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Loudness issue between 7-ch and straight settings (1 Viewer)

edee_em

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Hi. Hope everyone is well and safe.
I have a Yamaha RX-V577 AVR with a 5 speaker set up, no subwoofer. I use a Harmony one remote to control activities. I noticed that when I watch tv, the avr is set to "7 channel stereo". I recently bought a firetv hd stick and the avr is set to "Straight". That is not the mystery, as I'm sure I set it up that way but why is the sound so much louder watching tv programming set to 7 channel compared to watching movies and other streaming using straight? I would have volume set to -45db for tv and have to crank it up to -30/-25db to watch movies. If I don't turn the volume down after streaming, watch out!! Any one come across this? Thanks
 

Dave Upton

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All Channel Stereo basically clones the signal to every speaker. What this means is that the receiver is now playing the same content from seven speakers instead of one. In straight mode, you are only getting that sound from one or possibly two speakers at a time, so you were going to get less overall sound pressure/volume.

Imagine that the audio signal is water coming out of a garden hose. For a stereo signal, straight mode is dividing the amount of water between two hoses, but you are still only getting hit with a finite amount of water. All channel stereo is basically taking 7 garden hoses, each at the same pressure as the original one and spraying on you.
 

JohnRice

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Basically, all channel modes are only useful for big parties where you just want to fill the room with music, everywhere. Any other situation, you're better off using a mode that's intended for the use. For video sources, you want to use an actual surround mode. Dolby, DTS, etc.
 

edee_em

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All Channel Stereo basically clones the signal to every speaker. What this means is that the receiver is now playing the same content from seven speakers instead of one. In straight mode, you are only getting that sound from one or possibly two speakers at a time, so you were going to get less overall sound pressure/volume.

Imagine that the audio signal is water coming out of a garden hose. For a stereo signal, straight mode is dividing the amount of water between two hoses, but you are still only getting hit with a finite amount of water. All channel stereo is basically taking 7 garden hoses, each at the same pressure as the original one and spraying on you.
Thanks Dave. I'll finish reading your thoughts when I get back from the bathroom (seven hoses spraying water just gets things going, if you know what I mean!!). I guess I'm in need of a lesson on what Straight mode is, but first a question: I see in your analogy you mention the straight would be stereo (two hoses) but what if the source is 5.1? Doesn't straight mean that the 5.1 would go through the receiver without changes? Or am I way off??
 

edee_em

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Basically, all channel modes are only useful for big parties where you just want to fill the room with music, everywhere. Any other situation, you're better off using a mode that's intended for the use. For video sources, you want to use an actual surround mode. Dolby, DTS, etc.
Thanks John. I guess I kind of asked the question above above about the Straight setting but I'll add does the Dolby, DTS, etc. come from the source or is it a setting on the AVR? I'll plead ignorance on this issue as I don't think I've ever listened to surround sound properly.

For example, when I watch something streamed on FireTv or a Blu-ray the source says it's DTS, Dolby, etc. but I have my receiver set on Straight. Does that mean I'm listening to surround sound? I know on the FireTv there is a setting for audio that allows you to select the source but it doesn't mention anything about what to do with the receiver.
 

Al.Anderson

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'Straight' mans that the receiver is passing the signal directly though. So if it was recorded as surround you'll get surround; if it was recorded as stereo you'll get stereo. I've found Straight to be "less interesting" in most cases.
Yamaha has some nice sounds programs, you should give those a try. I warn you though, YPAO cranks up the default reverb which I didn't like; but that's adjustable. I recommend getting the phone/table app for Yamaha, as it provides a graphical sound mode editor which is much easier to use that the on-screen menu.
Also, the Yamaha manual is better than most for describing these modes, you should check it out.

>> I guess I kind of asked the question above above about the Straight setting but I'll add does the Dolby, DTS, etc. come from the source or is it a setting on the AVR?
The Dolby, DTS etc comes from the source (as inerpreted by the receiver), but the receiver's sound mode is how the receiver is processing that signal. So you could be getting a DTS signal from from your Bluray, but if you have it set to all-channel sound you're asking the receiver to convert that to stereo.
 

edee_em

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'Straight' mans that the receiver is passing the signal directly though. So if it was recorded as surround you'll get surround; if it was recorded as stereo you'll get stereo. I've found Straight to be "less interesting" in most cases.
Yamaha has some nice sounds programs, you should give those a try. I warn you though, YPAO cranks up the default reverb which I didn't like; but that's adjustable. I recommend getting the phone/table app for Yamaha, as it provides a graphical sound mode editor which is much easier to use that the on-screen menu.
Also, the Yamaha manual is better than most for describing these modes, you should check it out.

>> I guess I kind of asked the question above above about the Straight setting but I'll add does the Dolby, DTS, etc. come from the source or is it a setting on the AVR?
The Dolby, DTS etc comes from the source (as inerpreted by the receiver), but the receiver's sound mode is how the receiver is processing that signal. So you could be getting a DTS signal from from your Bluray, but if you have it set to all-channel sound you're asking the receiver to convert that to stereo.
Thanks Al. Tell me, how is the "Direct" option different from the Straight?
 

Dave Upton

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Thanks Dave. I'll finish reading your thoughts when I get back from the bathroom (seven hoses spraying water just gets things going, if you know what I mean!!). I guess I'm in need of a lesson on what Straight mode is, but first a question: I see in your analogy you mention the straight would be stereo (two hoses) but what if the source is 5.1? Doesn't straight mean that the 5.1 would go through the receiver without changes? Or am I way off??
Eddie.

My analogy was really more focused on a stereo source. Straight will take however many channels are coming in, and send them straight back out.

This will map 5.1 in to 5.1 out, 2.0 in to 2.0 out etc. Most of the time this is only useful for watching content mastered in 5.1 or above (Dolby Digital, DTS, etc). When you're listening to a stereo source like music, you'll want to use a surround mode. You can turn these on using the SUR. DECODE button on your remote like the snip below shows:

1608653798212.png


Direct is basically the same thing, but it attempts to bypass as much internal circuitry as possible for a "pure" listening experience, This is often used by audiophiles, but for the most part should be the same thing as Straight, with the exception that it disables some features and the screen on the receiver:

1608653665607.png
 

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Al.Anderson

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>> Tell me, how is the "Direct" option different from the Straight?

Direct is much the same as Straight, but they turn off more circuits; the idea being to influence the signal path even less.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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When you're listening to a stereo source like music, you'll want to use a surround mode. You can turn these on using the SUR. DECODE button on your remote like the snip below shows:

Isn't that heresy even if you don't do this yourself? :laugh:

_Man_
 

Dave Upton

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Isn't that heresy even if you don't do this yourself? :laugh:

_Man_
Depends on the goal. In his case, getting more perceived volume and engaging the extra channels + bass management would require a surround mode. Yamaha receivers don't pass anything to the subwoofer in straight mode, so he'll be pretty lacking in bass if he doesn't do the above.

I personally listen to music in a surround mode (Anthem Logic) quite often, as I like the way it sounds for some types. That said, in my Anthem's Stereo mode, I've got my sub and bass management engaged.
 

edee_em

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Really; no bass in straight mode? That would explain a lot of the "sound" drop off. I've started listening to all sources using the Direct option so they are all the same. Just a matter of turning the volume up more than I used to. I'll get used to that in no time. Add to that a new set of speakers and I should be good. I have a pretty basic center that has to carry a lot and "she's breaking up, captain, and can't take any more".
 

John Dirk

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...no...

:confused:

I know a lot of people use surround for music, but it makes my skin crawl.
I agree. The only use I have for them is with broadcast TV [mostly sports] to engage my overhead speakers
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Really; no bass in straight mode? That would explain a lot of the "sound" drop off. I've started listening to all sources using the Direct option so they are all the same. Just a matter of turning the volume up more than I used to. I'll get used to that in no time. Add to that a new set of speakers and I should be good. I have a pretty basic center that has to carry a lot and "she's breaking up, captain, and can't take any more".

Well, not no bass, probably just no bass management, ie. manipulation to redirect bass elsewhere usually to the subwoofer(s).

IF your main speakers (and maybe other channels) are full range (or nearly so), they'll handle the bass that's originally part of their channels and probably have it better integrated than when passed off to subwoofer(s), especially for true audiophile quality speakers.

Some music don't really need deep bass though, and some classic audiophile quality monitors count on that... though some can also be well integrated w/ subwoofers in the old (analog) ways instead of via (digital) processor bass management.

Of course, running full range w/ bass intact is usually more demanding on the amp as well, not just the speakers themselves...

I wouldn't say surround modes for music "makes my skin crawl", but... I did just start using them to play Christmas music (off Qobuz via PlayFi) in background to do some "burn-in" for my new Emotiva XPA-5 G3 amp... :D

_Man_
 
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Dave Upton

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...no...

:confused:

I know a lot of people use surround for music, but it makes my skin crawl.
Not all surround modes necessarily upmix to multiple channels, some just apply a very basic convolver which can be useful for some material that doesn't have a lot of stage, like old monaural recordings of jazz etc. AnthemLogic-Music for example doesn't create a phantom center or do anything truly horrendous, it's subtle.

There's value to purism, and I get where you are coming from, but there is also music that is mastered such that it sounds better through one of these settings.

For critical listening i'm 99% stereo mains + subs, but I would say I listen with the subs off only 5% of the time since I just enjoy the highly calibrated bottom end in my room.
 

JohnRice

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Not all surround modes necessarily upmix to multiple channels, some just apply a very basic convolver which can be useful for some material that doesn't have a lot of stage, like old monaural recordings of jazz etc. AnthemLogic-Music for example doesn't create a phantom center or do anything truly horrendous, it's subtle.

There's value to purism, and I get where you are coming from, but there is also music that is mastered such that it sounds better through one of these settings.

For critical listening i'm 99% stereo mains + subs, but I would say I listen with the subs off only 5% of the time since I just enjoy the highly calibrated bottom end in my room.
Dave, I was just messing with you.
 

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