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Yamaha RX-V3900 Receiver Review

May 19, 2009 By Rob Mead

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Yamaha RX-V3900
Yamaha RX-V3900 back panel

One receiver to rule them all

The consumer who is looking for one receiver to deliver stellar audio from their iPod and Internet radio stations, while also featuring HD radio need look no further.

Yamaha has risen to the demanding challenge of designing one integrated receiver that combines all of those elements and even more with the RX-V3900 7.1 Home Theater receiver.


This multi-faceted receiver has a nice and lean look to it, with a dark black sheen that gives the unit an added jolt of attitude when you first look at it.

The front panel actually pops open so that you have easy access to important display switches such as audio-select, rec. out, pre-set tuning and multi-zone controls. The info button found on the inside of the front panel shows you the name of the song, the name of the artist and the name of the Sirius/XM channel (if so listened to).

Yamaha RX-V3900

For those consumers that already have a Rhapsody music subscription, this receiver is already set up to deliver CD-quality songs in the Rhapsody music collection as soon as you hook up the unit.

Since this receiver is HD Radio-ready, you will now be able to experience AM/FM audio from your local radio stations that have upgraded to HD radio.

On the video side, the RX-V3900 has Anchor Bay’s VRS technology which upconverts video signals to 1080p.  

This unit is rated at 140 watts per channel and the receiver comes equipped to decode a decent amount of surround modes, including Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS HD Master Audio, and SRS Circle Surround II. Burr-Brown 192kHz/24-bit DACs are used on all the channels.

Using Window's Media Connect, the RC-V3900 can connect to up to 15 PCs on your local area network. You can then play the MP3, WMA and WAV music files on those computers through the receiver.

Yamaha RX-V3900

System Set Up

The RX-V3900 I reviewed was connected to a pair of Klipsch 2-Way flat panel theater tower speakers in a room that measured about 18 feet wide and 15 feet long. There was no subwoofer attached to this system and the room itself was fairly well soundproofed for demonstration purposes.

Yamaha RX-V3900 remote controlThe receiver and the attached speakers were calibrated using the unit’s sophisticated YPAO automatic system calibration.

The Listening Experience

The first source of music I listened to was from the Sirius/XM channel, which was already tuned to the station called “Lithium”.

The RX-V3900 showed the name of the group, Pearl Jam, and the name of the song, “Why Go?” very prominently on the LED display screen after pushing the “info” button on the front input panel. The overall sound of Pearl Jam’s hard-rocking guitar s intertwined perfectly with the stellar low-end of Jeff Ament's bass.

The RX-V3900 pushed out a lot of clean mid-range audio. I was impressed with this aspect of the sound as I listened to guitarist Mike McCready’s blistering guitar solo that finished this hard driving song.

On other selections, and on other mediums, the RX-V3900 filled the room with powerful sound, and kept the tonal qualities intact no matter what the type of music.


Perhaps the most compelling aspect to this receiver is its ability to "receive" so many different types of digital audio, like HD Radio, Rhapsody, satellite radio, via USB, and of course, the latest audio formats on Blu-ray.

Add to that Yamaha's typically excellent sound and build quality and there is a lot to recommend about this receiver.

A true "21st century" receiver, the RX-V3900 has all the gadgets and do-dahs one could want. Its ability to pump out clean and precise audio to your speakers regardless of the source means that this receiver definitely stands out as a cut above the rest.

PRICE: $1,799
CONTACT: 714-522-9105,  

 Yamaha RX-V3900 back panel


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