Yamaha has a wide range of home theater receivers and that should be considered a good thing for consumers because it is more likely to find that one home theater receiver that has all the features and specs necessary without having a very high price tag. If sound quality does not matter all that much and the home theater system is small, the Yamaha RX lineup of AV receivers may just be enough to provide an exceptional audio experience for under $1,000. Some of the entry-level AVENTAGE models are priced under $1,000 too and come with some premium technologies that make them highly recommended for larger home theater systems. But if you have a very large home theater system, the Yamaha RX-A3010 can bring that system to its full potential.
Being Yamaha’s flagship home theater receiver of 2011, you can expect the RX-A3010 to be the heaviest out of the bunch. It is only AV receiver in the lineup that weighs over 40 pounds because of the various components that are behind the sturdy aluminum front panel design. Aluminum had to be chosen as the main material so these components stay protective even if the RX-A3010 is highly utilized. The RX-A3010 is optimized for very large configurations so more design decisions had to be considered in order to provide the best audio performance possible.
Some of the design choices are common in all AVENTAGE models like the Anti-Resonance Technology (A.R.T.) Wedge technology which takes the form of a special wedge underneath the center of the Yamaha RX-A3010 which actually makes the receiver more stable and resistant to vibrations. But the RX-A3010′s chassis is subjected to vibration as well which is why this high-end receiver has the H-shaped cross member frame so the frame is stable enough to prevent vibrations caused due to higher volume outputs. The symmetrical power amplifier layout also makes sure that the left and right channels are electrically and physically isolated resulting to a wider sound stage and better signal to noise ratio.
The RX-A3010 is like its predecessor in many ways and that fact may not be convincing enough for existing RX-A3000 owners to pay nearly $2,000 just for an upgrade. It is important to point out the key differences because the small number of changes may be significant.
The major difference is the support for 9.2-channel configurations right out of the box. It uses a technology known as CINEMA DSP HD3 to vertically expand the sound field for a more compelling experience especially when watching movies. It uses advanced 3D processing along with two front presence channels only if the 9.2-channel system is set up properly. The Yamaha RX-A3010 also has an 11.2ch preout instead of a 9.2ch preout.
Setting up a massive home theater system can be a frustrating experience and Yamaha AVENTAGE home theater products lessen the load significantly. But the RX-A3010 further builds on the RX-A3000 graphical user interface so setting up and calibrating the system is so much easier. Even if you already grew familiar with the old interface, Yamaha’s Advanced Graphical User Interface features a convenient status bar that can show the DSP mode, audio format, input source, and volume level.
Like the previous flagship model, the Yamaha RX-A3010 uses the best calibration technologies out of the entire AVENTAGE family. It uses YPAO-R.S.C Sound Optimization with Speaker Angle Measurement. The speaker angle measurement is what separates the RX-A3010 from less expensive models including the Yamaha RX-A2010. Speaker angle measurements are taken into the equation because analyzing the room acoustics. Reflected Sound Control also improves the quality of the sound by correcting reflections early.
The inputs and outputs remain the same as the previous model so the RX-A3010 is fully ready with 8 HDMI inputs and 2 HDMI outputs all having the HDMI 1.4a specification enabling the Audio Return Channel function and 3D support.
There is also an Ethernet port which you can use to connect to your router so it can be part of the network as well. If the router is connected to the Internet, you can enjoy Sirius XM or other Internet radio stations. If you have Pandora, Rhapsody, and Napster accounts, you can access these services through the Yamaha RX-A3010 as well. Connecting your iPhone, iPad, or Android device with the AV Controller App allows you to better control the Internet experience as well as other key functions of the receiver.
Below is the back panel layout. Click on image to enlarge for a clearer view.
Since the RX-A3010 has many of the same video technologies as the older model, impressive results were shown when the Blu-ray version of Despicable Me was used to test the performance. Visuals were very impressive and detailed and each frame was rendered with full clarity. The RX-A3010 features the HQV Vida Processor which the entry models lack so you will notice less noise. This processor can do wonders if you decide to play back standard definition videos as the RX-A3010 can make them look close to high definition.
The audio quality is much better when you really make use of the 9.2-channel specification because it can really create a dynamic atmosphere after you properly used the calibration functions of the Yamaha RX-A3010. Even though the movie’s soundtrack uses DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, the CINEMA DSP 3D really adds a whole new level to the audio experience.
With 165 watts as the rated output power, you should only get the RX-A3010 if you really aim for a 9.2-channel speaker setup. But you won’t have to worry about power consumption in HDMI Standby Through Mode because it still consumes 2.7 watts. This mode still lets you change the input source without the need for turning on the AV receiver. Full standby mode consumes only 0.3 watts and you can program the RX-A3010 to shut off after 4, 8, or 12 hours thanks to the auto power down feature.
The RX-A3010 is priced heavily at $1,995 and you could spend that money to buy a nice home theater system complete with speakers. But the Yamaha RX-A3010 has many of the exclusive features that the RX-A3000 had including Zone4 support along with powerful technologies that really produce a meaningful cinema experience in the largest of living rooms.
Update: There is a newer model > Yamaha RX-A3050