First, I have a pretty big living room in an old brownstown building with a lot of wood wall paneling, fireplace, and such. There's no easy way to run wires around it. So I figured I'd get a soundbar. I picked up a yamaha ysp 3300, new off ebay from one of those dirt cheap places. Maybe the room is just too weird. It's 19' x 19. But one side wall is blank, one has tons of books. The ceiling is 12' and is all wood beams. And the couch is not really in the middle. I knew I didn't have an ideal room but moving my main stereo speakers was a no go with my GF. So it seemed like a sound bar was worth a shot.
My TV is a Pioneer 500m monitor with limited outputs. So I needed something that also did HDMI switching and sound decoding. That restricted my choices.
The Yami is at least better than the 2.1 Dell PC speakers I had hooked up to my pioneer 500m plasma monitor. And dialog is much more articulate then when I use my regular stereo speakers with the TV. But it wasn't worth the $1000 and I'm always fiddling with it.
It has a lot of modes. 3 main modes: Multi beam surround, Stereo (kind of the same but a little less surround), and Target (no surround and minimal sub for late night viewing). But there's also an Enhance button, and 10 or so other kinds of enhancements that are some kind of EQ or reverb that are separate from the first one I mentioned. And a volume leveler option button.
All of these functions work together so there's like 90 possibilities. Plus you can 3 save presets of the room calibration for your favorite positions. Make that 270 possibilities. So I often find myself messing with the modes, never really loving any of them.
I do hear some of the simulated 3d and sometimes it catches me by surprise. But it's kind of unnecessarily and doesn't add much to the experience.
I wish I had a simple unit with 3 good sound options: Movies. Regular TV. Late night. That's it. I'm sorry I didn't listen to my sense and skip the whole thing.
In short, I will probably keep it because I bought it from a bargain place I can't really return it to. It is at least a huge improvement for dialog which is really why I wanted to upgrade in the first place. But I may eventually replace it with something simple but good quality like Artison side speakers and upgrade my NAD stereo receiver.
I will say, thanks to all who helped me on this forum. You're all very nice and it's not your fault I'm a pain in the ass! :-)
I think you have experienced what many others have found out the hard way as well. NONE of these sound bars beat a good stereo system of about the same price. Since you work in music it is probably easier to pick up these differences compared to someone that has limited experience to compare. Sound bars have an advantage as they are centered and that might help with dialogue compared to a phantom center with a stereo set up. They also give some surround effect but not as good as a decent 5.1 system.
If you get a 5.1 receiver and just use the front 3 speakers you will get much better sound quality for dialogue and music but you 'll miss out a little on the surround effects compared to a sound bar. It is a good tradeoff, IMHO. A sub helps with any system stereo, LCR or sound bar and that is a given.
Now, with your Yamaha you can probably get a better surround effect and widen your soundstage by experimenting with it and adjusting the various settings for beam, etc. The auto set up does not always do a good job, especially in difficult rooms. Don't be afraid to experiment with it, it is a nice piece even if not the sound quality of a nice stereo system.
I just bought mine and it was a very difficult decision since I live in Mexico and this kind of stuff is ~30% more expensive.
I saw a lot of reviews, many of them were complaining about their wealthy american living room of 20+ feet, but my TV room is 2m x 3.5m (6.5 x11.5 feet), consisting in the small area/corridor beside the staircase in the second floor. I was also worried about the possible reverberances and echos from staircase structure due to the nature of soundbar projection systems.
Since the rear wall is immediately behind the couch, it was very difficult to place decent speakers since they would never be able to reproduce rear sound since they would only fit in the sides of the couch, so for this reason I proceeded to look for the best in class of soundbars available.
After trying the YSP-3300, the autosetup did a great job, I have played setting up the virtual speakers' position and the sweetest spot is very near the autosetup parameters.
Then I started playing all kind of available 5.1, 7.1 DTS HD etc surround, along with the plain 2.0 signals from TV (remember that Mexico still have analog TV) and my veredict is that in a small room with rectangular walls does an outstanding job. Due to the staircase, I can't center the soundbar, but it is still able to generate accurate sounds from the walls. Actually the staircase cube gives a much better acoustic that my wife often confuses some door knockings from the soundtrack with the real life.
I have found handy the enhancements features in this way:
In a play 2.0 soundtrack, you will enjoy the enhancer since it creates a virtual surround environment where there isn't. Also univolume (intended to level ad volume) works very well to maintain stereo a music track (in a concert disk sometimes doesn't feel natural to listen surround).
In a plain 5.1 surround but not HD, 7.1, etc... (coming from SAT HBO) the Cinema DSP usually enhances the audio, giving the sensation of a good DTS soundtrack (most of times you may want to shut down the enhancer)
In a top notch 7.1 HD track, you might want to turn off everything, leaving the 5+2 beam as is.
Hope it helps.
|Ysp 3300 Digital Sound Projector With Wireless Subwoofer|