• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Yamaha RX-V6A 7.2 channel 4K / 8K Dolby AV Receiver Review

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
30,286
Likes
89,274
Location
Seattle Area
#1
This is a review and detailed measurements of the Yamaha RX-V6A "8K" Audio/Video Receiver (AVR). They only announced two such 8K AVRs and this is the upper model. Our company (Madrona Digital) is a dealer for Yamaha so I was able to purchase this at a discount for testing. Retail cost is US $600.

I was pleasantly surprised to see Yamaha break the boring mold of AVR front panel which has greeted us for 10 to 20 years;

RX-V6A 7.2 channel 4K  8K Dolby AV Receiver Review.jpg


The curve plastic is cheap stuff but if you don't try to touch it, it looks like glass, giving the unit a high-end feel.

The display has also been revamped to be a proper LCD panel now with good resolution (looks better in person than in the above picture).

What continues to be a miserable fail is the large volume control. It is stiff, and somewhat scratchy feeling just like these have been for years. Why put such a large knob there to invite touching and have the touch feel so bad? Please get rid of the friction material and just give me a loose rotary control.

A loose rotary control is what we have on the right but alas, that was is so loose that it feels cheap.

A frustrating aspect of the RX-VA is choice of words/abbreviations. By default it would show that "Straight" indicator. What does that mean? Straight what? Video? Audio? I thought it was audio only to find the Pure Direct button and indicator as well.

Hit the setup button and after a few second delay (why oh why?), it puts on an understandable list. But then select speaker config and you are given these cryptic words and abbreviations:

RX-V6A 7.2 channel 4K  8K Dolby AV Receiver Menu Review.jpg


EXTRA SP1? What extra speaker? If it means the binding post in the back, just say it for heaven's sake. Now, what does F.PRNS mean? I have been in home theater for as long as there has been home theater and I have never seen F.PRNS abbreviation. What is wrong with spelling these things out? There is plenty of room to the right.

Power Amp Assign is set to Basic. What is basic? Was there a class I missed on this lingo?

And Select Automatically Extra SP1 to Extra SP2? I don't want to go and read a manual just to understand what the unit is telling me. There is no point to the menu if it can't properly explain what it is indicating. A single scrub of all the menus will make the unit a lot easier to understand and no doubt reduce support calls.

Anyway, it is a one-tome pain so let's not kill ourselves over it.

Here is the back panel by the way:
RX-V6A 7.2 channel 4K  8K Dolby AV Receiver Back Panel HDMI Inputs Outputs Review.jpg


Yamaha RX-V6A DAC Measurements
Only a subset of channels are provided as pre-out and fortunately the Front Left and Right are two of them. So let's see how they perform using HDMI input:

RX-V6A 7.2-Channel AV Receiver with 8K HDMI DAC Audio Meaurements.png


As is our procedure, I attempt to adjust the volume until I get to 2 volts out which is what we get out of any desktop or hi-fi DAC. This usually results in volume being above max as indicated (2.5 dB). If you reduce volume down to 0 dB, then output drops to 1.5 volts which is higher than normal and hence good. What is not good is the distortion+noise at full 2 volt output of just 71 dB:

Best 8k AVR Review.png


Let's sweep the digital input and see what the optimal output voltage is:

RX-V6A 7.2-Channel AV Receiver with 8K HDMI DAC THD+N vs Output Level Audio Meaurements.png


Gosh, that is pretty low. Optimal output is just 0.46 volts which corresponds to volume setting on the unit of -10.5 dB. If you go above that, the amplifiers start to suffer and translate into screwing up the DAC performance as well. Even at optimal output level, SINAD is only 90 to 93 dB so way short of best AVRs at their 2 volt out.

This early saturation shows up just as well in intermodulation distortion versus level:

RX-V6A 7.2-Channel AV Receiver with 8K HDMI DAC IMD Audio Meaurements.png


Not only do we have higher noise floor than desktop DACs but early onset of distortion at just -17.5 dB (on the volume indicator).

The high noise floor hides a lot sins when it comes to jitter and unwanted spurious tones, but not on Coax input:

RX-V6A 7.2-Channel AV Receiver with 8K HDMI DAC Jitter Audio Meaurements.png


Multitone shows high levels of distortion:

RX-V6A 7.2-Channel AV Receiver with 8K HDMI DAC Multitone Audio Meaurements.png


We can't clear the 16-bit dynamic range of the CD without adding distortion to its floor.

Linearity is not bad for an AVR:
RX-V6A 7.2-Channel AV Receiver with 8K HDMI DAC Linearity Audio Meaurements.png


Given the high levels of distortion, noise actually looks good in contrast:
RX-V6A 7.2-Channel AV Receiver with 8K HDMI DAC Dynamic Range Audio Meaurements.png


Filter performance is poor:

RX-V6A 7.2-Channel AV Receiver with 8K HDMI DAC Filter Response Audio Meaurements.png


This causes problems in THD+N versus frequency:

RX-V6A 7.2-Channel AV Receiver with 8K HDMI DAC THD+N vs Frequency Audio Meaurements.png


Running the above test at 192 kHz (green) removes the effect of the poor filtering. Performance remains poor. I did not dig into why but it may have been due to noise shaping or something like that.

Yamaha RX-V6A Amplifier Measurements
Let's start with analog input using Pure Direct mode that bypasses all DSP (crossover, room eq, etc.):

RX-V6A 7.2-Channel AV Receiver with 8K Analog In Audio Meaurements.png


The sum of distortion is literally the median of every amplifier ever tested (just many products worse than it than better):

Best Stereo Amplifier Review.png


Not that good of a showing among AVRs:

Best home theater AVR Amplifier Review.png


You might ask if digital input is better so let's test that:

RX-V6A 7.2-Channel AV Receiver with 8K Coax In Audio Meaurements.png


See? You shouldn't have asked me that! Performance is worse because the noise and distortion of the DAC is getting added to the amp. This is why you want a very clean DAC so that it has zero impact on the amplifier that is already suffering to produce good performance.

You have to run the AVR at full power to get same dynamic range as 16 bit CD:
RX-V6A 7.2-Channel AV Receiver with 8K Analog In SNR Audio Meaurements.png


Crosstalk is OK:
RX-V6A 7.2-Channel AV Receiver with 8K Analog In Crosstalk Audio Meaurements.png


Analog frequency response is good if you don't let the unit digitize it:

RX-V6A 7.2-Channel AV Receiver with 8K Analog In Frequency Response Audio Meaurements.png


As you see, as soon as I set the front speakers to small, forcing the digital crossover to become active, the ADC used actually screws up the response at the top end! Seems like 96 kHz sampling is used which is good but why on earth can't it get transparent/flat response to 20 kHz if not beyond? I have to think there are some processing errors there to cause such wiggles.

The receiver is not rated into 4 ohm but as the rest of them, it functions fine:
RX-V6A 7.2-Channel AV Receiver with 8K Analog In Power into 4 ohm Audio Meaurements.png


And here is the 8 ohm performance which actually exceeds spec a bit:
RX-V6A 7.2-Channel AV Receiver with 8K Analog In Power into 8 ohm Audio Meaurements.png


Typical of class AB AVR amps, there is good headroom:

RX-V6A 7.2-Channel AV Receiver with 8K Analog In Max and Peak Power into 4 ohm Audio Meaurements.png


I expected little frequency dependency but found more:
RX-V6A 7.2-Channel AV Receiver with 8K Analog In Power into 4 ohm vs frequency and distortion ...png


Still, compared to cheap class D amps, this is very clean.

Happy to also report that the AVR had no trouble with the above test. It never shut down as some cheap AVRs do.

Conclusions
The 8K indicator in the title of RX-V6A makes you think you are buying a high-end AVR. But you are not. Audio performance is mostly close to the bottom tier of high-fi and AVRs. Still, it brings a fresh look and nothing in it seems completely broken. This made me withhold my lowest ratings for it considering the price. Yes, I am getting too soft in my older age....

I personally like to aspire for higher performance so can't recommend the Yamaha RX-V6A. You are welcome to decide otherwise.

And oh, this unit is available for sale. Make me an offer in private.

------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.
Appreciate in advance any donations using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 
Last edited:

Webninja

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 8, 2018
Messages
263
Likes
255
Location
Los Angeles
#2
Yamaha has been a favorite audio brand of mine, mostly just due to it being my first receiver and that sweet feeling volume knob. I had hoped this AVR could break in with the Denons as an alternative, but equal choice...nope.
 

stunta

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 1, 2018
Messages
1,018
Likes
1,164
Location
Boston, MA
#3
This made me withhold my lowest ratings for it considering the price
Current price is $600 USD if you want to add it to the review. Not bad. Thanks for the review.

I see this a lot - why don't they use a 3-prong power connector?
 
Joined
Oct 30, 2020
Messages
96
Likes
81
Location
Earth
#5
I own a yamaha AVR and a samsung Qled. they don't get along very well. ALways loosing sync and not talking well over ARC.
That being said, I feel like I got a good value, but not great performance from yamaha.
 

EchoChamber

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
May 22, 2020
Messages
493
Likes
629
#6
I’m always amazed by the results of those receivers... All those legacy brands. What are they doing? Do they care at all about their products?
 
Joined
Oct 30, 2020
Messages
96
Likes
81
Location
Earth
#8
I’m always amazed by the results of those receivers... All those legacy brands. What are they doing? Do they care at all about their products?
well for my desktop set up I have a
Mini DSP ddrc 24 .$480
Topping PA-3 $120
That's $600 for DSp and a small, not great sounding 2 channel amp.
If you think about what you are getting in an AVR, you shouldn't expect mid level performance(or so) without spending enough money.

This thing is only $600, and you get so much, including bad menus.
I guess it makes sense they didn't spell out all the words in the menus, they had to make some cuts somewhere to keep cost down.
 

digicidal

Major Contributor
Joined
Jul 6, 2019
Messages
1,406
Likes
2,248
Location
Sin City, NV
#10
Current price is $600 USD if you want to add it to the review. Not bad. Thanks for the review.

I see this a lot - why don't they use a 3-prong power connector?
Not only would I like to see that, but (regardless of how the grounding is handled) I want an IEC on everything that goes in a rack/cabinet. Not because I think anything is improved by replacing the power cord, but because I usually have power very close and they always hardwire a longer than necessary cord (usually 1.5M or so). If it uses an IEC connection, then I can replace it with a cheap 1ft cord or use an angled connector if less clearance is available to the rear.
 

napilopez

Major Contributor
Joined
Oct 17, 2018
Messages
1,452
Likes
4,834
Location
NYC
#11
This is a shame because I actually truly enjoy Yamaha's CinemaDSP tech, which makes me not want to move onto other receivers. It works wonders for upmixing stereo for atmos -- allows me to ignore concerns of wide/narrow directivity with multichannel audio. But have been hoping for better measured performance.
 

Vasr

Major Contributor
Joined
Jun 27, 2020
Messages
1,270
Likes
1,521
#12
I wonder if Yamaha outsources their low end AVRs to an ODM. The menu looks like something done by a bunch of developers with no product management or QC in-house. Yamaha should still have done better acceptance testing if that is the case.
 

Beave

Active Member
Joined
May 10, 2020
Messages
204
Likes
306
#13
Think about this: Every year, Yamaha (like Denon, Marantz, Onkyo, etc) releases several new models of AVRs, all at different price points, and most with digital circuit boards unique to the particular model. Yes, the annual family of receivers share a lot of circuitry, both in the digital realm and in the amplifiers, but they aren't identical, and layout isn't identical either for any two models.

I know from experience that testing the HDMI board (that contains HDMI processing, audio processing, video processing, etc) on just ONE of these receivers is a several-month long task for a team of engineers and technicians. And when any problems are found, the board needs to go through a revision before being tested all over again. A fully-tested, optimized HDMI board for just ONE model could take a team of engineers a good year or so to develop.

Yet these companies crank out 5-10 new model receivers each and every year.

Do you think Yamaha (or Denon, Marantz, Onkyo, et al) are staffing enough engineers and techs to do all this testing for each model receiver every year? I say there's no way they're employing the necessary amount of people to do this. So corners are being cut left and right in terms of testing, optimizing layout, making changes, etc. Sure, if they find a problem that's critical, like a misnamed signal on the schematic leading to a completely wrong connection on the board, they'll fix it. But if they find some low-level power noise, or digital noise, getting into the analog audio somewhere? That would require a board change (perhaps a significant design and/or layout change) to fix. Do you think they're going to spend the time and money to fix that, when they figure nobody will hear it anyway?
 

Sal1950

Major Contributor
The Chicago Crusher
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 1, 2016
Messages
8,191
Likes
7,141
Location
Central Fl
#14
Man that was a generous panther rating. ???
 

Absolute

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 5, 2017
Messages
581
Likes
1,021
#15
Love the looks, loathe the performance.

I guess the average customer this product aim for will have "low" quality speakers like Klipsch RP or similar and be okay with this level of performance, but since it's possible to do better at the same or lower price this product is a disappointment.

But looks good.
 
Joined
Jul 6, 2020
Messages
96
Likes
46
Location
south of the equator!
#16
this is a real eye opener for me. like @napilopez i have a pleasant experience owning yamaha avrs, in fact i have two of them the RXV481 and RXV483. unlike other famed name brands that encounter hdmi issues and a host of other major issues, mine never skipped a beat after close to five years of nearly daily operation. i suppose the kind of brutal testing in @amirm capable hands as seen in the cranked SPLs above do reveal their inherent limitations. like some people here would comment, unless my home use approaches near reference levels then perhaps these flaws will far from manifest themselves. but i have to credit @amirm efforts in assuring that the measured performance will at least meet some level of expectation and standard. otherwise the consumer gets constantly duped into buying avrs overflowing with useless feature sets, with greatly diminished DAC implementation and amplifier sections for which these things were supposed to deliver. so i guess its really the denon X3600H on the crosshairs for my next upgrade...
 
Joined
Mar 3, 2020
Messages
24
Likes
72
#17
For 600$ this seems like all most people could ever want in an AVR. True, it's not Denon-tier performance, but they usually cost double the price of this. Depending on if you need room correction or if you're annoyed with bad menus, this could really be a great entry into home-theatre for many people.
 

spacebar

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Apr 4, 2020
Messages
117
Likes
43
Location
The far side
#18
Does it have that buggy hdmi 2.1 chip?

...reports in the current issue of c't 23/2020 , a suspected breakdown of the chip manufacturer Panasonic Solutions (meanwhile taken over by Nuvoton Technology) ensures that, according to the current state of knowledge, all HDMI 2.1-compatible receivers from Denon, Marantz and Yamaha are not able to transfer videos in these ultra-high resolutions to the TV without errors with certain players. The TV screen then remains black due to the HDMI 2.1 glitch .

source: https://www.heise.de/news/Bug-in-HD...nsole-und-Grafikkarten-betroffen-4935888.html
 

DSJR

Active Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Messages
256
Likes
299
Location
Suffolk Coastal, UK
#19
Not all markets are so keen on home theatre.

To help us in Europe, any chance the current integrated amps could be sourced for review by Amir (AS 701 or 801 for example)? I appreciate they've been tested by other parties, seemingly measure quite well and that apparently, the basic 'chassis' goes back decades almost, but it would be useful please, to see how good the dac input is and how the amp circuit has been refined over time in an 'ASR' testing situation.
 

Similar threads

Top Bottom