Yamaha Aventage RX-A8A AV-receiver review
It is the largest model in the series of Yamaha Aventage AV receivers. The Japanese company Yamaha has been operating since the 19th century, selling motors and audio-hi-fi products.
Yamaha Aventage RX-A8A Features
This model is an 11.2 channel receiver, 2-3-4. with zone functions. It has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections, making AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect and MusicCast multiroom audio available. The receiver has been updated with AURO 3D FW, the Dolby Atmos and the DTS: X CINEMA DSP HD3 ensure the perfect cinematic experience. CINEMA DSP offers 24 programs. There are 7 HDMI inputs and 3 outputs on the device. Output power 1kHz, driven on one channel: 185W, 20Hz-20kHz, driven on two channels: 150W. The receiver is also capable of 4K Ultra HD upscaling and HD audio decoding (DTS-HD, True-HD).
You can also control the device with voice control, you can further refine the settings with the help of the measuring microphone. USB connection, 3 optical, 2 digital coax, 6 analog audio, 1 component video, 2 composite video inputs. Of course, it also has a headphone output and a 12V trigger output, and it also has an AM / FM tuner.
Dimensions: 435 x 192 x 477 mm, weight: 21.8 kg.
The feed channel 11 will fully serve the requirements of 7.1.4. speaker layout. When two subwoofers are used, the RX-A8A actually distinguishes between bass. The operating instructions clearly show all the possible layouts, including how to connect each speaker.
The setup can be further simplified as Yamaha provides setup options via iOS and Android with an app called “AV Set-Up Guide”. This helps not only to arrange the speakers, but also to connect all the sources.
They have seven HDMI inputs, each capable of 4K 40 Gbps. The RX-A8A has a main HDMI output with eARC for playing audio from the connected TV, a second HDMI output that does not have ARC or HDMI control, and the third HDMI output mentioned earlier for an additional zone.
In addition, there are only 5 audio inputs – an optical digital, an optical or RCA analog, a coaxial digital or RCA analog, a pair of balanced XLR inputs (there are also XLR pre-outs for the left and right front output channels), and finally a phono input for a turntable with grounding column. In addition to the Ethernet, trigger and IR connections, there is a DAB + / FM antenna connection (and of course tuners inside), while there is a headphone jack on the front panel.
The only USB-A slot is also on the front panel, which is a bit inconvenient when you want to use a hard drive with music files, but with a handy quick connector. However, there is no USB-B connection for PC playback. Of course, the receiver also has a backlit remote control.
Yamaha MusicCast provides a streaming and multi-room platform for zen streaming.
We used the remote control to adjust the speaker distance and volume settings. The settings were quick and easy. We connected the receiver with a pair of Focal Chora 826 speakers and an SVS SB 4000 active, closed subwoofer.
Build and design
When buying a high-end receiver, you can expect the manufacturer to pay close attention to every little detail. Using quality parts, they built a rugged and flawless housing. The design has changed compared to the previous type. The main volume control button has become larger, making it easier to use as well. The wide, central display with plenty of little light is gone; the large cover hiding the front inputs and controls is also gone. On the right is a smaller input selector with four Scene buttons to select the settings you want.
One surprising change in the design of the device box is the ABS plastic cover. Its glossy front is very showy, it looks less stiff than metal housings. The RX-A8A is quite large in size. Beneath the top plastic cover is a new perforated metal cover that provides additional cross bracing to the chassis, which Yamaha says doubles the rigidity of the structure compared to previous Aventages.
This top model, unlike its predecessors, has been given a wedge and leg by Brass Anti Resonance Technology (A.R.T.). The Anti Resonance Technology (ART) Wedge is a fifth leg at the front of the chassis. The wedge dampens vibrations much more effectively, providing a nicer, clearer, focused sound.
The new processor is a Qualcomm quad-core QCS407 with almost seven times the processing power of previous models. The 64-bit Qualcomm QCS407 processor delivers accurate surround sound.
This receiver also has two transformer coils, with separate wiring for the current amplifier section (probably the output stage) and the voltage amplifier section (i.e., the input stage).
Yamaha Compressed Music Enhancer uses digital signal processing so that compressed files will sound perfect.
Aventage was tested in a large living room that the owner also uses as a movie theater. Due to the minimalist style of the room, there was not too much furniture and wall decor in the room. Some printed acoustic panels have been on the walls before, but that wasn’t enough for perfect acoustics. We conducted an acoustic measurement in the room and determined that even corner bass traps and diffusers would be needed.
The large glass surfaces provided a wonderful view of the landscape, but unfortunately they were not really acoustically advantageous, as the windows reflect the sounds. The resulting echoes degrade the sound. To solve this, we have recommended acoustic curtains, which improve the acoustics and also serve as the darkening required for cinema.
YPAO was able to refine the sound using room correction, but then only after a complete acoustic treatment of the room is a flawless result expected. Equalizer room correction programs alone cannot solve more serious acoustic problems.
We put the Yamaha Aventage amp to the test while watching several movies and we were very pleased with its performance. It provided a clear, detailed sound with solid bass and a cohesive sound field.
We also tested the device while listening to music. Thanks to MusicCast, the receiver also makes Spotify, Tidal, Qobuz, Amazon and Deezer available, as well as unsubscribed streams such as Internet radio. The stereo sound was okay (although the stereo power receivers couldn’t beat it), the music filled the space nicely. We heard realistic and enjoyable music productions.
You can choose from 11 modes to suit 11 music styles. We had a lot of fun with these, they proved to be very useful, if we had to, for example, we increased the sound space in the chosen mode.
Playing with soundtracks was good even when we were playing whole albums. The most correct setting was “Standard”.
If we want to listen to real Atmos music, with the help of Tidal or Apple, we’ll also need a little luck. If you don’t just choose music from a selection of playlists, you’ll also need a little luck to find Atmos music.
This receiver is a high-end receiver in terms of both functionality and performance. MusicCast will receive regular updates, the manufacturer promises that support for 8K / 60A, 4K / 120A and HDR10 + and support for 8K / 60B, 4K / 120B and VRR, ALLM, QFT, QM will be available soon.
During streaming, the quality of the music deteriorated, but not significantly. We were happy with the stereo effect. During the movies, we experienced dynamic, clear and detailed sounds with spacious, realistic sound and intense bass.
The price isn’t exactly the cheapest, but since it’s top-notch, it’s not surprising.
Written by Róbert Polgár