Soundbar

Yamaha BD-S1065 Blu-ray Player, RX-V2065 Receiver, and Phase Technology Speaker System

ARTICLE INDEX

Yamaha RX-V2065 Receiver Introduction and Setup

Specifications: Yamaha RX-V2065 Receiver

  • Design: 7.2-Channel A/V Receiver
  • Amplifier Power: 130 Watts RMSx7
  • Codecs: Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital EX/ Dolby Pro Logic IIx,DTS-HD Master Audio,DTS-ES Discrete 6.1,DTS 96/24 / DTS Neo:6
  • iPod Compatibility (With Optional YDS-11)
  • Bluetooth Compatibility (With Optional YBA-10)
  • Sirius Satellite Radio Ready
  • XM Satellite Radio Ready
  • Inputs: 5 HDMI, 2 Component Video, 2 S-Video, 4 Composite Video, 2 TosLink Optical Digital, 2 Coaxial Digital
  • Outputs: 2 HDMI, 1 Component Video, 2 S-Video, 1 Composite Video
  • Front USB Input for Flash Memory Drives
  • HDMI 3D Capable
  • Zone 2 Output (Audio Only)
  • Zone 3 Output (Audio Only)
  • Zone 4 Output
  • Pre-Out All Channels
  • Dimensions: 6.75" H x 17.1" W x 14.3" D
  • Weight: 27.4 Pounds
  • Yamaha

This is not my first experience using a Yamaha receiver, but this receiver, being the top of its consumer line was far most feature laden and powerful with a very user friendly interface. I did encounter several snags with the autosetup. It is still unclear if this was due to an incompatibility with the receiver, the nature of a speaker that has all speaker contained in the same enclosure or something else. I ended up setting the receiver up the good old fashioned way, with a measuring tape and an SPL (sound pressure level) meter.

Yamaha RX-V2065 Receiver In Use

The receiver breaks the preconceived notion of many who think that the more features that are packed into a receiver, the less the sonic chops. I personally like the V2065 because it has a very specific feature set that I need: 2 HDMI outputs (for a projector), 2 subwoofer outputs (for dual subs), high power (130X7) all at around $1000 at most retailers. See our separate review for more info.

One option that flew in under my radar was the Rhapsody music software built into this receiver and the 30-free membership (no credit card necessary; great job Yamaha!). I tried this service 6 years ago and it was not so impressive. Today, Rhapsody sports tens of thousands of songs. My father in law is on old hippie turned outlaw country from way back and we sat around all afternoon trying to stump the music system. It had every old John Prine single and Ernest Tubb B-side either of us could think of (plus a few we hadn't heard). If this system had been included in receivers 3+ years ago it would have been even more impressive. Though the stream read most of the digital files were 128k, they seemed to be much better quality. It is possible that the receiver automatically optimizes the sound from the software before playback, as some other receivers have as options these days. The Rhapsody service is $9.99/month and is still useful if you have really eclectic taste and don't want to pay $1 each for the MP3 (we would've spent over $100 that afternoon). The great part is the free trial so you can see if you like it or not.

Yamaha and Phase Technology System

The sound of the Yamaha receiver was very good for both music and movie soundtracks. I used the Telarc Hybrid SACD of Great Film Fantasies to test both the receiver and speakers. I use Duel of the Fates from Episode I: The Phantom Menace to test system cohesion and the ability of receivers and speakers to play loudly without breaking up. This system sounded huge. I have a large living room (6000 cu/ft.) and this receiver absolutely fills it up with sound.

This CD, which bears the same name as the soundbar under review, is encoded in HDCD and makes for a very detailed listening experience with tons of subtle sounds, some very deliberate and some seem to be artifact associated with close microphone placement. The Mexican influence on the sombresomber "I Never Cared for You" is apparent, as is Nelson's gravelly, sometimes nasal but always very distinctive voice. On the more up tempo (but still dark) "Three Days", Willie's back up singers mesh so well that their voices are almost lost in each others, as if the song is being performed by one person.

I watched the entire series of Mad Men Season 3 on this system. The blu-ray is mastered in DTS-HD Master Audio and the intro that plays before each episode is 5 seconds of the best demo material one can find for a system like this (great right to left pans with high, middle and low frequencies). The episodes themselves are fairly tame in the audio department but they are a fantastic test for dialogue, especially low level, subtle, almost under the breath dialogue. This system pulls it off well considering it is a soundbar in a very large room.

Yamaha and Phase Technology System

I recently viewed The Hurt Locker on blu-ray and it lived up to its technological reputation. The bullets whizzing past into the surrounds and the helicopters panning from center front, the left, to surround left were executed with stunning realism. And again I was impressed with the huge soundfield that was thrown by the receiver and speakers. I have owned THX Ultra rated receivers that didn't sound this big. The receiver did have subtle nuance in quieter passages, though sometimes quiet voices were barely intelligible, however, I was consistently impressed with how big it sounded when the material called for it. I will say that I tried the system minus the surrounds and it was a bit flat by comparison. The surrounds are absolutely necessary to create that large scale movie feel, especially in larger rooms. If my own Denon 2309 ever quits I would think seriously about going with this receiver as a replacement.

I did have some HDMI handshake problems with my Sony SXRD rear projection TV. These type of issues are hard to troubleshoot, especially when everything is running through an HDMI switching receiver. The problem was resolved immediately when I upgraded my display to a Samsung 58B650 and never resurfaced again. It is important to note that my older Denon receiver ran fine with my older TV. I think the lesson learned is that older HDMI gear can be finicky with new HDMI gear, don't automatically blame any one component, or the HDMI cable.

Another minor problem I encountered is that sometimes when a new source is selected on the receiver it will not immediately pickup the sound stream and video only displays. This was always able to be remedied by changing the source and then changing it back or telling the source to reset and resend the signal. For example, it occurred most often on my PS3 with music burned to the hard drive. I would get the display title of the song but no music, usually starting the song over once or twice brought the audio back. This was a minor issue but worth mentioning.