Yamaha RX-A2030 sounds worse than RX-A810

F

Fried Chicken

Junior Audioholic
This is a bit unusual. I decided to upgrade my RX-A810 to an RX-A2030. I chose the RX-A2030 because 1. Yamaha, 2. It has pre-inputs so it should never be obsolete.

What I didn’t expect? I prefer the sound of my RX-A810. The RX-A2030 sounds.... harsh. My suspicion is the RX-A2030 has a more precise/better DAC, and thus any errors in calibration are compounded. Either way, with the RX-A810 I got what I felt was like “transparent” sound. That is to say, you can’t distinguish the speakers. I tried multiple calibrations and different settings on the RX-A2030, but it’s the same, even in 2-channel stereo running through my M-65 amplifier (this clues me in to the DAC).
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Either setup is DIFFERENT somehow or something is wrong with the A2030.

A $300 AVR with optimal setup can sound better than a $30,000 AVP if its setup isn't optimal.
 
F

Fried Chicken

Junior Audioholic
Either setup is DIFFERENT somehow or something is wrong with the A2030.

A $300 AVR with optimal setup can sound better than a $30,000 AVP if its setup isn't optimal.
There is zero indication anything is wrong with the receiver, neither from the sound it makes, nor the YPAO calibration, nor anything. I’ve done several calibrations trying to get it right, but it still sounds.... harsh. The setup is identical, I don’t know what to say.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
So this is a memory type comparison or did you try some sort of direct comparison with both units simultaneously? Could simply be expectations....or different setup/use in some way.

BTW, those are pre-outs (pre-amplifier output) that enable use of an external amp, not pre-inputs....
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
There is zero indication anything is wrong with the receiver, neither from the sound it makes, nor the YPAO calibration, nor anything. I’ve done several calibrations trying to get it right, but it still sounds.... harsh. The setup is identical, I don’t know what to say.
How does it sound without YPAO? Those auto Eq set ups make everything sound harsh in my view. I suspect your older receiver created less interference to decent sound than your new one, which probably is more aggressive in spoiling the sound.

I NEVER use those programs. In every system I have had, they always make the sound worse, and ruin good systems. May be there is the odd aberrant system that is helped. I am firmly of the view that good systems do not need the sort of abuse those systems introduce.

I think everyone should try their systems with those programs off. I have a feeling many would be pleasantly surprised. For one thing Audyssey adds noise which can be heard and measured. I have never used YPAO, but many people feel it is sub Audyssey.

Good speakers, should never have to be abused by that nonsense. All good speakers require is linear amps with gain, and nothing else.

Right now, I'm listening to absolutely gorgeous sound unadulterated.
 
F

Fried Chicken

Junior Audioholic
How does it sound without YPAO? Those auto Eq set ups make everything sound harsh in my view. I suspect your older receiver created less interference to decent sound than your new one, which probably is more aggressive in spoiling the sound.
I get a similar effect when I use the “Pure-Direct” mode for 2-channel Stereo (running through the dedicated Amp).

This is why I think it’s the DAC, since pretty much all other variables are accounted for.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
I get a similar effect when I use the “Pure-Direct” mode for 2-channel Stereo (running through the dedicated Amp).

This is why I think it’s the DAC, since pretty much all other variables are accounted for.
It is very unlikely that differences in a DAC would account for that. Although there are minute differences, the differences in DACs are miniscule compared to DACs elsewhere. If what you are experiencing is real, the problem is most likely in the power amps. Cheap power amps in general do not sound very good.

Basically in sound differences speakers are by far the biggest variable and then power amps, and also the relationship between a power amp and connected speakers.
 
F

Fried Chicken

Junior Audioholic
It is very unlikely that differences in a DAC would account for that. Although there are minute differences, the differences in DACs are miniscule compared to DACs elsewhere. If what you are experiencing is real, the problem is most likely in the power amps. Cheap power amps in general do not sound very good.

Basically in sound differences speakers are by far the biggest variable and then power amps, and also the relationship between a power amp and connected speakers.
The receiver is feeding an M-65 power amplifier as I had it with the rx-A810 for the fronts. I did turn on “through” for the YPAO calibration, and I think it alleviated a lot of it.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
The receiver is feeding an M-65 power amplifier as I had it with the rx-A810 for the fronts. I did turn on “through” for the YPAO calibration, and I think it alleviated a lot of it.
What does the "through" setting do when setting up an external amp? I don't speak "yamaha"....
 
F

Fried Chicken

Junior Audioholic
What does the "through" setting do when setting up an external amp? I don't speak "yamaha"....
The non-standardized jargon in this industry drives me crazy too.

The YPAO is the room correction calibration (this receiver has some special room reflection calibration beyond simply measuring distance and volume). It also sets the equalizer. Whether an external amp is connected or not, I don't think YPAO even knows.

The "Through" setting disables the equalizer for the speakers. I put it to that, and I think it might have alleviated some of that "harsh" sound.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
So this is a memory type comparison or did you try some sort of direct comparison with both units simultaneously? Could simply be expectations....or different setup/use in some way.
Exactly! It is unfortunate that no matter how many experts have said, and studies confirmed, that unless such tests were done in double blind tightly controlled set up/protocol, claims of one sounding better, or even different than another being compared would be invalid or anecdotal at best.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
The non-standardized jargon in this industry drives me crazy too.

The YPAO is the room correction calibration (this receiver has some special room reflection calibration beyond simply measuring distance and volume). It also sets the equalizer. Whether an external amp is connected or not, I don't think YPAO even knows.

The "Through" setting disables the equalizer for the speakers. I put it to that, and I think it might have alleviated some of that "harsh" sound.
The 2030 will let you use analog input and bypass the ADC/DSP/DAC if you use pure direct mode, can the 810 do that too, if yes then you can at least try to prove your point.

Even even, you really need to do it blind even if not double blind, level matched to within 0.5 dB, and set it up in a way you do switch back and forth quickly, and repeat the test many times in order to get reliable results. No matter how obvious you may think the difference is, if the comparison session is done properly, as long as you don't know which one is playing, the difference would likely disappear, according to many studies. Now if as others suggested, if there is something wrong with, in this case presumably the 2030, then anything would be possible.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
The 2030 will let you use analog input and bypass the ADC/DSP/DAC if you use pure direct mode, can the 810 do that too, if yes then you can at least try to prove your point.

Even even, you really need to do it blind even if not double blind, level matched to within 0.5 dB, and set it up in a way you do switch back and forth quickly, and repeat the test many times in order to get reliable results. No matter how obvious you may think the difference is, if the comparison session is done properly, as long as you don't know which one is playing, the difference would likely disappear, according to many studies. Now if as others suggested, if there is something wrong with, in this case presumably the 2030, then anything would be possible.
Even .5 dB is probably too big a difference, tho might be more easily done at home with that kind of "matching".
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
The non-standardized jargon in this industry drives me crazy too.

The YPAO is the room correction calibration (this receiver has some special room reflection calibration beyond simply measuring distance and volume). It also sets the equalizer. Whether an external amp is connected or not, I don't think YPAO even knows.

The "Through" setting disables the equalizer for the speakers. I put it to that, and I think it might have alleviated some of that "harsh" sound.
Don't think the sound mode has much to do with the use of the external amp except to limit processing in the avr from that description. YPAO would be a good way to set levels between internal/external amps in general tho you may not want the eq part.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Even .5 dB is probably too big a difference, tho might be more easily done at home with that kind of "matching".
Yes, but at least it would make it harder to tell a difference that is based on the level difference alone. I am insensitive to people reporting hearing a subtle difference anyway but I do find it unfortunate that people often would do a sighted comparison, most likely just level match by ears, and without being able to switch back and forth quickly. It is even worse when they post their claims of hearing huge differences, such as much more details, wider soundstage, more bass etc., as though their subjective impression/experience = facts that brand A "sounds" much better than brand B, whatever that "sounds better" might mean.

I find that unfortunate because while I don't blame them, such posts would likely encourage, inadvertently more dishonesty in the industry. Over the years, the end results of hearsay created by such claims/posts might have indirectly encouraged manufacturers to focus on and spend more on marketing, even resulted in the misguided use of unnecessary hardware/design time etc, e.g. HDAMs, exotic Opamp ICs, copper plates for shielding, pseudo balanced/XLRs, so called "fully balanced" just to name a few, feel free to add:) that don't actually improve on anything real, sometimes may even hurt. It would have been better if manufacturers would invest on new/innovative design and implementation that could actually benefit the consumers in terms of reliability, lighter weight, smaller size, efficiency, and/or even theoretical transparency (whether audible or not), and appearances.
 
3db

3db

Audioholic Overlord
Thats why I stayed out of this thread. The OP convinced himself ahead of time that the 2030 does indeed sound worse than the 810 without structured listening tests. I get it that its really impossible to do a blind listening test at home swapping in and out AVRs with just one minute on the clock.

As anyone suggested doing a factory reset on the 2030? It could be that the previous owner messed with the PEQ filters from a previous run and unless the new YPAO results were saved, the AVR would still retain the old PEQ filters.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Thats why I stayed out of this thread. The OP convinced himself ahead of time that the 2030 does indeed sound worse than the 810 without structured listening tests. I get it that its really impossible to do a blind listening test at home swapping in and out AVRs with just one minute on the clock.

As anyone suggested doing a factory reset on the 2030? It could be that the previous owner messed with the PEQ filters from a previous run and unless the new YPAO results were saved, the AVR would still retain the old PEQ filters.
Good point about doing a factory reset to both first for a fair comparison. At the minimum he could do his test using analog inputs and pure direct mode.

Also, as you alluded to, if someone believe sighted and not tightly controlled test can be trusted even when units being compared are well designed and built, and are used well below their output limits, then it would be near impossible to tell them anything else to change their mind.
 
F

Fried Chicken

Junior Audioholic
Good point about doing a factory reset to both first for a fair comparison. At the minimum he could do his test using analog inputs and pure direct mode.

Also, as you alluded to, if someone believe sighted and not tightly controlled test can be trusted even when units being compared are well designed and built, and are used well below their output limits, then it would be near impossible to tell them anything else to change their mind.
There is no factory reset option on the 2030 (I’m pretty sure).

I’m not sure why Yamaha went this route.
 
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