YAMAHA AVENTAGE RX-A1080
The ninth wave of Aventage is here, bringing Surround:AI and more goodies. Our first review targets the 7 x 120W RX-A1080 receiver.
Yamaha’s ninth series of premium Aventage receivers has now arrived. And they’ve arrived with some interesting changes, including one that might alter the way you interact with your home entertainment equipment. The first one we’ve been able to examine is the Yamaha Aventage RX-A1080, which is right in the middle of the range.
Before getting to those changes, let’s refresh our memories about the capabilities of this receiver. It is a seven-channel unit, providing a solid 120W per channel (into 8 ohms, full bandwidth, 0.06% THD, two channels driven). As is Yamaha’s long-standing practice, only the front two channels can be used with four-ohm loudspeakers. The rest — at least if you want to comply with the manual’s stated requirements — need at least six-ohm speakers.
The receiver supports the latest surround formats: Dolby Atmos, Dolby Surround and DTS:X. It is limited to seven channels plus a subwoofer. There are two subwoofer sockets, but the signal is the same to both. Nine sets of speaker binding posts allow you to have two speaker arrangements wired up and switch between them easily. The basic arrangements provided are 7.1-channel surround plus a second zone, 5.1.2 plus a second zone, 5.1 channels with the front channels bi-amped, or 7.1 channels with the front channels bi-amped. In that last case you’ll need an external amp to power the surround back speakers.
If you go for 5.1.2, the default arrangement is for the ‘.2’ channels to power Yamaha’s ‘Front Presence’ speaker positions. This uses a pair of speakers up high on the front wall, and these are used by Yamaha’s various DSP modes to help simulate different acoustic spaces. Yamaha has been providing this mode since at least the early 2000s. But in the settings you can change this to ‘Overhead’ for ceiling speakers, or ‘Dolby Enabled SP’ for those upwards-firing speakers that sit on, or are part of, your front speakers. The Atmos (etc.) decoder is limited to two height channels.
There are seven HDMI inputs, all supporting HDCP 2.2, Ultra-HD video, Dolby Vision and vanilla HDR and all that stuff. In other words, they’re all ready for whatever Ultra-HD Blu-ray can deliver. There are also composite video and component video inputs, but no outputs — the receiver converts these signals to digital over HDMI. It can scale them, as well as lower resolution HDMI inputs, all the way up to Ultra HD if desired. There are three HDMI outputs, one of which can be switched to Zone 2.
The receiver doesn’t have the fairly common front HDMI connection. Instead it has a pair of RCA sockets for a good old-fashioned analogue connection. I guess