By Todd Anderson on Oct 27, 2017 at 1:26 PM
  1. Todd Anderson

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    Yamaha AVENTAGE RX-A3070 AV Receiver Review

    Manufacturer & Model:
    Yamaha AVENTAGE RX-A3070 AV Receiver
    MSRP:
    $2,200 MSRP
    Link:
    https://usa.yamaha.com
    Highlights:
    Flagship immersive sound performance at a competitive price, high-end audio processing for crystal clear sound, robust amp section, wide range of connectivity including eight HDMI and stereo XLR inputs, fully compatible with current 4K HDR video demands, wireless performance includes Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Yamaha’s MusicCast, capable of being a hub of a whole home music system.
    Summary:
    The RX-A3070 is Yamaha’s newest consumer oriented flagship AVR and is capable of running a stunning high-end 7.1.4 audio experience. The receiver is compliant with modern 4K video technologies, making it possible to integrate with all 4K televisions and video sources. Yamaha’s easy-to-use on-screen menu interface and smartphone apps deliver a smooth user experience, allowing easy access and management of a multitude of sources. Onboard wireless functionality (including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and MusicCast) and the addition of TIDAL and Deezer make audio streaming a snap. Performance wise, the RX-A3070 can power an amazing immersive audio home theater experience.
    [​IMG]


    It’s always fun to unwrap a new flagship receiver, especially when it’s stamped with a Yamaha badge. Three years ago, I had the privilege of taking the company’s revolutionary RX-A3050 AVR for an Atmos test drive and it literally blew the doors off my reference home theater. Much has transpired in the tech realm since the A3050’s launch, but the importance of that particular model won’t soon be forgotten. It single handedly pierced a rather stagnant receiver market, introducing reasonably future proof 4K video capabilities while offering full 11-channel Atmos processing (a pairing not available in the sub-$2,500 category until its release).

    Over the last three years, new HDR technologies have arrived, DTS:X was officially born, and wireless media has become a strong consumer preference. And while older generations of HDMI 2.0 capable gear have been kept fresh through firmware updates, this year’s class of receivers are the most advanced we’ve ever seen (particularly on the video side of the equation).


    Yamaha’s New Statement Piece
    True to its reputation, Yamaha’s 2017 AVENTAGE lineup is loaded with cutting-edge performance at extremely competitive price points. In fact, the line’s entry level AVR hit store shelves with a $600 price tag, which is $50 less than its 2016 predecessor. The RX-A3070 (subject of this review) is priced at $2,200 MSRP ($1,999 street) and now serves as Yamaha’s flagship consumer-oriented AVR. It sports nine onboard amps, 11.2-channels of audio processing, multitudes of connectivity, and is the only AVENTAGE receiver capable of orchestrating DTS:X and Dolby Atmos performances with a full 7.2.4 speaker arrangement (note: Yamaha's CX-A1500 and MX-A5000 preamp/amp models offer this kind of performance, but are designed and marketed to professional installers). Much like the previous two AVENTAGE flagship models, the A3070 requires a two-channel outboard amp to push that kind of audio show, but owners short on rack space can connect 11 speakers to the RX-A3070 (the receiver’s onboard control switches power between surround back and rear presence speakers depending on the demands of an input signal).

    If true 11-channel processing is less of a desire, enthusiasts strictly interested in a nine-channel (7.1.2) system can save roughly $500 and reach for Yamaha’s RX-A2070. However, the A2070 delivers slightly less power and is outfitted with step-down audio conversion chips.


    Build Features
    [​IMG]

    The RX-A3070’s amp section is rated at a healthy 150 Watts per channel (8 ohms, two channels driven). While that kind of output might not match more robust performance numbers claimed by pricier competing models, the A3070 is confidently capable of driving full complements of reasonably demanding speakers to clean sounding reference levels.

    Yamaha’s quest for great sound begins with carefully crafted physical design elements, such as an aluminum front panel to shield the A3070’s innards from exterior noise contaminants. The company has also incorporated newly designed feet to eliminate intrusive vibrations, a rock-solid double-bottom chassis, and an AVENTAGE staple: the signature “fifth foot.” For those unfamiliar, the foot is a centrally mounted underbelly wedge that dampens vibrations emanating from internal componentry and external sources.

    The receiver’s robust physical foundation plays host to a veritable plethora of advanced AV tech. Owners will appreciate the A3070’s eight HDMI inputs (two outputs), all of which accommodate HDCP 2.2, HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG, and wide color gamut 4K video (Dolby Vision and HLG support require a firmware update expected to drop later this year). Other notable forms of connectivity include USB, phono, and a host of analog and digital inputs. Yamaha has also included RCA multi-channel outputs and balanced XLR stereo inputs. Of course, those looking to avoid wires will like the inclusion of Wi-Fi, AirPlay, and Bluetooth connectivity.


    [​IMG]


    The front side of the receiver doesn’t deviate from the last two RX-A flagship receivers. It features an easy-to-ready dimmable LCD display, large source selection and volume knobs, and an attractive flip down cover that conceals various controls. Those controls include multi-zone, radio preset and tuning, and various menu navigation buttons (among others). You’ll also find handy auxiliary RCA and HDMI inputs.

    Internally, Yamaha has packed the RX-A3070 with a robust power supply system that’s symmetrically aligned for exacting isolation. And the receiver’s multi-channel digital to analog conversion is handled by one of two ESS Technology chips (ES9026PRO SABRE or ES9006 ULTRA DAC) mated to Yamaha’s proprietary DAC on Pure Ground technology for reduced ground noise and enhanced audio reproduction.


    Performance Technologies
    [​IMG]

    As mentioned, the RX-A3070 is fully capable of handling all current 4K UHD video demands (with the notable additions of Dolby Vision and HLG High Dynamic Range coming via a firmware update by the end of 2017). It also ships with both DTS:X and Dolby Atmos audio decoding onboard and ready for use, in addition to a host of proprietary DSP audio modes (addressed later).

    Picky audio fans will enjoy access to their favorite Hi-Res audio tracks. Yamaha has made the A3070 fully functional with most common Hi-Res audio file types, including DSD (2.8 MHz/5.6 MHz) and FLAC, WAV, AIFF (up to 192 kHz/24-bit), and Apple Lossless (96 kHz/24-bit). And for those looking to introduce a bump in quality to lower resolution tracks, the included “Compressed Music Enhancer” is designed to add depth and breadth to sound.

    Not surprisingly, streaming audio is prominently featured on the A3070, and the receiver delivers easy-to-use wireless performance like a champ. It features onboard access to Pandora, Spotify, Napster, and SiriusXM, along with TIDAL and Deezer. Of course, a host of wireless options are available for those interested in sending audio direct from a networked computer or mobile device. And wireless audio, including music stored on a USB stick, is easily accessed and controlled through Yamaha’s stellar MusicCast app.

    Speaking of MusicCast, Yamaha’s slick wireless solution can be used to create a seamless network of multi-room whole home audio. All you need is a MusicCast enabled receiver and MusicCast capable wireless speakers. This isn’t a feature we tested during this review, but I’ve experienced demonstrations of the technology and its absolutely brilliant.


    Out Of The Box
    [​IMG]

    The RX-A3070, much like other models in the AVENTAGE line, is boxed and shipped in high quality commercial grade packaging. And while the unboxing experience isn’t earthshattering, the receiver and its included accessories are all delivered as you’d expect from a world-class company. Despite offering a superior remote app, Yamaha still ships its receivers with a handy physical remote control, in addition to an external AM/FM antenna and various printed materials.

    Physically, the A3070 has quite a presence when picked up and moved about. Its 40-pound weight feels confident and sturdy in the hands – overall build quality is excellent. Visually speaking, the A3070 carries a quiet confidence with a superior finished appearance. And Yamaha doesn’t skimp on items such as speaker posts and knobs. In fact, the A3070’s volume knob turns like pure gold, with a pleasing amount of resistance that makes it feel substantial and relevant (notably different from the 2015 model iteration).

    Click on the video below to watch an unboxing of the A3070. The video includes up-close images of the receiver and its included accessories (definitely worth a watch).





    Set Up
    [​IMG]

    The A3070’s rear panel presents a forest of connectivity options that, at first glance, looks cramped and intimidating. Hook up, however, proved to be relatively simple due to the panel’s logical layout and easy to read input/output labels. For this particular review, installation included running HDMI, speaker, and RCA cables for single zone multi-channel playback. As previously noted, the A3070 has native 11.2-channel surround processing but only houses 9 amp sections. To accommodate my 7.2.4 Atmos layout, I paired the receiver with my trusty Emotiva XPA-5 standalone amplifier (which fed the system’s rear presence channels).

    Once again, Yamaha has opted to nix the inclusion of multi-channel inputs, making it impossible to run outboard multi-channel signal processing or analog feeds from an external source. Yamaha, however, has designed the A3070 to decode multi-channel DSD via an HDMI connection to a Blu-ray player. In addition, the included SABRE DAC is a member of ESS Technology’s top tier of conversion chips (so you’re guaranteed incredibly accurate onboard digital to analog conversion). While uber-picky audiophiles may consider this a downgrade, the vast majority of buyers will find the A3070’s multi-channel processing capabilities to exceed that of other gear they own. And it’s important to reiterate that analog inputs are available for two-channel listening.

    Post hook up, I placed the included calibration microphone and stand at my primary listening position and ran Yamaha’s top-end YPAO-R.S.C. room correction package. The provided onscreen set-up instructions were easy to follow, guiding me through measurements of distance, angle, and height (for better Atmos performance), in addition to room acoustics. Post calibration, I checked the system’s channel levels with a handheld SPL meter and found that all 11 channels had been set within one dB of reference – applause for Yamaha! My only gripe with the process was YPAO’s inability to keep speaker settings intact during the calibration process (YPAO set the vast majority of speakers to “Large,” requiring me to re-enter the settings menu and reset each speaker to “Small” with an 80Hz crossover). With that outstanding, the room calibration process was relatively painless.

    My theater room is well treated by mixture of absorption and diffusion, so the groundwork for great sound is already in place. As you’ll note, the pre- and post-calibration measurement graph doesn’t appear to indicate that a YPAO had tremendous amount of impact on smoothing my system’s frequency response. Keep in mind, this is only one measurement from one specific setting; YPAO may result in a significantly measurable effect in another type of room. I will comment, however, that my system’s audio sounded more sharp and cohesive post-calibration, most likely do YPAO’s calculation of speaker distances and angles, in addition to leveling each channel to 75 dB (as heard at the primary listening position).


    [​IMG]
    Pre (Red) and Post (Purple) YPAO Room Correction frequency response measurements


    The final install step involved linking the RX-A3070 to my home Wi-Fi network. The process was super simple, made easy by sharing network settings via my iPhone. Once aligned, the receiver quickly reported that a firmware update was available for download. Executing that update involved a few clicks on the remote, and ten minutes later the A3070 was ready to play.


    Associated Equipment
    The RX-A3070 was integrated with the same SVS Ultra Atmos system recently featured in a separate AV NIRVANA review. That system utilizes Ultra Towers and an Ultra Center on the front end, rear and side channels comprised of Ultra Bookshelf and Ultra Surrounds, four ceiling mounted Prime Elevation height channels, and Dual SB16 subs. An OPPO UDP-205 was used as a primary source for music and movie disc playback, and a JVC RS520 4K e-Shift projector handled the display side of the equation.


    Performance
    [​IMG]

    (Tom Petty / Reprise Records)

    If your attention span is generally short, then you’ll appreciate what I’m about to tell you: the RX-A3070 is, without exception, an excellent high-class two-channel and multi-channel performer. Throughout this review’s demo sessions, I engaged and disengaged the crutch of my system’s active SB16 subwoofers, and the A3070’s amp section had zero issues delivering exacting audio at reference levels. That includes both two-channel music and extreme multi-channel driven Atmos presentations. Demo sessions used a mixture of discs, USB media, Bluetooth, and streaming music sources. All of them were easy to access and performed as expected.

    Total class, total confidence, and absolutely ridiculous fun.

    A rugged stereo recording such as Rage Against the Machine’s 1992 self-titled sonic attack (CD) gracefully growled from the SVS Ultra Towers with power and punch, all the while retaining a sharpness and zing. Even when the subs were introduced to the equation, the A3070 kept the sound balanced and perfectly timed. Then there was the multi-channel extravaganza issued by Meat Beat Manifesto’s punishing In Dub (DVD, 5.1), which encased my theater room in a dome of pulsating electronica. The album’s potent bass pounded with near limitless depth and Jack Danger’s bizarre world of drum rhythms and funky samples were punctuated by energetic clarity. And to top things off, I was pleased to find that the RX-A3070 identified my music disc source as an OPPO UDP-205, displaying the player’s name on the receiver’s front mounted display!

    As stereo listening sessions progressed, I channeled my inner millennial and launched the Yamaha MusicCast app. After entering some quick information, TIDAL Hi-Fi was accessible and ready to be played. The app’s interface provided instant browsing of my favorite artist, song, and album lists, in addition to all of the search features needed to find new music. I quickly kicked-off a musical tour of Tom Petty’s magical catalog of American rock. Sound quality was discernably near-CD in its presentation, loaded with the shimmering sounds of Petty’s guitar in “Free Fallin” and his seductively wobbly voice on “Wildflowers.” Shifting gears, I called upon the Bleachers’ distinctive 80s vibe and filled my room with anthem and rhythm from the likes of “Don’t Take The Money,” and “Rollercoaster.”

    As mentioned, Yamaha’s onboard DSP processing offers quite a few sound altering options that can be applied to your favorite media. These include modes that mimic everything from the small sound of an underground nightclub to the cavernous echoes of a large cathedral setting. You can also ask the A3070 to up-mix standard two-channel audio into various multi-channel arrangements. I had quite a bit of fun hearing favorite tracks wrap themselves around my listening position by recruiting side and rear channels. If anything, it added a level of newness that gave old favorites a kick of life.

    Overall, the A3070’s musical presentation was to perfection, powering SVS’s Ultras to a land of sonic bliss. In many ways, my music-driven demo sessions were an appetizer that prepped my ears for the main course: immersive sound. It wasn’t long before I hand selected a stack of favorites from my collection of Blu-ray and 4K movies. To be truthful, that stack included both DTS:X and Dolby Atmos demo discs, because, after all, it’s hard not to jump right into the fray when you have a wicked Atmos system at your disposal.

    A quick tour of well-known immersive sound movie scenes set my theater room ablaze with smile inducing sound and confirmed the validity of my two-channel impressions. The A3070 knows how to manage an entertainment show. Even when my system’s full speaker array was taken to near-reference levels, the receiver never flinched and quality of sound held steady. From the richly textured beats of the DTS:X “Cymatics” demo to the rush of dynamic sounds issued by the Unbroken bomber scene, the A3070 performed exactly as expected.


    [​IMG]
    (Walt Disney Studios)


    Eager to dig a bit deeper, I settled on three feature films: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Blu-ray, 7.1 DTS-HD MA), Everest (Blu-ray, Dolby Atmos), and Passengers (4K UHD Blu-ray, Dolby Atmos).

    The Force Awakens was first on the docket.

    JJ Abrams’ reboot of Hollywood’s most storied franchise has nearly every audio element necessary for an exciting and enveloping experience. Incredible score? Check. Rich dialog? Check. Spectacular special effects? Double check. What’s missing is an Atmos encode. The disc does carry a stellar 7.1 DTS-HD MA multi-channel presentation, however, which gave me a perfect opportunity to engage the A3070’s Surround Decoder. The decoder, when set on auto, will engage either DTS Neural:X or Dolby Surround to create an immersive sound presentation.

    The A3070’s management of The Force Awakens was nothing short of spectacular. John Williams’s timeless music dazzled my ears with detail dripping from every note. And action scenes were filled with pinpoint directionality and movement, whether it was a TIE fighter screaming overhead or the crackling rumble of the Millennium Falcon as it powered through hyper-space. Even the most minute of audio effects – such as beeps emanating from a control panel – were delivered with precision. It was a very natural sounding viewing, with overhead effects that appeared just as one would expect. Truthfully, the lack of a true Atmos encode was a total non-issue, thanks to the A3070’s advanced processing capabilities.

    Next up, I tapped Everest. The A3070 instantly recognized Everest’s Atmos sound package and I was off and running to the frigid terrain of the Himalayas. The film’s audio intensity is a slow burn that eventually turns into a four-alarm fire. The A3070 managed the entire experience without incident, driving my theater room to extraordinary heights. Subtleties, such as gentle wind and footsteps on crushed stone had a life-like appearance. And the storm – oh that magnificent storm – sent the system into overdrive, with every speaker hammering away with ferocity. This was a perfect opportunity to take the A3070 to ear-shredding reference levels, and it obliged with thunderous bass and crystal-clear atmospherics; a perfect dome of immersive sound.

    For the final act, I doubled-down and stuck with Passengers. The introduction of a 4K disc led to a slightly longer HDMI handshake period, but the gear chain eventually worked itself out and both picture and sound popped to life. The A3070’s pass-through of the film’s 4K HDR image was pure and devoid of any noticeable issues; color and clarity was reference. The audio (another Atmos track) was scintillating, loaded with thunderous bass and plenty of sounds swirling around the room. The height channels had several moments where voices poured through their drivers, particularly as the distressed ship warned of an eminent reactor disaster. Much like the previous two films, the A3070’s management of speakers and sound was utterly fantastic.


    Conclusion
    [​IMG]

    Yamaha’s AVENTAGE series is a frequent recipient of high praise, and the company has hit another homerun with its latest flagship design. From build quality to high-tech features – not to mention price – the RX-A3070 is one of the industry’s top sub-$2,500 AV receivers. While I’d like to see Yamaha add two additional amp channels to make the A3070 a true standalone 11-channel model, the need for an external amp is a small complaint. If anything, it opens a door to flagship performance with the ability to budget for expansion in the future.

    The A3070 receives high marks for usability – including praise for its remote and MusicCast apps, and the assortment of ways to access and distribute audio and video content. It can easily serve as a media hub for the home. On the performance front, the receiver’s native power is clean and robust, and the ability to play nicely with both HLG and Dolby Vision HDR are major bonuses.

    The bottom line? This is a receiver that I’d happily welcome into my home. If you’re in the market or considering an upgrade, the RX-A3070 should be on your shortlist of shopping options. Highly Recommended.

    [​IMG]




    RX-A3070 Specifications
    • Number Of Channels: 9
    • Stereo RMS Power (watts): 150
    • THD in Stereo: 0.06 %
    • Frequency Bandwidth (stereo): 20-20k Hz
    • Minimum Impedance L/R: 4 ohms
    • Minimum Impedance Center: 6 ohms
    • Minimum Impedance Surround: 6 ohms

    • Internet-ready: Yes
    • Bluetooth: Built-in
    • Apple AirPlay: Built in
    • App Remote Control: Yes
    • USB port for iPod/iPhone: No
    • HD Radio Tuner: No
    • On-Screen Display: Thru HDMI
    • Auto Speaker Calibration: YPAO-RSC 3D Multi
    • HDCP 2.2 for 4K Video: Yes
    • HDR-compatible: HDR10, Dolby Vision (FW), HLG (FW)
    • HDMI Standby Pass-through: Yes
    • Composite Video Conversion: From Composite to HDMI
    • Component Video Conversion: From Component Video to HDMI
    • HDMI to HDMI Upconversion: Yes
    • DLNA Certified
    • MHL-compatible: No
    • Multibrand Remote Control: No
    • Learning Remote: No

    • Width (inches): 17-1/8
    • Height (inches): 7-1/2
    • Depth (inches): 19-5/16
    • Weight (pounds): 39.9
    • Parts Warranty: 3 Years
    • Labor Warranty: 3 Years

    • Powered Multi-room Audio Output: Yes
    • Preamp Multi-room Audio Output: Yes
    • Multi-room Video: Yes
    • Multi-room HDMI Output: Yes

    • Dolby Digital DD, TrueHD, DD+, EX, Dolby Atmos: Yes
    • DTS DTS, HD, HDMA, ES, 96/24, DTS:X: Yes

    • Phono Input: 1
    • Audio-Video Inputs: 8
    • Audio-only Inputs: 4
    • Component Video Inputs: 2
    • Component Video Monitor Outputs: None
    • Optical Digital Inputs: 3
    • Coaxial Digital Inputs: 3
    • Optical Digital Outputs: None
    • Coaxial Digital Outputs: None
    • HDMI Inputs: 8
    • HDMI Monitor Outputs: 2
    • Subwoofer Outputs: 2
    • Multi-Channel Analog Input: No
    • Multi-channel Preamp Output: Yes
    • Main Speaker Output Pairs: 1
    • Main Speaker Terminals Posts
    • Ethernet Port: 1
    • USB Connections: 1 Front
    • Removable Power Cord: IEC 2-prong
     
    #1 Todd Anderson, Oct 27, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
    Allan T. and tripplej like this.

Comments

Discussion in 'AV Equipment Reviews' started by Todd Anderson, Oct 27, 2017.

    1. Todd Anderson

      Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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      Hi, the A3070 is a great choice. I commented on the What HiFi review earlier in the discussion (someone asked a very similar question to yours). Here's what I had to say:

      Hope that answers your question. The only real ding not he A3070, from my perspective, is the lack of multi-channel inputs and perhaps the lack of 11 powered channels. But, as I pointed out, the lack of multi-channel inputs isn't the end of the world (there are work arounds). It's a solid buy and I would easily run it in my home theater.
       
    2. RodimusPrime98

      RodimusPrime98 New Member

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      Thank you, I just submitted my order.
       
    3. Todd Anderson

      Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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      :T

      Come back and show us pics of your setup!
       
    4. Todd Anderson

      Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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      Still waiting to hear answers from Yamaha... thanks for your patience! I asked a separate source today, so hoping we will hear something soon.

      Thanks, Todd
       
    5. Todd Anderson

      Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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      @zzkazu

      Alright... Yamaha did give a response to your question, sort of. They basically said that the RX-A and RV-A lines do differ. The given examples were brief, but they said the RX-A (as in RX-A3070) has lots of differences in engineering design, including: "H Frame, 5th Foot, Total Purity concept, Aluminum front panel and more."

      No word on DACs/processors... I can't seem to find a straight comparison, but the fact that the exterior and build of the RX-A is more robust and high-end oriented, would lead one to assume there are some differences exist on the internals.

      I think you made the right choice with your purchase! :T
       
    6. Supee

      Supee New Member

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      I am new to the group and glad to have found a US based group for audiophiles.

      So I am heavily leaning toward this receiver. I have been running a Yamaha RX-V2500 for years and it has done ok for me so far. It puts out sound and has been reliable. I am currently running 7 SpeakerCraft AIM 8 four speakers all ceiling mounted and my main complaint has been dialog "enhancement" and the musicality of my system. I tried sitting down to do some critical listening to some PinkFloyd and NIN and was very underwhelmed by the experience. I initially thought that I needed to replace my speakers but a friend recommended replacing the amp first. I have always been impressed with Yamaha's reliability, but was concerned about their "musicality" and if it would still perform the way I wanted when the opportunity arose to sit and listen to amazing music. Another friend recommended the Denon comparison and praised its musicality and warmth.

      It seems that my issue with my speakers may be stemming from the fact that I have the SpeakerCraft AIM 8 Fours in the ceiling and are just not providing me with enough for my stereo imaging. I have been looking at the SVS line of speakers as I have heard amazing things about them. I have heard that the Klipsch are very bright due to their horns that make them as efficient as they are. Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated on how to improve the system.

      This is a lot of money for me to spend on a receiver and would like something that can get me through the next 5-10 years and live up to my ever-increasing requirements. Any suggestions on how best to improve my system and if this receiver is going to be a good fit for "future proofing" my system I would appreciate it.
       
    7. Todd Anderson

      Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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      Hi Supee! First off, glad you found the site and became a member of the community!

      Wow, lots to dissect with your setup. Without being able to hear it, my gut is telling me your primary issue lies in the speaker realm.

      Check out my review on our homepage called “The Ultimate SVS Ultra Atmos System.” In it, I run SVS’s Ultra Bookshelf and Ultra Towers through two-channel listening sessions. If you’re on a budget, the SVS Ultra Bookshelf Speakers (when placed on stands, away from walls) are phenomenal sounding speakers.

      As for the receiver... the A3070 (or last year’s A3060) have plenty of clean power, and benefit from top flight DAC processors. Could you hear a difference between Yamaha and Denon? Perhaps once you’ve run each amps room correction... definitely if you’re engaging various proprietary sound processing modes. But most comparable AVRs should natively sound practically the same.

      In terms of future proofing: The A3070 can handle all current HDMI 2.0 requirements... in the next year or two you’ll start hearing rumblings about HDMI 2.1. Eventually, someday, HDMI 2.1 will rule the roost and be necessary. But, I think HDMI 2.0 will be relevant for some time to come.

      The A3070 can also handle both Atmos and DTS:X. So, from a movie codec perspective it should be good to go for quite some time.
       
    8. Todd Anderson

      Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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      Video review added:

       
    9. Vu Le

      Vu Le New Member

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      Thank you Todd for the detail review. I' glad that I just bought the a3070 now. Havent install my setup yet the technician will come Monday. My question is can I use my 5ch external amp-parasound 5250 to biamp my front left and right channel and use the 5th channel to drive my centrt channel whike using my yamaha a3070. Someone told me u cant use externsl amp to biamp using Yamaha receiver. Thx
       
    10. Matthew J Poes

      Matthew J Poes Staff Writer
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      By chance did this come from Earl Geddes experience and comments with the Yamaha line?

      If so I think I can help you a bit. The Yamaha line talks about using extra amp channels for bi-amping. In the speaker design world, bi-amping actually refers to active implementation with active crossovers before the amps. The Yamaha (And all other receivers I'm aware of) do not include the ability to use its processing to create crossovers. The Bi-Amp feature just allows you parallel the signal to the mains between two amp channels which then can be used to power the midbass and tweeters separately. This DOES give you more output, but doesn't provide the other benefits of an active bi-amped system. For most users, this isn't an issue, as doing that right is VERY complex and requires the ability to do anechoic measure your speakers and design the crossover.

      If your plan is to use an external amp to drive the woofers and built in amps to drive the tweeters, that should be fine and is possible with the Yamaha as far as I know. Something to check on is to be sure there is no delay difference between the two. I doubt there is, but it may be worth checking. To test this, try powering your left speaker with your parasound amp and your right speaker powered from the receiver. Run YPAO and see if the delay is different for the left and right speakers (instead of being 0, one would have some delay added). If they don't match, try both speakers running on the receiver and do it again, and see if its correct. If it's correct, then there is some extra delay in the signal path to the amplifier. While rare, this can happen if the circuit has some sort of processing to cause the delay. I don't believe that will be the case here.

      In short, you should be able to bi-amp as you intend. If you need more help in how, please feel free to start a separate thread and we can check in and provide guidance. Note that the primary benefit will be more volume/dynamic range, and that will only be true if your speakers can handle more power than the A3070 can provide.

      Oh one last thing, differences in gain can cause the balance of your speaker to be off in this scenario. Does the Parasound amp have level controls built into it?
       
    11. Vu Le

      Vu Le New Member

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      Good morning Mathew. I have the first version of the parasound 5250. I don' the it has level control built in but I could be wrong. Is it worth it to biamp since each channel on the parasound will push 385watt-4ohms. My from left and right speakers are Kef ci5160. Since I have 5 channel external amp plus 9 channel with the a3070, i was just curious if I can gain any sound quality to passive bi amp. My installer told me Yamaha a3070 doesn't have a feature to use external amp to bi-amp so i was confuse and came here to get help. Thank you.
       
    12. Matthew J Poes

      Matthew J Poes Staff Writer
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      I'm not sure what your installer is referencing. If it has pre-outs it can be used for biamping. It has pre-outs. What you aren't able to do is go with active crossovers using the embedded processing, but nor can any receiver I'm aware of.

      As for sound quality, I see biamping has having two primary benefits:
      1. A single amplifier is not providing enough power for your standard listening level and is clipping. Bi-amping increases your power to the speaker and reduces the likelihood of clipping. It is no different than if you just went with a bigger amplifier. If your amp already is the max your speaker can handle or your speaker can't handle any more power, then there would be no real benefit.
      2. Removal of the lossy passive crossover and replace it with a non-lossy and more precise active crossover and biamplification which would improve the speakers response.
      That is the reason for the benefit, but now we need to look at the reality of the situation:
      1. Your KEF Speakers have a 90db efficiency and a 250 watt power handling, roughly. That implies just your Parasound amplifier alone will provide more than enough power. I would doubt you would clip this amplifier, and if you are, I suspect any more power (such as through bi-amping) would damage your speakers. For option 1 (The only real option you have), I think you get the same benefit just by using the Parasound amplifier instead of the Yamaha built in amplifier. The benefit of this is that for receivers like this Yamaha, it takes a lot of load off of the power supply and allows it to provide more power to the rest of your speakers. You can always give it a try and see how they sound in each scenario. I'm a fan of external amplifiers for mains even with good receivers like this one. A receiver's built in power supply is frequently limited to somewhere between 1000 and 1500 watts of continuous output in the biggest of them. Your mains will almost always be drawing the most power of any speakers (The L, C, and R speakers). Now if suddenly the L, C, and R are powered by a separate amplifier, then that power supply can direct its full 1000+ watts of energy toward your surround and atmos speakers. To actually hit reference levels, your mains (in a group of 3) only need about 75 watts each, so it is likely all of this is overkill.
      2. Lossy crossovers aren't that lossy and differences in actual sound between a true active and a passive speaker with DSP correction is, in my opinion, minimal at best. In a perfect world all speakers would be active in this manner, but only because we now live in a world where that is a cheap and easy thing to do, so why not. The benefits are, in my experience, overblown by a lot of folks. On top of that, I believe that 99.9% of individuals in this hobby could not better the crossover designed by the original engineer for a number of technical reasons not worth going into. I know this isn't the direction you actually intend to go, I just wanted to point out that I don't believe you are missing out on anything.
       
    13. Vu Le

      Vu Le New Member

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      Thank you Mathew and will use the parasound to drive the front 3 channls and the back left and right surround. And will use the a3070 to drive the 4 atmos ceiling. Will get all this install this monday and will come back and update with the result. Really don't know much about audio but I love a good sound and got a chance to audtion the kef r900 and like them but wifey like the living to be tightly so I have to go with inwall kef. Hope I made the right choice.
       
    14. Allan T.

      Allan T. New Member

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      Great Review! It helped me make up my mind to purchase the 3070 to replace my current 2010. What kicked me over the edge to go with the 3070 instead of the 2070 was really the DACs. I wanted to see if I could tell that I was listening to the newer, higher end chips. So the 3070 should be arriving this week. I'll get back with my impressions after I've got everything set up and calibrated.
       
    15. Todd Anderson

      Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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      @Allan T. if your system is set up right, I think you're going to hear an uptick in clarity. Congrats on the purchase!
       
    16. RuW

      RuW New Member

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      Hi Todd. Excellent review!

      I own the Yamaha 3050. You have had experience with both the 3050 and 3070. What are the key differences?

      Thanks.
       
    17. Todd Anderson

      Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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      Hi @RuW

      Thanks for coming to AV NIRVANA!

      Yes, so I originally reviewed the 3050 at its launch and bought the review sample - liked it that much ;-). Really, the biggest differences are: Onboard TIDAL access on the A3070 and the coming firmware for Dolby Vision and HLG HDR passthrough. Aside from that, the DACs might be slightly different... but both are top-flight.

      Sonically speaking, I don't think you'll perceive a difference. However, if you're looking to push 4K UHD with Dolby Vision, I'm 99% sure the A3050 won't be able to handle it. For me, that's a non-issue as my projector can only handle HDR10. But if you have a shinny new 4K with DV capability, it's something to consider. The presence of TIDAL is also nice... but if recent reports are true, TIDAL might be on the ropes!
       

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