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Yammies aren't built so well these days...

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Yammies aren't built so well these days...

Post by MWmetalhead » Sun Mar 10, 2024 9:20 pm

My Yamaha RX-V683 home theater receiver - purchased new in November 2018 - died on me late this afternoon.

The power cycling started doing weird things about a month ago. (Yes, the unit is plugged into a properly functioning surge protector strip, for those curious.)

If I turned on the radio tuner, the unit would automatically switch sources after 1 or 2 minutes. I'd then have to hit a button on the remote or use my smartphone app to switch back to the radio tuner. No big deal.

Then, a few days ago, when I'd power on the unit, it would turn itself off after a couple seconds, and then turn itself on again. Everything else continued to function fine.

Well, this afternoon, the unit died while in use. It just turned itself off randomly. I could not get it to turn back on. I unplugged the unit for fifteen minutes, plugged it back in, and then tried powering it back on. Nothing. I then followed the hard reboot steps presented on YouTube and elsewhere (entails depressing two particular buttons at the same time on the front panel of the unit for several seconds and then pressing the power button). The power light blinked while I depressed the two buttons, but then when I pressed "power" to turn on the unit, I heard a loud "pop" from inside the unit. I suspect a capacitor or two is shot at best, and the motherboard is shot at worst.

The good news is I paid only $299 for what was originally a $599 receiver (it was the "year ago" model when I bought it at Black Friday pricing in late 2018). The bad news is I was planning to own the damn thing for another decade!!! Yamaha's MusicCast app has gotten really, really good of late.

I am not going to take any chance on another Yamaha unit, and believe it or not, I've never owned a Denon! So, I'm going to give Denon a whirl.

Costco had the highly regarded Denon AVR S760H in warehouse for $349 in February ($100 off regular price), but I know their new ad cycle started March 5, and on the website, that unit is currently being sold for its usual $449 price.

I found that exact same unit in new condition on Walmart.com for $349.99 with free shipping!

Fearful that the Walmart.com reseller might raise its price Monday and fearful that the in-club price at Costco is the same as Costco.com (at $449), I pulled the plug and ordered the unit from Walmart.com. The reseller at Walmart.com normally sells the unit for $483.99, and Amazon as we speak currently sells the unit for $479.99 in new condition and $369.99 in refurbished condition. Even though this unit came out in 2021, Denon still sells it on its own website for the astronomically high price of $599!

The bottom line of all my blathering:
- BE AWARE of late model Yamaha home theater receivers! (My home theater in a box model from ~2008 is still going strong; I gave that one to my dad for free in 2018 when I bought the RX-V683.)
- Anyone out there have any experience with the Denon AVR S760H or a similar late model Denon receiver?

I did consider some similarly priced Onkyo units, but with Onkyo now being owned by Klipsch's parent (VOXX International Corpoation), I was concerned that Onkyo's home theater receivers may be overly bright sounding. The various home theather / audio geek web sites also seem to prefer Denon in the price point that I'm shopping. Onkyo seems to be recommended for those looking for a sound system to use with gaming.

I didn't give Sony any serious thought (I hate how tiny the display readout is on their units, and their audio product line does not seem to be highly regarded by audiophiles), and Marantz seems out of my price range.

I assume the room audio calibration software on the Denon (named Audyssey) will be every bit as useless as the Yamaha that just crapped out on me.

I do not use multi-zone audio output features nor do I process any video signal through the receiver, so those features don't matter to me.

Edit: I just discovered there is a shop on 14 Mile Rd in Royal Oak that repairs Yamaha AV receivers. I am going to give them a call early this week. If they can repair my RX-V683 successfully (and at a reasonable price), I can always return the Denon that I ordered today!


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Re: Yammies aren't built so well these days...

Post by audiophile » Mon Mar 11, 2024 4:38 am

Yammies?
Ask not what your country can do FOR you; ask what they are about to do TO YOU!!

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Re: Yammies aren't built so well these days...

Post by MWmetalhead » Mon Mar 11, 2024 7:46 am

Yammie = nickname for a Yamaha product. It is used in reference to their motorcycles moreso than their audio equipment.
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Re: Yammies aren't built so well these days...

Post by billmich88888 » Tue Mar 12, 2024 2:22 pm

mine is in the shop too.
The authorized place is John R between 10 and 11 mile road

Yamaha customer service over the phone phone is the absolute BEST i've ever encountered. I ask a lot of technical nerd questions, and they will research and call me back on little known features.

I am in camp yamaha, and my last unit (a 3010) was bought in 2012, and in 21015 a board went bad and I paid like $150 to get it fixed. Hey sometimes this just happens -

My unit is the A6A, which retails for ~2K, and I bought it from a place that had it open box and full warranty, and this was December, (and for only $1,200) so I saved a lot of $$, this repair is covered, they extended my warranty from 3 years to 5 years

they go above and beyond in customer service
Last edited by billmich88888 on Tue Mar 12, 2024 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Yammies aren't built so well these days...

Post by billmich88888 » Tue Mar 12, 2024 2:23 pm

Yammys and Sammys

Yamahas and Samsungs

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Re: Yammies aren't built so well these days...

Post by MWmetalhead » Wed Mar 13, 2024 7:37 pm

My new Denon arrived late this morning.

The on screen interface when viewed on a TV screen is cryptic compared to my Yamaha.

The tuning buttons on the receiver and remote essentially work as "seek" buttons in stereo mode and only work as true tuning buttons if the unit is in "manual" (mono) mode.

The HEOS smartphone app is slick but lacks ability to change sound settings (other than 2-ch versus multi-channel stereo and a handful of pre-programmed sound fields; there are no DTS:Neo 6 options - which frustrates me) or to control the FM or AM tuner on the unit. A separate Denon remote control app needs to be downloaded for those functions. In contrast, the Yamaha MusicCast app handled all of the above functions in one app.

Parametric EQ adjustments on the Denon requires download of *yet another* smartphone app, and that one costs $19.99 to download (so lame). In contrast, on my Yamaha, parametric EQ can be adjusted (for free) using a connected TV.

I will say the Audyssey room calibration software actually worked surprisingly well. FM audio sounds richer, more natural and more pleasing than the Yamaha. AM audio sounds slightly better than the Yamaha but is still brick walked at maybe 5 kHz bandwidth. Audio piped in from my TV sounds less processed and not as punchy on bass as the Yamaha.

AM reception is comparable to the Yamaha; FM reception is noticeably poorer. The Windsor stations and WUOM all come in noticeably weaker on the Denon. WUOM is scratchy on the Denon in the same antenna position that produced nearly clear stereo audio on the Yamaha. The same statement also applies to CIDR.

All-in-all, the Denon unit is a bit of a letdown. I prefer my Yamaha. We'll see how much it costs to fix it. I only paid $299 for the Yamaha brand new (November 2018). If it is pricey to repair, I'll just say "screw it."
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Re: Yammies aren't built so well these days...

Post by MWmetalhead » Thu Mar 14, 2024 9:42 am

One last note:
The Audyssey room calibrator set the crossover frequency of my front left and right speakers to 40Hz.

No wonder my subwoofer was barely emitting a thing! My fronts are only bookshelf speakers, not humongous floor speakers.

I manually changed the crossover frequency to 80Hz. Sounds much better now!
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Re: Yammies aren't built so well these days...

Post by billmich88888 » Thu Mar 14, 2024 4:31 pm

find a newer yamaha used

about a year ago i found an A880 for like $300, and it was miles ahead of my 3010, even though further down the product line of its day

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Re: Yammies aren't built so well these days...

Post by MWmetalhead » Fri Mar 15, 2024 7:16 am

Yeah, I'm gonna have to assess my options.

While the Denon-AVR S760H sounds damn good when listening to music, the audio output sounds lispy and underpowered when watching TV content.

I've tried everything under the sun to improve the punchiness and remove the lisping from the TV audio, and while some settings sound much better than others, nothing comes close to the Yamaha.

I was hoping changing the impedance setting from 8 ohms to 6 ohms would resolve the underpower issue, but it did not. Of note, when dynamic EQ is turned off, the audio output is especially underpowered, regardless of source.

So, I will likely be returning the Denon.

The prognosis as to my Yamaha won't be known until the middle of this coming week. If it is repairable at a reasonable price, that would be the best outcome.

Edit - I thought I had tried *everything* to fix the Denon's sound field when playing TV audio. Not quite! In the surround parameter submenu, there is an option to revert to "Default". I invoked that setting, and the audio output when using TV as the source now sounds better! I do have to turn the volume knob ridiculously high (about 5/8ths of the way up) for acceptable loudness, but it at least sounds decent now.

Edit #2 - finally figured out how to increase input source audio. For some reason, I could only access that option upon displaying the AVR's setup menu in my TV screen. When running thru the AVR's setup menu solely on the AVR's front display, that option failed to appear. I boosted input source audio by +6dB. It now sounds close to my Yamaha. :)
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Re: Yammies aren't built so well these days...

Post by MWmetalhead » Fri Mar 15, 2024 1:30 pm

I do have to say - I'm beginning to dig the HEOS app.

I love how SXM and TuneIn are integrated seamlessly. Very easy to save favorite channels.

Looks like Amazon Music has seamless integration, too, as do several other music apps.

I do wish it gave me the option of accessing the AM and FM tuners, though.

I went to Best Buy for shit and giggles on my break. Man oh man, the cabinet build quality of the new budget grade Yamaha AVRs (RX-V4A and RX-V6A) is indescribably terrible! Plastic fantastic, and flimsy plastic at that. The cabinet feels like it could melt. The oversized volume knob on the front center of the unit also feels super low quality.

The old school RX-V385 is still in production, but that unit unfortunately lacks MusicCast app compatibility.

I also saw an Onkyo on the shelf priced at around $500. The speaker connections on the back were a joke; most were just button clips as opposed to binding posts with screw knobs. The cabinet build and front fascia of that unit were more durable than the Yamaha at least.
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Re: Yammies aren't built so well these days...

Post by Marcus » Fri Mar 15, 2024 1:50 pm

I find Marantz to be excellent, although I have a two channel Integrated Amp, and not a surround sound system. How is Pioneer these days?

Here is a Marantz Surround receiver

https://www.bestbuy.ca/en-ca/product/ma ... r/13504435

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Re: Yammies aren't built so well these days...

Post by MWmetalhead » Fri Mar 15, 2024 3:08 pm

I now see VOXX International or a JV between VOXX and Sharp Electronics now owns Denon, Marantz, Pioneer and Onkyo.

The prior owner of Pioneer and Onkyo filed bankruptcy in 2022. The VOXX / Sharp JV ultimately purchased those two companies out of bankruptcy.

Pioneer AVRs seemed to be rather scarce in the U.S. market for a while but now seem rather widely available again; I presume their new ownership is a big reason for that. User reviews of recent Pioneer AVRs are more scarce than Denon, Yamaha and even Onkyo. The home theater crowd doesn't seem to take Sony seriously for multi-channel amp systems these days. (A couple YouTube AVR reviewers love the Sony product line that was released in 2023, however. The STR-AN1000 from Sony, for example, is considered a very good AVR for its price point.)

I will say judging from retailer web site photos, the exterior design of the Pioneer AVRs currently on the market is very similar to the Denon AVRs currently on the market, right down to the LED digital display.

Marantz seems to be the more premium brand of the four and indeed seems to have an excellent reputation.

The market positioning between Onkyo, Denon and Pioneer is very muddled as they all offer 5.x, 7.x, and I believe 9.x channel receivers covering a wide range of price points.

Of course, when the name "Pioneer" is mentioned, their longtime chief audio engineering guru, Andrew Jones, comes to mind. He was considered an innovator in very high end speaker design. He left Pioneer years ago and is now VP of Engineering for Elac.

Coincidentally, my front left and right speakers are from Elac. Those are Uni-Fi 2.0s. Significantly better audio imaging on those than the Debut Series 2.0 B6.2s that I previously owned.

Some interesting perspective as to the various AVR brands from someone who was an Onkyo executive several decades ago:

https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-best- ... or-Pioneer

He is no fan of Denon products and is definitely no fan of Onkyo products. He says mostly positive things about Yamaha, but if he saw the shitty materials used to make their newest entry level receivers, perhaps he might feel differently! (I think the 485 and 685 were still current generation receivers when he posted his thoughts on Quora.)
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Re: Yammies aren't built so well these days...

Post by billmich88888 » Mon Mar 18, 2024 9:40 am

never ever change the impedance away from 8 ohms, the 6 ohm setting is simply one of those energy saver type of settings that will rob your unit of power

a quick google search will reveal it does no good, only harm

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Re: Yammies aren't built so well these days...

Post by MWmetalhead » Mon Mar 18, 2024 7:52 pm

Nominal impedance of my left and right front speakers is 6 ohms.

Running lower impedance speakers with a higher impedance amp is bad, because the amp is unable to keep up with the speakers' power demand.

For example, using an amp set to 8 ohms with high-end speakers designed for 4 ohms can cause major issues.

I should have no issue running my amp at 6 ohms so long as I don't crank the volume super high.
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Re: Yammies aren't built so well these days...

Post by TC Talks » Mon Mar 18, 2024 8:19 pm

I got that Denon unit for a friend. HELOS is easy enough for her to run two zones with different sources and even run playlists. She's not as much a tech geek as you are, but I had fun using the speaker optimization tool.

12 months in and no issues. I also got a 2021 on a closeout. Rough year for Denon I guess.
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