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  1. #1
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Feb 2002

    legacy-audio classic and yamaha

    I've been looking into buying another hometheater receiver and moving my existing Yamaha dsp-a3090 into another room. The last time I spent significantly on audio product was in '97. At the time flagship receivers from the majors were around 2000-2500 dollars. Now they seem to be 4000-5000. Is going from 5.1 to 6.1/7.1 worth all this cash.? What the heck are we getting for our hard earned buck? Surely it's not inflation driving this. The only other differences I can see are modestly more powerful amps and some have microphones to help the setup process. Geez. It used to be that Yamaha flagship receivers were priced significantly lower thatn product from Denon and Onkyo for example. The only reason I could see for this at the time were licensing fees for thx. Am I right? The new yamaha flagship has an msrp of 4400. It now has THX and Farjouda technology. Could it be licensing fees driving these insane prices? And about the legacy classic... I purchased a pair new in '97 for 2400/pr. They're now 3195 - an increase of about 33%. Meanwhile the Focus and Sig III are priced the same as they were 7 years ago. What gives? The Focus has been significantly re-designed since '97. Not sure about the Sig. The Classic is exactly the same product it was 7 years ago as far as I can tell. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Jan 2002

    You are right, things have changed

    Every electronics manufacturer has to have a "Big Bertha" receiver. These behemoths are there to keep people from going into separates, and double as a "flagship" model. Like you noted, the price of the Yamaha flagship is going up significantly, from around $3000 to $4500. I thought the RXZ1 was a fairly good deal since, to my ears, it offered far superior sonics to the others and more flexibility to be adapted into custom situations. Unfortunately, according to my dealer, it didn't get any respect in the marketplace because it wasn't expensive enough. So, when it got overhauled last fall, Yamaha apparently added what they thought they needed to justify the price increase.

    You mentioned the Faroudja processing, that's true, but it also has essentially an on board video scaler, additional video processing, digital video up and down conversion, and 6 component video outputs. The microphone goes a bit farther than you are giving credit. The YPAO ("Y"-POW) feature will do the complete system set-up, including parametrically equalizing the system to the room, set crossover, optimal speaker size, polarity check (9 speakers, pretty good chance of messing up), speaker level, speaker distance, and a couple of other things that I can't remember. The amplifier was upgraded (forget the watt thing, that's a bunch of crap) with a bigger toroidal transformer, huge caps, beefier output devices, better isolation, among other things. Then, to me, the big yawner, THX. I guess Creative Labs came-a-begging to Yamaha to include it, and the deal was good enough for Yamaha to jump on board. Not that it is a big deal, but I always thought it was cool that Yamaha stayed away and did their own thing.

    So, yeah, the price is $4500, but, it looks like you are actually getting something for the money. It is a far better deal than any of the entry level separates out there, or the other Big Bertha types, and is undoubtably the most flexible custom piece in the marketplace. Yamaha doesn't screw up very often, and since my dealer can't get enough of the Z9s, I guess they did okay here.

    I won't address the Legacy issue except to say that they have plenty of margin to hold price over 7 years of nearly non-existing inflation. Comparing the changes in product is an apples/oranges kind of thing.

    The preceding comments have not been subjected to double blind testing, and so must just be taken as casual observations and not given the weight of actual scientific data to be used to prove a case in a court of law or scientific journal. The comments represent my humble opinion which will range in the readers perspective to vary from Gospel to heresy. So let it be.

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