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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been noticing lately that my receiver has been a bit quiet in the front L/R channels, and I really noticed it tonight when I was listening for it. I would estimate that the front L/R are maybe 10-15% of the volume of the Center. When something goes into those channels, it seems to simply disappear, that's how I first noticed it. And volume levels in some scenes of movies on Blu-ray and DVD have sounded different than I remember from my last viewing. The most obvious example recently would be the opening credits of Casino Royale on Blu-ray, the first release. The singer's voice is pretty much non-existent, all I can hear is a faint echo coming from the surrounds, because I think it was mixed so the voice came from front L/R instead of Center like most voices do (Skyfall sounds fine in that regard). I have changed out Blu-ray players since then, but since it's all digital, it doesn't make sense for it to be treated so differently. And it's not just the BD player that has the issue, I've noticed it on my PS4 as well. Tonight, I unplugged the Center speaker during the end credits of Star Wars (just pure music), and about all I could hear was the right surround, the remaining three speakers were very quiet by comparison. I suppose it went unnoticed for so long because I sit on the right side of the couch, and that particular speaker is much closer to me than the others, so I've always heard sound from that side and assumed everything was working okay.


The problem seems to be stronger when using a Dolby source instead of a DTS source. Maybe something in the way it's decoding?


Honestly, I'm probably due for an upgrade anyway, but I'm one of those people that's loathe to replace something that's still functional. It's an old Sony STR-K750P, pushing ten years old I think. Since it predates HDMI, I currently run all my audio through Optical, and have even had to mix in a splitter to accommodate three different devices going into a single Optical input on the Sony. So at the least, I could easily get a new receiver with a boatload of HDMI ports on it, forgo the old tech and finally embrace the new lossless codecs.


While I'm not familiar with the exact workings of Toslink optical cables, it seems that the splitter I'm using wouldn't cause such a specific loss of signal, and always to the same channels. I'm thinking that the amps in the receiver are dying, and have been for some time now, and I just need to replace it.


Thoughts? Would you guys agree it's a receiver problem?
 

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Probably just a room calibration issue. Why not rerun the calibration routine to see what that does. Amplifiers don't get quieter with age. Either they work or they don't/
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, I went a-troubleshooting tonight, so here's what I found:


Adjusting speaker levels doesn't help. Well, it does, but even taking the left surround to maximum and the right surround to minimum, the right is still louder than the left. That tells me it's not a calibration issue, since it's actually too far gone for the system's level adjustments to even compensate for it entirely. Ditto for the front speakers, although it's the right one that's low, and both are far lower than the center. I would estimate my balance to be something like C & SR = 100% (as a base for comparison, since they both sound correct). L = 20%, R & SL = 3% (they're practically non-existent, you have to put your ear right up to it to hear the test tone. The bleedover into the subwoofer from those two speakers is actually easier to hear than the tone from the speakers themselves, but they are there).


I also checked the cables and the speakers by swapping the inputs on the rear of the receiver. When one of the "dead" speakers is connected to a normal output like the right surround, it sounds fine. That's for both the front and rear, so the speakers themselves and the wires running to them are solid. The ends of the wires are tinned and in good shape, no issues there.


Complete factory reset, no change. I opened the box up and everything inside looks okay at a cursory inspection... no signs of overheating, no blown or swollen capacitors. It's a bit dusty, but not enough to cause an issue (I'm a computer tech, so I've seen some crazy dust situations before). The test tone I'm using is the one generated by the receiver itself, so it's not a decoding issue from outside (which rules out the optical or the splitter).


Frankly, I'm still astounded that I never noticed it before. I mean, I knew there were some issues with the balance on the front speakers, but it only ever presented itself when I was listening to stereo content. But since most dialog comes from center speaker, and the surround speaker right next to me sounded fine, I guess it never occurred to me that there was anything wrong. I'm guessing it's just been getting gradually worse over the last couple of years and it wasn't until yesterday that I finally sat down and really listened to them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW  /t/1524474/can-a-dying-receiver-lose-specific-channels#post_24537185


Probably just a room calibration issue. Why not rerun the calibration routine to see what that does. Amplifiers don't get quieter with age. Either they work or they don't/
Now that I've bought a new one, I realize what you were talking about. My Sony predates such technology. The new Yamaha can do it, though, with surprisingly good results.


I think what may have happened is that the individual channel amplifiers did die, but not in such a way that they stopped sending a signal, they just stopped amplifying it. The output was more like what you'd get out of a Line-Out port that hasn't been amplified yet.


New setup sounds fantastic, though. It's a Yamaha RX-V377. Lower-end, and only 5.1, but from their 2014 lineup. Big improvement in any event, and not the least of which is support for the BD lossless codecs over HDMI. And fewer device hookups to boot.. three HDMI in, one out, and that's that.
 
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