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.
Last edited by mech5700; 01-02-2018 at 11:34 AM.