Archive for category AV Receivers
“To demo the receiver’s audio performance, I played back a wide variety of Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS:X, DTS-HD MA, and PCM content, including several Ultra HD Blu-ray discs and streaming titles from various sources like VUDU, Amazon Prime Video, and Netflix. For the majority of my testing, I opted to keep the device in its “Direct” listening mode, which minimizes processing while still engaging the unit’s MCACC speaker calibration.
In general, I typically find that most home theater receivers offer very similar sound when compared to one another using the same speakers. With that in mind, I was actually a bit surprised to notice a warmer tonal quality through the VSX-933 compared to my Onkyo TX-NR555 after swapping the units out.
This distinction in sound mostly applied to playback using each receiver’s auto calibration EQ, but even in their pure modes, there seemed to be slightly more emphasis on the lower mid-range through the Pioneer. While mostly pleasing, this warmer profile also resulted in a comparatively boomy quality in dialogue and bass response at times versus the Onkyo’s brighter yet crisper output. In the end, which approach is superior mostly comes down to a matter of personal preference, and after finishing my evaluation of the VSX-933, I actually found that the Onkyo sounded a little too thin when I swapped it back in. ”
While the AV8802A and AV8805 look similar, the AV8805 has over 1,900 part changes that are meant to enhance audio quality. These include faster DSPs, new isolation plates between the transformer and chassis to reduce noise and vibration, additional shielding and isolation between the DSPs and the audio PCBs, a new DAC board layout with a shorter signal path for improved jitter reduction, and updated HDAMs (Hyper Dynamic Amplifier Module) with precision-matched discrete devices.
One thing Marantz hasn’t updated is its best-in-class user interface, one that I find to be extremely intuitive and easy on the eyes. When powering up for the first time, you are greeted by a guided setup that walks you through the installation. First, you tell the processor how many components you’re using. Next, you’re instructed to connect the included Audyssey microphone to the unit’s front so that MultiEQ XT32 equalization can work its magic
Yamaha’s YPAO calibration system is tasked with dialing in your speakers and making acoustical adjustments. The entire process only takes a minute or two and unlike Audyssey, you only need to place the mic in one position. The results were solid, although it mistakingly labeled my fronts as large.
Streaming music to the RX-581 via one of its multitude of streaming options is a simple process. In the past, Bluetooth on Yamaha receivers could be a little difficult to get up running. With the 581 I had no such issues. After I pressed the Bluetooth button on the remote it was just a matter of pairing the amp with my phone. AirPlay and internet streaming worked equally well.”