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Yamaha RX-Z11 Preview

by August 06, 2007
Yamaha RX-Z11 flagship receiver

Yamaha RX-Z11 flagship receiver

> Read our Comprehensive Review of the Yamaha RX-Z11 <

Yamaha has finally announced its new flagship receiver. The RX-Z11 is a 11.2 powerhouse that breaks all of boundaries of former Yamaha receivers and steps up to present more advanced features than anything else they have delivered to date. Combining amp assignability, raw power and networking features, the new flagship product aims to take on the role of central AV hub in the consumer home. From the look of the back panel this is one impressive beast of burden.

RX-Z11 Back

dsp-z11.jpg

11.2 Surround - Are They Nutz?

First off is the new 11.2 moniker - how can you have 11.2 in a home theater system? With a lot of DSP... and speakers... and wall space... Taking a look at the picture below we see that Yamaha has added support for rear Presence speakers as well as Stereo Subwoofers. Yes, stereo, though we assume there is a way through bass management to allow for LFE and mono use as well. The end result is a (maximum) 11.2 audio system with the flexibility to scale back to 5.2 with up to 4 additional zones.

 

RX-Z11-speakers.gif

It's an interesting arrangement and we'll have to see how well it enhances the theatrical experience in real-world use. Not for the feint of heart, this new AV receiver has more channels (though very similar) than the new Audyssey 10.2 Surround format, and enough DSP to actually make use of them.

Features

  • 11.2 surround system
  • 140W x 7 (main channels)
  • 50W x 4 (height presence channels)
  • HDMI 1.3a supports native Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio
  • 10-bit and 12-bit per channel Deep Color & xvYCC
  • 120Hz and 24Hz refresh rates with auto lip-sync
  • 5 HDMI inputs (1 on front panel), 2 HDMI outputs
  • Analog to HDMI 1080p upscaling
  • HDMI Audio upconversion (takes analogue or digital audio and video and outputs over HDMI
  • Network playback of music (MP3, WMA, WAV and AAC files) stored on a PC or NAS drive
  • Internet radio with MP3 support
  • Functions as optional MusicCAST client
  • Two USB inputs (one front, one rear) for playback of MP3, WMA, WAV and AAC audio files from a portable player or USB drive
  • HD Radio
  • XM Radio with HD Surround support
  • Compressed Music Enhancer technology
  • YPAO with multi-point measurement (up to 8 positions)
  • 10 listening settings for the main zone, and four for each additional zone
  • iPod docking station compatible (optional Yamaha YDS-10; SRP $99.95) which functions with receiver remote

Possibly most important is that the RX-Z11's features a pre-amplifier mode that can disable the power amplifier circuitry and allow the internal pre-amp to be paired with an external, ultra high-end power amplifier, where the main zone pre-out passes a full 11.2 channels of audio, complete with the RX-Z11's full range of decoding, DSP and speaker configuration output.

Surround Configuration Options

Here is a sample of a few possible RX-Z11 custom installation scenarios:

  • 11.2 channels in the main home theater/music room
  • 11.2 channels in the main room with two additional fronts bi-wired
  • 9.2 channels in the main room with the fronts bi-amped
  • 7.2 channels in the main room, four channels in the second room and two channels in the third room using Intelligent Assign
  • 7.2 channels in the main room, two channels in the second room, two channels in the third room and two channels in a fourth room using Intelligent Assign
  • 5.2 channels in the main room, two channels in the second room, two channels in the third room and two channels in a fourth room
  • 5.2 channels in the main room with the fronts bi-amped, two channels in the second room and two channels in the third room

New Remote... Sort Of

remote.jpgThe new Yamaha RX-Z11 sports a revised remote that is very similar in nature to the existing remote used by their receivers. The difference is a silver color and fully backlit keys that appear, on first glance, to actually be visible in the dark. Four system memory buttons are available on the front to store user configurations and settings and the remote is capable of being programmed to handle almost any component in the home theater.

The hidden panel of the RX-Z11 features an additional HDMI input (bringing the total to 5) as well as the expected AV inputs with optical digital. Zones can be engaged and disengaged and the YPAO optimizer mic and headphone jacks are located here as well.

front-panel.jpg

Video Scaling and Deinterlacing

The Yamaha RX-Z11 can essentially scale up and down from any resolution to any other resolution. For the first time this includes HDMI and HD signals. For example, a 720p signal input over HDMI can now be scaled to 1080p. 1080i source signals via HDMI or component can also be deinterlaced to 1080p. This chart shows the basic metrics and possibilities:

scaling.gif

Yamaha expanded the custom control capability of the RX-Z11 over a network so it now supports the Web Browser Control on a PC or PDA — or even a smart phone in the future — as well as on a touch-pad controller for local area or home networks. Users can also view a variety of information for iPods, XM or HD Radio via the Meta Data Display on the browser. This greatly extends the operational capabilities to easily control the many applications the unit makes available. For professional installers, the RX-Z11's Receiver Manager allows users to maintain full control of the unit via a well-organized interface on a PC. It also now uses the Ethernet connection offering higher speed operation than the RS-232C control.

The RX-Z11 will ship in November for an MSRP of $5,499.

For more information visit www.yamaha.com/home.

Interested in purchasing this receiver from an authorized dealer?  Check out current Yamaha receivers at Audiogurus

 

About the author:

Clint Deboer was terminated from Audioholics for misconduct on April 4th, 2014. He no longer represents Audioholics in any fashion.

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Recent Forum Posts:

bwillcox posts on December 06, 2007 09:19
I got my RX-Z11 yesterday (I'm in Austin, TX). I'm still working on getting it hooked up (I'm doing some major re-arrangement of my system coincident with this) so unfortunately I have nothing of any interest to report yet.
brahn posts on December 01, 2007 23:47
I got mine!!

Just picked mine up today. I am in the process of running through its final setup process. I will keep you posted
bwillcox posts on November 26, 2007 15:58
Highlander, post: 334027
For me, this statement applies as a minimum.



Perhaps because folk in the U.S. are paid half as much as those in the U.K.
The Yamaha rep at the Bjorn's sponsored demo of the Z11 claimed that it was because Yamaha US insisted on the $5000 price point. Perhaps Yamaha UK didn't do so??
Highlander posts on November 26, 2007 15:55
Rtech1, post: 324888
Me? I will wait for the next Flagship.

For me, this statement applies as a minimum.

morksbeanbag, post: 331962
I can't believe its $5k in the U.S, its twice the price in the UK at £5000…

Perhaps because folk in the U.S. are paid half as much as those in the U.K.
bwillcox posts on November 26, 2007 15:33
troytn, post: 333580
Has anyone seen on of these Z11's yet in stores? Online?

It states November availability and November is about gone.

Any rumors on delays or ship dates?
Last week the rumor was that they were on the truck, expected to arrive sometime this week (at my dealer anyway).
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