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When Yamaha launched the Aventage line back in 2010, it was something of a big deal for the company. Yamaha had already built a solid reputation with its value-leading RX-V series (which continues strong to his day), but the Aventage line was a sign that Yamaha was willing to pull out all the stops in an effort to bring audiofile-level design and performance to the A/V receiver genre. Now, the Aventage line has gained two new primo models, both of which will be eligible for a firmware update that will allow them to support Dolby Atmos surround sound at home.
The two latest models are the RX-A3040 ($2,199.95) and the RX-A2040 ($1,699.95), both of which support the latest HDMI 2.0 standard — enabling Ultra HD 4K passthrough and up conversion up to 60 fps — and wireless network functionality for access to Pandora, Spotify Connect, Rhapsody, SiriusXM Internet Radio, and vTuner, plus Airplay and HTC Connect support. The A3040 supplies 150-watts into 9 channels while the A2040 will offer only slightly less at 140-watts per channel.
Both the A3040 and A2040 are 9.2-channel receivers which can be expanded to 11.2 channels with the addition of an external amplifier. As such, users will be able to take advantage of the full capabilities of Atmos surround, which provides for up to four channels of surround sound delivered from either ceiling-mounted speakers or through the use of so-called Atmos-enabled speakers, which aim sound at the ceiling so it is reflected down at the listener from above. Decoding of all digital audio signals, including Atmos, is performed by premium ESS 192 kHz/32-bit ES9016 DACs, which can handle most of the latest high-resolution audio sampling rates and bit depths, including FLAC, WAV 192 kHz/24-bit, and Apple® Lossless 96 kHz/24-bit. There is no mention of native DSD support, but Digital Trends has reached out to Yamaha for clarification on that point.
Aside from packing all of the usual bells and whistles associated with a flagship A/V receiver, Yamaha’s Aventage line is built with massive power supplies, a rugged chassis, premium materials and un-compromised electrical engineering, all in the name of providing the best possible sound and video quality. In our experience, these measures pay off in the form of outstanding performance. And with the addition of a redesigned iOS and Android setup app for smartphones and tablets, configuring and operating the receiver is more intuitive and visually appealing than past Yamaha designs.
The two top Aventage models are due in August and will be available through authorized Yamaha retailers.