Yamaha RX-A700

When purchasing a home theater system, it is usually best for all the components to be of the same brand so they function seamlessly using a single remote and for easy set up. Some companies like Yamaha cannot capitalize on that as they do not produce every component in a home theater system. However, they focus on their specialties in developing quality AV receivers and Blu-ray/DVD players.

Yamaha has a proven track record in the development of AV receivers. This has culminated in the development of the new “AVENTAGE” series. This is a new line of premium grade models designed with improved structural rigidity. This serves to reduce the harmful effects of vibration thereby resulting in better audio performance. The Yamaha RX-A700 is the most affordable model of the series and has a lot of features not found in standard receivers.

Latest Update: The Yamaha RX-A700 is Now on Sale at Amazon.com

Yamaha RX-A700

Yamaha RX-A700

Design & Connectivity

It’s a known fact that ground based and airborne vibration can damage the integrity of delicate electrical signals in the audio path. Rigidity of construction is important and Yamaha has taken the right approach by adding a fifth foot in the center of the bottom plate. It makes the chassis less susceptible to direct vibration. Yamaha calls this the Anti-Resonance Technology or A.R.T.

The front panel resembles other Yamaha receivers in the series. There is a distinct “AVENTAGE” logo on the upper right of the player but the rest of the top panel looks the same with the basic home theater receiver controls present. The four “SCENE” buttons taken from previous designs are also there so you can easily set the necessary settings for the desired input source. Behind video aux panel is an HDMI input and analog video/audio inputs.

The back panel consists of a complete set of inputs that is more than adequate. There are 5 HDMI inputs, 2 sets of component video inputs and 4 composite video inputs. 7.2 channels of pre-outs are provided for those who want to use external amplifiers. The included RS-232C port expands the configuration options for custom setups.

Click here to view the back panel layout

Features

The biggest difference compared to non-AVENTAGE devices can be seen when turning on the unit. It uses an improved GUI portrayed in full color where you can fine-tune various elements of the system in relation to the room.

The RX-A700 comes with 6 HDMI inputs and one HDMI out which are version 1.4a that supports the current 3D standard. All video signals are upscaled to full HD 1080p. The advanced video processing chip handles motion and edge adaptive deinterlacing, and multi-cadence (incl. 3-2 pull-down) detection.

In the audio department the amplifiers outputs a decent 90W for each of the 7 channels. The amps are configurable for bi-amp connection, drive front presence speakers or Zone 2 connection.

For surround sound processing Yamaha has its proprietary CINEMA DSP technology that they tout is more advanced than Dolby Digital and DTS. The decoding circuitry also performs Dolby Pro Logic IIx, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital EX, DTS Digital Surround, DTS-ES (DTS-ES Matrix 6.1 and DTS-ES Discrete 6.1), DTS Neo:6 and DTS 96/24 decoding.

Tuning a multi-channel system is not an easy task. Room acoustics and speaker phasing are difficult issues to tackle. To handle this, Yamaha uses its own YPAO technology which is an automatic calibration system. With the aid of an included microphone included it automatically sets the equalization levels of all speakers by sending out calibration tones. The speakers are tuned according to their placement and room acoustics so they play back at correct levels relative to each other.

Remote connectivity options are on the lacking side where it can only access SIRIUS Satellite Radio channels. The YBA-10 Bluetooth Dock and YDS-11/12 or YID-W10 Docking Station can also expand the connectivity to portable devices including iPods and iPhones. However it does not come with networking options. For that you will have to go with the higher models like the RX-A1000, RX-A2000 or the RX-A3000.

Another handy feature not found in other receivers is SILENT CINEMA which makes it possible to hear large-scale surround sound through ordinary headphones!

Actual user review:
“I purchased this receiver as a pre amplifier to replace my older Lexicon MC-1. I am impressed by its 7.2 channels pre-out quality. The YPAO sound optimization is flawless. The Yamaha RX-A700 is an amazing receiver for the cost. Highly recommended!” – J. Burran

Performance

To test the performance of the Yamaha RX-A700, we used the acclaimed film 127 Hours released recently on blu-ray.

Image quality was simply breathtaking to start off with. Details were intricately clear, especially the natural elements such as the contours of the rock surface and the sand particles on the ground. Close-ups on Aron’s baseball cap as well as his chopped up lips were startlingly vivid. Despite Boyle’s unique way of photography, images were constantly sharp throughout. Colors were another element that really shone through. Utah’s picturesque terrain and its surroundings showed off its vast range of rich and vibrant colors. Contrast was great as well, such as the shades of red of orange that define the setting. Black levels were steady and deep.

With a virtuoso video performance, it would be difficult for its audio counterpart to match its standards. However, the decoding of the DTS-HS MA 5.1 proved worthy as well. Atmospherics such as the clapping of thunder and the heavy downpour were well audible. Even subtler sounds such as an ant creeping across Aron’s hand were resoundingly clear. The gruesome scene where Aron carries out his own amputation sounded shockingly jolting, yet so realistic. Dialogue was not that well recorded but was clear and definable throughout.

To get a clearer idea of the RX-A700’s audio capabilities, we used Captain Fantastic by Elton John re-issued on multi channel SACD. The clarity of the album had improved leaps and bounds from the original version through remixing. There was great separation on the surround mix. On every single track, the harmonious orchestration and the emotional vocals was immersive and powering. On the track “Curtains”, the beautiful piano entrance and John’s soulful voice sounded fantastically clean. The RX-A700’s demonstration of its ability to play this SACD album was a perfect vindication of Yamaha’s audio roots culminating in the new Aventage design.

Bottom Line

Being at the bottom of the AVENTAGE series does not mean quality is sacrificed. The Yamaha RX-A700 ideal if you have a small to medium sized room and do not want to pay more for features you don’t need. What you are getting is a basic receiver capable of delivering immensely satisfying surround sound for movies and an equally mesmerizing sound for your music collection.

Average User Rating:

More user reviews:
I’ve owned a Yamaha RX-V2095 for the past 12 years. Weighing in at 45 lbs it’s an understatement that it has some power. The only thing it lacked was HDMI capability, which is why I upgraded to the RX-A700. The sound fields are more precise with having the 7.1 surround. Memo to those of you upgrading, this unit has a built in secondary amp for zone 2 (too cool). All in all, this is a great buy. I will miss my old receiver, but this one is a no brainer, especially for Yamaha enthusiasts. Hope this helps.” – R.D. Searle (Garden Grove, CA USA)

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I bought this receiver when the RX-V667 was not available and the dealer offered me a same-price upgrade to the RX-A700. I have found it easy to connect and get working. I like the sound quality, even though I am not finished tuning and adjusting it.” – T. P. Obrien (San Antonio, Texas)

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