Funny Receiver Tricks
- While we kind of agreed that stereo audio would be the primary focus there was interest in home theater audio. So in that vein I'm going to mention a couple of things
A few years back I got a Yamaha 525 as an interim receiver and, well, I'm still running it. When I installed it I was looking to reduce my cables so I just went with a digital link for CD. I was very surprised at the result. My CD is a Pioneer Elite Stable Platter model, the one that has a big aluminum turn table on which the disc is placed upside down. Good stuff from the outset. The surprise was that the DAC in the Yamaha was a lot better than the one in the CD player. The music was just better. If you have a high quality CD transport, you might be surprised by how much better your new receiver, preamp, or integrated amp translates the digital stream. You're only an toslink or coax away from finding out.
That pleasant surprise aside I kept having sound stage issues. For action movies it was OK and I played CDs in stereo and they were fine but I kept being disappointed in multichannel music and music videos too much center channel. Now I set the system to the large speakers as, by Yamaha's definition, all of my speakers are large. The center and surrounds are bookshelf speakers and the mains are floor speakers. I tried an experiment in that I set the center channel to phantom, as if I had no center speaker. There was an immediate improvement, a much wider stage but it still had a good center. Surprise #2 came when I walked up close and found the center channel was still working. I don't know if this is just an odd property of this particular receiver but if you have much bigger mains and find yourself disappointed with the sound stage you might give it a try. It doesn't even involve any wiring.
It's still doing its interim service because I'm just confused about what I want to do. A significant amount of time the system is just in stereo and I find myself thinking about just going stereo. Part of the reason I joined this group.