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Yamaha RX-A2020 AVENTAGE 9.2 Networking A/V Receiver Review

by July 06, 2012
Yamaha RX-A2020 AVENTAGE 9.2 Networking A/V Receiver

Yamaha RX-A2020 AVENTAGE 9.2 Networking A/V Receiver

  • Product Name: RX-A2020 AVENTAGE 9.2 Networking A/V Receiver
  • Manufacturer: Yamaha
  • Performance Rating: StarStarStarStarhalf-star
  • Value Rating: StarStarStarStar
  • Review Date: July 06, 2012 06:35
  • MSRP: $ 1699.95
  • Buy Now

Power & Features

  • Stereo RMS Power (watts): 140wpc
  • THD in Stereo: 0.06 %
  • Frequency Bandwidth (stereo): 20-20k Hz
  • On-Screen Display, Advanced GUI
  • Zones: 3
  • HDMI Standby Pass-through
  • Video  Conversion (Composite/S-Video/Component to HDMI_
  • Internet-ready, Ethernet
  • AirPlay
  • DLNA Certified
  • Dolby Digital: DD, EX, TrueHD, DD+, DTS, ES, HD, HDMA, Neo6, 96/24

Inputs & Outputs

  • Preamp Outputs: 7.2
  • Phono Input: 1
  • Composite Inputs / Outputs: 4/2
  • S-Video Inputs / Outputs: 4/2
  • Component Video Inputs / Outputs: 4/1
  • Optical / Coaxial Digital Inputs: 3/3
  • Optical Digital Outputs: 1
  • HDMI Inputs / Outputs: 7/2
  • Subwoofer Outputs: 2, independent control

General

  • Multibrand Remote Control, learning
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 17-1/8” x 7-1/2” x 18-3/8”
  • Weight: 37.7lbs
  • Warranty: 3 Years parts & labor

Pros

  • Full Network control for all three zones
  • Excellent music and movie performance
  • Plethora of inputs and outputs, including Zone 2/3 video outputs

Cons

  • No Pandora or Sirius support
  • Navigating all of the features can be confusing

Yamaha RX-A2020 Review Introduction

The RX-A2020 retails for $1700 and is the 2nd to top-of-the-line receiver in Yamaha’s 2012 Aventage (pronounced Ah-ven-taj) lineup (under the RX-A3020). The Aventage series has consistently impressed us with its build quality, sound quality, and abundant features, so the RX-A2020 has a lot to live up to. This year seems to be the year of 4K, Airplay, and network apps. With all of the potential options on the market, we were excited to see what Yamaha put together for the xx20 line-up. The receiver has 11 speaker connections, 2 independently controlled sub outputs, dual HDMI outputs, 3 powered zones, plenty of inputs, and a plethora of network features.  Read on to find out how well all of these features are implemented and how the RX-A2020 stacks up against the competition.

Build Quality and Features

Right off the starting block, the build quality of the RX-A2020 is top notch. Yamaha wanted to make the Aventage line of receivers audiophile grade, and that is reflected in a number of places. A fifth foot is (again) placed right in the middle of the receiver in order to dampen vibrations. They employ a meaty E-Core power transformer and placed it at the center of the unit. There are also beefy symmetrical heatsinks for heat dissipation. The H-frame design also help with chassis rigidity. This level of build quality is above what most other manufacturers are putting out. Although I did not take power output measurements, I would suspect you can use our reviews of the RX-A1010 and RX-A3000 as a gauge. Both reviews were accompanied by a full barrage of tests.

Yamaha made sure to fit the RX-A2020 with all of the modern features found in high quality receivers. It supports: 3D, 4K, ARC, Dual HDMI outputs, YPAO calibration mic, HDMI-CEC, Zone 2/3, and Video Upconversion. Yamaha also added a couple extra touches. 

open chassis

Yamaha RX-A2020 Top Removed

Yamaha's "Intelligent Amp Design" allows the receiver to support a full 9.2 channels of surround sound when Zone 2 is off, and automatically switches to 7.2 when Zone 2 is on. This eliminates the need to swap speaker wires on the back of the receiver when switching between what speakers are in use. This type of intelligent routing is the future of AV receivers and needs to become more commonplace on even lower-priced models in our opinion.

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About the author:

Cliff, like many of us, has always loved home theater equipment. In high school he landed a job at Best Buy that started his path towards actual high quality audio. His first surround sound was a Klipsch 5.1 system. After that he was hooked, moving from Klipsch to Polk to Definitive Technology, and so on. Eventually, Cliff ended up doing custom installation work for Best Buy and then for a "Ma & Pa" shop in Mankato, MN.

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Recent Forum Posts:

ACsGreens posts on October 15, 2012 13:36
BTW- For what it's worth Yamaha, unofficially, is going to release an update that places Pandora and Sirius back onto the receivers. Just thought you all may want to know, unnoficially.
3db posts on July 19, 2012 08:35
Ziontrain, post: 896069
Amplification is already well solved and audibly transparent in any decent, self-respecting product of this price range. As such it's about as commodified as a light bulb.

As for “build quality”, the same is true. Whether built in China, Malaysia or whatever, these things are built to global ISO-based standard. But if you believe that the “fifth foot” has audible benefit, then clearly these facts won't register at all.

You shouldn't assume…. it makes an as? out of you and not me. No where did I state such ridiculous belief about the 5th foot.


Ziontrain, post: 896069
What it comes down to is that most of what constituted “quality” is now actually commodity - it can be delivered cheaply by almost anyone. The brand therefore adds no value if it does not make real progress beyond the things that were problems 20-30 years ago. And no, the brands arent going to make that progress unless the press start being more critical and proactive.

BTW you'll understand how commodified this sector is when shortly the OEMs start buying up these failing brands.

Its very apparent from the various forums I frequent where other AVR manufacturers are suffering from quality control problems regardless of the origin of the country that builds them. Your idea of a universal commody of quality is just so wrong in every aspect. Sorry to derail your train.

Yamaha isn't going anywhere BTW
Ziontrain posts on July 19, 2012 07:44
Amplification is already well solved and audibly transparent in any decent, self-respecting product of this price range. As such it's about as commodified as a light bulb.

As for “build quality”, the same is true. Whether built in China, Malaysia or whatever, these things are built to global ISO-based standard. But if you believe that the “fifth foot” has audible benefit, then clearly these facts won't register at all.
What it comes down to is that most of what constituted “quality” is now actually commodity - it can be delivered cheaply by almost anyone. The brand therefore adds no value if it does not make real progress beyond the things that were problems 20-30 years ago. And no, the brands arent going to make that progress unless the press start being more critical and proactive.

BTW you'll understand how commodified this sector is when shortly the OEMs start buying up these failing brands.
3db posts on July 17, 2012 08:32
Ziontrain, post: 895664
I would again point out that what you pass of here as “a few refinements” are in fact a platform overhaul, as they require a step up: much more computing horsepower and a new OS. Thats why YPAO avoid the sub frequencies - cant handle it. But why would someone in 2012 release a product that claims to do room correction yet it can't even handle the frequencies that really need it the most?

I'm writing this post on a phone that has far more horsepower and 10x better human interface design than the receiver we are discussing. Why is this the case? A receiver is meant to be the heart & soul, the control unit of your home audio visual system. The article talks about zone 2 zone 3 etc. Truth is the thing is not even an up to date device for controlling one zone. Another example of the lipstick on the pig, your “new” or “advanced” eatures“ are the shiny but mostly useless distractions meant to distract from the basic fact that last years' dross has been rehashed and slung out again at or higher pricepoint.

We gotta start calling a spade a spade. This sector is growing stale. And there is no way they will change when the ”journalists" are in on the industry game rather than calling them out on it.

Like i said, get a laptop and mate it to a multichannel poweramp iif GUI, network streaming, and post processing are important to you and you are an apple or android fanboy. I'm in it for the overall build quality that Yamaha comes up without fail and I prefer quality audio amplifiers than bells and whistles.
Send Margaritas posts on July 17, 2012 07:42
I liked the review, thanks.

I've got the 2010, and like it very much. I was surprised they dropped the Pandora config, for I use that a lot and like it.

Like the reviewer, I like the GUI config (and the iPad app) a great deal. I think the comments in that regard are very much overblown, and without merit. I'd certianly not want to pay any more for ROMs/EPROMs necessary to support/store ‘better (read larger) icons and fonts’. I'm not confident that the comments were supported by use of the GUI.

I do concur that the manual parametric EQ 62.5 Hz choice was curious, but that capability to equalize each pair of spears in a 9.2 environment is powerful, and very nice.

Again, the biggest negative I saw in this was dropping Pandora.
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