This blog focuses on the two flagship models; the RX-A2020 and the RX-A3020. At $1,699.95 and $2,199.95 respectively, these are definitely for users with bigger needs, larger rooms, and fuller wallets.
To start with, all of the same features from the other Aventage receivers are included. All the new receivers have networking on board with brand new Yamaha control apps for your iOS devices, Android, and Kindle Fire. They are all sporting access to Apple’s AirPlay, 4k video pass-through and upscaling, and advanced multi-zone control. Each also has access to an energy-saving ECO mode which reduces power consumption by 20 percent, with particularly low power use when the receivers are in standby mode. In addition, an Auto Power Down feature can be set for 2, 4, 8 or 12 hours to conserve energy. All have access to full HD Audio decoding along with Yamaha’s proprietary Cinema DSP 3D audio processing.
All of the receivers have HDMI 1.4a connections that support 3D and ARC (Audio Return Channel). They have access to Yamaha’s Compressed Music Enhancer for your overly compressed MP3 files, and a newly designed remote. These higher-end receivers have access to SCENE PLUS which provides a total of 12 preset system operation choices. All have access to Internet Radio plus can stream music files from DLNA compatible devices (WAV, MP3, WMA, AAC, FLAC 96/24). The front USB port is “Made for iPod, iPhone and iPad” compatible providing a direct digital connection to your iDevice. Other portable devices and USB sources are also supported. For video game lovers that hate the delay that comes with video processing, all the Aventage receivers have a new Video Direct Mode with bypasses the processing chips to speed up video by two frames per second.
With the RX-A2020 and RX-3020, Yamaha has introduced a newly designed full LED backlit remote. While all the other receivers feature Yamaha’s proprietary YPAO with RSC (Reflected Sound Control) room calibration, the RX-A2020 and RX-A3020 add multi-point measurement (up to eight locations) plus DSP Normalization that collects data on a room’s “liveness” during the calibration process to further optimize sound quality. The RX-A2020 and RX-A3020 also include a newly designed YPAO microphone that is more accurate at measuring speakers placed at different heights. While the lower end receivers upscale video to 4k resolution, the RX-A2020 and RX-3020 boast the HQV high-class “VHD1900” VIDA chipset.
The RX-A2020 is the first in the Aventage line to offer nine internal amps. With 140 watts per channel, eight HDMI inputs (one front mounted) and two HDMI outputs (simultaneous), three zones of audio, and 37.7 lbs, this is a receiver for those that are looking for more than just something to make their home theater work.
The back of the RX-A2020 reveals eleven pairs of speaker terminals for easy configuration switching. Yamaha’s presence speakers can be powered with the extra amps or users can select a 5.2 system for the main room with both Zones 2 and 3 receiving power from the internal amps. RCA pre-outs are available from both Zones and Zone 2 can receive video from either HDMI (same as what is in the main room) or separate video from the component, composite, or s-video outputs.
There are a slew of inputs and outputs including four optical and three coaxial digital audio inputs, 7.1 analogue audio inputs, four component video inputs, and full 7.2 channel pre-outs for adding external amps. The subwoofer outputs are labeled front and rear indicating that we are finally seeing configurable subwoofer outputs with independent level and delay controls rather than the parallel dual outputs of the others in the line. If the RX-A3020 operates like its RX-A3000 predecessor, then you should even be able to configure the dual subs as either mono (front/rear) or stereo (L/R). For most installs, we recommend mono (front/rear) to send the exact same bass content to both subwoofers simultaneously.
The RX-A3020 is the top of the line and the $2200 price tag reflects that. It sports 150 watts per channel (again, nine channels) and weighs in at a back-breaking 40.1 lbs. When asked to pay so much more for a receiver over the previous model, you’d be right to expect something more than just a few more watts. Yamaha didn’t let us down with the RX-A3020.
Having all the same features of the RX-A2020, the RX-A3020 adds a few important features that we hope will start filtering down to lower cost offerings sooner rather than later. First, the second HDMI output is the first to be fully independent. This means you can use it to power a second zone with up to 5.1 channels of audio. On top of that, the RX-A3020 can be expanded with a two channel external amp to include 11 pairs of speakers. This gives you a full 7.2 experience plus front height and rear height channels (the pre-outs for the additional two zones of audio double as presence channel pre-outs).
The RX-A3020 retains the HQV VIDA video processing chipset introduced by the RX-A2020 but it also adds CINEMA DSP HD3 (HD Cubic) designed to expand the sound field vertically without those aforementioned presence channel speakers. This is handy for those that want to use the internal amps or pre-outs for either of the additional zones of audio. Similarly, the RX-A3020 adds to the YPAO measurement by allowing for angle measurements that triangulates the positioning of each speaker in the system to compensate for non-symmetrical placement.
Sometimes when manufacturers release such a large line of receivers, they run out of steam when they get to the top. Not Yamaha with their Aventage line. The top two, the RX-A2020 and the RX-A3020 not only are improvements over the rest of the Aventage line, but they are significantly different from each other. If you are looking for the most flexible, three-zone receiver we’ve ever seen, the RX-A3020 is for you. The RX-A2020 is no slouch, however, with tons of options, features, and state of the functionality that you are going to be hard pressed to top with any receiver offering.