Why does simulated 5.1 sounds better/louder than stright 2.0/2.1 ? (Yamaha V373) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 03-20-2013, 08:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi folks, first of all let me tell you that I'm a noob on this topic (big news):

This is my setup :

XBMC on Windows 8 HTPC (HDMI) > Receiver > LED LG TV

I have a 5.1 setup speakers attached to my receiver.

So, whenever I listen to a stereo song or video and the receiver plays it in straight mode... it sounds softer, less warm, less bass than when I choose the Music 5.1 mode (I guess the receiver makes a 2.0->5.1 conversion).

I don't know if I'm misunderstanding the conception on good and bad sound.. or I just have to adjust volume up every time that I listen to stereo songs...

I've read in many forums that Stereo has to be played as stereo and that's why I would like to listen in straight mode. What do you usually do here? Do you play your stereo songs using your 5.1 speakers or just in straight mode using only your 2 front speakers?


Do you experience the same as me regarding straight mode vs 5.1 when listening to stereo sources?

Do you guys know any guide with tips on how to calibrate a yamaha receiver better???
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post #2 of 19 Old 03-20-2013, 12:50 PM
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when your receiver creates 5.1 channels from 2.0 channels, it doesn't (probably) turn down the stereo program, just adds sound from the other speakers. "adds sound" kinda suggests it'll be louder. Equal loudness curves demonstrate that louder = sounds like more bass. So that may be part of the deal. Also may be the way your particular receiver manufactures the multichannel from the stereo input.

I like (conservatively) creating MC from my stereo discs and I do it most of the time. Others feel that it was mixed in stereo, and should be heard as mixed. I have no beef with that view.

IMO, do what you like. (In 5/4 if you're Blind Faith)
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post #3 of 19 Old 03-20-2013, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faire View Post

I've read in many forums that Stereo has to be played as stereo and that's why I would like to listen in straight mode. What do you usually do here? Do you play your stereo songs using your 5.1 speakers or just in straight mode using only your 2 front speakers?
I play stereo using as many channels as I can, which happens to be 9. If I ever heard that I should use only as many channels as are distinct in the source signal, I must have let that go out the opposite ear from where it came in. The most obvious case where you should use more output channels than two is a movie soundtrack designed by the audio engineer to be played using Dolby ProLogic for more than two outputs.

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post #4 of 19 Old 03-20-2013, 02:21 PM
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Count me in as another that converts 2ch to 5.1

I use my Yamaha AVR's '7ch Stereo' mode to do so. The beauty of it is that you can go into the parameters of that particular mode and adjust the extra speakers volume level in 1% increments from 0 to 100% of the front L/R signal level. At the moment I have my centre speaker at 29% and the side surrounds at 47%. The bulk of the soundstage is still up front but it is now wall to wall with depth and good localisation and a sense that you are in the room with them (or they're in my room with me) Straight 2ch playback sounds flat in comparison.

As you noted, it also sound louder as well. This is an advantage as the front speakers don't need to play as loud to reach the same dB that you want to hear at the listening position. This will reduce distortion and driver compression and such.

Also another advantage if set up correctly, is that the frequency response at the listening position will be smoother. Say you have your front speakers in a place in the room that produces a dip in the frequency response around 1k. Your side surround speakers will be in a different part of the room and may not be producing that 1k dip. When all measured together the surround sound upmix will produce a smoother flatter FR. Same principle as having multiple subs around the room.
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post #5 of 19 Old 03-20-2013, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post

Count me in as another that converts 2ch to 5.1

I use my Yamaha AVR's '7ch Stereo' mode to do so. The beauty of it is that you can go into the parameters of that particular mode and adjust the extra speakers volume level in 1% increments from 0 to 100% of the front L/R signal level. At the moment I have my centre speaker at 29% and the side surrounds at 47%. The bulk of the soundstage is still up front but it is now wall to wall with depth and good localisation and a sense that you are in the room with them (or they're in my room with me) Straight 2ch playback sounds flat in comparison.

You can adjust only front speakers? or all of your speakes? I didn't understand why you mention only front L/R speakers but you set your surround speakers at 47%. I'm misunderstanding something for sure.
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Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post

As you noted, it also sound louder as well. This is an advantage as the front speakers don't need to play as loud to reach the same dB that you want to hear at the listening position. This will reduce distortion and driver compression and such.

Also another advantage if set up correctly, is that the frequency response at the listening position will be smoother. Say you have your front speakers in a place in the room that produces a dip in the frequency response around 1k. Your side surround speakers will be in a different part of the room and may not be producing that 1k dip. When all measured together the surround sound upmix will produce a smoother flatter FR. Same principle as having multiple subs around the room.

Why do you prefer "7ch Stereo" over those Dolby Pro Logic (don't remember the name) functions that the receiver does by converting stereo sound into "real"/ simulated surround sound ? I understand the difference is that while 7ch or 5ch stereo sends the same signal to all speakers, those Pro Logic modes attempts to create a surround mode by sending high or low signals to the surround speakers right?
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post #6 of 19 Old 03-20-2013, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faire View Post

You can adjust only front speakers? or all of your speakes? I didn't understand why you mention only front L/R speakers but you set your surround speakers at 47%.

I can adjust any extra speakers (centre, side surrounds) relative to the front L/R in a percentage of the front L/R signal. You can make it as subtle or as in your face as you prefer. By default '7ch Stereo' mode plays the side surrounds at 100% which is way too much I find. Once you get into the parameters and adjust to taste, it starts to make sense.

Quote:
Why do you prefer "7ch Stereo" over those Dolby Pro Logic (don't remember the name) functions that the receiver does by converting stereo sound into "real"/ simulated surround sound ? I understand the difference is that while 7ch or 5ch stereo sends the same signal to all speakers, those Pro Logic modes attempts to create a surround mode by sending high or low signals to the surround speakers right?

There is less control with those other modes (they do have some parameter adjustments that they are very crude in scale) and they just don't sound as good to me. On some songs they work okay and on others they don't work as well. It's a bit more hit and miss.
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post #7 of 19 Old 03-20-2013, 06:52 PM
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If using Dolby PLII Music mode there is more bass by design, more info here, esp. post 9:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1405366/bass-drastically-different-between-plii-music-vs-pliiz-height

Audiosceptics accept audio trials using 25 people. A recent Oxford study with over 353,000 patient records from 639 separate clinical trials shows for every 1,000 people taking diclofenac or ibuprofen there would be 3 additional heart attacks, 4 more cases of heart failure and 1 death every year.

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post #8 of 19 Old 03-21-2013, 05:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you guys for all your replies.

Just one more question.. do you usually equalize your speakers? On my receiver I can add more treble, middle or bass to each speaker.. do you usually add bass to your speakers despite your subwoofer?
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post #9 of 19 Old 03-21-2013, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faire View Post

Just one more question.. do you usually equalize your speakers? On my receiver I can add more treble, middle or bass to each speaker.. do you usually add bass to your speakers despite your subwoofer?
No, I leave all my receiver settings just where the calibration system puts them, with the exception that I change my surround speakers from the "large" setting to "small". I hand tune the volume and crossover controls on my subwoofers (however, most would probably recommend against this).

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post #10 of 19 Old 03-21-2013, 01:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GregLee View Post

No, I leave all my receiver settings just where the calibration system puts them, with the exception that I change my surround speakers from the "large" setting to "small". I hand tune the volume and crossover controls on my subwoofers (however, most would probably recommend against this).

I have my front speakers (towers) set as large. YPAO configured them like that although I ran the calibration before I got my subwoofer. I've seen most of you have them as "Small". What's the difference?
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post #11 of 19 Old 03-21-2013, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faire View Post

I have my front speakers (towers) set as large. YPAO configured them like that although I ran the calibration before I got my subwoofer. I've seen most of you have them as "Small". What's the difference?
With the "small" setting, the receiver routes bass away from the speaker and to the subwoofer. With the "large" setting, all the sound in the channel the speaker is supposed to be playing is routed to the speaker. As with many things audio, there is no complete agreement, but the consensus is that "small" is best. (It's a subject in itself.)

Since you added a subwoofer, I think you should re-run YPAO.

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post #12 of 19 Old 03-21-2013, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregLee View Post

With the "small" setting, the receiver routes bass away from the speaker and to the subwoofer. With the "large" setting, all the sound in the channel the speaker is supposed to be playing is routed to the speaker. As with many things audio, there is no complete agreement, but the consensus is that "small" is best. (It's a subject in itself.)

Since you added a subwoofer, I think you should re-run YPAO.

+1

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post #13 of 19 Old 03-21-2013, 04:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GregLee View Post

With the "small" setting, the receiver routes bass away from the speaker and to the subwoofer. With the "large" setting, all the sound in the channel the speaker is supposed to be playing is routed to the speaker. As with many things audio, there is no complete agreement, but the consensus is that "small" is best. (It's a subject in itself.)

Since you added a subwoofer, I think you should re-run YPAO.

I re-ran YPAO now that I have a subwoofer but it keeps setting my front speakers to large. I have the crossover freq set to highest on the subwoofer according to YPAO instructions.

These are YPAO results:

FRONT L : 0.0 db | Large
FRONT R: 0.0 db | Large
Center: -1.5 db | Small
SUR L: +5.5 db | Small
SUR R: +7.0 db | Small
SUBWoofer: -9.0 db | Phase: Normal
Crossover: 120hz
Extra Bass: off

Distance:

Front L : 5.4 ft
Front R: 5.2 ft
Center: 4.8 ft
SUR L: 5.2 ft
SUR R: 5.6 ft
SUBW: 7.8 ft

any ideas?
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post #14 of 19 Old 03-21-2013, 04:10 PM - Thread Starter
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I have set speakers to small, crossover to 80hz and SW levels to -6.0 db. Does that make sense to you¿
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post #15 of 19 Old 03-21-2013, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by faire View Post

I have set speakers to small, crossover to 80hz and SW levels to -6.0 db. Does that make sense to you¿
Yes, that sounds like a sensible setting.

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post #16 of 19 Old 03-22-2013, 01:05 AM
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SUBWoofer: -9.0 db from YPAO indicates the volume was a bit too higher to begin with. Ideally after calibration the levels should be as close to 0 as possible to allow headroom each way.

The sub distance from YPAO should not be less than the actual physical distance, usually more.

Audiosceptics accept audio trials using 25 people. A recent Oxford study with over 353,000 patient records from 639 separate clinical trials shows for every 1,000 people taking diclofenac or ibuprofen there would be 3 additional heart attacks, 4 more cases of heart failure and 1 death every year.

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post #17 of 19 Old 03-22-2013, 05:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kilian.ca View Post

SUBWoofer: -9.0 db from YPAO indicates the volume was a bit too higher to begin with. Ideally after calibration the levels should be as close to 0 as possible to allow headroom each way.

The sub distance from YPAO should not be less than the actual physical distance, usually more.

So should I set the SW level to 0 db ?
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post #18 of 19 Old 03-22-2013, 08:37 AM
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not without adjusting the sub's own volume level. (that's why Killan said "the volume level was a bit too high to begin with"). You want all the sspeakers to be equally calibrated, at least to start with. YOu can adjust to taste later. Theoretically, as long as your sub can be calibrated without "hitting the stops" is without going to the greatest plus or minus calibration available, it should be calibrated correctly. Many like their sub calibrations to be closer to zero for a variety of potential reasons. But you need not follow that approach unless you have some reason to do so.
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post #19 of 19 Old 03-24-2013, 06:41 PM
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I used to listen in stereo......can't see ever going back from ProLogic IIx with Audessy DSX 9.2 with wides.
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