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Yamaha RX-A860 AVENTAGE Listening Tests

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For the listening tests, we installed the RX-A860 receiver at my neighbor's house who has a 5.1 CT speaker system from RBH Sound with dual TS-10a subwoofers. This receiver took the place of his RX-V659 that served his needs well for so many years until it died.  RIP.   Only a standard 5.1 speaker system was tested, so no Atmos reference material was used. 

DVD: Steve Wilson – Drive Home

Steve Wilson is mostly known as the lead singer/guitarist of ProgressDrive-Home-DVD.jpgive Rock/Metal band Porcupine Tree.  He has also been known to collaborate with bands such as Blackfield, and Opeth and Marillion.  He has since than gone on his own, assembling some of the finest musicians in progressive rock today to help him reach his vision.  Although this is only a DVD, Wilson is meticulous about doing all of his surround mixes in excellent fidelity and this disc is no exception since it was mastered in DTS 96/24.  Title track "Drive Home" has an accompanying animated video that is so emotional and compelling to watch you almost forget how incredible the music is.  The RX-A860 did a nice job filling the living room with sound, especially since we had all of the speakers bass-managed and crossed over at 100Hz to the dual subs.  This took a lot of strain off the amp section and in fact I highly recommend setting ALL of your speakers to "small" when using this AV receiver if you have a powered sub.  "The Watchmaker" is such a musical masterpiece that if this disc only had this one live performance, it would be worth it.  It starts out with Mr. Wilson's lovely acoustical guitar while he sings so eloquently.  Then the bass kicks in to wake up the subs along with flutes reminiscent of the days of Jethro Tull and Peter Gabriel fronted Genesis.  The song just builds until you're right in the middle of a progressive instrumental musical masterpiece that few bands today could pull off let alone actually produce.  The Yamaha provided satisfactory output for the room and we didn't really notice anything lost from the better quality amp section that was in his RX-V659 receiver. 

Blu-ray: Transformers III - Dark of the Moon

The acting is sometimes cheesy, the stortransformers.jpgyline weak and often unbelievable, but you gotta love giant metal crunching robots slugging it out, peppered with plenty of LFE effects to rattle your spine to place you in the action.  That is just what the ALL Michael Bay Transformers movies do. The RX-A860 delivered the goods just like the model it replaced in this RBH speaker powered theater room. 

We didn't use any of Yamaha’s proprietary DSP modes but prior experience taught me that Movie Theater Adventure mode produced the most palatable results after toning down some of the parameters such as DSP level, Room size and Liveliness.  You will want to experiment here and fine tune the various parameters to suite your listening tastes and room conditions.  Set the levels too high and you wind up listening in a simulated acoustical space of a stadium bathroom rather than a fine concert venue.  The Yamaha RX-A860 proved to have the Allspark providing sufficient Energon to power the RBH speaker system to reach satisfying listening levels in a moderately large listening space with bass managed speakers.

 

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Recent Forum Posts:

Zildjianmeister posts on July 13, 2019 18:58
I agree with all the above comments. If I was to go with just an AVR I would pick one of the higher Yamaha models.

I wanted to share that 860 review for those that haven't seen it. At least they did test with some respectable speakers.as opposed to sounding like a marketing ad.

Z
PENG posts on July 13, 2019 16:38
Andrein, post: 1326212, member: 80761
It might be not fine if you listen at high levels or use 7ch stereo. But then it will be an issue even for more expensive yamaha avrs, maybe just the issue starts manifesting itself sooner with 8xx series.

True, though I suspect not too many people who would enjoy the 7 Ch Stereo at near reference or higher level. THX standard's is for each speaker to be able to produce 105 dB peak at the main listening position, but 105 dB is very loud to most people, period, whether it is from 1 speaker, or 7 speakers.

The popular calculator below shows only 30 watts per channel is required to produce 105 dB at the listening position 12 ft from the speakers, when 7 channel stereo mode is engaged.

https://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html
Andrein posts on July 13, 2019 16:12
snakeeyes, post: 1326217, member: 85468
The F36 is 91dB sensenitivity so RXA2070 won’t be having any issues even at max volume but that’s loud enough to really damage your hearing.
https://forums.audioholics.com/forums/threads/revel-concerta2-f36-tower-speaker-review.105070/
Still depends on the distance from LP, listening level, content being played (multich stereo likely to create more problems sooner). Was speaking in general. A8xx in this respect is going to suffer sooner and more. Though if gear is adequate for the task it should work just fine.
snakeeyes posts on July 13, 2019 11:50
Andrein, post: 1326212, member: 80761
It might be not fine if you listen at high levels or use 7ch stereo. But then it will be an issue even for more expensive yamaha avrs, maybe just the issue starts manifesting itself sooner with 8xx series.

The F36 is 91dB sensenitivity so RXA2070 won’t be having any issues even at max volume but that’s loud enough to really damage your hearing.


https://forums.audioholics.com/forums/threads/revel-concerta2-f36-tower-speaker-review.105070/
Andrein posts on July 13, 2019 11:29
PENG, post: 1326208, member: 6097
That was just a subjective review with no measurements taken on the amp's preamp and/or power amp output so you can't assume Yamaha had “fixed” the pre out related issues Gene commented on in the AH review. I do agree with ADTG, that for real world use, it should be fine, but it you intend to use it with external power amp, then the higher series are highly recommended, or at least aim for a power amp that offers higher gain than the typical 28-29 dB.
It might be not fine if you listen at high levels or use 7ch stereo. But then it will be an issue even for more expensive yamaha avrs, maybe just the issue starts manifesting itself sooner with 8xx series.
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