Thanks for another thorough review. Go yamaha
Yamaha has once again put forth a solid offering in the highly competitive $1k price category with their new RX-A1010 Aventage 7.1 Channel Networking A/V receiver. The performance and feature set of the RX-A1010 should make Yamaha and its owners proud of this middle child A/V receiver. Over the last couple of years, Yamaha has been paying close attention to reviewer and customer feedback on their receivers as evident by the improved sound and build quality that birthed the Aventage lineup. Take time to set this baby up the right way, feed it a good speaker system, and you will enjoy the fruits of your labor. Don't doubt for a minute that you can't have a good two-channel and multi-channel experience with the RX-A1010 because I found it to be quite a musical receiver too. At this price point you have a lot of options from competitor products but the Yamaha RX-A1010 should be at the top of the list for your consideration especially if you want to take advantage of all of the latest networking streaming music options. Highly recommended!
Discuss "Yamaha RX-A1010 AVENTAGE 7.1 Channel Networking A/V Receiver Review" here. Read the article.
Last edited by gene; 12-15-2011 at 12:19 PM.
Thanks for another thorough review. Go yamaha
Nice review and I'm not surprised by the good results having just purchased the predecessor to this unit a few weeks ago.
For the point on bass management which would be nice to control internal to the AVR, it's rather simple to control externally using something like a DSP1124. I actually prefer the external for two main reasons, 1> it allows many filter selections which are changed with a quick spin of a dial and 2> once calibrated, it doesn't need to be done again if you upgrade your receiver. Actually there is a third reason , I can manage each sub separately with the previously mentioned unit which is a fairly cheap add on to buy.
Also in the improvement suggestions you make mention to a missing initial volume setting on power up. My older version has this feature, was it removed in the new offering?
Have they started allowing independent crossover points for each set of channels yet? Low end Denon's can do this, I hope Yamaha allows for this now, my RX-V1800 just has one global crossover setting, and so does my RX-V663.
SHARP Aquos LC70LE640U
Denon AVR-4311ci, Emotiva IPS-1
APC H15 Power Conditioner
PS3, Wii, XBOX 360 Elite Slim
Dell Inspiron 660 HTPC
Def Tech BP7001SC, CLR3000, BPX, BP10, BP2X
SVS PB13-Ultra on Great Gramma
Explorer 4250 HD cable box
Yamaha RX-V1800 Onkyo M-5140 amp
Xbox 360 Elite, PS3 Slim
Dell Vostro 400 HTPC
Def Tech BP7006, CLR2300, BPX
SVS PC12 Ultra & 20-39PC+ on Subdude HD
Check out an article I wrote on setting up multiple subwoofers:
Home Theater Multiple Subwoofer Set-Up & Calibration Guide — Reviews and News from Audioholics
Impressive review. Thankyou. I'm sure happy Yamaha has antied up again and delivering world class audio products. I'm proud to be a Yamaha owner.
PS. Keep needling them with the orange..
BRING BACK THE ORANGE!!!!!!!!!!!!
Last edited by 3db; 09-18-2012 at 03:10 PM.
I am new on this forum and actually in the market for a new receiver I read your review of the rx-a2010 with enthusiasm. Being an engineer, the section of most interest to me, was of course the measurements section. I have a few questions and comments and suggestions if you will, some of which will be from a purely academic point of view.
1) In the preamp section, while driving with HDMI you are using -20dBFS signal, I personally would have liked to see a 0 dBFS signal. Using a 0 dB signal will not only allow us to verify DAC/preamps ability to handle a full scale signal without any clipping, distortion etc., but also allow us to see how far down the noise floor is compared to the theoretical limits of the DAC. With a -20dBFS signal the noise floor can be be at the most @124dB from the peak.
Secondly I notice that you are calculating a THD + N using the second harmonic, I don't know about audio industry measurement nomenclature, but normally for a THD + N number I would expect to see all the harmonics and noise over the entire measured bandwidth included in the noise calculation instead of just the second harmonic. Am I missing something here ? It seems like the SNR term is where you likely include the total noise ??
Looking at the FFT plot of the rx-a1010 & comparing it with the plot from rx-a3000 it appears the 3rd harmonic has been cleaned up (either that or is masked by the higher noise floor by @6dB versus the 3000). The noise floor on the 3000 seems to be around -120 dB from 200 Hz onwards to 20KHz with a slight rise of 3dB from there on with a peak at 60 Hz, whereas on the rx-a1010 it seems like a gradual increase in noise from 20 KHz to 20 Hz with a noise floor that is anywhere from 3 to 10 dB higher.Interestingly your calculations show a higher SNR for the 1010 ?? Maybe I am seeing sampling artifacts from a relatively small number of FFT points ?
This suggests a few things to me: 1) The effective number of bits in the DAC/preamp circuitry in the rx-a1010 are less than 24. The noise floor is maybe 1-2 bits higher.
Given that there doesn't appear to be a bump on the 1010 at 60 Hz compared to the 3000 might suggest some additional power supply capacitance/filtering in 'XX10 series versus XX00 series. I'd appreciate your thoughts here ?
From your crosstalk charts any thoughts on why the crosstalk level is much higher for the HDMI inputs versus analog inputs ? Leakage noise in the DAC section ? Is this typical of most receivers/processors ?
Also it seems the crosstalk measurements for rx-a1010 are improved vis -a- vis the rx-a3000 . Does this mean there are likely improvements in the xx10 series versus xx00 ?
I would be curious to see a set of measurements on the preamp outs with a moderate (not max power, maybe 6-10 dB down from max rating) level of signal driven through all channels (4-8 Ohm reactive load ). This might give a better idea of preamp out signal quality with stresses on the power supply.
A lot of people seem to use preamp outs along with some speakers being driven by the receiver.
Going to the power amp measurements: The Power amp FFT plot is taken at max rated power which is typically past the knee of the curve where the distortion increases exponentially. I would like to see a FFT plot on the power/ distortion curve before it hits the knee of the curve where the THD is still low. The same with the SNR measurements. !
I am curious if the power supply 60 Hz and its harmonics still remain in the mix as strongly at lower power ? This might be an area for receiver improvement, except drive it hard enough close to its limits and any amp will start to show these harmonics in.
Of course its a different story whether these harmonics will actually be audible at these levels given that they are @80-100 db below the peak. It is funny how we nitpick the THD numbers of the amplifier/receivers whereas subwoofer/speaker distortion numbers are orders of magnitude higher !
Again I also notice higher/same power amp SNR numbers for the 1010 versus 3000, however the noise floor /harmonic spectra look cleaner to me on the 3000 ? What am I missing ?
Any thoughts on a set of step response tests on preamp & amplifier sections (actually mostly amp section). The thought process here is simulate a scenario similar to what might be experienced in a classical music recording with high dynamic range for e.g a sudden bass drum thwack etc.
Also in your receiver reviews, In the preamp/HDMI section how about a comparison/reference point with the results from a high quality player (such as Oppo 93/95) analog outs versus feeding the signal via HDMI with receiver DACs ? This will give people an idea whether they are gaining or losing something going on way or another. Of course whether the differences are audible is another story
I understand this is all a shitload more tests, but of course its only more time and money
I think that is enough rambling for the night. Thank you for review. Respectfully.
I use -20dBFS b/c a 0dBFS can overload the bass management circuits if all speakers are set to small. It's an industry standard to use -20dBFS for multi channel testing. I do check 2CH audio with 0dBFS to ensure the product can handle fullscale digital. I don't show every test I do else the reports will be too long and boring for most readers.
For the FFT, I calculate how low the 2nd or most dominant harmonic is down from the fundamental. I also do total THD + N for the power measurements too. IF you want to calculate total distortion from the FFT, one can sum all the harmonics, but I see little point to this. The point of those plots is to show the harmonic nasties and look for any misbehavior.
As for effective bits, Johnson noise will never allow you to achieve a full 24 bit resolution in the analog domain. 18-19 bits is about the best you can ever achieve in real life.
HDMI crosstalk levels are ALWAYS higher than analog crosstalk measurements from what I've measured on all products. The levels are still low enough to not be of any concern IMO.
I test the preamps to output clipping and always show what they are capable of driving under a 600 ohm load. There are no appreciable differences if the preamp is driving output levels below clipping vs say 500mV under the same power drive to the amp section. Preamp circuits aren't sharing the same power supply as the power amp for virtually any receiver I ever test. As long as a preamp can cleanly drive at least 1.2Vrms, it should be enough gain to work with virtually any power amp. I prefer the preamp to be able to drive at least 2Vrms and I discuss that in our measurement standard.
I do FFT plots at various power levels and typically show them for 1 watt and fullrated power and yes fullrated power is always higher. Some amps are better behaved than others in this regard.
I test SNR at 1 watt and full rated power and calculate the 1 watt SNR figure at full rated power to ensure linearity at all power levels. I usually find no surprises here.
I scaled back many of my analog tests b/c most people these days are using the HDMI connections between the receiver and blu-ray player. I test TrueHD and DTS HD signals to make sure there is a perfect bit to bit transfer which would indicate there should be no audible differences between various players when using the HDMI interface. This assumes upconversion/downcoversion circuits are disabled b/c if they are not, they will fail the BER (Bit Error Rate) test.
Ok I think I got most of your stuff. Do you have an Audio Precision? If so, I'd be happy to get some help doing testing to cut down the time. My testing is already quite time consuming and I can rarely dedicate any more time to test individual products than what I already do. I've actually taken away tests such as output impedance b/c they are way too time consuming to pull AP data into Excel and calculate the impedances.