Received my RX-a3070 last Friday from Best Buy. I am coming from a Sony STRDN1040 and a Pioneer Elite SC-55 and wanted to start the process of getting into Dolby Atmos and 4K (I did own a Halcro SSP-80, fantastic sound, but became inoperable). So I purchased this unit vs say the 2070 because it has an xlr input which I prefer over RCA's connectivity for my Schiit Gungnir DAC. I did not purchase the unit for 2-channel music listening, but for surround sound only, however...more on that later. This is my first Yamaha and do not have experience with Denon/Marantz.
When I first connected the unit I was listening to Christopher Blackshaw playing Mozart on the piano, while I knew it was a cold start something was off. So, I used the Chesky Jazz Sampler Vol. 1, Track 10 "Introduction and Left-Right Imaging Test", which I have used for so many years to adjust speaker placement (specially when the cleaning lady comes by) and yep, channels were reversed. So I went back to listening and there was still something out of place, but this time it was imaging and harder to pinpoint. So I moved the speakers here and there and nothing. I started to get disappointed in my purchase when as a last effort I decided to check my connections again, and yep, the right channel had the phase reversed at the receiver! So my point here is that the 3070 is a resolving amp. Very impressed!
Then I decided to let the electronics stabilize by playing FM radio for the day and returned for more music at night before going to surround to see how the unit could stand as a preamp with an outboard amp. Well, both of my Bel Canto S300 amps bit the dust with one channel not sounding on one unit and the other with a hum, neither due to the Yamaha. So it was the Yamaha by itself going music solo for now until I fix the Bel Cantos.
I started with audio listening only. First I left all cabling the same (Canare interconnects/speaker) and the sound was a bit dark and non-envolving for me for music listening. No issues here, again, I purchased the unit for surround duty only. But then I decided to change the speaker cables to OCOS and used the Cardas xlr interconnects to just to see what would happen and boom, focus, lots of it. So, then I took out the MacBook Pro, hooked Roon to the Schiit, and learned to engage the pure music direct mode on the receiver and now we had lateral soundstage beyond the speakers, and images began to take physical shape in the room, and about a couple of days later a level of musicality showed up (probably from the Gungnir warming up after being unplugged for the change up) that had me tapping my feet and spending hours listening to music into the night. So, again, not intending to use the RX-a3070 for music, but for surround only, and now I am driving home from work anticipating another night of music listening, and this is from a receiver. In other words, the Yamaha RX-a3070 is capable of a musically engaging sound. Have I had better sound in my room, yes, but not from a receiver and certainly not this at this price point. Surprised, impressed and happy. I did not have this experience with the Sony and Pioneer in the past. So I have decided to experiment with other cables I have in hand and more speaker room placement and adjusting acoustic treatments to get the best music from the unit. I believe this will bear more musical fruit in the future. Good times ahead.
When it came to surround, the YPAO setup with my Goldenear 5.1 system it was a simple process thanks to the followed the advice from a website (https://simplehomecinema.com/2017/05...the-right-way/
). For three nights I watched Harry Potter movies with my kids every night. And every night my kids, specially my 11 year old, kept on saying how fantastic the sound was and how it sounded like a movie theater. I concur. Based on my past surround sound experience in my room, the Yamaha did a much better presentation vs the Sony and Pioneer. For the first time in a long time I did not miss the Halcro SSP. I know there are power output and other setup issues at play here that I would have to match to make a more calibrated judgment, but in the end, the Yamaha corrected the bass/acoustics of my room in a way the other two receivers and the Halcro had not. YPAO is doing a lot of work here, and the wall of sound and immersive bubble (of a 5.1 setup) was palpable. The word that kept on coming up for me was dynamic! Cannot wait to get to the Atmos setup in my room ready.
I am not going to talk about areas of improvement (what, no HD Radio?), but let's just say that I got this unit for surround only, and now I am considering building a 2 channel audio music system around the RX-a3070 with another outboard amp for the front left/right channel and let the receiver amplify the rest of the system as it grows into an Atmos setup.
For home video, movies, video connectivity, even power (I am lucky that my Triton's and subwoofer are already amplified in the bass, so not a lot of work for the receiver here) this receiver has surpassed my expectation. For audio only, I can only speak of what I fed it and what came out, and it is very good indeed.