Yamaha Surround Modes and DSP's - after a better understanding of what's going on and what to select??

Hey all, while if have a V6A, I thought this was more generic to most Yamaha's, and might help others.

I'd like to get a bit more of a handle on the surround and dsp modes on my v6a, and what exactly I'm getting from them!
I understand Pure Direct and Straight, and really what's happening with Auto, DSur, Neural X etc. I tend to not be someone who changes surround modes, I just like something that works. On my previous yammy avr I just pretty much left it on Auto.
But about 1/3 of what we watch is a particular FTA station that has a 2ch pcm signal, and when in Auto it selects DSur for it and we get vocal bleed into our surrounds which is highly annoying. So basically I just leave it all on DSP Standard, and am happy enough with that. In Standard it selects Neo 6 Cinema for this FTA channel and we get no bleed into the surrounds. Other channels that have DD it selects DD. I have no idea why Auto doesn't also pick Neo 6 for this station? In fact, I've never yet seen Auto select any other surround decoder other than DSur.

But I'm not sure what's really happening with things. For instance, in Standard when I watch something that includes Atmos the avr just says DD+. But if I switch to Straight or Auto (or DSur or Neural X) it says Atmos/DD+. I should mention that I'm not currently using height speakers (thought I have tested them), but I just want to get a proper understanding of what's going on.

I'm assuming when in Standard (or another DSP) it will expand the sound field to include all available speakers regardless of the original source. But I see that if the source includes Atmos that it still only says DD+ on the avr. But if Standard should expand to include all speakers, would it just be sending that atmos track out as it would in Straight or Auto? Or is it doing something else, or is it not reading the Atmos data at all?
I'm thinking of adding some Back Surrounds. If I was to select Straight, I'm assuming it wouldn't engage those if the input signal is only 5.1?

And with regards to Virtual Presence and Virtual Surround Back, if I'm using a DSP like Standard are those features functioning, or do I need to use Auto or DSur for those to be used? Are VP and VSB engaged on the yamaha dsp modes? I gather from years past when there was no atmos, and yamaha avr's had Front Presence speakers that you had to engage one of yamaha's dsp's for the FP speakers to be utilised?

I also increase the Dialog Volume by +2. We don't listen very loud, only in the -40 to -30 range and it really helps. But if I was to use a surround mode like Neural X, would the dialog volume adjustment still be used?

And last about me - I'm currently running a 5.1 system with my LR surrounds as in ceiling speakers. I tried atmos with them and using some normal surround speakers for the LRS, but my wife hated having speakers on stands in the room, so that idea was kyboshed. I'm considering two other options for those spare speakers - either a 7.1 system (I can mount them on a shelf approx 2.5mtrs behind the lounge, but only 2ft apart from each other) or using them as FP speakers. What would you recommend is going to give me the greatest benefit?

What are your favourite settings for content, and why did you choose them?


Distinguished Member
Basically, you cannot apply upmixing or any of the DSP Progtams to Atmos or DTS:X soundtracks. If you were to apply a DSP Ptpgram to Atmos for instance then the AV receiver would ignore the Atmos metadata and simply give you the channel based DD+ or TRueHD channel based element of the audio package with that DSP Program applied. Most of the DSP Programs use NEO:6 to upmixing anything you are applying them to that is less than 7.1 in nature. THe heght/presence channels are created by the AV receiver and this propriatory tech predates Atmos or even Dolby PLIIz.

If yopu apply Any of the D. SUR upmixing modes tpo Atmos then again, the metadata is ignored and the upmixing is applied to the channel based element. THe exception to this is when apply Dolby Surround to Atmos or Neural:X to DTS:X. In these instances, the receiver simply negates these modes and doesn't apply them.

I'd not personally engage the virtual speaker options. Physical speakers are preferable.

You shouldn't place floor layer speakers high on walls or on the ceiling. THey need to be ideally at your seated height. Only presence or Atmos/DTS:X speakers should be placed on walls or ceilings. DSP Prohrams and object based formats ideally need you to add spreakers on the walls or ceilings. I'd suggest a minimum of a 5.1.2 setup to benefit from these.
Thanks Dante, that explains a bit. Kinda what I thought. Yeah, I put the in ceiling surrounds in years ago before atmos was a thing and my wife wouldn't have surrounds on stands in the room (we'd run 3.1 for years at that stage). So it is what it is.

One thing I have found interesting is when in a DSP (mostly standard) when listening to a signal that is 2ch pcm (some FTA channels and YT) it selects Neo 6 Cinema as the decoder. But if I select the Auto surround decoder it seems to only ever use DSur as the decoder - it never seems to pick Neo 6. And the issue I have is I have the voice surround bleed into my surrounds with 2ch pcm and DSur. Hence why we stick to pretty much DSP Standard for everything as we just kinda like it to work without too much fussing about. This is with a V6A.


Distinguished Member
Yes, upmixing is done by NEO:6 if you engage a DSP Program. THis is the only upmixing Yamaha are allowed to use in association with their own DSP Programs. You used to be able to choose between that and Dolby Pro Logic IIx, but Yamaha no longer include PLIIx upmixing on their AV receivers. Yamaha are also prevented from using Dolby Surround and Neural:X upmixing in association with their own DSP Programs.

If you set the AV receiver to a DSP Program then this negates all SUR DECODER modes so AUTO would not be in effect while using the DSP Programs. THe only upmixing used by the DSP Programs will be NEO:6 and you are not given any other option, but to use that upmixing in association with the DSP Programs.

The AUTO mode will use DOLBY SURROUND UPMIXING (DSU) if it detects PCM or Dolby encoded audio rhat isn't Atmos in nature. If the AV receiver detects a DTS format that isn't DTS:X while AUTO is engaged then it would automatically engage NEURAL:X upmixing.

You can also select which upmixing mode you'd like to use and you don't have to have the SUR DECODER mode set to AUTO.
Yeah, I was just thinking it was strange that Auto mode never seemed to select anything other than DSur.

I remember on my previous yammy avr that I'm sure I had it set to Auto, and most of the time the decoder used was DPLIIx.

In DSP Standard, when the signal in is DD (some of the FTA channels we watch broadcast in DD) then the decoder shows as DD, or with streaming content usually DD+. Would I be correct in assuming that it's not applying any particular decoding in that case? A bit like when set as Straight? Saying that, if it's an Atmos included signal it doesn't display Atmos/DD+ on the receiver.

Oh it's confusing trying to work out what's best to use! It wouldn't be so hard if I didn't have that vocal bleed bug! I'd just leave it on Auto or DSur, but it's a FTA channel we watch about 1/3 of our viewing time and the bleed is annoying.


Distinguished Member
Yamaha and most other manufacturers no longer include Pro Logic onboard their Atmos enabled AV receivers and have replaced it with Dolby Surround Upmixing. The first generation of Yamaha Atmos enabled AV receivers did however include both Pro Kogic and Dolby Surround upmixing, but this was at least 5 years ago.

DD opn the display simply indicates the format and not the upmixing. If engaging the DSP movie programs then the receiver will use NEO"6 upmixing if and when receire in association with the DSP Programs. It would depend upon the incoming formats number of discrete channels as to whether the AV receiver would use NEO_6 or not when engaging one of the DSP Programs. NEO:6 would still be applied to a 2 channel Dolby Digital encoded soundtrack for instance if and when using the STANDARD DSP Program.
Oh, ok. I guess I was getting confused, because I leave my v6a display set to Audio Decoder info, and when watching a 2 ch pcm source the info displayed is "PCM/Neo: 6 Cinema", but when we're watching a FTA ch that is DD it displays "DD" and when watching a streaming service with DD+ or something on my Plex server the info displays "DD+". This is all while using DSP Standard.

I have now adjusted my scenes so when watching FTA TV it is set to Standard, but for my CCwGTV or my Media PC it switches to Auto. I haven't checked this, though, but the receiver is spose to remember what the decoder settings last were for each input? So theoretically would it remember that I use Standard when on FTA TV, and Auto when on the others??


Distinguished Member
The NEO:6 upmixing isn't applied unless required. If the audio is already multichannel in nature then no upmixing would be required, hence why you only see NEO:6 being applied relative to 2 channel sources and not to the multichannel sources when using the DSP Programs.

The receiver will memorise the mode you set it to for each source independently. The mode will remain the same until you change it for that source and will remain set to that mode even if you switch to another source set to a different mode or turn the AV receiver off. When you return to a source then it will be still set to the mode you last left it set on. This applies to both SUR. DECODER modes and DSP Programs as well as the STRAIGHT mode.
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I'm learning! Thanks Dante.
My wife is going to go crazy as this means more playing for me, trying to work out what's best for us.
Ok, that's been interesting! I set my v6a to Neo 6 Cinema, but any time a DD signal is detected it displays DD or DD+ on the screen for Audio Decoder info. But it didn't show Atmos - I had to switch to Auto, Dsur or straight for that to show up!
I don't know if I'm wrong on this, but to me it seemed when using on of the Surround Decoders my Dialog Level settings weren't applied? When I changed it up and down, I couldn't detect a difference. When in DSP Standard I can clearly hear the difference between each dialog level change.
I hope to put my spare speakers up as Rear Surround Speakers soon (with permission) but as my LRS are in ceiling Atmos is off the table. I've got the Virtual settings turned on, but I'm assuming the Virtual Height setting will only function when it's getting the Atmos Info, so again, only Straight, DSur and I guess Neural X? I'm assuming it's not functioning when in DSP Standard?

Sorry for the millions of questions! You're a wealth of info, and quite frankly there's actually a lot to know to understand what's going on and that info isn't really completely shared by manufacturers.


Distinguished Member
Atmos would only be accessible to you if you'd a pair of Presence speakers in your setup ot if engaging the Dolby Virtual speaker processing.

Dolby Speaker Virtualisation would need to be engaged in order for you to get Atmos without having 2 additional Presence speakers.

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Also note that you'll not get Atmos while DSP Programs are in use. The DSP processing will only be applied to the channel based audio that was packaged with the Atmos metadata. You cannot apply any additional upmixing or third party DSP to Atmos.

You'd need to either have the AV receiver set to Dolby Surround or STRAIGHT in order for it to be able to process the metadata. It will also work if the receiver is in PURE DIRECT mode. STRAIGHT is you best and easiest option to engage so I'd try that if wanting to access Atmos. If set to the Dolby Surround upmixing option then the DSU processing would simply be negated by the Atmos metadata.

AS said, the AV receiver will not even acknowledge the presence of Atmos without you turning on the Dolby Speaker Virtualoizatio or without you adding 2 presence speakers to a 5.1 setup. THis would then hive you a 5.1.2 setup.

Many of the additional processing features you'd access via the options menu cannot be applied to Atmos soundtracks. The YPAO Volume and Adaptive DRC settings for instance and Dialogue LIft will all not be applied to Atmos.
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