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New Yamaha Amps - RX-V1900, RX-V3900 and DSP-Z7

evenless

Novice Member
I think it's great that Yamaha has launched the DSP-Z7 next to the DSP-Z11. I simply find the DSP-Z11 too expensive and where the heck will I place 11 speakers?

You can see the DSP-Z7 as a stripped Z11, with now "only" 7 channels remaining. Many people wonder what these differences are between the RX-V3900 and the DSP-Z7, because the great similarities, even is size and weight:

Here's an interesting link that will give you some more details on the differences between the RX-V3900 and the DSP-Z7.

YouTube - Yamaha Electronics and EMP Speakers Interview at Audioholics 2008
 

bjd

Well-known Member
My lowly 1900 has just arrived :thumbsup:
Can't wait to get this set up :D
 

Buckster

Well-known Member
"construction handed down from the Z11" ?

which part ?

if was a cut down Z11 - ie a 7 channel version of the Z11 - I'd expect as a minimum for it to have the same pre-amp stage - so LM4562 OP-amps, Burr-Brown 1796 DACs, and in the power amp stage apportionately cut down torrodial and capacitor reservoir etc ?
 

evenless

Novice Member
"construction handed down from the Z11" ?

which part ?

if was a cut down Z11 - ie a 7 channel version of the Z11 - I'd expect as a minimum for it to have the same pre-amp stage - so LM4562 OP-amps, Burr-Brown 1796 DACs, and in the power amp stage apportionately cut down torrodial and capacitor reservoir etc ?
:confused: The tech-talk goes a bit over my head. (sorry) Let me say it in simpler words: "I just hope it will sound good and that I won't be dissapointed that I will trade it in for my 8 year old DSP-A1" ;)
 

Thekop

Novice Member
I for one will look forward to hearing your feedback. Can you get the low down on how well the Yamaha will drive low impedence speakers.

Thanks
I've ordered the Z7 already ... The Pioneer LX81 disappointed me badly. Nice look and build but not enough body and presence in my opinion .. The Yammy was astonishing .. As an audiophile at heart and using my Quad as a musical reference I really think this is Yamaha's best AV triumph in years .... You get one hell of an amp for the money ... HD Audio ! :rotfl: :eek: I'm sold hook, line and sinker .. :smashin:

Book a demo fast ! :)
 

Buckster

Well-known Member
if people look on some other forums - a link has been posted for the Z7 service manual (legit download from Yamaha) - answers all the questions anyone may have regarding DACs used etc

:thumbsup:
 

evenless

Novice Member
My Z7 has just arrived and Ill be bringing it home later today to install where my 3800 was previously. Will offer initial impressions and photos over the next few days.
That's quite a quick change no? The 3800 shouldn't be even 1 year old then? :eek: On the other hand you still might get a pretty descent price for it now...

I was about to trade in my DSP-A1 for the RX-V3800, but was afraid it would be too much of a step backwards, especially on "plain stereo". Now I have the Z7 in mind, since it's quite more affordable than the Z11 and a 7 channel amp is more than sufficient for me. Therefore I am very very curious what is your opinion on the Z7 compared to the 3800. Can't wait to read about your first opinions on the forum! :clap:
 

quenthal

Standard Member
My Z7 has just arrived and Ill be bringing it home later today to install where my 3800 was previously. Will offer initial impressions and photos over the next few days.
Similar situation here soon, I'm too very curious about your impressions of Z7 compared to 3800.
 

RoughRider

Novice Member
+1 :rolleyes:
 

evenless

Novice Member
Just wondering whether the Z7 will be more of a "downgraded" Z11 rather than an "upgraded" 3900. :confused: According the price I would think the latter...
 

hifix

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Obviously, you can't make something for £2k that does what something else does for £5k - there's going to be compromises. The Z7 is going to be closer to a 3900 than it is to a Z11, that's going to be fairly obvious, but it does use some construction techniques designed for the Z11 (stable chassis, double box contruction, cross shaped frame). There are many benefits to a Z11, some will be of use to some, but not to others, but this will be the same with all amps. I've mentioned the basic differences before, and before anybody says the usual 'well that's no use to me', things like downscaling anywhere down to 480p (to take one example) will be of use to those who want to run a different resolution through to second Zone 2 which includes video.

One question - are you using ALL the features/inputs of your AV amp?

All AV amps have features that everyone won't use, but there are other reasons why we all choose better models for our precious AV systems. It's always best to have an amp with excessive features, as buying one that's not up to the job is just going to need to be replaced quicker than you'd really like.
 

Replicant

Active Member
Hi Dav1dF,
Have you had much chance to play with the Z7 yet, features aside how do you think it compares sound wise to the old A1? I'm torn between keeping my A1 and going for a better class of Blu-Ray player with internal decoding and good analogue outs or saving the money on the player and going the HDMi route and upgrading the amp. About the only feature that appeals to me that the Z7 has over the A1 is the auto-calibration. I'm not bothered about networking it or connecting my ipod. I just want something that sounds great with my CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays. My room/layout is pretty symmetrical so I'll probably stick with my 5.1 speaker system, I'm just hoping that HD audio has the same range/kick that I seem to miss from my Laserdisc days. Thanks in advance.
 

HeweyBoy101

Active Member
Hi Dav1dF,
Have you had much chance to play with the Z7 yet, features aside how do you think it compares sound wise to the old A1? I'm torn between keeping my A1 and going for a better class of Blu-Ray player with internal decoding and good analogue outs or saving the money on the player and going the HDMi route and upgrading the amp. About the only feature that appeals to me that the Z7 has over the A1 is the auto-calibration. I'm not bothered about networking it or connecting my ipod. I just want something that sounds great with my CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays. My room/layout is pretty symmetrical so I'll probably stick with my 5.1 speaker system, I'm just hoping that HD audio has the same range/kick that I seem to miss from my Laserdisc days. Thanks in advance.
Hi Dav1df,

I had the A1 for several years - brilliant amp. I changed it for an Onkyo SR-805 back in February. I got rid of the Onkyo after just 3 weeks - in pure sound quality terms it was not even in the same league as my A1 (notwithstanding HDMI audio!). Unfortunately, I had sold the A1, so settled for an Arcam AVR300. The Arcam is just as good as the A1 for movies, although not quite as much slam (slightly less power). Much better on music though, which suits me.

Getting to the point ... I too had Laserdisc, and agree that the sheer dynamics on 5.1 Laserdisc were never really achieved on DVD. However, if you want to keep your A1, and sample again that range and kick, I can recommend the Samsung BD1500 Blu-ray. This little player takes HD audio and re-encodes it to maximum bitrate DTS, output via optical. Sounds fantastic, and reminds me of the Laserdisc performance from the 1990's. If a Blu-ray disc has a 5.1 PCM track, or a Dolby True HD track, the Samsung will re-encode. Full bitrate DTS at 1500mbps is a huge upgrade over standard DVD audio, and to my mind, makes the move to lossless much less of an urgent issue. The Samsung was the best £160 I spent all year, and is a reasonable DVD upscaler into the bargain. Definitely a worthwhile (and affordable) stop gap solution, while we wait for the DSP Z7 or Arcam AVR600 etc. to become more affordable.

Regards,

Mark
 

evenless

Novice Member
Hi Dav1df,
I guess you ment: "Hi Replicant"? :oops:

A big thank you from my side too though! :thumbsup:

It would be a similar "temporary" solution for me too, since I also have the DSP-A1. With the Z7 now already at an affordable pricelevel (hey, only about half the price of the Z11!) I must admit I'm tempted to go for the Z7 already. I still run the DSP-A1 with the (also 8 year old) DVD-S795. I had high hopes for the BD-S2900, but I think it's quite a failure. Already outdated (no BD-live, no ethernet connectivity for firmware upgrades) I think I will wait for Yamaha to release its next BD-player. Probably that will be a more complete player for a better price. :p

Since I really like Yamaha I don't think I will opt for the Samsung BD-player (or any other brand for that sake) and wait for the next Yamaha model on the market. I also kinda miss the SACD and DVD-A features on the BD-S2900, making it a nice "movie player", but not necessarily a nice audio-player. I think I will still go for the DVD-S2700 which has it all for an affordable price! Yep, no BD then, but at least my "old DVD's" will be upscaled...

Anyone who's got better suggestions? Thanks in advance!

Evenless
 
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hifix

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Hi Dav1dF,
Have you had much chance to play with the Z7 yet, features aside how do you think it compares sound wise to the old A1?
I wish I had the time! It's been extremely busy here, so much so that we're all on 6 day weeks now! I wanted to sit down and try a few different speakers out with it, and see how far it can be pushed. I wanted to do this before everybody else got their dem model, as we've had ours for about 3 weeks now.

I'm torn between keeping my A1 and going for a better class of Blu-Ray player with internal decoding and good analogue outs or saving the money on the player and going the HDMi route and upgrading the amp. About the only feature that appeals to me that the Z7 has over the A1 is the auto-calibration. I'm not bothered about networking it or connecting my ipod. I just want something that sounds great with my CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays.
Personally, I like to decode in the amp rather than the player. As long as it's a decent amp, it should have as good a decoding as you can get. This leaves the user to buy any BD player they like, and choose it on picture quality, which is really the point of the player in the first place.

The A1 was a fantastic amp in it's day, and will still hold it's own, but the Z7 will have more finesse than the A1, and coupled with the auto set up and room EQ, you will find it to be a more pleasureable experience. Some speaker packages sound pretty average in standard mode, but let the amp EQ them and they take on a new lease of life.

Previously, the 3800/3900 has improved on the likes of the A1/AX1 etc in some areas, but now that the Z7 has come along, this is the one to go for for those people who've been waiting for a worthy successor to their cherished battleship :)

I'm just hoping that HD audio has the same range/kick that I seem to miss from my Laserdisc days. Thanks in advance.
I too had Laserdisc, and agree that the sheer dynamics on 5.1 Laserdisc were never really achieved on DVD.
I know what both of you mean. I remember watching Alien Resurrection, and being blown away by the depth and impact of the bass that was on offer (American, DTS LD). BD has this, and more. The sheer scale and weight that can be had from BD is huge. Unless it's just my speaker system helping out :)

This little player takes HD audio and re-encodes it to maximum bitrate DTS, output via optical. Sounds fantastic, and reminds me of the Laserdisc performance from the 1990's. If a Blu-ray disc has a 5.1 PCM track, or a Dolby True HD track, the Samsung will re-encode. Full bitrate DTS at 1500mbps is a huge upgrade over standard DVD audio, and to my mind, makes the move to lossless much less of an urgent issue.
Hi Mark

I'm not sure why the Samsung would 're-encode' True HD and and PCM to FBR DTS. I can see one reason, but I can't see that reason being of much benefit to any more than a handful of people. Anyway, I agree, audio tracks of around 1500/2000mbps are a good step up from bog standard DTS and DD, but they are still an even bigger step away from True HD and DTS-MA. Trust me, anyone with decent equipment should be staggered by the quality of audio on offer from these formats, particularly DTS MA.
 

Buckster

Well-known Member
David

re-encoding to DTS is useful for those that don't have capability of sound via HDMI ... :)

some internet sources (will track down) - show DTS @ 1.5MBs as good as lossless

as I said before I compared the Yamaha 3800 (I owned one for a few weeks) and my Arcam AVR350 - Dolby TruHD vs D.Digital on the Arcam - same Bluray the Arcam sounded a LOT better :eek:
 

hifix

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
some internet sources (will track down) - show DTS @ 1.5MBs as good as lossless
Maybe when comparing the best DTS to the worst HD audio possibly, but when True HD and DTS MA is done properly, they're a fair bit better than what used to be full bit rate DTS :devil:
 

Buckster

Well-known Member
its not just me - check out these tests that were done

Signal to Noise - Dolby TrueHD & DTS-HD MA vs. Uncompressed PCM | Home Entertainment

states that the difference between D.Digital 640kbps and the new HD formats was so tiny - that even "trainined" professionals would have difficulty telling the difference ! :)

ps when I compared the 3800 to the Arcam I was using the same TruHD stream - IE the Arcam was disadvantaged in the fact that the PS3 was recoding on the fly the TruHD to D.Digital - and it still sounded better

Mark.

Maybe when comparing the best DTS to the worst HD audio possibly, but when True HD and DTS MA is done properly, they're a fair bit better than what used to be full bit rate DTS :devil:
 

bjd

Well-known Member
Hi,
a bit of advice please. have my 1900 hooked up to an XE1 and a PS3 for hi def duties. Since the PS3 passes decoded PCM, what should the 1900 be showing? I tried a Blu Ray last night and it was displaying a Movie / Drama DSP. What should I set the 1900 to to reproduce Hi Def audio from a PS3?

Cheers

Brian
 

hifix

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
The problem is that you can't really tell which one sounds better as it's not a direct comparison. If you'd have compared both audio formats through the same amp then it would've been more like for like.

The differences that people hear will vary depending on the equipment they're using. Use an entry level lifestyle package through an entry level amp and you're not going to hear the same differences when compared to a high quality AV amp and a dedicated package like the M&K's.

Having watched many movies myself with varying audio formats, the True HD vs DTS MA is a little like the old DD vs DTS we had with DVD, but the results are a lot closer. Generally, DTS MA still usually wins out though. I can usually tell when the soundtrack isn't a HD one, maybe because it comes across easily on my system. Having said that, I've heard 5.1 packages for less than £1k almost sound like a diffrent speaker package with HD.

One area to tell this is in the bass/sub bass. Greater potency and depth can be heard from HD, with less boom and a more even response.

From the link you've provided, I'd say they need to try some movie soundtracks rather than a music disc. Music on CD's is PCM, so the jump to HD is far less than comparing movies with basic 448kbps.
 

bjd

Well-known Member
Hi,
a bit of advice please. have my 1900 hooked up to an XE1 and a PS3 for hi def duties. Since the PS3 passes decoded PCM, what should the 1900 be showing? I tried a Blu Ray last night and it was displaying a Movie / Drama DSP. What should I set the 1900 to to reproduce Hi Def audio from a PS3?

Cheers

Brian
Anyone??
 

Markie Boy

Active Member
ps when I compared the 3800 to the Arcam I was using the same TruHD stream - IE the Arcam was disadvantaged in the fact that the PS3 was recoding on the fly the TruHD to D.Digital - and it still sounded better

Mark.
This comparison youre making seems to be more about the sonic differences of the amps than the sonic "differences" of the source audio. We all know the "high current amplification" brands like Arcam, Cambridge, NAD, Rotel, HK etc will always have a sonic "edge" over the "mass market" brands like Yamaha, Denon et al. Despite owning Yamaha AV gear for many years now Im the first to admit that an NAD for example (still eyeing up the T785) has the potential to sound superior, particularly in stereo duties. Fortunately for me I keep my HT and Hi-Fi completely separate, so the sonic differences are much smaller for me, and the Yamaha outshines the NAD (as an example) becuase it ticks the right boxes in terms of features and spec.
Ive been a retailer for many years and despite preferring to be selling clients my "alternate" brands such as NAD, Cambridge and Rotel, the fact of the matter is that the bulk of my clients have a list of features they claim they cant live without (whether they understand them fully or not), and the "niche" brands dont usually fill the spot. Having said all that, a model like a Yammy 3800 or Z7 is certainly not a bad compromise in my opinion! Of course we do well with our niche brands as usually those who buy know EXACTLY what theyre getting, and what they want!

So can we get this thread back on topic about discussion of these Yamaha receivers now???:)
 

Markie Boy

Active Member
Hi,
a bit of advice please. have my 1900 hooked up to an XE1 and a PS3 for hi def duties. Since the PS3 passes decoded PCM, what should the 1900 be showing? I tried a Blu Ray last night and it was displaying a Movie / Drama DSP. What should I set the 1900 to to reproduce Hi Def audio from a PS3?

Cheers

Brian

Hi Brian,
Do you have your PS3's audio output to PCM or LPCM? If not make sure you change it to that. Ideally when the PS3 is indeed outputting PCM the receiver should also be saying PCM on its display. The Movie/Drama things is simply one of Yamaha's Cinema DSP processing modes. Quite frankly switch it off by selecting "Straight Mode".

Let us know how you go.
 

bjd

Well-known Member
Hi Brian,
Do you have your PS3's audio output to PCM or LPCM? If not make sure you change it to that. Ideally when the PS3 is indeed outputting PCM the receiver should also be saying PCM on its display. The Movie/Drama things is simply one of Yamaha's Cinema DSP processing modes. Quite frankly switch it off by selecting "Straight Mode".

Let us know how you go.
Hi, yes the PS3 is outputting LPCM via HDMI to the amp. I did notice the "straight" mode in the manual, but wasn't entirely sure that it was the option I needed.

Thanks

Brian
 

evenless

Novice Member
So can we get this thread back on topic about discussion of these Yamaha receivers now???:)
Indeed! I'm very curious about the differeces between the 3900 and the Z7 in particular! :thumbsup:
 

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