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A fine not-so-entry-màn chơi networked & nicely smart AV receiverTested at £649 / $599 / AU$1299

BySound+Image03 February 2021


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Our Verdict

The Yamaha RX-V6A is a fine not-so-entry-level networked và nicely smart AV receiver, và with its welcome face-lift you’ll know this is a firmly 21st-century unit.

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This nhận xét originally appeared in Sound+Image magazine, one of What Hi-Fi?’s Australian sister publications. Click here for more information on Sound+Image, including digital editions và details on how you can subscribe.


Yamaha is shaking up its home page cinema receivers for the first time since the Aventage line was launched a decade ago. And here’s one of the first two results of that shake-up: the Yamaha RX-V6A.


Yamaha RX-V receivers have sầu been around for a good long time. We looked bachồng through our đánh giá and found we’d reviewed an RX-V receiver back in 1999… our own digital records get sparse beyond that, but lớn save us searching in basement filing cabinets, Yamaha reminds us that the 1999 Model was far from the first of the breed, as Yamaha began shipping the RX-V850 and RX-V1050 receivers in 1991. They were radical back then, because all other Dolby Pro Logic decoders of the day were analogue, “with mediocre

separation và steering between the left, centre, right và surround channels” says the company, whereas the first RX-V receivers were built around a digital surround decoder IC developed by Yamaha. Their success was immediate.



(Image credit: Yamaha Music Australia)

Build và connections

Thirty years on, then, what has changed in this new range seems initially largely cosmetic. But that’s welcome. Most AV receivers have square corners, a large display in the middle with blue or amber lettering, & a couple of knobs on each side. As we said, it may be cosmetic but the new facade changes the look of the Yamaha RX-V6A (priced at £649.95, $599.95, AU$1299) rather significantly. The verticals lớn the left và right of the front are curved, while at centre rests a very large volume control.

To the right of the knob there’s still a display showing similar information to that of earlier models, but this appears lớn be an LCD, perhaps OLED, monochrome display with soft blue lettering over a black background. The input selector is to lớn the right of that: a knob, but fairly small. Underneath the display and selector knob are a set of six touch-sensitive sầu spots on the front panel which replace the push buttons of yore. Four of those are for scene selection, one invokes the thực đơn, while the final one backs out of things.


Also on the front panel is a 3.5milimet input for the calibration microphone, a 6.35milimet output for headphones, and a USB connection for playing back USB audio. Apple’s iPhones are no longer supported by USB these days, but instead, and rather more conveniently, you use the network features of the Yamaha RX-V6A for playing back your iPhone music: specifically Apple’s AirPlay 2.

Or, more powerfully, use the Yamaha MusicCast ứng dụng on your Apple or Android device. Or, for that matter, any DLNA/uPnP music player on any device.

Indeed with the MusicCast tiện ích on your device (Apple or Android is fine), you can also dial up music from Spotify, Tidal, Deezer or Amazon Music (if you have sầu appropriate subscriptions) & more besides. We’ll return to how that stuff goes in practice.


Yamaha’s MusicCast network audio system is also a nicely mature multiroom system. You can fill your trang chính with MusicCast devices so that you can have music wherever you lượt thích. We notice that this year it has been advanced even further: you can now configure separate wireless MusicCast speakers to act as wireless rear speakers for your movie room.

The receiver is rated at 100W for each of its seven channels inkhổng lồ eight ohms. If you want khổng lồ use lower impedance speakers there’s a setting in the set-up menus, though unfortunately four-ohm loudspeakers are supported only for the front left and right channels. For all the rest, a six-ohm nominal impedance is the minimum (& perhaps not coincidentally, most Yamaha home speakers have sầu six ohms nominal impedance).



(Image credit: Yamaha Music Australia)

Tested with firmware: 1.23

Rated power: 7 x 100W inlớn 8 ohms (20-đôi mươi,000Hz, 0.06% THD, two channels driven)

Inputs: 7 x HDXiaoMi MI, 3 x analogue stereo, phono, optical digital, coaxial digital, USB-A (front), Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth không dây, F Type for FM/DAB+

Outputs: 2 x HDXiaoMi MI, 2.1 analogue output, 6.5mm tai nghe, 9 pairs speaker binding posts

Zone: 1 x analogue stereo, assignable amplifiers

Other: 1 x 12V trigger out, 1 x calibration microphone

Dimensions (whd): 435 x 171 x 377mm

Weight: 9.8kg

Warranty: Two years


There are seven HDMI inputs. As we write, Yamaha says that advanced features such as 4K at 1đôi mươi hertz & HDR10+ video signals will be supported with a future firmware update. We did thử nghiệm the unit with regular Ultra HD & both HDR10 và Dolby Vision high dynamic range, & it passed these through with no problems. Indeed, it was fine with high frame rate Ultra-HD 2160p/60 encoded with Dolby Vision. That’s about as high a throughput as is available from the Ultra-HD Blu-ray format.

We must add here the caveat that we’ve mentioned with all 2021 receivers – there have sầu been reports that the current phối of HDXiaoMI chips vị not fully tư vấn 4K/120, though this is generally when there is an 8K input đầu vào (which there isn’t here). We’ll have sầu to wait and see.

Also to be added in a further update are several game-dedicated functions: Aukhổng lồ Low Latency Mode, Variable Reflesh Rate, Quichồng Media Switching & Quichồng Frame Transport. Essentially, these work to reduce delays. Latency is a killer in real-time gaming.

There’s a single HDXiaoMI output. Three sets of stereo analogue inputs are provided, along with a phono input đầu vào suitable for use with a moving-magnet cartridge. An optical & a coaxial digital audio input đầu vào are available. And this being 20đôi mươi, there’s also Ethernet, Wi-Fi and công nghệ Bluetooth không dây. The Wi-Fi is dual-bvà, supporting the standards up to lớn 802.11ac, while the Bluetooth không dây is version 4.2 & supports the standard SBC codec, plus the Apple-friendly AAC codec.

We should remind you that this is a receiver, so of course it receives radio. In this case the two ‘bands’ are FM & DAB+ digital radio.

The receiver comes with an IR remote control, & is also thoroughly controllable using the MusicCast ứng dụng on a smart device, Apple or Android, phone or tablet.

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Set-up và calibration

The Yamaha RX-V6A doesn’t really run a first-time wizard, as such. It asks you your language and then it’s up to lớn you lớn perkhung the calibration. Basically, you manually specify the intended position of one pair of channels: surround baông chồng, height (overhead) or presence (high on the front wall).

That done, you plug in the supplied calibration microphone và place it at head height at the listening position (you can also bởi multiple positions if you prefer). Once you plug in the microphone, Yamaha’s YPAO calibration system is invoked & you can then simply follow the on-screen instructions.

The calibration looks after speaker sizes, distances, levels & EQ. With our system, YMAO chose reasonable crossovers, and later we certainly approved of the sound. The mặc định EQ aims at Yamaha’s ‘Natural’ curve sầu, which gently eases higher frequencies khổng lồ produce a solid, cinema-like sound. But you can easily switch it khổng lồ ‘Flat’ (a flat frequency response), ‘Front’ (the rest of the speakers are tuned lớn match the front speakers, which are left unaltered) or ‘Off’.


(Image credit: Yamaha Music Australia)

Performance

We found the sound unique with movies simply wonderful. There was plenty of power available to drive sầu our system to lớn cinema-like levels. The crossovers worked effectively at pulling out the bass and sending it lớn our subwoofer. Surround imaging was excellent.

As we noted above, we’ve been reviewing Yamaha home theatre receivers for many years, and they’ve sầu never once disappointed.

The automatic lip-sync adjustment available when connected via HDXiaoMI was effective – our TV typically adds around 120ms of delay to the đoạn phim, so it’s obvious if there is no correction. Indeed, all the HDXiaoMi MI control functions worked well, switching on the receiver automatically as required, flicking it over to lớn the input into which we had our UltraHD Blu-ray player plugged.

For music, we tapped the ‘Pure Direct’ button on the remote to lớn get rid of the processing and crossover. The receiver actually did a quite nice job with music from our turntable, plugged into lớn the receiver’s phono inputs. The sound was clean, with decent stereo imaging & detail.

On the video clip side, things were a bit basic. We’ve sầu related how the receiver passed through all signals cleanly. We also noticed in the HDMI section of the set-up menus the ability khổng lồ upscale HDMI to lớn 4K (Ultra-HD) output. This was off by default. We switched it on, & initially it did not seem khổng lồ work. The reason turned out khổng lồ be that it’s quite limited. It will upscale 1080p khổng lồ 2160p, but it doesn’t work on anything less, not even 1080i.

Furthermore, when we tried playing a standard Ultra-HD disc with regular HDR with 4K upscaling switched on – it should have done nothing with such a disc – the TV would no longer produce an image. All it showed was a blaông xã screen with the HDR logo (produced by the TV when it detects that signal) irregularly pulsing in the corner of the screen.

The receiver’s onscreen menu wouldn’t work once that happened. All returned lớn proper operation once we stopped playbaông chồng (the player drops baông xã khổng lồ 1080p). We switched off 4K upscaling and proper operation was restored.

The receiver’s remote control has four ‘Scene’ buttons, replicating those on the front panel. We bởi vì like these. Hold one down for a few seconds & the current settings for the receiver are stored, including input and things lượt thích sound và đoạn Clip modes. So you can switch khổng lồ, for example, Phono input & Pure Direct with a press of just one key. Then baông chồng khổng lồ movie viewing with another signal button press. Neat và convenient operation indeed.


It"s 30 years since the first Yamaha RX-V receivers appeared, introducing the first chip-based non-analogue surround decoding. (Image credit: Yamaha Music Australia)

Smart functionality

Yamaha’s network capabilities are thoroughly worked out & operated with complete reliability, whether by Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection. The unit does implement a website interface, but it isn’t a full control panel, just an alternate way lớn change some basic network-related settings.

Meanwhile, whether we used MusicCast or our own DLNA software, all music we threw at the receiver was reproduced effectively. That included FLAC-encoded PCM up to 24 bits & 192kHz sampling, and double-speed Direct Stream digital.

The receiver’s audio information display usefully confirmed that these were being properly received.

And as far as we’ve sầu been able lớn determine, Yamaha’s receivers still remain the only ones to which we can direct DTS 5.1-channel sound ripped from DTS CDs & encoded lớn FLAC. The receiver recognises it, after decompressing the FLAC format, lớn be DTS và decodes it to proper surround sound. That’s a great way khổng lồ enjoy ‘Days of Future Passed’.

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Verdict

The Yamaha RX-V6A is a fine not-so-entry-màn chơi networked & nicely smart AV receiver, and with its welcome face-lift you’ll know this is a firmly 21st-century unit. A must-consider if you’re seeking surround và music power at this price.


Chuyên mục: Yamaha