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Music quality issues partnering my Pioneer SC LX 87 with B&W 683s.

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HCPMB's picture
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Joined: 19 Mar 2009
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I've had the 683s as mains (with Kef surrounds for HT) for a few years.

Upgraded from a Yamaha RX V773 to a Pioneer  SCLX 87 and for home theatre and the combination is nothing short of spectacular. This is the predominance of my listening and predominantly how I demo'ed them in store. Listened to some 2 channel music in store and it was OK and thought that I could probably improve on it at home with some tweaking.

But with 2 channel music at home the sound quality is very bright and almost uncomfortable to listen to for me at moderate levels. The clarity and separation is amazing but my overall enjoyment isn't there. Pure direct is better (but not as good as the Yamaha) and any tweaking with the other settings ie x-curve, treble, warm/sharp setting and equaliser decrease the brightness but also alter the clarity and to an extent quality? of the music.

Reading some more I've realised that the Pioneer is considered a bright amp (treble heavy??) and the B&Ws are also considered bright. I do think some of the problem is that my source material is now being shown up (ie MP3's of various quality encoding streamed from a tablet) by the quality of the amp and speakers.

So my questions are:

Will I be able to achieve a warmer sound/more desirable sound for me by further tweaking?

Will I just get used to the different sound over time?

Do i need to think about different speakers (very undesirable) as there is only so much change I can make to the settings on the receiver.

Any advice appreciated.

Thanks, Peter.

 

 

 

 

bigboss's picture
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Joined: 25 Mar 2009
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RE: Music quality issues

I didn't like Pioneer as well, with my speakers when I demoed. However, you can improve tonal balance using X-curve. Copy pasting from Pioneer:

 

 

The X-Curve setting adjusts the tonal balance of your speaker system for film soundtracks. Most soundtracks mixed for cinema sound too shrill or harsh when played back in your living room. The X-Curve setting acts as a re-equalization for home theatre listening, restoring proper tonal balance of movie soundtracks.

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HCPMB's picture
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Joined: 19 Mar 2009
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RE: Music quality issues

I did try the x-curve and didn't like the effect but maybe I should play with it some more.

buzz_lightclick's picture
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RE: Music quality issues

EllisDJ should be able to help you with this one.....

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HCPMB's picture
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Joined: 19 Mar 2009
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Problem solved...ish

So with some frustration I started playing with every setting associated with 2 channel play back. Got through about 3 (out of 20) and decided to erase the MCACC I had set up originally. 

As soon as I had deleted the setting the music was completely different! Much, much improved to the point where I think I prefer the Pioneer digital settings to that over Pure Direct.

Next step was using the USB and MP3's through this are better again.

Not sure  what I do now when I want to reset MCACC for movies... At least its a start.

Roundhead 5000's picture
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Joined: 13 Jan 2013
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Possible solution?

I have an 86 and if you go press the audio parameter button you can turn e.q off and on. This changes your settings to default I believe. Not sure if this works on yours but it did for me and it obviously restores your macc settings when you turn it back on. Hope this helps.

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HCPMB's picture
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RE: Possible solution?

Good tip thankyou!

Initially I was frustrated that I wasn't able to modify more settings to achieve what I wanted but I must admit the more I delve the happier I am.

I think my biggest issue will be achieving a set and forget system. When I am not around my girlfriend doesn't want to have to delve into any settings (ie back and forth between music and movies) and just wants to turn the receiver on and play music! Mind you showing her the Eq on/off probably isn't that hard.

Boca's picture
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RE: Possible solution?

HCPMB,

How are you liking your Pioneer know that you have had it for a while.... Are you still tweeking it?

 

ellisdj's picture
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RE: Music quality issues partnering my

Make sure with Mccac you have run it properly.

 

I have not used the newer LX av recievers past the 85 but I dare say its exactly the same.

 

You run Mccac A - which does a full cal and probs sets your fronts to large.

You change them to small - set your crossover at 80hz (if thats best I use 90hz)

You then run B - but make sure you select for it to keep your speaker settings so that it doesnt revert back to speakers large etc.

I always chose all channel adjust - however symmetry mighty be a good one to use as it will try and make all speakers sound the same, that might work better

After that it should give the best sound it can using the basic parametric eq it has.  I personally found turning off full band phase correction, standing wave and eq sounded best but that was me in my room.  Def worth trying turning them off for music!!

Also if you have bass eq of any kind - in the sub or anitmode etc (which is essential with a pioneer amp) make sure you run that first before you run Mccac.  You will then almost definately want to turn off standing wave correction!!

 

You will find more details post I have written multiple times on here if you have a look ;)  Some of them are wrong suggesting you level out using the reverb measurement and mccac on a computer.  Full tests measuring speaker responses with REW showed me that - so ignore those posts

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ellisdj's picture
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RE: Music quality issues partnering my Pionee

Also an idea to make the varied settings more mrs friendly.

 

Have her settings on Memory 1 and yours on 3,4 and 5 for example - then all she needs to remember is memory 1!!

 

Simples!!!

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Optimised Audio PC - J River / JPlay / Custom Full Linear Power Supply

Panasonic 65VT65, Marantz UD7007, HIFi Racks Podium Reference

Monitor Audio GX100, GXC150, GXFX, SVS SB13 ULTRA (set with hard knee house curve)

JCAT USB and Sata, Graham Slee Spatia (SC) Graham Slee Lautus Digital / Analogue IC x 9

gel
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My B&W speakers work

My B&W speakers work perfectly with a Pioneer amp.

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his dudeness's picture
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RE: Music quality issues partnering my Pion

i am still tweaking my pioneer,but have to say its sounding brilliant,detailed powerfull and punchy. rockin out

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