Any insight on Yamaha's recent amp power philosophy?

KEW

KEW

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#1
Gene highlighted how the $900 100WPC Yamaha A860's amplifier section was limited in this review:
https://www.audioholics.com/av-receiver-reviews/yamaha-rx-a860/conclusion

While the RX-A860 is fine driving small bass-managed 8 ohm speakers, this is the first time I'd actually caution people against using 4 ohm speakers or even running 8 ohm tower speakers on the “large” setting.
That is a suprising statement for a 100WPC AVR from one of the major players!

Lately, I noticed the following warning on the Accessories4Less website for Yamaha's least expensive stereo receiver:
CAN ONLY USE 8 OHM SPEAKERS. WILL NOT ALLOW A+B TO PLAY TOGETHER UNLESS SPEAKERS ARE 16 OHMS
https://www.accessories4less.com/ma...00-watts-natural-sound-stereo-receiver/1.html

Technically, that would mean that a 6 Ohm speaker is not compatible with this receiver! I would generally expect a 100WPC receiver to have some ability to drive lower impedance speakers, even if at only 100WPC!

I don't think A4L would have this warning unless they were getting lots of returns for this problem; however, I think it is more likely that the warning was specified by Yamaha*.

I like Yamaha! I Have two receivers, one integrated amp, and two pro-audio amps by them and all have performed wonderfully.

However, these recent developments cause me to wonder if they are the "same company" that made the gear I currently own and enjoy!

*Edit: Looking at the back of this receiver R-S202, it states 8 Ohm minimum impedance for connecting as speakers A or B!
 
Mikado463

Mikado463

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#2
having had two bad experiences with Yammie, I have given up on them. Now, their snowmobiles and the motors they put in them, that's a different matter. Not to mention a smart marriage with Arctic Cat.......
 
P

PENG

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#3
To be fair, few $150 receiver or integrated amp should be expected to drive 6 ohm speakers at the rated 100W level. That thing should be able to drive 4 ohm if you limit it to 50W maximum so buyers need to know they are getting a 25 W (to be on the safe side) to 50 W receiver if they intend to use it for 4 ohm speakers.
 
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AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Seriously, I have no life.
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#6
Definitely not impressive and gives audiophiles more ammunition to continue the hearsay that AVR sucks. :D

Cost reduction or more cautious circuit protection ?

Probably both.

Now if Yamaha would offer a 5YR warranty on their mid and higher models to back up the higher dependability rating, that would be good.
 
little wing

little wing

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#7
If you want a receiver with adequate power I would say skip the Yamaha A860, and go to the 3060. I don't feel like mine is lacking power. It's not going to perform like a stand alone power amp but for me it gets the job done. If you want a receiver in the $900 range, maybe a Denon might be a better choice.
 
P

PENG

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#8
If you want a receiver with adequate power I would say skip the Yamaha A860, and go to the 3060. I don't feel like mine is lacking power. It's not going to perform like a stand alone power amp.
It will absolutely perform like a stand alone amp that is rated 140-150 W 8 ohm, or around 200 W 4 ohm, for 2 channel use in the <$2000 range. That's based on specs, and measurements by S&V.
 
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S

snakeeyes

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#9
I think 3060 is about the same weight as my 2060. The only reason to skip to the 3060 is if you prefer 7.1.4 processing vs 5.1.4/7.1.2.
I did give my 15 year old 6.1 RXV3300 a good home at a friends place for his movie room. That receiver was a very wonderful receiver but I needed to move on after purchasing my KS8000 tv. That tv just requires lip sync delay adjustments that the RXV3300 couldn’t do... I could have returned the TV but I’m glad I didn’t.
I’m looking forward to cutting into my ceiling and trying out 4 RSL 34E speakers. I just need to hear more from others who are using them... And to save up a little cash... If the sound changes with 9 speakers vs driving 5, I can run 4 off an old RXV630 until I can get an amp. The idea of an amp seems fun but I may not need one. Then again, I may want Mini Phils or KEF bookshelf speakers someday and things may or may not change... See how when you add one thing, everything changes... :)
 
KEW

KEW

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#10
To be fair, few $150 receiver or integrated amp should be expected to drive 6 ohm speakers at the rated 100W level. That thing should be able to drive 4 ohm if you limit it to 50W maximum so buyers need to know they are getting a 50 W receiver if they intend to use it for 4 ohm speakers.
This $400 stereo receiver has the same 8 Ohm minimum warning on the back:
https://www.accessories4less.com/ma...x-100-watts-networking-stereo-receiver/1.html

I just question the wisdom of selling these products. I think of Yamaha as providing quality and reliability and the idea of newbies running into problems because of poor amplification seems like it would be counterproductive for future upgrade sales.

Gene's assertion that the A860 is not recommended to even run 8 ohm speakers full range makes me wonder where Yamaha is coming from.
I wish he had shared the results of CFP-BW into 4 Ohms test, so we could see just how much higher current demand cripples it! This was the first AH benchtest I have seen that omitted this data. It is even listed above the test result table in his boilerplate description of the tests performed:
Power Measurements
Using our Audio Precision APx585 8-channel HDMI analyzer, we conducted a full barrage of multi-channel amplifier tests on Yamaha RX-A860 per our Amplifier Measurement Protocol. We tested power using three methods all of which were taken at < 0.1% THD + N:

  • Continuous Full Power Bandwidth (CFP-BW) from 20Hz to 20Khz into 8 and 4-ohm loads (up to two-channels)
 
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KEW

KEW

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#11
I just noticed that the A860 does not have the impedance switch on the back like most (all?) other Yamahas have.
I wonder if they decided to "hard-wire" the switch in the low impedance setting instead of letting us switch it to high impedance?
 
P

PENG

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#12
I just noticed that the A860 does not have the impedance switch on the back like most (all?) other Yamahas have.
I wonder if they decided to "hard-wire" the switch in the low impedance setting instead of letting us switch it to high impedance?
They, like others, have eliminated the switch and provided an impedance setting instead. The instruction said you can set it to 6 ohm or 8 ohm, but can also connect 4 ohm speakers to the front channels in the 6 ohm setting.
 
P

PENG

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#13
I wish he had shared the results of CFP-BW into 4 Ohms test, so we could see just how much higher current demand cripples it! This was the first AH benchtest I have seen that omitted this data. It is even listed above the test result table in his boilerplate description of the tests performed:
Good point, I missed that!! It can certainly do 25 W or even 50 WPC into 4 ohm based on 100 WPC into 8 ohms. For the lower models, most bench tests showed 25 to 50% more output into 4 ohms but without the data the only safe assumption is 50 WPC or 25 WPC to be even safer.
 
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KEW

KEW

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#14
If you want a receiver with adequate power I would say skip the Yamaha A860, and go to the 3060. I don't feel like mine is lacking power. It's not going to perform like a stand alone power amp but for me it gets the job done. If you want a receiver in the $900 range, maybe a Denon might be a better choice.
Agreed, your 3060 is a product consistent with the quality and reliability I have learned to expect from Yamaha over the years.
That is why I am having such a hard time accepting that they are producing a product like the A860.
Aside from the electronics I listed earlier, I have Yamaha Baritone (YBS-62),Alto (YAS-61),and Soprano (YSS-52) Saxes. I used to have two Yamaha motorcycles (Seca XJ650 and XS1100) when I was riding. Each one of them was/is excellent, with absolutely no regrets.

I could understand how introduction of a new technology might cause unexpected problems, but amplifier/power supply design is not some obscure "dark art"! Yamaha made a deliberate decision to "dummy down" the A860's amp section, it seems like a fundamental change in their philosophy, and I just don't get it!
 
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P

PENG

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#15
Agreed, your 3060 is a product consistent with the quality and reliability I have learned to expect from Yamaha over the years.
That is why I am having such a hard time accepting that they are producing a product like the A860.
Aside from the electronics I listed earlier, I have Yamaha Baritone (YBS-62),Alto (YAS-61),and Soprano (YSS-52) Saxes. I used to have two Yamaha motorcycles (Seca XJ650 and XS1100) when I was riding. Each one of them was/is excellent, with absolutely no regrets.

I could understand how introduction of a new technology might cause unexpected problems, but amplifier/power supply design is not some obscure "dark art"! Yamaha made a deliberate decision to "dummy down" the A860's amp section, it seems like a fundamental change in their philosophy, and I just don't get it!
I thought I should read the Yamaha instruction instead of the reseller's commercials, and was a little surprised to see the following:

Audio Section:

Minimum RMS output power 8 ohm, 40 Hz to 20 kHz, 0.2% THD 100 W + 100 W
Maximum power per channel (4 ohm, 1 kHz, 0.7%, THD) 115 W
No wonder Accessories for less posted that warning! In order not to rely on its protection circuit (if exist) to shutdown before it destroys itself, one has to pretend the receiver is rated 25 WPC for 4 ohm nominal speakers, one channel driven (to be on the conservative side) if one expects 40 Hz to 20 kHz, 0.2% THD. I edited my post#13 according to make sure it won't mislead anyone.

For potential brand new or factory refurbished 2 channel amp/receiver hunters, it is better to ignore the ridiculous optics of using a multichannel AVR for 2 channel use, and go for a 7.2 D&M AVR just to get the typically larger power supply. Of course that will only make sense in terms of cost/watt when comparing two channel receivers and integrated amps to the one to two years outdated AVRs such as D&M's AVR-X1200W if you want to use 4 ohm nominal speakers. There are even bench tests data available as below:

2 channels continuously driven, 8- ohm loads - 112.8 W 0.1% THD
2 channels continuously driven, 4- ohm loads - 139.2 W 0.1% THD

Read more at https://www.soundandvision.com/cont...eceiver-review-test-bench#Zqe9XToYAftXzzJW.99

AC4L has the X2300W for only $360.
https://www.accessories4less.com/ma...-ch-x-95-watts-networking-a/v-receiver/1.html
 
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3db

3db

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#16
Agreed, your 3060 is a product consistent with the quality and reliability I have learned to expect from Yamaha over the years.
That is why I am having such a hard time accepting that they are producing a product like the A860.
Aside from the electronics I listed earlier, I have Yamaha Baritone (YBS-62),Alto (YAS-61),and Soprano (YSS-52) Saxes. I used to have two Yamaha motorcycles (Seca XJ650 and XS1100) when I was riding. Each one of them was/is excellent, with absolutely no regrets.

I could understand how introduction of a new technology might cause unexpected problems, but amplifier/power supply design is not some obscure "dark art"! Yamaha made a deliberate decision to "dummy down" the A860's amp section, it seems like a fundamental change in their philosophy, and I just don't get it!
Sticking with their top tier models ,1xxxx and up is their sweet spot. Yamaha has had some weak model runs in the past. Lets see if the trend continues. All of my Yamaha models are very capable units in the power delivery point of view, two of which I purchased use.
 
little wing

little wing

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#17
It will absolutely perform like a stand alone amp that is rated 140-150 W 8 ohm, or around 200 W 4 ohm, for 2 channel use in the <$2000 range. That's based on specs, and measurements by S&V.

I hear you. Can't argue with specs and measurements. It certainly gets louder than I can stand it. I rarely turn it up beyond -20db or so, and the sound is very clean and composed. I measured one time and the peaks at my couch was around 75db. Plenty loud enough for me. The thing I wonder about is if I added something like this http://www.ati-amp.com/AT4000.php would there be an audible improvement in say, dynamics at low listening levels. Probably not, especially since my main speakers or only in the $2500 range, but one wonders..
 
little wing

little wing

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#18
Agreed, your 3060 is a product consistent with the quality and reliability I have learned to expect from Yamaha over the years.
That is why I am having such a hard time accepting that they are producing a product like the A860.
Aside from the electronics I listed earlier, I have Yamaha Baritone (YBS-62),Alto (YAS-61),and Soprano (YSS-52) Saxes. I used to have two Yamaha motorcycles (Seca XJ650 and XS1100) when I was riding. Each one of them was/is excellent, with absolutely no regrets.

I could understand how introduction of a new technology might cause unexpected problems, but amplifier/power supply design is not some obscure "dark art"! Yamaha made a deliberate decision to "dummy down" the A860's amp section, it seems like a fundamental change in their philosophy, and I just don't get it!
It is baffling Kurt. We can only hope it is not a change in Yamaha philosophy but a decision they made to meet a certain price point with this particular model. Educated enthusiast like you and I, and many other folks here will just avoid the 860. Maybe Yamaha will get it if the 860 just stays on their shelves and they don't move them.
 
P

PENG

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#19
I hear you. Can't argue with specs and measurements. It certainly gets louder than I can stand it. I rarely turn it up beyond -20db or so, and the sound is very clean and composed. I measured one time and the peaks at my couch was around 75db. Plenty loud enough for me. The thing I wonder about is if I added something like this http://www.ati-amp.com/AT4000.php would there be an audible improvement in say, dynamics at low listening levels. Probably not, especially since my main speakers or only in the $2500 range, but one wonders..
Did you mean you are getting only 75 dB peak with volume at -20? Did YPAO set the L/R speakers to level 0 or did it bump them up?

Assuming you are getting 75 dB average, not peak, with volume at -20 then I would say the ATI amp would not result in audible improvements. If you want to listen at or above 85 dB average with peaks to 105 to 110 dB (probably at the limit of your speakers),then I believe there will be audible improvement, mainly because the Ascends are 4 ohm nominal speakers. They don't dip below 4 ohm, and the phase angles look benign, but they can benefit from a 200 W 8ohm, 300 W 4 ohm ATI amp for sure. You would likely gain about 2-3 dB headroom practically speaking, in 2 channel applications, more for multi channel.
 
little wing

little wing

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#20
Did you mean you are getting only 75 dB peak with volume at -20? Did YPAO set the L/R speakers to level 0 or did it bump them up?

Assuming you are getting 75 dB average, not peak, with volume at -20 then I would say the ATI amp would not result in audible improvements. If you want to listen at or above 85 dB average with peaks to 105 to 110 dB (probably at the limit of your speakers),then I believe there will be audible improvement, mainly because the Ascends are 4 ohm nominal speakers. They don't dip below 4 ohm, and the phase angles look benign, but they can benefit from a 200 W 8ohm, 300 W 4 ohm ATI amp for sure. You would likely gain about 2-3 dB headroom practically speaking, in 2 channel applications, more for multi channel.
Yeah probably more like 75db average, but it was with a crude cell phone mic, so maybe not 100% accurate. YPAO did set the levels to 0, but I bumped up my left and right speakers to +1.5db and my center to +2.0db. I can not imagine listening at 85db. My 50 plus year old ears just have no desire for that kind of volume anymore.
 

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