Why is one surround channel or speaker louder than the other ?

Last Update: 06/23/2012

Yamaha's Digital Soundfield Processing technology involves recreating soundfields from actual venues or locations. We obtain this soundfield information by actually visiting various locations around the world. Some of these locations include movie theaters, churches, stadiums, concert halls, jazz clubs, disco's, and some rock-n-roll locations. Yamaha engineers sit in a typical patron's seat, which may or may not be in the acoustic center of the venue. Using a special quad microphone setup, a starter pistol is fired into the air. The subsequent echoes, reverberations, and reflections off the walls are measured and digitized. This information is then stored on a special Yamaha LSI integrated circuit. Here is a simplified example: Picture a baseball stadium. You are sitting a few rows back behind the first base dugout. Now, if you fire a starter pistol into the air, the sound will reflect off the right field wall before the left field wall. The sound will also be louder coming back from the right field wall. This is because the sound coming back from the right field wall has less distance to travel before it comes back to you. It is these differences which account for the apparent imbalance of sound. In some modes, the levels are pretty close to each other. But they can also be quite noticeable. The Jazz Club mode, for example, can have up to 16dB of difference between the left and right rear channels. This is perfectly normal operation! The difference in volume levels between the rear channels can also be attributed to the particular program material you are listening to, as well as room acoustics. As a piece of mind test to verify that all of the amplifiers are working correctly, you can use the "TEST" button on your stereo (or remote) to verify that the volume coming from each speaker is identical when listening to the pink noise generator.

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