89 of 93 people found the following review helpful
on March 25, 2013
This is my first receiver purchase in 20 years. This receiver replaces an old Denon that had great sound but, of course, it didn't have Airplay to work with my vast iTunes library and a DAC to improve the sound coming from compressed digital audio. I am very picky about sound but wouldn't characterize myself an audiophile, since I don't have the budget to go there. Having said this, the Yamaha RX-473 seems to have a reputation as a one of the better sounding receivers for the price competing with Onkyo, Denon in the entry level audiophile components. I almost purchased Denon, but my gut feeling after reading hundreds of reviews is that the Yamaha was the way to go. Onkyo was never an option, due to its history of problems (although to be fair, they seem now living up to their high quality reputation recently).
Virtually every review of the RX-473 makes it out to be one of the best values on the market without sacrificing sound quality. What made me wait for the RX-475 is that it now includes a Burr Brown DAC made by Texas Instruments. The DAC functions on every appropriate sound source per Yamaha's literature. Another thing is that the RX-475 has bluetooth capability so that I my wife can use wireless headphones (once the soon to be released receiver is available), though I'm sticking to a better sounding traditional copper wire connection for my cans.
For those who don't know, a DAC is a Digital-to-Analog Converter. It turns 0s and 1s on a digital file such as that on a DVD, CD or Pandora, usually in the form of Pulse Code Modulation, into an analog electrical signal that our audio electronics can understand and amplify so that our speakers make sounds. As you might imagine, an ADC turns analog signals into digital signals, which is important for recording. Processors/receivers often have both ADCs and DACs in their circuitry in order to do many different audio related things. Burr Brown DAC 's are known as quality products but nowadays there are many good DACs. 2013 RX-X75 line features Burr Brown DACs as opposed the undisclosed DAC in the 2012 line. Most other receivers in the this price category don't list their DAC circuitry as something to brag about. All indications are that the Yamaha Burr Brown does the trick . I use an Audio Engine D1 DAC for my desktop listening and love the mellow 3D sound that it produces. So I'm picky about how my digital sources are treated. The sound on the RX-475 using Pandora, iTunes & Netradio sounds controlled smooth and non digital. So far so good.
Setup was ok. It could be easier since the manual focuses on non set top box setups. I use Tivo, but any cable box would be treated a setup that is certainly an option, just not as primary option detailed in the manual. btw make sure you load the Manual CD and immediately get the manual, which is in PDF format to your tablet so you can have it to refer to in FRONT of the receiver. Once I got The RX-475 networked I was stumped by it not able to use my network even though the status was CONNECT. After a bit if frustration I restarted the receiver. That did the trick. Installation of the IOS app was easy on my ipad and iphones. Airplay works great and I can now play Pandora from my Mac to my whole house including the RX-475, Airport Express and other computers with speakers using 3rd party applications like Reflector. I've used the RX-475 for 3 solid days and have to say that I no longer use the remote. I only now use my Tivo Remote. but for anything related to the RX-475, I use the iOS App exclusively. In fact, sometimes I just go back and forth between the Tivo and Yamaha apps on my iPad and have complete control of my entire entertainment experience . The only minor complaint I have is that there a slight audio click that I hear when I rewind or forward 30 seconds on Tivo. Whether its a Tivo or Yamaha problem I have no idea. Other than that, the RX-475 is great upgrade for anyone in the receiver market . Let's hope RX-475 bluetooth transmitter/receiver solution works as well once its released.
73 of 82 people found the following review helpful
on September 17, 2013
**UPDATE** 17 March, 2014
I think I have finally cracked the code, or just about. I have disabled ARC on my Panasonic TV and the AVR and I am only having the handshake issues a couple times a month, down from every day. Power up sequence didn't make any difference, replacing the cables didn't work, and upgrading the DirectV didn't work.
So ARC seems to be the issue and I don't need it anyway due to having everything plugged into the AVR so I am still happy with the setup I have and feel a bit better about the purchase. With that said, I do wish this was not an issue at all.
**UPDATE** 09 December, 2013
Dealing with this handshake issue has been a pain. After a lot of research on this I have come to the conclusion that this is apparently very common for people using HDMI for video and audio. It is entirely an HDMI handshake issue and switching cables doesn't fix it. It seems that the HDCP protocol is very sensitive to small deviations and will 'fail safe' by refusing to authenticate the signal if there is any doubt it will sync. I have read that installing an HDMI/HDCP switch might help as I mentioned in my original post but be sure that it supports your high definition features like 120Hz picture and new multi-channel formats like Dobly TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. I have also read that a specific power up sequence also helps as follows. The sequence is to ensure that the TV and AVR is powered up fully before powering on the source device like the DirecTV/DVR box or DVD. I will do this for a while and will report back on my review as to the success or lack of success. I may also try to switch to using an optical cable for audio signal if that doesn't work.
After a lot of research and quandary, I decided to go for the Yamaha RX-V475 for an AV receiver. Setup was easy and fast. However, after a day or two I began to notice that while watching my DirecTV with it, I was getting a loss of audio and a pick hue on the video or loss of video all together. Turning on and off didn't fix it and eventually I realized the only fix was to remove power from it. After a week or so of this, I called Yamaha to inquire about the issue and I was told to replace the cables which I did. With the new cables the issue still existed and so I called Yamaha again. They then told me to send it back to Amazon for a replacement as it sounded like it was broken. I got a replacement and set it up and bang...same thing.
Now I was stumped so I turned to Google for answers. After a search for various strings, I eventually began to see that I wasn't the only one having these issues. Now Yamaha seemed to be the focus of many of the issues, Denon and other manufactures also had the issue and mainly with PC's connected to them. I eventually narrowed the problem down to an HDMI signal issue using ARC. Specifically the fact that when the resolutions change there is a chance that the electronics begin to loose their sync with each other causing the exact issues I was having. There is a piece of hardware you can buy for about $100 that keeps the connection live regardless of the resolution so loosing sync doesn't happen. However, after spending hundreds on an AV receiver, I was not ready to spend another hundo.
My fix...I am using DirecTV so I went to the resolution setting and deselected all resolutions except 1080i forcing the DirectTV box to always output at 1080i resolution so it's not always changing back and forth. All channels are still visable and work fine, even the ones that broadcast at lower resolution because the box seems to output at 1080i regardless. I haven't had any more issues with the pink screen or signal loss but I do get occasional audio loss I am guessing due to switching back and forth from surround sound and stereo. While this is a pain, I can deal with it for now.
However, I am very unhappy that Yamaha doesn't address this issue for their products and somehow apply and fix so this isn't an issue. There seems to be a lot of people having it. Whats more disappointing is that their own technical support seemed not to know anything about this and advised me to return it. LOL
While all features of this receiver is awesome and audio quality is excellent, I cannot advise anyone to buy this if you are using a PC, DirecTV or anything else that may change resolution because of the issues I have had. Honestly, if I didn't throw away the box already, I would return it to Amazon for a refund and get something else entirely.
44 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2013
I love Yamaha products as I owned Yamaha guitar and digital piano, all of them are rock solid and sound is top-notch in terms of money. When purchasing a receiver, i did not look elsewhere only Yamaha. I got a black Friday deal from best buy for RX-375 which is $150 cheaper than RX-475. However, after a side by side comparison with RX-475, I have to say the sound quality from 475 is lot better. I ended up returning RX-375 to best buy.
The RX-375 and RX-475 is pretty much similar in terms of set up and features, RX-475 has more internet related features such as AirPlay though I only care about its sound quality. I basically did two sets of tests on each one of them: 1) Watching action movies 007 and Avenger. 2) Listening to a few string instrument music CDs e.g. pure guitar sound.
For watching action movies, both RX-375 and RX-475 delivers pretty much the same sound effects e.g. helicopter flying by, voice is clear and movie background music is fine, video is clear also. So after this test, I thought I will just return RX-475 as RX-375 is lot cheaper and serve my needs for watching action movies.
It is the second test that really makes RX-475 stands out from RX-375. I have set both unit to the exact same settings under on-screen menu including the volume and using the exact same set of speakers. (of course, after properly YAO setup.) The music played from RX-375 is very bright, but mid range is far worse than RX-475. RX-475 is very rich and brings great details of the music. I also played some piano CD music through this receiver, it came out great.
After these simple tests, I returned RX-375 and kept RX-475. I also discovered RX-475 supports AirPlay, but Yamaha mentioned that AirPlay is only for music playing, you can not simply dump the video to the receiver to watch it. So to me, it is useless. But the extra $150 for a great sound still justify the cost for this receiver.
It is very surprising that good reviews for RX-375 is far more than that on RX-475, I highly doubt any of the reviewers has ever spent time to really listen to these receivers and make a good comparison. I highly recommended this model.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2013
Glad I upped the price I was willing to invest for an AV center receiver. The front buttons for instant change to the source device was great over trying to find the right configuration on a remote. Set up was super easy. The speaker wire mounts were easy to grab and twist. Would buy this again if needed.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2013
Yamaha has hit a new high with this receiver. Easy to set up and operate with plenty of power for a very large area. The Available Android remote app is a plus. Nothing negative to say about it. What an improvement over the onkyo it replaced. Could not be happier together with the new JBL speakers makes an awesome home theater system.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 7, 2014
I still love this receiver. It sounds awesome, it is feature rich, and one of the unexpected results I found, is all of my hdmi devices connected to it, work with the remote. I didn't have to add any additional programming. Firetv, roku, chromcast, blueray dvd, all work with the remote. So I don't have to switch remotes at all.
************************** Original Review
I have had this receiver for a month now. I had a roku MHL stick, so I was looking for a receiver that supports MHL. This receiver happens to be the cheapest receiver that has an HDMI MHL port. I had replace an onkyo reciever.
So thoughts :
Setup was easy for me, I plugged in the mic, and it calibrated it self.
What I use it for; I have a roku stick, chromecast, and blue ray dvd. All of these work perfectly. The device even has power to run for the Chromecast so you don't have to use the external power supply, you just plug in the usb into the back of the receiver.
Sound : Awesome. Very clean crisp sound. I love this receiver, I am very happy with the product.
The only downside is the no bluetooth, however my chromecast allows me to send my music to the receiver through the wifi, and cost a lot less than adding bluetooth or wifi to receiver
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2014
First off, it seems like Bi-amp wiring is only a feature of the RX-V575. I'm still happy with this purchase, never bi-amped before and don't really necessitate it for my needs, setup, or taste as of yet. Say whatever you may about digital vs. analog, but for me, this receiver is replacing a 16-year old JVC bookshelf system that I rigged to run just music through. So basically it's like sight to a blind man, a bottle of vodka to a wino, a breath of fresh air in how I enjoy my audio visual experience and it is far overdue, and really exciting.
I really needed to step up into the big-boy world of AV receivers and I haven’t looked back. I really want to get myself the other 3 speakers and run surround to take full advantage of the RX-V475’s 5 luscious and lifelike channels. This piece of kit brought new life to my Polk Monitor 40s. It’s like making the transition from a rusted-out, baby poo brown Dae-woo Lanos to a Civic Si or a nice Jetta. No, it’s not a multi-thousand dollar AV receiver, and I’m not some kind of Rockefeller.
First things first, noise… what noise? This shiz runs quiet as a lamb. Wearing moccasins. Through a meadow. Covered in snow.
The power cord is permanently affixed. Not a huge minus, but a quick replacement at the most common point of failure would add some value to the product.
So many inputs, I would run out of money buying components before I run out of input space. The 4K pass-through will hopefully keep this machine away from obsolescence… but then again, my JVC still has a tape deck.
DSP (digital signal processing) is great, it adds some fidelity to low-quality MP3 rips. Doesn’t fully return the integrity to the track but it’s still like day and night listening to unprocessed MP3s and back to the DSP tracks.
Haven’t had a chance to use the YPAO feature yet, but I’m looking forward to it.
As a strange observation, these are going at Best Buy for $400+tax. I paid $349.95 AND THEN it went to $320 within 3 days. Full price guarantee refund, cash back in the pocket.
I hate the interface for the USB/iPod playback. Sucks. At least you can use the phone to select and control the music... the USB storage drive, not so much. Only works with FAT16/FAT32 hard drives, by the way... so this is a good chance to rig up your library on a cheapo external and leave it hooked up.
I might get around to setting up the network/internet radio and Airplay features. I can't tell whether or not the computer you would like to play Airplay from will need a hardwired connection or if it will work over WiFi. It's a shade gimmicky, sure to be obsolete in a few years time.
Great flexibility for volume trim on input devices. So, say you don't like the loudness difference between two different sources. You can program it to pad or boost a targeted signal and worry no more.
So in three words, I would describe this as feature-oriented, flexible, and well-designed.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 1, 2014
I'm not an audiophile, but my work relates to sound systems (I have experience with many). Also I have a good hearing. For how much this unit costs it's a great deal. All the features you would expect from today's technology, clear sound, even from compressed sources, works with your home network media sources (AirPlay, PC and Mac computers, other media sources), smartphone can be used as a remote, streams music over network from iPhone. Sound is better than I have expected from a product in this price range. Of course if you are an audiophile, you will be looking for something more sophisticated, but 80% of the population won't hear any difference between this system and products that are much more expensive.
21 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2013
I bought this amp a couple months ago, to replace an old Sony failing amp. I am amazed how far the technology has been increased. Speakers require banana plug ends, the amp has 4 HDMI inputs, so you can run everything thru the amp, as it has 1 HDMI output to the HDTV. It also has 5 RCA inputs, and one component input. My computer is hard wired HDMI to HDMI, then HDMI from the amp. You can rename each HDMI input as you wish, like "Blu-ray" player. I am setting about 8-9' away from the screen, and am typing this email using a wireless mouse and keyboard on my coffee table. This amp also has several other inputs for all these new gagets coming out, that I have no need for.
I have an indoor HDTV antenna for over the air stations, 15 digital channels, including all 5 major networks. So I joined Netflix, and dropped Direct TV, saving me about 83 bucks a month.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2014
Pleased with this receiver. It has all the features we need, love the YPAO. Set-up was surprisingly problem-free. We have it hooked up with a Panasonic Viera plasma, Google (Sony Internet) TV Box, Xbox 360 and comcast motorola DVR. The last receiver we owned had major issues with HDCP and HDMI handshaking. I was almost happy when a massive weird power surge-undervoltage thing killed it. This one, happily, plays nicely with everything.