Originally Posted by Chad Varnadore
I'm not at all familiar with Yamaha products, but this thread about has me convinced to give them a try. I've been a Denon owner for about the past decade (5700, 5800, 5805, downgraded to a 3808 for lossless, but added external amplification), and need to upgrade my aging 3808 to something that'll better mate with a 3D projector, also to address intermittent power interruptions where the Mits just flicks off suddenly without warning or apparent cause: Mitsusbishi believes the AVR might be triggering it. I've ruled out the power, firmware, and every possible setting in the PS3, Denon, and Mits that I can find, and am left to conclude, if it's the AVR, it's something that the last firmware Denon released didn't address - possibly a more recent amendment to BD spec that the Denon doesn't know what to do with.
I was all set on getting something with Audyssey XT32, but after reading so many favorable comparisons of YPAO to Audyssey, and David Vaughn going so far as to say only Audyssey Pro was better, I'm strongly leaning toward Yamaha, largely for their seemingly better HDMI reliability with handshakes and such. But the fact they appear to run cooler than the Marantz 7008 and Onkyo's I've been eyeing would also be a plus in our small HT, walls virtually insulated with fiberboard acoustic treatments and diffusion, so what heat builds up doesn't dissipate too fast.
Since I don't review any longer, I'm more inclined to experiment with unfamiliar brands. I've always heard Yamaha was regarded as much for their unique color as their DSPs - which I've never really liked DSPs, though I'm not firmly against them either -, but it sounds like Yamaha can be pretty neutral sounding too. I'm using an older Atlantic Tech 370 THX speaker system, which is known to be dark, so a bright amp, as I've often heard associated with Yamaha, might be a good mate, just as I've often heard the warmer sound of Marantz is supposed to be so with these speakers.
I might even do away with the Outlaw amp, as I don't believe it's necessary for the room volume (despite all the absorption and diffusion), if the Yamaha doesn't get considerably hotter driving it's own amps, vs using external amplification and still sounds as good. I don't know why, but the Denon 3808's amp section, in wholly subjective listening, just seemed to lack detail and dynamics compared to the Outlaw, even though it didn't appear the Denon was being pushed THAT hard by itself, and I'd assume the Outlaw has never had it's capabilities really tested by the room, as cool as it stays.
I think the main things I've yet to come to terms with are regarding the itinerations of YPAO:
I'm looking at either a 3030, 3020, or 2030. From this thread as well as all my google searches, I can't figure out if YPAO has been improved this generation over last, to make it worth going with the 3030. It appears Yamaha made improvements between the 10 and 20 generations, but I haven't found anything subjective or otherwise about the version used in the 30 series. I'm actually a bit partial to the 3020 for it's HQV video section, if all other aspects are equal. We only use the HT for PS3 games, movies and TV on BD, along with the occasional DVD. So all the phone and internet related features aren't a consideration, just fundamental A/V performance and reliability are the critical factors I'm looking for.
I also can't seem to figure out exactly how useful the angle measurements of the 3030/3020 are compared to the YPAO solution used in the 2030/2020 line, or what they're for, precisely. I presume if I want something that's the most comparible to Audyssey XT32, I'll need the most comprehensive, up to date version of YPAO that Yamaha makes, which would be the 3030 or possibly even the 3020.
I'm hoping to wrap up my research and pull the plug this week on one of the Yamahas, a Marantz 7008 or Denon 929/818. If anyone has any further insight, it would be greatly appreciated. Blind buys can be daunting, especially when your time and dime are limited.