RX-V2500 Overview, Listening Environment, First Impressions
2004 marked a year when SpaceShipOne broke the status quo and became the first private company to successfully launch a reusable manned vehicle into space and return it safely home. That kind of innovation and leadership garners a tremendous amount of respect. Yamaha Electronics Corporation seems to understand the importance of product innovation and leadership. With the RX-V2500, it is apparent they continue to make tremendous strides towards product improvement and the development of new technologies.
It's been over two years since a Yamaha RX-V series receiver has occupied Reference System 3. As you can imagine, I was pleased to be able to integrate the RX-V2500 and see what surprises Yamaha has come up with in the last several revisions since my experiences with the RX-V3000 receiver.
Having just reviewed the Denon AVR-3805, I was anxious to test out Yamaha's YPAO system to see if it was a more productive setup and parametric EQ option for basic room correction. I also wanted to see how well the 130 watts/channel amplification could drive the 4-ohm RBH Sound 1266-LSE main speakers which require quite a bit of power to sound their best.
Yamaha has certainly not been sitting on its laurels of late. In fact, Audioholics completed a rather thorough review of the RX-V2400 receiver when it came out and I was pleased to note the following improvements from that model:
- Additional 10 watts/channel for 130watts/channel (20Hz - 20kHz, 0.04% THD, 8-ohms)
- DTS: Neo 96kHz
- Pure Direct Mode
- GUI Interface
- Updated YPAO Equalization modes and shortened test time
- Manual PEQ settings
- Subwoofer phase select
- Additional component video input
- New remote control with backlit buttons
- Shuttered optical connections
- Improved components
The Yamaha RX-V2500 receiver was powering RBH Sound 1266-LSE Signature Series speakers in a 12 x 20 listening room in Audioholics' Reference System 3. Below is the configuration utilized for this review:
I'll address power issues later, but the Yamaha sufficiently powered my 4-ohm main speakers without any noticeable strain.
The Listening Environment
The Reference System 3 listening room is characterized by a series of natural diffusers and a good combination of absorptive materials. It is often necessary to hang draperies and build or purchase fancy bass traps to eliminate problems in a room. When possible, I prefer to do it naturally; and as I built my home, I was able to construct a room where the furniture and natural materials could do most of the work for me. Bookshelves serve as diffusers, and 9' flat ceilings with berber carpet produce a room that is lively, but not highly-reflective.
The central listening position is on a sofa located in the center of the room, 11 feet from the front wall, and 8 feet from the rear wall. The RBH Sound 1266-LSEs are approximately 7.5' apart and the 61-LSE surrounds are 7' apart on the rear wall and faced directly forward to maximize their excellent imaging characteristics. An RBH Sound 1010-SEP subwoofer was situated in a corner just outside of the left 1266-LSE and was used for this review. Wharfedale Diamond 7.1 speakers were mounted above and outside of the main speakers at a height of 8' for use as presence channels for Yamaha DSP.
While I'll cover more of these topics in greater detail later, there were some things that quickly jumped out at me upon first setting up and using the Yamaha RX-V2500 receiver.
First off was the updated remote control. Upgraded even from the RX-V2400, the new RAV352 remote is a much more ergonomic remote than its predecessor I utilized with the RX-V3000. This device is narrower, providing a better fit for the hand. In addition, ALL (yes, all) buttons on the remote are backlit, though not all are self-labeled and most are difficult to read because they are labeled with white rather than black. There is now a sliding switch on the right side of the remote that directs control to either the receiver ("amp"), source, or television. The rest I'll cover in a few pages.
Yamaha is on a power trip - they keep adding more to their receivers and I'll take all they will give me. This new receiver priced at just $1099 boasts 130 watts per channel however if this were an all channels driven rating (which it is not) Yamaha would require a much larger package, bigger power supply, and probably more money.
Yamaha, at least on first impression, seems to take a more serious approach to room EQ. The YPAO system puts out pink noise and short sweep tone bursts in order to evaluate the speakers' frequency response and set system parameters. The YPAO system also sets the satellite to subwoofer crossover frequency for the system which makes sense since other parameters would be affected by this.
The new graphical user interface for the RX-V2500 absolutely knocked my socks off. It is ergonomic, and for the most part, well-organized. All of your manual and automatic receiver setup functions can be accessed via the GUI. In addition, you can now store 6 independent receiver settings for instant recall (2 settings can even be invoked directly via the remote.)