Yamaha RX-A2030 Extreme Makeover - diyAudio
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Old 9th November 2014, 02:11 PM   #1
dmbox is offline dmbox  United States
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Default Yamaha RX-A2030 Extreme Makeover

A year or so ago, I performed an extreme makeover of a Denon AVR-1909 by upgrading the signal paths with OPA1602's, SILMIC II electrolytic caps and WIMA film, and OPA2365's on the ADC. (as well as other errors made during the manufacture process) This made a miraculous change in it's audio performance.

Last week, I was allowed to place a RX-A2030 in it's place and was disappointed at the performance. In the coming weeks we will be modifying, in much the same way, this new AVR with OPA1612's replacing the 5532's in the DAC I/V stage, and the wonderful sounding OPA1602's in the buffer stages, as well as replacing the remainder of the Rhom and JRC op amps and placing LM4562's in the phono input stage. All signal path surface mount electrolytic and thru-hole signal path caps will be replaced with SILMIC II's as well... Stay tuned for the results...
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Old 10th November 2014, 08:17 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by dmbox View Post
Last week, I was allowed to place a RX-A2030 in it's place and was disappointed at the performance.
Just curious: Which deficiencies did you find (and how bad were they)?
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Old 11th November 2014, 12:09 AM   #3
dmbox is offline dmbox  United States
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Originally Posted by sgrossklass View Post
Just curious: Which deficiencies did you find (and how bad were they)?
There were a couple of issues the emerged fairly quickly. One of them dealt with the unit's ability, or better said, inability to deal with bitstream from external sources and this issue has been reported on other Yamaha products. Yamaha support suggested it may be a problem with the decoder section, and advised me to sent to repair. However, I contacted my authorized Yamaha dealer, and they are currently shipping me another new unit. We'll have to see what happens this weekend on this issue.

For me, just as important if not more, than marketing features, such as DSP programming options or room correction features, is the actual ability to reproduce faithfully the best analogue output, which places on the part of the manufacturer to deliver the best deployment of circuit design, even in light of profit margins. Don't get me wrong, Yamaha builds a decent unit, just as the rest of the major manufacturers out there. But when your primary selling point of the unit is the DAC, and then you saddle an ESS with op amps like the NE5532 and LM833, you have to scratch your head and wonder what were they thinking? The op amp should exhibit equal or less than THD+N of the DAC. They certainly can't come close to the dynamic range. It's a poor implementation of some of the most critical circuits. Does it make noise? Sure, just not very musical. If all I was going to use it for was watching movies then I may not be nearly as concerned, but I've been around consumer and pro audio since the 70's. This is what is prompting me to make some changes.

I'm an old audiophile and know that the right changes in the right places makes a world of difference. I'm just going to pick up where the bean counters at Yamaha cut me off at. The basic design concepts and board manufacture is already done, we just need the right parts in the right places. I've done this to numerous AVR's...it's predictable and very repeatable, and dramatic in it's outcome.
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Old 9th December 2014, 09:54 PM   #4
dmbox is offline dmbox  United States
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Okay, as a little update, after receiving a new unit from the dealer, and experiencing the same issue with bitsteam lock, I had the misfortune of engaging the Yamaha support folks at Yamaha US. Upon explaining the issue, it was met first with denial of the issue, then secondly, belittling questions like "why would you want to use this product connected to your new 4K TV anyway, to the final response of, (and I quote) "there's just not enough there to make it a priority for Yamaha to spend the time and resources to resolve ..."

Having said that, the first round of mods to the function section of this unit went well. (this shares the same internal components as the RX-A3030 and CX-A5000) Since Yamaha copied the ESS design with certain omissions like the I/V section, and chose only to employ the op-amps in a singular fashion, the OPA-1612 made a very logical choice and worked well in place of the NE5532. Originally the output spectrum lacked clarity and detail, especially above the 16kHz range, which was reflected in the YPAO settings on what I know to be a very flat loudspeaker system. The OPA-1612 made some pretty dramatic improvements. Secondly, the signal path caps Yamaha chose in the DC blocking sections were some very unusual ones. They used Nichcon FW's in the coupling, but the signal path caps were some weird no-name caps rated at 10uF at 71v, and were some of the worst sounding I have seen in some time. The ELNA Silmic II's were a drastic improvement in that area. The function section now completed has begun the very wonderful and dramatic improvements I knew were available from this unit.

Next comes the input/output sections and the amp sections... more to come very soon...

Happy DIY for Christmas everyone!
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Old 5th June 2015, 12:51 PM   #5
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Any developments on the extreme makeover ? .

After reading this thread I have been noticing drop outs for quite a while and thought nothing of it though now it has been brought to light it quite annoying .
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