We've been critical of some Yamaha receivers in the past for not offering as many features as the competition, but we've always been impressed by their sound quality. That's why when we previewed the Yamaha RX-V665BL, we were a bit worried that the weight was substantially lower than last year's RX-V663. Was Yamaha cutting back on some of the internal components that made the RX-V663 sound great?
While we don't know exactly why the RX-V665BL weighs less, our extensive listening tests found that the RX-V665BL didn't have the sonic prowess we usually find on Yamaha receivers. And while the RX-V665BL made some significant improvements, such as including four HDMI inputs and an improved rear-panel design, there were still some significant missteps, such as the inability to assign audio inputs and poor image quality on upconverted analog video signals.
The RX-V66BL has some unique features, like presence speaker outputs and dual subwoofer outputs, that still might make it a choice for budget audiophiles who like those nontraditional arrangements, but most buyers will get more bang for their bucks from competing models such as the Onkyo TX-SR607, Sony STR-DN1000, or Pioneer VSX-1019AH-K.