Originally Posted by TomT99
I mostly watch movies. I have a projector w a full set of klipsch surround sound speakers: two towers, two rears surrounds, a center and a sub, but for some reason I seem to always end up setting the Yamaha receiver on 7 channel stereo instead of surround because it makes it so much louder in the rear speakers. I know this isn’t how it was recorded to be heard, and that surround separates everything but I just can’t hear it as well. Do I just need to turn it up more? I’m in an apartment so this is hard to do. How do I fix this?
As others have pointed out, often the surround channels, particularly Surround Back (SB), aren't utilized all the time. SOME movies play the music from SL and SR (Surround Left & Right) at an attenuated level ... mixed for a theater, it's probably intended to "put you right in the orchestra pit."
Run YPAO again, do it single-point at your usual main listening position position (MLP) (I don't recall if the 681 did multipoint). You can check out the results before any tweaking with the test tone feature (see below), or play some movies with good surround effects. There's a thread here somewhere on "great surrround scenes" (e.g. the opening of Star Wars: Attack of the Clones with the Naboo cruiser flying down to the planet, through the clouds). I'd bet many films mentioned in the thread are available for borrowing from your public library.
Originally Posted by TomT99
It’s from 2017, $3-350 range. How do I adjust the rear speaker volume?
Probably Settings, Manual Configuration, Speaker ... LEVELS. Check your manual.
Use the Test Tone: turn on test tone (it starts cycling between all speakers), then without turning it off, hit RETURN once, go into Levels, and the tone should still be on ... it will continue playing on the speaker you're adjusting instead of cycling around. First, test if YPAO set the speakers so that the pink noise is roughly even from your MLP; just switch from speaker to speaker, e.g. compare Front Left with Surround Left, etc.
If you like, you can bump the surrounds up a bit. Don't make them the same number. If YPAO made SR +2dB and SL +3dB, then raise them both equally e.g. to SR +3B and SL +4dB. It's not sacrilegious if you bump up your surrounds; sure, purists balk that most people over-emphasize the surrounds to "show off" their home theater. For those of us with some hearing issues, or room issues, I say make it so you can ENJOY the film.
But just realize that if you turn them up for regular scenes, you may hear the surrounds blasting, potentially even overdriving during big loud action movies. Personally I recommend surround effects like music, or incidental things like computer sounds (Star Trek movies) and aircraft overpasses to test. (I think "The Witcher" on Netflix had music in the surrounds a lot, if that genre's your fancy.)