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Chopsus

Yamaha Rx-v3800 Owners Thread

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Hi Guys,

Well now that a heap of us own RX-V3800's, thanks to AndrewW's excellent group buying skills (15 units by my count?), a couple of us thought it would be fun to have an owners thread to share and discuss our experiences with this receiver.

Now I haven't set mine up yet, that will happen over the weekend, but the 3800 is such a powerful and configurable beast that I am sure we will all benefit from hearing about how others have set theirs up and what cool (and perhaps not so cool) things you have discovered on the way.

I do have to say I have really enjoyed reading BigA1's thoughts and questions about his setup and I have been shocked and mightily impressed by jjap's leap into the good gear, and personally I would really like to see how these stories progress.

Especially as we all know the RX-V3900 can't be any better and will only cost a LOT more (LOL! yes I am biased).

Cheers and all welcome

Chops

Edited by Chopsus

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It is certainly a nice beast. I wonder what the extd option of "auto" achieves? I find if I fix it to "DolbyPrologicIIex" or whatever it is, then it will matrix 5.1 into 7.1 speakers, but in Auto it doesn't touch the rear surround speakers.

I have found also that the component upconversion of my Topfield 5K gives a horribly wrongly saturated image (the Topfield 5K is renowned for this issue, but it was somewhat hidden from me because feeding the Topfield component directly into my Samsung LCD component input it didn't have this horrid colour saturation issue, and/or could be easily adjusted out). But of course I wanted to have everything going into the one HDMI TV input to make switching between devices easier for the other 1/2. The upconvert also assumes some image will be lost in overscan, so having the TV set to JustScan (no overscan, proper pixel map of 1920x1080 to screen) and the upconvert to 1080i or 1080p there is a (thin) black border around the upconverted image. It would be nice to have some options for the saturation level for the upconvert for each channel (well, one channel only for me, the Topfield). I am also learning that audio via HDMI has its "quirks", that is for sure. Last night watching a BR, everytime I hit stop & play, the Beyonwiz audio would start to come thru! Also I have found that turning off the TV will stop the HDMI audio device from outputting (or the Yammi from processing, not 100% sure?). I think I am going to take the advice that I keep telling others... use SPDIF for the Beyonwiz, HDMI audio is too quirky for it.

As for the media player, it took me a bit of fiddling to work out that I needed to switch the remote away from amp to the next switch position down, but now I have this right, I am quite impressed with the audio quality from my music collection.

So, does anyone have any tricks or hidden menu options for these? I have been trying to work out if we have the latest f/w. I am going to have an explore of the serial port options soon, but I only have a linux box plugged into it, not a windows box, so this ditches the testing of all those cool little add-ons that people have written to do some Windows magic tricks via the 3800 serial port (e.g. display a better volume control, which is needed 99% of the time due to running HDMI for Wiz and BR and thus no OSD).

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So, does anyone have any tricks or hidden menu options for these? I have been trying to work out if we have the latest f/w. I am going to have an explore of the serial port options soon, but I only have a linux box plugged into it, not a windows box, so this ditches the testing of all those cool little add-ons that people have written to do some Windows magic tricks via the 3800 serial port (e.g. display a better volume control, which is needed 99% of the time due to running HDMI for Wiz and BR and thus no OSD).

Run it under Wine? Or even a small Windows VM?

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It is an NSLU2 with a USB-serial adapter. Currently used to hook into the Topfield and Beyonwiz serial ports for software development. With 32meg of RAM, no chance of running Wine/VM.

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Thank's Chopsus,

I have a 3800 since Nov07 with very limited use as i am not very tech savvy. Looking forward to reading all the owners experimentation so I can experiment the same with my 3800.

Regards

Joe

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Thank's Chopsus,

I have a 3800 since Nov07 with very limited use as i am not very tech savvy. Looking forward to reading all the owners experimentation so I can experiment the same with my 3800.

Regards

Joe

No problemo Joe!

It's great to see so everyone jump in so soon - I rekon this is going to be the only thread to "be seen" in this year! All others will be so "passe".

Edited by Chopsus

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Hi Guys,

Well now that a heap of us own RX-V3800's, thanks to AndrewW's excellent group buying skills (15 units by my count?), a couple of us thought it would be fun to have an owners thread to share and discuss our experiences with this receiver.

Now I haven't set mine up yet, that will happen over the weekend, but the 3800 is such a powerful and configurable beast that I am sure we will all benefit from hearing about how they have set theirs up and what cool (and perhaps not so cool) things you have discovered on the way.

I do have to say I have really enjoyed reading BigA1's thoughts and questions about his setup and I have been shocked and mightily impressed by jjap's leap into the good gear, and personally I would really like to see how these stories progress.

Especially as we all know the RX-V3900 can't be any better and will only cost a LOT more (LOL! yes I am biased).

Cheers and all welcome

Chops

Cool thread,

I have had a 3800 for about 6 months now. I love it and use it as a pre with my Elektra.

Niggles

I don't like that the HDMI won't pass below black or above white (YCbCr), although yes, this is compliant with the spec.. It makes it harder to calibrate the display.

I don't like how small the speaker terminals are (or how close they are together) but you forget this pretty fast.

I continue to find it spectacular for movies and excellent for music. I listen to a lot of SACD and surround stuff.

Runs nice and cool.

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Speaker terminals small? Strange? I went and bought banana plugs, work perfectly to the terminals and a lot neater than screwing under them.

I read about the BTB issue, and yesterday I got my HD Digital Video Essentials bluray shipped from the UK, and sure enough, the BTB doesn't pass thru on HDMI (I didn't check running straight to the TV to confirm it passes normally).

It is a shame that Yamaha are so pig headed about the passthru of HDMI signals not passing the BTB/WTW signal... I mean, if they don't want to touch the signal, as proven by the lack of OSD for HDMI, why frig with it at all?. This was partly why I avoided the Onkyo, because supposedly it mucked up the HDMI passthrough signal and reduced the quality in the process (but does support an OSD when running HDMI). It isn't too concerning though, as supposedly nothing is meant to be sending BTB/WTW anyway....

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Speaker terminals small? Strange? I went and bought banana plugs, work perfectly to the terminals and a lot neater than screwing under them.

I read about the BTB issue, and yesterday I got my HD Digital Video Essentials bluray shipped from the UK, and sure enough, the BTB doesn't pass thru on HDMI (I didn't check running straight to the TV to confirm it passes normally).

It is a shame that Yamaha are so pig headed about the passthru of HDMI signals not passing the BTB/WTW signal... I mean, if they don't want to touch the signal, as proven by the lack of OSD for HDMI, why frig with it at all?. This was partly why I avoided the Onkyo, because supposedly it mucked up the HDMI passthrough signal and reduced the quality in the process (but does support an OSD when running HDMI). It isn't too concerning though, as supposedly nothing is meant to be sending BTB/WTW anyway....

As I said, I havn't set mine up yet ... but from what you guys are saying, the Yamaha 3800 OSD does not work when it's set to HDMI as the display output? That's crazy .... how else are you supposed to see it? Switch to component and back?

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As I said, I havn't set mine up yet ... but from what you guys are saying, the Yamaha 3800 OSD does not work when it's set to HDMI as the display output? That's crazy .... how else are you supposed to see it? Switch to component and back?

No, the setup screens work fine on HDMI.

It is the OSD that comes up when you switch inputs or change the volume is not displayed on the HDMI interface.

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No, the setup screens work fine on HDMI.

It is the OSD that comes up when you switch inputs or change the volume is not displayed on the HDMI interface.

Oh ... thanks AndrewW .... now I understand why it's more annoying than a fundamental issue - someone did mention that there is a "trick/workaround" for this using the network port an a PC?

Also, have I taken too much of a liberty by setting up an owners thread or do you think we should have just stuck with the existing ones?

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Well I have only hooked up the 2 fronts (B&W 683s) to the unit so far, and so far so good. I agree with the little room for speaker plugs post. You will have to excuse my HT-vocabulary but I went with the option of removing the small metal plate thingamajig on the back of the speakers and running a cable each for the negative and positive thingamabobs. Simply because I read that you get a better response. It was a bit tight in the back of the unit (was using 12AWG speaker cable) but I think I have done a tidy little job and it sounds fantastic. Best thing is that apparently the speakers get better after a bit of a run in. Off topic - the wife isn't too happy with the sharp speaker cones sitting in to the floorboards, but you get that. "Oh they'll be there forever honey, who cares".

Back on topic - I hooked up the iPod dock and was rapt to find that it both charges and plays my iPhone. My dock for another system and the one in the car don't, so I was pleasantly surprised.

Radio sounds good - has anyone managed to get the radio station names to come up? Can the unit do that?

Job on the weekend is to hook it up to the TV/DVD/Wii as well as a centre speaker (B&W HT621). From there I will add the subbie and surrounds down the track (i.e. when I become financial again).

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As I said, I havn't set mine up yet ... but from what you guys are saying, the Yamaha 3800 OSD does not work when it's set to HDMI as the display output? That's crazy .... how else are you supposed to see it? Switch to component and back?

The GUI does work via the HDMI output.

The speaker terminals are not "small" I guess, just too close together for my clumsy mitts! I prefer not to use banana plugs but I am sure using them eliminates the issue.

The below black/above white issue is just a pet niggle of mine. It has literally zero impact on the unit's ability to passthrough (or upscale) video as any info below black or above white is not supposed to be seen.

The reason I spent some time querying it was because I have always found the below black/above white info useful to calibrate the display.

I asked Yamaha what their recommended procedure was to now calibrate back levels given they had decided to implement the spec. so literally. No answer.

I ended up just using the HD calibration disks pluge for 10% and 20% black and, assuming the scale on my brightness was linear, dropping it to the point where the below black "should" dissapear. It's such a small adjustment anyway I am very confident that this issue is almost irrelevant.

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The GUI does work via the HDMI output.

The speaker terminals are not "small" I guess, just too close together for my clumsy mitts! I prefer not to use banana plugs but I am sure using them eliminates the issue.

The below black/above white issue is just a pet niggle of mine. It has literally zero impact on the unit's ability to passthrough (or upscale) video as any info below black or above white is not supposed to be seen.

The reason I spent some time querying it was because I have always found the below black/above white info useful to calibrate the display.

I asked Yamaha what their recommended procedure was to now calibrate back levels given they had decided to implement the spec. so literally. No answer.

I ended up just using the HD calibration disks pluge for 10% and 20% black and, assuming the scale on my brightness was linear, dropping it to the point where the below black "should" dissapear. It's such a small adjustment anyway I am very confident that this issue is almost irrelevant.

Couldn't you just calibrate the display via the component cables (assuming you have hooked them up) or would this not be relevant as you don't watch via component normally? I would have thought the calibration of the display would be the same regardless of the input setting.

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Couldn't you just calibrate the display via the component cables (assuming you have hooked them up) or would this not be relevant as you don't watch via component normally? I would have thought the calibration of the display would be the same regardless of the input setting.

You should calibrate independently for each of the connection methods.

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I wouldnt say the ability to pas 0-255 via hdmi isnt insignificant, IMO its one of the major drawbacks of this receiver. Its most frustrating if you play games with a PS3 connected via HDMI. I also wouldve preferred an osd for volume change via hdmi for 1080p as well as the volume display on the unit is tiny and practically unreadable from 30cms away. Or just a better volume display full stop.

Those two grievances aside, the unit is great bang for buck, performs well and its awesome to finally have everything connected via hdmi to reduce the cable jungle I had previously.

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When I said GUI via HDMI, I should have made it clearer that I was talking about the OSD stuff like the volume control. It works fine on the component upscaled to HDMI, just not on the HDMI-HDMI.

When you press the "Menu" button to bring up the setup menu, for the component to HDMI option, you see the video in the background, where as for the HDMI-HDMI, you see the Yamaha background image only. There is certainly some quirkiness going on for HDMI negotiations, my screen goes blue for a second or so, audio drops, and then the audio comes back and you see the setup OSD, it isn't a huge problem.

Regards

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I wouldnt say the ability to pas 0-255 via hdmi isnt insignificant, IMO its one of the major drawbacks of this receiver. Its most frustrating if you play games with a PS3 connected via HDMI. I also wouldve preferred an osd for volume change via hdmi for 1080p as well as the volume display on the unit is tiny and practically unreadable from 30cms away. Or just a better volume display full stop.

Those two grievances aside, the unit is great bang for buck, performs well and its awesome to finally have everything connected via hdmi to reduce the cable jungle I had previously.

Hey Mr Whippy,

I agree with the volume being too small.

Why do you have problems with games? I play heaps of PS3 through the HDMI and have not noticed an issue. On the abovementioned scale, Black is 235 and white is 16, and the spec. supports this.

Strictyly speaking, the use of greyscale values outside the range of 16-235 is only permtted for the RGB colour space (which is used by most PC monitors) and not for YCbCr. So maybe you are referring to games ported from PC platform?

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Also, have I taken too much of a liberty by setting up an owners thread or do you think we should have just stuck with the existing ones?

Not at all. I'll be setting mine up this weekend so I expect to post a few experiences / questions and this is a great venue for it.

Besides there are at least 15 new owners so what better a place for us to congregate for idea sharing.

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The upconvert also assumes some image will be lost in overscan, so having the TV set to JustScan (no overscan, proper pixel map of 1920x1080 to screen) and the upconvert to 1080i or 1080p there is a (thin) black border around the upconverted image.

Im getting somthing similar too. My DVD player is hooked up via component to the 3800 and by HDMI to my Panny 850. Left on 16:9 setting on TV l get a 1cm black border on the right of the screen. Changing to Just setting fixes it for me but as this input shares the connection with my HTPC l need to fiddle with it a bit to get the desired result. I will at some point in the future setup the Harmony remote to send the screen aspect setting along with the Activity.

Great unit though. Very happy.

What gap are people leaving above the 3800 in their cabinets? Yamaha recommed 30cm :o which I think is a bit much considering most people report this as a relatively 'cool' unit. I have about 4cm but can raise this to about 10cm if heat becomes an issue. I would raise it for it not that hideous translucent white plastic shroud -what were they thinking? At least make it black FFS.

Thanks again Andrew!!!!!!!!!

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I I would raise it for it not that hideous translucent white plastic shroud -what were they thinking? At least make it black FFS.

Hmmmm, curious .... I thought that the white plastic thing was just a protector for transit .... are we really supposed to leave it in place? The little white nylon clips come out if you are careful and it's just black underneath. I really cant see any functional use to it staying on the unit, and it is damn ugly!

Anyone know for sure?

Edited by Chopsus

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The little white nylon clips come out if you are carefull and it's just black underneath. I really cant see any funtional use to it staying on the unit, and it is damn ugly!

Oh okay, you maybe right. When l had a closer look l didnt think there was anything underneath. I will have another look tonight. Nothing in the manual though.

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Oh okay, you maybe right. When l had a closer look l didn't think there was anything underneath. I will have another look tonight. Nothing in the manual though.

I don't know for sure either <dumb look> but it looks like packaging .... it sure is clipped on though, so I could very well be wrong and its the "Hyper Translucent Isopropoline Electrical Discharge Isolation Device" .... but Yamaha being a Japanese company would have a "HTIEDID" logo on the front if the 3800's had such an advanced "shield".

Jeez I crack myself up!

Anyone actually know what it is?

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I didn't realise there was something under that? I just figured it was there instead of metal so you wouldn't burn yourself if the amp got mega-hot. But same thing, I wondered why they made it white, it doesn't look all that impressive. As the unit is at the bottom of my rack, and I have a pretty big gap above it (increased the gap size from the old gap I had for my Pioneer) I did notice that white thing standing out like a sore thumb :-)

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Radio sounds good - has anyone managed to get the radio station names to come up? Can the unit do that?

Anyone know?

I do know they dont come out here in Aus. with the radio data( these yamaha ones), but ive searched on avs forums and there is a setup you go through to enable a few extra things, like RDS(radio data stream) and THX neural etc... (as our Aussie version has had these dissabled in the diagnostics menu).

I went through it and enabled them all, i get the THX neural now, and a little RDS on the corner, but i still dont get any radio names etc... im not sure if any further adjustments have to be made to enable it!

So if anyone knows, please chime in...

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