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View Poll Results: Is Yamaha's Adaptive DRC as good as Dolby Volume, Audessey Dynamic Vol/EQ ?
Yes 1 14.29%
No 3 42.86%
Can't say 2 28.57%
Never Compared 1 14.29%
Voters: 7. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-24-2011, 03:12 PM   #1
rana_kirti rana_kirti is offline
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Default Yamaha Adaptive DRC vs. Dolby Volume, Audessey Dynamic Volume/EQ, THX Loudness Plus.

Hi freinds,

I'm in the market for a new AVR. I've been a Yamaha user for years and was looking at the A3000. I want to stick to the Yamaha brand but while going through the specs i realized that it does not have any technology as far as low volume listening is concerned.

I have to at most times listen at low volumes due to several reasons.

Has anyone been able to compare Yamaha Adaptive DRC vs. Dolby Volume, Audessey Dynamic Volume/EQ, THX Loudness Plus...?

Is the Yamaha Adaptive DRC as good as the other low volume technologies..?

Help on this will be appreciated.

Warm regards,

Rana
HT : PSB Image B6 + C5 + S5 + Yam NX-E130 x 1 + SVS PC 12 NSD, Yamaha RX V450, Denon DVD 1940, Optoma HD65 + Optoma 3D-XL, Da-Lite High Power 2.4 110", Logitech Harmony 700, Subdude.

Stereo : Creative Gigaworks T20.

A few funny stories from my life ----> http://www.kirtirana.blogspot.com
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Old 06-25-2011, 07:26 PM   #2
lojack1976 lojack1976 is offline
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I just swapped out the Yamaha RX-V867 for an Onkyo HT-RC180 and Yamaha's lack of Dynamic Volume played a big role in my decision. As highly as I think of the newer Yamaha's sound quality I find that their performance with movies to be lacking. At times dialogue just wasn't good enough for me. No matter what adjustments I made it basically came down to turning the volume up more to get more clarity. At lower volumes it just wasn't good enough with many movies. I don't have this problem with my Onkyo. Dynamic Volume/EQ performs very good. I don't use the THX modes myself though. For music I like the All-Channel Stereo mode and I use various Dolby modes for movie watching and gaming.

My opinion is that if music is your main focus then you will be happy with Yamaha. They have a distinct sound that pairs well with many speakers, but if your focus is home theater performance or 50/50 music/HT then you should look elsewhere. I'm bullish on Onkyo and I've owned several over the years, but there are other brands that I love as well. I think Audyssey is flat out awesome so brands like Onkyo, Marantz, and Denon are some of which I would look at.

I also like Pioneer a lot although they use MCACC which depending on the version is comparable to Audyssey. I give most versions of Audyssey the edge, but Advanced MCACC is excellent. Many experts say Advanced MCACC is the superior solution since it offers a high degree of adjustments, but others prefer Audyssey which I find to give better auto calibration results before adjustments.

I can say that Pioneer like the other brands I mentioned perform much better than Yamaha with movies. I've owned a few Pioneers and they never disappointed me with dialogue. Not to knock Yamaha, but I truly feel that their strength lies in music. I believe the company has a focus on music anyway and there's nothing wrong with that. Many other brands have a focus on music as well. I personally like a more flexible product which is why I went back to Onkyo.
106" Motorized 16x9 Screen - Optoma GT700 Projector - Pioneer Kuro KRP-500M Plasma 1080p(living room)
Panasonic PX75U 50" Plasma 768p(bedroom)
Pioneer SC-05/Crown XLS1000 Amp & Martin Logan Preface Left/Right, Fresco Center, Sunfire HRS-12 Sub, Harman Kardon HKTS 11 5.1 sub/satellites = 7.2(living room) Onkyo HT-RC180 & JBL CST55/Energy Act6 5.1(bedroom) PS3 60GB and Xbox 360(living room) PS3 40GB(bedroom) Harmony One remote(living room)
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Old 06-26-2011, 07:58 AM   #3
rana_kirti rana_kirti is offline
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thanks for your feedback lojack,

Did you try the Adaptive DRC ?

I have a separate setup for stereo in my bedroom and will use the new AVR only for dedicated HT/Movies in my living room.

My research tells me that for movies Onkyo wins hands down. Hence I'm looking keenly at the 3008/5008.

What also interests me about them is Audessey XT32, Dynamic Volume/EQ, THX loudness plus and Dolby Volume because i will often be listening at lower level volumes.

I use PSB Image speakers which I consider to be neutral in sound.

So I basically had 2 questions...

1. In what ways is the Onkyo sound different from Yamaha ? And why is Onkyo considered universally better than Yamaha as far as Movie sound goes ?

2. Are there really so many Onkyo users who have had to replace/repair their AVRs due to quality and other problems ?

Regards,

Rana
HT : PSB Image B6 + C5 + S5 + Yam NX-E130 x 1 + SVS PC 12 NSD, Yamaha RX V450, Denon DVD 1940, Optoma HD65 + Optoma 3D-XL, Da-Lite High Power 2.4 110", Logitech Harmony 700, Subdude.

Stereo : Creative Gigaworks T20.

A few funny stories from my life ----> http://www.kirtirana.blogspot.com
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Old 06-26-2011, 07:07 PM   #4
lojack1976 lojack1976 is offline
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Well no matter what the Yamaha just wasn't quite up to par with what I was used to. Aside from the Yamaha I've owned Onkyo, Pioneer, and Harman Kardon receivers, and I've demoed Marantz, Sony, Denon, and other Yamaha receivers extensively. Of course the ones I've had in my home environment gave me the biggest impression since I've actually lived with those receivers for some time.

Yamaha's Adaptive DRC just doesn't cut it for low level listening. When cranked up its fine, but then the low end on Yamaha's appear to be a bit restrained as well. Granted...it still sounds very good, but with my Onkyo, Pioneer, and Harman Kardon receivers there was much more impact at the bottom end. And like I said dialogue was much better at lower levels with those receivers.

With music the Yamaha sounded great. Their 7-channel stereo mode is pretty awesome, but with movies I noticed some deficiencies. Its still a receiver that I could live with, but I felt that it was lacking enough for me to go back to a brand that I feel makes a better all-around receiver. It was a tossup between Onkyo, Pioneer, and Marantz this go around with an initial lean toward Pioneer, but ultimately I went with Onkyo because of the price I was able to get on it.

As for the sound differences between Yamaha and Onkyo...well they are vastly different. Onkyo has a distinctly aggressive approach. The newer ones have been refined quite a bit, but its still very much the Onkyo sound. Whereas the older models could get harsh on the top-end with certain speakers that is no longer a problem. They've also have a more defined mid-range and overall detail has been vastly improved yet Onkyo hasn't lost any of its trademark impact. Power is and has always been a weapon of Onkyo.

Yamaha on the other has a sound unlike pretty much all other brands out there. Its very balanced, but a bit restrained at the low end. I think detail is very good, but not quite what you will get with some of the other brands. The top end is very smooth which is why I find it such a good listen with music, but when you throw movies at it the lack of impact becomes glaringly noticeable when you've become accustomed to Onkyo or Pioneer. Onkyo and Pioneer are just more dynamic at how they process things. You get lots of attack and they are flat out more engaging, and they are still very good with music.

The one area where I think Yamaha is better is 2-channel music. Onkyo and Pioneer both are a little behind in this regard, but in all other respects I think they are quite superior to Yamaha. I'm not a 2-channel listener myself, so obviously Yamaha's advantage there is a moot point for me. Even still I'd say that advantage is small since both Onkyo and Pioneer are still very competent with 2-channel.

As for Onkyo's problems, well there have been some problematic models. One must keep in mind that they sell more receivers than any other brand out there, so you will see more problems get reported. All companies have issues though. Even the so-called bulletproof boutique companies have problems. There are problems reported with recent Cambridge, Anthem, and Sherwood receivers as well as others. No company out there has managed to produce receivers in recent years without some issues. Most of these issues have been corrected with firmware updates, but sometimes its a hardware issue requiring repair. The best thing you can do is to go with a model that's been out for some time and research the potential issues. The 3008/5008 Onkyo's you're considering have had few problems outside of firmware fixes for instance. They are solid choices that I wouldn't hesitate considering.
106" Motorized 16x9 Screen - Optoma GT700 Projector - Pioneer Kuro KRP-500M Plasma 1080p(living room)
Panasonic PX75U 50" Plasma 768p(bedroom)
Pioneer SC-05/Crown XLS1000 Amp & Martin Logan Preface Left/Right, Fresco Center, Sunfire HRS-12 Sub, Harman Kardon HKTS 11 5.1 sub/satellites = 7.2(living room) Onkyo HT-RC180 & JBL CST55/Energy Act6 5.1(bedroom) PS3 60GB and Xbox 360(living room) PS3 40GB(bedroom) Harmony One remote(living room)
My blood runs Blu!!!
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Old 07-28-2011, 03:25 PM   #5
Yeha-Noha Yeha-Noha is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lojack1976 View Post
Well no matter what the Yamaha just wasn't quite up to par with what I was used to. Aside from the Yamaha I've owned Onkyo, Pioneer, and Harman Kardon receivers, and I've demoed Marantz, Sony, Denon, and other Yamaha receivers extensively. Of course the ones I've had in my home environment gave me the biggest impression since I've actually lived with those receivers for some time.

Yamaha's Adaptive DRC just doesn't cut it for low level listening. When cranked up its fine, but then the low end on Yamaha's appear to be a bit restrained as well. Granted...it still sounds very good, but with my Onkyo, Pioneer, and Harman Kardon receivers there was much more impact at the bottom end. And like I said dialogue was much better at lower levels with those receivers.

With music the Yamaha sounded great. Their 7-channel stereo mode is pretty awesome, but with movies I noticed some deficiencies. Its still a receiver that I could live with, but I felt that it was lacking enough for me to go back to a brand that I feel makes a better all-around receiver. It was a tossup between Onkyo, Pioneer, and Marantz this go around with an initial lean toward Pioneer, but ultimately I went with Onkyo because of the price I was able to get on it.

As for the sound differences between Yamaha and Onkyo...well they are vastly different. Onkyo has a distinctly aggressive approach. The newer ones have been refined quite a bit, but its still very much the Onkyo sound. Whereas the older models could get harsh on the top-end with certain speakers that is no longer a problem. They've also have a more defined mid-range and overall detail has been vastly improved yet Onkyo hasn't lost any of its trademark impact. Power is and has always been a weapon of Onkyo.

Yamaha on the other has a sound unlike pretty much all other brands out there. Its very balanced, but a bit restrained at the low end. I think detail is very good, but not quite what you will get with some of the other brands. The top end is very smooth which is why I find it such a good listen with music, but when you throw movies at it the lack of impact becomes glaringly noticeable when you've become accustomed to Onkyo or Pioneer. Onkyo and Pioneer are just more dynamic at how they process things. You get lots of attack and they are flat out more engaging, and they are still very good with music.

The one area where I think Yamaha is better is 2-channel music. Onkyo and Pioneer both are a little behind in this regard, but in all other respects I think they are quite superior to Yamaha. I'm not a 2-channel listener myself, so obviously Yamaha's advantage there is a moot point for me. Even still I'd say that advantage is small since both Onkyo and Pioneer are still very competent with 2-channel.

As for Onkyo's problems, well there have been some problematic models. One must keep in mind that they sell more receivers than any other brand out there, so you will see more problems get reported. All companies have issues though. Even the so-called bulletproof boutique companies have problems. There are problems reported with recent Cambridge, Anthem, and Sherwood receivers as well as others. No company out there has managed to produce receivers in recent years without some issues. Most of these issues have been corrected with firmware updates, but sometimes its a hardware issue requiring repair. The best thing you can do is to go with a model that's been out for some time and research the potential issues. The 3008/5008 Onkyo's you're considering have had few problems outside of firmware fixes for instance. They are solid choices that I wouldn't hesitate considering.
What it basically boils down to in these mid-level AVRs when comparing their performance is the differences in their auto calibration technology. If you disabled Audyssey, YPAO, and MCCAP (or whatever it's called in Pioneer) you'd probably find that they would sound more or less similar in the same room driving the same speakers. However, each of these AVRs does its own particular style of auto calibration. You are thus basically comparing Audyssey, YPAO, and MCCAP. Put another way, the only valid method to compare them is by having the same auto calibration in each one. If Yamaha had any brains at all they would be using Audyssey, which in my opinion is the best of three. Given that then I would have no doubt that Yamaha AVRs would have improved performance for movies.
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Old 07-29-2011, 04:36 AM   #6
lojack1976 lojack1976 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeha-Noha View Post
What it basically boils down to in these mid-level AVRs when comparing their performance is the differences in their auto calibration technology. If you disabled Audyssey, YPAO, and MCCAP (or whatever it's called in Pioneer) you'd probably find that they would sound more or less similar in the same room driving the same speakers. However, each of these AVRs does its own particular style of auto calibration. You are thus basically comparing Audyssey, YPAO, and MCCAP. Put another way, the only valid method to compare them is by having the same auto calibration in each one. If Yamaha had any brains at all they would be using Audyssey, which in my opinion is the best of three. Given that then I would have no doubt that Yamaha AVRs would have improved performance for movies.
Calibration tech is just a part of it. You can disable it on all receivers, but you are still left with different sonic signatures, and I guarantee you that they will still sound vastly different. I've demoed and compared a lot of different receivers and every brand will still have its own sound. Yamaha doesn't reproduce sound in the same manner as Onkyo or Pioneer with or without processing enabled. The top end and midrange are quite different between these brands. You will get more detail out of the Pioneer for instance. Onkyo will give you more midrange emphasis. Both Pioneer and Onkyo will give more oomph at the low end because they handle LFE differently.

Onkyo and Pioneer both have a more decidedly aggressive sound in comparison to Yamaha. On the flip side Onkyo and Yamaha have a little more warmth than Pioneer. I do think Yamaha can improve if they implemented Audyssey, but even then I think their sonic properties would still leave me wanting in the movie department. Denon uses Audyssey but some of their models still leave something to be desired with movies for me. And I can't totally knock YPAO either since its my understanding that the higher end models have better implementation of it. I can't verify that since I haven't messed with it in those models for myself, but that's what I've read in reviews of the higher end models.
106" Motorized 16x9 Screen - Optoma GT700 Projector - Pioneer Kuro KRP-500M Plasma 1080p(living room)
Panasonic PX75U 50" Plasma 768p(bedroom)
Pioneer SC-05/Crown XLS1000 Amp & Martin Logan Preface Left/Right, Fresco Center, Sunfire HRS-12 Sub, Harman Kardon HKTS 11 5.1 sub/satellites = 7.2(living room) Onkyo HT-RC180 & JBL CST55/Energy Act6 5.1(bedroom) PS3 60GB and Xbox 360(living room) PS3 40GB(bedroom) Harmony One remote(living room)
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Old 07-29-2011, 10:49 PM   #7
Yeha-Noha Yeha-Noha is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lojack1976 View Post
Calibration tech is just a part of it. You can disable it on all receivers, but you are still left with different sonic signatures, and I guarantee you that they will still sound vastly different. I've demoed and compared a lot of different receivers and every brand will still have its own sound. Yamaha doesn't reproduce sound in the same manner as Onkyo or Pioneer with or without processing enabled. The top end and midrange are quite different between these brands. You will get more detail out of the Pioneer for instance. Onkyo will give you more midrange emphasis. Both Pioneer and Onkyo will give more oomph at the low end because they handle LFE differently.

Onkyo and Pioneer both have a more decidedly aggressive sound in comparison to Yamaha. On the flip side Onkyo and Yamaha have a little more warmth than Pioneer. I do think Yamaha can improve if they implemented Audyssey, but even then I think their sonic properties would still leave me wanting in the movie department. Denon uses Audyssey but some of their models still leave something to be desired with movies for me. And I can't totally knock YPAO either since its my understanding that the higher end models have better implementation of it. I can't verify that since I haven't messed with it in those models for myself, but that's what I've read in reviews of the higher end models.
I have heard only subtle sonic differences between the Yamaha, Onkyo, and Pioneer AVRs that I have owned. I couldn't honestly label one good for movies and another good for music. If I ever did find an amp or AVR or speaker for that matter that could really reproduce music the way it ought to sound, then it would be a keeper for both music and movies. I didn't think Yamaha sounded particularly better than Onkyo or Pioneer for music nor vice versa for movies.

If one really wants to vastly upgrade their sound system, then he/she should get better speakers and then perhaps a better AVR later on down the road. Speakers have a vastly different sound from one to the next, and one needs to choose them very wisely.
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Old 07-30-2011, 04:11 AM   #8
lojack1976 lojack1976 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeha-Noha View Post
I have heard only subtle sonic differences between the Yamaha, Onkyo, and Pioneer AVRs that I have owned. I couldn't honestly label one good for movies and another good for music. If I ever did find an amp or AVR or speaker for that matter that could really reproduce music the way it ought to sound, then it would be a keeper for both music and movies. I didn't think Yamaha sounded particularly better than Onkyo or Pioneer for music nor vice versa for movies.

If one really wants to vastly upgrade their sound system, then he/she should get better speakers and then perhaps a better AVR later on down the road. Speakers have a vastly different sound from one to the next, and one needs to choose them very wisely.
I know what I've experienced for myself and I think many others will agree. After extensively demoing many receivers over the years and owning several different receivers over the years I can definitely say that AVR's can differ considerably in sound. I've heard multiple receivers on the same speakers and no matter what you I did I could not get them to sound identical.

Some receivers are close in sound to each other while others are drastically different. Some receivers match up poorly with certain speakers while others are much better suited. Not all people pick up on these differences. Sometimes the differences are subtle, but sometimes they much more noticeable. Listen to an HK alongside a Pioneer or Denon using the same speakers and I guarantee they will sound quite different. I do agree that the sound differences between speakers are much easier to discern.
106" Motorized 16x9 Screen - Optoma GT700 Projector - Pioneer Kuro KRP-500M Plasma 1080p(living room)
Panasonic PX75U 50" Plasma 768p(bedroom)
Pioneer SC-05/Crown XLS1000 Amp & Martin Logan Preface Left/Right, Fresco Center, Sunfire HRS-12 Sub, Harman Kardon HKTS 11 5.1 sub/satellites = 7.2(living room) Onkyo HT-RC180 & JBL CST55/Energy Act6 5.1(bedroom) PS3 60GB and Xbox 360(living room) PS3 40GB(bedroom) Harmony One remote(living room)
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Old 07-30-2011, 04:16 PM   #9
Yeha-Noha Yeha-Noha is offline
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Well then, if that be so, then some of us just aren't endowed with golden ears.
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