Top positive review
98 people found this helpful
Great value and beautiful sound!
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.