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IMHO music via Yamaha A820

smarti

Standard Member
I've been on a bit of a quest to improve the stereo music reproduction of my AV system for a while now and thought I'd share my opinions so far in case anyone is interested.

My objective is to to get good sounding hifi through a system that also serves as the everyday TV/Sky/DVD 5.1 system. I have a very limited budget and have been selling as much old gear as I can on ebay to raise cash.

To date I had an Onkyo SR605, BK 200 sub, mission 752 freedom's with matching centre and some crappy denon surrounds. I'm happy with the speakers but not so happy with the amp as it sounds fine with movies but pretty awful with music. I also have an old Quad 34/306 pre/power amp combo which sounds great (to me) but blew up recently and so is awaiting repair when I have the cash. It's also a pain to keep un/plugging speaker connections.

So, after much reading, I bought a Yamaha A820 as it has pre-outs which I can connect to my Quad when it's fixed.

My opinions about the Yamaha A820:
1. It is a step up for 5.1 movies and sky tv from the Onkyo - being much clearer and cleaner sounding all round. Surrounds suddenly seem to work properly too.

2. It's pretty awful sounding for music if you use the DLNA with lossless FLACS. The soundstage is muddled and it's harsh, I get listener fatigue in seconds! I'd hoped for better. I didn't bother to try an optical cable from my server as I cannot believe it will improve the situation. The pure direct button makes a lot of difference but not enough.

3. I bought an Arcam rDAC and fed this via USB from the music server and into the analogue Audio input on the Yamaha. Without pure direct engaged the sound is harsh and fatiguing. But with Pure direct engaged there's a huge difference and the music sounds warm, analogue almost, and the sound-stage is pretty solid with instruments largely remaining in their own space. I decide to go with this configuration for the time being.

So in summary, I'm reasonably happy at the moment as I've managed to improve the situation somewhat and the sound I get with this setup is acceptable. I can't wait to get my Quad fixed and see how that fares as an AV amp. However, I really wish at least one manufacturer would drop all the extra features and produce a reasonably priced, decent integrated hifi amp that also decodes 5.1 surround. (BTW: a 5th foot? Pleeeease.)

Thanks for reading, all the best....
 
(BTW: a 5th foot? Pleeeease.)

If you mean on an AV amp in the centre of the unit, I've always thought that would be sensible, as it would give better weight distribution, and reduce the chance of resonance of the bottom plate of the amplifier casing.

I think a strut to link this 5th foot to the top plate of the amplifier casing (via some kind of semi-rigid coupling) would also be an improvement.

On a previous amp, I replaced the plastic feet with stacked semi-rigid foam pads (from a hardware store), to reduce the overall height (so it would fit between 2 shelves).

You could try making your own 5th foot in a similar way.
 

smarti

Standard Member
Actually, apologies, I was being a bit tongue in cheek about the 5th foot. My personal feeling is that a 5th foot is something I'd dream up to fix a problem - I expect the manufacturer to engineer a better solution. Although if it works.... why not.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
I expect the manufacturer to engineer a better solution. Although if it works.... why not.

I think that they are currently working on a solution involving Smartie tubes and ping pong balls?

Did you know that you can make a cat walk like a robot if you place a Smartie tube on each of its legs? That's what Arcam have so far discovered during their preliminary research.
 

smarti

Standard Member
But does the cat sound any better?

I suppose manufacturers have been doing it for years but don't try and turn it into a marketing exercise. When I opened the Quad I found a tacky square mat type of thing on the top underside of the case that had fallen off over the years onto the electronics.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
But does the cat sound any better?

I suppose manufacturers have been doing it for years but don't try and turn it into a marketing exercise. When I opened the Quad I found a tacky square mat type of thing on the top underside of the case that had fallen off over the years onto the electronics.

The history behind Yamaha's fifth foot revolves around their chief engineer's experiences as a school child. He was apparently repeatedly bullied during art classes?

[ Audio Features ] Anti Resonance Technology Wedge Helps to Ensure that Vibrations Do Not Affect Sound Quality


The Anti Resonance Technology (A.R.T.) Wedge is a fifth foot in the centre of the unit. It dampens vibrations from the power transformer, power transistors and heat sinks, as well as vibrations that might be caused by the sound from the speakers.

Hence the Wedg(ie) A.R.T association :lesson:


Schrödinger's cat? I suppose audio improvements would depend on whether you perceive the cat as being dead or alive? I suggest rubbing it with snake oil (and the cat if it helps) ;)
 
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smarti

Standard Member
It's an interesting explanation/excuse they've given which doesn't really convince me. I could probably almost believe it if it was on some £10k amplifier where you need golden ears to tell the incremental difference. I suspect the real reason is that without the foot the case would audibly vibrate in some cases when the sub is going for it.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
It's an interesting explanation/excuse they've given which doesn't really convince me. I could probably almost believe it if it was on some £10k amplifier where you need golden ears to tell the incremental difference. I suspect the real reason is that without the foot the case would audibly vibrate in some cases when the sub is going for it.


Well if you don't believe it then you may as well go buy yourself an RXV773 or 775 because the RXV models have exactly the same spec as the Adventage models above them if you remove the fifth foot and build aspects of the chassis. Without the chassis, the RXV773 is the same amp as the RXA810 or 820.


The RXA8xx models get rave reviews while the RXV7xx models are seldom if ever mentioned.
 

Riskey

Standard Member
Well if you don't believe it then you may as well go buy yourself an RXV773 or 775 because the RXV models have exactly the same spec as the Adventage models above them if you remove the fifth foot and build aspects of the chassis. Without the chassis, the RXV773 is the same amp as the RXA810 or 820.


The RXA8xx models get rave reviews while the RXV7xx models are seldom if ever mentioned.

Hello, I have a simple quesition. I knew v673 received huge raves in last year, so my bottom line is that whether a V773 is better than v673 in everyway, when the price is regardless? If it does, I will pull the trigger for a v773 tomorrow.

Thanks!
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Hello, I have a simple quesition. I knew v673 received huge raves in last year, so my bottom line is that whether a V773 is better than v673 in everyway, when the price is regardless? If it does, I will pull the trigger for a v773 tomorrow.

Thanks!

The audible improvements will not be that great. You do get slightly better power output, but the main advantages are in relation to the additional inputs and outputs onboard the RXV773. If you've no use for the additional inputs and outputs then you may as well go with the RXV673. Do you need dual HDMI output, a phono stage and or pre outs?
 
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Riskey

Standard Member
The audible improvements will not be that great. You do get slightly better power output, but the main advantages are in relation to the additional inputs and outputs onboard the RXV773. If you've no use for the additional inputs and outputs then you may as well go with the RXV673. Do you need dual HDMI output, a phono stage and or pre outs?

Thanks alot for your reply. I don't need a second HDMI output at current stage, but I believe there will be a great chance for me to purchase a projctor in the near future.

One thing, I heard some rumors from another forum which said v773 could process DTS HD Master Audio with all of its 17 DSP modes without degrading the sound from DTS HD to DTS 5.1, while v673 could not do that.

Is that true? (or both could/couldn't?) I cannot find any trustable source which could clarify.
 
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dante01

Distinguished Member
Thanks alot for your reply. I don't need a second HDMI output at current stage, but I believe there will be a great chance for me to purchase a projctor in the near future.

One thing, I heard some rumors from another forum which said v773 could process DTS HD Master Audio with all of its 17 DSP modes without degrading the sound from DTS HD to DTS 5.1, while v673 could not do that.

Is that true? (or both could/couldn't?)

You can do the same by allowing the source to do the decoding prior to streaming the HD audio to the receiver as LPCM. Most people don't actually apply DSP to HD audio in any case. Is there a specific DSP programme you want to use in conjunction with HD formats?
 

Riskey

Standard Member
And I would like to quote another question I posted in thread "V773 owners". It would be very kind of you if you may bother to answer:

Hello all, I am also going to pull the trigger to buy a v773 for about £440. However, the shop I dropped by today also offered me an A820 for about £525, and a Denon 2313 for £490. I have good impression with all of those amps, so I have been hesitating to make the final decision for long time.

Considering the prices, which one suits me best?

My speakers are B&W MT-50 (5 M1 satellites + ASW608 sub). I am of 50% movies, 25% TV and 25% for games.

Thank you in advance for any of your suggestions.

P.S.
Will the combo of Yamaha + MT-50 sound too bright?
 

Riskey

Standard Member
You can do the same by allowing the source to do the decoding prior to streaming the HD audio to the receiver as LPCM. Most people don't actually apply DSP to HD audio in any case. Is there a specific DSP programme you want to use in conjunction with HD formats?

I think it would be "cinema", maybe? Since I am a movie enthusiast :)
But from your reply it seems you hinted that v673 couldn't do that. Ture?

Anyway it doesn't affect that much.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
The audio associated with the RXA820 is marginally better than that associated with the RXV773. It would be more of an improvement over the RXV673 than the RXV773. This is mainly due to better construction and anti resonance measures utilised onboard the RXA820. The price you've been offered the RXA820 for is a good offer and about £50 below what you'd currently get one for online. The AVR2313 is more comparable to the RXV773, although you would get Audyssey's MultEQ XT room correction with a DEnon receiver, the other benefits would again be more to do with additional ports than vast improvements in power or audio.

Yamaha perform well with clinical speakers and are quite warm in nature.
 

Riskey

Standard Member
The audio associated with the RXA820 is marginally better than that associated with the RXV773. It would be more of an improvement over the RXV673 than the RXV773. This is mainly due to better construction and anti resonance measures utilised onboard the RXA820. The price you've been offered the RXA820 for is a good offer and about £50 below what you'd currently get one for online. The AVR2313 is more comparable to the RXV773, although you would get Audyssey's MultEQ XT room correction with a DEnon receiver, the other benefits would again be more to do with additional ports than vast improvements in power or audio.

Yamaha perform well with clinical speakers and are quite warm in nature.

Thanks again for the reply.
Actually from the easthetic view I dislike the Denon a little for its realatively worse build and materials used on front panel. So now the competition becomes between 2 Yammys.

I am quite convinced that A820 delivers a better sound quality. But do you think it will be a little bit waste on A820 since my speaker package are just some small satellites?
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Thanks again for the reply.
Actually from the easthetic view I dislike the Denon a little for its realatively worse build and materials used on front panel. So now the competition becomes between 2 Yammys.

I am quite convinced that A820 delivers a better sound quality. But do you think it will be a little bit waste on A820 since my speaker package are just some small satellites?

The A820 would be better paired with more capable speakers. As to whether it is worth paying extra is a matter for you to determine :)
 

Riskey

Standard Member
The A820 would be better paired with more capable speakers. As to whether it is worth paying extra is a matter for you to determine :)

Just another concern... Does v773/a820 have any lags (both audio and video) when playing games like PS3? I found that there are quite a few preset modes dedicated for gaming on Denons, but not on v773/a820. Wondering whether Yamaha behave worse in gaming.

Also, somebody claimed that Yamaha wouldn't light up an indication on its front panal when it is decoding HD audios like DTS HD... That sounds a little bizzare. Is that true? Thanks.
 

bonsai

Established Member
You would be totaly happy with the yammy mate,as for display,well if the avr is decoding a master audio track it will say so on the front panel,unless in pure direct mode(which turns all unessesary processing off)
I have never had any issues with sound via my ps3.The presets you refere to are probably dsp settings,and tbh you will just use which you prefere...my avr has a ''role play''setting'':rolleyes:

Imho the 810 was not for me,and my speakers(at the time kef3005se),i wanted the little bit extra in wattage that the 1010 offered.(820+1020 in todays money)
 
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Riskey

Standard Member
You would be totaly happy with the yammy mate,as for display,well if the avr is decoding a master audio track it will say so on the front panel,unless in pure direct mode(which turns all unessesary processing off)
I have never had any issues with sound via my ps3.The presets you refere to are probably dsp settings,and tbh you will just use which you prefere...my avr has a ''role play''setting'':rolleyes:

Imho the 810 was not for me,and my speakers(at the time kef3005se),i wanted the little bit extra in wattage that the 1010 offered.(820+1020 in todays money)

Sounds good. So you mean if your Yammy is decoding a HD soundtrack, it will tell you about that as well as whether the track is Dolby True HD or DTS Master Audio?

So the audio lag is not a problem. How about the video lag on your 1010?
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Sounds good. So you mean if your Yammy is decoding a HD soundtrack, it will tell you about that as well as whether the track is Dolby True HD or DTS Master Audio?

So the audio lag is not a problem. How about the video lag on your 1010?

DTS-HD or TrueHD are audio formats, zipped or compressed formats used to convey the raw audio data. You can either decode them at source and stream them as the resulting multichannel PCM to the AV receiver or you can stream them undecoded to the AV receiver for it to decode (bitstream). If not sending the raw format and letting the source do the decoding then the display will show the incoming audio as PCM. If you are bitstreaming raw formats to the receiver for it to decode then the receiver's display will show the incoming format type on its display.

It will not be the receiver causing lag. If you are experiencing instances where by you get audio before the associated video then it is the video that is being delayed. Video lag is almost always due to the video processing excecuted by the display. Turn off any additional video processing or enhanced video features apparent on your TV and you should no longer have the delay associated with such features.

Audio is processed so quickly that no noticeable delay is created by AV receivers.
 
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bonsai

Established Member
Sounds good. So you mean if your Yammy is decoding a HD soundtrack, it will tell you about that as well as whether the track is Dolby True HD or DTS Master Audio?

So the audio lag is not a problem. How about the video lag on your 1010?
What he said:lesson:
 

Riskey

Standard Member
DTS-HD or TrueHD are audio formats, zipped or compressed formats used to convey the raw audio data. You can either decode them at source and stream them as the resulting multichannel PCM to the AV receiver or you can stream them undecoded to the AV receiver for it to decode (bitstream). If not sending the raw format and letting the source do the decoding then the display will show the incoming audio as PCM. If you are bitstreaming raw formats to the receiver for it to decode then the receiver's display will show the incoming format type on its display.

It will not be the receiver causing lag. If you are experiencing instances where by you get audio before the associated video then it is the video that is being delayed. Video lag is almost always due to the video processing excecuted by the display. Turn off any additional video processing or enhanced video features apparent on your TV and you should no longer have the delay associated with such features.

Audio is processed so quickly that no noticeable delay is created by AV receivers.

Very insightful, thanks a lot. I will buy a V773 in a few days.
 

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