AT A GLANCE
Rich, powerful sound with gobs of detail
Dolby Atmos capable
UHD-ready with 4K scaling and HDMI 2.0
No HDCP 2.2 DRM to handle future UHD content
Basic remote isn’t backlit
Yamaha’s one-step-down AVR delivers top-notch performance and features at a somewhat less than flagship price.
Choosing the perfect A/V receiver for your home theater can be as tough as it was for Goldilocks to find the perfect bowl of porridge. Of course, we all want lots of features and plenty of power, but not if that means wasting money on bells and whistles we’ll never use or power we don’t really need. I find that in a single brand’s receiver lineup, it’s often the model just below the flagship that represents the best balance between price and performance. At that level, you still get just about every feature and most of the power available from the top model but with a substantial cost savings to sweeten the deal. Yamaha’s Aventage RX-A2040 appears to fall right into that type of sweet spot. At $1,700, it’s $500 less than the RX-A3040 flagship, but it still comes with most of that model’s features and can deliver more than 93 percent of its claimed two-channel power spec.