Thanks for the advice, I've changed the front and centre to small and have set the crossover at 80hz, watching a ski film now so its not made too much difference but will let you know. Hopefully it's sorted now.
I've been told the pioneers are a bit sharper, we had a pioneer set up at home but I had a Marantz Stereo Amp so went with the Denon, would a Pioneer SC 56 or 76 been a better match?
Hey ric, good to hear from you and thanks for the kind words. Yeah i still need to organise our Apex session at my place, i've been snowed under with DIY so havent had a chance to do anything. Are you on Facebook by any chance?
no rush and you have to hear my Apex set up as would like too see what you think.
Nope not on Facebook I'm afraid. Just AVForums as richmagnus.
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Thanks for the replies and the welcome. I've my system set up now and attempts to dog proof it continue. I bought a storage box from IKEA and it and a blanket are going to be the current solution. Archie is also banned from the room unless supervised, although I don't know how long that will last.
The system doesn't sound as punchy as I expected, I ran the 8 step audyssey xt set up on my Denon 3313 and some of the sounds are a bit muted. I.e. using Die hard 4.0, the gun fire sounds a bit muted. Audessy has my front A40s set a large speakers in stead of small and has the crossover set at 40. Would apperciate some advice on what to change, I've tinkered with it and have made it worse and will run audessy again, what settings should I look out for?
Putting a storage box and/or a blanket over the subwoofer (if I understood you correctly?) would not be a good idea. Although I sympathize with your problem of having a curious pet in the house.
You've followed the tips from michael hoy, and I agree with his tips there. My Denon with Apex sounds anything but "muted". Unless you have limited time before you can exchange the Denon for something else I wouldn't be too quick to rule it out until you've run everything in, re-calibrated a number of times to get a feel of how Audyssey works (always using a tripod, always at ear height and always in a silent environment!). Then play around carefully with certain settings. For example: after calibration check your current Audyssey settings and try the 'flat' setting which does not roll off high frequencies as much as the other Audyssey settings do. Also make sure you don't utilize any kind of dynamic compression anywhere in the chain (blu-ray player and/or the receiver) - those will tame hard-hitting effects substantially (but can be good for late night viewing). Also make sure Audyssey 'Dynamic EQ' is set to 'on' while Audyssey 'Dynamic Volume' is set to 'off'. All these things are preference-related, as always, but fact remains they all influence the end-result of what you are hearing.
I would also say the Pioneer's are perhaps a bit "sharper" in their overall presentation, while Denon's character tends to be more harmonious and balanced (with a tad more warmth), although I understand you can manually tweak the EQ settings far more on the Pioneer to tailor it to your liking (though you can just as easily ruin things if you don't know what you are doing). Again, whichever character of sound you prefer is individual. If you can test-drive a Pioneer at home, my advice would be to do so!
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Thanks for that, yes you heard right about the blanket and box. A bit mad alright, I take the blanket and box off before powering up the sub, it's just there when it's not in use. Hopefully Archie will get used to the new thing and learn to leave it alone. It's a hassle putting on the blanket and box on, (blanket to stop the sub getting damaged by the wooden box) but it beats a damaged sub. As someone who broke his uncles speakers when I was a child I've personal experience of how easy it is to break something.
I've a good few days before time runs out on returning the denon and I'd really prefer not to so I'll run through the tips this morning.
Bit of an update:
I changed my front and centre speaker to Large (all A 40s), the sub woofer mode is LFE + Main and the cross over is 80Hz. Audessy is set to flat and EQ is on. The difference is amazing. John from Richersounds was around this morning and said to remember audyssey is only a starting point. I did the set up while I was home alone and went through the 8 steps using a Tripod, this distances etc are spot on. The Denon 3313 is just such a step up from the Onkyo 509 I had. I'm only starting to scratch the surface with setting up the Denon, I'll be busy tweaking it for a good while yet. How do I find the other tips from Michael Hoy, I can't seem to search this tread.
Dog also seems to be afraid of the speakers now so hopefully the Sub will be safe
The dog now fear your speakers? Way to go Apex! haha
All kidding aside, I'm glad you've managed to turn things around. I had a feeling you would. Although, I personally feel that the Apex (including the bigger A40) should always be set to small with a cut-off frequency of 80Hz (or thereabouts). This naturally depends on the in-room response measurements from Audyssey during the calibration, but normally even bigger speakers are preferably set to small (which actually does not refer to their physical size, but rather their low frequency capability within your room). Speakers usually sound clearer and possibly blend better when the more daunting tasks are handled by the subwoofer. Again, whatever sounds best to you is what matters!
An important advice though would be to never change the cut-off frequency to anything lower than what Audyssey has measured, because then those frequencies sent to the speakers will be left un-calibrated (if that makes any sense?). In my room Audyssey sets every speaker to small and 80Hz and it does seem to work best. I get that lovely punchy yet "airy" distinct tone from the speakers. If I were to use the LFE + Main setting it would just strain the front speakers too much as they are not really meant to reproduce that low... although a subwoofer is! Good luck experimenting!
I would set the A40's to small as they are not a full range speaker. My A40 is set to small and crossed over at 100hz. By setting to small you are letting the sub handle the bass, putting less strain on the A40's and your Denon so should be able to play louder and cleaner.
How has it improved with the large setting? If you feel there is more low level info Eric then your sub isn't calibrated properly. All fun and games but once done the rewards are worth it. BTW I used to run a Denon 3310 with Apex.
Also google "batpig" re setting up your Denon. This guy breaks down all the Denon manuals and explains in layman's terms the Denon settings. Very very informative.
If you don't set the speakers to small then the receiver will send that channel a full range signal. Which is fine if the speakers do it properly but I doubt you will get much bass below 50htz from the a40s.
Setting to small sends that channels bass to the sub - the sub then does all the bass for its own LFE channel the .1 channel as well as all the bass from the other channels below your crossover.
Mike Hoy it sounds like your doing the right thing - running the mccac setup twice A then change speaker settings, then run B keeping your changed settings - makes all the difference !!! If you have ever measured a room response you will see mccac does a good job, best it can. If you just run A then change speaker settings to small etc then it's miles off full sound potential. I would hazard a lot of owners make this mistake as there are not clear instructions included. Lucky some people post guides of what to do
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Hmm, curious! Maybe that would explain why I never got the sound 'right' when test-driving the LX83, and months later the LX85. It sounded pretty lackluster in my room. Pioneer are kinda bad at instructing people about this and MCACC never did the trick for me no matter how meticulous I was during the repeated calibration proceedures. Perhaps it would have worked out if I would have been a manual EQ tweaker, which I'm not. Ignoring the EQ altogether didn't help matters much either.
Another thing that puzzles me about MCACC is that it still seems to lack 'true' subwoofer/low frequency calibration. Unlike Audyssey MultEQ that deals with lower frequencies than MCACC does. MultEQ XT32 with Sub EQ HT also takes care of individual calibration of two separate subwoofers. Something that MCACC does not (please correct me if I'm wrong).
MCCAC doesnt do any sub woofer equalizing - it does use a notch filter system to reduce some bass problems called standing wave correction but only down to 60htz - which is uselss for a sub.
However it doesnt claim to do anything else - therefore additional sub eq is needed in the form of an anitmode (auto) or better yet skill, REW and a feedback destroyer and you can get room permitting excellent bass. Far better than you will get from any auto system I have heard
This is most likely why you didnt get in with the Pioneer - with out good bass the rest isnt right - however had you demo'd using an antimode your opinions might be very different now. I think your dealer has old you short there in not telling you that - however if they dont stock the antimode then they cant really lend you one.
You dont need to manually tweak MCCAC - it does as good a job as It can within the rooms / its parametric bands limitations. However to get it to sound its best you have to set it up properly.
It is as easy as A B C - however there is no definitive guide of what to do which I think is an oversight on Pioneers behalf. But I also think it is on purpose to allow dealers or pro's to offer setup services to novices - therefore not stepping on toes.
Would be interesting to hear a carefully dialed-in MCACC set-up with the Apex.
In my case it was more than just the issues of the subwoofer with the Pioneers. That was a sidenote.
But I already covered all that in my personal review in this thread
Finally WHF reviewed the big NAD beast T787! Though not favorably
As much as I'd like to take WHF's opinions with a grain of salt I can't help that my desire to test-drive the T787 with Apex has dampened a bit. Although, reviewers elsewhere have praised it's performance quite extensively. Personal preferences, as usual.
That is very surprising to say the least! Indeed, as you pointed out, the T787 and T757 get rave reviews all over the place (both pro reviews and personal reviews), so it makes you wonder if whathifi might have received a faulty one or didn't set it up right?
WHF would have tested it on pure sound quality only - no Audessey etc engaged.
So Purely direct sound quality and everything that goes with that - quite clearly the onboard decoding or amplification or both are under par for the money.
I would hazard the cost is high as they have to pay a premium to get Auddessey in there and that bumps the price up to the consumer.
Other reviewers if suing Audessey in untreated listening rooms would get a different end result - its very rarely clear in other reviews what the listening room is like
I have a hard time grasping that. Who would test-drive that unit and then not use it with Audyssey at all? Just as with YPAO or MCACC, for that matter. Atleast they'd make it clear what part of the evaluation would be associated with/without it turned on. In fact, they do mention Audyssey in the review, but doesn't clearly state if they left it or off during the test. Hmm... should I smell a rat?
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