Question about Yamaha RX-V663 Receiver

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I have an RX-V663 audio sounds flat

I have an RX-V663 receiver hooked up to a samsung blu ray player thru hdmi. When watching a dvd, the sound is amazing. Music during a movie sounds great. However, when I play a music CD on the blu ray player, the audio is not as impressive. It sounds a little flat. At first I thought it was my speakers, but the sound is good durning movies and tv shows. I have messed with the eq settings, speaker leves etc. What would be the problem? I also have a record player hooked up to the receiver, and the audio sounds flat on that as well.

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  • 4 more comments 
  • pat182rick Feb 04, 2010

    Thanks for the help. The turntable I am using is a Sony PSlLX300USB, so it has a built in preamp. It is hooked up to my receiver with the red and white rca cable(the only option for that turntable).

    As far as defining "flat", I would say it just lacks punch. I set the volume to the same level as when I watch a movie or tv, and the record or cd sounds about the same loudness, but just seems to be lacking in clean bass. The bass is there, I can feel it in front of the subwoofer, but there isn't a good bass sound. It almost sounds as if you are listening to a very low quality mp3. Not what I would expect from a brand new 180gram record.

    If it helps, I am using 4 Definitive surround sound speakers, a Definitive Center Speaker, 2 Aiwa front speakers, and a Definitive subwoofer. Because of the way my room is designed, my TV is in the corner of the room, and the speakers are next to it, not against a wall. The front speakers sit on a wood floor, and we I do not have a rug or anything, which I thought could be part of the problem.

    Thanks for your help!!

  • pat182rick Feb 04, 2010

    Again, thanks for the help!

    There is no EQ setting on the turntable. Is there something I can get to add EQ to the turntable? Something similar to a preamp? The turntable is currently placed 6 feet away from the woofer, so I don't think that is the issue.

    The blu ray is coming into the receiver through hdmi, and hdmi from receiver to tv. I also have an Xbox360 hooked up through hdmi, and I have the same issue, movies and games sound great, but if I lisen to a cd in the xbox, or play an mp3 on the xbox, the sound is less than desirable.

    Speaker placement could be an issue, as the room is kind of an odd shape (apartment with wood flors), but the receiver did come with a microphone to help automatically adjust speaker levels, and that did not help. I've also done the THX optimizer, with no noticeable change in sound.

  • pat182rick Feb 04, 2010

    Also, my room setup is kind of weird. Here is a link to what my layout/setup is:

  • pat182rick Feb 04, 2010

    I can only FEEL the sub if I put my hand directly in front of it, I can't feel it from across the room.

    I'll have to test the 2 channel sources with Direct selected tonight when I get home, but I've gone through pretty much every setting on the receiver and none have sounded that great. Some goes with the FM, I'll have to test it, as I never listen to the radio.

    I'll get home tonight and see what I can figure out with the manuals. One thing to note, is that the CDs on the xbox and blu ray, while they don't sound amazing, still sound quite a bit better than the turntable.

    Did you see any major flaws in the room setup?

  • pat182rick Feb 04, 2010

    As for my speakers I have the Definitive Technology - 5.1 Flat Panel Theater Speaker Package, Model: QCDA SKU: DEFPROCIN60.6

    I added the two Aiwa speakers because I thought they would give me some more "punch", and I could go to 7.1 instead of 5.1. The aiwa speakers are 16"x10"x10", and are 10 years old. They were part of a Aiwa box system that I had but got rid of everything else. I actually still have the Aiwa woofer as well, which I have thought about adding to the left side of the couch.

    If I were to replace the two front speakers, is there anything you would recommend without breaking bank?

  • pat182rick Feb 05, 2010

    Ok, did some testing last night. It had been a while since I sat down and listened to a CD. It wasn't nearly as bad as I remembered. I messed with some of the speaker and eq settings, messed with the Adaptive DRC and Dynamic Range, and turned the bass on my sub up. I think I'm faily happy with the sound of my CD now. As least as happy as I can be considering I'm using old Aiwa speakers.

    FM sounded ok, not very much bass, but I'm assuming thats normal for a radio signal.

    I also listened to the CD on the "Direct" setting, it sounded ok, just didn't feel up the room with sound.

    But, the turntable still sounds pretty bad. I checked to see where I have it plugged in, and I have it in then top left area that is labeled "CD". I have it plugged in there because I don't know where else it would go. Could this be some of the problem? I figured it wouldn't really make a difference....



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Let's deal with the turntable sound first - unless it's a self-preamplified model you would have to get an external phono-specific preamp to use with this receiver. Without one you'll get microscopically weak, tinny sound from the turntable. Google "RIAA curve" to see why.

As far as the CD sound through the Blu Ray player... for one thing it is flat, as in two-dimensional stereo. Compared to genuine surround from a movie it would be a letdown.

Can you better define 'flat'?

Posted on Feb 04, 2010

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  • 3 more comments 
  • David Dunn
    David Dunn Feb 04, 2010

    Hmm. What's the setting of the EQ switch on the turntable? And you probably know this already, but turntables and surface- or air-borne vibrations don't get along so keep it some distance from the subwoofer.

    I'm assuming that the Blu Ray is coming in digital to the receiver. Please verify that.

    If a Blu-Ray disc and a CD sound differently from the same player, that makes no sense if they both use the same digital feed to the receiver. What about FM? The reason I ask is so far Blu-Ray is the only source you mention as being satisfactory. Maybe THAT is the odd-ball and the rest have 'normal' responses. If you're using 5.1 analog outs from the Blu-Ray that might explain a difference since the CD wouldn't use the same ones, right? Look inti the Blu-Ray players internal settings for any possible differences in how it treats CD vs Blu-Ray. Many players have all kinds of bells and whistles along those lines. Dynamic range response sometimes has a setting that may affect different sources differently. Check it on the receiver.

    Another possibility may be that stereo programming and the relative placement of your speakers is cancelling out some of the bass where your listening position is. Relative speaker phasing differences would hurt bass response, too.

    There are test discs and some DVD's come with video and speaker setup routines that certify phasing and such. You might seek one out. Monsters, Inc has a THX optimizer in the special edition. I would think any LucasFilm disc would have something like it.

  • David Dunn
    David Dunn Feb 04, 2010

    I couldn't find documentation for the TT but one for sale mentioned an EQ setting switch aand that the TT has its own phono preamp, making it Line Level and compatiblewith any RCA input.

    6 feet from the sub. If YOU can feel the sub through the air or the floor, so may the TT.

    You could get any standard stereo analog Equalizer and place it serially between the TT and the Receiver. I highly recommend something like the ADC SS 525X 12-Band Graphic Equalizer as it has rocker controls instead of scratchy, noisy analog sliders, a real-time analyzer, 4 curve memories and REMOTE CONTROL! There are half a dozen EQ'sw/remote available right this minute on eBay. In fact, the BSR (related to ADC) 4000XR is a later version of mine. The remote is even identical.

    I'd wait and resolve the current problem first, though. An EQ in the TT path won't help with other sonic anomalies you have as it would only function in pure analog mode.

    That reminds me, how do the 2-channel sources sound with "Direct" selected as the sound field parameter (page 77)? If that changes the sound to be more to your liking then ther must be a setting somewhere causing the problem.


    How does FM sound? Being produced internally it has the smallest opportunity for maladjustment.


    I'm still trying to decide where the digital "difference" (flatness or not) lies.

    Is there another digital audio output on your Blu-Ray that you can use to compare to the HDMI? If it resolves the differences that would point to a codec difference for PCM audio in the HDMI chain.

    I found this interesting note in the RX-V663 manual on page 18, which discusses its HDMI capabilities:

    To decode audio bitstream signals on this unit, set the input

    source component appropriately so that the component outputs

    the bitstream audio signals directly (does not decode the

    bitstream signals on the component). Refer to the supplied

    instruction manuals for details.

    What this implies is that the Blu-Ray and or XBox may be pre-decoding their source bitstreams. Let the Yamaha do it instead.

    Page 49 discusses settings such as Spectacle that may explain the relatively greater dynamics of movie sound vs CD.

    Page 89 - Adaptive DRC

    Page 91 discusses Dynamic Range and could explain a difference between bitstream and analog sources.

    There are a lot of parameters that could be playing a part in your problem. I suggest you crack the manual(s) and pick through them.

  • David Dunn
    David Dunn Feb 04, 2010

    We do what we can with the rooms we have, eh? I lucked out and got a house with a perfectly symmetrical room for my Home Theatre and no objections from the lady of the house in its design. Function presides over form. It's a strap-in-we're-going-ballistic environment.

    Maybe you could put the sub somewhere in the corner behind the TV; or in the lower right corner, so it has some boundaries to reinforce its response. Subwoofers operating in their specialty are as much felt as heard.

    You don't mention the models of the speakers but I presume you have something like the Definitive ProCinema 600 Sub and Sat's. Are the Aiwa's low-bass-capable? If so, define them as Large and let them carry some of the bass duties.

    Then I move the TT or somehow isolate it.

    My $.02: I don't know how passionate you are about listening to LP's in real time or the character of CD sound, but if I were you I'd record the LP's to CD then let 'em rip without a care about volume levels, vibrations, feedback, skipping, dust, wear-and-tear, static and an end to the ritualistic preparations to play an LP.

    I recommend a good CD Recorder like the Pioneer PDR-609. Where else? eBay.

  • David Dunn
    David Dunn Feb 04, 2010

    Be advised I'm old-school and not a fan of HTIB, sub/sat's or other short cuts to audio happiness. No compromises to appearance in my LISTENING room. My smallest speakers (3 Bose 301's as Surrounds and Back Surround) are a bit bigger than the Aiwa's. What model are the Aiwa's?

    After we resolve the 'flat' problem as much as possible we can work on next steps. I once had an upper apartment with a literally deaf couple living downstairs and it made my audio experience tolerable because I didn't have to care much about volume. I ran Bose 901's augmented by Sansui SP-4500's with 16" woofers back then. Still have the 901's in service as Fronts and some Kenwood KL-777's for Center (told you I'm old school). A single dbx DB-SW15 subwoofer (I own 2) finishes it all. About 250 lbs of speakers installed; a Pioneer Elite VSX-36TX 7.1 Receiver for control; multiple Carver amps; and an imposing stack of vintage dbx recording, sound-processing and signal-routing technologies on my work desk; with enough spare audio gear to make up a couple of decent stereo systems.

  • David Dunn
    David Dunn Feb 06, 2010

    We've, come full circle. You did say the TT has its own preamp and the EQ setting is proper. If that is true it will work on the CD input. Is it very, very, very weak and tinny (Google RIAA curve)?



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