As the only A/V receiver — a product category that’s become increasingly commoditized — to earn an Editor’s Choice award in 2012, Yamaha’s RX-A3020 had to jump through quite a few hoops. But since the RX-A3020 improves on its predecessor, the RX-A2010 — the only A/V receiver to earn an Editor’s Choice award in 2011— in a number of areas, clearing those hoops wasn’t difficult.
With 9 channels rated at 150 wpc (2-channels driven) and the option to increase that count to 11 by adding an outboard amplifier, the RX-A3020 is designed for listeners who want to test the outer limits of surround-sound immersion. And with 22 highly adjustable DSP sound modes on tap, Yamaha gives you all the tools you’ll need to do just that. Other features of note: 4K video pass-through and upconversion; “Silent Cinema” headphone surround processing; YPAO auto-setup/calibration and room EQ; detailed and fast-moving onscreen pop-ups and displays; 12 unique “Scene” memories to store important settings; and a full control app for tablets or smartphones.
As for A/V quality, Daniel Kumin admired the Yamaha’s “dramatically open, dynamic sound” and “impressive dynamic ease” with stereo music. Switching over to multichannel listening with height channels in the mix, he found it capable of “superb music surround” and endowed with enough power “to reach big-cinema levels” with no “limitations or transient squash.” And while he lacked the means to test the Yamaha’s 4K video features, he found the 1080p video conversion carried out by its well-regarded IDT HQV Vida processor to be without fault. The verdict? Excellent A/V features, combined with top-notch ergonomic design, put the RX-A3020 at the head of its class.
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