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Are Yamaha receivers really that good???

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19 replies to this topic

#1 of 20 OFFLINE   JonathanJ



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Posted November 29 2001 - 10:12 AM

I've been in the market for a new receiver for the past couple months now. I've read numerous posts regarding the high quality of the Yamaha, but at the same time I've also heard pretty good things about Onkyo. I've narrowed my search down to two receivers. The Onkyo 797 and the Yamaha RX-V2200. What I can't understand is that the Onkyo is THX certified, seems to have similar specs as the Yamaha, but for some reason its so much more expensive. I found the Onkyo from an authorized dealer for 750. the lowest price I've seen the Yamaha for is 889 and that's from an unauthorized dealer. Can anyone out there shed some light on this for me? Any pros/cons for each unit. Thanks. Jonathan

#2 of 20 OFFLINE   Bob_A


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Posted November 29 2001 - 10:38 AM

I have not heard the Onkyo...but I can certainly say that Yamaha makes excellent receivers. I wouldn't worry about the THX certification...try to find the receiver which matches best with your speakers. Good luck!

#3 of 20 OFFLINE   Dan Hitchman

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Posted November 29 2001 - 10:52 AM

They can definitely be bright sounding receivers. Don't know if the newest generation of Yamaha products are any better. Dan

#4 of 20 OFFLINE   JonathanJ



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Posted November 29 2001 - 10:55 AM

I heard the new models aren't as bright as the previous ones. I'm running PSB Image 6T's in the front. I'd just like some help deciding since I can't test the receiver with my exact speakers before buying it. It would be impossible to find a place that has both PSB's and Yamaha/Onkyo.

#5 of 20 OFFLINE   Keith Mickunas

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Posted November 29 2001 - 11:13 AM

Yamaha apparently doesn't want to pay for THX certification. Just because they don't have it, doesn't mean they aren't capable of acheiving it. I'm very satisied with the Yamahas I have had the past few years. They sound good, work good, and have more than enough features. They've also recently become real generous with the remote codes since they started selling the RAV-2000. If you use a remote like the pronto, this can be a nice feature also.

#6 of 20 OFFLINE   Kevin C Brown

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Posted November 29 2001 - 12:07 PM

I had an RX-V793 a while ago, before DTS decoding was included (just Dolby Digital). I really liked it. (I was using with Nakamichi PA-5AII amp for the mains. The Yammie was powering the center and rears.) I have a Sony TA-E9000ES pre/pro now, and I personally would say that the DSP fields on the Yamaha were more realistic (the Sony puts in too much reverb, delay, echo, whatever you want to call it), and the Yamaha might have actually had slightly better 2 channel (CD, etc.) sound. (The Sony is finicky in terms of how you set up the inputs in realtionship to the noise level: auto-finding, or specifically set for coax, optical, or analog input.)
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#7 of 20 OFFLINE   Richard Burzynski

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Posted November 29 2001 - 01:46 PM

Jonathan: "Are they really that good?" From a reliability stand-point, yes. From a likeability of the sound point of view, well, that's subjective. Different brands sound different. Sometimes the differences are subtle, but they are there. I love the Yamaha sound. Others don't. As for "warm" vs. "bright" it's funny. Over the years you read about brand X being a "warm" one, and brand Y being a "cold" (I mean "bright") one. Then a week or 2 later you can read the exact OPPOSITE opinions on the same brands. It's what you hear with your ears that matters. Demo, demo, demo, and then, demo some more. Enjoy the sound! Rich B.

#8 of 20 OFFLINE   Dan Driscoll

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Posted November 29 2001 - 02:40 PM

I have had numerous pieces of Yamaha audio gear over the past 20+ years, including receivers, amps, CD players, etc. I still have a K-960 dbx cassette recorder that I purchased in 1982 and it makes excellent recordings. My current reciever is an RX-V596 and I love the sound. Another point is that Yamaha works, the reliability of Yamaha equipment is almost legendary. With all the Yamaha components I have owned over the years I have had exactly one failure and that was cause by shipping damage. Some people prefer the sound of Onkyo or Denon or Marantz and of course, true high end components like MacIntosh, Krell, etc. are better. But if you like the Yamaha sound then I don't think there is a better value in the mid-fi market today.

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#9 of 20 OFFLINE   MarkO


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Posted November 29 2001 - 03:28 PM

I had the Yamaha RXV 995 for about a year. This was originaly a $999.00 unit. While it did have an impressive amount of bells ans whistles the amp section was poor IMHO. For that price it should have been more refined and balanced. Instead it was heavy on the top end weak in the midrange and bass had no real deffinition. Also after a year of ownership the volume control started to stick. Even tho I had a problem with the volume knob, I still feel Yamaha as a whole, are some of the most dependable units on the market. I just wished they sounded better to me.

#10 of 20 OFFLINE   Richard Burzynski

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Posted November 29 2001 - 05:15 PM

Kevin: Your comments really hit home, and they re-assure me as well. I used my DSPA1 as a prepro and me wife and I equally loved the sound (the only thing she's ever really cared about was the Yamaha piece in the entire HT). Sony has always been #2 on my short list as a replacement. I too have developed much faith in Yamaha DSP's and am glad to hear that the Sony's don't compare in your book. My RXV1 will sound nice! Marko: I will agree that Yamaha amps are not the strongest receiver amps you can find - but unless you have an unusally difficult speaker, like an NHT 3.3, you should be OK with the line's top 3 units, IMO anyway. I do like using them as prepros myself - but I have really tough to drive NHT speakers. 2 more quick points about Yamaha: (1) Ergonomics are among the best I have ever owned / used / tested / installed. Only one brand, Nakamichi had the overall smoothest user operation settup (sidenote: Hey NAK! Time to upgrade the AV10!). If I'd score the Nak a 10 for ergonomics, I'd score Yamaha a solid 9.0-9.5. (2) A personal theory on why Yamaha units are so well built is that the company manufactures equipment for the professional music industry. I feel they perhaps have a higher standard than many of the consumer-only brands. Rich B.

#11 of 20 OFFLINE   Bill Bradstreet

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Posted November 29 2001 - 05:55 PM

I have tons of faith in Yamaha's quality. I've purchased more receivers and other components than I'd like to admit in the past 10 years. Since I started buying Yamaha, I've only purchased Yamaha for sound. I love my DSP-A3090, and would continue to use it except that I want 5.1 inputs and DTS. My 3090 will become my preamp while I stock up on monoblocks, gradually turning off the internal amps. Then when I'm done buying monos I'll get a new preamp. Never has a unit broken on me. At this point between my house and my parents (I recommended Yamaha to them), I have four Yamahas powering A/V. None have broken. Only two would I call bright, but that's more a problem with the speakers hooked to them and the house's architecture (one house is a log home with round wood walls and a wooden floor). I'll be getting a new Yamaha when I finish my HT unless I go with separates. I may still get a Yamaha and amps because I really do like their DSPs and having the extra two front effect channels. $0.02

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#12 of 20 OFFLINE   Hubert


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Posted November 29 2001 - 07:16 PM

The top of the line Yamahas are neutral sounding. The lower priced models are somewhat bright. But the very best Yamahas such as the DSP-A1 and the top Yammy reciever are neutral.

#13 of 20 OFFLINE   Keith M.

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Posted November 30 2001 - 02:08 PM

I started with a 2095, upgraded to DSP-A1, then moved to Denon 5800 and will probably never go back to Yamaha... Im not sure what your price range is, type of speakers, type of listener you are, music vs. movies, etc... Personally, I enjoyed the Yamaha line of amps while I had them, but am very disappointed with the direction they have taken with their latest lineup... I thought the build quality was top notch, DSP modes were useless (all brands) except maybe JAZZ CLUB, 2 extra front channels a novelty unless your mains are poor at imaging, audio quality was very tiring/harsh with music. Everything simply lacked definition...Why did I ever buy Yamaha? Because I was ignorant at the time and didnt audition other brands... Of course, this is only my opinion. Do yourself a favor and audition an equivalent model from each manufacturer in your price range and pick the one that SOUNDS the best to YOU...

#14 of 20 OFFLINE   Deane Johnson

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Posted November 30 2001 - 02:22 PM

There are better reasons to select a specific receiver other than "it's really that good". The reason I say that is that there are a number of good receivers in the mid-price range. Among them: Yamaha Onkyo Denon Marantz and others The previous posts give you some ideas as to what to look for in your application. In other words, if you buy a Yamaha just because you heard it was really good, you may or may not hit the target. I'd want to give it additional critera to meet. Deane

#15 of 20 OFFLINE   Kevin C Brown

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Posted November 30 2001 - 02:29 PM

If Keith M. feels that strongly about Yamaha not being up to par vs Denon, must mean that my Sony pre/pro is *really* not cuttin' the mustard! Posted Image
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#16 of 20 OFFLINE   Dave_P.


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Posted November 30 2001 - 03:31 PM

I bought my Yamaha DSP-A3090 back in 1996 and, to be honest, only recently upgraded to the RX-V1 for the DTS (and the free $500 RAV2000 remote Posted Image). Reliability is top-notch and the unit itself runs so cool, it's almost unbelievable, especially without a fan. Sound is exquisite in my book, and the advanced features are aplenty. I'm a Yamaha man for life.

#17 of 20 OFFLINE   donovan_chin


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Posted November 30 2001 - 03:35 PM

I love my RX-V3000 that I've been using for about a year now. I did demo the RX-V1000 and it does sound brighter than the V3000. I chose the Yamaha over the Denon 3801 'coz it sounded a lot more natural to me. Just my 2c.

#18 of 20 OFFLINE   Scott Page

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Posted November 30 2001 - 04:07 PM

I choose the Denon 3801 over the Yamaha cause it sounded more natural to me. Posted Image To each his own. I was sold on the Yam, but they sounded to bright for me. Then Denon had a bit more mellowness to it.

Demo and buy what you like. But any test of Yamaha and Onyko should include Denon as well.

#19 of 20 OFFLINE   Barton Lynch

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Posted November 30 2001 - 08:23 PM

Yes Siiir, Proud owner of a DSP-A1 and a RX-V595a here. Posted Image
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#20 of 20 OFFLINE   Chris PC

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Posted December 01 2001 - 10:13 AM


I am in a similar situation as you. I have PSB Image 6 T's and enjoy them very much, (along with the 9C and 2B surrounds), and I am currently shopping/thinking about getting a receiver to replace my current receiver (has probs). I'd be very curious to see how you do in your shopping. I am also looking at the Onkyo 797, the Denon 2802/3802 and the Yamaha 1200/2200. I am not considering the 696 because it is not 6.1. I really want the Onkyo 797, but I am having a hard time justifying the high cost. It is much more expensive than the receiver I am replacing. Here is why I would like the 797 over the Denon and the Yamaha's:


Mainly, its the fact that you cannot adjust the bass from the remote control of the Yamaha and the Yamaha uses a 90 hz crossover, vs the Onkyo and Denon 80 hz (and 100 and 120 hz on the Denon but I've no use for those). Yamaha does use a 50 hz center frequency, which is good. But the only way to tweak the bass is by turning the mechnical knob on the receiver it self. I am pretty sure of this. I listen at a wide range of volume levels, depending on my mood and I need to be able to adjust the bass accordingly. Not sure if you can adjust the subwoofer level via the remote.

I am also not keen on Denon's choice of center frequency for the bass control. Onkyo 696 and 797 use 50 hz and that is what I'm used to and it works best in my room. Denon uses 100 hz and that doesn't make sense to me. Yamaha has dts ES but only DD 6.1 matrix.

The Onkyo is very heavy and has lots of inputs. It also has 7.1 pre-out, which might be handy for powering 2 rear surrounds later. As is, it is 6.1 powered, which is more than enough for me. The Onkyo can adjust the bass, treble and sub level via the remote and that is very handy for me, and it also uses a 50 hz center freq for the bass and it uses an 80 hz crossover for the sub vs SMALL speaker setting and those are also important to me. The Onkyo 696 is only 5.1. The 797 is THX certified, and that doesn't mean much to me. It does, however have dts ES and DD EX and that is the best way to experience 6.1/7.1 but not essential. I worry that the THX certification is the reason that the 797 is so freaking expensive!

Anyways, those are my thoughts. Good luck in your search and definitely go out there and listen Posted Image
Going from projector to flatscreen for a while.... :P

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