which was a big deal for me. That being said, I believe the Onkyo had a bigger more fuller sound. I don't know exactly how to explain it but it seems like the Onkyo sounds better. I am considering trying the Onkyo 818 to compare the two.

I have the Take Energy classic in a 7.1 setup.
post #5 of 12
Hi, I heard that you can use the airport express from apple instead of the $99 Yamaha. U can get an use one for about $ 50 from craigslist, I have tried it with the A1010 and it works, I just order the A820 and I am expecting it will work with it too : )
post #6 of 12
Just spent the day setting up my new RX-A820 and I'm diggin' it so far. I tried like crazy to figure out how to setup the wifi adapter to no avail. Wound up getting an Apple TV for iTunes streaming and it worked flawlessly. Going to return the Yamaha adapter next week. Tomorrow I have an open afternoon so I'll get to tinker some more.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Spoke with my wife tonight and she said the receiver arrived. I'm headed out of town tomorrow so I won't be able to set it up until Saturday. I'll let you know what I think of it compaired to my H/K 2600.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
So I finally got around to setting up the receiver. After running the auto setup I was kind of disappointed in the sound of it compared to my H/K. I changed the Parametric Eq setting to through instead of YPAO flat and set the dynamic range to Max. This made a big difference in sound. I will play with it more and let you know what I think of it. I was also looking at the OnkyoTX-NR818 but the price difference of the Yamaha made it hard to justify it. The Yamaha also has a 3yr warranty and it seems like Onkyo still has some reliability issues.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Well I decided to return the Yamaha. After spending several days with it and hours of fine tuning I decided to do a back to back sound test with my H/K AVR2600. I thought the Yamaha sounded really good but when I hooked up my H/K again it just sounded better. One movie scene I used was from the Matrix where Neo and Trinity were going to rescue Morpheus and they had the shootout in the lobby. The scene on the H/K just had more presence to it. It sounded fuller and more detailed. I really noticed the difference when the bullet casings were hitting the floor.
Edited by jtenn - 8/27/12 at 5:47pm
post #10 of 12
You're killing me. The HK3600 is on sale for $399, and I love HK sound, but I keep finding reviews about overheating, and that HK let their quality slip. Then I decide on the Yamaha, especially for all of the extra bells and whistles, but now your review makes me wonder if I will regret it.
post #11 of 12
@rdcollns, update where things stand with your experience on the a820?
post #12 of 12
I demo'd the Yamaha 1020 and the Sony DA-STR3700ES in my home. I have a pair of large Dahlquist speakers for the front and Bose 201's for surrounds. I have no idea if I'll ever add a center since I've never used one and never heard a major difference at other people's homes. I also do not want to add a sub because these speakers can handle anything.
That being said, I set both systems up quickly with the included mics and sat down to listen. The Yamaha was able to recreate music so perfectly it sounded like the instruments were in the room with me. Sound affects were crystal clear. However the low end and the dialogue were a little lost. I got the feeling that YPAO didn't compensate well for the absence of a front or sub, which it did detect. It even detected that one of my wires was out of phase on the surround sound, which the Sony did not.
The Sony sounded solid, and much more impressive on movies, where the low end was powerful and dialogue crystal clear, even warm and pleasant. For music, the Sony was nowhere near as accurate, but it had a very nice sound, and a lot of power. Where the Yamaha might sound harsh at high volumes (realistic if someone was blowing a horn in your ear), the Sony would smooth everything out.
Both had great menus and connectivity, with a slight advantage to Sony for more flexible customization and a B set of stereo speakers in addition to the second zone. Where the Sony ranked was their tuner. I had a tough time getting AM or FM stations to tune well, but the Yamaha had HD Radio and received the everything effortlessly. If I intentionally screwed with the antenna, it would slip into the analog broadcast. I listen to a lot of radio, so that wasa big deal, as was clear AM radio and the bonus FM stations.

Following all of this, I tested the 820 vs the 1020 side by side to see if the 820 had the same sound and power. I was in a Best Buy Magnolia with instant switching, and I couldn't hear any difference. I think I could get the low end and dialogue to sound fine too, I just didn't have the time to sort it out in the settings.

So I decided to buy the 820 until I realized it didn't have HD Radio. I'm shocked that Yamaha doesn't put it in the entire Aventage line and that Sony leaves it out of all their receivers. It seems the only other one that had it is Denon, which sounds fine, but I don't like the look or feel.

I still want to demo the HK, but they aren't connected on display where I have been, and the place that gave me the other demos doesn't sell it.

Sorry for all if the rambling here, but you asked for it.
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