Yamaha has announced a new line of AV receivers, Aventage, designed to put a greater focus on performance, with Yamaha claiming that the new models have been redesigned from the ground up. For those of you counting, Aventage is now the fourth separate line of Yamaha AV receivers, in addition to the existing RX-V, HTR, and NeoHD lines. Aventage consists of five new models--RX-A700 ($650 list), RX-A800 ($800), RX-A1000 ($1,100), RX-A2000 ($1,500), and the RX-A3000 ($1,900)--which will be released throughout August and September.
In terms of features, the low-end RX-A700 doesn't offer much that's different from a standard midrange AV receiver, although its 27.56 pound weight hints at its beefier sonic capabilities. At the high-end, the RX-A3000 is loaded with features, including two HDMI outputs, eight HDMI inputs, built-in HD radio, networking capabilities, and HQV video processing.
Though there's certainly a market for AV receivers with superior sound quality, we can't help but be a little skeptical of some of the claims, such as, "the addition of a specially designed fifth foot to improve structural rigidity, reduce vibration, and improve sound." On the other hand, the inclusion of the new HQV "Vida" video-processing chip in higher-end models is a good sign given our experience with HQV's previous offerings, although with nearly all video sources using HDMI, video processing is less important than it used to be.