Yamaha RX-V1400 worth it? (budget receiver)

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Elyse, Jan 6, 2005.

  1. Elyse

    Elyse Auditioning

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    I've been reading here and learning a lot. I'm hoping that I can get some opinions to help me make a decision.

    My old receiver (Kenwood vr-407 - basic HTIB deal) needs to be replaced because the s-video circuitry is starting to go. I don't want to spend a ton of money on a receiver because 1) my speakers aren't that great (I may be upgrading them a bit), 2) the room is only about 13' x 15' with 5.1 surround (couch on the wall), and 3) I'm saving for a bigger TV. However, while I'm cheap (originally looking under $300, less being better), I'm also picky and have a musical background, so I want something good that won't break down in a year.

    I went to Circuit City and Tweeter (because they're close) to look at current models. I didn't like the H/K build at all, and I wasn't impressed by the Denon exterior quality (note that these are cheaper models), so I'm leaning more towards Pioneer, Yamaha, or Onkyo.

    At Tweeter, they had an open box Yamaha RX-V1400 receiver (nothing but the receiver and the setup mike) for under $400. Considering the features for the price, I bought it at least to try for 30 days. However, I've been having second thoughts as to whether it's actually what I need / worth the money *for me*. If it's worth the extra money (even over a Pioneer 1014, which would be a little less), then I'll keep it.

    I guess I'm looking for feedback as to whether the build quality, sound quality, etc. of this mid-range receiver is enough to offset using the extra $100-$150 or so to start upgrading my speakers instead. Obviously it has more features, but I'm not sure they're features I'll ever use. I do hear a difference between this receiver and my previous one (not a surprise), even without any calibration.

    My needs: 5.1+ sound, dts-es / dd-ex / pro logic II etc., dvd-audio inputs, component switching (at least 2), s-video switching (at least 3), high switching bandwidth (at least 50 mhz, but the higher the better), excellent sound quality, good reliability

    Nice but not required: Component transcoding / up-conversion so switching only needs to be done on the receiver - however, while it won't improve picture quality, I don't want it to degrade it (its useless to me if it does). Some sort of speaker equalization / room setup.

    I use the setup for about 80% video and 20% music.

    Question:
    I see a difference in picture quality between running S-Video / Component inputs through the receiver and running them straight to the television - extra shimmer and slight color difference. It's possible that I would have seen this with my old receiver as well if I had compared. It was more pronounced with component conversion but also could be seen with normal s-video switching. Is this standard or a shortcoming of the Yamaha 1400? My current TV is nice but only SD - I hope to upgrade within the year.

    The other receivers I was looking at before I saw this one were: Onkyo TX-SR502 or TX-SR602, Pioneer VSX-D814, Yamaha HTR-5740
    Slightly above price range (but in line with the 1400): Kenwood VR-8070, Pioneer VSX-1014, Yamaha HTR-5760


    (I know this was very long - if you've read this far, thank you, and I appreciate any insight you have into whether I should stay with the Yamaha RX-V1400, get a better one in the same price range, or save my money for the rest of my system.)
     
  2. Dan Halchak

    Dan Halchak Stunt Coordinator

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    I had and still have the Yamaha rx-v1400 and it's one heck of a receiver for it's price! The up-conversion on it is phenominal, I had everything running through it and had no problems what so ever.

    The quality of the Yamaha is better than the Pioneer I'm starting to find out...

    I just changed to the Rotel RSP-1098 along with a friend of mine who had the Pioneer. We both bought ours at the same time. Now I noticed a difference, but honestly, the sound quality is very similiar to the much more expensive Rotel unit. My friend, however, said there was a massive improvement in the sound quality over his Pioneer. I was pretty shocked because I didn't think the improvement (which there was) was as big. SO I think that goes for a testament of the quality of the Yamaha (or the Yamaha sound).

    I definitely think it's worth the 400 if it was pretty much new without anything missing. But the remote missing it should be less than that... You can go onto Audiogon.com and Ebay and find them practically brandNew for 400 and most places are selling them brandnew for roughly 550.

    I'd see if you can get it more for 350 since you have to replace the remote on it.
     
  3. Tingwe

    Tingwe Stunt Coordinator

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    Elyse, can you wait another 3 months? save a few change here & there and get a Pio 1015 you won't regret it. if it's anything like the current 1014 (or better) you'll get the best AVR in its price range. but best to get out there and listen for yourself. i bought my 1014 blindly and i'm loving it!!! [​IMG]
     
  4. JackS

    JackS Supporting Actor

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    With your musical background, check-out the Panasonic Digital receivers. There is a current rave about just how musical these receivers are. If music is first and HT second(although I've never heard of any complaints in HT either),these are the ones that may be in your price range and possibly cannot be matched by an ordinary analog receiver.
     
  5. Elyse

    Elyse Auditioning

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    Dan: I wonder if Tweeter would bargain if I went back... They were closing at the time and I hadn't researched this receiver at all, so I just jumped on it with a 30-day return policy. I use a universal remote anyway, so if I can get all the functionality through a code, the loss of the remote isn't that big a deal.

    Tingwe: Thanks for the comment - I can't really wait another 3 months because the s-video switching issue on my old receiver is making the A/V setup really annoying, and we use it every day. I appreciate the input on the 1014 - I know many people here love it. However, I get the impression that it's in a different competitive range than the RX-V1400? I very well could be wrong. I do believe that the 1014 only has 40 mhz component bandwidth, and if I see some (minor) video difference with the 1400 with 60 mhz, I'd expect to see more with the 1014 (right?).

    JackS: I was interested in the Panasonic XR50 (XR70 is out now too in the price range), but I was concerned that it didn't have binding posts for all of the speakers. However, neither did my old receiver and it gave me decent performance for many years. Also, I can't seem to find what it's component bandwidth is.

    If there were somewhere in my area (Boston) for me to get one and try it out for 30 days, I'd love to, but I can't find one and it seems to be a love/hate sort of receiver.

    Also, considering that I'm probably going to be upgrading my speakers (nothing big, but I need to replace my center speaker anyway - no more than $300-$500, maybe Rocket Tykes), it's hard for me to test the sound reliably, because as I've read, different speakers do well with different receivers.

    ---------------------------------
    I'm still trying to figure out whether this is more receiver than I need and I'd do better going cheaper and using the extra money on speakers (it's easy to go overboard on a high quality forum [​IMG] ) or a really good deal. Thanks so much to everyone who's commented so far.

    [If people were wondering, I'm considering the Rocket Tykes or HTD Middies or maybe Athena Micras or Infinity TSS-750s - basic small or bookshelf speakers for a not-so-large room. I could just replace the fronts and center and keep the current surrounds...but this is all for a different forum.]
     

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