Official Yamaha YHT-S400 thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 68 Old 06-14-2011, 06:48 PM - Thread Starter
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after reading pretty much every thread I could find on here - I went out scrounging for a CT350 - only managed to find ONE at a best buy in a 30 mile radius and it was an open box that was scratched and dinged pretty badly..so I gave up on that and went to HHGregg and sorta fell in love with the S400. Ended up haggling them down to $319.00 + tax and just got it home ..and it sounds pretty amazing! Was just curious if anyone had any tips or tricks for things I might want to tweak..I'm disassembling my entire setup this weekend to repaint my wetbar area that my TV is in and such, so I'll have the whole weekend to play once my new Sharp 60" LED shows up.

anything I should know?
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post #2 of 68 Old 06-15-2011, 01:45 AM
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hi man..welcome to the very small club of s400 owner. That price is outstanding !! I got my unit 48h ago too but........like i said in another thread:

i am kinda dissapointed, here is why:

720p mkv movies (using ps3media server properly configured) in bitstream or PCM seems to sound worse that japanimation encoded in AAC/mp3 !!!!! i use PS3 as a device

That is just mad...i mean a 115kbs 2.0 soundtracks that sounds better than 5.1 DTS ????

Videogames sound good.

No surround here neither...however the bass does fill the whole room...
Anyway bar sounds better on top of tv so i will have to look into that.
Will update in 96h or so...when the s400 opens up more

one thing that stunned me in a bad way is voice.....there are NOT that better than my TV !!!! i dunno i am shocked ! anyway see you soon


it seems my view is not like yours...i am still wondering why i am the only humain on earth that thinks "the s400 sounds as good as my PANASONIC TV speakers"....

yes there are some moment where the s400 sounds better than the TV...but in 70% of the time...its the same...

settings, i can't help ya cause you have to do it by ear:

BUT for sure you have to put the center a +4
and sub at +2 (or 3 max if you like "boom")
surround should not exeed +2/3/4 out of 6....

hope you can also help me with the settings so that i can also say "sounds amazing"
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post #3 of 68 Old 06-15-2011, 06:09 AM - Thread Starter
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well keep in mind that I had mine plugged in for all of 30 minutes while I was playing a game on the xbox, so I haven't really given it any good testing yet. I'll probably give it a whirl this afternoon with a movie or so and see how it does. My new TV shows up Friday, so I'm not going to fully configure everything until the weekend. I'll keep you informed though!
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post #4 of 68 Old 06-15-2011, 10:49 AM
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I can only offer some universal soundbar advice.

Make sure you're plugged into everythng as best you can. Unless you're using a 5.1 capable TV, use optical for audio from the source to the Bar( Sat.Box,Blu/DVD player,Xbox etc.) . Set that source ro bitstream. Let your Tv handle the video only. Be sure you're actually getting the 5.1 sound straight from your source and not your TVs 2.0 sound.

Try different positionings of the bar. Depending on how high your TV is, mounting it above your TV has a good chance of sounding better. The soundbars seem to like to bounce freely off the walls instead of through you and everything else on the ground. This goes against conventional home theater protocol of keeping your front speakers at ear level. Instead about 2 feet above ear level, or above your TV is a good thing.

Also a major factor is keeping your Bar flat. Meaning make sure it's not pointing up at you, nor down at you. The speakers should be looking straight ahead at the wall across from it.

I'd start from there. Just to give a base line position. Then if that doesn't float your boat, slowly tweak the positioning from there.
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post #5 of 68 Old 06-15-2011, 12:39 PM
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stone....appreciate the advice but i already knew all that as i have read soooo much.

I am starting to appreciate the s400 a little more today. Not because it sounds outstanding..but because i think i had different expectations.
I tought at firts that the bar would create an experience...like i was in a warzone.....coz my room was square and small (ideal for the s400)

i was DISSAPOINTED coz no warzone not in 2.0 track nor DD 5.1 nor DTS even with audio quality movies...

after 2 days of use...i noticed that in fact the bar ONLY brings depth to the sounds...everything seems pure now and balanced......

i actually miss that depth when i switch to tv speakers during tv viewing...

So for that t now appreciate the s400....just not in the way i intended to
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post #6 of 68 Old 06-15-2011, 01:00 PM
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My soundbar has a surround sound mode and I have it in a square/box bedroom...and i have never heard anything close to noises coming from behind me. At best, the sound like it is "wider" than the soundbar! But, huge improvement from the 2 inch driver in my TV set!

Set up #1: EMP e5ti, e5Ci, and SLS Q line Audio surrounds, EMP 10i10i sub
Set up #2: Def Tech SM450, CLR2002, SLS Qline surrounds and Klipsch 12wD sub
Set up #3: JBL130, JBL120C and Klipsch synergy sub
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post #7 of 68 Old 06-15-2011, 03:10 PM
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Perhaps your expectations were a bit high..The sound should fill the room . You should be able to feel some depth to the sound. A 3D sensation if you will. Hearing things behind you is not really going to happen.
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post #8 of 68 Old 06-16-2011, 02:15 AM
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stoneD....that is what i feel exactly. I never expected sounds from behind..but people affirmed that i still hear sounds near me at my sides....which i don't.

Anyway this is with DTS/DD soundtracks....i did not yet test HD audio (converted to LPCM by ps3....); some stated that it is better....will see
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post #9 of 68 Old 06-17-2011, 01:45 AM
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if someone ca help me i would appreciate...i an not a NOOB, but i have a problem:

the HDMI passthrough seems to work only one 1 Device at a time.
I have ps3 and HD receiver connected to the s400 (on)
suppose i was playing ps3 (hdmi 1), then i decide to shut off the s400,the sound comes then from the tv (the s400 is in standby now). GOOD

But after a while i decide to shut down ps3.....and turn on my sat HD receiver.....BOOM: NO IMAGES........until i power up the S400, set it to HDMI2
get the image on screen, reshut down the s400

hope this is not confusing

ANY way to get hdmi passthrought on 2 or 3 devices without powering up the s400 every time ???
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post #10 of 68 Old 06-17-2011, 09:48 AM
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Nenito, does it switch when the S400 is ON? I doubt it because I've yet to read about any cable/sat receiver that supports CEC and the bar can't recognize any component that doesn't have it. The Sony CT models work exactly the same as you've just described.

BTW, glad you finally got a soundbar even if it's not what you originally were looking at.
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post #11 of 68 Old 06-17-2011, 01:28 PM
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thanx possum...yeah i was originally getting the CT350...in january 2011, then Local sony said april 2011....then cancelled ! DAMN Sony MEA !!

in the meantime yamaha local brought 6 kits only of the s400 ans 4 kits of s300/350...so GOT it

possum you asked "does it switch when the S400 is ON?" not sure what you mean..

but of course that i can switch from source hdmi 1 to hdmi2 with no problems when the s400 is on (its also a HDMI hub that is another reason i got it....

i just thought that if the s400 is shut off i can somehow choose what to see on the TV, either ps3 or HD sat box....BUT it seems impossible (like the ct350 as you say).
As the s400 memorizes the last input..i can only use that one; of course power up then switching the source on the s400 and turning off....gets the job done...

i just tought the s400 hdmi passthrough would work as a ethernet hub on pc...i was WRONG
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post #12 of 68 Old 06-18-2011, 12:34 PM
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to all owners:

i have discovered that "univolume" actually makes dialogue a lot better than normal mode. That should not be the case as it is not its purpose. This has only been tested with TV news...and entertainment shows.

Am i the only one that noticed on sat TV ??? what are your findings with "Univolume" ????????????????????
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post #13 of 68 Old 06-20-2011, 05:25 AM
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this thread seems dead...i don't know why people are not sharing stuff

if anyone is interested here are my settings:

center: +4
sub volume +1
sub tone +2
surround +1
treble +3

On a side note it seems the left and right channels are a quite low in volume..

is it coz it is normal or is it coz my center is too high ???

ALSO is my movie is in MP3 2.0 track should i use "stereo mode" which seems logical or use movie surround mode ?? (that seems to overuse the sub)
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post #14 of 68 Old 06-25-2011, 06:30 AM
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I'v had mine setup for about 2 weeks and am overall happy about the purchase. My humble media room is less than ideal for sound, so I can't complain for the price.

Once my room revamp is complete and I've experimented a bit, I'll post my settings, though I suspect the unique sonic nature of soundbars will prove a detriment to a universal setting that everyone agrees sounds good.
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post #15 of 68 Old 06-25-2011, 08:09 AM
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thanx T-man please do update in a few days
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post #16 of 68 Old 07-03-2011, 02:42 AM
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so...any feedback from owners ??
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post #17 of 68 Old 07-29-2011, 10:29 AM
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update after many weeks of use:

Overall this is a GOOD product

I noticed something that might be usefull to people

On SD broadcast that have audio 2.0 it is very usefull to activate UNIVOLUME: this boosts the dialogue and makes everything clearer (on AC3 & DTS this feature must not be activated).

my main grip with this bar is that 5.1 AC3 and DTS can be quite low in dialogue volume (something some sony CT users have experienced too) on many mkv files i have...

That is unfortunate as that was the main reason i bought a HTIB....

bass is room filling and is nice and deep.

Anime (bleach, naruto) sound very good despite only beeing 2.0 tracks

i hope to hear from other owners, cause this product is now almost discontinued...
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post #18 of 68 Old 07-29-2011, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nenito2k View Post

update after many weeks of use:

Overall this is a GOOD product

I noticed something that might be usefull to people

On SD broadcast that have audio 2.0 it is very usefull to activate UNIVOLUME: this boosts the dialogue and makes everything clearer (on AC3 & DTS this feature must not be activated).

my main grip with this bar is that 5.1 AC3 and DTS can be quite low in dialogue volume (something some sony CT users have experienced too) on many mkv files i have...

That is unfortunate as that was the main reason i bought a HTIB....

bass is room filling and is nice and deep.

Anime (bleach, naruto) sound very good despite only beeing 2.0 tracks

i hope to hear from other owners, cause this product is now almost discontinued...

Nenito - glad you finally found you a soundbar. I did a brief audition of the 400 last year. Thought the sound was pretty natural. Ruled it out early because of the integrated receiver/subwoofer.

If memory serves right, leaving most (all) of he sound processing turned off seemed to help this unit. Never noticed the univolume. I really wanted to like this unit more because I loved the size and shape of the actual soundbar.

None of that is meant as a criticism. To me, audio that sounds natural (uncolored) is preferable to surround effects and other gross misalignment of the audio spectrum.

With most Yamaha speakers (including those with soundbars and YSP's) they need several hundred hours of break-in before the begn to sound right. Yamaha uses a very rigid cone material for most of their speakers and this needs a little time to become more compliant and be able to produce its full audio spectrum.

Keep us posted on your likes/dislikes as you gain more experience with the unit.

David Freeman
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post #19 of 68 Old 07-29-2011, 03:15 PM
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yes drfeeman i read about your comments on the s400. Dunno what you mean by telling me to turn off the processing...
they are only 2 modes on the s400 :

1 - for 5.1 tracks (sport/movie/game/music)
2- for 2.0 (stereo or extended, the latter doing some processing)

i am past the break in period as i have used the thing for more than 100 hours.

but doc any idea on why DTS sound lower (and maybe worst) in volume than AC3 on this thing ?

did you ever experience this with other gear, be it 3.1 or 5.1 ?
it really is bothering me....i have to put DTS on 50% volume to be confortable (then noises are lound and voice is not good enough) whereas on AC3 it is good at 30% volume and voice volume seems good

ps: all my 5.1 test were done on ps3 via PC and ps3mesiaserver if that changes a thing
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post #20 of 68 Old 07-29-2011, 03:17 PM
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I have a Yamaha sound bar that I am not using anymore YSP-1 excellent shape.
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post #21 of 68 Old 07-30-2011, 12:32 AM
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this is the s400 thread !
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post #22 of 68 Old 08-01-2011, 08:49 AM
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Hello All. I have the S400 for 3 weeks now, been following this post for a while. Thx to all the sharing here I found this system sound very natural and pleasing for most of my movie collection (blueray, some mkv / divx) and video games.

The surround mode does a good job when emulating the virtual sound field like in a small theatre without actual rear channels. When I watch Jap anime - Gundam Unicorn with AAC 6 channel 1080p format strangely give me strongest surround feel. (even more than the latest StarTek movie and Avator in 6 channel format)

However when watching MTVs I havn't decided if using PLII is better or regular Stereo, I am leading to regular Stereo. Whats your opinion?

Also I found myself using UniVolume more and more. my settings are as follow

SW + 1
Center + 1
Surround - 0
Base - 0
Treble + 1

PS. my living room is small rectangle size, placing up above the TV. I suspect that might help with the sound bouncing a bit.
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post #23 of 68 Old 08-01-2011, 12:46 PM
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hi man welcome in the s400 family

glad you like it, but there is a "SERIOUS flaw" in your settings: the center channel should be at least +3 (all soundbars owners regardless of the brand do it!!)

in my case too, anime sounds good sometime better than movies!!
for music videos, i am in the same case, music setting sounds nice (PLII) stereo sounds good (combined with univolume!)
according to my theory and drfreeman's vision we should use stereo (as there is no processing)...and the source is stereo 2.0 too...

however why do you put surround at 0 ??? do you have any actual proof that it's better than when using + 2/3 ???
i tried many time but don't see any differences

please post back pingchan !
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post #24 of 68 Old 08-02-2011, 07:54 AM
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Hi nenito2k, I am aware of the popular suggestion to put center channel plus 3. In fact that followed your setting before I moved the sound bar from bottom of TV to above.
At the same time I zero out all setting and tune for the balance again. I too notice the left and right channel's volume is too low when center channel put on +3 .

Regards to the surround setting, I need more time to test different movies. I did experience some unpleasant echo when put on +3 in a few occasion. I will try out more and update here.
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post #25 of 68 Old 08-02-2011, 09:11 AM
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I bought my S400 in January 2011. Our room layout was not conducive to a multi-speaker system, and I liked the idea of getting all the components off the floor. The FM tuner and (albeit limited) inputs on the S400 allowed me to retire the old Technics AV receiver and Jensen floor speakers. Our U-verse DVR and Panasonic Blu-ray come into the S400 via HDMI, while the TV audio comes in on optical. The TV audio is only sourced when we play Wii. I used the analog input for my MP3 player.

After listening to U-verse Dolby Digital and a variety of favorite DVDs over the first few months, I was able to lock in on the best settings for our room and listening preferences. Those settings are:
  • Subwoofer level +2
  • Center level +4 (I found dialog could get lost or "muddy" at any level much below this)
  • Surround level +1 (I could go higher for Blu-ray movies and lower for broadcast shows, so this is an acceptable middle ground)
  • Bass level +2
  • Treble level +4

I did a LOT of research before buying the Blu-ray, since I wanted a player that would let the S400 get the maximum out of all the various surround formats. As other owners know, it will decode Dolby Digital and DTS, but the HD audio must be fed in as PCM. In this configuration, the S400 can take up to 7.1 channel sound. In short, Panasonic did the best job of providing PCM to match the source audio (caveat: the player, a DMP-BDT110, limits Dolby HD audio to 5.1). The comparison between the Dolby Digital sound on the DVD for "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1" and the DTS-HD on the Blu-ray really proves how much richer the HD audio can be, even on a soundbar.

As others have said, the Air Surround Extreme processing in the S400 doesn't deliver true surround, but it provides a noticeable amount of depth and spatial separation. Our soundbar sits in front of the TV, just below eye level. The sweet spot for the sound encompasses both our sofa (directly facing the TV and soundbar) as well as the loveseat, which is perpendicular to the sofa.

As far as the surround modes go, our S400 is on Movie 90% of the time. I do use Sports for football and basketball, because it seems to bring the announcers' voices out better. I like the Music surround setting when watching a concert, but in the end, the difference among these modes can be fairly subtle.

Last but not least, we love the Univolume setting. It's only active on the U-verse input, but it does a great job of removing the annoying blasts that accompany so many commercials. It's nice that the S400 remembers this setting by input. It would be nice if the other settings (see list above) could be tailored for each input or surround mode.
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post #26 of 68 Old 08-02-2011, 10:46 AM
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thanx dude for giving us impressions (where were you before making up my mind on this thing??)

My current settings are similar to yours now.
It's good to know that you did a side by side comparison regarding audio in harry potter SD vs HD.

I myself never had 2 tracks of the same movie to compare; and 99% of soundbar owners (granted not the s400 owners) said that SD & HD audio sound the same...so i never bothered. But in your case you seem to see a difference (there was also a guy in Australia i spoke with that said the same thing)....

thanx man
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post #27 of 68 Old 08-02-2011, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nenito2k View Post

thanx dude for giving us impressions (where were you before making up my mind on this thing??)

My current settings are similar to yours now.
It's good to know that you did a side by side comparison regarding audio in harry potter SD vs HD.

I myself never had 2 tracks of the same movie to compare; and 99% of soundbar owners (granted not the s400 owners) said that SD & HD audio sound the same...so i never bothered. But in your case you seem to see a difference (there was also a guy in Australia i spoke with that said the same thing)....

thanx man

Your are very welcome, nenito2K. Sorry that I just discovered this forum! I'm no expert, but I did do enough research to tell me that it's very possible to buy a Blu-ray player and end up sending the same audio to your AV receiver for both SD and HD. For example, LG players have an option to re-encode everything as DTS 5.1. Other makes may "dumb down" HD audio to Dolby Digital and/or DTS, especially if you send the audio out via optical. Frankly, I was surprised at the difference in the Harry Potter soundtracks.
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post #28 of 68 Old 08-02-2011, 05:59 PM
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to soundbars/s400 owners:

i have noticed that many movies with MP3 128kbs 2.0 audio tracks have heavy bass during the movie even in stereo mode !!

that should not be the case right? how come 2.0 tracks on a 2.0 mode on the s400 deliver bass, that is supposed to be the .1 in audio ??

edit: i asked something above and no one answered so i am asking again:

1- certain 5.1 tracks (mainly AC3 on DVD's!!!) seem loud enough at 30-40 volume and dialogue is clear...DPLII seems plenty loud too on TV shows and mangas....BUT DTS 1.5mbs (that should be very good) on hd mkv's has to be pumped up to 40-55 in order to hear well...and when i do that dialogue is not satisfactory.

DID ANY of you notice this ??? please tell me i am not the only ONE !

i also wanted to share the idea of surround of this thing to see if we have the same view:

a) ok we ALL agree that it is not 5.1, so no rear sound
b) on some rare occasions when shots and bombs are on screen i hear sounds (or should i say AIR field??) near me; also the bass during plane crash and motors rumble between the sofa/table.....
sometime when playing videogames special attacks in mortal combat sound BIG around the bar: all of this is like the PS3's controller that rumbles...only it's audio that i feel sometime in the room.

IS that the surround experience the s400 gives you ?


would be happy to hear you guys
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post #29 of 68 Old 08-05-2011, 04:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nenito2k View Post

to soundbars/s400 owners:

i also wanted to share the idea of surround of this thing to see if we have the same view:

a) ok we ALL agree that it is not 5.1, so no rear sound
b) on some rare occasions when shots and bombs are on screen i hear sounds (or should i say AIR field??) near me; also the bass during plane crash and motors rumble between the sofa/table.....
sometime when playing videogames special attacks in mortal combat sound BIG around the bar: all of this is like the PS3's controller that rumbles...only it's audio that i feel sometime in the room.

IS that the surround experience the s400 gives you ?

Since the S400 and many other soundbar systems don't have rear speakers, there is no way to actually hear sound coming from behind you unless you've got something much more expensive, like a digital sound projector.

That said, the S400 does give me a sense of depth and spatial separation that a 2.0, 2.1, or even 3.1 system just cannot achieve. I feel like I can hear sounds closer to 9 o'clock and 3 o'clock (to use that analogy) rather than just 11 and 1. Also, sounds that are supposed to be further away (a distant explosion) aren't just quieter than sounds in the foreground, they actually sound like they are coming from further away.

As far as the bass goes, the lowest frequencies are non-directional. You will "feel" the bass from the subwoofer more than "hear" it coming from any particular point in the room, and I'm impressed with the punch that the S400's sub can deliver. That's probably what you are sensing during those explosions and why most of us have our sub levels at no more than +2 or +3.

If the design of our family room allowed it, I would have put in a multi-speaker system which would give true surround. Or if funds allowed, I may have given a $2000 digital sound projector a try. However, the S400 is much better than the 2.0 simulated surround that our previous Sony DVD fed into our old 2-channel AV receiver, which in turn beat the heck out of 2.0 stereo. So for us, it's a reasonable compromise.
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post #30 of 68 Old 08-05-2011, 06:48 AM
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thanx for the feedback. We seem to share the same views.
Besides yamaha does make quality gear, and i hope this unit will last me years, something samsung and other brands can't do

in my case the sub volume is +1 since my room is small !
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