Yamaha RX-V3800 AVR vs Outlaw 975/7125 separates?

Posted by: Zak

Yamaha RX-V3800 AVR vs Outlaw 975/7125 separates? - 06/30/13 04:13 AM

Hey guys,

I'm currently using a Yamaha RX-V3800 receiver with the Axiom Epic 60-500 7.1 speakers (see sig).
The system is great and I have no complaints, but I have always wanted to try separates with my Axiom speakers, and I'm considering the Outlaw Audio 975/7125 combo.

Can someone please help me compare the amplification/power of my Yamaha receiver vs. the Outlaw separates?
On paper it looks like the Yamaha has more power (140W x 7), but I'm not sure if that is as clean, or as powerful in an all-in-one receiver?

I'm not comparing the features of the Yamaha receiver to the Outlaw processor, I'm only comparing the amp and overall sound quality.
I don't want to replace the Yamaha with separates if the sound is equal or lesser.

Here are the specifications for both.
Please forgive me, as I don't really know how to decipher all of these specifications.

Thanks! smile

Yamaha RX-V3800

Outlaw Audio 975 7.1 HDMI AV Surround Processor

Outlaw Audio 7125 7-Channel Amplifier

-Power Output: 7 x 125 watts RMS at 8 ohms, all channels -driven from 20 Hz to 20kHz with less than 0.05% THD 7 x 190 watts RMS at 4 ohms, all channels driven from 20 Hz to 20kHz with less than 0.05% THD
-Signal to Noise: 119dB "A" weighted
-Frequency Response: 20Hz. -20kHz. +/- 0.1 dB at rated output
-Total Harmonic Distortion: < 0.05% at rated output, all frequencies, 0.01% at 1 kHz.
-Intermodulation Distortion: < 0.05% at rated output.
-Power Bandwidth: 5 Hz - >125kHz +0/-3 dB
-Damping Factor: Greater than 400 from 10 Hz to 400 Hz
-Crosstalk: Greater than -90 dB from 20 Hz to 20Khz
-Gain: Voltage gain of 28 dB
-Slew Rate: 50v/uSec
-Input Impedance: Nominal 50k ohms
-Input Sensitivity: 1.00 Volts for Full Rated Output
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Yamaha RX-V3800 AVR vs Outlaw 975/7125 separates? - 06/30/13 08:34 AM

My personal opinion is you probably wouldn't hear any audible difference between the 2 of them.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Yamaha RX-V3800 AVR vs Outlaw 975/7125 separates? - 06/30/13 08:35 AM

Particularly not in the pre-amp vs. the receiver. And I'd never add an outboard amp that had a lower WPC than the receiver's amps it was replacing.
Posted by: alan

Re: Yamaha RX-V3800 AVR vs Outlaw 975/7125 separates? - 06/30/13 09:49 AM

Hi Zac,

Yamaha is quoting misleading specifications. First, ignore the "Dynamic Power" ratings. Those are totally bogus, measured with no regard to distortion in order to artificially inflate power ratings and impress naive consumers. You could expect that the distortion of those dynamic power ratings would be in the region of 20% or greater, which would sound awful (distortion with music programming begins to become audible with certain instruments at levels greater than 1% THD.)

Note also that with Yamaha's multi-channel power rating, it is not stated how many channels were driven to yield the power measurement and distortion measurements. You can assume it's likely 1 channel driven, not 7 channels.

The Outlaw Audio quoted specs are much more honest and informative. They specify how many channels are driven to yield the power output figures and distortion levels, as well as the frequency range over which the power output is measured. (Often power output is just measured at a single frequency-- 1 kHz-- in order to get higher power output ratings, rather than over the entire frequency range, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, which is much more rigorous test of an amplifier).

It's clear that the Outlaw is likely capable much cleaner high-output power than the Yamana (it's anyone's guess what the Yamaha would produce if you measured its power output with all channels driven; it would be a great deal less than 140 watts per channel, likely half that figure or less).

That said, it would depend on what size of room and at what loudness levels you'd be using as to whether you'd hear a difference in sound quality between the Yamaha receiver and separate power amplifiers. If you pushed playback levels to the point where the Yamaha's internal amplifiers began clipping, producing high distortion, you'd certainly hear that.

Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Yamaha RX-V3800 AVR vs Outlaw 975/7125 separates? - 06/30/13 01:45 PM

Thanks for going into more detail Alan, I was also going to mention that Outlaw is very conservative in their ratings and also stated "All Channels Driven" across the frequency range, not just one frequency.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Yamaha RX-V3800 AVR vs Outlaw 975/7125 separates? - 06/30/13 02:29 PM

There's no way I'd trade the feature set of that Yamaha.

Add an external amp if you play content very loud, and/or in a large room, and/or just want an amp.

I added a 200wpc Emotiva XPA-3 to my 130wpc Onkyo TX-SR805 and the extra blue LEDs are pretty. But I can't convince myself I can hear a difference.

Obviously, Yamaha and Onkyo may have fundamentally different amps, so YMMV.
Posted by: casey01

Re: Yamaha RX-V3800 AVR vs Outlaw 975/7125 separates? - 06/30/13 08:47 PM

I have a Yamaha RXA 2010 powered by TWO Outlaw 7125s in a 9.2 output configuration. I couldn't ask for a better configuration and sound, you get the feature set of the Yamaha and the power output of the separate amps which, unlike some AVRs, can pretty much handle any speaker ohm rating without any issues.

The Outlaw pre-pro, although quite good and good value, is a pretty "bare bones" unit with no where near the features of the Yamaha.
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Yamaha RX-V3800 AVR vs Outlaw 975/7125 separates? - 06/30/13 09:16 PM

I use my Denon 3808ci as a pre and Outlaw 7700 to drive the mancave.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Yamaha RX-V3800 AVR vs Outlaw 975/7125 separates? - 06/30/13 10:19 PM

Zak, I won't go into all the details to "decipher" all those specs, except for power output. If you're really interested in one of the others, I'll discuss it, but the bottom line is that for both amplifiers their numbers are good enough to provide clean, audibly transparent amplification within their designed power limits, and no sound quality difference would exist.

Now, as to those power limits, the first point to understand is that(uniquely in the audio equipment market)amplifier power ratings are specifically regulated by the FTC(Federal Trade Commission)for any amplifiers sold in the U.S., and which as a practical matter also affects those sold in Canada. Therefore in this area what you see is what you get, but you have to know what you're actually seeing. Ratings summarized in a number such as "7 x 100" mean that each channel is capable of 100 watts output, but don't generally mean that all seven channels could be driven simultaneously at the full 100 watt rating. The FTC regulations require, among other things, that the rating be with two channels simultaneously driven at the full rated power. One channel isn't permissible, but the manufacturer can spec more than two channels, including all of them. The FTC specifically rejected a proposal about three years ago to amend the regs to require "all channels driven" since this was not a realistic scenario in home listening to have all channels simultaneously running at full power. Any spec which doesn't specifically say "all channels" should therefore be understood to be with two channels at full power, whether or not that's specifically stated. You'll note that the 3800 has the full set of specifications as to its power output.

In your case, I'd estimate that a more realistic 2-channel number for the 7125 would be around 165-170 watts, for comparison to the 3800. The additional 30 watts or so would only allow a maximum sound level on brief peaks about 0.8dB higher(e.g., 107.8dB rather than 107dB, a trivial difference). Your present equipment should have more than enough clean output for safe listening levels, and there appears to be no good reason to spend the money for the 975/7125.
Posted by: Zak

Re: Yamaha RX-V3800 AVR vs Outlaw 975/7125 separates? - 07/01/13 01:08 AM

I appreciate everyone's knowledge, wisdom and insight.
I am consistently blown away by all of the truly great members on this site!
You guys always go above and beyond and take the time to clearly answer my questions.

Cheers to all of you!

Posted by: Murph

Re: Yamaha RX-V3800 AVR vs Outlaw 975/7125 separates? - 07/16/13 08:03 AM

Tom, never discount the value add of additional blue LEDs. They have been scientifically proven to enhance personal......Tom, are you listening?

Oh wait, he is too busy staring at all the beer in the abovvvvvvvvvmmvmmmvmmmmmmmmh beeer!
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Yamaha RX-V3800 AVR vs Outlaw 975/7125 separates? - 07/16/13 01:16 PM

You know, I'll bet adding some blue LED's to my beer fridge WOULD make its contents taste better. Thanks!