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Yamaha RX-Z11 Build Quality

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Z11inside.jpgJust as in the tradition of all past Yamaha flagship products, the RX-Z11 uses state of the art construction and parts. I was relieved to see the old modular design and horizontally mounted heat sinks of the RX-Z9 not find its way into this unit. The RX-Z11 utilizes about the largest E-core power transformer that I’ve seen, instead of the more space efficient toroidal found on its predecessor flagship receiver. The RX-Z11 screams flagship with its hefty and rigid chassis, huge power supply and ample heat sink area. E-core and Toroid transformer designs can be equally good provided they are used within their limits but an E-core typically takes up more real estate which Yamaha managed to cleverly tuck neatly into this hulking chassis. The heat sink is tapered to minimize resonance and also provide for optimal heat dissipation and the bottom of the chassis has two relatively large fans to keep the unit cool during high sustained output levels. The input fuse to the power transformer is rated at 15A / 250V and the power supply consists of two 27,000uF/75V capacitors for the seven main power amplifiers and two 8,200uF/50V caps for the presence channels. The audio pre-amp section, utilizes a bulk of capacitors that sum to about 30,000uF. The amplifier is a wide bandwidth design utilizing current mode feedback with virtually no phase shift to keep phase compensation to a minimum. This contributes to the RX-Z11's excellent transient response allowing frequency response to remain unchanged even when the gain changes (as you will see in my test data), to help create a warmer, texture-rich sound. With such a large power supply, plenty of heat sink area and ample cooling, and THX Ultra2 Plus certification, the amplifier section in this receiver is ready to pump out some serious wattage when called upon but also handle the most delicate musical passages with finesse to appease the heart of a true audiophile.

 

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Recent Forum Posts:

bandphan posts on September 07, 2008 05:37
ggunnell, post: 452784
As others on AVS have posted, I have had no luck getting the Z11 to recognize any HDMI video signals from my Oppo 983 except 480p.

Upgrading to the latest Oppo firmware has no effect.

Using the Z11's “Signal Info”, 480p is recognized as such, and the Z11 will up-convert it to 1080p. Both 720p and 1080i are unrecognized (type = “???”) and the Z11 will not process them further, they are simply passed through.
1080p doesn't get through at all (blank screen).

This is unacceptable performance. My 3800 has no problem passing 1080p from the 983.

What display are you using? Is it possible to send 480i unaltered and let the yama or the display scale?
ggunnell posts on September 06, 2008 19:16
As others on AVS have posted, I have had no luck getting the Z11 to recognize any HDMI video signals from my Oppo 983 except 480p.

Upgrading to the latest Oppo firmware has no effect.

Using the Z11's “Signal Info”, 480p is recognized as such, and the Z11 will up-convert it to 1080p. Both 720p and 1080i are unrecognized (type = “???”) and the Z11 will not process them further, they are simply passed through.
1080p doesn't get through at all (blank screen).

This is unacceptable performance. My 3800 has no problem passing 1080p from the 983.
Pyrrho posts on June 01, 2008 19:11
3db, post: 385227
is it possible to ake out a 20yr mortage on this? I want one!!

That would be very unwise, judging from the way receivers have aged in the past. Very probably, in 5 years, something better will come out, and then you will not be happy with a long loan for the old, outdated thing. If you doubt this, just take a look at the market value of the flagship receiver from Yamaha (or anyone else) from 5 years ago; you can check such things by looking at sales made on eBay.

For most people, buying a much less expensive model, such as the RX-V3800, would be a much wiser choice. Or, even more realistically, the RX-V663. The RX-V663 can do things that the 5 year old flagship receiver cannot do. Just check for yourself if you have any doubts about this. And, realistically, the near perfect performance of the flagship isn't likely to result in a performance advantage that you will actually hear. I went from a Yamaha RX-V730 to a Yamaha RX-V2700. Although a difference can be measured, they sound the same, unless one is using a processing mode not available on the other, or one requires the additional power. This is comparing an old $600 receiver with a fairly new $1700 one. I bought the newer one for features, and in that way, it is vastly better. But, even with my good speakers with quality ribbon tweeters, they sound the same.

Basically, a flagship receiver is only a good choice for people for whom the purchase price is not a big deal. Otherwise, it is almost certainly a mistake to buy one. If you need great video processing, a separate processor, or, if one only needs it for DVDs, an Oppo DV-983H DVD player is a much more sensible option. That way, one can replace the receiver in a couple of years, and keep the processor, when new sound formats or capabilities come out. And with the money saved just from stepping down to the RX-V3800 (as opposed to the RX-Z11), one can get an incredible video processor. Or, amplification for low impedances, if one needs more power than the RX-V3800.
croseiv posts on May 12, 2008 17:52
Drool.
walt_nixon posts on May 12, 2008 16:30
Question on DVD Audio in…

I just read the excellent review of the Yamaha RX-Z11. I replaced my RX-Z9 with an RX-Z11 last year and have a question. I'm running an NAD T-585 multi player (DVD, DVD Audio, CD, SACD). Everything in the rather sparse user manual indicated that I needed to route the DVD Audio output through the 6 (5.1 channel) analog outputs on the T585 to the same inputs on the RX-Z11. Because of this, none of the RX-Z11 DSP modes is available when I play either an SACD or a DVD Audio disc. I also own a copy of the Beatle's “Love” DVD Audio disc and was surprised when I read in your review that you had switched in the “Music Video” DSP mode while listening to it. How are you getting your DVD Audio digital signal into the RX-Z11 to enable this?
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