Cannot decide, A-S801 or R-N803 - Page 4 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #91 of 149 Old 12-28-2017, 07:40 PM
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Cool Good Question!

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Originally Posted by LFEer View Post
How do you determine the sound quality of receiver/s? I guess you do that by listening but how do you conduct such test? Please fill me in if I'm missing something.
I believe most tests are done on integrated, power, and pre amplifiers. I guess because they are more specialized components there is more attention or interest in their performance. A receiver is sort of a general purpose component that one judges by just listening to it.

In any case, the A-S801 had had sterling reviews not only on this forum but from at least 6 other respected sources. Just do a search and you'll get plenty of info. For me, that's what motivated me to buy it. BTW, I've gotten burned in the past buying stuff without a review to back it up.

An integrated amp with a solid 100 WPC is the heart of a quality hi-fi system. With it, you can drive most speakers. I have a pair of Klipsch floorstanders, and I'll probably get rid of them in the future for a couple of more mello units.

With Internet radio and the vast variety of music available and services like Spotify and others, a tuner is pretty much useless.
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post #92 of 149 Old 12-28-2017, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LFEer View Post
How do you determine the sound quality of receiver/s? I guess you do that by listening but how do you conduct such test? Please fill me in if I'm missing something.
Maybe a sound quality meter would work better? Do they make those? Anyway some high school graduates, who aren't accredited electrical engineers, say the answer is "No", sound quality can't be measured [4m10s]:


True story: I typed in "sound quality meter" into youtube to see what sort of a funny video I could find and I hit this one I thought would give you a chuckle.

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post #93 of 149 Old 12-28-2017, 09:37 PM
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For anyone interested in the truth, here's the real answer: Yes, we can measure sound quality and if I'm remembering this correctly it can be broken down into 4 basic categories, each of which can be broken down even further into sub categories:

1. Linear distortion
2. Non-linear distortion [includes noise and artifacts]
3. Temporal distortion
4. Amplitude distortion

All of these things can indeed be measured however they are difficult if not impossible if you don't know what the original source is while in its pristine, unmodified condition. As home music listeners we pretty much never have direct access to the original master tape to do direct, A/B comparisons against, so we can only guess as to what we think it "should" sound like. [But don't misconstrue this to mean everybody gets to pick whatever they prefer if one's goal is accuracy.]

Say you hear a Beatles tune, for example, and you notice Ringo's voice sounds a little nasal. Is that because the recording and/or your room acoustics/ playback gear has changed his voice? Or is it very accurate, i.e. high fidelity, high truthfulness to the original master source, because Mr. Starr does indeed have a nasal voice? That's the question.

Scientists can compare the master to the reproduced sound to answer these very questions but usually it's quicker and easier to use dedicated test signals from a test generator, instead of music, to see how the sound is distorted in these four ways. Despite what you read in audio magazines we can now measure all these distortions quite a bit more accurately than the human ear can detect, yet they often insist the exact opposite. It's a lie. When a product is so good that although we can still see very small levels of these various distortions present in measurements the clone (reproduced sound) is audibly indistinguishable from the master in proper [level matched, double blind, synchronized, etc.] listening tests we have achieved what's called (audible) "transparency". [See my signature for more on this fundamentally important concept called "High Fidelity."]
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In A/V reproduction accuracy, there IS no concept of "accounting for personal taste/preference". As art consumers we don't "pick" the level of bass, nor the tint/brightness of a scene's sky, any more than we pick the ending of a novel or Mona Lisa's type of smile. "High fidelity" means "high truthfulness", faithful to the original artist's intent: an unmodified, neutral, accurate copy of the original master, ideally being exact and with no discernable alterations, aka "transparency".

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post #94 of 149 Old 12-29-2017, 12:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMojoski View Post
I believe most tests are done on integrated, power, and pre amplifiers. I guess because they are more specialized components there is more attention or interest in their performance. A receiver is sort of a general purpose component that one judges by just listening to it.

In any case, the A-S801 had had sterling reviews not only on this forum but from at least 6 other respected sources. Just do a search and you'll get plenty of info. For me, that's what motivated me to buy it. BTW, I've gotten burned in the past buying stuff without a review to back it up.

An integrated amp with a solid 100 WPC is the heart of a quality hi-fi system. With it, you can drive most speakers. I have a pair of Klipsch floorstanders, and I'll probably get rid of them in the future for a couple of more mello units.

With Internet radio and the vast variety of music available and services like Spotify and others, a tuner is pretty much useless.
What you need is objective comparison method, i.e. level matched double blind test.
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post #95 of 149 Old 12-29-2017, 12:49 AM
 
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Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
Maybe a sound quality meter would work better? Do they make those? Anyway some high school graduates, who aren't accredited electrical engineers, say the answer is "No", sound quality can't be measured [4m10s]:
When it comes to comparing 2 or more electronic sound reproducing components, it's about the difference between them, say DAC x made improvement over DAC y, then such event is caused by the difference in sound (if it really was different). Those surely can be measured, even if they are too small for our ears to detect.
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post #96 of 149 Old 12-29-2017, 02:18 AM
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^Yup. Say for example the difference is in the frequency response. Humans, on a good day can hear variations in a 20-20kHz frequency response of about +/- 1.0 dB, with the right signal, maybe if the deviation is specifically dialed in to make it easy for a human to detect even +/- 0.25 dB in perfect lab conditions [mind you these figures are using optimized test signals, often band-limited pink noise centered near 3.5-5kHz. With music on the other hand, humans usually find random deviations of 2 or even 3dB quite tolerable over this same bandwidth, in casual use.]

In comparison one of the latest Audio Precision analyzers, the APx555, can detect level deviations from 10-20kHz which exceed [*GULP*] .008 dB.
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post #97 of 149 Old 12-29-2017, 10:02 AM
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Really?

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Originally Posted by LFEer View Post
What you need is objective comparison method, i.e. level matched double blind test.

That's horse****.
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post #98 of 149 Old 12-29-2017, 10:32 AM
 
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Really.

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Originally Posted by MrMojoski View Post
That's horse****.
Here you go. http://matrixhifi.com/pruebasciegas.htm
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post #99 of 149 Old 12-29-2017, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMojoski View Post
I believe most tests are done on integrated, power, and pre amplifiers.
I think that's true mostly because there is a stigma against receivers. Is it justified? Well how would we know if receivers are never tested in the first place! Sort of a catch-22 situation.
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post #100 of 149 Old 12-31-2017, 03:00 PM
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I'm just gonna wait and try to pick up a A-S1100 in silver on sale from accessories4less. Those meters on the front are tantalizing! I don't think I will need the XLR inputs that come with the a-s2100. Plus, it's about a $thousand more.
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post #101 of 149 Old 01-02-2018, 11:29 AM - Thread Starter
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A little review about the R-N803.

So I have had this receiver for a little over 2 weeks now, and it seems to do everything I would want a receiver to do. MusicCast was easy to setup, it is a really nice app that you can use to do just about anything with. I have it installed on just about every mobile device/tablet in the house, so if the volume needs to be adjusted, or Pandora station switched, track change, whatever - just pick up any device in the house and do your thing. I also use Amazon Echo/Pandora a lot, so I linked that to the receiver for the hands free experience when cooking or cleaning. I did notice however that sometimes when I pick up my phone and re-open MusicCast to say change the input from Pandora to TV/Optical 1, the app seems to lose connection and not initiate the change to the receiver. Usually closing the app and relaunching it will do the trick tho. You can also customize the layout on the app screen to hide the unused inputs if you want, see all of your Pandora stations, browse the media library on my computer over the network, etc.

Enough about the app tho, this receiver really is a nice piece of equipment. It is plenty loud, it looks beautiful, and just about any type of music I play thru it sounds like it was meant to sound. I'm also glad the ML Motion 40's do their part and provide good tight bass and crystal clear high's. I got rid of the sound bar I was using and run the TV audio thru the receiver now, and got the X1 remote programmed to control the power and volume of the receiver as well. I also use the Pure Direct mode and really enjoy what that does to the overall experience. Not only does it make things sound just a bit "better", but it blacks out the display as well.

As a side note, for anyone looking to use network streaming to get all their awesome lossless content to play out of their network receiver from the computer, I recommend installing Plex Media Server on the PC (free). It was by far easier and more reliable than Foobar2000. I literally just enabled DLNA in the settings and bam, the receiver recognized my Plex library and I was able to playback FLAC goodness over my home network. For some reason, Foobar took a lot of tweaking, forum reading, guessing to get it work right. Then apparently I messed with the wrong setting and then MusicCast didn't even see the Foobar server. Gave up on it, then the next day it was working again... so who knows what was up with that. But as it sits now I can launch foobar from the PC, make playlists, control everything, etc from the PC, or I can use the Foobar controller app on the phone to take control. This would come in handy if I wanted to make a huge playlist for a party or something of that nature, it's a lot easier to manage on a computer screen as opposed to on a phone or tablet. But for everyday use, Plex is way smoother. Start the PC (I set Plex to start automatically), and stream away. Plex is also awesome at scraping Metadata, and all the pretty album art shows on the MusicCast app as well. (and no I don't work for Plex, I just can't recommend it enough!)

The only "problem" I have ran into is with the firmware update. When I launch MusicCast, it says there is a firmware update available. So I hit update, and it goes to a progress screen on the app, but does nothing. Option 2 is when powering up the receiver, it shows update available on the display. I tried to do it over the network, the receiver restarts, and then it goes right back to telling me there is an update available. Option 3 was to download the update to USB, stick it in, navigate the advanced settings to start a USB update, the receiver restarts and the display stays blank... waited 20 minutes or so and nothing. Freak out over powering the unit off and back on (which is stated NOT to do in several places), waited another 20 minutes and still nothing, said screw it and restarted the unit with fingers crossed. Said there was an update available on the display as if nothing happened, thankfully I didn't brick the darn thing... I plan on calling Yamaha to try and solve this, but everything is still working fine so I'm not too stressed.

But overall, I am really happy with this purchase. And to anyone considering these 2 products, ask yourself this: Are you a analogue or digital/streaming kinda guy? If you are a serious critical audiophile, with a substantial CD or vinyl collection, and don't care for network connectivity, the S801 is probably more your style. However, for your average user the N803 is more than you will ever need to satisfy your dirtiest of 2/2.1 channel desires.

Thanks again,

Andy
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post #102 of 149 Old 01-02-2018, 05:39 PM
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I had problems with the firmware update as well. So far I updated the firmware twice. Both times were complete pain in the ass. In order to get the update process started you have to push the Display button and not the Select/Enter button. The first time I updated the firmware I restarted the receiver 20 times. When I confirmed that I want to update the firmware the unit just restarts and the update process never starts. Somehow, after 20 tries I managed to update it over the network. I don't know exactly what I did differently. Two weeks later a new update came up and it all started the same way - the unit restarts but the update process did not get triggered. After 10 restarts I just gave up and put the firmware on a USB flash drive. The receiver picked up the new firmware immediately and the update went with zero problems. I am still frustrated about this and still can't figure out what I am doing wrong. I am pretty sure next time a new firmware is released I will have to go through the same madness.

Here is what I found in the manual:
"If the unit is connected to the wireless network via a wireless network adapter, network update may not be possible depending on the condition of the wireless connection. In this case, update the firmware using the USB memory device."

This is extremely vague. And I don't use wifi at all.

If you find more information please share.

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post #103 of 149 Old 01-03-2018, 02:50 AM
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I usually always do usb updates. I'm fearful that I'll have a wireless hiccup during the update that will brick the unit.

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post #104 of 149 Old 01-03-2018, 05:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glangford View Post
I usually always do usb updates. I'm fearful that I'll have a wireless hiccup during the update that will brick the unit.
If it does brick, can the unit be restored easily? This R-N803 update issue has kept me from purchasing this unit so far. I have been back and forth between it and an A-S integrated. I prefer the R-N features, but I don't want to deal with update problems, and potential damage. Right now, the A-S is in the lead.

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post #105 of 149 Old 01-03-2018, 06:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raceredmustang View Post
If it does brick, can the unit be restored easily? This R-N803 update issue has kept me from purchasing this unit so far. I have been back and forth between it and an A-S integrated. I prefer the R-N features, but I don't want to deal with update problems, and potential damage. Right now, the A-S is in the lead.
You can add a Yamaha WXC-50 to the A-S801 and get all of the rn803 features. They have them on accessories4less for under $300. Also, the 801 comes in silver which is a bonus to me IMO.
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post #106 of 149 Old 01-03-2018, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Cla55clown View Post
You can add a Yamaha WXC-50 to the A-S801 and get all of the rn803 features.
Well that approach may serve some people nicely however they'd still be lacking the principal difference between an integrated amp and a receiver, namely a radio tuner for FM, as in "Frequency Modulation Free Music without needing an internet connection. Also if paired with the A-S801 they'd still have no control over it because it lacks a miniplug remote communication jack on the back like the expensive [~$2500] A-S1100 includes. [Those power meters on it sure look sexy though!. Yum.]

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post #107 of 149 Old 01-03-2018, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glangford View Post
I usually always do usb updates. I'm fearful that I'll have a wireless hiccup during the update that will brick the unit.
For me over the ethernet is the preferred and more reliable method. I use wifi only for the mobile devices. No need to jam my access points with devices that are stationary and have a bunch of cables either way. I have more faith in my internet connection and router than in any flash drive. In my 20 years in IT I have seen more broken files coming from flash drives than from Internet and this includes dial-up as well. But YMMV. Also, before the firmware update the file gets checksum-ed. If the checksum does not check out the update is aborted - it does not even start. Not to mention the file could be signed. I have had bad usb flash drives while updating computer BIOSes and I have not had a single bricked motherboard.

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Originally Posted by Cla55clown View Post
You can add a Yamaha WXC-50 to the A-S801 and get all of the rn803 features. They have them on accessories4less for under $300. Also, the 801 comes in silver which is a bonus to me IMO.
This is a neat solution. I actually considered it before buying R-N803. And a tiny part of me still regrets that I did not go that route. But the price was significantly higher $750 (R-N803) vs $1250 (A-S801 + WXC-50). And I prefer to control everything from one place. R-N803 is a great first amp!

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post #108 of 149 Old 01-04-2018, 03:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raceredmustang View Post
If it does brick, can the unit be restored easily? This R-N803 update issue has kept me from purchasing this unit so far. I have been back and forth between it and an A-S integrated. I prefer the R-N features, but I don't want to deal with update problems, and potential damage. Right now, the A-S is in the lead.
'

I wouldn't let that stop you. It's a rare occurrence and I've read a a couple of times in Oppo threads were it has happened. That's why they warn you in the display not to cut off the unit or anything while the FW is updating. If I were in the market, I think I'd prefer the r-n803 to the as-801 as well.

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post #109 of 149 Old 01-04-2018, 10:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by glangford View Post
'

I wouldn't let that stop you. It's a rare occurrence and I've read a a couple of times in Oppo threads were it has happened. That's why they warn you in the display not to cut off the unit or anything while the FW is updating. If I were in the market, I think I'd prefer the r-n803 to the as-801 as well.
I usually keep everything up to date, but this really isn't bothering me at this point. Definitely not bothering me to second guess the purchase of this receiver over the s801. Still glad I chose this unit. I'll get the firmware updated eventually, but I don't feel I'm lacking anything right now because I'm 1 fw version behind...
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post #110 of 149 Old 01-04-2018, 10:40 PM
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It's best to power units through a UPS. . . at least when doing firmware updates.
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post #111 of 149 Old 01-19-2018, 06:32 AM
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With the 803, will ypao still be engaged if you use pure direct. It does not say in the manual. I know pure direct bypasses tone, balance, loudness, etc. But what about ypao and all its settings. Also, is the sub still engaged with pure direct or is it just stereo?
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post #112 of 149 Old 01-19-2018, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musicmanmoe View Post
With the 803, will ypao still be engaged if you use pure direct. It does not say in the manual. I know pure direct bypasses tone, balance, loudness, etc. But what about ypao and all its settings. Also, is the sub still engaged with pure direct or is it just stereo?
Typically pure direct defeats all processing in the reciever. Sub should still be engaged however with the cross over and levels maintained, but not eq'd.

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post #113 of 149 Old 01-19-2018, 09:51 AM
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Typically pure direct defeats all processing in the reciever. Sub should still be engaged however with the cross over and levels maintained, but not eq'd.
So all crossover settings and distances will remain including sub. But no room correction eq?
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post #114 of 149 Old 01-19-2018, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musicmanmoe View Post
Also, is the sub still engaged with pure direct or is it just stereo?
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Typically pure direct defeats all processing in the reciever. Sub should still be engaged however with the cross over and levels maintained, but not eq'd.
I suspect this is not the case, actually. Although the manual doesn't seem to address this directly it does say on paper manual page 42 in the YPAO section that PURE DIRECT must be turned off for YPAO and Subwoofer setup:



https://usa.yamaha.com/files/downloa..._EnFrEs_A0.pdf

I've seen this same thing on several other units as well, across different brands, not just other Yamahas.
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post #115 of 149 Old 01-20-2018, 04:01 AM
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I suspect this is not the case, actually. Although the manual doesn't seem to address this directly it does say on paper manual page 42 in the YPAO section that PURE DIRECT must be turned off for YPAO and Subwoofer setup:



https://usa.yamaha.com/files/downloa..._EnFrEs_A0.pdf

I've seen this same thing on several other units as well, across different brands, not just other Yamahas.
Yea, it's silent on this. What it does say is:

Quote:
When the PURE DIRECT switch is turned on, routes input signals from your audio sources so that the input signals bypass the BASS, TREBLE, BALANCE and LOUDNESS controls, thus eliminating any alterations to the audio signals and creating the purest possible sound. The PURE DIRECT indicator lights up and the front display turns off after a few seconds.
It makes no mention of disengaging ypao. Typically pure direct cuts off needed circuitry as well to eliminate noise sources, so I'm suspecting it' cutting off circuitry need to perform YPAO measurements, hence the pure direct needed to be disengaged to measure. You can usually on most avrs tweak bass and treble even with room correction enabled. Not sure.

An interesting experiment. Someone with this receiver should try it out and report back. It wouldn't make a lot of sense to provide a subwoofer out and disable it with pure direct.

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post #116 of 149 Old 01-21-2018, 08:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by glangford View Post
Yea, it's silent on this. What it does say is:



It makes no mention of disengaging ypao. Typically pure direct cuts off needed circuitry as well to eliminate noise sources, so I'm suspecting it' cutting off circuitry need to perform YPAO measurements, hence the pure direct needed to be disengaged to measure. You can usually on most avrs tweak bass and treble even with room correction enabled. Not sure.

An interesting experiment. Someone with this receiver should try it out and report back. It wouldn't make a lot of sense to provide a subwoofer out and disable it with pure direct.
I can't give input to the YPAO and Pure Direct relationship as I have not yet tried YPAO, but I do use Pure Direct and it does not disable the sub-out.
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post #117 of 149 Old 01-21-2018, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by mech5700 View Post
I can't give input to the YPAO and Pure Direct relationship as I have not yet tried YPAO, but I do use Pure Direct and it does not disable the sub-out.
Thank you for testing this for us. Besides not having yet run YPAO I'm guessing you also haven't made any adjustments via the network app from you smart phone, correct?

Speaking of which, can anyone reading this confirm that they got the subwoofer/ bass-management app to work? There were some reports of the update not working earlier.
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post #118 of 149 Old 01-22-2018, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
Thank you for testing this for us. Besides not having yet run YPAO I'm guessing you also haven't made any adjustments via the network app from you smart phone, correct?

Speaking of which, can anyone reading this confirm that they got the subwoofer/ bass-management app to work? There were some reports of the update not working earlier.
Correct. I do not see that function available on my MusicCast app, which I believe comes when the firmware is completed on the Receiver. So far, I have not been able to get the firmware update to work, I have not yet had the time to call Yamaha to try and sort that out.
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post #119 of 149 Old 01-22-2018, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by mech5700 View Post
I can't give input to the YPAO and Pure Direct relationship as I have not yet tried YPAO, but I do use Pure Direct and it does not disable the sub-out.
Interesting. I have a Yamaha preamp processor (see sig line) that disables the sub whenever I put it in Pure Direct - just what I need as my mains are full range speakers. My bedroom 2 channel is a Yamaha RX-V773 - and is identical to the CX-A5000. These are rather old as compared to the N803. The A5000 is identical (nearly so) to the A3020 AVR - and the 773 is almost identical to the A820. Those are 2012 products IIRC.

I'll have to keep the N803 on my radar. I've been wanting to replace the V773 and I'll probably go with a nice 2 channel rig. Integrated or receiver - doesn't matter since I don't use tuners. Sounds like a nice piece of gear.

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Last edited by Knucklehead90; 01-22-2018 at 07:06 PM.
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post #120 of 149 Old 01-23-2018, 01:40 PM
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I got my unit

1. Sub is engaged when pure direct is used
2. Firmware installed with no problem
3. YPAO ran with no concerns
4. The bass management in the app does not show up until firmware is updated and YPAO ran
5. With YPAO engaged and pure direct pressed it just eliminates the eqing not the distances and levels
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