• 04-30-2004, 05:37 AM
    kexodusc
    A review on my new Yamaha RX-V1400
    My RX-V1400 finally arrived this week (with my brother attached) , and I've had a few days to put it to the test. Thought I'd share some comments about it.
    First, it's replacing an RX-V795a I bought 2nd hand about 2 years ago...I think it's about 5 years old now.

    Construction: The 1400 is a bit heavier, but doesn't appear to be any sturdier as far as construction goes than my old yammie or marantz receivers. I take it that Yamaha doesn't cheap out on their smaller receivers as far as casing goes.

    Inputs - there's got to be too many for most people...probably a good thing.

    Sound: I hooked this up to my Paradigm Studio speakers (5 channels are version 2, the surround backs are v.1 I just bought used). I have 5 channels going to power amps right now but I did test out the receiver's amp. Actually this is a great sounding receiver, plenty of power for most people in most rooms. My room has a cathedral ceiling and is relatively huge. Doesn't have the "brightness" in the higher frequencies some of the older yammies use to have. I kind of miss the treble actually.

    DSP's: Same old Yamaha. The only DSP's I like are in Yammie receivers...there's a few movie DSP's that are kind of neat...most are just too "processed" for my tastes. Not a huge selling feature for me.

    Processing: Whoah...too much to figure out. Just about everything you need I guess. PLIIx and DTS Neo settings are kinda cool I guess for 2 channel tv sources or whatever.

    6.1/7.1 surround in general: I've been less than thrilled so far...and I just shelled out $300 for some used Studio 20's to get to 7 speakers. Although the few DTS ES movies I've listened to are pretty cool (great in fact), the matrix job DD and DTS do on some 5.1 movies is rather hit and miss....When it's good it's good, but when it's bad, it's real bad. This is just my first week with 6.1 in 7 speakers so maybe I haven't watched the right movies. I think 5.1 is 90% as good though probably all anyone needs. However I will say that my room is huge and there doesn't seem to be any "holes" in the surround field now. That's a plus.

    YPAO: Very cool feature. For some reason it thinks my subwoofer is 16 feet away (it's more like 9 feet), but I assume that's just a delay thing...actually the sub does sound a bit faster and more accurate now. Setup and calibration etc is a breeze now and it really, does do a far better job than me, Sound & Visions setup CD, and my SPL meters have been doing.

    Parametric Equalization: Im hearing a bit more mid-range now, Id say it sounds noticeably warmer than my old 795a, a plus, but I wonder if this is because of the EQ, or just the change in receivers. I've really noticed the surround effects in movies seems much more balanced, with smoother transitions and a more enveloping feeling...don't know if this is YPAO at work or just better processing from the receiver? Don't really care though.

    Remote Control: What the &%*@ ????

    THX stuff: Yaaawwnnnn!!! Very unecessary, probably more of a marketing thing to catch some eyes. You can do without it.

    Display: Amber is cool, I guess. The little indicators are all too darn small... I'm 12 feet away from the receiver and can't read a thing!!!

    Manual: Long, and quite detailed...but you pretty much have to read it for this thing.

    Effects/Straight modes: Confusing as hell...what's the difference between running "2-channel stereo" mode, or running a 2-channel source in "straight mode"? What's the difference between running Dolby Digital 5.1 in "Straight Mode" vs "Dolby Digital Surrond Standard"? I don't know...but I think they are redundant.

    Overall I am quite satisfied with this receiver. For me it was a far better value and better performing unit than the runner up, Denon AVR-2803 (very nice as well). I had the Denon in my house for a weekend, and despite the trippy manual, I actually found it easier to use than the Yamaha. I don't think these 2 units are direct competitors though the Denon is almost as expensive- but doesn't quite offer as much.
    A bit more power and the inclusion of a YPAO like feature and I think Denon would have a real winner too.
  • 04-30-2004, 06:38 AM
    JSE
    What's up Kexodusc,

    I've had my Yamaha 1400 for about 5 months now. It replaced an older Onkyo receiver. I can definitely say it was a big improvement in terms of sound. I also do not find the 1400 bright at all. It's a great match to my Boston speakers.

    I agree with your comment on the remote. :D I am still sometimes saying "What the &%*@ ????" It's clearly not the strong point of this receiver.

    The DSPs are also pretty cool, but I find myself rarely using them. No really an issue for me.

    I also find that I don't really care for the THX modes but this would probably hold true for any receiver.

    The YPAO is simply awesome. Very easy to use and I only made a couple of very minor tweeks. I think every receiver made over $500 from this point forward should have this feature. I think it's become a huge selling feature and is clearly very useful. This feature
    improves sound easily for people who probably would have never thought their system needed to be calibrated in the first place. They would never have known what they were missing. I bet 95% of the people out there with HT systems have never even thought about calibration.

    I also must admit this is not the easiest receiver to use. Many of the steps to get a certain setting on the receiver are very confusing and not very intuitive. My old Onkyo was much easier to use. I am not saying the Yamaha is really really hard to use, but it could be easier. However, in the end I am willing to deal with a receiver that's a little harder to use than some in exchange for the sound and performance I am getting. My next purchase will probably be an Amp for the mains.

    JSE