Apple TV + AV Amp problem.'No Bass!'

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Chuckstones, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. Chuckstones macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2012
    I was wondering if someone could kindly point me in the right direction or give some advice regarding a problem that is just baffling me!!:(

    I recently bought a 21.5" imac along with an Apple TV!
    Basically I was fed up with my windows pc with all the updates, virus scans etc. and having purchased an iPhone earlier last year followed by an ipad, I found I was quite liking the way apple worked. The simplicity and the way everything seemed to sync together etc!

    Anyway. I will cut to the chase and explain my problem.
    I used to stream my music from my windows pc to my Xbox 360 connected to a Yamaha dsp-ax763 av amp. (From windows media player I might add).
    Connected to the amp are a set of 5 satellite speakers and a subwoofer.
    I was very happy with the sound. Plenty of bass. I used a setting on my amp called '7ch enhancer'. Which basically gives out a pseudo dual stereo sound!
    Admittedly the Xbox sound settings were set to Dolby digital so all the channels lit up on my amp. A tiny bit muddy. Bu I liked the sound!!

    Now I have transfered all my music into itunes on my imac. And most are still in mp3 format. With only my recent purchases being AAC itunes plus. I stream to my Apple TV. Which is connected exactly the same way as
    my Xbox. Via optical for sound.
    The problem is I'm not getting anywhere near as much bass. In fact I don't think my subwoofer is kicking in at all. And on the front panel of amp it is showing as PCM and only 2 channels!

    I realise that music is only streamed in 2 channel stereo. And it is up to the amp to decode etc. but I can't figure out why it worked via my Xbox and not Apple TV!!
    I'm in a bit of a quandary. As It was one of the main reasons I switched to a mac and sold my pc. More storage for my music and the ease of use itunes
    I have tried adjusting the crossover for bass etc and switching between small and large speaker settings etc etc.

    Is this a problem with the atv or just how it is!?!!
    Also. Is there a programme I can use to allow me (last resort) to play my itunes library via my Xbox if I convert all my music back to mp3?

    Again. Any help would be most appreciated as I really feel I have taken a backwards step regarding my music playback. :(:
  2. aarond12 macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2002
    Dallas, TX USA
    Not sure about the Yamaha, but my Pioneer amplifier required me setting my surround sound settings to "Music". That plays the music through all the speakers AND the subwoofer. Otherwise, it just comes out my left and right speakers only.
  3. Pyromonkey83 macrumors 6502

    May 24, 2009
    According to:

    You can also try to cycle through your sound modes and look for one that says Dolby Pro-Logic or something along those lines.
  4. Chuckstones thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2012
    Thank you for your replies chaps!

    I will have to look deeper into my settings.
    I did notice last night however, when playing some music, the louder I went the more bass I seemed to be getting. So I pulled my tv away from where it is situated as the sub sits behind. And put my ear to it. There is definitely something coming out of it! (The bass. What there is of it. Can't be coming fom the satellites)
    Maybe it just works on different frequencies with music say compared to dedicated 5.1 soundtracks!
    One thing I will say is, although I'm not getting as much bass as I did from streaming via my Xbox. Everything is much clearer in the mids and highs via my ATV!!

    And thank you pyromonkey for the link. Been looking for that for ages. ( that thread made me decide to go for the Yamaha!)
  5. whooleytoo macrumors 604


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    I have the similar AX563, but (IIRC!) with the ATV audio coming the HDMI. Also use the "7ch Enhancer" most of the time.

    I can't say I've really noticed any great difference in bass between 360 and ATV, but I generally keep the sub-woofer set quite low (in an old apartment building with very poor insulation between floors) so I might not notice.

    I'll try when I get home.
  6. Chuckstones thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2012
    Thanks. I would appreciate it if you would!

    Put your ear to the sub. There is definitely something coming out of mine. Not much. But Can't seem to increase the bass!
  7. whooleytoo macrumors 604


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    Tried this over the weekend, there's definitely bass coming through. I didn't have a Upnp server set up for playing music through the 360 for comparison; but when I dialed up the sub-woofer with the ATV there certainly was plenty bass. On the receiver's display, it's only indicating 2 channels here as well.

    I assume the 763 is like the 563 in requiring an externally powered sub-woofer. If so, the only difference in the setups is that I'm using HDMI vs optical.
  8. fred.bloggs macrumors member

    Feb 9, 2011

    Assuming you are using airplay to stream the music to the apple TV, itunes is decoding the music and sending the decoded music data over the network. The apple TV is then just passing this on down the optical output, it will not change the equalisation of the music.

    So my guess is that to increase the base you need to adjust the itunes equaliser settings to pump up the base.

    Good Luck.....
  9. Avatar74 macrumors 65816


    Feb 5, 2007
    It sounds like the configuration issue is this:

    Music is generally not encoded as AC-3. It's encoded as 16-bit stereo linear PCM. What the XBOX 360 must be doing is some kind of emulation mode, or forcing audio content through as Dolby ProLogic II/IIx.

    But music doesn't normally get encoded as Dolby Surround (which is an analog matrix vs. six discrete digital channels; I can go into further detail later on what this means for anyone who cares). So if the XBOX was sending it, it was only emulating it.

    What I suspect the solution is: There's a difference between the fact that you have a subwoofer and the LFE channel output that was going to that subwoofer. AppleTV will never send music as Dolby Digital or Dolby Surround, no LFE channel actually exists in your music files... ever, unless they are actually AC-3 and not AAC files.

    So what you really need to do is look for the 2 channel stereo configuration on your receiver and see if it will allow you to use the subwoofer in a 2.1 style setup for music.... which isn't actually three channels with a true LFE, but a lowpass filter that breaks out the bass and sends it to the subwoofer.

    Adjusting the crossover on the subwoofer won't do you any good... you need to adjust the mode on the receiver from two channels to two channels plus subwoofer, whatever the technical designation in your receiver menu is (e.g. on my Sony ES it's AFD Auto 2ch + SW ON).

    At least this is what I suspect is going on... or something like it.
  10. khollister macrumors 6502a


    Feb 1, 2003
    Orlando, FL
    You're correct as far as what the Xbox was doing. What the OP needs to do is find a DSP surround mode on his AVR that generates multi-channel output from stereo. I know next to nothing about Yamaha AVR's (I use Denon), but you should be looking for something like Dolby PL2X or DTS Neo, which are surround modes designed to synthesize multi-channel music from stereo sources. You also need to have your AVR set up so the subwoofer is used with all playback modes, not just as an LFE channel in Dolby/DTS 5.1/7.1.

    I imagine the combination of the Xbox DD processing and the "7.1" surround processing of the AVR had the sound really off in left field. The OP just needs to play with the AVR settings to get something he finds pleasing.

    I use the ATV to play music thru my 5.1 rig using Dobly PL2X - sounds great to me.
  11. Avatar74 macrumors 65816


    Feb 5, 2007
    If that's what he wants to do, yeah, a ProLogic IIx "Music" preset on his receiver would work.... I'm just of the personal opinion that it sounds shoddy and unpredictable because you're creating a fake quadrature out of a full scale stereo output... It always sounds far less punchy than 2 channel output. And what he's really wanting, I think, is that bass coming through the subwoofer, more than he wants the surround effect.

    that's just my personal preferences, not really a dispute or anything.
  12. MrWillie macrumors 65816


    Apr 29, 2010
    Starlite Starbrite Trailer Court
    I have my Yamaha set up for music to play on the two front speakers and sub. I click HDMI 2 (where the ATV plugs in) and then music. Repeated clicking on the music button gives different enhancements. I also have the optical fed to a DAC which feeds a Rocketfish.

    Edit: I can also play using any other settings (Dolby), and any number of speakers. Different settings give a different sound, no matter what audio file format I am using.
  13. JGRE macrumors 6502a


    Oct 10, 2011
    Dutch Mountains
    How is your set-up, are you using HDMI or the optical output of your ATV?

    I use my ATV in combination with a Onkyo home theater amp via HDMI and the bass is excellent. True, Itunes does not support true multichannel.


    Wouldn't prologic convert you digital signal to analog?
  14. Avatar74 macrumors 65816


    Feb 5, 2007
    I'm not sure what you're asking here. All digital signals have to be converted to analog during playback. Are you meaning to ask whether Dolby ProLogic II creates a surround field from the six discrete channels in Dolby Digital AC-3 bitstreams?
  15. JGRE macrumors 6502a


    Oct 10, 2011
    Dutch Mountains
    Prologic means that your signal is being seperated in multi channel in a analog way before being amplified (it is a artificial multi channel system). DTS and Dolby Digital do the same but than in a digital way and are coverted analog for aplifying afterwards. The quality of digital sound processing is better than analog, so to my opinion this would not be the best way to go.
  16. Avatar74 macrumors 65816


    Feb 5, 2007
    I understand how Dolby Surround is matrixed by a 90 degree phase shift of the surround audio into the Front Left and Front Right channels, versus the six discrete digital channels of Dolby Digital 5.1 surround. But what I'm saying is: I don't understand why you're asking about analog signal processing versus digital signal processing in this instance, because...

    The OP is not asking about playback of material encoded in Dolby Surround -OR- Dolby Digital. He had a XBOX 360 that probably applied its own "Music" preset that created a fake quadrature, much the same way receivers often have a "Music" preset for Dolby ProLogic II that can create a fake quadrature on the receiver's end instead of the playback device.

    Either way, music isn't typically mixed in Dolby Surround so the point is totally moot. Dolby Digital isn't an option because there's no Dolby Digital AC-3 track to speak of in the scenario he's describing.

    He has to either fake it with a "Music" preset via the Dolby ProLogic decoder on his receiver, or (my preference) set it to a 2.1 channel output where the receiver just applies a lowpass filter to send frequencies below 80-120Hz to his subwoofer.
  17. jetlife2 macrumors regular


    Apr 18, 2004
    Cincinnati, Oh
    Page 61 of your manual

    I downloaded the manual for your amp.

    See page 61

    Selecting decoders for 2-channel
    sources (surround decode mode)
    Use this feature to play back sources with selected
    decoders. You can play back 2-channel sources on multichannels.

    Set the operation mode selector to AMP and
    then press SUR. DECODE repeatedly on the
    remote control to select the desired surround
    You can select from the following modes depending on the
    type of source you are playing and your personal

    Pro Logic Dolby Pro Logic processing for any sources.
    PLIIx Movie
    PLII Movie
    Dolby Pro Logic IIx (or Dolby Pro Logic II) processing for movie sources. The Pro Logic IIx
    decoder is not available when “SUR.B L/R SP” is set to “NONE” (see page 69).
    PLIIx Music
    PLII Music
    Dolby Pro Logic IIx (or Dolby Pro Logic II) processing for music sources. The Pro Logic IIx
    decoder is not available when “SUR.B L/R SP” is set to “NONE” (see page 69).
    PLIIx Game
    PLII Game
    Dolby Pro Logic IIx (or Dolby Pro Logic II) processing for game sources. The Pro Logic IIx decoder
    is not available when “SUR.B L/R SP” is set to “NONE” (see page 69).
    Neo:6 Cinema DTS processing for movie sources.
    Neo:6 Music DTS processing for music sources.
  18. Chuckstones thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2012
    Thanks to everyone for your replies.
    I totally forgot I had this thread running and there was so much input!!:(

    It turns out that my amp hadn't for whatever reason been decoding properly for some time.
    I hadn't even played a bluray or DVD for some time. And a couple of days ago I was watching a film and notice the sound was lacking in bass also. So I went through all the settings (crossover etc). And the test tones were playing all the speakers except the sub.
    Anyway. I switched the LFE settings to BOTH and back to just SUB. And suddenly the bass kicked back in!!
    I d ont know if it was something to do with the hdmi cables getting mixed up. As i am limited to only 2 hdmi in, so everything is a workaround. But everything is ok for now!
    Going to have to invest in a more up to date amp with more hdmi connections at a future date!
  19. whooleytoo macrumors 604


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    If you need a cheaper stop-gap, you could just get a HDMI switch going into the amp. If you're looking for a amp with lots of HDMI inputs it'd be fairly costly I'd imagine. But with one or two switches you can support up to 10 inputs for a fraction of the price.

    If you need different amp settings per input, you could set up each 'scene' on the remote for each input device. (Well ok, there are only 4 scenes, but that should be enough :) )
  20. Chuckstones thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2012
    Thanks whooleytoo!;)

    I have one hdmi switch with my Apple TV and Xbox 360 connected. I think that's where I in my old age or the amp have been getting confused!!:(

    Just hope everything holds out this time and the bass stays. Really pleased with the sound now, as was disappointed after investing so much over Xmas with apple. (New imac and Apple TV ).
    Just purchased iTunes Match. Which is also great through Apple TV, as it streams. Not so good on iPhone or ipad though!!

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