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It is quite a three pipe problem

steve_1979

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Jul 14, 2010
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I am well and truly baffled by my hifi system and hope that someone here can shed some light on a problem.


Basically the problem is the right DM10 speaker is louder than the left one and I have no idea why. My system consists of three sources; a PC (connected via digital optical cable), a record player and a portible MP3 player which are all plugged into a Yamaha DSP-E800 receiver which is used as a DAC and pre-amp.

No matter which source is used (either digital or analogue) the right speaker is always louder than the left one. However if I remove the Yamaha receiver from the system and plug the sources directly into to speakers then they work perfectly with both of them playing at the same volume.

This made me to think that there must be a fault with the Yamaha reveiver so I've just purchased a Marantz NR1504 receiver to replace it with. I swapped them over today and lo and behold it still has the same problem of right speaker being louder than the left one with the Marantz receiver too.

The next thing I did was check that all of the RCA cables are all plugged in correctly just in case I'd done something daft like mixing up the mono subwoofer cable with one of the speaker cables but these are all plugged in correctly. Just to be certain I quadruple checked the cables and have even put sticky labels on the end of each one to be sure that they aren't mixed up.

Next I wondered if one of the cables might be faulty and is somehow acting as an attenuator to the left speaker so I tried swapping all of the cables over for a new set but even with different cables the problem still persists.

This has left me scratching my head as to what else could be causing a channel imbalance when a receiver is in place between the source and the speakers.

Anyone have any ideas?
 

skippy

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Mar 11, 2012
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You may have more wax in your left ear.

Have you tried listening with your back facing the speakers*pardon*
 

steve_1979

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skippy said:
You may have more wax in your left ear.

Have you tried listening with your back facing the speakers*pardon*
LOL :D (I assume you're joking?)

At first I did seriously consider that it might be a wax build up in one ear but now I'm certain it's not. If I connect any of the sources directly to the speakers* without using one of the receivers then both speakers play at the same volume level as each other. It is only when I connect the sources to one of the receivers and use it s a pre-amp that the right speaker goes louder than the left one.

* The AVI DM10 speakers have digital and analogue inputs built into them.
 

muljao

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Jul 18, 2016
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When you plug your sources in direct are you using the digital inputs (therefore bypassing the speakers RCA connectors) or have you tried with both possible setups
 

drummerman

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I can't think of what it could be if when you plug the sources, both analogue and digital, directly into the ADM's and they are working fine.

Can you attenuate the the pre -out of your AV recpceiver/s

Is it possible you adjusted channel balance of both receivers accidentally or just got a setting wrong? Complex things these days.l

Hope you can sort it Steve.
 

Al ears

Moderator
muljao said:
When you plug your sources in direct are you using the digital inputs (therefore bypassing the speakers RCA connectors) or have you tried with both possible setups
Presumably you are not plugging the turntable directly to the DM10s?

It sounds like their is a level imbalance between the divine in and analogue in on that RH speaker. Or am I missing the point.
 

steve_1979

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Jul 14, 2010
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avole said:
They have a forum, on which you probably post, so ask there.
I've also posted a thread there asking the same thing. However the analogue input on the speakers seem fine because if I plug the MP3 player directly into the DM10s analog input using a 3.5mm to RCA cable everything works fine and there is no channel imbalance. But if I connect the MP3 player to either of the receivers using the same 3.5mm to RCA cable and connect the receivers pre-out sockets to the DM10s analogue input I get the channel imbalance problem again. This proves that the MP3 players headphone output and DM10 analogue input are both working fine and the problem only happens when using a receiver as a pre-amp.

The same thing happens with the digital input too. If I connect the PC directly to the DM10s optical input everything is fine but when I connect the PC to the receivers optical input I get the channel imbalance problem again. The strange thing is that both the Yamaha and Marantz receivers are causing exactly the same imbalance problem.
 

steve_1979

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Jul 14, 2010
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drummerman said:
Can you attenuate the the pre -out of your AV recpceiver/s

Is it possible you adjusted channel balance of both receivers accidentally or just got a setting wrong? Complex things these days.l
It is a possibility that I will look into it later on when I get home from work but as far as I know I have never used room compensation or any other DSP functions with either receiver. Also the Marantz has a 'pure direct' mode which bypasses all of the DSP functions but I still get the channel imbalance when it's selected which suggests that the problem probably lies elsewhere.
 

steve_1979

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Jul 14, 2010
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muljao said:
When you plug your sources in direct are you using the digital inputs (therefore bypassing the speakers RCA connectors) or have you tried with both possible setups
I've tried both digital and analogue inputs directly into the speakers and everything works perfectly every time with no channel imbalalance on either input.

However if I use either digital or analogue inputs on the receiver I get the channel imbalance problem with both inputs in exactly the same way. I've tried this with both receivers too and they both have exactly the same problem in exactly the same way. It seems too much of a coincidence surely?
 

muljao

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Jul 18, 2016
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Odd,

Does the problem switch if you cross over the RCA , (pre out right to left speaker input), this might just rule out the speaker or pre out problem
 

insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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Can you connect headphones to your receiver? Would be interesting to see if the issue can be replicated that way.

EDIT
Sorry just noticed you've mentioned the model number and there isn't a headphone out.
 

steve_1979

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Jul 14, 2010
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muljao said:
Does the problem switch if you cross over the RCA , (pre out right to left speaker input), this might just rule out the speaker or pre out problem
I have just swapped the cables over left to right and right to left and the balance problem does indeed swap sides. So to clarify;

With the AVR left output connected to the left speaker and the right output connected to the right speaker the right speaker plays loudest.
With the AVR left output connected to the right speaker and the right output connected to the left speaker the left speaker plays loudest.

So this suggests that the right output from both receivers is louder than the left on.
 

drummerman

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steve_1979 said:
muljao said:
Does the problem switch if you cross over the RCA , (pre out right to left speaker input), this might just rule out the speaker or pre out problem
I have just swapped the cables over left to right and right to left and the balance problem does indeed swap sides. So to clarify;

With the AVR left output connected to the left speaker and the right output connected to the right speaker the right speaker plays loudest.With the AVR left output connected to the right speaker and the right output connected to the left speaker the left speaker plays loudest.

So this suggests that the right output from both receivers is louder than the left on.
Just use the balance control.
 

steve_1979

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Jul 14, 2010
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I have an NJC DAC and headphone amp which can also function as a pre-amp.

With the PC connected via a digital optical cable to the NJC DAC/pre which in turn is connected to the DM10s analog inputs via RCA cables here is no channel imbalance. Therefore there must be something amiss with the receivers so it's time to have another look at the settings there.
 

steve_1979

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chebby said:
Go to your user manual ...

http://download.yamaha.com/search/product/?site=uk.yamaha.com&language=en&category_id1=16445&category_id3=&product_id=1438540

... and find the section about the 'effect' button (item 10 under 'controls and functions').

It seems to describe exactly what you have if it is incorrectly set.
OK. I feel a bit silly now.

I've just swapped over the receivers again so that I could have another look at the settings on the Yamaha which Chebby suggested. When I started using it without touching anything other than the 'power on' button everything is now working as it should without any channel imbalance. This is still just as baffling as before because nothing has changed but at least now it's working fine. It's getting late so I'll investigate some more tomorrow when there's time.

Thanks to everyone for your help.

p.s. Does anyone want to buy a Marantz NR1504. ;)
 

steve_1979

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Jul 14, 2010
231
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I think that I 've worked out what the problem is now. Well actually there are two separate issues which display similar symptoms which is why there was so much confusion.

First of all with a little more testing and comparison with my girlfriend I have discovered that I am very slightly deaf in my left ear (hopefully just wax and nothing serious). This is what originally lead me to think there is an issue. If you imagine a clock face where the centre of the stereo image should be at 12 O'clock. For me it is very slightly skewed to about 1 minute past.

The second issue is that the Marantz actually does have a genuine channel imbalance. So when I listened to it the centre image was moved to about 3 minutes past. This is why when I swapped the cables over the channel imbalance did swap sides because the effect of the receiver volume difference is greater than my hearing difference. It is also the reason why I could hear a definite difference between the Marantz used as a pre-amp and the sources connected directly to the DM10s.

So the Yamaha is fine, the Marantz probably has a setting somewhere that needs changing and I need to get my ears cleaned out. It was just an unfortunate coincidence that the Marantz came with a similar channel imbalance as my ears do which was very confusing!
 

insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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steve_1979 said:
First of all with a little more testing and comparison with my girlfriend I have discovered that I am very slightly deaf in my left ear (hopefully just wax and nothing serious). This is what originally lead me to think there is an issue. If you imagine a clock face where the centre of the stereo image should be at 12 O'clock. For me it is very slightly skewed to about 1 minute past.
Glad you seem to have found what's wrong. I know how frustrating it can be. Hopefully your hearing is fine. I suspect most people hearing isn't exactly same in both ears but they never realise as the differences aren't big. I wouldn't worry too much but suggest getting it checked out next time you have your eyes tested, nevertheless.

In the mean time, may I suggest a more precise speaker positioning. I'd measure everything carefully (distance to walls, listening position, toe-in). You might have done that but remember your listening spot would need to be more of less fixed for best results. I found that when swapping speakers a few times. Some speakers have larger sweet spot than others. Sometimes image can be a little off with as little as slight differences in toe-in. Best to use mono recordings.

In the end, if you do find it still is slightly off with exact positioning try either a bit more toe-in on the "quieter" speaker or move it closer. It all depends on how attentively you listen.
 

Frank Harvey

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steve_1979 said:
I think that I 've worked out what the problem is now. Well actually there are two separate issues which display similar symptoms which is why there was so much confusion.

First of all with a little more testing and comparison with my girlfriend I have discovered that I am very slightly deaf in my left ear (hopefully just wax and nothing serious). This is what originally lead me to think there is an issue. If you imagine a clock face where the centre of the stereo image should be at 12 O'clock. For me it is very slightly skewed to about 1 minute past.

The second issue is that the Marantz actually does have a genuine channel imbalance. So when I listened to it the centre image was moved to about 3 minutes past. This is why when I swapped the cables over the channel imbalance did swap sides because the effect of the receiver volume difference is greater than my hearing difference. It is also the reason why I could hear a definite difference between the Marantz used as a pre-amp and the sources connected directly to the DM10s.
With issues like this, I will get as close to the speakers as possible to check channel imbalances, so imagine kneeling at head height between the speaker, about a foot in front of the very central position. This removes any possible room aspects, and also makes for slightly more accurate results as you're very close to the speakers. Also, if there seems an issue, I'll turn 180 degrees so that I can 'swap ears' so to speak, just to remove any possibility of imbalances between my ears (of which I too, have a slight leaning to one side). Worth remembering when fault finding of this nature.
 

Frank Harvey

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Infiniteloop said:
davidf said:
Yes, I recommend doing it alone :)
- Or in a church......
*shok*

For some reason that reminded me of Alan in The Hangover, talking about all the things that are "frowned upon" nowadays, like performing a certain solo act on an airplane, after which he said, "thanks Bin Laden".

I want to watch The Hangover now...
 

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