Help choosing power amp to go with Yamaha RX-A1020 AVR - Page 4 - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #31 of 33 Old 11-15-14, 07:21 AM
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Re: Help choosing power amp to go with Yamaha RX-A1020 AVR

ok then im safe. no worries about pushing my receiver to much for when i really want to play it loud.
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post #32 of 33 Old 11-25-15, 08:43 AM
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Re: Help choosing power amp to go with Yamaha RX-A1020 AVR

rodneyiii wrote: View Post
Mark64 - have you decided on anything yet?

Let me fill you and others in on my recent experience with an RX-A1020. I have an older Yamaha RX-V2300 that still pumps out plenty of power & punch in my audio system but I needed to upgrade to something that had HDMI switching. Since I had been happy with my current Yamaha, I began my search looking at new Yamaha stuff. I have my 5.1 speaker system connected to the spkr "A" outputs on my old Yamaha along with a custom pair of larger spkrs connected to the "B" outputs. I only use the A's and B's together when I want to rock the house with some good Heavy Metal, otherwise the B's stay off to maintain the matched 5.1 system balance. Very few new receivers have spkr A/B outputs. Instead, they have "Zone2" outputs in place of "B" outputs. This isn't the same thing and doesn't work like I want. However, I bought a Yamaha RX-A1020 since it had "Party mode" to mesh the main and Zone 2 together (sort of).

I hooked everything up to the new Yamaha and tested the sound. Remember, my old unit didn't have YPAO or any auto calibration so my speakers were running with a flat signal except for some manual audio level tweaking to help with distances. Anyway, right away I could tell the A1020 had a problem with low bass output to my front mains. The bass drum punch wasn't there and the lows were anemic. After trying a few things, I called Yamaha tech support. After waiting at least 20 min., I explained to the tech what my issue was. His first and last thought was that my old V2300 was a better built amp and had more dynamic headroom to add the punch I was now missing in the A1020. Really dude?! I wasn't satisfied with that answer and did some more testing. Here is what I determined.

You can try this same thing and I would love to hear your feedback. Use a good, familiar 5.1 concert or something that has consistent low bass. In the speaker setup, enable all of your speakers, including the sub and center channel. Make sure the front mains are set to "large". Set the decoding for "Straight" Dolby decode so there aren't any other artifacts or matrixing added to the output signals. Play the audio and see that it sounds OK at moderate volumes. Now, turn the power off to the SUB so you can distinctly hear the bass coming from only the front main L/R spkrs. This way, the SUB isn't masking what bass info is being sent to the front mains. This is when you can hear the problem. While the music is playing, enter the Manual spkr Setup menu and disable the center channel. The system immediately sends more bass to the mains. Even if the center spkr is set to "small", if it is enabled, the A1020 sucks bass away from the mains (it should not be doing this). Keep the center spkr disabled and see how the bass sounds now when you crank it up. Now, disable the SUB in the Setup menu and obviously, more bass will be sent to the mains. That is what SHOULD happen when the sub is disabled. Re-enable the SUB so it re-directs the bass back to that channel (you still have the SUB powered off). Now, go to the EXTRA BASS setting. Enable and disable the feature. According to the owner's manual, enabling Extra Bass should send the low frequencies to BOTH the front mains and the SUB. By still having the power off on the SUB, you can tell that no add ‘l bass (the low, low freqs) is being sent to the mains when Extra bass is enabled. The system is expecting the SUB to handle ALL of the low frequencies regardless of the size setting of the mains which, IMO, is not good when many systems have fully capable front main spkrs that are being castrated by this bass management method.

Now for the kicker. If what the Yamaha guy was saying about the V2300 having more headroom is true, I can hook it up as an amplifier and run the front main pre-outs from the A1020. That way, I can drive the front mains with the stronger amp and keep my good bass. Wrong. Since the A1020 is doing the signal processing, the same weak bass signal is being sent to the spkr outputs AND the pre-outs. Therefore, the V2300 amp is receiving an already bass averse signal. The only way around that is to have the V2300 do the processing first and use the A1020 as the amp. That, however, defeats the purpose of buying the HDMI capable receiver.

After determining the bass was being altered by the system, I tried to get Yamaha’s help again to try and clear this up. I tried on two different days to contact them. I waited on hold for 30 minutes one day and 60 minutes the next day to no avail. This problem was a show stopper for me. Plus, the Party Mode still won’t control all the speakers in tandem. You have to turn up the volume in the main zone, slide the switch on the remote to Zone 2, then adjust the other spkr volume. There were too many negatives with the Yamaha for me to keep it.

I searched more and bought the Marantz SR7008 since it DOES have a speaker A/B mode that works like it should. It also has the proper bass output when running through the previously described tests. The Metallica “Through the Never” movie sounded great!

The bottom line is – I don’t think your problem is lack of power to give you the bass you want. It appears to be the Yamaha processing the bass out of the front mains that is the problem. If anyone reading this has suggestions or an explanation as to why it works this way or if my testing is flawed, please post. I couldn’t get Yamaha’s help.

WOW WOW WOW and he is 100% correct. I'm amazed as this is my 3rd Yamaha'll be my last for sure.

I always thought I was crazy and wanted to get am amp for the mains...
Anyone want an RX-A1020 cheap?
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post #33 of 33 Old 11-25-15, 01:04 PM
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Re: Help choosing power amp to go with Yamaha RX-A1020 AVR

I ended up getting rid of my Yamaha (RX-V663 IIRC) because of a bass management issue. There was some weird artifact in the sub channel processing that resulted in synthesized sub-harmonics bleeding into my subwoofer. It wasn't terribly noticeable in LFE tracks in movies, but it was completely intolerable in music. The only way around was to disable the subs (either in menus or at the amp).

It wasn't an age issue either. I noticed it after a few months of ownership... it took a few years before I could afford to replace with an Outlaw 975, but I couldn't be happier. I sold it to a friend (bass issue advertised before the sale... I'm not a jerk), and he's using it in 2.0 which always sounded just fine.
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