Featured

    Getting the Most From an A/V Receiver: Yamaha’s Web Editor Setup Tool, Part One

    Issue 166

    Yamaha has recently released a slew of A/V receivers in their higher-end AVENTAGE range, with upgraded power transformers, amplifier circuits and many other features. Some of them offer powerful sound-tailoring capabilities, such as their parametric EQ editor.

    For readers who own certain Yamaha A/V receivers, what I am about to discuss may be of no surprise. Users have the ability to configure a compatible Yamaha RX Series or AVENTAGE receiver’s performance for better sound, via the company’s handy and extremely flexible Yamaha Web Editor SetUp page.

    If your compatible Yamaha AVR is connected to your home network, you’ll have the ability to dive in and fine-tune its EQ and other sound parameters via the Yamaha Web SetUp page, which you can access via entering your own AV’s IP-specific address followed by typing in the word “setup,” as in this example (instead of “xxx” you’ll put in your unit’s server address from your home network): http://192.168.0.xxx/setup/

    If you don’t own a Yamaha receiver, you may find what I’m about to discuss to be useful anyway, since many brands of A/V receivers have similar internet connectivity and room-correction setup capabilities.

    Yamaha’s room-correction system is known as YPAO, or Yamaha Parametric room Acoustic Optimizer. Using a calibration microphone and test tones, it automatically adjusts a multichannel audio system’s speakers for level, phase, speaker size, and the distances of the speakers from the listener. In more advanced versions, it can apply EQ to compensate for the peaks and dips in frequency response, especially in the bass, that are encountered in every listening room. High-end Yamaha AVENTAGE receivers can even determine the optimum locations for the height-channel speakers in a Dolby Atmos immersive audio setup.

    With the app, which is very slick and features a number of configurable EQ and other control capabilities, it’s possible to configure the receiver without even having to be in the same room as your speakers. (Some older Yamaha models won’t have the computer-control capability, but all YPAO-equipped receivers will have access to the utility via on-screen menu. Some also allow access to YPAO using a mobile app.)

     

    Yamaha Web Editor parametric EQ setup screen.

    Yamaha Web Editor parametric EQ setup screen.

     

    Like other room-calibration programs, YPAO works by assessing the different volume levels of different frequencies as output by a test signal through each speaker. Interestingly, Yamaha’s YPAO room correction typically operates by turning down, or perhaps more accurately, attenuating certain unwanted frequencies, rather than boosting frequencies that are lower in volume in order to attain a flat in-room response. And this makes good sense.

    When it comes to food, I know I often prefer a greater number of skinny fries compared to the same amount of potato prepared as fewer chunky fries. Why? Because the greater ratio of deliciously fat-coated-surface-area-to-potato-content of the thinner fries holds more flavor than chunky versions. (I’m not adverse to triple-cooked fat fries, but I do love skinny ones. In moderation!) Enough about food! What about improving the sound of the system?

    As noted, Yamaha offers three main interfaces for using YPAO: 1) the computer network interface which we are considering here (this requires either a laptop or desktop computer) on your home WIFI network; 2) a mobile or tablet device application, and 3); an on-screen TV graphical display which provides a visualization of the edits you make. The graphical visualization (provided by the TV’s on-screen display interface) displays your EQ curve adjustments so you can see what your raw data input curve looks like which you have input in the online editor setup. This is very helpful because it allows you to see how smooth (or not) your curves look rather than just giving a cold number as per the online setup interface.

    The beauty of the online interface, though, is that if you want to tweak the results of the EQ to personal taste, you can very easily just enter a numerical value, rather than using the clunkier cursor required by the standard on-screen menu. You can save your edits for different listening purposes, such as for daytime or nighttime listening, or different jazz, metal, jazz-metal, (you get the picture), or other genres – even save settings for a specific album. Generally, you’ll most likely want to set up a curve that will be suitable for the majority of your listening.

    You’ll soon discover a raft of additional editable options. Here are a few I have benefitted from:

    Turning on dynamic range compression (DRC) can level out the extremes of your listening volume thresholds, which may be useful for late-night listening to recordings with extreme dynamic range, especially when others are in the house asleep or you have cantankerous neighbors. There are options to set the threshold of volume limiting applied.

    An Extra Bass feature can be useful in matching the bass output from your main speakers to a subwoofer. It’s probably best not to turn this on if your main speakers are set to “Small” in the speaker setup menu (when using smaller speakers with limited bass output, say below 60 to 90 Hz, the low frequencies are typically routed to the subwoofer) I have my speakers set to “Large” because I enjoy listening to their full-range output and having the subwoofer come up to meet them in a complimentary way, rather than limiting the low-frequency content that is sent to the main speakers. (For more on the subject of setting an A/V receiver’s speaker settings to “Large” or “Small,” see my “One Size Fits All?” articles in Issue 150 and Issue 151.)

    With the Yamaha AVENTAGE A/V setup utility, you also have support for true stereo bass, instead of summing all the bass to mono, even if you have more than one subwoofer, as is the case with some other A/V receivers. This may be significant if you don’t want to miss out on the joy that is true stereo bass. (If you set your subwoofer configuration to Left and Right, both subs will still deliver the LFE – low-frequency effects – channel in mono, but otherwise keep true stereo bass frequencies. What this means is that you may then set your stereo bass crossovers at a higher frequency and avoid obvious localization issues. Perhaps start out at 90 Hz and experiment up to 150 Hz and see what works best for you in your room, keeping in mind that at higher frequencies of say 90 Hz and above, particularly if you are using only one subwoofer, you might hear unwanted localization of the subwoofers. If you are using multiple subs, particularly at lower crossover ranges below 90 Hz, localization issues are usually far less impactful.

     

    The menu offers a stereo bass setup option.

    The menu offers a stereo bass setup option.

     

    The utility also offers the traditional wide-ranging bass and treble tone controls if you want to make quick general adjustments. It also provides an input trim function via the online set up which is useful for matching the volume levels of different input sources. Similarly, you can set the receiver’s maximum volume setting to avoid unwanted excessive volume…or worse…

    If you’ve ever heard people complain about the apparent redundancy of Yamaha’s DSP surround-sound modes, maybe it’s because they haven’t heard these virtual sonic environments at their best. The Yamaha Online Setup Editor enables tweaking of the DSP parameters including the room size and “liveliness” among others. If, like me, you have found some of the presets to be too “full on,” try backing the effect level down and experimenting with the room size setting. It’s also fun to hear the Hall in Vienna scaled down, or New York’s Bottom Line made bigger. You may surprise yourself. The Role Playing gaming mode has a very compressed and punchy personality which you may enjoy when applied to rock, jazz-rock and metal.

    Another hidden gem of a feature is the ability to assign the stereo-to- surround sound up-mixing of your 2.1 sources to 5.1 or greater, for each audio source.

    In Part Two we will look more at the available parametric equalizer settings, which allow for really precise fine-tuning.

    Header image: Yamaha AVENTAGE RX-A8A 11.2-channel A/V receiver.

    5 comments on “Getting the Most From an A/V Receiver: Yamaha’s Web Editor Setup Tool, Part One”

    1. Thanks for pulling this article together. I enjoy my manually tweaked Yamaha RX-A3060 AVR as a source and a processor. REW can be used in conjunction with YPAO. I hope you’ll cover that. I can feed the output of the front channels pre-outs to my vintage Yamaha C2/M4 rig and record on my Tascam DA-3K. I feed my C2 to an analog input on the AVR and play the 2 channel rig in the ‘Nine Channel Stereo’ up mixer. My pair of LS50 Metas & 7 LS50s sound outstanding in this mode. Of course my front channel L/R Front speakers are driven by my M4 for the AVR or the C2. So when I want the EQ of the AVR, I output through it and have coverage of my full 11.2 system. It is versatile and capable. I may not have the Ultra HiFi stereo experience, but my front LS50 Meta and LS50 Classics with the Kef KF92 and Def Tech subs all in play is a close second, and my HT sounds spectacular. All things considered the AVR DSP is the best solution for audiophile ‘civilians’. Thanks again for Copper. Love it.

    2. Thanks ChristopherP.

      You may find this interesting as it touches on the basics of using REW. I wrote this for Copper issue 138 – Subliminal or Sublime Bass:

      https://www.psaudio.com/copper/article/subliminal-or-sublime-bass/

      And also a two part interview with Yamaha tech support designed to get the most from your YPAO system in Copper issues 134 and 135:

      https://www.psaudio.com/copper/article/the-yamaha-influence-part-one/
      https://www.psaudio.com/copper/article/the-yamaha-influence-part-two/

      It sounds like you have a great system.

    3. Thanks for the links. I’ll definitely take a look at those. The room is important to me. Two subs help, but I think my YPAO is important to getting better bass. Improving that is my current task.

    4. Wow! I have had a CX-A5000 processor for years. This setup via web has no mention in the manual or on line. Worked like a charm, no need for awkward monitor setup and app. This is just beautiful and instant. Thank you!

    5. Hi Loren,

      I am glad you found it useful. It is incredibly powerful and yet Yamaha are relatively discreet about it given how much effective control it can give you. If you already own the hardware, it’s a real bonus.

    Leave a Reply

    Also From This Issue

    AES Europe Spring 2022, Part Two

    (Copper Issue 165 featured Part One of our coverage of…

    Rufus Wainwright: Personal Songs With Universal Truths

    Rufus Wainwright’s childhood must have been wall-to-wall music. Both his…

    Around the World In 80 Lathes, Part 16

    It has been quite a while since 1989, when professional…

    Far Above Cayuga’s Waters

    Photographed at Cornell Botanic Gardens, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. As…
    Subscribe to Copper Magazine and never miss an issue.

    Stop by for a tour:
    Mon-Fri, 8:30am-5pm MST

    4865 Sterling Dr.
    Boulder, CO 80301
    1-800-PSAUDIO

    Join the hi-fi family

    Stop by for a tour:
    4865 Sterling Dr.
    Boulder, CO 80301

    Join the hi-fi family

    linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram