YPAO – The Lost Manual
Since this guide was written many years ago, I have spent 100s of hours learning about and testing all the Room Correction solutions as a way to create my perfect dedicated Home Cinema. While I have achieved that goal – and then some, I want you to be able to do the same. This is why I have written YPAO – The Lost Manual. If you have a Yamaha receiver, you need this guide!
Regardless, the below article is still relevant and I sincerely hope it will help you on your way to Home Cinema Nirvana. Yours truly. Roland
I have been around to a friend recently who just bought the latest and greatest Avantage Receiver from Yamaha and AU$5000 worth of speakers but didn’t bother to read the manual in how to set up the receiver correctly.
Good sound is dependent just as much on doing the setup correctly, than it is on buying great gear. I was shocked and horrified to learn that after spending almost AU$10K on his setup, he didn’t bother to go through the expert setup procedure, he simply placed the mic on the couch (a big no no), measured one microphone position and off he went. Then he complained to me that the system sounded like $h1t, pardon my French! Of course it did…
However, after fixing his setup, I realised many people do the same, so it’s time for showing you how to do Yamaha YPAO – and actually most other home cinema receiver – setup correctly. Some of the advice below can be applied generally to all receivers. I will highlight Yamaha YPAO only advice here.
Before anything else, you should go into the Manual Setup section under Speaker Setup and set the amp assignment correctly, dependent on which speaker terminals you used for which speakers and whether you used external amplification. You will need to refer to your receiver’s user manual as it does differ dependent on the the make and model of your receiver, even if we only look at Yamaha Receivers.
Firstly, auto setup should be configured as follows:
- Multi-position: this is true even if you are only using one chair in one position to listen to the system. Although manufacturers include a single placement setup procedure, it is nearly impossible to get great sound using only one sample. They will either over-correct or under-correct for variations in frequency response. ALWAYS select multi-position measurement.
- Angle Measurement (YPAO only): this will ensure that CinemaDSP will be configured correctly and if you have an ATMOS or DTS X enabled receiver, the height information will be used to ensure sounds are steered correctly to the different speakers. I would recommend to always select this option as well.
Ok, now with regards to Microphone placement:
- DO NOT place the microphone on a hard surface like a table or even your couch (either on the seat or head rest) by itself. This will allow it to absorb reflections from the couch or hard surface in a way that is not natural. Unless you plan on listening to your system by putting your ear where your @$$ is or by placing your head on the coffee table and resting your foot on the couch (sounds rather uncomfortable if you ask me!), do not do this.
- DO place the microphone on a tripod. The microphone has a grove that goes into your standard camera tripod. If you don’t have one of those, elevate the microphone by taping it to an upside down glass (the kind you drink out of). I usually use a plastic cup that has a slim bottom so it doesn’t act as a hard surface for reflections. Make sure you only tape the bottom of the mic. When I do this, I elevate the glass or cup using soft pillows to ear height, and not some other hard surface like a box or – as my friend did – a metal hollow side table.
- DO make sure that the microphone has a “line of sight” view of all the speakers in the room if possible – at all microphone positions. The only exception to this is the subwoofer which does not need to have a line of sight view from the mic. I sometimes make some exceptions to this when it is totally unavoidable. For example, I have the back surrounds on a bookshelf which the back seats don’t have a line of sight view of. When I switch to the calibration which includes all seating positions in my home cinema, there were some mic positions at the back that did not have a line of sight view. However, all the front seats did. Not a huge deal but I don’t listen with that calibration when we only sit in the front row as it’s not ideal.
Have a look at the diagram below which you can find variations of in Yamaha documentation. The below is the correct version with number 1 position being in the centre of the couch (or chair). Some versions of this diagram were incorrectly putting number 1 on the side of the couch.
However, this is where it ends for me. I usually do the following, which seems to work with YPAO and other receivers as well:
- Position 1: in the centre of the couch with microphone at ear height, away from the headrest of the couch. Basically, this is right in the centre of where your bum will be but at ear height. The reason this needs to be in the centre is that the delay / distance measurements are taken from the first position. If you were to place this first measurement off centre, some seats would get better distance measurements while others a lot worse. We want to even this out and have every seat experience the most ideal sound the room allows.
- Position 2: Same position as number 1 but to the seat to the right of the centre seat. On a 3-seater couch, this will be the right-most seat.
- Position 3: same as position 1 and 2 but to the left. In case you’re wondering, it doesn’t matter if you go left or right.
- Positions 4-6: Now I repeat the same measurements I did in Positions 1 to 3 but with the microphone placed much closer to the headrest where your ears would be, but at just enough height that it clears the back of the couch by a cm but also that it is getting some of the reflections off the back of the couch. Why? Because this is the position your ears will be AND there will be reflections that will muffle the sound that originate from the headrest of the couch.
- Positions 7 and 8: I normally do these positions just between positions 1-2 and 1-3 (just a little off-centre) but in the same elevation and distance from the back of the couch as positions 1 – 3. This is to ensure we give the receiver enough variation for the room acoustics and don’t overwhelm it with having to compensate for that particular couch.
If you were configuring one seating position, a chair or arm chair, do the above exactly but divide up the chair equally or do some positions to the left and right of the chair at ear height as well as just a bit in front and above ear height.
If you have multiple couches, I recommend, doing more positions on the couch that will be your primary listening position and doing the rest on the other couch(es) following the above principles.
YPAO – The Lost Manual has two tighter microphone positioning options that can give you better and tighter imaging even in larger spaces.
Angle Measurement (YPAO R.S.C. only)
YPAO in higher end Yamaha receivers will allow you to do something called an angle measurement. You will have to do this in Position 1 above, but use the little boomerang that came with your receiver like the one below.
The positions are marked. Position 1 on the boomerang must face towards your front speakers, while 2 and 3 towards the back. The boomerang can be fixed onto a tripod as well. I really recommend this. Otherwise the taping method works here as well.
Measure each position by following the on-screen guidance. Please note that the height position is only available on Atmos and DTS X receivers.
Cabling and Crossover
Once YPAO (or other Receiver config) has finished, check the following:
- Speaker cabling is normal in all positions.
- Check what the crossover frequency was set to on your speakers.
Even though your speakers may be able to do frequencies below 80hz, it is not recommended to go below this cross over for movies as those frequencies are hard to control even from the subwoofer alone. However, your milage may vary. If you don’t have a separate subwoofer EQ, but only using the Yamaha, you may want to leave crossovers below 80Hz or leave speakers as “large” so no crossover is applied to them. As a rule of thumb, if Yamaha configured your speakers with a high crossover, you should not lower it (e.g. from 100Hz to 80hz), you can however up the crossover frequency (e.g. from 60hz to 80hz).
The reason you should not lower crossover frequencies is because the setup routine determined that anything lower than the crossover frequency doesn’t reach the seating positions without major dips (-3dB which is 1/2 of the percieved volume) in frequency response. If you lower the crossover, you may still get an uneven response or may not hear certain frequencies at all as now the subwoofer is not playing them back either.
If the crossover set is much higher than you know the speakers can reproduce, you may want to repeat the setup routine paying attention to mic placement. If they still come up short, think about aiming the speakers with the woofers pointing at the main listening positions.
The equaliser on Yamaha receivers can be set to the following:
- FLAT: this is the default. You should set this if you listen to a lot of TV, not just movies or you listen below reference level (around -17 volume on Yamaha receivers, 0 volume on THX and Audyssey enabled receivers) and your room has lots of soft furnishings.
- NATURAL: this is the old CinemaEQ curve. It tames the high end to make sure that movie soundtracks don’t sound too bright if you have a normal living room with lots of hard surfaces like floors and walls without carpet or other soft coverings. Also use this if you are listening to movies LOUD as otherwise even without hard surfaces, just being much closer to the speakers than in the cinema will elevate the high frequencies beyond what was intended. Please note that some DVDs and Blu Rays had EQ applied during mastering to lower the high frequencies for playback in the home. If a movie sounds too muffled with this, you have two options: up the treble 2dB which may work or switch to the flat curve.
- FRONT: this leaves your front left and right speakers alone and will timbre match all the other speakers to them. Unless you like how your front speakers sound because they are some ultra-expensive supersonic beasts, do not set this. Leave this alone. This is there to please a special few who spent $50K+ on their front two speakers.
- THROUGH: no EQ is applied. Why would you do this unless you sit inside an anaphoric chamber? Seriously! Don’t!
- Adaptive DSP should be switched on. It variates the DSP strength based on volume.
- Adaptive DRC (Dynamic Range Control) should be switched on if you’re listening at lower volume levels (below -25). Anything above -25 I would recommend switching it off as it can introduce a harshness to certain sounds on any receiver without YPAO Volume.
- YPAO Volume should be switched on. I am going to do a review of it in June 2017, at which point I’ll make further recommendations and check if it needs to be switched off for reference listening (anything above -25 really).
Surround and Surround Back Speakers Volume Levels
The only major issue I see with Yamaha receivers – or most receivers that don’t have Audyssey – is that they don’t variate surround speaker volume levels dependent on volume. When listening to surround programs at lower volume levels, the surround and surround back speaker volumes might need to be increased in certain setups to maintain the same surround envelopment. I have heard different views on this but it seems to me like those that have their surround speakers at ear height seem to have less trouble with this than those who have them somewhat higher than ear height or further away than the front speakers.
I believe both Audyssey and Dolby researched this and found it to be true, however. I find the same when listening in my home cinema where the surround speakers are somewhat higher than my front speakers while my presence speakers are on a third plane altogether near the ceilings. I normally increase surround and surround back channels by 1-2 dB dependent on how loud someone is listening to the system in general. You could even design a reference setting and a low volume setting turning this and other features on and off. On Yamaha you can do this using something called “Scenes”.
Give me feedback in the comments below and let me know how you go! Happy Listening!
Related Professional Guide
If you need independent advice, or you just want to have a chat about your setup, please see my availability here.
Thanks for the article. I’ve experimented with YPAO as well on RX-V777. And I find YPAO corrections terribly wrong as I’ve compared them with a professional sound level meter and REW software measurements. YPAO seems to over emphasis the high frequencies, and not doing any good job in correcting room peaks.
Personally based on my experience I do not see any reason to use YPAO. If you do not have a special microphone for your own measurements using a dedicated software it’s better to stick to your ears and try manually adjusting the levels of the bands with Yamaha PEQ.
Apologies for the late reply. Of course no room correction software is perfect. However, with careful microphone positioning and following the guide, you can eek more performance out of it. But it can’t do miracles. If the room is completely untreated, it won’t make it sound like a studio.
Thanks for this very positive essay on setting up the Yammy YPAO. I like these Yamaha receivers, because the team has actually gone into halls, rooms and clubs ’round the world, to take actual measurements. The listener is not simply at the mercy of having to suffer some engineer’s mathematical algorithm to satisfy his jiggles.
What’s missing in this exposé here, is the difference between listening to music and movies or film. Film whether Hollywood or Bollywood does invite many different computations. Whereas, music, in my opinion, ought to be heralded for the continuity of what the engineers, producers and musicians intended.
To take A CD which is a two-channel format and by extension, open up a multi-channel listening setup is genius with all these differing algorithms, Yammy allows. That’s a long drawn out debacle for another time, because, there is an argument that states: these are my tunes, my system, my room, my ageing hearing and my tastes. It’s one of the reasons I left the insane heady world of high-end HiFi nearly two decades ago.
I’ve used a 2008 V-861 for 11 years and it gave excellent service. The issue is that it did not have an ARC circuit. After 8 years with presence speakers that could never fire with a 5.1, I decided it was time for an upgrade. The 2011 A-800 does have ARC and is 7.2 compatible, but, will not output from the smart apps on the Panny plasma. When I hook up and use “Auto” I get a “W-out of phase”. + it makes the centre and surrounds all large. I see that the error is in the processing, not the speaker wiring, which is an older pair of Waveform Mach 13’s which are bi-amped with a Bryston dedicated crossover using NAD amps from 30 years ago. All bulletproof gear! I employ the good Pre-outs for bringing in the front stereo pair.
I also do not agree with tuning out the low bass on full-range stereo speakers, as these 13’s go lower with more power than the HSU 15″ sub, which I situate close to the listening position, as recommended by Poh Ser Hsu.
With 12 years remaining to get our relationship right with the planet, it makes no sense to upgrade further to the more modern equivalent of a 2019 offering. I’m open though to fielding arguments au contraire.
I apologise for the very late response. I didn’t realise I missed a whole lot of comments from 2020 and 2019.
Well, music listening is very much a preference thing, especially since there is no standard music is mastered to – and even cinema sound in the home is more and more compromised (thank you, Disney!).
Ultimately, YOU need to be happy with what you’re hearing. I don’t necessarily recommend using Yamaha DSP for music listening. I don’t particularly enjoy music that way. Movies are a completely different matter.
However, I do enjoy listening to music using Dolby Pro Logic II Music mode to make a 2-channel CD into multi-channel. I also love listening to concerns.
I do think the new Yamahas – especially the 2060/ 3060 onwards with the 64bit EQ makes a huge difference in clarity of sound. In fact, it was one of the things I noticed when I swapped my 3020 for the 3060 in my equipment rack. The new processing will make an even larger difference coming from older gear. However, you need to decide what it’s worth to you. I still have my 3020 in my studio with Yamaha studio monitors and still thoroughly enjoy it. Would I get more clarity by upgrading? For sure. Is it worth my investment? Not for my secondary system. 🙂
I hope this helps a bit.
I will look at these two Yammy receivers and decide for fall and winter listening. While I agree in the short answer that any algorithm detracts from what the original design team, i.e., engineers, producers and performers may have intended for two channel stereo playback, music is still important to me over 20 years since I closed Waveform Inc.
The listening issues I face are multi-fold.
1. Face the music, in other words, no ceiling effects such as with ATMOS, and no distorting side effects from rear or side channels.
2. In a real space with genuine sound reflections, one is enveloped by the sound experience. I find stereo very limiting for the large scale operatic, symphonic and concerto performances that draw me in.
3. Two channel is tiny by comparison to multi-channel even with a stretched algorithm like Dolby in its various incarnations. The soundstage simply closes down in stereo and opens majestically into the entire room in multi-channel. One must be constantly on guard for the gimmicks.
4. I fully admit that pop, rock, most folk and small jazz sounds best in stereo, while large ensemble pieces to my ears, are better with these “false” computer generated stretching mechanisms.
I can usually switch back ‘n forth fast enough to find the one that seems right for the tune[s].
Thanks so much for this reply. I did not see it ’til now, as it did not come up on my WordPress site, despite videopress.com being an integral part of the afore mentioned website,
John Gabriel Otvos
I was the one who missed your message, John, and I was late in replying so no need to apologise.
As you said, you need to experiment with the sound modes and pick the one you like the most.
Yamaha receivers do give you plenty of options and the latest receivers a clearer sound so worth looking into.
However, if stereo listening is also critical then maybe it’s best to just get a killer 2-channel amp from Marantz as an option.
Another option is to get Yamaha studio monitors, which is what I use in my studio if critical music listening is needed. They perform better than speakers / amps 10x the price but they need treated room / proper setup.
Good day, sir. 🙂
Hey Roland. I’ve been thinking about getting 3 Outlaw 2200 monoblock amps to power my front stage (LCR). I was wondering if there is any settings I need to adjust on the 3070? Or if I simply hook up the rca preouts to the amps and then run ypao? Thanks for all your help you offer on here.
Apologies for late response, Jason. Yes, you need to select the correct amp assign setting in the menu. You need to look in your manual for the correct diagram and corresponding setting for it.
It is a good article, gave me some new direction to set up my home cinema well.
(Yamaha A2070 + Mission vintage 5.0 set + Yamaha subs)
A question if any way to change angle of an loudspeaker manually (I did not find in the software)
or you have to use what YPAO calibrated ?!
I mean if you move the loudspeaker position (I speak not olny few centimeter but more) better/must use YPAO again?
Thanks, greetings from Vecsés 😉
Apologies for the late reply, Hungarian brother. I missed you message. Yes, unfortunately, you need to re-run YPAO. There’s no way to change angles. However, if you are only moving speakers by a few cms, you could edit the distance measurement and see how you go. It won’t always work especially for subwoofers. Be mindful that you should be adding to or subtracting from the measurement that is already in the receiver. Don’t re-enter it. The subwoofer distance is not the actual distance but the end to end delay in the digital and analogue circuits + the distance. 😉
I learned a lot just now from your article about Yamaha AVR and YPAO Configurations. I’ve done my set up from the manual of my A3060 since 2017 when I got my AVR. Basically I run same as you do by following instruction from manual but not exactly the same as I’m amateur and don’t know how to do advance settings like EQ but I’m happy with the results of my basic setup 7.2.4 with Ext Amp Main F/L bi-amp and Center. I have in my living room AVR A3060 and Power Amp MX-5000 for main F/L NS-555 and Center NS-444. All surround speakers (Sides NS-333), Rear (NS-B500 ) and ceiling speakers (NS-IC800) run by A3060 plus 2-Subs SW-300 (Left & Right). After readings lots of internet articles about Bipole surround speakers for more enhance soundstage I plan to upgrade my sides surround speakers with Def Tech SR-9080. (use NS-333 for Rear and move NS-B500 to Zone2-other room for pure music). I need your expertise and advise if my plan speaker upgrade will benefits and improve my current set up.
Thanks and Regards,
Noel Del Mundo
Apologies to everyone for being spotty with replies at the moment. Busy times and I can’t get to all comments.
Mmm, the opinion is divided on bipole speakers. Dolby recommends direct firing speakers since they introduced Dolby Digital on DVD and they pressed this issue extra hard for Dolby Atmos. However, I find that bipole (and tripole) speakers can work very well dependent on the room and seating arrangement. I have even used tripoles for back surround for an extra wide room which worked well but Dolby would advise very much against it.
I say, give it a go and see how it sounds. If the room has the size and volume to accommodate them, they may sound better. Can you expect a definite improvement? Not necessarily. Depends on the speakers and the space. 🙂 I’m sorry if that wasn’t much help!
Thank you very much for the heads up. I am excited to re-run YPAO to my current set up base on your YAMAHA YPAO Configuration The Right Way. I knew I missed many things with my current settings. Lots of points from your write up are new to me even I already run through my AVR settings from instruction manual. Most of my long time questions in my mind answered by your write up. I am very much please for your SimpleOnline web.
Best Regards and More Power,
Hi I have just run the setup again and notice that when I look under the subwoofer setttings, that YPAO have only made adjustments in the higher frequencys. I think the lowest is 125. I can see in my old pattern that changes was made to 62hz. any idea why the huge difference ?
Hello Roland. I have a 3070 and want to use an external amp to run my front stage (LCR). Is there any settings that I need to change in the setup? Or do I just hook up the pre outs to the amp and it’s good? Thanks for all your help.
Hi all, it is very interesting reading here. I have just move to new flat, I´d like to make new YPAO measurment there with my Yamaha RX-A3070 receiver, but I have lost a base for YPAO micropohone. Could anybody write me size of triangular base and pole for YPOA yamaha microphone, I would like to replace it. Thank you.
Call Yamaha, I got one from them for $6
Hello. So I have a Yamaha RX-A880 and I run the ypao and seems no matter what subwoofer I have it puts them all at -10db and with my klipsch 12” sub it puts it at -10db with a red box around the results which I have no idea what that means. Why does it set it so low? There is no bass in any of my movies or music hardly and I set the gain at half way when setting up and my hertz at 80. I love the sound otherwise but seem to being having issues with the subwoofer and I also seem to be getting a hum from the sub wether playing or idol and I was told this Yamaha can handle just about any subwoofer. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I apologise for the late reply. Unfortunately, Yamaha YPAO is not that great with subwoofers. If you are having such serious issues, I would recommend making manual adjustments to the subwoofer after setup. Alternatively, you can try and relocate the sub. I would urge you to follow the article to the letter when it comes to microphone placement, though, before you do anything else.
Need dialog improvement – thanks for the article, excellent description ! Old ears but relatively new to the tech, something like learning a foreign language. Using Yam RX-A660 in 5.1.2 system w/Elac Debut 5.2 fronts and center. Mostly HT. Movie dialog clarity is issue with my ears. Using single pt. YPAO (with long extension for mic) and cc is set up by 3-4 dB. Any suggestions to help with dialog clarity ? Working on room in parallel. Lusting for avr upgrade to get better YPAO and pre-outs but need to understand my current system better to begin with.
Dialog clarity can be due to a few issues. I don’t have time to go into all of these but would be worth looking into the following for you. Even just a couple of these might improve things a lot!
1. Look into getting a dedicated centre channel speaker made for dialogue!
2. If you are sitting right in front of a wall, some treatment on the wall. You can try placing a blanket behind you. If that helps, build a sound absorbing panel using a canvas and a decorative throw. It doesn’t have to be expensive!
3. Centre channel positioning: the centre channel should be aiming right at the listener’s ears.
4. Ensure there are no hard surfaces that the sound is bouncing off of like a hard floor without carpeting!
5. Move any coffee tables out of the way!
6. Don’t use any of the DSP modes apart from Standard or Drama.
7. Do try the Dialog Level feature if your AVR has it. Just bump it up to 1. It’s normally on the options screen.
I hope the above helps!
Hi, thanks for taking the time to write this article up. I picked up a used rx-a 2030 last week and didn’t realize until today that the seller didn’t have the mic setup base used for multi position and angle height measurements. I have the mic though. So I was wondering, if I cant find a replacement mic base could you suggest a workaround? Can I just mount the Mic at multiple positions to get a multi point setup filter and eq profile from the av software? Or is that little 3 position boomerang base necessary? I was also thinking I could go down to my local yamaha dealer and see if I could trace the baseckn a piece of cardboard and take measurements and make one. What do you think?
I would say it is necessary! Can you buy one online? Alternatively, I’d contact your local Yamaha dealer and see what they can do for you.
You could try the cardboard thing but it might be a little difficult unless it’s very stiff cardboard. Might as well get one on eBay if or Yamaha directly.
However, having said all that. For now, just reset your Yamaha to its factory settings and then simply use multi point measurement without angle /height. It will still sound awesome. 😉
I purchased a used Yamaha from eBay last year for a great deal but no accessories. I just called Yamaha directly, gave them the model number and they sent me everything I needed and it was cheaper than any prices I found on amazon or anywhere else.
Sorry if I write in several articles. I thought I wrote here. Anyways when I do multipoint my subs level is set to 0db and +1db. The bass in some frequencies are loud and rumbled. Single point sets then to -2.5 and -4.5. And is actually more pleasant to listen to. I thought the level was done during the 1 sweep and position 1 so I don’t understand the huge difference
The sub is measured at each position and corrected for as an average!
If single point sounds better then what you could try is measure only the primary listening position in the following way:
1. Middle of the head at ear height
2. Left and right where your ears would be (so 10cms left and right from position one)
3. 10cms forward and repeat above 3 points
4. 5cms back (if the chair back isn’t in the way)
Experiment with placement in the primary listening position and see if things improve. Please do report back.
The only other way would be to measure the results, copy them over to the manual slot and amend them manually but you’d need a mic and a laptop!
Thanks. I have tried many different variations now, and nothing seems to be as it should. Im thinking my only solution is to buy a mini dsp hd and a umik 1 mikrofone .Since I have dual subs using an antimode will not be optimal. I will then have to do a lot of reading to figure out rew. If I learn how to eq with the mini dsp, how do I implement that with ypao? cause I would still like ypao to eq my other speakers.
can you make a noob as in noooob guide for understanding how to calibrate subs with mini dsp and ypao :)I am very uncertain of how to interpret the graphs in rew
I replied and it errors out.
Can you please relocate your sub to a corner opposite your current if possible before trying anything else. Also try a non-corner position.
I wrote a guide on how to use a mic to set the filters manually. Try that next. The miniDSP will simply give you a few more filters but likely you won’t need that.
im sorry but can’t seem to find that guide. I have found : how to eq but that’s only telling that I need a dsp , rew, and run measurements. I will get a longer subwoofer cable and try to place the other sub in the opposite back corner. Thanks
Have a question regarding YPAO manual setup. Ive run autosetup and gone back into manual setup to confirm speaker parameters for my system. I have the choice of the 3 basic PEQ filters (flat,front, natural) and through (no PEQ applied). My question is what PEQ if any is applied if you leave Parametric EQ page with “manual setup” checked off instead of one of the filters. I havent copied any of the 3 PEQ filters into the manual setup.
No EQ is applied if you haven’t copied one of the curves. HOWEVER, the data might still be fed through the DSP and downsampled so you could have resolution loss for hi-res sound data compared to through. The resolution will depend on which amp you have (whether it has YPAO 32bit or 64bit)
I have 3 recliner chairs placed next to each other. Should I place 4-6 mic on tripod behind each chair with mic height just over headrest?
I Have difficult finding out where to place mic according to your description. I have 3 recliner chairs, should mic 4-6 be behind with mic just over head rest? and should 7-8 be in front between 1-3
Yes that is fine! See how you go!
Also what I would say is experiment and see what sounds best in your room.
I have done calibrations recently where all measurement positions were at ear height 30cms apart around the primary listening position. It gave better imaging but maybe less ideal for the other two seats. Cheers!
I’m really stuck now. I had it setup and it sounded ok with movies but the bass was uneven when listening to music. So I tried to move around the speakers and subs and do new measurements. Now bass is almost fine in music but in movies som frequencies are so over the top and rumble/boom very loud. I have tried to get back to where it was at first but no matter what I do or how I place the speakers the loud bass is still there. It dose t help turning sub volume down since those frequencies that are “corrupt” always will peak.
If I buy a toothbrush, I put in mouth, brush then smile. If I buy a Yamaha 3080 and engage YAPO, I get angry because my IQ is not above 150. Surely, there must be a resource to help me with this.
I think you came to the right place? (Apologies for the late reply)
G’day Roland, great information on yamah, I bought October 2019 the last yamaha rx-a 3070 on the shelves in Australia for a $1000 dollar’s below normal sale price, upgraded from my kenwood krf-v5100d-s 5.1 system, I researched the rx-a 3070 before I bought and a lot since, so I could get the best out of it, I could of bought the rx-a 3080 but settled for 3070, wasn’t to keen on AI of 3080, I also bought a matching second hand kenwood krf-v5100d-s very cheap and in good condition, I’ve used both kenwoods in my set up with yamaha rx-a 3070 being the master for a 7.4.4 set up, this 3070 the only yamaha you can assign the atmos speakers to pre outs, (3080?), so my kenwoods having 6ch/in, I used one kenwood to power my atmos fronts/rears, the other my sides/rears, the yamaha powering centre and fronts, I set kenwoods volume right up, when I ypao, it turns db feeding to atmos, side/rears down a db or 2 depending, so the power match is really good, until I read your information, that when I started reading, I thought to myself this guy knows what he’s talking about, I had been using one position ypao and also dynamic range control set maximum, this is factory set, I was getting very bright sound and trying to contend with it by turning treble down a lot, also now with the latest firmware update, you can’t turn it off, it’s now minimum/auto, so after reading your info, last night I set DRC min/auto, redid my ypao using 6 positions, I do ypao late at night, no traffic noise or ambient, I even turn my fridge off whilst running ypao, once done, I then put on The Great Wall, I was gob smacked at the difference, so glad I found your info, prior I think my Yamaha was struggling to cope with such bright sound at the volume I listen at, struggling to up the lower frequencies to match such a bright sound, the overall sound is evenly levelled now, so clear and easy on my ears, thank you so much.
Thank you for letting us know, Stephen. I’m always glad when I hear the blog helps people get better sound. 🙂
What makes me especially happy is when I go to friend’s places and their system is set up very well without me having to adjust (they had been reading the blog). Haha 😀
That’s so cool, I’m loving my Yamaha rx-a 3070 even more so now that I did, I can’t believe the difference those couple points made, my speakers are, fronts Polk Signature Series S60’s, centre and all atmos, surrounds are bookshelf Accusound reference 8.6xd 200w 8ohm, my subwoofers are two Accusound 200w rms class a/b amps and two Emotiva 300w rms class D amps, configuration front/rears, the yamaha feeds the emotiva’s and accusounds are daisy chained to them, they sound great together, the best of both worlds, it’s been a pretty low budget set up, but with a sound that’s a worth a million dollars even more so now that I found your info, I’m very grateful for, my next learning curve is parametric EQ, just to improve things that little bit more, also a little room treatment, then I’ll be having it at all at it’s best.
G’day Roland, I’ve done some room treatment since you heard from me last, being sound absorption, others reading this might find this useful too, what I made up was very low cost, I used very thick double fluted cardboard, I got for free from the recycling bin at our local Harvey Norman store, after asking for it, this I used as backing boards and layers, with those foam tiles that lock together, you can buy x4 in a pack for $10 from Bunnings, I found 3 second hand gel memory foam mattress, you place over beds, I put them together like this, cardboard back, foam tile layer, cardboard layer, gel foam top layer, the gel foam has a textured surface which helps defuse sound too, that faces outwards, I then bought material to cover them in, I made 11 panels for under $120, that look good and work very well, the two behind my polk signature series s60 front speakers, being the largest at 700mm w x 1.500mm h, once all were in place, I ran ypao on my Yamaha RX-A 3070, the results surprised me, before room treatment, with my polks ypao was setting +2.5 db on left side in a corner and right +1.5 db fronts are a good distance off rear wall at 1.2m, centre not far off rear wall(house is all cinder block on concrete slab) was being set at +2.5 db, with room treatment I must of got it right, because now ypao sets both polks at 0.0 db and centre +1 db, also my atmos speakers ypao turned them down too, which meant I could turn down volume on external kenwood krf-v5100d-s amp powering atmos speakers, my centre speaker prior I had reflection bouncing off rear wall making it hard to hear clear clean sound, not now tho, my left front polk sounded real muddy and now so nice, plus atmos are more defined, my left surround is right against the wall, it was hard to hear even with ypao turning it up, but now the sound absorption worked its magic once again, it was all really worth it, my base management crossover is near perfect, I go into ypao manual set up after running it, then setting patterns, because ypao sets centre and fronts large, this is great when watch movies, but for music I set pattern 2 so centre, fronts are small, centre crossover at 60hz and fronts at 40hz, it seems to sound better with music and movies on ypao pattern has more base impact, I listen at reference level or say -6db depending on 4k disc sound, in all I’m loving my sound system and I’m so happy I bought the yamah I did.
I was reading Michaels trouble with his base management, he’s using the two sub outs like I am, from what I’ve read, it sounds like he’s not gain matching both subs, I do this with mine to gain match subs, set sub gains at half way, I then run ypao multi position, with out running hights/angle, open results, go to level, see what ypao is doing with subs, say its turning front -3db and rear like my configuration -6db, I then go to sub gains and adjust them accordingly, this is a hit and miss situation tho, but I run ypao again, check subs, tweak sub gains again, it takes me around 4 or 5 times, until I run ypao and see subs levels are set at 0.0db, they are then gain matched at sub, this produces the best sub response I’ve found, I hope reads this and it helps him.
Hi Roland Jutai….from NORTH AFRICA !
your articles are very very INTERESTING, very pro level ! and most of all focused on one brand 🙂 BRAVO !
1- from all your EXPERIENCE with yamaha AVR’s…can you please tell me if you noticed a difference between the cheap 300 series and the top of the line aventage models ? seems like a stupid question…but MANY MANY people told me they sound the same.
2- after all these years, should one still buy a yamaha AVR that only has basic YPAO..as for 100$ more he can get RSC ??
3- is there an android SPL android app you can RECOMMEND more ? there are soooooo many and all of them are reviewed the same ! how can i choose ?!
CHEERS from…a far far away place !
Thank you, Karim. I apologise for the late reply. I have missed quite a few comments last year.
1. I think you mean the 3xxx line versus the exact same models in the Aventage line? They mostly sound the same to be honest, not much difference in internals if any. But it isn’t true of the lower-end models that don’t have an aventage equivalent. They most certainly don’t sound the same as I have a lower-end Yamaha for a smaller room.
2. Nope, I don’t recommend basic YPAO without R.S.C.
3. They would not be accurate I’m afraid. iPhone ones can anticipate the exact microphone and its performance. On android it’s literally impossible unless the app is tuned to a specific model of phone. I would recommend an SPL metre instead. However, I don’t think it’s needed if you’re using YPAO R.S.C. There can be issues with using the built-in tones once EQ is applied.
I bought Yamaha A1080 and performed the auto setup. The issue i have is that no sound comes out from Subwoofer under 7 Channel Stereo however i get it under 2 channel stereo. I have set for all speakers a crossover at 80HZ. My setup is 3.1.2
The DOLBY ATMOS enabled setup with ATMOS Speakers on top of the Floor standing. Is the A1080 is defective in my case. Any insights
This is a pretty old article and I’m not sure you still follow comments. I own Yamaha RX-V781 AV Receiver. I changed all my speakers and need to optimize the settings again. Will the measurement results be affected by ‘YPAO Volume’ [and] ‘Adaptive DRC’ left from previous optimization and set to ON? In other words, are ‘YPAO Volume’ [and] ‘Adaptive DRC’ active and affect YPAO while it’s running calibration? Should I disable (set to OFF) ‘YPAO Volume’ [and] ‘Adaptive DRC’ prior to running YPAO calibration for new speakers and every time I re-run YPAO calibration (change room/speakers or reposition speakers)?
Thank you in advance!
HI.. very helpful thanks.. I have an RX-A850 and have done the setup many times, but i still get the age old problem with too quiet dialog and too loud loud bits.. i have DRC and YPAO enabled but it doesnt help. I think my issue is speaker placement but theres nothing i can do about that. Is there a trick to it?
For the angles, since it is only 1 measurement, where do you take it from?
You need to do the angle measurement at position 1.
Hi Guys, Great write-up. I wonder if you may know ;
Background, I’m pretty happy with my system and crossovers.
The issue I’m having is that I want to turn down the volume level for anything below 40hz.
Whilst the sub is reproducing it, there’s too much environment rattling going on. Above 40hz up to 80hz the sub is doing great as expected, and for music it’s exactly where I want it.
In the parametric EQ there’s no option to adjust subwoofer EQ at all despite yamaha screenshots (and indeed nothing below 60 or 80hz where the crossover is set).
Do you know of a way I can cheaply adjust an EQ for the sub? I know I can run a PCM equalizer in windows but I’m talking about DTS-HD MA / TRUE HD pass through (which is primarily where sub 40hz even turns up).
I’ve tricked and turned just about every setting I can … and I can of course turn the entire level down and tweak various settings, but that applies to the 40hz to 80hz too and reduces what is otherwise working great.
If you have a higher end receiver, you will be able to copy the natural or flat EQ settings to the manual slot and then adjust the PEQ there for your sub.
If it doesn’t appear under manual adjustment, then your receiver is not able to do it.
However, a few things to try:
1. If you purchased the manual, then try the subwoofer positioning options described there.
2. Try and put the sub on rubber feet to isolate it if indeed it is transferring energy into your furniture and floor.
3. Re-calibrate your system using YPAO using different mic positioning (again a few options are in your manual).
4. If your sub has built-in EQ you can use that.
5. Otherwise use the built in EQ of your receiver – only available for adjustment in the manual slot.
One of these will solve the issue – especially regarding isolation and subwoofer placement. Thx and good luck! Report back how you went!
I am using a yamaha rx v677 receiver with 5.1 layout. what setting on the extended surround menu should i use the auto setting or set to none.
Both should have the same effect in your setup, Louis. If in doubt, just leave it on auto. If you install back surround speakers down the line, you can revisit this setting. Ideally, Pro Logic IIx should be used if that’s an option on your receiver. Cheers!
so when i do upgrade to a 7.1 layout i would then use pro logic llx setting.
That’s correct! That’s both Dolby and THX recommendation for receivers these days. They used to recommend THX surround Ex when that was still around but dynamic decorrelation was implemented into Pro Logic IIx as well. Cheers!
I set up the ypao spealer calibration with subwoofer volume halfway and crossover set to max as per the manual. The calibration is recommending a crossover of 80hz. do i have to manually set this setting on my subwoofer or do i leave it on max.
Any crossover settings on the subwoofer itself need to be left at max or bypass.
However, the crossover on the speakers in the receiver is best set to 80hz if the receiver set them lower (e.g.60hz). However don’t lower the crossover if the receiver set them higher (e.g. 100hz). Read the manual for the procedure if the crossover was set too high for the capabilities of your speaker.
Hi Roland. Thanks for the great writeup. It appears as though the numbers in your diagram dont match your writeup.
Position 2 on the diagram looks like it matches the description of position 1 in the text. Position 2 you describe as being to the write of Position 1, but in the diagram its directly in front of it etc.
Hi Scott. Thank you for that.
The diagram is actually the original Yamaha diagram so the text is contrasted with it more than follows it. Please follow the text as that’s more correct.
In YPAO – The Lost Manual I created two new diagrams for the new recommended mic positions. This still stayed as text. I might create a diagram for it. Thank you for requesting it / bringing it to my attention. Cheers!
Hi thanks for this insightful article. May I ask how you would modify the speaker mic positions if I have a row of 5 seats? For instance would mic position 2 and 3 be placed on the far most L and R seats, as opposed to the L and R seats just adjacent to center? The center 3 seats in our house gets the most use.
Also I have a row of bar seats behind the couch, which gets used only occasionally when guests come over. Do I factor in these listening positions at all with mic placement? My family would almost never sit in this row.
Thx for that.
I would go with a tight pattern and not swing too far out to left and right. Calibrate it as if it was a 3 seat couch.
If your Yamaha has two YPAO memories, you could try including two positions from the bar seats for when everyone is around and see how that sounds. Ultimately, since we watch with only the front seats 95% of the time, I don’t bother having two settings. It will still sound fine at the back. It sounds like you’re in this situation as well.
YPAO – The Lost Manual has some more detailed options but just following this article should get you to a great place.
Hi Roland, Thanks for putting up this info page. I am having a strange issue and thought of running with you. I have two front speaker and a center speaker. I can do either auto or manual set up with rx 2020 and it seemed to take into account of all the speakers. However, when I turned the receiver with actual sound, the center speaker stays muted. I have tried several tricks but with no result. Have you come across something like this before? Any idea what I could be doing wrong? Thanks in advance.
That is indeed a strange issue.
Please use the receiver to play the test manual tone for each speaker and make sure sure that the centre speaker is playing the test tone and it hasn’t accidentally been connected to another terminal.
Otherwise, make sure that the receiver is not in stereo sound mode but Surround Decode just to ensure decoding isn’t the issue. (Stereo, direct or pure direct will not steer sounds into the centre channel when playing stereo sources).
Let us know!
Thanks Roland for the quick reply. Appreciate that you spent time on it. No, I ensure it is set in the surround decode (or another option is 9 channel), i tried both. Center speaker does indeed play the test tone, both in the manual as well as in the auto set up with ypao. It is displaying the right set up (2 fronts and 1 center), but somehow when real audio flows through, the center stays mum. If you think you can help me resolve it, I wont mind paying reasonable amount for it. Please let me know if something you would be interested in.
Ok got it.
What material are you playing on it? Some 5.1 or Atmos material is coded with the centre channel silent (some new music mixes especially).
I’m not saying it’s that but I need to ask.
If this is an issue with both various 2 channel and 5.1 channel material, I would do a complete factory reset and even firmware re-install and set it up from scratch (unplug everything including speaker connections and start again).
Also, before a factory reset, try a different sound source as well in case it’s your player!
Of course, if you are more comfortable booking time with me, you are welcome to do so. I can’t guarantee it’s not a faulty unit however. It’s difficult to know at this point! Maybe try the troubleshooting steps I described first. 🙂 thx!
You had provided a great guidance to deal with the YPAO calibration
Although I found the description – how to place the mike- not fully in line with the diagram or layout drawing in the article, say position N2 inthe drawing is not next to position N1 but seemingly is in front of it etc. So my question is there somwhere a 3d picture or video available showing how to do this ?
That diagram is from the Yamaha Manual and not an illustration at all. You need to follow the text only.
I’ll be preparing a diagram for the next version of YPAO – The Lost Manual. I’ll try to remember to include it on this page as well. ETA February. Do ping me if I forget.
I wanted to thank you for your advice as I have a Yamaha RX-V6A and never liked the calibration that YPAO did. I always put front or passthrough.
Now thanks to your microphone placement tips, the result is very good and it sounds much better in flat mode, than front.
In my case, the error was in bringing the microphone too close in positions 1,2 and 3 to the back of the sofa, and not raising positions 4,5,6.
In my case leave a distance of 8 inches between position 1 to 2, and 1 to 3. I choose this distance because my room is difficult to equalize because the side wall from the TV to the sofa is curved, so more distance between positions more detrimental to the result.
Now everything is great.
Thanks again and I would like Yamaha would take your advice and explain it in their manuals.
Greetings from Spain (and sorry for my english).
Thank you, Oliver. Really appreciate your feedback and glad you have gotten things to a point that sounds great. (Don’t forget that YPAO – The Lost Manual has two additional speaker patterns and lots of other goodies that could help you take things to the next level once you have more free time and wanted to take things further still.) Happy Listening! 🙂
I put my home theater system into storage in 2010 when the kids came and my “room” was needed for other purposes, with quiet instead of sound. Last week I retrieved my JBL Northridge speakers and Yamaha RX-V665 from storage and set it up again in a somewhat small bedroom with a new TV. I can’t get the optimization program to start, when the screen says press ENTER on the remote to start, nothing happens. I’ve written to Yamaha and I’m waiting for a response. Since I put my system into hibernation, my hearing has degenerated significantly and I got hearing aids half a year ago. I’ve tried using bluetooth connection to the hearing aids while watching TV, this is good when I don’t want to disturb anyone else late in the evening, and I can now hear some high frequencies, but in general the sound quality is crappy. With the speakers set up, the midrange and low sounds now sound correct, and using the hearing aids plus the home theater surround is some improvement.
I may need a different optimization, if I get it working finally, that perhaps has more high frequency distribution than other people would like, for compensation for my partial hearing loss. Are there any recommendations for the optimization? From what you write, the “natural” setting will reduce high frequency, so I’m guessing FLAT or some manual setting that improves high frequencies at low volume levels.
Sorry to hear about your receiver troubles. How you can get it fixed.
For hearing compromised people, I would recommend:
– Flat curve
– Adaptive DRC on
– Drama CinemaDSP or Straight surround / Dolby Pro Logic II (x/z) movie mode
– if using DSP, adaptive DSP on
– optionally up the centre channel by 0.5 to 1dB
– if your unit has dialogue enhancement you can use that instead of center speaker volume.
– optionally you can use dialogue lift if needed
– if your unit has YPAO Volume, use it (your particular model doesn’t but including here for others for completeness)
I wouldn’t try and play with PEQ manually though.
If your unit is a dud, I would recommend you get a receiver with Audyssey XT32 as both Dynamic EQ and Dynamic Volume will aid with your hearing more than what the Yamaha can do.
I hope this helps.
Just started building my first system and have a low end 5.1 AVR (RX-V385). Can you please advise if the version of YPAO in this AVR has the ability to manually customize PEQ – e.g. based on REW using a Umik-1. Or is there only “auto” PEQ baked into the auto YPAO process and any manual changes are confined to fixed/graphical EQ bands?
If there’s any of this functionality in my AVR I think I could learn using the YPAO Lost Manual and dive into REW. Was hoping I could input REW results directly into my receiver without needing to buy a miniDSP. Getting ready to upgrade my cheap sub (likely an RSL 10s mk2 or SVS sb1000 pro) and would love to be able to know how much room for adjustment my Yamaha receiver has. Would appreciate your comments. Thanks!
Your receiver doesn’t really have any EQ capability – auto or manual. It runs a basic version of YPAO that says distances, levels and crossovers using one mic position.
So to be able to integrate a sub, you either need a MiniDSP unit and do a manual integration using the REW guide or upgrade your receiver, preferably to one that has YPAO R.S.C. which is the best version of YPAO. Then you can use both guides to tune the receiver including The Lost Manual.