Yamaha Aventage RX-A2040 AV Receiver Review Test Bench


2 channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 169.7 watts
1% distortion at 195.9 watts

5 channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 46.9 watts 1% distortion at 65.4 watts

7 channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 42.3 watts
1% distortion at 63.1 watts

Analog frequency response in Pure Direct mode:
–0.01 dB at 10 Hz
–0.01 dB at 20 Hz
+0.04 dB at 20 kHz
–2.68 dB at 50 kHz

Analog frequency response with signal processing:
–1.02 dB at 10 Hz
–0.30 dB at 20 Hz
–0.35 dB at 20 kHz
–14.53 dB at 50 kHz

AUDIO: This graph shows that the RX-A2040’s left channel, from Audio 4 input to speaker output with two channels driving 8-ohm loads, reaches 0.1% distortion at 169.7 watts and 1% distortion at 195.9 watts. Into 4 ohms, the left channel reaches 0.1% distortion at 259.8 watts and 1% distortion at 317.1 watts.

Response from the multichannel input to the speaker output measures –0.01 dB at 10 Hz, –0.01 dB at 20 Hz, –0.07 dB at 20 kHz, and –2.81 dB at 50 kHz. THD+N from the Audio 4 input to the speaker output was less than 0.012% at 1 kHz when driving 2.83 volts into an 8-ohm load. Crosstalk at 1 kHz driving 2.83 volts into an 8-ohm load was –80.68 dB left to right and –80.36 dB right to left. The signal-to-noise ratio with an 8-ohm load from 10 Hz to 24 kHz with “A” weighting was –101.56 dBrA.

From the Dolby Digital input to the loudspeaker output, the left channel measures +0.01dB at 20 Hz and –0.34 dB at 20 kHz. The center channel measures +0.01 dB at 20 Hz and –0.34 dB at 20 kHz, and the left surround channel measures +0.01 dB at 20 Hz and –0.36 dB at 20 kHz. From the Dolby Digital input to the line-level output, the LFE channel is +0.17 dB at 20 Hz when referenced to the level at 40 Hz and reaches the upper 3-dB down point at 94 Hz and the upper 6-dB down point at 116 Hz.—Mark J. Peterson


VIDEO: The Yamaha passed all of our standard video tests. It was a fraction of a second later in locking onto 2:2 than the very best AVRs we’ve seen, but this was minor enough to not affect its rating.—TJN

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hk2000's picture

I'm in the market for a new receiver or pre-pro, and this receiver seems to have a lot of the things I need, but the lack of HDCP2.2 makes it already obsolete! I don't want to turn this into a brand comp., but Onkyo has been including HDCP2.2 on many of their receivers since last year. I don't know about you, but if I'm buying a receiver, the last thing I need is to be already looking for a solution to a very-near-future issue. S&V would do a great service to the readers if you were to provide a comparison chart of the top -or near top- receivers from the various major brands.


dommyluc's picture

Yeah, I have to agree with hk2000. Yamaha releasing this unit without HDCP2.2 is really dumb, and inexcusable since Onkyo and other companies have been including it for a while now. I am sure that consumers may be able to find units with HDCP2.2 and nearly all the other major features of this Yamaha unit - Atmos, streaming, 4K video, etc. - at a much lower price. And I thought that a magazine like S&V would consider non-inclusion of HDCP2.2 to be a deal-breaker for a receiver that promised 4K video compatibility. And does S&V even KNOW if the upcoming UHD disc players and satellite and cable boxes are even going to include multiple HDMI outputs so one can run a cable to both the display for video AND the receiver for audio? The electronics companies didn't exactly do a stellar job of including multi-channel analog outputs on Blu-ray players so that people could get the hi-def codecs on equipment without HDMI inputs, so why should we expect them to do any better in this regard?

Warrior24_7's picture

My original post was deleted and the the article seems to have been edited. When the article first appeared, Dobly Atmos and HDMI 2.0 were not mentioned as features. I questioned that in my response, then my response disappeared and the article now has been edited to mention these two features! Lol!!

Rob Sabin's picture
Hmm. This review originally appeared in our May magazine issue and has been published in print as it's seen here, with comments on its Atmos capabilities and HDMI 2.0 and HDCP status, since April 3rd. Not sure what happened here...
javanp's picture

This receiver was released fairly early last year and was one of the first, if not the first, receivers to be compatible with Atmos (although that compatibility came after its release via firmware update). They'll be releasing another receiver this year presumably that has the HDCP2.2 functionality, along with DTS UHD. If they had waited for both of those things, along with every around-the-corner technology, they'd never be releasing anything. And I don't see how it's a deal breaker. For the first few years, there are going to be loads of people that need a HDCP2.2 workaround. As such, there will be plenty of source devices that will have multiple HDMI outs, just like with 3D blu-ray. I got, and still have actually, a 3D blu-ray player with 2 HDMI outputs since my receiver wasn't compatible.

For me this was a great buy because my receiver died and I wanted something with Atmos

lttrader2's picture

Are the power ratings shown for 5 channel and 7 channel actually this low? It seem like a huge drop-off from the 2 channel ratings. Lesser powered receivers from Sony, Onkyo, and Anthem retain much higher wattage than these results would indicate.

Bob Ankosko's picture
Yes, the numbers are correct. Mark Peterson, who conducts “Sound & Vision’s lab testing, offers the explanation below. Please also see “How We Test Audio” for more insights. We have also added Mark’s full lab notes, which were previously missing due to a posting error. Our regrets and apologies for that oversight.

I believe nomenclature that has different meanings in different situations is causing confusion. In the context of our amplifier power output measurements, "continuous" refers to a repetitive 1 kHz sine wave of at least one second in duration. We apply this signal to the specified number of channels, all in phase with one another. This is opposed to "burst" tests which generally demand full output power for only a tiny fraction of a second at a time, then have a much longer period of inactivity before the next short burst comes along.

As an example, using a 1 kHz sine wave, there are by definition 1,000 cycles every second. In our continuous power tests, every one of these cycles is sent to the amplifier in a "continuous" fashion. This is a brutal test as it doesn't give the power supply section even a fraction of a second of inactivity to recharge and regain composure, but it does give insight into the ultimate capabilities of the critically important internal power supply.

In a common version of a burst test, only the first 10 cycles or so are sent to the amplifier, leaving the amplifier idling for the time it would have taken to amplify the next 90 cycles, and allowing the power supply to recover. Even though it's only a fraction of a second until the next 10-cycle burst comes along, this makes the test vastly less stringent and much larger output power numbers generally result. This is especially apparent when multiple channels are driven simultaneously. While it may be argued that burst tests can made to more closely mimic the demands of actual program material, the downside is that there is little consistency in our industry as to how long these bursts should be and how often they repeat, so it's virtually impossible to compare power output numbers derived via burst signals from different sources.

During our continuous sine output test, the Audio Precision test system ramps up the level step-by-step until 1% distortion is exceeded. The total sweep takes 10-15 seconds and maximum power is output for a second or two. This is not to say that the amplifier can output this level of "continuous" power indefinitely. Consumer products built to withstand full continuous power output for more than a matter of seconds are rare, as actual program content is highly unlikely to put such demands on them. Professional and laboratory gear is another matter and are designed for different applications with different size and price expectations.

Protection schemes have gotten vastly more complex over the last few years as more and more digital processing power has become available. If it's mentioned in the Measurement Box that protection engaged while performing our power output tests, then signal flow was interrupted by the protection scheme. In other words, the unit under test cried "uncle" and at the very least stopped amplifying the test signal, and may have powered-down completely. At one time this was the main method of protection and its action is readily apparent by the lack of sound coming from your speakers.

In the current era, however, DSP chips can be programmed to respond to less-than-dire conditions that the designer deemed as unusual, but that don't require complete shut-down for protection. This might be to meet various international thermal/safety/energy conservation requirements as well as the usual goal of self-preservation. The unit's reaction to these conditions can now be substantially less obvious. In a nod to what the auto industry labels "limphome mode", some modern AVRs will drastically reduce power output instead of shutting-down completely. This allows the consumer to finish watching their movie, albeit with drastically reduced performance, even when the AVR deems something to be amiss. Some manufacturers appear to define "amiss" as the admittedly unusual condition of having continuous in-phase sine waves applied to all channels simultaneously, such as with our power tests.

When this is the case, power output is radically reduced without any outward indication that the unit has deemed it prudent to modify its performance. This would not necessarily be perceived by the consumer as being in classic shut-down/protection mode except that the maximum volume level that could be attained would be markedly decreased. As this type of protection behavior is not consistent from model-to-model or brand-to-brand, and as there is no clear front-panel indication when it has been engaged, we can't in all fairness call-out when it might be happening so we simply publish the resulting numbers and let them speak for themselves.

Warrior24_7's picture

The VSX-90 blows this thing away and it's only $700.