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Finally got a Yamaha RX-A3040


Active Member
Mar 10, 2021
Been lusting after this receiver for a long time, and I finally found one for a good price, good condition, and with the original box.

In their aventage line, it's the highest end integrated receiver (Yamaha RX-a30X0), and it's the last generation (4th, rx-a3040) to feature multi-channel input so I can use it as a separate 9-channel amplifier should a time come when I need the latest audio/video goodness.

The internal amplifiers are powering my 5 surround and center speakers, with my fronts being powered by my Yamaha M-65 two-channel amplifier.

I'm going to add four in-ceiling speakers (Klipsch CDT-5650-C-ii, what a stupid name), for which I plan on building a backbox. This should have given me 7.2.4 surround, but I think a bad monoprice cable might have fried my Alison AL10 subwoofer amp for good. It's acting super wonky. I'll try a different cable and see if I can get it running again, it really is a fantastic subwoofer that goes down really low.

It's replacing a CX-A5000 hooked up to a Sony STR-DB930 (and the aforementioned M-65). It never worked out quite right with that setup, and I really don't know why. Impedance matching between the yamaha and the sony maybe? Idk. It never sounded quite right. It didn't sound clear. Maybe the Sony just isn't that good, who knows.

One thing I did notice when I first powered it on was a 60Hz transformer buzz. That might have gone away, I didn't hear it from my MLP, but I'll nitpick later. The original buyer bought it as a refurbished units, which I suspect in the case of yamaha might not be a good thing. When I went to open the enclosure, some of the screws were stripped, and they were all so tight I had get out my Wiha precision drivers to untick them. I wonder if they tried tightening the balls off of them in order to stop that transformer buzz? Possibly, idk.
One of my fans got unhappy when jostled about and is being a little bit noisier than usual. Hopefully it still has warranty. It's such a cheap pos, the company can probably stamp on out and ship it without much overhead loss. They should be ashamed of themselves for making such a flimsy product, but it's the only pusher fan I could find with the (common sense) features I need.

As for the receiver itself, a "review" if you will....... it's much the same yamaha. My first receiver was a yamaha rx-a810 (that I still have for unusual sentimental purposes), and now I've had a yamaha rx-a2030 that I sold to get the cx-a5000 that I'm now going to sell as I've gotten my endgame yamaha, the rx-a3040. Yamaha's reliability really needs to be underscored. There's so much shit going on in these receivers, so much that can fail, I just have to admire yamaha's efforts, both hardware and software. The UI is mostly unchanged and basic. Has a Windows DOS feel to it. I think that's fantastic. People that buy a receiver demanding a flashy UI need to get their heads checked (unless it's just egregiously unusable). Honestly, I think yamaha might be the best, not in class, but period, for all receivers or pre/pros or any other audiovideo equipment. Even the truly stupid high-end boutique players, I doubt can match yamaha's reliability. Shit like the Krell Evolution 707 I've read about. Even other more expensive receivers like Anthem... I just have this nagging feeling yamaha outshines all of them for reliability (again, both hardware and software). Even among the other japanese: onkyo, pioneer, denon, sony, I'm pretty sure yamaha sits on top there too. Then there's the likes of emotiva. Yamaha just have this relentlessly no-nonsense approach to their products that almost makes you want to not like them, because you know they're engineered without passion or enthusiasm, but they just get it so right. One culture that can (has??) out yamaha'd yamaha is the Germans. They're so no-nonsense they never even entered into the home theater space. It does beg the question what a German receiver would look and perform like... probably amazing and next level in all regards, but with a reliably unreliable flaw that people will figure out, and suddenly you'll have people adding heat shielding or soldering or whatever to fix it, and then it'll be net level... but I digress. That's a discussion for another time.

YPAO is still YPAO. I haven't done a full calibration yet, as it's a really annoying and involved process that requires a lot of fiddling and bullshit I'd rather not deal with until I get the whole room into such a state that I'll never have to touch it again. A lot of people hate on YPAO, but I have no basis for comparison, it's all I know. I do know that for stereo listening, "pure direct" always sounds better. The CX-A5000 only did angle measurements for the two front speakers, and I'm not sure it actually did anything useful. The rx-a3040 adds a little peepee to the boomerang, so now does 3D height/angle measurements for all the speakers. Genuinely curious about this one, but from all the bitching I've read on the internet about YPAO, I'm not holding my breath. Maybe if I get a truly great bout of masochism I can find a way to do my own room correction and then input that into YPAO, but yeah, no. It has limits, and that's too far.

I just got it hooked up today on the tail end of a very busy week. As such I've been too busy to enjoy any movies or music yet, but so far I really like what I've heard s ofar. I've done some 2-channel listening, and some movie explosion simulation. It's good. I like it. The RX-A2030 is the best sounding receiver I've owned so far. Idk, it was like a fluke or something. Even the guy that bought it from me was impressed. I shouldn't have sold it. That said, if this RX-A3040 can best that after a serious calibration, I will be very happy.

I've never owned a DSP-A1 or Z11, and one crutchfield reviewers said he much prefers his old DSP-A1. Idk. I'm going to pretend this guy never put his opinion on the internet. The sticker on the back of the DSP-A1 says it draws 500 watts for 7-channels to the 3040's 470 watts for 9? More is better? The RX-Z11 draws 800 watts. Damn. There's one in almost the exact same condition as my rx-a3040 for sale on eBay right now for $2500. Damn. That's about 5x what I paid for this yamaha flagship. I'd be lying if I said it didn't upset me that yamaha no longer sells some crazy beast like that, or that what they sell now don't feature multi-channel input (I believe it's technically called pre-in?) and therefore obsoletes itself and becomes garbage as soon as it doesn't feature the latest whatever; HDMI 5, or Dolby Helios or DTS-Y or chemical smell sprayers, or whatever else becomes the new thing. The AVR manufacturers know this of course, but for all their virtues, they just don't care. The Japanese peel bananas and then sell them wrapped in plastic. Of course they don't care that you have to chunk your entire unit because it's missing a small PCB.

Anyway, I can barely keep my eyes open as I type this, so I'm going to drift off to sleep. cheers.
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