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Each of the five satellite speakers connect directly to an AV Receiver that you buy a separate device.
Here's the back of the sub. The sub either connects to the LFE Sub Out from the receiver to the white RCA/Phono Left Input. Or you can use speaker connection cables, AV Receiver front L & R to Speaker Level Inputs, and then Speaker Level Outputs to the front satellite speakers.
There is a difference between SUB and LFE. In 5.1 mode, the LFE is the ".1" channel. It will output bass only when audio information signal is addressed to this channel. In stereo mode, depending of the receiver setting, it can output normal bass when front speakers cannot handle low frequency. In setup menu, you'll probably have to set your Front speakers as "Small" to make the sub channel taking the relay in low frequencies. There also can be many other reasons for your problem but this might be the solution. Good luck!
Check your speaker settings in Setup menu / Speaker Setup / Manual / Config (and then in this submenu also Equalizer). In Config, choose where should low frequency sound go - subwoofer and/or front speakers (if they are big enough). The settings are: Bass Out: SWFR/Front/Both. Also check Subwoofer phrase in SWFR Phase. Check settings of all speakers, they can be Large / Small / None. If small, frequencies lower than "Crossover" settings, will not be put on them.
There should be an adjustment in setup that for 2 channel sources, you may have to enable the subwoofer output. Or alternatively, if the subwoofer output for 2 channel sources is in fact enabled, then increase the crossover frequency for the sub.
First, I have to compliment you on a thorough and comprehensive problem description and an apparent sense of how to troubleshoot. We're halfway there already.
Your Blu-Ray / PS 3 statement is intriguing but with the E-1 code that absolves it as the problem.
You have two opposing symptoms: the live failure says you have a short while the test mode implies an open circuit. We have to isolate everything and see if it moves to another channel.
Let's run with the "E-1: NO FRONT SP" error. I think it's trying to tell us we have an intermittent sensation of an open wire in one of the Front speaker channels. * Unfortunately, the manual doesn't break out Left and Right (but I'm sure the receiver knows) to help us isolate. You say it doesn't get past the Left test. I need you to decide by listening to the Left Front Speaker setup routine if it's really working or not, and if it seems to be working, maybe the receiver is really failing at the point it advances to the Right Speaker, assuming Right follows left in the sequence.
Verify for me: You swapped the two front speakers Left to Right and replaced both speaker wires with NEW wires and had no improvement.
I'm wary of a failcode that doesn't identify which of a pair is failing, so I 'd like to see ALL NEW speaker hardware and connections in place to avoid the pitfall of swapping the L & R with each other and having one of them be the problem without changing the symptom.
We can accomplish this easily: Try temporarily running the rear speakers as the Fronts just to see if the test can pass. If so, test the Fronts as if they're the Rears speakers. You should be able to just swing the receiver-ends of the cables among the speaker posts.
Something should change or else the problem is internal to the receiver. Good luck.
A lot brand of speakers, like Sound Blasters, Logitech, Cambridge, has this (strange) kind of volume problem, sometimes, is the resistor, in the volume control, sometimes in the modulator for the board on the sound speakers, Subwofer.
I use a general tip is let the volume in one setting and don't move in the intermediate low volume say....9 .
from other thing, be change the speakers.