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Newbie advice (older equipment) (1 Viewer)

CeruleanBlue

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Rick
I'm by no means an audiophile, and my equipment is little dated but looking to maximize what I got. Yamaha RX-V659 Receiver (7 channel, 100 watt, 5.1 surround with A/B front pairs, and zone 2/presence connection). Speakers are Bose Acoustimass 10 series IV (4 swivel cube pairs on stands, center, subwoofer), all purchased circa 2007. I can see Bose is not popular around here but has fit my modest needs for music and A/V and I'm not really looking to replace them. I have them staged in 12x12-ish area in living room, two stands on each side the AV cabinet, two on each side of couch on opposite wall, center below the Sony Bravia X90J 55" I just purchased last summer (my first smart TV). I've added on a pair Yamaha bookshelf I had around as fronts near the TV area. They actually match nicely in overall sound, adding a mid-punch the cubes just don't provide. I also have Bose SoundTouch wireless attached to the receiver to give casting/streaming capability using Pandora free (mostly) and Sirius XM, and two Bose SoundTouch 10 wireless speakers I use for whole-house music listening. Add a Pioneer dual cassette and Sony DVD carousal, and that's my rig. Sold my turntable long ago and haven't replaced. I usually spend my weekend mornings, streaming Pandora (shuffle); I get more variety new stuff from Pandora, and usually relegate Sirius listening to my car.

I've been using 7-channel Stereo for most of my A/V listening. I didn't think the surround did as well in the setup because my center channel often didn't work. I've since figured out the surround speaker wire from Bose going into the receiver are highly sensitive to the slightest jarring and jostling, and my cats would sometimes get in that area behind the open cabinet. Also, I sometimes lose one of the surround channels when browsing through digit sound modes. Well, I've got the quirks figured out more of late and using the Dolby/DTS processing more and liking it. The receiver supports DTS, DTS-ES, Matrix 6.1, Discrete 6.1, DTS Neo6, DTS 96, Dolby Prologic, Prologic II, IIx.

I presently have two front cubes wired connected to front A, the Yamaha bookshelfs to front B, Cubes on each side of sofa to surround, nothing currently connect to surround rear and nothing to Zone2/Presence. I do have another pair of the same Yamaha bookshelfs I could add to the mix, but haven't.

Q1: Am I (grossly) missing surround digital by not using surround rear channel? If using surround rear, should I use those by the sofa, and move front cubes to surround by the TV? I could replace front A with the extra Yamaha pair I mentioned, so I'd have Yamaha bookshelfs in front and A and B.

Q2: TV-Movie dialogs are sometimes inaudible when the actors whisper or speak softly, which is a common complaint, and I understand newer receivers and soundbars have dialog enhancement features. Chip shortages, however, have made the newer AV receivers scarce in supply, but would also add Atmos and/or DTS:X for future. Given that soundbars also have these same features, is adding such a soundbar (with or without wireless subwoof) something I should consider for enhancement, or will I likely not get good audio results adding that sound to the overall setup? The TV speaker playing at same time through receiver audio sounds unbalanced and terrible. Would adding a soundbar be the same result? Finally, should I just aim for a newer AV receiver, comparable to the Yamaha RX-V659? Have found Prologic II to sound pretty good both streaming and TV.

FYI, here's the back of the current receiver.

yamaha-rx-v659-receiver-rear-large.jpg


Thanks in advance for reading.
 

Al.Anderson

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Q1: I may have gotten lost in there, but if I have it right you're not using surround sound at all; Just two sets of stereo, A & B (not even all-channel stereo). Jostling wires shouldn't cause a speaker to drop out, so I look at that first. You may have a wire strand sticking out near the posts that's shorting. Or the receiver terminal is bad. Bottom line I would get the center working and move one of those pairs to the surround (side of listening position). But after you have basic surround working (5 speakers), adding the rears doesn't add all that much.

Q2: A center channel will help dramatically with this problem. That aside, soundbars don't mix with receivers (unless you're thinking of a passive soundbar, but those are not common).

Also, the Acoustimass speakers require a bass module, are you using that? If not, use those speakers for the surrounds as they will have limited dynamic range.
 

CeruleanBlue

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I understand the confusion. I am using surround, center, and front A for the 5 cube pairs, and the subwoofer bass module. Also have Yamaha bookshelf pair attached to Front B. What I don't have is anything connect to surround back terminals. Would moving one of Cube pairs into surround back make a huge difference? Sound like it wouldn't.

Also have found when I lift the speaker wires ever so slightly going into the terminal, they do drop out. They're quite sensitive to jostling.

I was curious whether an active soundbar would work in my setup, but sound like it wouldn't balance. I can look further into adding a passive soundbar into one of the optical outs on the receiver.

Thanks for the input.
 

CeruleanBlue

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I don't seem to be able to edit the last reply.

Q3: Is the setup still considered 5.1 surround if I'm not using Surround Back and using Front connection instead? How does Front process the audio?
 

Al.Anderson

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Moving the surround to surround back will not help. If you recalibrate the system it would be a wash; if you don't recalibrate it would make things worse. (The exception to that statement would be if the surround channel has a problem, which it might if since moving the wire causes lose of sound.)

For Q3: Surrounds are used in a 5.x system; surround back when you add more speakers in a 7.x system. Using just the fronts would be a 2.x or 3.x system, depending on whether you have a center. The bulk of the primary sound comes from the FL, C, and FR; the rest is usually "effects" (And adding height/Atmos speakers add more effects channels, for systems designated by a 3rd placeholder; e.g.: the "4" in 7.1.4).

Check out the Dolby guides:
 

CeruleanBlue

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Some addition questions, if you don't mind. With the above-described amplifier setup -- 5.1 surround cube arrays with bass module AND Yamaha bookshelf speaker pair wired to Front B (for bigger front sound) -- I have lying around additional unused Yamaha YST-SW45 powered subwoofer and a few more Yamaha bookshelf speakers. Rear connections and front panel of the SW45 shown further below.

Q4: Can I add this powered subwoofer and perhaps additional speaker pair to this A/V setup? The receiver has both Multi-channel subwoofer and Pre-out subwoofer connections. The Bose bass module is currently connected to the single Pre-out subwoofer input. Does it matter which subwoofer connection on the receiver is used? I've had the bass module connected to both in the past. I have an owners setup manual pdf, but wanted to check here first before attempting anything. Just trying to maximize setup with what extra equipment I have around the house.
 

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Wardog555

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I have suggestions to improve the audio. One is replace av reciever to a newer one that's compatible with today's audio formats. Dolby true hd/atmos (lossless). Dolby digital plus/atmos (lossy). Dts hd ma. Dts x (lossless). And replace all the bose speakers with proper 5.25 inch drivers or larger. I also used a bose acoustimass 5 series iv and once I replaced it with full sized speakers what a world of a difference. The bose cubes sound tinny in comparison.
If you really care about good audio then think carefully. Also consider the speaker placement for the most accurate surround sound experience as what Dolby speaker placements on their website
 

Al.Anderson

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Q4: I don't see a multi-channel subwoofer connection (I do see a multi-channel input, but that's not useful for your scenario).
The Bose base module should be connected to the primary powered outputs. The powered sub could be connected to the sub pre-out (I would do this). You could add the other speakers if you're going for volume; but if the goal is a tuned system the added speakers will probably just be turned down during auto-calibration. (The B channel is not generally meant for use in the same room as the A channel at the same time.)
 

CeruleanBlue

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I've found using both A and B channels in my setup works pretty. Provides a slightly bigger front sound than the cubes provide by themselves, and blend in nicely. I don't listen at blow-out volumes anymore. Too old.

I'll probably try the powered subwoofer at some point and see how it mixes in.

Thanks.
 

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