[Help] Low volume on surround/rear speakers - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 13 Old 09-01-2016, 02:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Unhappy [Help] Low volume on surround/rear speakers

Hi all,

First post here and would like some help. My setup is described below in my signature.

I am experiencing very low volume on my 4 ceiling speakers (2 surrounds and 2 surrounds back). I have changed their calibration many times, changed from small to large speakers. It's a brand new installation and all wiring is good, using banana plugs, longer wire is less than 20ft.

Currently, they are setup at 80Hz, -10db, YPAO is flat.

Newbie here, so please go easy and explain for me.

7.1 Dolby Atmos Setup = Samsung UN60D8000 TV, Yamaha RX-V781 AVR, Klipsch RP-450C Reference Premiere Center Channel Speaker, 2 Klipsch Klipsch RP-280F Reference Premiere Floorstanding Speakers, 4 Klipsch CDT-5800-C II 8" In-Ceiling Pivoting Speakers, 1 Polk Audio PSW505 Subwoofer, Samsung BD-J7500 Blu-Ray Player
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post #2 of 13 Old 09-01-2016, 03:18 PM
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YPAO set them at -10db? Thats your problem there. How many times have you run YPAO? What brand/model are your ceiling speakers? *Edit* nevermind - just read your sig. If your ceiling speakers are still low after another YPAO run you will want to adjust/calibrate levels preferably with a spl meter or by ear.

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post #3 of 13 Old 09-01-2016, 03:50 PM - Thread Starter
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@MandM

I already ran YPAO like 100 times. The calibration I currently have is by ear.

7.1 Dolby Atmos Setup = Samsung UN60D8000 TV, Yamaha RX-V781 AVR, Klipsch RP-450C Reference Premiere Center Channel Speaker, 2 Klipsch Klipsch RP-280F Reference Premiere Floorstanding Speakers, 4 Klipsch CDT-5800-C II 8" In-Ceiling Pivoting Speakers, 1 Polk Audio PSW505 Subwoofer, Samsung BD-J7500 Blu-Ray Player
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post #4 of 13 Old 09-01-2016, 06:46 PM
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So, first to set sound to stereo for all channels and set the same dB level for all channels to make sure you have around the same output levels. Then I think you can use your ears to measure sound levels.
This is what I had done to make sure all connections are good.
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post #5 of 13 Old 09-01-2016, 09:02 PM
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Working as an installer I hear this complaint many times. Sometimes people have unrealistic expectations of what surround speakers do. Some expect to hear the surrounds all the time even when watching the evening news. Which most of the time is not recorded in surround sound. The first thing to do in diagnosing this is get an SPL meter or an SPL app on a smart phone. The phone app probably won't be that accurate for the subwoofer but will be fine for the relative levels of your speakers.

1. use the manual set up in the Yamaha
2. turn on the test tone
3. Take a reading from the front left speaker
4. Then try all the speakers and make sure the sound is relatively the same. The meter might jump a bit but should be within a decibel.

If all your levels are pretty equal and your surrounds still seem low. Try this out. I use the Master and Commander movie to demo the surrounds when customers mention that they don't hear them. There are other good movies as well, pick one that puts you in an environment like jungle, forest, city street or something like that. Not something that has bullets, explosions or other things flying by.

So this is what I do. I have the people seated and close their eyes and listen to the first chapter of master and Commander for a minute or two. Before it gets to the part with the canons, there should be a lot happening on the ship like waves, wind, people moving about doing various tasks. When many people hear this part they don't think their surrounds are working much or vey low. I then switch the Yamaha to stereo mode. Typically the whole soundstage just collapses to the front of the room. They now realize that with the surrounds they were in that atmosphere but during that scene the surrounds were meant to put you in that atmosphere but not call attention to themselves. If you get that good immersion without calling attention to the surrounds they are not too low and probably set just fine. Like I said many people think the surrounds should be noticeable all the time, which isn't the case.

A note to switch to stereo and back. On a universal remote it is real easy to put a couple buttons to switch between surround and stereo modes. Yamaha has a code for each surround mode but there is no direct buttons available on the factory remote. You need a remote that can either accept hex codes or has all the Yamaha codes in its database. If you don't have a universal remote that can do this, you can do it from the Yamaha front panel or remote. Just figure out how many times you have to press the program button to get to stereo mode and do it as quick as possible. Try it and let us know.
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post #6 of 13 Old 09-02-2016, 04:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdomi View Post
Hi all,

First post here and would like some help. My setup is described below in my signature.

I am experiencing very low volume on my 4 ceiling speakers (2 surrounds and 2 surrounds back). I have changed their calibration many times, changed from small to large speakers. It's a brand new installation and all wiring is good, using banana plugs, longer wire is less than 20ft.

Currently, they are setup at 80Hz, -10db, YPAO is flat.

Newbie here, so please go easy and explain for me.
It says you have a 7.1 dolby atmos in your sig and then in your post it says you're running 4 ceiling speakers that are 2 surrounds and 2 surround backs? Surprising none of the people that have posted picked up on that, or am I missing something here? Is that a "true" dolby atmos set-up?
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post #7 of 13 Old 09-02-2016, 04:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellebob View Post
Working as an installer I hear this complaint many times. Sometimes people have unrealistic expectations of what surround speakers do. Some expect to hear the surrounds all the time even when watching the evening news. Which most of the time is not recorded in surround sound. The first thing to do in diagnosing this is get an SPL meter or an SPL app on a smart phone. The phone app probably won't be that accurate for the subwoofer but will be fine for the relative levels of your speakers.

1. use the manual set up in the Yamaha
2. turn on the test tone
3. Take a reading from the front left speaker
4. Then try all the speakers and make sure the sound is relatively the same. The meter might jump a bit but should be within a decibel.

If all your levels are pretty equal and your surrounds still seem low. Try this out. I use the Master and Commander movie to demo the surrounds when customers mention that they don't hear them. There are other good movies as well, pick one that puts you in an environment like jungle, forest, city street or something like that. Not something that has bullets, explosions or other things flying by.

So this is what I do. I have the people seated and close their eyes and listen to the first chapter of master and Commander for a minute or two. Before it gets to the part with the canons, there should be a lot happening on the ship like waves, wind, people moving about doing various tasks. When many people hear this part they don't think their surrounds are working much or vey low. I then switch the Yamaha to stereo mode. Typically the whole soundstage just collapses to the front of the room. They now realize that with the surrounds they were in that atmosphere but during that scene the surrounds were meant to put you in that atmosphere but not call attention to themselves. If you get that good immersion without calling attention to the surrounds they are not too low and probably set just fine. Like I said many people think the surrounds should be noticeable all the time, which isn't the case.

A note to switch to stereo and back. On a universal remote it is real easy to put a couple buttons to switch between surround and stereo modes. Yamaha has a code for each surround mode but there is no direct buttons available on the factory remote. You need a remote that can either accept hex codes or has all the Yamaha codes in its database. If you don't have a universal remote that can do this, you can do it from the Yamaha front panel or remote. Just figure out how many times you have to press the program button to get to stereo mode and do it as quick as possible. Try it and let us know.
the same thing could be applied to dolby atmos as well..... people have unrealistic expectations that there should always be something coming out of them.... aside from when a scene involves things happening that makes sense for them I guess.
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post #8 of 13 Old 09-02-2016, 09:38 AM - Thread Starter
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@anh and Ellebob,

I am trying your suggestions and will post the results.

@the7mcs ,

It's not only those 4 speakers, my whole setup is described in my signature.

7.1 Dolby Atmos Setup = Samsung UN60D8000 TV, Yamaha RX-V781 AVR, Klipsch RP-450C Reference Premiere Center Channel Speaker, 2 Klipsch Klipsch RP-280F Reference Premiere Floorstanding Speakers, 4 Klipsch CDT-5800-C II 8" In-Ceiling Pivoting Speakers, 1 Polk Audio PSW505 Subwoofer, Samsung BD-J7500 Blu-Ray Player
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post #9 of 13 Old 09-03-2016, 09:13 AM - Thread Starter
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After trying the above suggestions, it's still the same, very low volume no matter what is playing, DVD, music, movie, news. I mean, I am standing right under the in-ceilings and I can barely hear anything. What am I missing?

7.1 Dolby Atmos Setup = Samsung UN60D8000 TV, Yamaha RX-V781 AVR, Klipsch RP-450C Reference Premiere Center Channel Speaker, 2 Klipsch Klipsch RP-280F Reference Premiere Floorstanding Speakers, 4 Klipsch CDT-5800-C II 8" In-Ceiling Pivoting Speakers, 1 Polk Audio PSW505 Subwoofer, Samsung BD-J7500 Blu-Ray Player
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post #10 of 13 Old 09-03-2016, 09:20 AM
 
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Did you try YPAO mic oriented away from the speakers? With the mic aimed at the speakers, it may be the direct path resulting in YPAO turning them down....worth a try?
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post #11 of 13 Old 09-03-2016, 10:18 AM - Thread Starter
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@lovinthehd ,

Yes, done that already, thanks.
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7.1 Dolby Atmos Setup = Samsung UN60D8000 TV, Yamaha RX-V781 AVR, Klipsch RP-450C Reference Premiere Center Channel Speaker, 2 Klipsch Klipsch RP-280F Reference Premiere Floorstanding Speakers, 4 Klipsch CDT-5800-C II 8" In-Ceiling Pivoting Speakers, 1 Polk Audio PSW505 Subwoofer, Samsung BD-J7500 Blu-Ray Player
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post #12 of 13 Old 09-03-2016, 12:10 PM
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You didn't wire your ceiling speakers in series did you? I only ask as a friend , tried that once and had quite similar results. Nice and loud during setup but barely audible during source playback even when the channel was turned all the way up.

Does the front of the receiver show all speaker icons during playback? Other than that I would try turning them all the way up to see if you have a noticeable difference which I'm going to guess you already tried. If your center channel is nice is loud try temporarily swapping its connection out with each of the ceiling speakers to see if you have an audible difference. If yes then I can only guess you have a receiver/setting issue, if no then it's a speaker/wiring issue.
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post #13 of 13 Old 09-04-2016, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the responses.  I got it all working now.  It was a combination of factors that I never got all right at the same time as I was being extra careful by changing one setting at a time.  I now got a flat YPAO, +5 db and 80Hz in all 4 in-ceiling speakers, surround mode, dialog enhancer on.

7.1 Dolby Atmos Setup = Samsung UN60D8000 TV, Yamaha RX-V781 AVR, Klipsch RP-450C Reference Premiere Center Channel Speaker, 2 Klipsch Klipsch RP-280F Reference Premiere Floorstanding Speakers, 4 Klipsch CDT-5800-C II 8" In-Ceiling Pivoting Speakers, 1 Polk Audio PSW505 Subwoofer, Samsung BD-J7500 Blu-Ray Player
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