How does the Yamaha YHT-399U compare to the Sony HT-SS380? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 50 Old 05-22-2013, 04:38 PM - Thread Starter
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I had a Sony HT-SS380, which was in repair at Geek Squad for over a month. What happened was that GS diagnosed the receiver and determined it was intermittently/sporadically dropping the HDMI audio signal. They couldn't fix it themselves so they sent it to Sony and I was told Sony was repairing it until today, when they told me Sony tried diagnosing it again themselves, but couldn't reproduce the issue and so just sent it back to GS without bothering to change any boards (like the HDMI board which was probably the issue) or doing any other kind of repair. So, in short, they took my HTIB for over a month and were ready to return it to me without doing a single thing to actually fix it. I convinced GS to give me my money back for the HITB, which was only about $175 since I had found a real good deal on mine via a Google shopping search (unannounced sale at Best Buy... just $150 for the HTIB plus $25 warranty).

Anyhow, I got the money back as store credit and was looking for a HTIB that had the same key features as my HT-SS380:

3 or more HDMI inputs
No built-in DVD or BD player
Auto Setup/Speaker Calibration

I found the Yamaha YHT-399UBL for $400 and ordered it. I'm curious if others here know about this model or similar ones and can tell me what to expect from it vs. the Sony HT-SS380 it's replacing. How good is the AVR and speakers/subwoofer? Does the HDMI (video) passthrough preserve in the incoming video signal 100% or does it do stuff like clip WTW and BTB? How good is the YPAO™ Sound Optimization for Automatic Speaker Setup? Anything else I should know about Yamaha's HTIBs?

Thanks In Advance
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post #2 of 50 Old 05-22-2013, 07:10 PM
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I've had the older YHT-395 (RX-V371 receiver) for over a year and it has been a really solid performer. We use it every time the tv is turned on so it has a considerable amount of hours of use. Never gets hot and always sounds great. Mine doesn't have the auto calibration feature but I'm not convinced on how well those work anyways for HTiB speakers. You'd probably get just as good of results using the audio portion of the S&M 2nd edition cal disk.

The speakers are not the best but no HTiB system has really good speakers to begin with (that's one of the reasons I think auto-cal is a waste on these systems). Our family room is about 15x20 with a 10' cathedral ceiling and the speakers fill the room nicely. But, I'm not a true audiophile and we don't listen to teeth-rattling, window shaking audio. There are some good tricks to squeezing out the max from the speakers though. I will upgrade to better speakers someday but these are certainly adequate for our use at present. HTH a bit.
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post #3 of 50 Old 05-23-2013, 08:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto Pylot View Post

I've had the older YHT-395 (RX-V371 receiver) for over a year and it has been a really solid performer. We use it every time the tv is turned on so it has a considerable amount of hours of use. Never gets hot and always sounds great. Mine doesn't have the auto calibration feature but I'm not convinced on how well those work anyways for HTiB speakers. You'd probably get just as good of results using the audio portion of the S&M 2nd edition cal disk.

The speakers are not the best but no HTiB system has really good speakers to begin with (that's one of the reasons I think auto-cal is a waste on these systems). Our family room is about 15x20 with a 10' cathedral ceiling and the speakers fill the room nicely. But, I'm not a true audiophile and we don't listen to teeth-rattling, window shaking audio. There are some good tricks to squeezing out the max from the speakers though. I will upgrade to better speakers someday but these are certainly adequate for our use at present. HTH a bit.

thanks, that's helpful

can you elaborate on the good tricks to squeezing out the max from the speakers?
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post #4 of 50 Old 05-23-2013, 10:08 AM
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thanks, that's helpful

can you elaborate on the good tricks to squeezing out the max from the speakers?

The speakers are small, and stated specs are not really that reliable for determining audio quality because most mfrs don't tell you how those specs were arrived at (anechoic chamber, etc), and of course your environmental features also play a big part. That being said.........

1. Front R/L should be at least 6-8' apart from each other. You'd be amazed at how that can make a difference.

2. The satellites (front R/L, side R/L) should be slightly above ear level when sitting in what you determine to be your optimal listening position. Usually that's dead-center of your front sound stage.

3. Angle your R/L speakers slightly towards the optimal listening position.

4. The sub's position will be determined on your room orientation and furnishings so you'll have to play around with that. For us, the sub is placed to the left of the front sound stage, about 3' to the left of the L speaker and slightly angled out, about a foot from the corner. The family room is currently carpeted so I placed a small plastic tupperware container underneath the sub (you can't see it) to elevate it about 2" above the carpeting. Works rather nicely in clearing up the sound a bit.

5. My Yamaha doesn't have the auto-cal feature so I just "calibrated" it following the manual procedure using speaker distance and the test tone and tweaked the loudness to taste. I will be checking it again later on after we finish our remodeling (the HTS will have to be moved for a few weeks) with the new S&M, version 2, cal disk.

6. Set the sub's crossover to 120Hz and all speakers to Small. You will lose some of the boominess of the lower frequencies but you will gain much better dynamic range in your satellites because they don't have to work as hard to reproduce the lower frequencies. That frees up more energy for the higher frequencies.

7. Set your speakers to 8 ohms. You may have to crank up the volume a bit more if you like them louder (we rarely go above -25dB) but that results in your receiver working less harder which keeps it cooler. Ours is on everyday for at least 4 hours per day and is just slightly warm to the touch. However, you need to give it plenty of ventilation which is true for any receiver.

8. I don't like artificial sound so I never use any of the presets (Concert Hall, Movies, etc). I just set mine to Straight which passes thru the audio track as it was recorded whether it be 5.1, DTS-MA, what ever without any further processing.

9. Don't bother with the Equalizer. I just left mine at default. It's not that discriminating and you will find yourself constantly messing with it depending on your source.

10. My side speakers are less than 35' wire length from the receiver so I just used 2-wire, ribbed, 16AWG wire. In fact, it's heater cord wire that I bought cheaply at our local hardware store. The receiver has binding post connectors so you can really use any type of connector you feel comfortable with. I just bare-wired mine and the sound is really clean and clear.

I think that's about it.
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post #5 of 50 Old 05-23-2013, 07:05 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks, I bought a 100 ft spool of 14 gauge speaker wire since the supplied wire was far too thin and hard to split/strip

i ran the auto-cal which does eq stuff in addition to level and distance

the end result is a pretty significant step up in overall audio quality vs. the Sony HT-SS380... I think yamaha might make better HTiBs, at least in the $250-450 price range
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post #6 of 50 Old 05-23-2013, 08:44 PM
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Great! I've been very happy with mine.
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post #7 of 50 Old 05-24-2013, 02:19 PM
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@PlasmaPZ80U - I forgot to mention that you should also set your MaxVol of the receiver at about 15dB less than it's maximum setting. That protects your system from damage should the Volume control get accidentally cranked all the way up.
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post #8 of 50 Old 05-26-2013, 09:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto Pylot View Post

@PlasmaPZ80U - I forgot to mention that you should also set your MaxVol of the receiver at about 15dB less than it's maximum setting. That protects your system from damage should the Volume control get accidentally cranked all the way up.

I think mine is at -20.0 dB for max and -32.5 dB for initial.

default for max is +16.5 dB and I think the volume was -40.0 dB when the receiver was turned on for the very first time
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post #9 of 50 Old 05-26-2013, 11:54 AM
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^^^^^ I figured you'd know that, but, just to be sure......
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post #10 of 50 Old 05-26-2013, 02:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Regarding your comments about the auto-cal, have you ever had a HTiB with that feature? I ask because while I know such features are not the same as a good professional auto calibration or even using a SPL meter yourself for that matter, it's still a lot better than leaving everything at defaults on the receiver and you'd be surprised how close it gets basic parameters like distance and level to the ideal values vs. what you can do by ear with something like S&M 2nd Edition BD. For example, it gets distance to the nearest 0.1 feet from where you place the microphone.

As far as whether this HTiB has speakers worth setting up right (or at least closer to right than defaults), I'd say calibration is not about the potential of the equipment in the absolute sense but rather about making the most of whatever existing potential it has.
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post #11 of 50 Old 05-26-2013, 05:25 PM
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^^^^ No, I have never had a receiver with an auto-cal feature. I have heard a couple of comparable systems to mine that were auto-cal'd and they didn't sound any better, or worse than mine. My receiver does have a calibration function but it is "manual", in the sense that it doesn't use a microphone so you have to input distances, etc. and then test with the tone function, which is what I've done. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that the auto-cal feature of these receivers is useless, quite the opposite, but sometimes what the auto-cal says it should be, just doesn't quite sound right. It's similar to panel calibrations, sometimes personal preference comes into play.

I agree about maximizing the potential of your system, but that can be achieved quite effectively without the use of auto-cal, it just takes a little more work, especially on these smaller-speaker systems.
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post #12 of 50 Old 05-27-2013, 10:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Good point, one can always start with the auto-cal and then make tweaks from their primary listening position using test tones either from the receiver or from a test disc like Spears & Munsil. I imagine the next step up would be using a SPL meter with a test disc.
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post #13 of 50 Old 05-27-2013, 01:06 PM
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^^^^^ we are starting a major remodeling project soon so the HTS will be taken down entirely and placed in another room until the project is done. I won't bother to set it up because of space so I will have to use the built-in speakers of the tv eek.gif until we can move it back to the family room. At that point in time, I may just get an SPL meter and see what I can come up with. We're going from a carpeted room to a hardwood floor so the acoustical environment will change. I'm also running Cat-5e to that room so I can hardwire my devices (blu-ray player, AppleTV2) and not have to depend on WiFi for those.
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post #14 of 50 Old 05-28-2013, 03:58 PM - Thread Starter
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post #15 of 50 Old 05-28-2013, 06:22 PM
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^^^^ yeah, I've seen that. I think RatShack has some as well for about the same price. Maybe I can quietly add an SPL to the remodel budget wink.gif
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post #16 of 50 Old 06-14-2013, 08:52 PM - Thread Starter
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What exactly does the speaker impedance setting do (6 ohms vs. the default 8 ohms)? When I do auto-cal with 8 ohms the crossover gets set to 120Hz, but when I do auto-cal with 6 ohms the crossover gets set to 80Hz. The latter results in less boomy bass at higher volumes but still packs a punch when playing something like the THX demo with really low end bass.
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post #17 of 50 Old 06-14-2013, 08:56 PM - Thread Starter
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another question is whether I should buy a higher quality subwoofer cable? the included one looks pretty thin/cheap

would it make a difference?
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post #18 of 50 Old 06-15-2013, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlasmaPZ80U View Post

What exactly does the speaker impedance setting do (6 ohms vs. the default 8 ohms)? When I do auto-cal with 8 ohms the crossover gets set to 120Hz, but when I do auto-cal with 6 ohms the crossover gets set to 80Hz. The latter results in less boomy bass at higher volumes but still packs a punch when playing something like the THX demo with really low end bass.

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another question is whether I should buy a higher quality subwoofer cable? the included one looks pretty thin/cheap

would it make a difference?

At 6ohms, there is more power available to the speaker which results in greater loudness (you don't have to turn up the volume as much). At 8ohms, it's the opposite. For the little HTiB speakers that comes with the packages, they can handle 6 or 8 ohms but applying more energy to the speakers cause the receiver to work harder and the speakers to lose definition at the higher frequencies. The ohm rating is also part marketing. A lot of mfrs will list their maximum RMS at the 6ohm setting so as to make their system more desirable if the buyer is looking strictly for a system with the highest RMS rating not knowing how that can affect the fidelity. Auto-cals confuse me as you know. I think the x-over gets set to 120Hz at 8ohms (like mine is) so that the energy that is required to push the lower frequencies is shunted to the sub so that the sats are less stressed and can perform better. You should be able to hear a noticeable difference in clarity leaving the speakers at 8ohms and just moving the x-over from 80Hz to 120Hz (the 120Hz giving more clarity). At least that's how I understand it. Mine are set at 8ohms with a sub x-over at 120Hz and it sounds great, for what they are.

I changed the cheapy-feeling sub cable with a better made one from MediaBridge. Didn't notice any real difference in sound but the cable quality was a lot better for only a few dollars. Made me feel better wink.gif Monoprice sub cables would be just as good.
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post #19 of 50 Old 06-15-2013, 10:32 AM - Thread Starter
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well, the weird thing is I'm actually using slightly higher volume settings with the 6 ohm setting... probably because there's less annoying boom from the sub and as a result I can hear dialogue more easily/clearly
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post #20 of 50 Old 06-15-2013, 12:46 PM - Thread Starter
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also, the auto-cal sets the crossover on it's own (and I don't want to change it as it will affect the PEQ (equalizer stuff for each of the six speakers that is also part of the auto-cal)

as far as clarity for higher frequencies, I've only watched one BD movie with the 6 ohms setting/new auto-cal so far... so I need more data points before I can really compare it to 8 ohms setting/original auto-cal
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post #21 of 50 Old 06-15-2013, 03:44 PM
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I understand what you're saying, and from what I've read, a lot of folks who use the auto-cal feature on systems like ours are confused as to what Audyssey says it should be and what it actually sounds like. Audyssey is not as finely "tuned" as say panel calibrations are. With those, as you very well know, there are set standards to follow and achieve which calibrates your panel, regardless of panel (for the most part). There seems to be more variation in audio calibration because most of us don't have acoustically sound listening environments. You can calibrate your system for you in the room in the perfect listening spot, but as soon as you move, or you introduce more sound dispersions (people), the acoustics will change. Some may notice it, some may not. That's why I say for systems like ours (and I'm talking speakers), the auto cal will work fine for most, but if you are a more discriminating listener, you'd be best off to manually calibrate to what sounds best to you, not to what Audyssey or what ever says it should be. The EQ on these systems is pretty weak IMO so I just leave them at defaults, otherwise you're always going to be tweaking them to what ever your source is putting out. I never use the EQ function or any artificial processing at all. Straight with a manual cal is what has worked best for us. But again, it's what sounds best to you. 6 ohms just pushes more power to your speakers and makes your receiver work harder (heat production). Yes, it can and will affect the dynamic range especially on these small speakers (set to Small). I think you'd get better results with auto cal if your speakers were +/- 3dB across the entire frequency range of the speakers than what you (and me) have at present.
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post #22 of 50 Old 06-16-2013, 09:46 AM - Thread Starter
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I decided to try turning off the EQ and manually setting the Crossover to the 200Hz (as high as it goes). I'll report back after I have a chance to thoroughly test these settings.

I don't think Yamaha uses Audyssey, their calibration tool is called YPAO and the EQ bit is called PEQ.

Also, why would the 6 ohms setting affect dynamic range? Wouldn't the crossover be the main factor for dynamic range (and the dynamic range setting too)?
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post #23 of 50 Old 06-16-2013, 11:17 AM
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Yamaha's auto-cal is called YPAO (similar to Audyssey) as you said (I had forgotten what Yamaha called it so sorry for any confusion). It's algorithms may not be as good as Audyssey but there's no way of knowing that for sure.

Running your speakers at 6 ohms pushes more power to the speakers with the resulting increase in loudness. That makes your speakers (and receiver) work harder. If the speakers are working harder, in theory, it may be more difficult for them to faithfully reproduce frequencies within a reasonable tolerance range (ideally +/- 3dB). Increasing the volume may result in muddiness or loss of clarity for higher frequencies. Pushing 8 ohms reduces the power giving these little speakers more headroom to faithfully reproduce a broader range of frequencies at an increased volume. Keep in mind that these are little satellite speakers with small drivers and tweeters so there is going to be some give and take until you upgrade to better speakers, if you choose to do so. The receivers we have are great (I think) for the price point that we paid, the speakers are ok.

200Hz might be too high of a x-over. It takes more energy to produce the lower frequencies. That's why with bigger speakers, 80Hz is the generally agreed upon x-over because the drivers (10" and bigger in subs and 5" or greater in sats) can faithfully reproduce those low frequencies (30-40Hz) with a +/- 3dB tolerance. Having your satellites x-over at 200Hz means that its going to take more energy to produce the frequencies up to 200Hz which in turn causes those speakers to really work hard. Besides, you don't want to be hearing any dialog coming out of the sub-woofer which typically can happen below 200Hz.

I found that 80Hz x-over worked ok. But when I increased it to 120Hz, the clarity from my center stage (as well as the sides) increased noticeably (clear cymbals or glass shattering for example). The center channel dialog stayed clear and well balanced and the sub frequencies were not muddied at all and there is no dialog coming from the sub. We watched Despicable Me last night and there's a scene where Dr. Gru's rocket is blasting off and we could feel the vibration on the carpeted floor, clearly hear the rumble of the rocket and we actually had some knick-knacks on the far wall vibrating a bit. And again, I personally wouldn't mess with the equalizer because you probably won't be able to find settings that will work for all of your listening requirements. But then again, maybe you will.
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post #24 of 50 Old 06-16-2013, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto Pylot View Post

200Hz might be too high of a x-over. It takes more energy to produce the lower frequencies. That's why with bigger speakers, 80Hz is the generally agreed upon x-over because the drivers (10" and bigger in subs and 5" or greater in sats) can faithfully reproduce those low frequencies (30-40Hz) with a +/- 3dB tolerance. Having your satellites x-over at 200Hz means that its going to take more energy to produce the frequencies up to 200Hz which in turn causes those speakers to really work hard. Besides, you don't want to be hearing any dialog coming out of the sub-woofer which typically can happen below 200Hz.

I found that 80Hz x-over worked ok. But when I increased it to 120Hz, the clarity from my center stage (as well as the sides) increased noticeably (clear cymbals or glass shattering for example). The center channel dialog stayed clear and well balanced and the sub frequencies were not muddied at all and there is no dialog coming from the sub. We watched Despicable Me last night and there's a scene where Dr. Gru's rocket is blasting off and we could feel the vibration on the carpeted floor, clearly hear the rumble of the rocket and we actually had some knick-knacks on the far wall vibrating a bit. And again, I personally wouldn't mess with the equalizer because you probably won't be able to find settings that will work for all of your listening requirements. But then again, maybe you will.

That's not consistent with what the owner's manual states about the crossover setting.

It states that the value of the crossover setting is the lower limit for speakers set to small (which is all five satellites in my case) and frequencies under that value will be reproduced by the subwoofer (and front speakers if set to large... which doesn't apply in my case). So, in my setup, frequencies under 200Hz will be reproduced my the subwoofer alone and frequencies of 200Hz and up will be reproduced by the five satellites.
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post #25 of 50 Old 06-16-2013, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Furthermore, I don't think there is a magic number for the crossover that is always correct (for small or large speakers) since not all speakers/amplifiers are the same. All the frequencies have to be reproduced at either the satellite speakers or the subwoofer (or both the front and the SW in some cases). All the crossover setting does is decide which frequencies are handled by which speakers. Since the SW is much larger than the small satellites, one would imagine it would handle the lower frequencies better than the small satellites, hence the reason for setting the crossover higher than you might if you had larger satellite speakers.
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post #26 of 50 Old 06-16-2013, 03:24 PM
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You are correct in that there is no absolute magic number for the x-over. It's what works best for you, your speakers, and the dynamics of your listening environment. Yes, your sub will produce frequencies below 200Hz exclusively and if you don't feel that you're losing any dynamic response below that with your sats, then that's fine. Just make sure that you don't have any dialog coming out of your sub.

Setting the speakers to Small enables the Lo and Hi pass filters so that the higher frequencies will go to the satellites and center, and the lower frequencies will go to the sub provided LFE is enabled (the active sub is turned on). Some subs even have further controls on them to fine tune that.

Unfortunately, we don't know where the Lo and High pass filters kick in (maybe around 4KHz?) so setting the sub anywhere from 80 -120Hz is usually the safest bet. Again, we don't know how what the true dynamic range is of these speakers because how the specs were determined is not given (anechoic chamber, etc) so it's all a best guess.

A good rule of thumb would be:

Mains = 70Hz
Center = 100Hz
Sides/Rears = 110Hz
LFE = 80Hz

However, we can't set (at least I can't) the individual x-overs other than the sub for our receivers so you have to go on what sounds best to you and a little understanding on what the receiver is doing and how well the sats can handle it.

What you are basically doing is setting the x-over high enough to filter down the lower frequencies so you still have a nice bass effect but also take some of the load off of the sats so they they can reliably reproduce the higher frequencies.

My sats have a dynamic range of 90Hz - 50KHz. Looks good but the human ear can normally only hear about 20Hz to 20KHz, so anything above about 25KHz is all marketing (unless you have a dog with a very discriminating ear for sound smile.gif). And, there are no tolerances given for any setpoints along that range so you have no idea where it goes flat. The sub has a dynamic range of 28Hz - 200Hz but I doubt seriously that it can reliably hit 28Hz with any reasonable degree of accuracy. By setting the x-over at 120Hz, for example, my sats will drop off at that point and direct the frequencies below 120Hz to the sub. Even tho the sats are rated down to 90Hz, it's doubtful that they can reliably reproduce that range so I'm hoping that setting my x-over at 120Hz will eliminate any gaps I have in my dynamic range and still take the load off of the sats because of the power requirements needed for the lower frequencies. For me, that's the sweet spot for my setup because I'm getting the best out of my speakers without sacrificing too much on either end. The sensitivity of the center channel is 85dB, and the sats are 82dB, which is fine, but 90dB or greater is what I'll be looking for when I upgrade my speakers.

All of this will probably change for me when we remove the carpeting in the family room and replace it with a hardwood floor in August. At that point in time, I will have to re-evaluate my x-over and maybe even invest in an SPL meter just to see where I'm at. My guess is that not much will change because of the limitations on the speakers.

Audio calibration on these systems is no where near as precise as it can be say for tv's because there are more variables involved.
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post #27 of 50 Old 06-16-2013, 09:38 PM - Thread Starter
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So, what should I look for when setting the crossover and using BD movies as test material (since BD audio is lossless and 5.1 channel or higher)?

Let's say the optimum setting for the crossover is X. What happens when the crossover is set higher than X? What happens when the crossover is set lower than X? I'm guessing this sweet spot (X) is where the sub starts running out of steam and the satellites start building steam.

As far as the specs from Yamaha go:

SW: 28Hz to 200Hz

Satellites: 90Hz to 50KHz

Crossover Frequency: 4000 Hz
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Originally Posted by PlasmaPZ80U View Post

So, what should I look for when setting the crossover and using BD movies as test material (since BD audio is lossless and 5.1 channel or higher)?

Let's say the optimum setting for the crossover is X. What happens when the crossover is set higher than X? What happens when the crossover is set lower than X? I'm guessing this sweet spot (X) is where the sub starts running out of steam and the satellites start building steam.

As far as the specs from Yamaha go:

SW: 28Hz to 200Hz

Satellites: 90Hz to 50KHz

Crossover Frequency: 4000 Hz

Looks like we have the same speaker set, or at least the same specs. You need to remember that the higher X goes (and to be clear we're talking the sub x-over) the more the lower frequencies are going to be played thru the sub and not the sats. That's not necessarily a bad thing. It really all depends on what sounds best to you because your listening environment (room size, furnishings, distance, etc) is different than mine. I believe the drivers on the sats are 2.5" and the tweeters are 0.5" (?) which is pretty small, so response across that 90Hz to 50KHz is going to have flat points and without knowing where they are (tolerance delta, which is usually a tight +/- 3dB) it's difficult. This is where your ears become critical.

Personally I've never really been able to hear the difference between a well made movie with lossless (Dolby TrueHD, DTS-MA) and without. The dynamic range on these speakers is just not that good. The audio difference with the same settings will be noticeably different with sat drivers of 5" or greater, tweeters of 1" or greater and a sub with a 10" or greater driver. Audio quality will differ from BD movie to BD movie. Some are just made better than others.

Pick your favorite BD movie or a particular scene(s) in a BD movie and play with your settings. Once you find a setting that sounds good to you, leave it. If setting your x-over sounds better to you at 200Hz, then use that. I don't change my audio settings for the source or movie type because the source quality will change. Most everything (OTA, DVD, BD, streaming) sounds really good to me with the settings I've posted. Just pick some settings and listen for a week or so to various sources. Give your ears a chance to adjust.
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post #29 of 50 Old 06-17-2013, 12:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Personally I've never really been able to hear the difference between a well made movie with lossless (Dolby TrueHD, DTS-MA) and without. The dynamic range on these speakers is just not that good. The audio difference with the same settings will be noticeably different with sat drivers of 5" or greater, tweeters of 1" or greater and a sub with a 10" or greater driver. Audio quality will differ from BD movie to BD movie. Some are just made better than others.

I can easily hear the difference between DVD audio (Dolby Digital or DTS) and lossless BD audio (Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD MA, or Uncompressed PCM). The dynamic range of the latter tends to be much wider than the former and audio clarity goes up greatly too, especially at louder volumes. I don't think the dynamic range of the speakers is relevant here, what is relevant is the resolution/bit-rate of the audio and the dynamic range of the audio track itself. Of course, better speakers will make BD audio sound even better (but it will also make DVD audio sound better so the difference between DVD and BD audio won't change that much). For me, the jump from DVD audio to lossless BD audio is just as significant as the jump from SD to HD video. Higher resolution and bit-rates do matter, provided your BD player and/or AVR can decode them properly (and not convert them into lossy Dolby Digital or DTS).

I have watched both the DVD and BD versions of certain movies and the BD versions tend to sound much clearer (less noisy/harsh) and better defined. Also, the dynamic range of the audio tracks is a lot wider (which makes things sound more three-dimensional and balanced).
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I probably didn't make myself clear as I typed in haste. My hearing isn't as acute as it used to be (too many loud concerts during the 60s/70's in very small venues) so I probably have some loss. So when I said I can't really tell that much of a difference between DVD audio and HD audio I meant it was me, not the underlying technology. I think the dynamic range does factor into here a bit. If the response curve is flat because the speakers just aren't capable enough, then you're not going to get the full benefit of the extra bit-rate. Pushing your x-over to its max of 200Hz will definitely take the load off of the speakers so that their dynamic range should be better with a resulting increase in fidelity for HD audio. My son, who has excellent hearing, is always impressed when he watches a well made blu-ray as compared to a DVD so he definitely notices the difference in fidelity. I think the little speakers we have are pretty good for what they are. Surprisingly so. That's why I haven't been in too much of a hurry to upgrade the speakers but I eventually will. It's all a matter of what sounds best to the listener as I indicated and there really isn't a right or wrong way to setup your audio (within reason wink.gif).
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