Yamaha AVENTAGE RX-A2040/3040?

I have a Denon AVR 4310 and I'm think about replacing it with the Yamaha AVENTAGE RX-A2040 or 3040. A friend has the 2030 and I really liked how he could use his phone to set-up and use different zones to play music in various areas of the house, including his backyard.

Ease of use and the ability to play music in various parts of the house and backyard is important, but equally important is sound quality. I don't want to sacrifice sound quality and to that end I've never been very impressed with Yamaha AVR's. They've always seemed clinical and veiled to me.

Does anyone have experience with the Yamaha AVENTAGE RX-A2040 or 3040 and can they recommend it? Does it come close to an audiophile experience with the ease of zone use that I'm looking for? Is there something better out there in the same price range?

I'm surprised nobody has responded. I know this is an audiophile forum, but at some point we all must transition to the 21st century. Functions such as zone management via phone or remote, Wifi, Bluetooth etc. are all functions that should be available to Home Theatre consumers without sacrificing sound/video quality. Moreover, easy of use and flexibility are increasingly important issues to the vast majority of consumers.
Yeah, I'll give you a bump, as, IMO, you ask a great question. Unfortunately, I cannot help you with your specific questions about zones and such.

I will say, I did run a Yamaha RX-V1800 for some time, and then bought an Onkyo TX-NR809. Based on the comparison of those two, I would agree with your assessment of the Yamaha house sound. I did immediately notice better audio quality both for two-channel music and home theater. If a current Onkyo model at a similar price point provides the zone flexibility you need, you might pick one up from Amazon and if you don't like it you can return it. I use my Onkyo with a separate two-channel amp for the front L/R speakers, and it seems pretty darn good sounding to me, for an A/V receiver-based setup.
I'm happy with my RX-A2040. It's powering a set of Vandersteens that cost several times the price of the 2040, and it acquits itself well. I would not describe it as clinical or veiled -- at least not in Pure Direct mode. It's too soon to comment on the YPAO room EQ, but I usually find in the end that I dislike most room EQ systems and turn 'em off.

I can also switch over to a pair of tubed monoblock amps for the front channels. The difference is not nearly as great as most would expect.

I can't comment on the zone features.