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Oldboy's picture
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My Yamaha RX-A2020 review

So a few days ago the 2020 finally arrived and as a few people asked for my opinions on another thread I thought I would post a little review after my first few days with it but I'm not very good with reviews so bear with me, here goes....

First impressions after taking it out of it's enormous, heavy box are that it's HUGE. The depth of this receiver is considerable and something to bear in mind if you are in the market for one, the build quality is top notch and it feels solid and built to last with two high quality dials on the front that are satisfying to use. The front of the unit is mainly of solid metal construction with the top 3rd of the front fascia a plastic affair which houses the display which is very clear and compliments the overall aesthetic of the unit, it's a very nice piece of kit from the front and the pleasing way in which the door opens to reveal the buttons just adds to the appeal.

Round the back it's just as comprehensive and it's a 9.2 receiver with connections aplenty with nothing left out that I could find, the speaker connections are of high quality and all the connections feel solid.

Set up is as simple or more complex as you would like, you can use the YPAO calibration mic to do a quick calibration from your main seating position or alternatively a more complex calibration from 8 positions (which I chose to do) and the results are impressive and accurate. Distances needed only minimal adjustment but speaker sizes were set incorrectly in my system as it set them all to large, in my opinion only my fronts should be set this way.

Once up and running my initial impressions were that this receiver is a massive leap forward from my old Onkyo 609 that took me by surprise, I was very happy with that receiver but the Yamaha really shows just how much more is possible. I fired up my normal two test discs (The Dark Knight opening and Star Wars Episode 3 opening on blu ray) and was blown away by the extra detail on offer, there were many points where I heard so much more than ever before such as echoes from the bank in the Dark Knight opening and the sound of distant laser fire with Star Wars episode 3.

Surround effects are thrown around the room with amazing accuracy and all sounds are placed exactly where they should be when compared to the on screen action, the amount of low end grunt on offer is simply stunning too...my living room simply shakes when you crank up the volume but the bass is accurate and tight and it simply leaves my old 609 trailing in it's wake, this amp is capable of some serious bass.

It all just comes together nicely with the 2020 and every part of the sound is just right and nicely judged from treble through to the mid range and bass as long as you leave the treble and bass settings on 'bypass' as adjusting any of these tends to mess up the cohesion. Dialogue is weighty and crisp and panning effects are exhilarating, I only mention this because when I watched the Agent Smiths fight from Matrix Reloaded it was so engrossing and the bit where Neo spins round on the pole whilst kicking the many Smiths was delivered effortlessly and it felt like you were right in the middle of a kicking tornado!

I've not had too much time to experiment with the various sound modes and options available but it's comprehensive to say the least, there are scene modes on the learning remote for quick access to your favourite modes and modes for sci-fi, adventure, drama, sports etc that from my experience so far do add something to that format of movie you are watching. There is a 3D cinema mode which is great and a nice little feature in the Dialogue lift mode which really does lift dialogue up towards the screen which is very clever but I did find it lost a little weight to dialogue when used.

When using the amp picture processing the results are impressive and the picture from my Virgin Tivo box is noticeably improved as a result with SD channels really improved, low bit rate channels such as Dave and the Sci Fy Channel enjoy greater sharpness and detail and blocking becomes a thing of the past which is very impressive. HD channels seem sharper to with smoother motion and greater detail to blacks, DVD content benefits too with a far better picture than when it's turned off. I only dug out Training Day on DVD to test it as it was a favourite test disc before I got blu ray but the results were very impressive indeed with vast improvements in noise levels, sharpness, insight into blacks and motion the real highlights and at points it was hard to believe you were watching a DVD which really surprised me.

The onscreen menus are easy to use and far more user friendly than on my previous Onkyo with so many options for tweaking that right now I simply haven't had time to dive into everything but it's nicely presented albeit a little basic in presentation when compared to how modern TVs deal with their menus but it's all very responsive and legible and easy to find what you are looking for so it's a pleasure to use.

I've barley scratched the surface so far with the 2020, I feel, and I'm sure over the weekend when I have more time available I will find more to tweak and more modes to experiment with but even now with only levels left to adjust with my sound meter the 2020 sounds superb and fully justifies the investment.

To sum it up I now feel like I'm finally getting the most from my speakers in a way that my old Onkyo 609 was simply unable to do, all round this is a seriously capable piece of kit and to be this happy with it at such an early point in it's time with me can only be good news and I've been grinning from ear to ear with every blu ray I've watched which is high praise indeed.

Time to bring this to an end before I start to babble too much. If you were contemplating getting a RX-A2020 I really wouldn't hesitate as it's a mightily impressive receiver and performs to the standards of the 1020 and 3020 in the range, hopefully WHF get one to review soon as I would love to hear their views.

Samsung UE55F8000 TV (THX professional calibrated), Dali Zensor 5 7.1 (front presence configuration), Sony BDPS790, Yamaha RX-A2020, Marantz PM6004, Marantz CD6003, Virgin TiVo 1TB, Playstation 4, Playstation 3, WD TV Live, WD My Book World 1TB.

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RE: My Yamaha RX-A2020 review

:cheers:

Yes, the Onkyo was the only weak link in your system. You've built up a brilliant system in the end!  Smile

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RE: My Yamaha RX-A2020 review

Thanks bigboss, it took a bit longer than expected but I got there in the end.....when I look back to where I started with a Q Acoustics 1010i cinema package and budget Sony amp it's amazing what I have now and I'm chuffed to bits with it all.

You are so right about the old Onkyo 609 as it was letting the side down badly and I didn't realise by how much until I fired up the Yamaha, it was a complete revelation and gives me true home cinema sound in my living room.

I'm now shopping for a pair of Zensor 1's to add as front height speakers :grin:

Samsung UE55F8000 TV (THX professional calibrated), Dali Zensor 5 7.1 (front presence configuration), Sony BDPS790, Yamaha RX-A2020, Marantz PM6004, Marantz CD6003, Virgin TiVo 1TB, Playstation 4, Playstation 3, WD TV Live, WD My Book World 1TB.

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RE: My Yamaha RX-A2020 review

There are a few on eBay if you don't mind buying second hand:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_odkw=Dali+1&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0&_nkw=Dali+zensor+1&_sacat=0

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RE: My Yamaha RX-A2020 review

I knew you would love the yamaha,your first impressions echo excactly how i reacted when i got my 1010 :grin:

The 2020 is a bigger animal than the 1020,is there a difference in sq do you know?

 

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RE: My Yamaha RX-A2020 review

Congrats Oldboy; sounds like it was worth the wait! :cheers:

The 810's cohesive steering always brings a smile to my face. The 2020 will certainly outperform my AVR, so you must be delighted.

Out of interest, how's the 2020's stereo performance? (You probably haven't checked as you use a dedicated system for music.) 

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RE: My Yamaha RX-A2020 review

Excellent, comprehensive review OB  Smile Time for some system pics please?  Smile

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RE: My Yamaha RX-A2020 review

strapped for cash wrote:

Congrats Oldboy; sounds like it was worth the wait! :cheers:

Out of interest, how's the 2020's stereo performance? (You probably haven't checked as you use a dedicated system for music.) 

Was about to ask the same question!

Hi again old boy....it's been a while!!

AV: Panasonic TX-P50X60 : Pioneer SC-2023 : Panasonic DMP-BDT320 : Humax HDR FOX T2 : Marantz PM6004 (front speakers) : X Box kinect : KEF Q100/Q200C/3001SE : AE Radiance sub 

STEREO: Marantz CD63 MK II KI : Marantz PM6004 : KEF Q100

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RE: My Yamaha RX-A2020 review

Pistol Pete1 wrote:

strapped for cash wrote:

Congrats Oldboy; sounds like it was worth the wait! :cheers:

Out of interest, how's the 2020's stereo performance? (You probably haven't checked as you use a dedicated system for music.) 

Was about to ask the same question!

Hi again old boy....it's been a while!!

Hello Pete,

Really nice to hear from you again, it's been a while eh. To be completely honest i've not had the time but will give it a go today at some point with stereo music and compare it to my stereo system then report back with the results.

It will certainly be interesting to see if it out performs my Marantz PM6004 stereo amp...i'm thinking it won't to be honest but you never know until you try.

Samsung UE55F8000 TV (THX professional calibrated), Dali Zensor 5 7.1 (front presence configuration), Sony BDPS790, Yamaha RX-A2020, Marantz PM6004, Marantz CD6003, Virgin TiVo 1TB, Playstation 4, Playstation 3, WD TV Live, WD My Book World 1TB.

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RE: My Yamaha RX-A2020 review

BenLaw wrote:

Excellent, comprehensive review OB  Smile Time for some system pics please?  Smile

Funny I tried this earlier Ben but I couldn't get it to play ball...it's been so long since I last posted some pics that I've completely forgot how to do it. Can anyone point me in the right direction??

Samsung UE55F8000 TV (THX professional calibrated), Dali Zensor 5 7.1 (front presence configuration), Sony BDPS790, Yamaha RX-A2020, Marantz PM6004, Marantz CD6003, Virgin TiVo 1TB, Playstation 4, Playstation 3, WD TV Live, WD My Book World 1TB.

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RE: My Yamaha RX-A2020 review

Oldboy wrote:

Pistol Pete1 wrote:

strapped for cash wrote:

Congrats Oldboy; sounds like it was worth the wait! :cheers:

Out of interest, how's the 2020's stereo performance? (You probably haven't checked as you use a dedicated system for music.) 

Was about to ask the same question!

Hi again old boy....it's been a while!!

Hello Pete,

Really nice to hear from you again, it's been a while eh. To be completely honest i've not had the time but will give it a go today at some point with stereo music and compare it to my stereo system then report back with the results.

It will certainly be interesting to see if it out performs my Marantz PM6004 stereo amp...i'm thinking it won't to be honest but you never know until you try.

Nice stereo amp there Oldboy!!! I'm just in a dilemma about whether to sell mine and my denon and replace both with just the Denon AVR3313, which is a similar receiver to your Yamaha....any feedback would be very useful!

AV: Panasonic TX-P50X60 : Pioneer SC-2023 : Panasonic DMP-BDT320 : Humax HDR FOX T2 : Marantz PM6004 (front speakers) : X Box kinect : KEF Q100/Q200C/3001SE : AE Radiance sub 

STEREO: Marantz CD63 MK II KI : Marantz PM6004 : KEF Q100

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RE: My Yamaha RX-A2020 review

Well, I have to say I'm getting mighty excited now, and I can't wait to get my 2020. 

Nice review Oldboy.

Lounge: Panasonic TX-P50GT50 / Yamaha RX-A2020 / Panasonic DMP-BDT110 / Dali Zensor 3 / Dali Zensor Vokal / Mordaunt Short MS20i Pearl Edition / Roksan Radius 5.2 / WDTV My Book Live / Seagate Expansion / Sky HD Box 

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RE: My Yamaha RX-A2020 review

My appetite for an upgrade of my Pioneer receiver has been whetted!!  Yamaha looks the part too...

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RE: My Yamaha RX-A2020 review

Oldboy wrote:

BenLaw wrote:

Excellent, comprehensive review OB  Smile Time for some system pics please?  Smile

Funny I tried this earlier Ben but I couldn't get it to play ball...it's been so long since I last posted some pics that I've completely forgot how to do it. Can anyone point me in the right direction??

 

Yes. You need to upload the photo/s to a photo sharing website such as photobucket. You then need to copy a link for the photo that ends in .jpg. On this website when posting a reply, click the tree icon and then paste the link into the appropriate box. 

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RE: My Yamaha RX-A2020 review

Thanks Ben I will take a few better pics today and post them later once I've had a chance to clean up a bit first. Stay tuned :grin:

Samsung UE55F8000 TV (THX professional calibrated), Dali Zensor 5 7.1 (front presence configuration), Sony BDPS790, Yamaha RX-A2020, Marantz PM6004, Marantz CD6003, Virgin TiVo 1TB, Playstation 4, Playstation 3, WD TV Live, WD My Book World 1TB.

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RE: My Yamaha RX-A2020 review

Nice one  Smile

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