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Yamaha Aventage RX-A1020 networked AV receiver

Product Name: Yamaha Aventage rx a1020 n
Product Type: Networked AV Receiver
Price: $1799.00
Reviewed By: Stephen Dawson
Magazine: 2012-08
Distributor: Yamaha Music Australia Pty Ltd
Who Sells What/Website: Yamaha

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THIS IS A PARTIAL REVIEW. The complete product review (and the whole issue in which it features) is available as part of our full digital edition, available here. This digital edition can be downloaded to your iPad or Android tablet (using the free Zinio app) or can be viewed through your web browser on a PC or Mac. The print edition is in all good Australian newsagents now.

 

Yamaha’s third generation of its premium ‘Aventage’ range is here. Now consisting of five models, the RX-A1020 is right in the middle, but shares some of the higher end features.

EQUIPMENT
For example, it has the ‘Anti-resonance wedge’ — a fifth foot right in the middle of the base plate. It also has eight HDMI inputs with two HDMI outputs.

Unlike the higher two models, though, it has seven rather than nine amplifiers. Highly configurable (including the ability to drive a pair of ‘Zone 2’ speakers), each of these is rated at 110W into 8 ohms, full audible spectrum, distortion at 0.06%, two channels driven.

This being Yamaha, it does not implement Dolby Pro Logic IIz — which adds front height channels — but instead has its own high quality processing modes which use similarly placed front ‘Presence’ speakers.

In addition to the support for audio in a second zone, you can also deliver analogue video in the form of composite, S-Video or component video.

The unit has full 7.1-channel analogue inputs and full 7.1-channel analogue outputs (the subwoofer socket is also doubled up, but the signal is the same for both). In addition to composite and component video, it also supports S-Video, an increasingly rare inclusion these days. Plus it comes with a built-in phono preamplifier (for moving magnet cartridges).

Obviously it has network capabilities with an Ethernet port, but it is also supplied with a Wi-Fi adaptor, freeing you from the necessity of having a nearby connection to your home network (if you have Wi-Fi, of course).

PERFORMANCE
Yamaha’s approach to WiFi networking is interesting, but it can be quite challenging Setting up the Wi-Fi networking was, for me, a little bit like going back in time. Rather than being a USB Wi-Fi dongle it is a standalone Wi-Fi access box with two Ethernet ports. It draws power from a USB-style socket on the back of the receiver and one of its ports is plugged into the receiver’s Ethernet port.

If you have press-button WPS set-up on your Wi-Fi network then the unit is easy to install. I don’t. Fortunately the instructions are clear, but do be aware that you will have to first plug the unit into the Ethernet port on a computer and open a browser interface to enter the necessary details (including your Wi-Fi password) into the unit.

So for me it was harder than usual to set up. But while I often find USB Wi-Fi dongles problematic in my review environment, this Wi-Fi interface worked almost perfectly at all times. The receiver supplies power to it even when switched off, so you can use it with the Yamaha iPhone remote app to switch on the system. And with two additional Ethernet connections, you may find it convenient in providing Wi-Fi access to a nearby Blu-ray player or TV.

THIS IS A PARTIAL REVIEW. The complete product review (and the whole issue in which it features) is available as part of our full digital edition, available here. This digital edition can be downloaded to your iPad or Android tablet (using the free Zinio app) or can be viewed through your web browser on a PC or Mac. The print edition is in all good Australian newsagents now.