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Discussion Starter #1
Let me start off by saying that there may not be any problem with the setup at all--it may be my perception that is off. I'm something of a novice on home theater/audio, but I am a composer who dabbles in recording/audio production, so I do have decent ears. Any thoughts you have on this situation would be greatly appreciated.

My Sony STRDE415 recently died after about 11 years of faithful service, and I replaced it with the STRDG720. I still have the same speakers I used with the old receiver--a Cambridge Soundworks 2.1 satellite setup. So here's the problem: it just doesn't sound as good as I remember the old system sounding. The bass sounded a bit weak and the treble a little harsh. So I boosted the bass and cut the treble in the receiver's EQ, and now the frequency range seems oddly disjunct. This is a vague description, I know, but it sounds like the lows and highs are all present, but not smoothly joined together. I don't know if that makes any sense. The high/high mids still sound a little harsh.

I figure this receiver has to be a step or two up from the old system, not that newer is necessarily better, but the old one wasn't an especially high-end piece of gear even 11 years ago when I got it. So I'm curious as to what is causing the issue this apparent decrease in sound quality. It could be that my speakers are not in as good shape as they used to be, I suppose. They have been sitting in a closet for the better part of a year now. As far as the bass issue, I was thinking that the satellite setup might be to blame. With this kind of speakers, you run the main outs of the receiver to the subwoofer, which then sends signal out to the satellites. This receiver has a separate (RCA) output for a sub, so I was thinking maybe it sends less low frequency out the mains. Does that seem feasible?

Like I said, the problem may simply be my perception. I hadn't used the old setup in over a year, and my ears have developed a lot in that time from my experience with recording, etc. So it may just be that I remember my old setup sounding better than it did. Anyone have any thoughts, suggestions? Thanks.
 

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Well, the cambridge soundworks aren't exactly high-end, and if you have decent ears, you'd probably benefit from an upgrade. Still that doesn't explain the disparity between what you were hearing with the same speakers.

Has anything else change, speaker positioning, source material, etc? If not, I'd wager that you had an EQ or Sound Mode of some kind engaged on your last AVR that you don't on this one. Take a picture or draw a diagram of your setup, and maybe this is something that can be remedied by moving your speakers or seating position.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the response, Marshall. The positioning has changed a little from the last time I used the old setup, though I've moved my stereo many times over the years and never found a significant decrease in sound quality. (I'm a student, so it's always been pretty small dorms/apartments). As far as the source material, I'm using the same CD player and PS2 for DVDs and games. The harshness I referred to was most notable when watching DVDs, and that very well could be the PS2--I know for a fact that my composite cable is a bit sketchy.

If not, I'd wager that you had an EQ or Sound Mode of some kind engaged on your last AVR that you don't on this one.
I think that might be the answer, at least to the weak bass part of the problem. The old one just had treble/bass knobs and a "Bass Boost" button, but I probably usually used those to give a little more punch. I guess I just expected to get a good punch without EQ when I plugged this thing in.

Another question: is it possible that speakers need to "warm up" to sound their best? Because things seem to sound a little better now than when I first set everything up. These speakers hadn't been used for about a year. Anyway, I'd love to upgrade them, but I don't think that's in the budget right now. Thanks again.
 

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Nope, the "warm up" you hear is just your ears getting used to the new sound. Likely, you're hearing a more accurate sound than you were hearing in the past.

Play around with positioning, try turning up your sub, etc. until you find the sound you like.
 

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I have this same setup - Sony STRDG720 with a subwoofer wired in the "From Amplifier" to back speakers configuration (Velodyne F-1000-b). Don't know what type of speakers as they're built-in. I solved the poor sound quality (and sometimes no sound) by switching from AFD Auto mode to ProLogic II Movie. Bingo! Sounds great.

Maybe someone else can explain why this works, but I noticed that in AFD Auto when the audio was bad or missing, the display always showed "LFE". According to the manual LFE is "Low Frequency Effect."

Hope this helps..
 
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