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Yamaha RX-V577 Setup and Calibration

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Overall, I found the setup experience to be a bit disjointed. For example, I couldn’t use just the remote control to do all my setup items.  To do certain things (like setting speaker impedance), I could only use the buttons on the front panel.  For other items (like doing EQ), I could use only the remote and an external HDTV monitor.  Additionally, certain menu items that could have been put on the TV were only visible on the receiver’s display.  In today’s high-tech day and age why would you do this?

Cheap Feet

Build quality of the RX-V577 is typical of receivers in this price range including typical tradeoffs such as plastic feet with a small rubber pad affixed to the feet.

Build quality is typical of this price point and includes typical shortcuts like lower-end binding posts and plastic feet with square rubber pads.

Those minor UI inconsistencies aside, once I got things set up everything worked great and worked without issue. Wireless network setup was a breeze.  The receiver found my WiFi, gave me its signal strength, and easily joined the password-protected network.  Tech-savvy users will appreciate granular network options such as MAC Address filtering.  These were all very nice touches.

MAC Address Filtering

The Yamaha features advanced networking features such as MAC address filtering on a device-by-device basis

I never had a single network issue on either wired Ethernet or WIFi networks. AirPlay, Pandora, and networked services always worked flawlessly.  HDMI switching between sources was very fast—and I mean almost analog fast—and I never once experienced any handshake issues.  For a receiver that promises to be the central hub of all your digital media, it delivered handsomely on all fronts.

While the Yamaha’s performance was stellar, some of the same kinds of interface inconsistencies I noted during setup unfortunately crept up during everyday use.  Setting the sleep timer, for example, never showed on my HDTV. It only showed up on the receiver’s display and in a sub-menu on the App.  On the app, however, the timer never updated so I couldn’t ever see how much time was left.  The Pandora HDTV interface gave me the reminder on how to turn off my display whereas the almost identical AirPlay interface did not.  I hope that Yamaha will address these and other minor UI inconsistencies I noted with a firmware and App software update.   Consumers today rightly expect and demand a consistent, seamless, Apple-like approach to interface design and use in their products.

YPAO Room EQ and Calibration

With everything connected, it was time to calibrate my speakers with the included Yamaha Parametric room Acoustic Optimizer (YPAO).  While room EQ solutions have done wonders for many, there’s a dirty little secret with some systems.  Some room correction systems will down-sample high-res signals to something closer to CD quality.

I asked the folks at Yamaha about YPAO and they told me that YPAO EQ passes all signals up to 192/24 with no down-sampling.  However, if YPAO and Cinema DSP are used together then signal is indeed down sampled to 96kHz. 

What’s the downside of down-sampling when using the Cinema DSP?  At this level, that’s debatable.  Some will argue that down-sampling any signal removes the detail, dynamics, etc.  Others will argue that once you start hitting 96kHz you aren’t going to notice any differences in real-world use.   Remember that the amount of difference you’ll hear with high-res files is largely dependent on both the high res file and your entire system (source to speakers) and not just a single component.  Given the price point of this receiver, it’s amplification stage, and the kinds of speakers this model will typically be paired with, I highly doubt that down sampling from 192kHz to 96kHz will make any difference to the average user. Nevertheless, it is just something to be aware of and only in effect with Cinema DSP.

The version of YPAO with the RX-V577 will only provide EQ at a single listening position.  More expensive Yamaha receivers contain a version of YPAO that will EQ across multiple seating positions.

uncalibrated microphone

The Yamaha includes a basic, uncalibrated plastic microphone

The included plastic microphone is uncalibrated (not a surprise).  The YPAO microphone includes a ~20 foot cable and a threaded bottom for tripod mounting.  As a best practice, always try to perform room calibrations with a tripod. Using a tripod gives you a stable platform and will minimize reflections during calibration.   If you cannot use a tripod with the microphone, then hold the microphone at ear-level and at least an arm’s length away from your body as the next best option.

Microphone with Tripod

I mounted the YPAO microphone on a camera tripod.

Yamaha says that YPAO will detect what speakers are connected, the distance from the speaker to the listening position, and any phase anomalies.  YPAO will then adjust the speaker settings for volume balance, delay, and other acoustic parameters to suite your room.

Unlike Anthem’s ARC or Audyssey Pro, you don’t get any visual graphs of the “before” and “after” EQ curves to see what problems your room-speaker interaction is exhibiting and exactly what YPAO is doing to each speaker. I wish all room correction packages showed before and after curves so users could see the problems in their speaker setups and what the room correction is trying to do.  I feel it’s in the best interests of all manufacturers to provide end-users as much information as possible since it will greatly help them get the best sound from their setup. It’s a win-win for everyone.

I found using YPAO to be incredibly simple and really fast.  Turn on the receiver, turn on your TV, place the YPAO microphone at ear height at your listening position, plug the microphone into the receiver, and you’re ready to go.  I was astonished at YPAO’s speed. From start to finish, a full calibration took just over one minute to do a 7.2-channel setup. (Once calibration is done, make sure you save the results.  The user interface isn’t super-clear on this and users could exit without saving the room correction results).

YPAO progress

YPAO was incredibly fast, but the user interface was lackluster

 I tested YPAO on three different speaker sets and setups that included SVS Ultra Towers, KEF Model 7 FiveTwo speakers, and a pair of Boston Acoustics bookshelf speakers.   YPAO completed its EQ successfully but gave me errors on the SVS and KEFs.  Due to the design of the SVS and KEFs, the errors were likely false. I did check my connections just to be sure and everything was connected properly.

YPAO errors 1

Even though the measurements finished successfully, I initially got out of phase and level errors on the SVS Ultra Tower Speakers in a 2.0 speaker setup.

As the manual states, “Depending on the type of speakers or room environment, this message may appear even if the speakers are connected correctly.  In this case, you can ignore the message.”  If you want to see which speaker is the problem you cannot see that on-screen, you can only see that on the unit’s front panel.  Yet again, those little inconsistencies crept up here and there. Thankfully, doing multiple sweeps is super-fast and super-easy if you need to.

YPAO errors 2

I re-ran the calibration on the SVS Ultra Towers without changing any cables or placement and the "W-3: Level Error" disappeared.

Option for Multiple Subwoofers

A stated feature of the RX-V577 is it’s dual sub outputs.  You cannot control the sub outputs independently of each other.  Thus, there is basically no difference between having the individual sub outputs or using a Y-connector. 

Where a dual sub output does come in handy is when you want three or four subs.  Using a Y-connector on each output, it’s super-easy to connect up to four subwoofers. YPAO does not calibrate your subwoofers individually. It applies an EQ curve to the combined output of all subs.  In case you’re wondering, applying EQ to the combined output is the best and technically correct method of correcting bass response in a multi-subwoofer setup.

Unfortunately, the user manual completely overlooks the proper way to set up multiple subwoofers. If you’re interested, you can reference our in-depth article on multi-subwoofer setup guide.

In addition to proper subwoofer placement methods in the aforementioned article, Gene DellaSala and I talked about the added layer of using room calibration with multiple subs.  Gene suggested that I include a high-level primer on setting up two or more subs with any room correction solution. Here it is below. 

If you are setting up dual, triple, or quad subwoofers with YPAO, disregard the user manual and follow my instructions below (these instructions can apply to any multi-sub setup and calibration):

  1. First, match each subwoofer’s volume by setting each of your powered subwoofer’s volume so that it reads 75db at the listening position using an SPL meter, C-weighted. 
  2. Second, set each subwoofer’s phase by playing pink noise or listening to static from an empty FM radio station.  The phase setting on each sub where the SPL meter reads loudest at the listening position is the correct phase.
  3. Third, make sure both subs are turned on and run a full calibration with YPAO. 
  4.  Finally, see how it sounds and tweak if necessary.  Let your ears be the final judge.

 

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Recent Forum Posts:

TheoN posts on August 18, 2014 11:09
Differences between RX-V577 and RX-V575

Hi Rick,

Because your question is a common one, Yamaha has setup this FAQ page outlining some of the differences between the RX-V575 and the RX-V577: RX-V577 Comparison to the RX-V575 - RX-V577 - RX-V - AV Receivers - Audio & Visual
rick451 posts on August 14, 2014 16:35
diff between a rx 575 and rx577

thats all i wish to know is the differance because i bought a 575 6 months ago to replace a Onko??
Goliath posts on August 08, 2014 10:27
Steve81, post: 1045033
It's worth keeping in mind that these aren't scientific trials that we're publishing in the JAES. These are billed as nothing other than simple subjective listening tests. If you want to take them with a grain of salt, feel free. I certainly won't hold it against you. At this point though, the horse is dead. Move on.

Fair enough.
Steve81 posts on August 08, 2014 08:44
Goliath, post: 1044986
Acoustic measurements are not sufficient for level matching. You need to measure the voltage across the speaker terminals. An SPL meter is not capable of this.

Other than that, we don't know how loud you were listening, but I digress. Sorry for putting you on trial, but I tend to be very skeptical of certain types of claims.

It's worth keeping in mind that these aren't scientific trials that we're publishing in the JAES. These are billed as nothing other than simple subjective listening tests. If you want to take them with a grain of salt, feel free. I certainly won't hold it against you. At this point though, the horse is dead. Move on.
Goliath posts on August 08, 2014 02:00
RichB, post: 1044962
And when faced with a high-phase and low impedance, what does an amp with insufficient power supply do ?

- Rich

If too much current is drawn, the power supply voltage decreases under load and …. bingo, the power amp is power supply voltage limited.
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