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Yamaha RV663 receiver? (1 Viewer)

ManW_TheUncool

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Anyone using this receiver (or know much about it) for its prepro section only hooked up to a good, old surround amp?

This unit seems like a good value for that purpose, and I already have an old 5-channel B&K amp that I like. My alternative would likely be the Onkyo 805 (or maybe the Yamaha 863), but if I go that route, I'd probably want to use the receiver's amp section also for the price diff and not only use it for the prepro section. Also, based on specs alone (and from what I little I can find on the web), seems like the prepro section of the much cheaper Yamaha shouldn't be all that inferior, if at all, compared to the 863 or the Onkyo, no?

FYI, I'm not interested in video upconversion (and similar), so any benefits there would be lost to me. I'm only interested in the audio section (and would need 5.1 analog input). I also need good downmixing of the various surround formats down to 4.0. Yeah, the 663 only comes w/ 2 HDMI inputs, but I think I can live w/ that if that's all I'm missing (besides video upconversion and the like).

Thoughts? Thanks.

_Man_
 

Brent_S

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The 663 looks like a 661 upgraded with HDMI v1.3 and internal decoding of TrueHD/DTS-HD so all reviews of the 661, especially as a preamp, should apply to the 663. If you don't need hi-res decoding, look for a clearance sale on 661s.

The biggest preamp difference between the 805 and the 663 would be Audyssey room correction, IMO (ignoring the extra HDMI input). It's not a trival difference in some rooms...almost unnoticeable in others. The 805 also offers THX post processing modes...again, some love 'em, some hate 'em.

Just to tease you a bit. If you analyze this purchase for a little while longer, the Emotiva, Outlaw, and Sherwood-Newcastle prepros should be shipping...how many months has it been since you first started asking about the 805? ;)

-Brent
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Hehheh. Well, the thing w/ getting the Yamaha 663 is that it might make a good short term solution, if I eventually decide to upgrade to a real prepro, especially as more of them become available like you point out. For the price of the 663, my options become much wider in the future, eg. sell the 663 for a small-ish loss, keep it for some other setup around the house, give it away to family or close friends, donate it to a nursing home or something, etc. With something significantly more expensive, I'd probably be less inclined to upgrade all that soon afterward. And it sounds like the Onkyo 805 (and the Yamaha 863) really doesn't buy me much in terms of quality and the feature set I care most about (in the prepro section), if I understand correctly.

And to answer your (rhetorical) question... well, I guess it's been 2-3 months now. :D

Thanks for your input.

_Man_
 

Brent_S

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Yes, the 661 applies full processing to MPCM via HDMI, including expansion to 7.1 of 5.1 sources.

Yamaha's YPAO does room correction via a fixed number of parametric eq bands (7 fixed bands per channel spaced from 32-16kHz for the 661, info not published for the 663) . The EQ is only measured from one location. Audyssey, as implemented in the 705/805, can average the frequency response measured at up to 8 positions. The routine attempts to create a frequency response that matches the standard used for theatrical mixing rooms. Audyssey manipulates the signal in both time and frequency using potentially hundreds of data points. I'm just regurgitating the marking material, but you can find plenty of discussion from the Audyssey principals themselves here at HTF as well as other forums.

I only used the minimum 3 locations for my 805's setup. I can't say I can tell a difference in the midrang and treble regions between Audyssey on/off. However, I can hear a difference in the subwoofer channel and REW measurements clearly shows it. Audyssey actually dialed in a rising response below 25hz...up 7dB at 10hz over the no-EQ readings. My sub already fit in a 5dB window (+/- 2.5) from 10-60hz, Audyssey in essence created a house curve (or maybe it's a Fletcher-Munson?) that rises roughly 11dB as the frequency drops from 60hz down to 10hz.

You might want to add the Onkyo 705 to your consideration list. As a prepro, the biggest difference between it and the 805 is the Burr-Brown DACs in the 805 vs. Crystal? parts in the 705. I really doubt I could hear a difference between the two in a blind test. Currently low $500 range at Amazon making it very price competitive with the 663.

Logically, I think I would have been perfectly satisfied with the 661 (or 663 if I'd waited that long) and think they represent a tremendous value. I still have my first HT receiver, a Yamaha RX-V850, in service as a subwoofer amp. However, since the price difference wasn't that big of a deal to me, I chose the extra HDMI port and hi-res decoding of the Onkyo 705/805 line. At the time, the difference between 705/805 was about $120 so I went with the 805 for the potentially improved SQ and clearly beefier amp section in case something ever happens to my current 5 channel Adcom. There was probably an little emotional attraction to the Onkyos as well. :) To show my age a bit, I'm hypnotically attracted to those three letters...THX...that first appeared on the HT scene as I was really succumbing to the addiction. As an engineer, I also appreciated the creation of standards for amps/processors/frequency response/levels/etc. to give the consumer more of a chance of hearing the director's intended soundtrack. However, I don't buy into the THX cables/computer speakers/etc. that were driven more by the pursuit of profits than artistic purity, IMO so I'm not blindly fascinated by all things THX...just processors/amps and to a lesser extent, certified discs (LD/DVD).

-Brent
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Haha... Thanks much, Brent, for that thorough comparison. I swear though that you must be trying to sway me back over to the Onkyo 805. ;) :D What to do... What to do... :laugh: I don't think I'll want to bother w/ the 705 since the street price diff (maybe just ~$150) isn't that big between that and the 805 -- and I'd just be doing a trade-off, not something definitely better, for the higher street price of the 705 over the Yammy 663 (by maybe ~$120-150).

Maybe I need to figure out how likely I am to upgrade again in the forseeable future. If I'm not likely to upgrade again for a long time, then the Onkyo 805 probably makes the most sense for me -- and would also serve as a better backup in case my B&K 5-channel amp dies (just like you were thinking). If I'm likely to upgrade to a dedicated prepro in the next couple years, then the cheaper Yammy 663 would make sense. Things to consider...

Thanks again...

_Man_
 

ManW_TheUncool

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BTW, anyone know if the Yammy will do processing (eg. bass management, distance delay, etc.) for its 5.1 analog input? The Onkyo does not do this, but if the Yammy does this, then that's one useful feature I'd likely want in the mix.

Thanks.

BTW, seems I've gotten the receiver model number a tad mixed up, ie. should actually say RX-V663, not RV663, but oh well... :D

_Man_
 

Brent_S

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I'm pretty sure the Yamaha's do not apply any processing to the multichannel analog inputs. Didn't see it mentioned in the manual for the 661 when I was researching and something's got to go when hitting that low of a price point. Such processing would require 8 (7.1) ADCs plus a few other bits. This has always been a rare feature and the general acceptance of HDMI processing will likely finish it off. Even when present, it was generally panned by purists since the implementation usually adds an extra ADC-DAC cycle that some feel defeats the whole purpose of hi-res audio. Outlaw's 950/970/1070 products are the only units I've seen provide analog BM for the multichannel inputs.

The multichannel analog inputs were created to allow a certain amount of receiver future proofness as it's relatively easy to implement some rudimentary BM in the source when a new digital audio format is introduced. When HDMI v1.1 or higher audio processing, the receiver/processor can apply full BM/Delay processing to MPCM. I expect to see multichannel analog inputs fade away in another generation or two as MPCM becomes the lowest common denominator format along with HDMI audio processing being pushed down to entry level receivers.

-Brent
 

Brent_S

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Obviously, I don't care how you spend your money. :laugh: But I did just go through a similar mental excercise (including the time taken to finally make a decision) a few months ago. I was looking for a replacement for a Sherwood-Newcastle AVP-9080 in use since the dark ages of 1998...it still has an AC3 RF input for DD from laserdisc. Anyway, a friend of mine made the same upgrade from a 9080 to a 661 as a prepro and loved it, so it made the short list. Then the Onkyo 705 came along for around $100ish more than the 661...extra HDMI input, native lossless decoding, THX processing, etc. Waffle, waffle. Suddenly, look at that...the 805's down to $699 consistently, only $120ish more than the 705. Doesn't offer me a whole lot more as a preamp than the 705 except the Burr-Browns (I don't care about multizone), but using two of those onboard Ultra certified amps to expand to 7.1 one day would be a better match for my existing amps...or so the mental justification went (my 5 channel Adcom is THX Ultra as is my NAD 2 channel used as a subwoofer amp). I actually saw the 705 drop to $535 one Saturday night in January and planned to buy at that price, but wanted to run it by my wife first...was back up to $620s the next morning and never dropped below upper $500s over the next few weeks so I talked to the wife a bit more and then ordered the 805.

-Brent
 

gene c

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As I mentioned in D. Moritz's thread, my Pioneer Elite 59TXi also does BM plus bass/treble and MCACC room correction thru the analog in's as well as thru i-link. But Stream Direct is available to keep the purists happy :) . And as you mentioned, it was pricey when new.
 

Brent_S

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In case there was some confusion, I meant the Outlaw products I listed perform their BM completely in the analog domain without performing an ADC step on the incoming analog signal. Of course, this limited them to a fixed crossover frequency as well. I can't remember if they could do any delay processing to the analog multichannel signals when using the analog crossover.

I would guess your Pioneer does an ADC step to redigitize the analog signals before applying any processing. It probably also provides the option to disable processing, leaving the signal analog from input to amp. Once digitized, the full processing power available in the receiver can be applied if the manufacturer so wishes. The Sherwood-Newcastle R965/P965 and clones (Outlaw 990, Boston Acoustics, Sherbourn?, Atlantic Technology) also implemented MCH processing this way. I'm sure there are other units that use a similar digital method, but I can't claim to have looked at every prepro or potential receiver-as-prepro on the market and my in depth research is usually limited to units that street for $1200 or less.

-Brent
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Too bad the Onkyo 805 apparently does the ADC for its multi-channel analog input, but not actually do any (useful) processing w/ that. :P

_Man_
 

Brent_S

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I think we discussed this in one of your other threads on the 805. Where have you found info that says the x05 (including 805) are doing ADC on the multichannel analog inputs? The 805 manual indicates no processing is done to the MCH...can't even use the tone controls on them. The Secrets review also explicitly says the inputs aren't digitized...one would assume he was talking directly to Onkyo during the review period.

-Brent
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Hmmm... My bad. You're right. I just remembered that previous discussion wrong although I could swear that the wording of the review was (originally) different when I read it a long while ago (before our previous discussion).

_Man_
 

eyecatcher127

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Man,

What receiver did you wind up going with? I have a B&K AV6000 amp I'm looking to use to with the 663 possibly as a preamp.
 

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