Help with a few system setup questions (new amp)!


Hi everyone

I've recently boxed up my trusted yamaha 667 (which ive had 10years of good service from) and installed a Pioneer LX77.
I run a 5.1 system with a mordaunt centre, a yamaha sub and 4 beolab 6000's which are connected via specialist cables to the pre-outs of the amp.

Ive noticed some stark differences in setup and I am a bit stumped over some.

Firstly, the beolab speakers are individually amplified - this means that they power on when there is a sound source. For some reason I cannot explain, after a while of the receiver being off the speakers will turn on. This does not happen if the receiver is left on and the source is turned off. Never had an issue with the yamaha. Can anyone help me as to what is happening?

Secondly I am having an issue with content. I am on Virgin Media (recently left sky after 12 years) and I did manage to get a few weeks of content with it with the Yamaha, so I have a "decent" reference.
On the pioneer I noticed a lot of the content is output only to the front two speakers (the full 5.1 connections light up on the amp screen)
I never noticed this on the yamaha - reading up it seems perhaps the amp was quite succesful in extending stereo to the rear channels. When I select extended-stereo on the pio however i get a terribly flat two channel stereo playing from the side speakers.

The VM forum replies are that its a matter of content - hinting that the pio is underperforming a much older/cheaper amp in extending a two channel signal, but i somehow find that hard to beleive?

Lastly, i dont have the calibration mic for the pio. am i right in thinking using the yamaha YPAO isnt going to give me good results?

Thanks for all help you can provide!


Distinguished Member
RE. You'd be limited to the audio that the channels are providing to Virgin Media. Not all TV broadcasts are 5.1 in nature. SD channels for example will only include 1 channel PCM and even if watching a channel that uses Dolby Digital, not everything you access via that channel will be 5.1 in nature.

Note that even if the channel is using DD, not everything you get via that channel will be 5.1. Some of the shows will have nothing more than a 2 channel stereo soundtrack while others on that same channel may have a discrete 5.1 soundtrack.

Some channels force DD 5.1, meaning that the AV receiver will indicate that it is receiving 5.1, but some of that content being broadcast was never authored with anything more than a 2 channel stereo soundtrack. This unfortunately means that you only get output from the front 2 speakers despite the AV receiver detecting 5.1. A good example of one of the channels that force DD 5.1 is Dave HD. They even force 5.1 for the ad breaks despite the ads not having anything more than 2 channel stereo.

There's nothing wrong with your setup and it is just a side effect associated with the way some channels deliver their sound.

One side effect of the forced 5.1 is that you'd be compromised when it comes to trying to apply surround upmixing to the audio. THe AV receiver will not create pseudo channels for the channel the broadcaster has flagged as being present even if the content only actually has the 2 channels it was originally made with.

You should ideally only use the mic that the manufacturer supplied with an AV receiver. THe AV receiver's correction curves are calibrated to work with that mic and using a different one will result in less accurate results.
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Thanks Dante,

Thats also what I figured and what others suggested, but was really puzzled as the only other amp i had setup was the yamaha (£500 in 2010 vs £1700 in 2014 for the pio) which did a much better job in extending stereo to the back channels - so much so that I never realized so much content was in two channel stereo until now!

im wondering if perhaps the pio needs a calibration to the room (bought second hand with no mic) to get something worthwhile sound-wise out of their extended stereo function?


Distinguished Member
You may have been using some of the proprietary Yamaha DSP Programs with your Yamaha AVR? These can create more immersive soundfields that would be more noticable.

Yes, the Pioneer would need calibrating in order for you to get the best from it relative to where you are sat.


Yes, i think now it may have been a yamaha thing.. i often used what i think was called "7.1channel stereo" for matches which sounded more immersive than the (very few) 5.1 matches ive so far been able to catch on the pioneer

Really surprised at how much better it was given i supposedly "traded up" by quite a bit in terms of receiver.
Thanks for the link on the mic, had seen that but wasnt quite sure it was the right one!

Will see how it goes after calibrating to my living room otherwise thinking of trading back to a newer yamaha amp in this case

Especially given the pioneer has to stay on 24/7 to avoid the b&o speakers remaining on and humming away when the unit goes on standby which is frustrating


Distinguished Member
I'd advise against using modes such as 7 channel or multichannel stereo. They simply mirror the front left and right channels behind you and aren't really intended for use with video sources. These modes are more commonly used in association with music. More dedicated surround upmixing tries to create audio behind you that would ordinarily be heard behind you rather than simply duplicating the front soundstage behind you.


Thats also what I tried to do with the pioneer but even so that failed to generate any sound from the rear speakers
I dont know what they do with their programs, but somehow never felt the yamaha simply just mirrored the sound in the rears, whereas this is terribly noticeable whenever i push the pio into extended stereo it just gives me a flat 2Right & 2Left stereo sound (hence my questions about whether im doing something wrong).

If it doesnt improve post calibration (cant see it improving much) i'll try and plug the yamaha back and check differences on the same recorded source. Perhaps i might trade the pio for an upper end used yamaha

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