Yamaha RX-V520

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RX-V520 Solid Choice in Sub $500 Category

Apr 27, 2002
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Sound:
  • Ease of Use:
  • Durability:

Pros:80 Watts x 5 drives my 7.1 Speaker setup; Warm Sound; Lots of options

Cons:Remote is lacking; Lack of DPLII

The Bottom Line: Darn good buy at $298; neutral almost warm sound; lots of inputs; DTS support is excellent; Is your Receiver a keeper?


Why buy a clearance model ($298 at Tweeter) A/V Receiver? Do your research first, and don't buy cheap equipment! To me that means go out and listen to a bunch of A/V Receivers in and outside of your price range (Originally listed at $599 USD). Then budget your A/V pieces down with a strong nod toward Sound Quality. After all is said and done you are the one who listens to the music and movies!

Seriously, I am a difficult sell, which may send a few lesser sales people running for their floor super's (I'm a First Sergeant). But, considering it is my $$$ and these are my ears it is my choice what enters my home. After searching through tons of reviews on the web, and in print I found that many of the upper echelon A/V Receivers that are out there are capable of producing rather good Audio results. However (in my price range) the mid priced Receivers were lacking in "Keepers", enter the Yamaha RXV series.

There are only a few brands that really make those of us who look hard for a "keeper" system stop and take notice. (Yamaha, Denon, HarmonK and maybe Onkyo) My definition of a "keeper" is one that does everything I actually need/want, and then adds a helping of what you might want in the near future.

Please keep the "keeper philosophy" in mind, as you too will be doing what you think best. I am currently "Auditioning" this system using Tweeters 4 month trade up policy. They are known for that in particular.

I wanted a mid level system that could produce rich Rock, Jazz, Classical, and R&B tunes 50% of the time and make my DTS, DPL and DD movies absorb me the other half. After giving the mass-market types (JVC's, Sony DE475 thru 1075, Kenwood HTB-504 systems, and the Pioneers 710 and 810) quick look/listens, I moved away from the Best Cry's and Circuit Cheapo's into the friendly confines of Tweeter. It will probably cost you a bit more to look at this end of the "Sound and Vision World" but after talking and visiting several times I found why this type of A/V chain of store can do more for you. If you don't drool over the massive Home and Car Audio Systems look at their selection of HDTV's, uuuuuh...niiiice...gimmeeee... theeee....remoooote....

Back to this Yamaha, even though it is last years model soon to be replaced by the RX-V630 it is a very capable system. I am very happy with the performance of this system so far. I do reserve the right to change my mind when the newer 30 series Yamaha's with Dolby Pro Logic II arrive. But for the time being I want to forego the added DPLII capability and spend the $$ on more DVD's and CD's.

See my point about giving the equipment a test run. You wouldn't but a car without taking it out on the road would you? (Now alternating between Led Zepplin Physical Graphiti and Andre Bochelli's Romanza and ...darn... I never heard that before... hummmm...hummm....)

Best point of the Yamaha RX/V520:
- Neutral to Warm wound output through a variety of speaker types (This was very important to me)
- DTS (Tweak able!) Dolby Digital 5.1, and DD
- 96/24 Converters
- A/B Speaker Switching
- Silent Cinema for great headphone listening
- Compares favorably to the Denon 1802 (minus the DPLII)
- DSP Fields that adds to my listening enjoyment is the 70mm General, Jazz Club, Concert, and 5 Speaker Stereo!!!!!
- 80 Watts x 5.1 that is much cleaner than most competitors 100 Watt 5.1 systems.
- Does a very good performance as a 2 channel Stereo Receiver.
- Plenty of inputs (1-CoAx, 3/1 Optical, 4/1 S-Video, 4-RCA
- Sub out
- 4 ohm and 8 ohm Speaker Settings
- 6 channel external Inputs for DVD-A or SACD!
- Similar Yamaha model is the HTR-5460

Gripes:
- I would like Dolby Pro Logic II (RX-V530 and 630 have it)
- Remotes, looked at them hard as you will spend more time with them in your hands than the knobs on the face of the Receiver. This thin model remote is a bit complicated to use (see multiple buttons to enact simple commands), but redeems itself with a bunch of hidden tuning capabilities.
- The main and center speakers use binding posts (say hello to Banana Plugs!), but surrounds put out of these low quality plug in types :-(
- I would like to get Gold Plating on the A/V RCA plug-ins but that is rare at this level.

I am currently breaking in the RX/V520 on a batch of Cerwin Vega 632's (5.1 surround sound w/ Powered S/W that is still a bit crisp for movies) and two Floor standing 3-way Tivoli Design TDM3 "Sleeper Speakers." They were a bit warm out of the box but after 2 weeks of break in I will keep them for their 2 channel capabilities. (I can't find a thing about these speakers but they are performing very well so. With Kudosí for very good perf's at Classical, Jazz and Classic Rock rendering not to mention movies. Oh those movies!

Further, Yamaha is a very well respected company with long ties to the Recording industry and we are seeing this in the RXV lineup.


Recommend this product? Yes


Amount Paid (US$): 298

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