Upon opening the box of the RX-a3010 the first thing you will notice is the build quality of the chassis. If youíve ever encountered Yamahaís Z series, now discontinued, youíll quickly notice the similarity in the robustness and the sleek looks of the Aventage range and the Z series. With the previous top of the range Z11 carrying the hefty price tag of $8,500, you canít help but ask yourself: How have Yamaha introduced their top of the range RX-a3010 at a fraction of the price at $2,699? Yamaha seem confident that the RX-a3010 will deliver the goods that the Z11 did and on top of that they show their confidence with a 4 year warranty that includes a 1 year replacement warranty. Correct me if Iím wrong, but as far as Iím aware, no other manufacturer is doing that. If I was in the market for a new home theatre receiver this would sway my opinion greatly.
Regarding its connectivity, the RX-a3010 comes to the party ready to accommodate every possible need. The entire Aventage range comes with more HDMI, S Video, Component Video and audio inputs than you can poke a stick at. Some of this may seem passť in todayís digital age, but just wait till grandma visits and brings the old Betamax around to show you their home movies of the caravan trip they took in 1980. Whilst some other manufacturers are scaling back the inputs on their amplifiers, Yamaha havenít and although you may never use them itís always nice to have too much than not enough.
'The surround sound processing was second to none'
Now letís connect everything up and take a listen. We connected the RX-a3010 to a pair of B&W CM9 Theatre pack. This speaker package pushes the $10K mark and could easily be paired with amplification worth roughly the same amount. So letís see how they perform driven by the modestly priced RX-a3010 (I wasnít expecting miracles to say the least). Avatar seems the test disc of this year so lets chuck that in. Firstly let me say....WOW! Home theatre receivers have come a long way. As a 2 channel purist Iíve spent many hours cringing through 2 minute demos of Pearl Harbour at my mateís house on his ĎKick Assí home theatre set up. Normally Iím wincing at every explosion and the subwoofer is bouncing around in the corner, setting the neighbours Rottweiler off. But with the Yamaha what occurred was a very capable home theatre receiver doing its job perfectly. In 5.1 the amp remained tight sounding whilst having rich bass and midrange. Sometimes the Kevlar drivers in the B&Wís are a little power hungry but the Yamaha had plenty of room and drove them with ease. The surround sound processing was second to none and when forcing the amp into pure direct mode and listening to music the result was astounding. The surround sound processing seems second to none. When comparing other amps in its price range I noticed an amazing amount of ambient sounds in the movie that the other amps seem to not deliver at all! The Yamaha is a critical amp and whatever is going on in the film you are going to hear it!
4 Year Warranty
Aside from the surround sound and video processing side of the RX-a3010 there also comes a vast array of networking features and other goodies. Gone are the days when an amp just drove a couple of speakers. The Yamaha will stream music from your PC and Internet radio from across the globe. This can all be operated by a free application for your iPhone or smart phone.
The only things I would have like to have seen from the RX-a3010 would have been a DAB tuner and built in WiFi. But these are two things that arenít available on anything else on the market anyway and itís really just clutching at straws as this amp is an all round killer! Definitely highly recommended from us here at Audio Solutions.
Review from Lucas Nathaniel, Audio Solutions