Question about Yamaha RXV467 Receiver

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I recently purchased a Yamaha RXV467 and plugged it into a set of Mirage MX 5.1 speakers. I know from experience that these speakers are capable of quite remarkable crispness and clarity, and the reviews of them I've seen on the 'net say that if anything they lack a little in bass response. Well, you'd never know it from my installation: the sound is muddy - speech is difficult to hear on tv especially but also poor from DV and BR, and lacking in good treble response even from radio or cd sources. I've run the YPAO system and futzed with tone controls, equaliser settings, and the various decoder modes, but I've managed a mediocre improvement at best. So far, the most natural sound I can get out of it is via the 'Straight' setting, which seems to be a vast waste of expensive decoders. Could you shed any light on this situation?

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  • David Dunn
    David Dunn Mar 12, 2011

    In all that you didn't anticipate the most important question>>> Did you follow all the installation and setup instructions for speakers and levels? Test tones sound okay?

  • cybes Mar 13, 2011

    @dunnbiker: Yes, I did follow setup instructions - at least, as much as room topology allows. The YPAO system is supposed to automate most of it, but I've also tried to do it manually after the automatic setup proved unsatisfactory. And before you jump on that qualifier in the first sentence, I know it isn't the room making the speakers sound bad: first, the room has had other (superior) sound systems in much the same place before; and secondly, the YPAO sequence itself generates quite a few tones which fall nicely into the frequency range I'd like to hear more of.

    I've since managed to get an improvement (but not a total fix) by cutting other frequencies as much as possible in the equaliser and running the volume way up. That has to be chewing the power, though, and is utterly deafening when an advert comes on viewing TV.

  • cybes Mar 14, 2011

    Thanks for your assistance thus far - it's got to be even more frustrating operating at a remove than it is here.

    I'm going to rule out room effects, based on prior experience in the same space with other equipment and with the same speakers without the decoders getting in the way. This unit has a 'direct' switch, and that's much clearer than any of DSP options - with the possible exception of 'straight' (from other reading, I think that's an EQ/DSP curve, rather than 'straight through'). Also, as mentioned previously, the YPAO sequence does tickle the right frequencies, and there is no apparent loss of response when it does so.

    TV sound is a bit of a murky issue in its own right. The signal here is utter garbage on modern shows. Daytime programming has a high percentage of pre-1980 pap which sounds glorious but is very low-rez. Nighttime is more modern shows which look much nicer but sound horrid. Apparently, the local TV stations have bitten off rather more than they can chew, bandwidth-wise.

    Feeding the TV direct from DVD/BR has good sound AND picture quality on the TV. That's as far as I have so far come in isolating it. I don't currently own any working headphones, and the unit was installed within cabinetry prior to sound testing - on the assumption that everything would be fine (dumb move, I know) so accessing the rear panel is difficult and will have to wait for me to have time to pull it all apart again.

  • cybes Mar 14, 2011

    Yeah, it's treble I'm not hearing clearly. Bass is fine even after cutting and without bass boost on - flat it is rather boomy for my tastes, and boosted is fit only for doof parties. ;) The unit came with a manual on CD, in addition to a printed one. They appear to be identical. I'll grab the one you linked and see if that's any better. Yes, I'm aware of the trickery in speaker auditions, but I know he was steering me to another set, and I got him to swap the amps between his preferred set and the ones I was looking at. And I'm not taking it as an insult, because both of those may be a factor - I'll need to make 100 to have more ahead than behind these days and I've needed syringing before.

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It sounds like you're electronically compensating for something terribly out of whack. If you require a lot of EQ heavily weighted at either end there is something very NOT-flat about room or the audio signal.

I'm curious, what is the difference between 'normal' program audio and adverts other than the usual increase in volume?

I'd start over with zeroed YPAO/EQ settings and try to figure out where in the audio chain the frequency imbalance is starting. Perhaps using headphones to remove speaker and room effects?

You could also tap the audio on AV Out, for example, and see how your TV sounds. EQ and YPAO would NOT affect any RCA output. If the audio is hosed there something deeper is at work. If not, the receiver is probably defective.

Posted on Mar 13, 2011

Testimonial: "Thank you for trying to help. I'd hoped there was something obvious I'd overlooked. This issue needs more of my time than I can currently give it."

  • 1 more comment 
  • David Dunn
    David Dunn Mar 14, 2011

    Thinking out loud. Maybe something will 'click'...

    The manual doesn't really explain the nature of Straight vs Direct, soes it? Page 30, 31.

    Your focus seems to be on TV sound so far and I'm wondering if THAT is the reason things don't sound very good rather than something wrong with the audio electronics. Are other sources similarly and subjectively unsatisfactory?

    On MY cable system the digital sound has no apparent problems except for the occasional compression of dynamics on action movies. I always run my audio directly from any source to my hi-fi. The TV only receives analog stereo audio from my cable box for casual watching.

    I'd like to revisit the beginning of this conversation. The RXV and the Mirage speakers. Prior to the new RXV was the sound on the Mirage system satisfactory?

    If you run the level adjustments manually, or find a DVD with THX speaker tesing on it, does each satellite speaker sound about the same with test tones?

    Muddiness and difficulty in hearing (presumably multichannel) dialog. THAT is a mostly Center channel function and there COULD be a setting that is amiss. SAT/SUB systems MUST have all speakers set to Small. Page 50.

    Bad speaker phasing obliterates bass.

    EQ settings in a unit like this are for tweaking peaks and dips, not major overhaul of defective sources or bizarre listening environments.

    How much of this is subjective pickiness, 'princess-and-the-pea'?

  • cybes Mar 14, 2011

    No, the manual is fairly minimalist in several respects. Learning to use it properly is being a little trial and error.
    In the current configuration, a TiVo unit and a BR player feed via HDMI into an LG 47le53 TV, and that feeds audio back to the RXV via optical. It has also been configured with both sources jacking directly into the receiver, and the RXV feeding HDMI to the TV. The sound in both configurations has been apparently identical.
    The speakers, receiver, and TV were all purchased at the same time, so I'm afraid I can't comment on their prior performance at this location. I have heard the same model speakers in action in a listening room, where they could be compared with many other "home theatre" setups, and they were exceptional - especially considering their diminutive size. Previous audio systems (last one was an AIWA) that have been in this location, however, have provided crisper sound.
    The satellite speakers are set to small. Bass response is excellent. Centre channel availability was the reason for this upgrade - the previous stereo solution had been less and less able to meet the requirements of modern media.
    As to subjectivity... Well, I had thought I was being fairly objective about this, but now I'm beginning to think maybe I need my ears checked. If I'm following the instructions and the hardware isn't faulty (it appears not to be) then the last variable is me. :/

  • David Dunn
    David Dunn Mar 14, 2011

    When you say bass response is excellent, is that before or after you tweak the EQ? I guess I'm not clear on which end of the spectrum is lacking in your application. So you're jacking the treble end through the roof?

    I highly recommend you use the downloaded manual as it is far easier to search for and locate something without having your eyes roll back in your head from text overload.

    Register and download the manual for free at retrevo.com
    http://www.retrevo.com/support/Yamaha-RX...

    Of course, you realize a speaker audition in a store is not very real world and could be heavily biased by the salesperson to steer you where he wants you to go.

    Don't take this personally, but besides age, earwax can severely limit high frequency perception.

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