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post #1 of 97 Old 02-28-2017, 09:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Using old AVR as External Amp

So I just bought a new RX-A3060 and ordered a new Emotiva XPA-GEN3 3 channel amp.

I ordered the Emo because I needed at least a 2 channel amp for my 7.2.4 system - not because I wanted to have more power (although I ended up deciding to buy the 3 channel configuration AND give my L/C/R more power).

I didn't think about this before, but I'm wondering if it's possible to use my old RX-A3000 as an external amp - rather than using the Emotiva?

If that's possible, how would that be accomplished? Should I run a RCA cable from the pre-outs on the RX-A3060 into the corresponding Multi-Channel inputs on the RX-A3000, and connect the speaker wire to the corresponding speaker posts on the RX-A3000?

If this is even possible, I think I'd use the RX-A3000 for all 4 of the Atmos channels.

Thanks in advance.

Chris

***EDIT***
I decided to call my local AV Shop and asked them if I could do what I described above, and they told me no - something along the lines of both being pre-amp'd or something. Their answer was not what I expected and I didn't fully understand their answer, and they were on their way to do an install so I didn't want to continue to ask questions.

I searched the internet and found the following article, which makes it sound like I should be able to do what I want.

http://www.soundandvision.com/conten...VBFwDKojT0Q.97

Please let me know if maybe things have changed and I shouldn't do what I'm thinking about. If I can get around not having the Emotiva, I think I'm going to call today to cancel my order.

xbr75x900E and JVC RS420 with Elite 120" screen
Receiver - Yamaha RX-A3060/RX-A3000, WXA-50 MusicCast Amp for Zone 2
L/C/R - B&W CM9/CMC2, Side - DS3, Rear - CM5, F/R Atmos - CCM663
Subs - SVS PB12+ and PB13 Ultra
Harmony Elite, ATV 4K, Nvidia Shield Pro, HDHomeRun Extend

Last edited by Sweetmeat; 02-28-2017 at 09:50 AM.
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post #2 of 97 Old 02-28-2017, 10:30 AM
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Your local A/V guy is confused.

Think of the old receiver as a multichannel amp with lots of fancy controls that should be ignored.

Just as you proposed at first, you only need to connect the appropriate preamp outputs of your new receiver to preamp inputs of your old receiver and connect the old receiver's speaker binding posts to appropriate speakers.

The sound-and-vision article is useful, although it talks about Pioneer options that might not have corresponding settings in your old receiver.

Do a return-to-factory-settings reset on the old receiver. This will clear out its YPAO and other settings, which now are irrelevant.
Select its Direct option, the multichannel analog input, and set the volume control at about 80%. (Mark where it is in case it gets changed accidentally.)
Run YPAO in the new receiver.

Done.

There might be some confusion due to both receivers reacting to the remote's signals, so you might want to block the old receiver's sensor with some electrical tape and turn it on and off manually.

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post #3 of 97 Old 02-28-2017, 12:48 PM
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In addition to Selden's explanation, a quick look at the user manuals for both of your Yamahas shows they have remote in/out jacks. I have no experience using this feature, but it seems connecting the 3060's Remote Out to the 3000's Remote In might provide an automatic power on and off trigger. The 3060's manual (page 107) is vague about this, but a phone call to Yamaha's friendly techs could answer any questions.
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post #4 of 97 Old 02-28-2017, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex F. View Post
In addition to Selden's explanation, a quick look at the user manuals for both of your Yamahas shows they have remote in/out jacks. I have no experience using this feature, but it seems connecting the 3060's Remote Out to the 3000's Remote In might provide an automatic power on and off trigger. The 3060's manual (page 107) is vague about this, but a phone call to Yamaha's friendly techs could answer any questions.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post
Your local A/V guy is confused.

Think of the old receiver as a multichannel amp with lots of fancy controls that should be ignored.

Just as you proposed at first, you only need to connect the appropriate preamp outputs of your new receiver to preamp inputs of your old receiver and connect the old receiver's speaker binding posts to appropriate speakers.

The sound-and-vision article is useful, although it talks about Pioneer options that might not have corresponding settings in your old receiver.

Do a return-to-factory-settings reset on the old receiver. This will clear out its YPAO and other settings, which now are irrelevant.
Select its Direct option, the multichannel analog input, and set the volume control at about 80%. (Mark where it is in case it gets changed accidentally.)
Run YPAO in the new receiver.

Done.

There might be some confusion due to both receivers reacting to the remote's signals, so you might want to block the old receiver's sensor with some electrical tape and turn it on and off manually.
So how confident are each of you in me being able to use my existing receiver? If you're very confident, I'm going to cancel my Emotiva order.

Thanks for your input.

Chris

xbr75x900E and JVC RS420 with Elite 120" screen
Receiver - Yamaha RX-A3060/RX-A3000, WXA-50 MusicCast Amp for Zone 2
L/C/R - B&W CM9/CMC2, Side - DS3, Rear - CM5, F/R Atmos - CCM663
Subs - SVS PB12+ and PB13 Ultra
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post #5 of 97 Old 02-28-2017, 02:31 PM
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I'm very confident this will work also since your RX-A3000 has a full set of multichannel inputs. just put the old receiver on Direct like they said above.
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post #6 of 97 Old 02-28-2017, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetmeat View Post
So how confident are each of you in me being able to use my existing receiver? If you're very confident, I'm going to cancel my Emotiva order.

Thanks for your input.

Chris
Absolutely. Although the per-speaker power ratings of the two receivers are comparable, offloading some speakers to the second receiver will provide additional headroom, since you're doubling the total power available.
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post #7 of 97 Old 02-28-2017, 03:07 PM
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just did the same with my old marantz reciever (sr9300) as i upgraded to the 7010. Unfortunately, i had already ordered a 2 channel amp, but am keeping the marantz instead of swapping out.
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post #8 of 97 Old 02-28-2017, 03:19 PM
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Interesting thread; can my 2015 Yamaha A2050 also act as power Amp? I don't think it has multi-channel input like older AVRs
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post #9 of 97 Old 02-28-2017, 03:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yanks1 View Post
Interesting thread; can my 2015 Yamaha A2050 also act as power Amp? I don't think it has multi-channel input like older AVRs
Thanks to everyone who responded. I've called and cancelled my Emotiva order. For what it's worth, they were very nice and didn't make me feel like a jerk or anything for cancelling.

In regards to the RX-A2050, I looked at a picture of the back of the receiver and I don't see multi-channel inputs. I think the next highest level (RX-A3050) would have them. I'm not sure if you'd be able to use any of the other inputs or not, like Phono or something - or if the only thing that could be used are the Multi-Channel inputs.

***EDIT***
I was wrong. The RX-A3050 doesn't have the multi-channel inputs either. Guess I'm lucky to have an older AVR.
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Receiver - Yamaha RX-A3060/RX-A3000, WXA-50 MusicCast Amp for Zone 2
L/C/R - B&W CM9/CMC2, Side - DS3, Rear - CM5, F/R Atmos - CCM663
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post #10 of 97 Old 02-28-2017, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Sweetmeat View Post
Thanks to everyone who responded.I'm not sure if you'd be able to use any of the other inputs or not, like Phono or something - or if the only thing that could be used are the Multi-Channel inputs.
Any AV receiver can be utilized as an external power amplifier (via another unit's preouts) even if it does not have multichannel inputs, but only for two channels. Use any analog source input (left and right channel jacks), such as CD or auxiliary (but not phono). Then select the stereo mode or, better yet, if available, the pure direct mode. Finally, connect the two speakers to the receiver's front left and right speaker terminals.

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Last edited by Alex F.; 02-28-2017 at 05:32 PM.
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post #11 of 97 Old 02-28-2017, 05:37 PM
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Ok, thx Alex

Primary set-up 5.2.4; Yamaha A2050, Paired w/Parasound P5 & ATI 522NC 2 channel amp
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post #12 of 97 Old 03-01-2017, 07:36 AM - Thread Starter
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I was looking at the OM for the RX-A3060 and it says the following about external amplifiers:

We recommend using power amplifiers that meet the following conditions:
  1. with unbalanced inputs
  2. with volume control bypass (or without volume control circuit)
  3. output power: 100 W or more (6 to 8 Ω)

I don't really understand #2. Does the RX-A3000 have volume control bypass? What does that even do? How will I control the volume of the channels hooked up to the RX-A3000? Will it be any different than how I would control the volume if I used a real external amp?

Also, I've read something about the pre out voltage being low on the Yamaha and how that might prevent external amps from generating their full power.

I looked at the OM to find the pre out voltage specs, and here's what I found:

On Page 186:
  • Rated Output Level / Output Inpedance
    • PRE OUT
      • SUBWOOFER (50 Hz)................. 1.0 V /470 Ω
      • Except SUBWOOFER (1 kHz)....... 1.0 V/470 Ω
    • ZONE OUT.................................. 1.0 V/470 Ω
  • Maximum Output Level
    • PRE OUT/ZONE OUT ................... 2.0 V or more


Based on that information, I'm not sure which it is. Is the volts 1.0, or 2.0 or more?

xbr75x900E and JVC RS420 with Elite 120" screen
Receiver - Yamaha RX-A3060/RX-A3000, WXA-50 MusicCast Amp for Zone 2
L/C/R - B&W CM9/CMC2, Side - DS3, Rear - CM5, F/R Atmos - CCM663
Subs - SVS PB12+ and PB13 Ultra
Harmony Elite, ATV 4K, Nvidia Shield Pro, HDHomeRun Extend

Last edited by Sweetmeat; 03-01-2017 at 07:39 AM.
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post #13 of 97 Old 03-01-2017, 07:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex F. View Post
Any AV receiver can be utilized as an external power amplifier (via another unit's preouts) even if it does not have multichannel inputs, but only for two channels. Use any analog source input (left and right channel jacks), such as CD or auxiliary (but not phono). Then select the stereo mode or, better yet, if available, the pure direct mode. Finally, connect the two speakers to the receiver's front left and right speaker terminals.
Although a 5.1 AVR would be limited to only 2CH, if the AVR is a 7.1CH capable of Zone 2, then you can also assign 2CH to Zone 2 and power 2 more CH for a total of 4CH externally powered.
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post #14 of 97 Old 03-01-2017, 09:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetmeat View Post
I was looking at the OM for the RX-A3060 and it says the following about external amplifiers:

We recommend using power amplifiers that meet the following conditions:
  1. with unbalanced inputs
  2. with volume control bypass (or without volume control circuit)
  3. output power: 100 W or more (6 to 8 Ω)

I don't really understand #2. Does the RX-A3000 have volume control bypass? What does that even do? How will I control the volume of the channels hooked up to the RX-A3000? Will it be any different than how I would control the volume if I used a real external amp?
Their # 2 recommendation doubtless is just to eliminate the confusion of having to set the manual volume control to a particular value. I'm sure they've gotten lots of complaints about lost volume which turned out to be caused by someone bumping the volume control knob of the secondary receiver.
Quote:

Also, I've read something about the pre out voltage being low on the Yamaha and how that might prevent external amps from generating their full power.

I looked at the OM to find the pre out voltage specs, and here's what I found:

On Page 186:
  • Rated Output Level / Output Inpedance
    • PRE OUT
      • SUBWOOFER (50 Hz)................. 1.0 V /470 Ω
      • Except SUBWOOFER (1 kHz)....... 1.0 V/470 Ω
    • ZONE OUT.................................. 1.0 V/470 Ω
  • Maximum Output Level
    • PRE OUT/ZONE OUT ................... 2.0 V or more


Based on that information, I'm not sure which it is. Is the volts 1.0, or 2.0 or more?
To first approximation, it doesn't matter. The room EQ calibration in the primary receiver will adjust its preamp outputs to compensate. If you discover that it's had to turn up the output too far (introducing clipping), you probably can turn up the volume some more on the secondary receiver (the one being used as an amp). Then recalibrate.
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post #15 of 97 Old 03-01-2017, 09:48 AM
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I just went through this same experience. I had an old avr powering the height channels, but was always battling some amount of hum from the speakers. My plan was to eventually get a proper amp for the LCR and let the marantz 7010 do the rest of the 7.2.4.

I went with the emotiva xpa 3 and am extremely happy with the results. I felt like using an avr as an amp is simply a band aid. If it's a money issue i would try to save up over time and go with the emotiva eventually.
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post #16 of 97 Old 03-01-2017, 10:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klimo View Post
I just went through this same experience. I had an old avr powering the height channels, but was always battling some amount of hum from the speakers. My plan was to eventually get a proper amp for the LCR and let the marantz 7010 do the rest of the 7.2.4.

I went with the emotiva xpa 3 and am extremely happy with the results. I felt like using an avr as an amp is simply a band aid. If it's a money issue i would try to save up over time and go with the emotiva eventually.
If I notice any issues with using the RX-A3000 as an external amp for my Atmos speakers, I will definitely and immediately repurchase the XPA 3. However, if things go well, I'll use the RX-A3000 until I get tired of seeing 2 AVR's in my rack and then re-purchase the XPA 3.

Did you notice any difference or improvement in sound once you switched to the XPA 3?

xbr75x900E and JVC RS420 with Elite 120" screen
Receiver - Yamaha RX-A3060/RX-A3000, WXA-50 MusicCast Amp for Zone 2
L/C/R - B&W CM9/CMC2, Side - DS3, Rear - CM5, F/R Atmos - CCM663
Subs - SVS PB12+ and PB13 Ultra
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post #17 of 97 Old 03-01-2017, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetmeat View Post
If I notice any issues with using the RX-A3000 as an external amp for my Atmos speakers, I will definitely and immediately repurchase the XPA 3. However, if things go well, I'll use the RX-A3000 until I get tired of seeing 2 AVR's in my rack and then re-purchase the XPA 3.

Did you notice any difference or improvement in sound once you switched to the XPA 3?
Yes, definitely. But mainly bc my old avr was putting out some kind of interference buzz that sucked. I have fairly effecient speakers, 91db, so I wasn't in need of a ton of power and haven't had a chance to really pump the sound yet (10 month old at home).

Stick with the avr if you are happy with the sound quality.
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post #18 of 97 Old 03-01-2017, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post
Although a 5.1 AVR would be limited to only 2CH, if the AVR is a 7.1CH capable of Zone 2, then you can also assign 2CH to Zone 2 and power 2 more CH for a total of 4CH externally powered.
I've never utilized zone outputs, so I learned something new today. Thank you, JD.
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Theater room: Panasonic 65S60 plasma television; Yamaha RX-A2020 (preamp section); Adcom GFA-5503 and GFA-5400 amplifiers; Polk LSi25, LSiC, and LSiF/X loudspeaker system; Velodyne FSR-18 servo-subwoofer.
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post #19 of 97 Old 03-11-2017, 03:50 PM - Thread Starter
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So before I even tried using my old AVR as an external amp, I found a good deal (50% off MSRP) on an open box Yamaha MX-A5000 so I bought it.

I know that amp only delivers 150 w/c, and ACD is much less than that, but this gets me closer to having separates, which is what I wanted. Since I still haven't received my RX-A3060 yet, maybe they'll agree to let me switch to the pre/pro.
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post #20 of 97 Old 03-13-2017, 01:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, looks like I bought a defective open box amp.

After getting everything hooked up, I can only get sound through 1 speaker (Front Right).

Here's how I made the connections:
1). On my RX- A3000, I connected a white RCA cord to the White RCA Front/F. Presence pre-out jack, then plugged the other end of the white RCA cable to the #2 Left channel jack on the MX-A5000 and set the switch to unbalanced.
2). On my RX- A3000, I connected a Red RCA cord to the Red RCA Front/F. Presence pre-out jack, then plugged the other end of the Red RCA cable to the #2 Right channel jack on the MX-A5000 and set the switch to unbalanced.
3). I then plugged the Left channel speaker wire to the #2 A channel speaker jacks on the MX-A5000 with correct polarity.
4). I then plugged the Right channel speaker wire to the #2 A channel speaker jacks on the MX-A5000 with the correct polarity.
5). Since I used #2 A instead of #2 B, on the front panel of the MX-A5000 I pushed in the A channel switch and left the B channel switch pushed out.
6). I the selected 7 Channel + Front in the RX-A3000 Power Amp assign menu.
7). At this point, I could only get sound out of my Right speaker when I chose 2 Channel stereo. Sound came out of all speakers except for the Front Left when I chose 7 Channel stereo.
8). I took a video of my setup for steps 1-7
9). I then decided to add in the center channel to see if adding that would work, and after adding a new RCA cable connection from my ABR's Center pre-out to the #1 channel RCA input and connecting the Center Channel speaker wire to the MX-A5000, I got some faint sound through the Center and Front Right (and still nothing from Front Left) along with a good amount of static and then heard popping sounds in my speakers and the MX-A5000 shut down. I turned the MX-A5000 on again to see if it would turn on, which it did but then 10 - 15 seconds later the speakers popped and the MX-A5000 shut down again.

A that point I gave up.

Any ideas? Do you see anything glaringly wrong in how I have set this up?

***EDIT***

I spoke with Best Buy and they said that they might be willing to exchange the amp for a new one! They didn't say that there would be an additional charge, but I guess they didn't say that there wouldn't be an additional charge either.

Last edited by Sweetmeat; 03-13-2017 at 02:48 PM.
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post #21 of 97 Old 03-13-2017, 06:18 PM
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I got lucky with my Integra 9.1. It has LCR inputs, it saved me from buying an AMP.
But Integra Support also said I could use the Multi-channel inputs if I wanted.
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post #22 of 97 Old 03-17-2017, 07:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post

Do a return-to-factory-settings reset on the old receiver. This will clear out its YPAO and other settings, which now are irrelevant.
I followed the instructions within the following article to do a reset. Once done, everything had been reset as expected.

http://faq.yamaha.com/us/en/article/...k_u/10681/8402

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Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post
Select its Direct option, the multichannel analog input, and set the volume control at about 80%. (Mark where it is in case it gets changed accidentally.)

Run YPAO in the new receiver.

Done.
I did all of those steps, but I can't get sound out of my FR or FL speaker.

I used Red and White composite RCA cords to connect the Front pre-outs on the new AVR to the Front Multi Channel inputs on the old AVR.

I then set Multi-Channel input, then Pure Direct, and Volume to -20.

On the new AVR, I set the Power Amp Assign option to 7.2.4 [ext.Front] and got no sound from either of my Front speakers.

I thought maybe I needed to run YPAO first, so I did the auto setup and it stopped automatically with a message saying the Front Left speaker wasn't detected.

Is there another step that needs to be done?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post
There might be some confusion due to both receivers reacting to the remote's signals, so you might want to block the old receiver's sensor with some electrical tape and turn it on and off manually.
I was able to change the remote id from 1 to 2, so now my old receiver doesn't react to my remote.
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post #23 of 97 Old 03-17-2017, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetmeat View Post
I followed the instructions within the following article to do a reset. Once done, everything had been reset as expected.

http://faq.yamaha.com/us/en/article/...k_u/10681/8402



I did all of those steps, but I can't get sound out of my FR or FL speaker.

I used Red and White composite RCA cords to connect the Front pre-outs on the new AVR to the Front Multi Channel inputs on the old AVR.

I then set Multi-Channel input, then Pure Direct, and Volume to -20.

On the new AVR, I set the Power Amp Assign option to 7.2.4 [ext.Front] and got no sound from either of my Front speakers.

I thought maybe I needed to run YPAO first, so I did the auto setup and it stopped automatically with a message saying the Front Left speaker wasn't detected.

Is there another step that needs to be done?
Not that I'm aware of, but I'm not a Yamaha expert. I'm rashly assuming that the new receiver's preamp outputs are always active.

You might test the old receiver on its own by connecting to it whatever analog stereo playback device you have (e.g. CD player). Since you're only using it as a stereo amp, you can use any of its stereo analog inputs. Using the multichannel inputs guarantees that no processing is being applied by the old receiver, but isn't necessary.

Quote:
I was able to change the remote id from 1 to 2, so now my old receiver doesn't react to my remote.

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Fronts=NHT 2.9+AC2, FH+TM=DefTech PM1000, LCR+TM amped
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post #24 of 97 Old 03-17-2017, 01:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetmeat View Post
I followed the instructions within the following article to do a reset. Once done, everything had been reset as expected.

http://faq.yamaha.com/us/en/article/...k_u/10681/8402



I did all of those steps, but I can't get sound out of my FR or FL speaker.

I used Red and White composite RCA cords to connect the Front pre-outs on the new AVR to the Front Multi Channel inputs on the old AVR.

I then set Multi-Channel input, then Pure Direct, and Volume to -20.

On the new AVR, I set the Power Amp Assign option to 7.2.4 [ext.Front] and got no sound from either of my Front speakers.

I thought maybe I needed to run YPAO first, so I did the auto setup and it stopped automatically with a message saying the Front Left speaker wasn't detected.

Is there another step that needs to be done?
Not that I'm aware of, but I'm not a Yamaha expert. I'm rashly assuming that the new receiver's preamp outputs are always active.

You might test the old receiver on its own by connecting to it whatever analog stereo playback device you have (e.g. CD player). Since you're only using it as a stereo amp, you can use any of its stereo analog inputs. Using the multichannel inputs guarantees that no processing is being applied by the old receiver, but isn't necessary.

Quote:
I was able to change the remote id from 1 to 2, so now my old receiver doesn't react to my remote.
I got it working! The only thing I did different was increase the volume on the old AVR from -20 to +10. Once I did that I started hearing sounds coming from my front speakers.

I then ran YPAO to see what it was doing with the levels on my front speakers compared to my others. I noticed my other speakers were like +8 or more, so I lowered the volume on my old AVR to 0, reran YPAO and now my levels are more closely matched!

It looks a little weird having 2 AVR's in my rack, but since it works I'll have to live with it for a while until I have more money for an amp.

Thanks for your help!
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You're very welcome.

Enjoy!

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Fronts=NHT 2.9+AC2, FH+TM=DefTech PM1000, LCR+TM amped
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post #26 of 97 Old 04-02-2017, 05:50 PM
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Would it make sense to set the levels for the speakers controlled by the old avr before running audyssey on the new processor?
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post #27 of 97 Old 04-03-2017, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Graytwhyte View Post
Would it make sense to set the levels for the speakers controlled by the old avr before running audyssey on the new processor?
You could, but it would be a waste of time or worse. The Audyssey calibration will measure them and set appropriate trim levels in the "primary" receiver. It's best to use either the Direct setting or multichannel analog inputs on the amplifying receiver so it does nothing to the signal whatsoever.
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post #28 of 97 Old 04-03-2017, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post
You could, but it would be a waste of time or worse. The Audyssey calibration will measure them and set appropriate trim levels in the "primary" receiver. It's best to use either the Direct setting or multichannel analog inputs on the amplifying receiver so it does nothing to the signal whatsoever.
I didn't realize that direct mode through the multichannel inputs bypassed even the speakers trim levels. I knew the eq, etc was bypassed. Interesting. Thanks!
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post #29 of 97 Old 04-03-2017, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
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I didn't realize that direct mode through the multichannel inputs bypassed even the speakers trim levels. I knew the eq, etc was bypassed. Interesting. Thanks!
It doesn't, rather he's likely simply referring to no Audyssey EQ processing.
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post #30 of 97 Old 04-03-2017, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
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It doesn't, rather he's likely simply referring to no Audyssey EQ processing.
Correct, delay and levels are not affected in direct, I have tested and verified this with Denon, can't speak for other brands

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