Purchasing Advice Needed Yamaha Aventage Line or outlaw 976

jbasch99

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So I recently purchased a 4K TV and with it comes time to update my old Outlaw 990 Processor. Still works, just time for an upgrade. I have a 7 channel 200 W amp, so I really don't need power. Budget is around $1,000 Could go $1,200 but no more. I have sort of settled on either going with the Outlaw 976 or a Yamaha Aventage line (unless others have a strong recommendation otherwise).

I will be paring it with:
  • a new Samsung QLED 75" TV
  • 5.1 Martin Logan Speakers.
  • HSU sub
  • Sony BX-800 4K DVD player or my Oppo Blu Ray (not 4K)
  • Sony PS4-Pro
This is really mostly about sound as don't plan to use switching at this time. But do need updated processing power.

Thoughts / Reccomendations?
 

JStewart

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You might consider nad T758 v3. A few of us on this forum are using it as a processor only. Has Dirac live which is much better than YPAO. If you search this forum there’s a recent review by Wayne Meyers. It’s in your price range.
 

Todd Anderson

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Hey @jbasch99, we actually have a review of the Outlaw 976 that's super close to publication. Perhaps @Matthew J Poes would like to comment on that.

Here's my take: the Yamaha makes a great choice if you're looking for it to drive the system, as Aventage gear is known for its ability to deliver on the power side. YPAO is a little weak for bass management, but you might not need it. Really depends on your room and how you have your sub deployed.

It sounds like you're basically looking for a processor... and you've got a fairly healthy budget at $1,200 that can fetch you a good AVR. I echo @JStewart's sentiment. That T758 is a solid buy that's right in the top-end of your wheel house... it gives you Dirac room correction. I'd also strongly consider the Marantz SR7012, which can be had for $1,199 on amazon (link). That's a $1,000 savings for a piece of gear that's practically identical to the current SR7013 model. That gives you access to MultEQ XT32 correction and the Audyssey app (which can be purchased for about $20)... but also gives you access to all kinds of awesome streaming options through Marantz's HEOS app. The streaming experience is A+ and HEOS delivers (additionally, it can be used to create whole home audio, if desired). You also gain fairly unique access to Auro's excellent Auro-2D upmixing solution, which adds a hint of surround to stereo music without destroying a system's front soundstage. I reviewed the SR7012 earlier this year (here) and have used the SR7012 for the better part of 8 months. Great gear.
 

jbasch99

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Hey @jbasch99, we actually have a review of the Outlaw 976 that's super close to publication. Perhaps @Matthew J Poes would like to comment on that.

Here's my take: the Yamaha makes a great choice if you're looking for it to drive the system, as Aventage gear is known for its ability to deliver on the power side. YPAO is a little weak for bass management, but you might not need it. Really depends on your room and how you have your sub deployed.

It sounds like you're basically looking for a processor... and you've got a fairly healthy budget at $1,200 that can fetch you a good AVR. I echo @JStewart's sentiment. That T758 is a solid buy that's right in the top-end of your wheel house... it gives you Dirac room correction. I'd also strongly consider the Marantz SR7012, which can be had for $1,199 on amazon (link). That's a $1,000 savings for a piece of gear that's practically identical to the current SR7013 model. That gives you access to MultEQ XT32 correction and the Audyssey app (which can be purchased for about $20)... but also gives you access to all kinds of awesome streaming options through Marantz's HEOS app. The streaming experience is A+ and HEOS delivers (additionally, it can be used to create whole home audio, if desired). You also gain fairly unique access to Auro's excellent Auro-2D upmixing solution, which adds a hint of surround to stereo music without destroying a system's front soundstage. I reviewed the SR7012 earlier this year (here) and have used the SR7012 for the better part of 8 months. Great gear.
I'll look into that, thanks. Any idea when the 976 review will be posted?
 

Todd Anderson

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Definitely do. That's a really wicked receiver, functionality-wise. For my money, it's an easy buy simply because it delivers some great streaming options (if you're a TIDAL user, for example... it's interface is awesome). And for $1K in savings, it's really tough to beat.

The 976 review is probably a few draft iterations away from final. But the entire evaluation is done. I'm not entirely sure when it will go live. Hopefully sooner than later.
 

jbasch99

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I will look at the Marantz. I do hope the review gets posted soon as I am looking to pull the trigger in the next 7-10 days. I have family and friends coming for the holidays, so I need this set up a stable before they arrive. they always like a movie, plus I have to have the room put back together if you know what I mean. So please post even if not perfect. :)
 

Todd Anderson

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LOL --- can't guarantee that time frame (can't rush the process), but hopefully Matt will pop in here since he's the one that had hands on experience. They are definitely two very different receivers, that's for sure.
 

Matthew J Poes

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So I recently purchased a 4K TV and with it comes time to update my old Outlaw 990 Processor. Still works, just time for an upgrade. I have a 7 channel 200 W amp, so I really don't need power. Budget is around $1,000 Could go $1,200 but no more. I have sort of settled on either going with the Outlaw 976 or a Yamaha Aventage line (unless others have a strong recommendation otherwise).

I will be paring it with:
  • a new Samsung QLED 75" TV
  • 5.1 Martin Logan Speakers.
  • HSU sub
  • Sony BX-800 4K DVD player or my Oppo Blu Ray (not 4K)
  • Sony PS4-Pro
This is really mostly about sound as don't plan to use switching at this time. But do need updated processing power.

Thoughts / Reccomendations?
The sound quality and setup flexibility of the Outlaw 976 is great. It was a clear step above the sound of my existing equipment. I liked the eq, but keep in mind that you need to be prepared to dig in. It’s fully manual, requires measurements. It’s also compact compared to a receiver.

If you want really good automatic room correction, some of the best streaming capability, and a path to atmos, the NAD suggestion is great too. It’s far more feature rich. Compared to the 976, it’s not quite as good of an audiophile product. The parts quality on the 976 is actually very similar to the parts used in the high end NAD integrated amps and preamps. It has a lower noise floor, wider bandwidth, lower distortion, and greater channel separation. That kind of thing.
 

Matthew J Poes

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I will look at the Marantz. I do hope the review gets posted soon as I am looking to pull the trigger in the next 7-10 days. I have family and friends coming for the holidays, so I need this set up a stable before they arrive. they always like a movie, plus I have to have the room put back together if you know what I mean. So please post even if not perfect. :)
Hah thanks for the push. I need to rewrite a section of the review and I was traveling for work all last week. I promise to try.

I say this, are you someone who likes the latest tech and features or the best build and sound quality. That’s the main difference between the two. I’m not suggesting you will hear these differences either. I’ve used and measured both (and @AudiocRaver measured and posted on one too). The 976 measured at the limits of my interface at the time, it forced me to upgrade my audio interface for future reviews).
 

jbasch99

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Funny you mention the latest tech. I used to be that way, now I am more into build quality etc. I now tend to only upgrade once every 10 years or so. If I read your comments properly you are implying the NAD is the latest tech and the 976 is the build quality. That EQ technology does sound sweet. I don’t mind digging in on the EQ. I am a bit of a geek. That said, if it can be easy I’ll take it. I had originally avoided the idea of an receiver because I have a good amp and really want the best audio I can get out of my new 4K set up. The only streaming I do is Netflix. I have not gotten into Spotify or other music streaming yet. I still like old school media. Especially when I can find it on SACD or DVD-Audio

So no love on the Yamaha idea? Was looking at a closeout on last years 2070 model at a nice discount.

I am not really sure what Atmos would do for me after being on a 5.1 system for almost as long as I can remember and it’s not easy for me to get speakers in the ceiling of my video room. Which is basically 17x17.5 and the Martin Logan speakers already dominate the room.
 

Matthew J Poes

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I wish I could beam my experience into @Todd Anderson so he could answer the comparison with Yamaha. I know they make good equipment and you would probably be happy. I personally like the NAD better because I like it’s features and DIRAC. I suspect the sound quality is similar between the NAD and Yamaha. I don’t like YPAO. I should be getting a high end stereo receiver from them at some point so maybe my views on them will evolve.

For now, I can just say that the build quality and sound quality of the Outlaw was the equal of some of the finest 2-channel gear I’ve owned. My biggest reservations with it are a lack of certain features I like, some quirks in how you apply eq, and I wanted even greater bass management flexibility (but keep in mind my use case is highly unusual and the only products that meet my needs tend to be pretty esoteric).

If you get the Outlaw, PM me about setting it up. There is a quirk in the way you apply eq. It has no negative impact on sound, but it’s also not well understood by the general public. It should not dissuade you from buying it, but if you don’t know about it, it will cause problems.

If it helps, I was all set to buy the 976 and a reviewer supply shortage necessitated that I send it on to the next reviewer. It should tell you something when I’m willing to put my own hard earned cash on the line for it.
 

Todd Anderson

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Yamaha does make great gear. I ran an A3050 for almost 2 years and loved it (I did use an external parametric EQ for bass)... and I reviewed the A3070, also super nice.
 

jbasch99

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Thanks guys. Just joined this site today and it’s nothing short of amazing. This not an easy decision for sure. The outlaw has treated me great for years and before that it was a Yamaha dsp-1000e. Yeah I know that was 20 years ago but that dsp at the time was plain amazing. Can’t bring myself to part with it even though it sits on a shelf.

It may come down to a Black Friday sale. Sad but if I can save a buck, it may just be the deciding factor.
 

jbasch99

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Oh and yes it says a lot when one is willing to put their own cash into something. If I go that route how does one PM on this site?
 

Todd Anderson

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Thanks guys. Just joined this site today and it’s nothing short of amazing. This not an easy decision for sure. The outlaw has treated me great for years and before that it was a Yamaha dsp-1000e. Yeah I know that was 20 years ago but that dsp at the time was plain amazing. Can’t bring myself to part with it even though it sits on a shelf.

It may come down to a Black Friday sale. Sad but if I can save a buck, it may just be the deciding factor.
Not sad at all... budget is super important. :T Ultimately, you’re looking at some nice options. I’m fairly certain you’ll enjoy any one of these receivers!
 

andyc56

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I had a 976 for a short time. When playing music using the HDMI interface, I found that if there's any silence between successive tracks, it mutes for a brief period of time. By the time it un-mutes, it has lopped off about 600 msec from the beginning of the track following the silence. This can be demonstrated using the Jimi Hendrix "Band of Gypsys" album, specifically the transition from "Machine Gun" to "Changes". The latter song has an intro in which Hendrix says, "Buddy Miles' gonna do this thing he wrote called 'Them Changes'". But with the 976, it comes out as, "gonna do this thing he wrote called 'Them Changes'". That is, the beginning is lopped off. Going into Audacity, I determined that the muted part of the second track was about 600 msec long. Once I noticed it happening, it became a huge distraction and I had to remove it from my system. I reported it back in February.

Many tracks have more than 600 msec of silence at the beginning, so it takes listening to a variety of sources before it shows up. Those Hendrix tracks are the best demo I've found, because of the spoken words. As far as I know, they haven't fixed it.

Gapless works perfectly though. Sound quality was quite good, other than the un-muting bug.
 

Todd Anderson

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Behringer 1124p; Aura Bass Shaker Pros; SuperSub X
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JVC RS520
Screen
Carada Cine-White 0 gain
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Hey @andyc56

So your music source is a PC... and when you feed the 976 individual tracks it briefly mutes the beginning of the track?

And from the looks of the thread you linked, folks playing CDs were experiencing this at the beginning of each track?
 
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andyc56

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Hey @andyc56

So your music source is a PC...
Yes, using HDMI. Sample rate and bit depth never change, as I was using it as the default Windows sound device.

and when you feed the 976 individual tracks it briefly mutes the beginning of the track?
This only happens when there is silence between tracks, or on the first track of a sequence. For the gapless situation, such as live music where one song goes into another without intervening silence, the behavior is essentially perfect. For example, the Grateful Dead's "Live Dead" album, the transition between "St. Stephen" and "The Eleven" is perfect.

And from the looks of the thread you linked, folks playing CDs were experiencing this at the beginning of each track?
Apparently so, but I haven't tried it myself.

Edit: Note that if the following track has more than 600 msec of silence at the beginning, as many do, the effect won't be noticed.
 
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Todd Anderson

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Wow. That's really interesting. And there's nothing in the menu system that allows you to eliminate this feature?

I understand the notion of it becoming a distraction. I originally had my TIDAL set up with a crossfade between tracks and it drove me crazy. I know that's different... but I think it probably hints at why you became frustrated.
 
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andyc56

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Wow. That's really interesting. And there's nothing in the menu system that allows you to eliminate this feature?
Nothing.

I understand the notion of it becoming a distraction. I originally had my TIDAL set up with a crossfade between tracks and it drove me crazy. I know that's different... but I think it probably hints at why you become frustrated.
Yeah! Once I first noticed it, I found that all I was doing was listening for the problem, rather than listening to music. When I found that Hendrix track sequence, it finally convinced me that I wasn't going nuts and I was able to quantify how much of the beginning of the track was being muted.
 

Todd Anderson

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And you contacted Outlaw... they said it was intentional, correct? I'm curious as to the reasoning behind it.
 

Matthew J Poes

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Nothing.



Yeah! Once I first noticed it, I found that all I was doing was listening for the problem, rather than listening to music. When I found that Hendrix track sequence, it finally convinced me that I wasn't going nuts and I was able to quantify how much of the beginning of the track was being muted.
Any chance it was fixed? I didn’t recall encountering that problem in my review (maybe I also didn’t listen to such music, I can’t recall). When I got it, it had been delayed for a software update. Since firmware isn’t easily field updated, they had to fix it for me before sending out. I can ask Ben about this if you like?
 

Todd Anderson

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Center Channel Speaker
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SVS Prime Elevation
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SVS Prime Elevation
Subwoofers
dual SVS SB16s + dual PSA XS30s
Other Speakers or Equipment
Behringer 1124p; Aura Bass Shaker Pros; SuperSub X
Video Display Device
JVC RS520
Screen
Carada Cine-White 0 gain
Other Equipment
LG Electronics 65-inch B6 OLED, Sony 65-inch X900F
Please do, Matt!
 
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