Yamaha RX-V2700 7.1 Channel Home Theater Receiver

Home Theater Control Master

Yamaha RX-V2700 Home Theater Receiver
Images provided by Yamaha

Having had a chance to use the Yamaha RX-V2700, I must say that it is an excellent value, providing solid audio and video performance. In addition, practical features, such as HDMI upscaling and switching, iPod connectivity and control, XM Satellite Radio, and built-in Networking provide great operational flexibility and control for a receiver in its $1,500 price class. For those wishing to get a home theater receiver that will meet current and future needs, consider the RX-V2700 as a possible choice.

After reading the review below, also check out a more detailed look at this receiver at my RX-V2700 Photo Gallery.

Product Overview

The RX-V2700 has an abundance of features, including:

1. 7.1 channels delivering 140 Watts into each full channel at .04% THD (Total Harmonic Distortion). .1 channel Subwoofer line output provided for connection to the powered subwoofer.

2. Surround sound processing options: Dolby Prologic IIx, Dolby Digital 5.1/7.1 EX, DTS 5.1/7.1 ES, 96/24, Neo:6 XM Neural and XM-HD Surround.

3. Parametric Equalizer for each channel.

4. Automatic speaker setup via YPAO (Yamaha Parametric Room Acoustic Optimizer). This system uses a provided microphone and built-in equalizer to automatically set the speaker level for each channel. The YPAO first checks to see that each speaker is wired correctly to the receiver. Then, using a built-in test tone generator room acoustics are analyzed and the receiver is set to a variety of parameters, such as the speaker size, the distance of the speakers from the listening position, the sound pressure levels, and more.

In addition to using the YPAO, a user can also manually set personal preferences for speaker level, distance, and low-frequency crossover settings for each channel.

5. Audio inputs: Six Stereo Analog, Five Digital Optical, Three Digital Coaxial. Also included: one set of eight-channel analog audio inputs: Front (Left, Center, Right), Rear (Surround Left & Right, Surround Back Left & Right) and Subwoofer.

These inputs can be used for accessing SACD, DVD-Audio, or another type of external decoder.

6. Second zone preamp outputs. Silent Cinema headphone output.

7. Two Digital Audio output.

8. Video Inputs: Three HDMI, Three Component, Six S-video, Six Composite.

9. XM-Satellite Radio Connectivity (optional antenna/tuner and subscription required). AM/FM Tuner with 40 presets. Internet Radio access via Ethernet-Network connection.

10. iPod Connectivity and control via optional iPod Docking Station.

11. Audio Delay for adjusting lip-sync (0–240 ms)

12. On-board crossover (9 frequency bands) and phase control for Subwoofer. The crossover control sets the point at which you want the subwoofer to produce low-frequency sounds, against the ability of the satellite speakers to reproduce low-frequency sounds.

13. Two Wireless remote controls are included. One remote control is provided for main room functions, a smaller remote is provided for Zone 2 or 3 operation.

14. An on-screen GUI (Graphical User Interface) display makes operating the receiver easy and intuitive. It is compatible with iPod, internet radio, PC and USB displays.

Hardware Used

Home Theater Receivers used for comparison included, the Yamaha HTR-5490 (6.1 Channels), and an Onkyo TX-SR304 (5.1 Channels), and an Outlaw Audio Model 950 Preamp/Surround Processor (using 5.1 channel mode) paired with a Butler Audio 5150 5-channel power amplifier.

DVD/Blu-ray/HD-DVD players included: OPPO Digital DV-981HD DVD/SACD/DVD-Audio Player, and Helios H4000 DVD Player, Toshiba HD-XA1 HD-DVD player, Samsung BD-P1000 Blu-ray Player and an LG BH100 Blu-ray/HD-DVD Combo player.

CD-only Player sources included: Technics SL-PD888 and Denon DCM-370 5-disc CD Changers.

Loudspeakers used in different setups included: Klipsch B-3s, Klipsch C-2, Optimus LX-5IIs, Klipsch Quintet III 5-channel speaker system, a pair of JBL Balboa 30's, JBL Balboa Center Channel and two JBL Venue Series 5-inch Monitor speakers as rear surrounds.

Powered Subwoofers used: Klipsch Synergy Sub10 and Yamaha YST-SW205, and an SVS SB12-PLus (on loan from SVS Sound).

Video displays used: A Westinghouse Digital LVM-37w3 1080p LCD Monitor, Syntax LT-32HV 32-inch LCD TV, and Samsung LN-R238W 23-inch LCD TV.

All video displays were calibrated using SpyderTV Software.

Audio/Video connections between components were made with Accell, Cobalt, and AR Interconnect cables.

16 Gauge Speaker Wire was used in all setups.

System speakers levels were additionally calibrated using a Radio Shack Sound Level Meter

Software Used

Blu-ray Discs included: Apocalypto, Superman Returns, Crank, Happy Feet, and Mission Impossible III.

HD-DVD Discs included: Smokin' Aces, The Matrix, King Kong, Batman Begins, and Phantom of the Opera

Pre-recorded standard DVDs used included scenes from the following: The Cave, Kill Bill - Vol1/2, Kingdom of Heaven (Director's Cut), V For Vendetta, U571, Lord of Rings Trilogy, and Master and Commander.

For audio only, various CDs included: HEART - Dreamboat Annie, Nora Jones - Come Away With Me, Lisa Loeb - Firecracker, The Beatles - Love, Blue Man Group - The Complex, Eric Kunzel - 1812 Overture.

DVD-Audio discs included: Queen - Night At The Opera/The Game, Eagles - Hotel California, and Medeski, Martin, and Wood - Uninvisible.

SACD discs used included: Pink Floyd - Dark Side Of The Moon, Steely Dan - Gaucho, The Who - Tommy.

In addition, music content on CD-R/RWs was also used.

The Silicon Optix HQV Benchmark DVD video test disc was also used for more precise video performance measurements.

The YPAO Results

Although no automatic system can be perfect or account for personal taste, the YPAO did a credible job of setting up speaker levels properly, in relation to the room characteristic.

Speaker distances were calculated accurately, and automatic adjustments to the audio level and equalization were made to compensate.

After the YPAO procedure was complete, the speaker balance was very good between the Center and Main channels, but I further manually increased the surround speaker levels for my own personal taste.

Audio Performance

Using both analog and digital audio sources, I found the audio quality of the RX-V2700, in both 5.1 and 7.1 channel configurations, delivered an excellent surround image.

This receiver provided a very clean signal via the direct 5.1 analog audio inputs from both HD-DVD/Blu-ray disc sources, in addition to the Blu-ray/HD-DVD HDMI and Digital Optical/Coaxial audio connection options.

The RX-V2700 showed no signs of strain during very dynamic audio tracks and delivered a sustained output over long periods of time without eliciting listening fatigue.

In addition, another aspect of the RX-V2700 was its multi-zone flexibility. Running the receiver in the 5.1 channel mode for the main room and using the two spare channels (normally devoted to the surround back speakers), and using the provided second zone remote control, I was easily able to run two separate systems.

With the setup that utilized both the Main Zone and Zone 2, I was able to access DVD/Blu-ray/HD-DVD in 5.1 channels and easily access XM or Internet Radio or CDs in the two channel Zone 2 setup in another room using the RX-V2700 as the main control for both sources. Also, I could run the same music source in both rooms simultaneously, one using the 5.1 channel configuration and second using the 2 channel configuration.

The 2700 has the option of running the second and/or third zones using either its own internal amplifiers or using separate external amplifiers (via Zone 2 and/or Zone 3 preamp output). Specific details on second and third zone setup options are outlined in the RX-V2700 user manual.

Video Performance

Analog video sources when converted to progressive scan via component video or HDMI, looked slightly better, but the component video connection option produced a slightly darker image than HDMI.

Using the Silicon Optix HQV Benchmark DVD as a reference, the internal scaler of the 2700 does a good job, in relation to other receivers with built-in scalers, but it does not perform as well as a good upscaling DVD player, or a dedicated external video scaler. However, the fact that you don't need to use several types of video connections on one video display is a great convenience.

Although upconversion of video inputs signals to HDMI is limited to 1080i, the RX-V2700 can pass a native 1080p source through to a 1080p television or monitor. The image on a Westinghouse LVM-37w3 1080p monitor showed no visible difference, whether the signal came directly from one of the 1080p source players or was routed through the RX-V2700 before reaching the monitor.

What I Liked About the RX-V2700

1. Sound quality excellent in both stereo and surround modes.

2. Analog to HDMI Video signal conversion and Video Upscaling.

3. Incorporation of an XM-Satellite Radio and iPod Control.

4. Extensive speaker setup and adjustment options. The 2700 offers both automatic and manual speaker setup as well as provisions for connection and setup of 2nd or 3rd Zone speaker systems.

5. Well designed front panel controls. If you have misplaced or lost either remote, you can still access the main functions of the receiver using the front panel controls, hidden behind a flip-down door.

6. Networking/Internet Radio capability built-in. Utilizing the onboard Ethernet connection, you can connect the 2700 to a wired DSL or Cable Modem router and access internet radio stations.

7. Separate Remote Control provided for Second and Third Zone operation. Having the second remote is very convenient as it only has the functions needed to access sources for the second or third zone systems.

What I Didn't Like About the RX-V2700

1. Heavy - Use caution when lifting or moving.

2. Only one Subwoofer output. Although having only one subwoofer output is standard, it would be very convenient, especially for a receiver in this price class, to include a second subwoofer line output.

3. No Sirius Satellite Radio connectivity. XM and Internet Radio is a great convenience, but adding Sirius would be a real bonus for those subscribers.

4. No front mounted HDMI or Component Video Inputs. Although there is limited space on the front panel, it would be great to add a component and/or HDMI connections to accommodate game systems and high-definition camcorders.

5. Speaker connections too close together. This is my pet-peeve with Yamaha Receivers. When using bare wire end speaker cables, it is sometimes difficult to get the lead into the speaker terminals; another 1/32 or 1/16-inch distance between terminals would help.

6. Main remote control not intuitive. All remotes have a little learning curve, however, I found the buttons and functions on the main 2700 remote to be very small and not very well located. However, the Zone 2/3 remote was easy to use.

Final Take

The RX-V2700 delivers more-than-enough power for an averaged-size room and provides exceptional sound with its high-current amplifier design. Practical features that you would expect work very well, including 7.1 channel surround processing, analog-to-HDMI video conversion, video upscaling, and Multi-zone operation.

Several additional innovative features of the RX-V2700 are the inclusion XM-Satellite Radio connectivity, (paid subscription required), built-in networking and internet radio reception capability, and both speaker connections or preamp outputs (your choice) provided for second and/or third zone operation.

One of the indicators of a good receiver is the ability to perform well in both stereo and surround modes. I found the audio quality of the 2700 in both stereo and surround modes to be very good, making it acceptable for both extensive music listening as well as for home theater use.

I also found the analog to digital video conversion and upscaling functions worked very well. This simplifies connection of older components to today's digital televisions.

However, one important note is that the RX-V2700 has a lot of setup and connection options, which makes reading the user manual a must before integrating it with the rest of your home theater system components.

The RX-V2700 packs in a lot of features and deliver great performance in its price class. If you are looking for a home theater receiver that can function as a complete centerpiece for your home theater system, consider the RX-V2700 as a possible choice. I give it 4.5 Stars out of 5.

Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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