My yearly round of amplifier tests starts in earnest. We have a bit of a queue forming this year and all of the following will be assessed at some point over the next few months; Marantz SR7011, Denon AVR-X6300, Pioneer SC-LX901, Arcam AVR390 & Yamaha RX-A3060. The latter was first through the door this year.
I managed to get the 3060 set up over last weekend and have so far lived with it for a number of nights. For reference it replaced an Arcam AVR550 which I have been running for the past 6 months waiting for the first of the new arrivals to test.
The general look of the chassis has not changed for some years, but it would appear that something may have changed underneath. Overall I have to say I think it is an improvement over the RX-A3050 which I tested last year; in some key areas. It was difficult to put my finger on exactly why as the changes were subtle; but for me, important. I do feel this year’s unit is a bit more balanced, particularly with dialogue which is what the RX-A3050 I felt struggled with. The RX-A3050 last year seemed to almost sound different every time I sat down with it, and I was constantly trying to adjust it for differing content. This year it was definitely not the case and once set-up I have left it as is. From late night listening to large scale DTS-X soundtracks all were portrayed with a very even, likable hand.
The Yamaha to my ear has its usual a very easy going sound out of the box; which for dialogue needs crisping up a little to hear the pronunciation of the words at lower volumes. Some editing with the manual PEQ setting on the centre channel brought much more insight to the sound. Overall I have been really impressed. I strongly believe you can make the Yamaha’s sound how you want them to sound, at a base level with the manual PEQ and also on a system & surround effect level with the adjustment of the DSP surround mode editing on an I-pad.
If there is areas of criticism, the EQ section is laid out poorly and the menu system is a little complex for most basic users. I also found the video scaler added no discernable benefits to the video performance, turned on it actually produced some minor image tearing on football scaled to 4K. All in all, it is a very accomplished performer, well worth its asking price. Next Up Pioneers SC-LX901.