|Yamaha RX-V3000 Receiver|
|Home Theater AV Receivers AV Receivers|
|Written by Tim Hart|
|Wednesday, 01 August 2001|
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It wasn’t long ago that the advent of Dolby Digital EX and DTS ES in movie theaters gave us hardcore movie buffs another reason to make the pilgrimage to the local cineplex to hear the best in movie sound reproduction. These new audio formats for movie soundtracks improved the realism of the sounds that went along with the action, drawing us ever deeper into the sensory experience and adding another dimension that took the moviegoing audience to the next level. For those who want the ability to enjoy this experience in their own homes, it is possible to create that environment and not break the bank with Yamaha’s happening $1,999.00 RX-V3000 AV receiver.
The RX-V3000 is an eight-channel receiver that has so many features, it may be easier to say what it doesn’t have than what it does. Although at first glance, the RX-V3000 looks fairly simple, that is a deception. It is second down from the top of the line RX-V1 (see Brian Kahn’s review), and offers many of the same technologies at a lower price. The RX-V3000 has a simple yet elegant look that belies its abilities as a state of the art A/V receiver. The eight channels of the RV-X3000 include left and right mains, center, left and right rears (surround), left and right front effects and a rear center. Six of these channels run at 100 watts, and the two effects channels supply 25 watts. 6.1 uses the sixth channel for Dolby Digital EX and DTS ES.
With Dolby Digital, Matrix Dolby Surround EX, DTS and Matrix DTS-ES, there’s not much left out of this system, other than perhaps the newest martixed surround format, Dolby Pro Logic II. Yamaha does offer proprietary CINEMA-DSP and Digital Soundfield Processing modes and you’ll experience some pretty realistic-sounding playback for non-discrete surround sources like DSS, VHS and more. You also have the ability to change some the DSP parameters to better suit your room, so in the hands of a capable installer, your room can be all it can be.
The back panel of the RX-V3000 is well populated, with connections for six video and four audio source components. The video source inputs include component video and an AC-3 RF input which eliminates the need for an outboard demodulator for Laserdisc owners. The RX-V3000 has a phono input, which you don’t see very often. And to give you a secure feeling about upgrade ability, you’ll have at your disposal a six-channel input for future flexibility, plus second zone outputs, a RS232 jack, and remote in and out for external remote emitters and receivers.
The RV-X3000 remote utilizes on-screen menus for set-up, freeing up the remote face for all of the functions the RX-V3000 gives you. The buttons were a bit small for my taste, but they were laid out in a fairly logical manner once I became familiar with the operation of the unit. There is a small display that tells you what source is in current use. A button on the side of the remote lights up this display, along with the function keys that will operate the source that is displayed. Unfortunately, that is the only portion of the remote that does light up. You’ll have to turn the lights on to find out which button changes the DSP settings.
Along the top of the remote are the functions that allow you to program macros for your personal system automation. Using the pre-programmed manufacturer’s codes to run other components was simple and straightforward, as was teaching the remote how to use components not listed. The manual is well written and made it easy to successfully program all of the features I wanted to use.
When setting up the speaker configuration and levels, the onscreen menus guide you through each channel to ensure the proper speaker setting. Then you can use the test tones provided to match the low frequency of the subwoofer to the volume of the other speakers. If necessary, you can also use the center channel graphic on-screen equalizer to adjust the tone to match the main channels. I didn’t find the need for too much virtual EQ knob-turning, as the tonality of my Monitor Audio Gold Reference system matched up superbly with this Yamaha receiver. Setting up the delays for the rear speakers was described clearly in the manual. In case you can’t accommodate a completely symmetrical loudspeaker position in your room, you can make it sound pretty close to perfect with the use of the delay settings.