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Yamaha RX-A3080 Review (AVR)

Rate this AVR

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 39 21.5%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 108 59.7%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 27 14.9%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 7 3.9%

  • Total voters
    181

amirm

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This is a review and measurements of the Yamaha RX-A3080 Audio/Video Receiver. It was kindly purchased by a member as a refurbished unit and sent to me.
Yamaha RX-A3080 Review Surround Amplifier Home Theater Dolby.jpg


This is last year's model and motivation for testing was that it shares the same amplification as this year's models which have very different interface. Current price for this unit is $1,999.

Here is the back side:
Yamaha RX-A3080 Review Back Panel DTS Surround Amplifier Home Theater Dolby.jpg


Like the inclusion of XLR inputs and outputs. Unit was factory reset before testing. The procedure is not in the menus and is quite obscure. Upon activation, it switched into Japanese :(, requiring some effort to figure out how turn it back into English. Why not make it easier to turn the unit into English? Vast majority of the world population can read the word English in an AV product so please, make it easy to set it to this language.

Peaking inside the unit, I see the usual cheap, bent spring steel for heatsinks rather than proper extruded aluminum. I expect the premier unit from Yamaha to do better here. This did reduce the weight some as I expected the unit to be heavier. And in my testing, it ran reasonably cool.

Yamaha RX-A3080 Measurements
As usual, I started to measure the DAC portion by using the pre-amp output, only to be punched in the face by the AVR going into protection mode. As far as I can tell, there is no way to shut off the amps so not only do they disturb the analog outputs, but also don't let you crank it up to full volume beyond what the internal amps can handle. What were they thinking? Have they fixed it in this year's model? Anyway, the motivation was the amplifier anyway so let's jump into that.

Here is our usual dashboard:
Yamaha RX-A3080 Measurement Amplifier Home Theater Dolby.png


This type of performance lands the unit in the middle of the pack:

Best AVR Amplifier Review.png


Distortion is actually better than this but we have a tall power supply (rectifier) induced spike at 120 Hz which is limiting SINAD. Signal to noise ratio is good actually:
Yamaha RX-A3080 Measurement SNR Amplifier Home Theater Dolby.png


My target is 96 dB at 5 watts and we are one bit short of that.

Frequency response is nice and flat given the non-switching amplifier:
Yamaha RX-A3080 Measurement Frequency Response Amplifier Home Theater Dolby.png


Crosstalk was rather disappointing:
Yamaha RX-A3080 Measurement Crosstalk Amplifier Home Theater Dolby.png


It is quite far from state of the art amplifier.

Multitone performance is good:

Yamaha RX-A3080 Measurement Multitone Amplifier Home Theater Dolby.png


The bell of the ball in an AVR is amount of power it has so let's start with our usual 4 ohm load:
Yamaha RX-A3080 Measurement Power into 4 ohm Amplifier Home Theater Dolby.png


As you see, the curve is horizontal. It should usually slope down meaning as power increases, the ratio of output signal to residual noise improves. Here, the noise is scaling up which I am assuming is the aforementioned power supply noise at 120 Hz. So what starts at average to better than average performance, ends with almost tie with the worst measured.

Power level is healthy though and improves with higher allowance for distortion:

Yamaha RX-A3080 Measurement Max and Burst Power into 4 ohm Amplifier Home Theater Dolby.png


Switching to 8 ohm we see that we essentially get the company advertised power:
Yamaha RX-A3080 Measurement Power into 8 ohm Amplifier Home Theater Dolby.png


I was dismayed that I had to dial down the max power in the following test as the amp would go into protection mode at higher frequencies:

Yamaha RX-A3080 Measurement Distortion vs frequency Power into 4 ohm Amplifier Home Theater Do...png


Conclusions
The weakness in the amplification stage of the RX-A3080 is actually its power supply generating rectification noise. Fortunately our threshold of hearing goes up at such a low frequency so audible performance would be better. Still, there was not much in these measurements to make me smile. You can do much better with Yamaha's competitors.

I can't recommend the Yamaha RX-A3080 as a whole or its for amplification.

-----------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

usersky

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This could have been so much better without power amps inside, better for users and better for Yamaha's margins. No hopes left for newer Yamahas so I am waiting for new Onkyos with DIRACT to be measured. Thanks for the review and a happy new year!
 

Matias

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Anterantz

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Lack enough information right? The load at 8ohm in 1,2,3,4,5 channels is interesting to know that myth that yamaha in 5/7 channels usually has 50w per channel!
 

MZKM

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The bell of the ball in an AVR is amount of power it has

Despite the noise, at least the wattage amount is indeed healthy.

I agree with @Anterantz that I would like to see 5ch wattage tested. Denon/Marantz usually does keep the promise of 70% in 5ch vs 2ch, so would be nice to see if Yamaha is similar.
 

KxDx

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Oh well, just another reminder that too much in one box is not the best idea. :)


JSmith
Their integrated amps test so much better than the AVR's. I wonder if Yamaha just looks at multichannel receivers as throwaway items and builds accordingly.
 

beagleman

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Looks like denon is the only option.


Maybe, if you are only comparing measurements.

Can almost tell you for sure, actual listening with real music, extremely doubtful you would be able to tell them apart.

I have several amps, and a few receivers like this type, I rotate in and out of use, and my one Old Yamaha from about 8 years ago, their Bottom of the line AVR RX-V373 sounds perfectly musical and acceptable in ALL ways.

I am sure on the test bench, it would measure fairly mediocre. But in Real life listening to music on it, I found, fortunately most of these measured "Shortcomings", are not actually audible.

Heard it a while back at a friends house, and expected "Total Junk" after reading a lot about AVRs in here. I was taken aback to find his "Cheap AVR" actually sounded quite decent.

Measurements are one thing, and I like to SEE good measurements, but often feel in a blind test, differences would not be truly audible.
 

beagleman

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Their integrated amps test so much better than the AVR's. I wonder if Yamaha just looks at multichannel receivers as throwaway items and builds accordingly.
You are talking apples and oranges though.

Look at the price of a Yamaha integrated amp, and even separate pre-amps and power amps they sold years ago. (Which I own and have owned a few of BOTH integrated and Pre/power amps.)

What is packed into an AVR is a huge amount of features compared to a simple 2 channel stereo Integrated amp.

If they designed the AVRs to the same level of no compromise, they would easily cost DOUBLE of what they are now, and who would truly buy them at that price?
 

KxDx

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You are talking apples and oranges though.

Look at the price of a Yamaha integrated amp, and even separate pre-amps and power amps they sold years ago. (Which I own and have owned a few of BOTH integrated and Pre/power amps.)

What is packed into an AVR is a huge amount of features compared to a simple 2 channel stereo Integrated amp.

If they designed the AVRs to the same level of no compromise, they would easily cost DOUBLE of what they are now, and who would truly buy them at that price?

There are numerous receivers costing north of $2000. Somebody is buying them, otherwise nobody would be making them.

5 channels! 7 channels! 9 channels! 11 channels! 13 channels! Just keep buying a new AVR every time Dolby decides it wants more licensing fees and convinces you to add more speakers to your living room!
 

digicidal

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If they designed the AVRs to the same level of no compromise, they would easily cost DOUBLE of what they are now, and who would truly buy them at that price?
iu

Seriously, that would be the sweet spot for me (and likely many others)... going up to $16K on the other hand is not. But I would like Dirac as well as good amplification, and I'd be fine with only getting 7-9 channels as a compromise.
 

Spkrdctr

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Maybe, if you are only comparing measurements.

Can almost tell you for sure, actual listening with real music, extremely doubtful you would be able to tell them apart.

I have several amps, and a few receivers like this type, I rotate in and out of use, and my one Old Yamaha from about 8 years ago, their Bottom of the line AVR RX-V373 sounds perfectly musical and acceptable in ALL ways.

I am sure on the test bench, it would measure fairly mediocre. But in Real life listening to music on it, I found, fortunately most of these measured "Shortcomings", are not actually audible.

Heard it a while back at a friends house, and expected "Total Junk" after reading a lot about AVRs in here. I was taken aback to find his "Cheap AVR" actually sounded quite decent.

Measurements are one thing, and I like to SEE good measurements, but often feel in a blind test, differences would not be truly audible.
Yup. Is it audible? Not really. I think the current standard for audibility in our equipment is much tougher than it has to be. This is yet another blind test issue with speakers and music, no one could tell. On the other hand though, we do want some standards so it never becomes obviously audible. So a fairly tough standard vs a very tough standard is where we don't have a good line drawn. I would say in the AVR comparison chart, the top three are at 90 or above. I would make 90 the gold standard as it can be done without too much effort and it is a reasonable standard that has no audible issues. So ALL of the manufacturers need to get to work. It is not hard to do as three units have already tested to that standard, if we called that the "benchmark" for AVRs. Come on Yamaha, make it happen!
 

lcarlotto

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This is a review and measurements of the Yamaha RX-A3080 Audio/Video Receiver. It was kindly purchased by a member as a refurbished unit and sent to me.
View attachment 175862

This is last year's model and motivation for testing was that it shares the same amplification as this year's models which have very different interface. Current price for this unit is $1,999.

Here is the back side:
View attachment 175863

Like the inclusion of XLR inputs and outputs. Unit was factory reset before testing. The procedure is not in the menus and is quite obscure. Upon activation, it switched into Japanese :(, requiring some effort to figure out how turn it back into English. Why not make it easier to turn the unit into English? Vast majority of the world population can read the word English in an AV product so please, make it easy to set it to this language.

Peaking inside the unit, I see the usual cheap, bent spring steel for heatsinks rather than proper extruded aluminum. I expect the premier unit from Yamaha to do better here. This did reduce the weight some as I expected the unit to be heavier. And in my testing, it ran reasonably cool.

Yamaha RX-A3080 Measurements
As usual, I started to measure the DAC portion by using the pre-amp output, only to be punched in the face by the AVR going into protection mode. As far as I can tell, there is no way to shut off the amps so not only do they disturb the analog outputs, but also don't let you crank it up to full volume beyond what the internal amps can handle. What were they thinking? Have they fixed it in this year's model? Anyway, the motivation was the amplifier anyway so let's jump into that.

Here is our usual dashboard:
View attachment 175864

This type of performance lands the unit in the middle of the pack:

View attachment 175865

Distortion is actually better than this but we have a tall power supply (rectifier) induced spike at 120 Hz which is limiting SINAD. Signal to noise ratio is good actually:
View attachment 175866

My target is 96 dB at 5 watts and we are one bit short of that.

Frequency response is nice and flat given the non-switching amplifier:
View attachment 175867

Crosstalk was rather disappointing:
View attachment 175868

It is quite far from state of the art amplifier.

Multitone performance is good:

View attachment 175869

The bell of the ball in an AVR is amount of power it has so let's start with our usual 4 ohm load:
View attachment 175870

As you see, the curve is horizontal. It should usually slope down meaning as power increases, the ratio of output signal to residual noise improves. Here, the noise is scaling up which I am assuming is the aforementioned power supply noise at 120 Hz. So what starts at average to better than average performance, ends with almost tie with the worst measured.

Power level is healthy though and improves with higher allowance for distortion:

View attachment 175871

Switching to 8 ohm we see that we essentially get the company advertised power:
View attachment 175872

I was dismayed that I had to dial down the max power in the following test as the amp would go into protection mode at higher frequencies:

View attachment 175873

Conclusions
The weakness in the amplification stage of the RX-A3080 is actually its power supply generating rectification noise. Fortunately our threshold of hearing goes up at such a low frequency so audible performance would be better. Still, there was not much in these measurements to make me smile. You can do much better with Yamaha's competitors.

I can't recommend the Yamaha RX-A3080 as a whole or its for amplification.

-----------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/

It was kindly purchased by a member as a refurbished unit and sent to me........
 

Hipster Doofus

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Thanks as usual… I love seeing how units we ( normal audio customers, not stereophile customers)might buy do here….it is very useful. Knowing what not to buy and why may be even more important as what does do well.
 

testp

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In this Time and Age, every AVR manufacturer should start from scratch and provide most features as modules.
make sure in-between implemenation of modules would not deteriorate the signal much..

instead of implementing what looks like bad baggage with little bit of good bits stuffed into one avr, it does not work and probably never will...
i'm more 2 channel anyway, so don't care really
 

beagleman

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There are numerous receivers costing north of $2000. Somebody is buying them, otherwise nobody would be making them.
Most every company making some fairly high priced ones, though have extensive lower priced lines that sell far more volume.
For every over $2000 AVR, I am almost certain, probably 30 far lower priced ones are sold.

My point was, you can not have Every feature, great performance, and Low price.
 
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