Yamaha’s entry-level receiver in their 2013 line, the RX-V375, is a simple, non-networked, 5.1 model featuring lossless audio decoding, 70 watts per channel, 4K and 3D pass-through, and Yamaha’s YPAO sound optimizer. Home Theater Forum received a sample from Yamaha to review, and we put it through the paces.
[color=rgb(0,0,205);]Yamaha RX-V375 A/V Receiver[/color]
I should preface this review by saying that I’ve been a big fan of Yamaha receivers. My first, true home theater receiver was a Pioneer (all it had was Dolby Pro-Logic and 5.1 analog inputs), followed by a Sony with Dolby Digital and DTS decoding (but never sounded quite right). When I replaced the Sony rather quickly with a Yamaha HTR-5940, it was love at first listen. I was not only impressed by the increased clarity of the sound, but with the features included with the receiver, and it served me well for almost two years until it was time to upgrade to a receiver that could support HDMI and multi-channel PCM as well. Since my birthday falls at the end of March, pickings are usually pretty slim on new-in-box receivers as the major manufacturers begin to announce their new lines and retailers clear out last year’s models. So, in March of 2009, I decided upon an open-box Yamaha RX-V563, featuring 7.1 channels and two HDMI inputs (a luxury back then), and opened my ears to Blu-ray’s lossless audio codecs, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. My RX-V563 has been very faithful these last four years, but in the time since I last upgraded, the hardware manufacturers have not stood still. When offered the chance to review this unit, I jumped at the chance. While my current receiver supported 7.1 surround and the RX-V375 only supports 5.1, I am not taking full advantage of the additional channels in my current setup and felt confident that this loss would be more than outweighed by the other improvements that the RX-V375 includes.
New for 2013, Yamaha’s entry-level RX-V375 receiver (list price of $299.99, but street price running around $250) is a slight improvement over last year’s RX-V373. Like its predecessor, the RX-V375 is a 5.1 channel receiver with four HDMI inputs with 3D and 4K pass-through, 70 watts per channel, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoders, adaptive Dynamic Range Control, 192kHz/24-bit Burr-Brown DACs (digital-to-analog converters), YPAO sound optimization, a front USB input compatible with iPod/iPhone and USB flash drives for audio file playback, and an on-screen display. Features new to this year’s model are a discrete amp configuration, low jitter PLL circuitry, and a slightly lower weight.
Included in the box were the usual accessories you find with a receiver: an AM antenna, FM antenna, YPAO calibration microphone, an IR remote, an Easy Setup Guide, and a CD-ROM containing the full owner’s manual. As with most entry-level receivers, the speaker connections are somewhat disappointing in that only the Left and Right channels use screw-down binding posts that can also accommodate banana plugs, while the Center and Surrounds all use cheaper spring clips For the unit’s intended audience, that is probably not a deal-breaker, although I did need to remove the banana plugs on those speakers to connect to the receiver. In addition to the 4 HDMI inputs, the receiver also features 2 optical and 2 coaxial (RCA) digital inputs, 4 pairs of analog stereo RCA inputs, 2 component and 4 composite video inputs, as well as outputs for HDMI (1), component video (1), composite video (1), and analog audio (2).
For this review, I connected the RX-V375 receiver to a pair of Polk TSi100 bookshelves, Polk CS10 center, a pair of OSD SPHERE-1 for the surrounds, and an OSD PS10 powered subwoofer. As for components, I connected a PlayStation 3 (slim) to HDMI-1, a Motorola HD-DVR from Cox to HDMI-2, and a Sony BDP-S5100 Blu-ray player to HDMI-3.
Configuration and setup was fairly simple, although it would have been nice if a few extra steps had been included in the Easy Setup Guide, specifically on how to set the receiver for 8 or 6 ohm speakers (factory preset is 8 ohms). The Easy Setup Guide only provides instructions on how to connect speakers, your HDTV, and a Blu-ray player, and run the YPAO tool.
Using the YPAO calibration tool simply requires connecting the included microphone to the receiver and selecting START from the on-screen menu, and then following a series of steps on screen. For those unfamiliar with these built-in calibration tools, the program sends several signals (including beeps and white noise) to each speaker and the microphone (when placed in the main listening area) detects these signals and confirms the speaker exists (helpful with systems that are not equipped with full 5.1 speaker sets), estimates the approximate distance from the speaker to the microphone (for volume and delay settings) and calculates several other factors, including the speaker size and whether the speaker was correctly connected in-phase.
Of course, while calibrating with a professional-grade sound meter by an experienced professional would yield more accurate results, these calibration programs are a good place to start for most users to achieve a more balanced surround experience from their home theater setup than just leaving them at the factory settings or by fiddling with a bunch of manual settings. I was very happy to see that Yamaha has made some big improvements in their YPAO tool over the one installed with my previous receiver from the 2008 model year. The program completed in less than five minutes, and detected my speaker size correctly (bookshelves should be setup as small, not large, regardless of their frequency range and power handling capabilities). One area that still needs improvement is the crossover setting for the subwoofer. YPAO suggested 100Hz, but I felt that was too high, and manually adjusted it to 80Hz. I also bumped the center channel volume up 1.0 db above the recommended setting after listening to several movies and TV shows on both Blu-ray and cable.
Using the on-screen menu, you can edit the input names, assign audio and video input configurations, set the initial and maximum volume, and configuring the SCENE buttons found on both the remote and the front of the receiver. The SCENE buttons provide a quick way to power on the receiver and set it to a specified input. For example, pressing the BD/DVD SCENE button will power up the receiver and set the input for HDMI 1 (the default for BD/DVD).
For an entry-level receiver, the RX-V375 does a very nice job reproducing sounds and amplifying them without sounding muddy, distorted, or with any added interference. It handled just about everything I played on both the PS3 and S5100, including very high bitrate DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital+ (from Netflix and Vudu), multi-channel uncompressed PCM, DTS 96/24, all without any issues. The big surprise (and it is not mentioned in the specifications anywhere) was when I played back several SACD discs in DSD mode from the Sony S5100. The fact that it even detected the DSD stream was a revelation, and the DSD definitely had a slightly warmer sound to it than when I allowed the S5100 to convert to PCM.
The drawbacks and disappointments were minimal, but worth noting. The remote Yamaha now includes with most of their receivers is NOT universal. In other words, it cannot be programmed to operate anything other than a Yamaha product. Another item that I found quite handy on my RX-V563 (especially when watching a big action film late at night or anything on CBS at anytime of the day) that is missing on the RX-V375 was a NIGHT dynamic compression mode that helped keep the volume from getting too loud (or having to ride the volume control) late at night with a simple press of a button. Lastly, this receiver is obviously for a much smaller listening space, based on its low power ratings, so it is more ideal for an apartment, condo, or small home. For its price, though, the Yamaha RX-V375 packs a lot of features and quality that you likely won’t find on some of its competitor’s similarly priced receivers. If the RX-V375 had just a bit more power, it would be a welcome replacement for my current RX-V563. Recommended
|Rated Output Power (1kHz, 1ch driven)||100 W (8 ohms, 0.9% THD)|
|Rated Output Power (20Hz-20kHz, 2ch driven)||70 W (8 ohms, 0.09% THD)|
|Dynamic Power per Channel (8/6/4/2 ohms)||110/130/160/180 W|
|Surround Sound Processing||CINEMA DSP||Yes|
|Compressed Music Enhancer||Yes|
|SILENT CINEMA / Virtual CINEMA DSP||Yes|
|Dolby Digital Plus||Yes|
|DTS-HD Master Audio||Yes|
|Audio Features||YPAO sound optimization||Yes|
|Adaptive DRC (Dynamic Range Control)||Yes|
|Initial Volume & Maximum Volume Setting||Yes|
|Audio Delay||Yes (0-250 ms)|
|192kHz/24-bit DACs for all channels||Yes (Burr-Brown)|
|Video Features||4K Pass-through||Yes|
|HDMI 3D passthrough||Yes|
|HDMI Audio Return Channel||Yes|
|Deep Color/x.v.Color/24Hz Refresh Rate /Auto Lip-Sync||Yes|
|Extensive Connection||HDMI Input/Output||4 / 1|
|USB Input||iPod®/iPhone®, USB memory, portable audio player|
|Front AV Input||USB/Mini-jack/Composite|
|Digital Audio Input/Output: Optical||2 / 0|
|Digital Audio Input/Output: Coaxial||2 / 0|
|Analog Audio Input/Output||4 (front 1) / 2|
|Component Video Input/Output||2 / 1|
|Composite Video Input/Output||4 (front 1) / 1|
|Tuner Section||FM/AM Tuner||Yes|
|User Interface||On-screen display||Yes (Color OSD)|
|SCENE||SCENE (4 sets)|
|Remote Control Unit||Yes|
|General||Standby Power Consumption (IR only)||≤0.3 W|
|Auto Power Standby||Yes|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||17-1/8” x 6” x 12-3/8”|
|Shipping Dimensions (W x H x D)||15-5/8" x8-7/8" x21-3/8"|
|Shipping Weight (lbs.)||20.94 lbs.|
Reviewed By: Todd Erwin