Digital Sound Field Processor (1990)
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Reviewed Mar 26th, 2016 by Carlos Reséndiz Huidobro
I have a Yamaha DSP-E300 sound field processor, with five amplified effect channels and three outputs to attach external amplifiers for the main channels and subwoofer. I purchased it around the year 1994. I liked the brand a lot, as I had some other components from Yamaha, which were real HiFi audio. Unfortunately, this particular amplifier did not stand by its name. The first suspicious thing I noticed was that in the instruction manual they proposed the use of high power amplifiers (900W Yamaha power amplifier) to drive the main channels and they remarked the need to set the volume not too high as there could be some unwanted noise coming out from the speakers. Then, on the other hand, they also recommended the use of single wide range speakers, as the high quality speakers with tweeters would reveal some noise coming from the internal amplifiers, which produced low power, around 10-15 watts per channel. How could a HiFi brand ask to use low fidelity speakers on a HiFi system? I was to find the cause very soon. The noise became a real nuissance because I had bought some sets of HiFi speakers from JBL and Polk, and added a Technics stereo power amplifier for the main channels and another Pioneer stereo power amplifier for a pair of subwoofers. The noise coming from the tweeters was really annoying: It sounded as if there were six frying pans, with fried eggs in them, surronding me. The problem was the electronic volume control, some integrated circuits from Mitsubishi (M51132L, all the electronic volume controls from this maker have the same problem), then, after some time, I found out that the amplifier really overheated: the heat sinks for the integrated circuits (voltage regulators and amplifiers) were seriously underestimated. The voltage regulators soon burned and caused some destruction inside. The first thing I should have done was to throw it away, but I thought it was time to find a solution for the noise. I finally settled with four conventional rotating stereo volume controls and put the new voltage regulators on a bigger heat sink, separated from the amplifiers. It works for me and my stubborness, although it is not a very elegant solution. The thing I quite like from the device is the sound effects, that is the only reason for saving it.