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Yamaha RX-V661 Owners Thread.

post #1 of 3910
Thread Starter 
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 and Audioholics.com.

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:
  • HDMI
  • 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 Sources
  • Oppo DV-970HD
  • Comcast HD-DVR w/HDMI

The Supporting Equipment
  • Mitsubishi WS-62528 RPTV LCD
  • Cables from Wireworld, Generic brand, and RadioShack

The Setup

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.
post #2 of 3910
Thanks for the nice review. I am very interested in this unit. Does 7.1 PCM through HDMI work? Does the sound processing work for that source? Thanks!
post #3 of 3910
Thread Starter 

The specs seem to suggest it does not transcode component (or lesser) inputs to HDMI - can you confirm this?

Indeed the RX-V661 does not transcode component through to HDMI, nor does it send the OSD over HDMI.


I am very interested in this unit. Does 7.1 PCM through HDMI work? Does the sound processing work for that source?

I will check this out this evening after I arrive home from work. Thanks.
post #4 of 3910
Grab a rxv-659, too good to be true and for sure yamaha has shredded the 661 version for more profit.

661 is lighter like 4 pounds less, less powerful ( 90 watt vs 100) and more complicated ( HDMI and many other options) . More electronics , more problem..

that's what I think..
post #5 of 3910
Thread Starter 
I haven't any experience with the 659, but if all things being equal, technology has advanced and implementation of this technology has lead to increased features at a given price point. This is more inline with Moore's Law than decreased functionality, or performance.

In fact the RX-V661 has increased functionality with its HDMI, OSD, and other technologies not available in a receiver at this price point.

Yamaha has done a great job of bringing useful technology to the budget receiver. HDMI switching (even if OSD is not transmitted over HDMI), YPAO, Pre-Outs for all Channels, 8 Channel Input, Multi-Zone, Ipod Input, I could go on, but you get the picture. All these technologies have given us the end-user a better, more useful, and competent product.

Use your universal remote control to help work around not having OSD over HDMI> The way I work around it is by using my RF enabled MX-800. This is remote control programmed to include a macro that changes the HDTV input when the OSD button is pressed. Conversely, when all changes have been made, and it is time to go bck to HDMI, I have programmed a macro to change the HDTV input back to HDMI. This work around works everytime and is not a problem for me. I can also be implemented possibly with the 661 remote as it is a learning remote control, I believe (unsure?).
post #6 of 3910
Just started looking into this receiver and I'm glad there is finally a thread on it. Can't seem to find it available very easily. But so far it looks like one I will be considering.

Also, excuse the brain fart....what is OSD?
post #7 of 3910
I also think this model may be very popular. Anyone know why Yamaha makes 2 product lines?
post #8 of 3910
Thread Starter 
On Sreen Display (OSD).
post #9 of 3910
I am looking into this as Frys has it available. What will I be missing because it doesn't convert video to hdmi? Should this be a deal breaker for me? I have a 1080p TV but I am more concerned with sound quality in the receiver. Thank you.
post #10 of 3910
Can anyone tell me what the speaker binding post spacing is on the 661? Looks like terminals are oriented vertically on this unit and appears to be 1" rather than the more typical 3/4" spacing.
post #11 of 3910
Is the HDMI on this new receiver passthrough or is it able to process both video and audio? If it does both it would be a great buy.
post #12 of 3910
Originally Posted by Tmac30 View Post

Is the HDMI on this new receiver passthrough or is it able to process both video and audio? If it does both it would be a great buy.

It is HDMI version 1.2a - this means it is capable of processing audio through hdmi.
I haven't seen info on the exact audio capability - I assume it will be 7.1 channel capable.
post #13 of 3910
Thread Starter 
Yes, 7.1 cabability.

I currently have my Comcast HD DVR, and Oppo DV-HD970 both hooked up exclusively with HDMI.

For both audio and video is sent through to the RX-V661.
post #14 of 3910
This AVR was just reccomended by my local AV store, so I thought I'd do a sanity check. First, I'm a novice, however most of the investigation that I've been doing has been leading me towards AVRs that are twice as much like the Pioneer 82TXS or Denon AVR 2807. What am I giving up here?
My primary needs are:
  • 5.1 Surround Sound
  • HDMI to a Panasonic 50" Plasma (TH-50PX60U)
  • Dish Network DVR (ViP 622)
  • Yet to be determined DVD player - HDMI out
  • Yamaha in wall speakers front/rear IW 470, Center IW 960, Remote IW 660)
  • Gamecube (low priority)

Most of the reviews I've read on the higher dollar receivers talk about problems with the HDMI switching, only upscalling to 480i, audio not going via HDMI to AVR (needing to run a 2nd connection from DVD to AVR to get sound), etc.

Most of this seems to have been covered in this post. Anyone see any downsides other than needing to run a 2nd connection from AVR to TV for the Gamecube? (which isn't a big deal)

post #15 of 3910
I don't have this receiver but I want to get it. tdellis you would be missing the HDMI trans-coding. If you want to use the component jacks in the receiver you would have to run extra component cable to the TV. You would also miss the power output from other high dollar receiver and sound quality due to higher end guts of big bucks receiver.
post #16 of 3910
Thread Starter 
Ky22 pretty much hit the nail on the head. I would add that the RX-V661 is a phenomenal receiver with pretty much all that one could want in a budget receiver. So long as that moniker "budget" receiver is always attached to the wording.

Ky22, and others have it right, that recievers in this price range haven't the high quality guts as do their higher priced cousins.

It is worth mentioning that although the RX-V661 is a budget receiver, its older sibling the 659 was well reviewed as being quite nice sounding.

I think were the high end guts show through is in all the three areas, low range, mid range, and high frequency.

Higher end receivers employ better parts (some employ less parts) in the audio path so it follows that the signal path is more pure, the background more black. This allows low volume listenting to be more enjoyable because the background is blacker and against it, details in music and movies show through more clearly.

In the mid-range the higher end receivers, due to their better parts implementation, allow for more character in the mid-range to show through. Some receivers are warmer sounding than others (think Harmon Kardon). Some receivers are bright, highly detailed sounding (think Sony). Still some receivers are really dark sounding (Marantz).

In the higher volumes nicer outfitted receivers win out due in part to their increased power, and power reserves. They can provide the power when called upon.
post #17 of 3910
Is this available yet? I can't find any retailer that carry this item yet. Can anybody point me a store online or not that has this item, please.
post #18 of 3910
Is this available yet? I can't find any retailer that carry this item yet. Can anybody point me a store online or not that has this item, please.
sent you a private message about this..hope it helps
post #19 of 3910
Thread Starter 
Retailers should have them, I have one which I got from a retailer.
post #20 of 3910
Originally Posted by priesteria View Post

Is this available yet? I can't find any retailer that carry this item yet. Can anybody point me a store online or not that has this item, please.

Amazon has it for $500.
post #21 of 3910
I bought mine on March 21 2007 at a local dealer called "Auto Specialties" in
Provo, utah for only $400!

Auto Specialties
496 N 500 W
Provo, Utah
post #22 of 3910
good price? they have a website? i cant find one if they do
post #23 of 3910
Ebay. $380
post #24 of 3910
The Sony STR-DG910 forum is talking about 7.1 PCM output. Can I expect that 7.1 PCM in this too ? Thanks.
post #25 of 3910
Thread Starter 
I'm not totally sure if I understand your queston. But I'll take a stab at trying to answer based on what I understand you question to ask.

In the RX-V661 manual page 16, there is a diagram. It list the following information:
  • Audio Signal Types, Audio Signal Formats, Compatible HDMI components
  • 2ch Linear PCM, 2ch, 32-192kHz, 16/20/24 bit, CD, DVD-Video, DVD-Audio, etc
  • Multi-ch Linear PCM, 8ch, 32-192 kHz, 16/20/24 bit, DVD-Audio, etc.
  • DSD, 2/5.1ch, 2.8224 MHz, 1bit
  • Bitstream, Dolby Digital, DTS, DVD-Video, etc.

Looking at this information, I surmise the RX-V661 puts out 7.1 PCM. Again, I am no expert and don't fully grasp the question, so use this information only after further confirmation from someone who has confirmed it with professional test equipment, or someone who has done a real world test, etc.

Heck I would be willing to do the test, if someone would let me know what material to use for the test, and how it should conducted to confirm or deny they RX-V661 has this 7.1 PCM feature.

I can say that last night I played The Prestige via my Oppo, via HDMI and the sound was excellent. I use Dolby Digital, 7.1, Drama for movies with alot of dialoge.
post #26 of 3910
Thread Starter 
I have decided to pick up an Emotiva Ultra Lite LPA, and LMC-1 separates system so my Yamaha RX-V661 is available for someone to pick up. Give me a call or email. 916-607-6379.
post #27 of 3910
I don't think you would need professional equipment to test 7.1 PCM decoding. Just get PS3 and Resistance should offer you 7.1 PCM.
post #28 of 3910
Thread Starter 
The 7.1 PCM isn't that important to me to have if the only media to offer this encoding is a PS3 game. As for the future, their will be other, bigger, badder receivers on the market by the time this 7.1 PCM media becomes more widely available.

Many people worry about things that affect them, nay, or at least in a very miniscule way. My way of thinking is buy a receiver that you know has quality and enjoy it. Focus more on the media, and content your putting through the thing.
post #29 of 3910
I was just looking at this piece today while they were unpacking them at the local Tweeters, so thanks for the post/review, however...didn't you just pick this thing up four days ago, now you're trying to get rid of it?! That makes me wonder if it really wasn't up to snuff.
I think I'm pulling the trigger on it regardless, and, when I do, will hook it up to the PS3 and run R:FOM and test its 7.1 PCM capabilities.
post #30 of 3910
Thread Starter 
The Yamaha RX-V661 is an awesome piece of equipment. For the money I believe it to be one of the best receivers under $500. In as much as it is a great receiver, I would not pass up an opportunity to aquire a separates based system again should such an opportunity present itself. Which it has.

So my dilemma is to keep the RX-V661, which has many more bells, and whistles than the competing separates I am aquiring, or trade the bells and whistles for better, more expensive mind you, eletronics.

For me the choice is simple. Separates, I'm not into the bells and whistles. The sound quality of the Yamaha RX-V661 is great for someone who is in need of such a well atributed receiver, but not necessarily for someone who is looking at greener pastures of separates based world ultimately.
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