Top positive review
215 people found this helpful
Thrilled by the quality and feature set
on September 17, 2013
I purchased and still own a Yamaha RX-765 from four years ago. I decided to add a second entertainment system focusing on music and "downgraded" to the 6xx series RX-V675 introduced in 2013. The downgrade meant that pre-amp outputs are gone, the front face is plastic instead of metal, and slightly less watts per channel. I didn't really need those upgrades, and the RX-V675 was on sale at a local retailer.
I'm so blown away by all the features added in the last four years, I felt compelled to write this review. First as reference, the speakers I connected in a 5.1 setup:
Polk Audio TSx550t (floor standing fronts)
Polk Audio TSx250c (center channel)
Polk Audio 80F/X-LS (in ceiling surrounds)
SVS PB-1000 (subwoofer)
The floor standing fronts have two 5.25" midrange and two 8" woofers (in addition to a tweeter). I was concerned the 95 watt per channel RMS would not be enough to drive these to uncomfortable volumes. This is not an issue. The RX-V675 has no hesitation in driving these clearly at levels needed for a house party. On a related note, the RX-V675 supports true bi-amp (sacrificing Zone 2), however, it won't deliver significantly more power with most speakers as typically the top posts will drive only the tweeter (which takes relatively little power), while the bottom posts will drive ALL of the remaining drivers. So, it might help for signal integrity for the tweeters, but not much for total power delivered. Contrary to what is regurgitated on the Internet, it does seem as though the Yamaha is configuring discrete amps in the bi-amp mode. You are of course still limited by the total power capacity of the receiver, but if you happen to have speakers that internally distribute the separate posts across the midrange/woofers, it should allow you to deliver additional power to the fronts where you need it most at reference levels.
The auto configuration tool, YPAO, did a great job of calibrating the speakers. I did it manually by ear first, then let YPAO do it to see how close it set the levels. It matched my preferences exactly except for setting the subwoofer down -1.0 db (I just set it back!). YPAO did set all my speakers to large, but I chose to set them to small and cutoff at 60Hz to offload that to the subwoofer.
Sound quality, as you would expect from Yamaha, is at least as good as my untrained ears can discern. I'm confident that only the most discriminating of audio elites could find fault in the reproduction of music or sound tracks. That hasn't changed in the last four years.
Now, what has changed in four years? A lot has been added, and here are the new features that I appreciate most:
1. Built in networking (ethernet). Supports network formats and firmware updates over the Internet.
2. Pandora, AirPlay, and network radio blew me away. Quality is insanely good, and the interface showing album art is a nice touch. Also, there doesn't seem to be any commercials on Pandora!
3. Android App to control the receiver - even the album art shows up on my Android phone.
4. Front HDMI (with MHL support) and USB inputs. Charges your phone while connected.
5. 6 total HDMI inputs, versus 4 on the 2009 model.
6. Audio Return Channel (ARC). Gets rid of the return optical cable back from your smart TV.
7. 3D support on HDMI.
8. 4K support and upscaling. No, I won't be able to test that any time soon.
For much less than the cost of the RX-V765 from four years ago, you get so much more. I know that's how technology progresses, but it's amazing just how much has been added. And the features are all well implemented. Nothing feels rushed. It looks and feels solid. No bells and whistles added for the sake of marketing features; everything is well thought out and functional. No ridiculous LED lit volume knobs or other gimmicks.
Here is my short list of complaints (nothing is perfect though this receiver comes close!):
1. You can no longer configure the receiver without an HDMI monitor/TV connected. Most of the advanced settings and setup require the on screen GUI.
2. The remote is basically the same from four years ago. It doesn't glow in the dark, and it's really just a matrix of keys. You won't use it anyway after the initial setup. Get a Logitech Harmony or use your Android phone.
3. The Zone 2 connections are not banana posts like the rest. A strange place to cut $5 of cost.
Minor complaints really. If you need a receiver now, this is the one to buy. If don't need it now, wait for a sale, and then buy this receiver!