Yamaha RX-V520

3 consumer reviews
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Fabulous 5.1 decoding!

Mar 16, 2002 (Updated Mar 17, 2002)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Sound:
  • Ease of Use:
  • Durability:

Pros:Price, Features and 5.1 Sound Quality.

Cons:Cosmetically, it's somewhat plain

The Bottom Line: For the money, you can't go wrong. DVD movies will never sound the same once played back with this receiver. Yamaha quality and name.


I purchased this receiver to replace my Pioneer Pro-Logic receiver and I'm really happy I did. This receiver has high current output for each channel (5 of them) which is a feature usually reserved for more expensive receivers. This receiver is rated at a conservative, 80 watts/ channel and seems to have no trouble driving my speakers to very loud levels and does so with a very clean signal. In fact, I have never put the volume dial past the halfway mark and the house shakes.
What really sold me on this receiver is the way it decoded DVD movies. The Yamaha receivers seem to make movie soundtracks "pop" during certain scenes. This gives you quite a sense of "WOW", I'm at the theatre. There's also quite a bit of "movement" with the sound during playback and the placement of sounds is accurate. This receiver seems to be really good at conveying the slightest highs during playback too, which really adds to the depth of the total soundtrack. The internal subwoofer crossover is also very well done. My subwoofer sounds "seemless" with my speakers too, which is something my Pioneer didn't do very well. Fortunately, my subwoofer amp has a direct input for Dolby Digital, which lets me bypass the subwoofers crossover and let the Yamaha receiver handle that. This receiver will even decode movies done with DTS - not that I could notice a difference between Dolby Digital and DTS soundtracks. Pro-Logic playback of my video tapes is even handled better with the Yamaha than with my Pioneer. This unit auto-senses whatever type of DVD is playing. This is nice because you don't have to make adjustments each time you play a movie. *NOTE*: You must purchase an optical cable to link between your DVD player and the optical input on this receiver, if you want true 5.1 soundtrack decoding. This goes for all digital receivers, not just this unit.
I then played some of my favourite CD's to see how well this receiver performed for music playback. I was impressed! The "imaging" of the music was really good but I will say that music played with the Pioneer was a little "warmer" sounding. Not a big deal as you can adjust the Yamaha receiver to sound warm too. Just that, out of the box, side-by-side with factory settings for both units, the Pioneer was warmer sounding.
The front panel of this Yamaha has an array of input jacks too, which is really nice if you want to easily hook-in your camcorder for playback but lack any inputs on your VCR or TV front panels such as the case for me. The read-out panel on this unit is also a decent size, which makes it easy to read from your seating position as you make adjustments. The remote is a long, slender unit that takes some getting used to as far as settings go. Once you master it though, it's somewhat easy and seems to make sense, plus, it's a multi-brand remote so it can be programmed to operate a variety of other A/V equipment.
My receiver came with a standard 1 yr. warranty for parts and labour. I can only say that this receiver looks a little on the 'plain' side but hey, do you buy a stereo for looks or for how it performs! There are plenty of "lookers" out there for around the same price (or slightly more) but I bet they would have a hard time keeping up to this one for sound and power.


Recommend this product? Yes


Amount Paid (US$): 339.00


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