Get Free, Friendly, Expert Advice
Call 1-866-244-8796 or email

Designed and Manufactured in Canada Since 1980


AxiomAudio Blog

Blind Listening Tests

Sneak Peek into Axiom’s Current Research and Development

Axiom’s Newest Speaker: The In-Ceiling M3

Wall'O'Fame
Experimental Atmos
Greetings fellow Axiom owners...
Who's Online
0 registered (), 58 Guests and 6 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Financing
Forum Stats
13326 Members
11 Forums
22918 Topics
405132 Posts

Max Online: 378 @ 02/24/13 04:33 PM
Top Posters
Ken.C 17789
pmbuko 16289
SirQuack 13339
CV 11235
MarkSJohnson 10938
Meanwhile On Facebook

Did you get your "Golden Email"? The great gift certificate email giveaway star...

Here's a helpful article for everyone looking at putting a new stereo or home th...

Interesting article about who's getting the money from streaming radio services...

Page 5 of 12 < 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 11 12 >
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#251995 - 03/16/09 05:01 PM Re: SC-05, in the house. [Re: ClubNeon]
thedude_044 Offline
hobbyist

Registered: 07/07/05
Posts: 22
Loc: Mich
+1 for clubneon 80Hz all around for me
_________________________
M22's VP150 QS8's Onkyo TX503 Yamaha YST215 (sub)

Top
#251996 - 03/16/09 05:06 PM Re: SC-05, in the house. [Re: ClubNeon]
Zimm Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 1361
Loc: New Orleans
HHHHHHmmmmmmmm. Sounds like a problem I should ignore for fear of finding out my systemd does not sound as a good as I have convinced myself. I don't like my towers crossed at 80, it just does not blend with the sub as well as in full range. So I shall ignore your informative post.


[returns head to the sand.]
_________________________
Panny 3000 PJ, 118" Carada, Denon 3300, PS3, Axiom QS8, PSB 5T, B&W sub, levitating speaker wire

Top
#251997 - 03/16/09 05:07 PM Re: SC-05, in the house. [Re: Zimm]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3448
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
I've not done much reading into the Audyssey, and what little I've done shows that they don't like to talk about the magic (math) behind the scenes. But their technology section does go to great length to say they work first in the time domain, and then the frequency. So it may be possible they are doing it the hard way to get it right.
_________________________
Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K, PDP-5020FD, DV-79AVi
Axiom M22s, VP150, QS8s
Sony PS3, surround backs
-Chris

Top
#252178 - 03/17/09 09:48 AM More thoughts [Re: PeterChenoweth]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
I spent basically all evening tinkering with the SC-05. I have a few more thoughts to share....

I spent a good bit of time reading through the manual to try to better understand how the MCACC (Pioneer's version of Audyssey) works. I ended up re-doing the setup a few times, and tinkered with the different types of calibrations in the more advanced setup options. Fascinating stuff. Especially the pre-and-post calibration system response graphs. That's pretty cool. I'm reasonably impressed by the SQ improvements, but not blown away. Yes, I used a tripod and followed the instructions to the letter. Keep in mind, this is my first time with an auto-setup system. I'm used to calibrating my speakers with the trusty rat-shack SPL meter and just by ear. ;\)

It's like sometimes I think that it's helping, and sometimes I think that it's hurting. Even from song-to-song (CD or lossless AAC's via AppleTV), I'll hear one song and thing, 'hmmm, something's off with the midrange - too warm, too fuzzy, muffled', and I'll flip MCACC off and it'll sound amazing again. Then the next song will sound a bit too harsh & sterile, or have no 'presence' to the music, and I'll flip MCACC back on and it'll sound amazing again. Anyone with an Audyssey-based system experience this? Is this just bringing out details in my music that I haven't heard before? I'd almost buy that, except that these are the same songs that I've listened to dozens of times before both on the home system and via my good headphones + amp, and I've never experienced changes like that.

And then there are all of the sound modes. Certainly, the froo-froo ones like 'Hall' and 'Dance Club' are junk. But it seems that, again, with every song I need to flip between 'Stereo', 'Direct' & 'Pure Direct' just to find the optimal sound. I understand and appreciate the differences between what they do, but it's somewhat annoying that I can't just set-it-and-forget-it. It's fantastic in the sense that I can coax *amazing* SQ out of my music, seemingly every time. But not so fantastic in that I have to futz with it to make that happen.

To be fair, I am being pretty critical here. The SQ is never bad. I am impressed with the SQ overall. It's just seems that sometimes its not as great as it could be.

I did hook up the SACD player last night and fired up a few albums. Quite impressive. SQ is phenomenal. Listening to Vivaldi's Four Seasons by Janine Jansen gave me goosebumps at times. Incredibly lush and clean, for as loud as I want to go. Truly, my M80's have never sounded this good. Very alive and real. Interestingly, the SC-05 can apply the MCACC to the analog inputs, which surprised me. Unsurprisingly, I almost universally did *not* like how it changed the music and mostly just left it off. Another big positive is that it has a +10db sub correction setting on the analog inputs. I've struggled with my SACD player before because the sub output is always too low (and it can only trim negative), which usually results in some pretty weird trim calibrations to get it to sound right. With the SC-05 and that setting, it's darn near perfect, with no tweaking required. Excellent! Of course, if I just broke down and bought an Oppo 980H and did DSD/PCM via HDMI, that problem would go away. ;\)

But then that uncovers the first somewhat significant quirk. The 'soundfield' settings (MCACC, hi-bit sampling, tone controls, speaker trims, etc) are global. I would have thought they'd be individual to each source, but they're not. Bummer. So changing sources involves more than just tapping a button. If I keep the SC-05, I'm going to have to set up macros on my Harmony to reset the parameters each time.

The Onkyo 876 is scheduled to arrive today, and I'm looking forward to putting it through its paces tonight!
_________________________
M80v2 | VP150v2 | QS8v2
SVS Pci+ 20-39
Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
M22ti + T-Amp, in the Office

Top
#252261 - 03/17/09 05:32 PM Re: More thoughts [Re: PeterChenoweth]
Zimm Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 1361
Loc: New Orleans
Good report, keep it comming.
_________________________
Panny 3000 PJ, 118" Carada, Denon 3300, PS3, Axiom QS8, PSB 5T, B&W sub, levitating speaker wire

Top
#252300 - 03/17/09 09:54 PM Re: More thoughts [Re: Zimm]
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3913
Loc: Up yonder
I’ve never been a big fan of putting the video processor in the same box as the audio processor. I have yet to see an AVR that did worth a damn with video. Reon continues to get praised and thrown around like it’s the Holy Grail. It is a great chip, but it continues to get hand cuffed by the manufactures that use it. Onkyo is no exception. Don’t expect too much from them. Even my projector, RS-20, which has the Reon is handcuffed. I am dismally disappointed with its performance. JVC has botched the implementation of that chip. I had hoped that it would do well enough that I could get rid of my DVDO VP50pro because it adds a level of complexity to my HT that has given me many headaches when I have to troubleshoot it via phone with my family is using the HT and I’m not at home. The RS-20 is pathetic in comparison to the Pro…..

I like NAD’s approach. I also like Denon’s approach where you can completely bypass the video processor but still use the GUI. The GUI is ‘overlaid’ onto the video stream, but if you bypass the processing, you get an unmolested video stream – with GUI. By following this approach, you can either invest in a stand alone video processor or use the VP in the display. Many displays do a very good job nowadays and most, if not all new displays will still end up processing the data after the AVR or stand alone VP does its thing. This is primarily due to the latest 120 Hz and differing frame interpolation processes that have become the latest trend. The DVDO Edge is also a very good VP for a price that just one year ago, you would have to spend over three grand to get the same performance.

So while I understand why some folks think NAD is pulling a fast one on consumers with their stance on video processing, it is exactly what many consumers who tend to buy higher end gear want to hear.

If you really want an ‘all in one’ box, look to the Denon 5308. It is a beast with top shelf video processing and amplification. It comes with a hefty price tag though…. Another option for top notch video processing is Anthem, but you will have to buy external amplification.

Personally, knowing what I know today and the money I’ve wasted over the past several years, I’d pick up a 3808 and a DVDO Edge. I’d wait and buy the new Oppo BR and call the rest good. The new Oppo will pass all video formats clean, without any processing. Until this machine, the only way to get this is to modify the player with an SD-SDI or HD-SDI. This is perfect for use with an external VP that will, without a doubt, do better with the video stream than any AVR.

But...unless you are shooting a 100"+ image, all this talk about top notch video quickly becomes a mute point because you will never be able to see the flaws on a 'small' display.
_________________________


Top
#252310 - 03/17/09 11:41 PM TX-SR876, in the house (and back in the box) [Re: michael_d]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
Mr. UPS man showed up with my spiffy new Onkyo TX-SR876.

Man, what a beast. Hooked it all up and ran the Audyssey calibration. Then my wife and I poured a couple glasses of wine and sat down to do a little bit of listening.

The good: This is much more what I had in mind for a 'modern' receiver. All the setup is on the GUI, with volume and DSP mode onscreen. Easy to configure and looks good. It doesn't seem to have any trouble driving M80's. The Audyssey setup went well enough. I can hear what it's doing but I'm still not really blown away by it. Ummmm.... That's about it.....

The bad: Ok, well, I guess my LPA+43TX combo and the SC-05 have me spoiled, or I'm just completely used to the way Pioneer gear sounds, because we are totally unimpressed by the 876's amp section. Listening to a half dozen of our 'gold-standard' songs revealed a grating harshness to the sound that just was not pleasant. My wife describes it as muddy. Highs were just screechy and lacked any sparkle. Much less 'texture' to the music than I'm used to. It's especially noticeable with stringed instruments. Everyone knows that a real violin, played well, almost has a 'taste' to it. Rich & velvety, the instrument alive in the musicians hands. There's very little of that with the Onkyo. Even in the 'Audio Pure Direct' mode, multi-channel inputs with ZERO processing, the sound is *very* different than the 43TX+LPA or SC-05. I know there's a strong current of 'amps don't matter' here, but by god, this just sounds different, even using the direct multichannel inputs.

We were starting to feel quite audio-fatigued after about 30 minutes. Compare that to our listening of the SC-05 that went on for hours. But enough of that...

I see the point that everyone has been trying to make about upscalers. Seems to be *totally* overrated (or maybe just unnecessary for my sources). My sources for this test included my Dish Vip722 HD receiver, looking at both HD and SD feeds. Both are scaled by the Vip722 into 1080i, with no 'native' option. Then I played around with an OTA HD network broadcast. Then I ran some tests with my Denon 480p DVD/SACD player. The HD sources looked *worse* when passed through the upscaler. On the OTA HD broadcast in particular, it gave a very grainy appearance to anything white. It did just slightly improve the PQ on the SD feeds, but I'm talking slight. Certainly not enough of an improvement to really mean anything. SD TV sucked before and it still sucks after. ;\) I couldn't tell a difference on the 480P DVD, other than the TV reporting a 1080P signal rather than 480P. This is all on a 61" Samsung LED DLP 1080P set that's about 9 months old.

And here's an interesting nugget... when listening to SACD's, my SACD/DVD player has a status screen that displays a big old 'DENON' logo on a purple background. While playing a SACD, I could actually see a faint, weird interference in the purple background that changed depending on the transient volume of the music playing. It would oscillate quickly when the music was soft, and then stop and almost reverse directions when the music got loud again. Imagine looking through a fan in front of a TV- that effect. Bizarre!!

So in case you haven't figured it out by now, the Onkyo is being returned. ASAP. I've got the SC-05 hooked back up and the difference in SQ is stunningly clear. Bass is crisp and powerful, the midrange is lovely and pleasant, and the highs are crisp and clean again, without a hint of excessive sibilance/screechyness. Same sources, same room, same cables, same songs.

Sorry Onkyo, I do not love thee. \:\(

I may be picking up a Denon 3808 this weekend, as I it is such a highly respected AVR. Though now that I think I see that I don't need/want to do any scaling with my sources, I'm more inclined to want to keep the SC-05, as it's audio is sublime.

And I could sell the LPA-1 to finance Oppo's BR player... ;\)
_________________________
M80v2 | VP150v2 | QS8v2
SVS Pci+ 20-39
Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
M22ti + T-Amp, in the Office

Top
#252311 - 03/18/09 12:33 AM Re: TX-SR876, in the house (and back in the box) [Re: PeterChenoweth]
cb919 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 1041
Loc: Ottawa, Canada
Keep it coming Peter! Thanks for the constant updates. I am VERY interested to see how the 3808 Denon stacks up against the SC-05 Pioneer. My fantastic local audio shop sells both Denon and Pioneer so either way I can support a local business. I'll have to consider NAD another day! This sounds all wrong, but I am looking forward to getting home from vacation so I can play with my our HT setup \:D next week.
_________________________
Dan
In/On Wall 500 w M2 Center Channel

Top
#252320 - 03/18/09 02:25 AM Re: TX-SR876, in the house (and back in the box) [Re: PeterChenoweth]
Kruncher Offline
devotee

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 484
Loc: Maple Ridge, BC
Thanks for the update. I was - repeat was - seriously contemplating going with Onkyo for my next AVR. Between the Audyssey aspects and other features, along with many recommending Onkyo, it was an attractive option.

But what you've described is absolutely a deal-breaker. And the 876 is hardly entry-level, so I'd expect better too.

This shortens my list. Thanks again.

Top
#252324 - 03/18/09 03:21 AM Re: TX-SR876, in the house (and back in the box) [Re: Kruncher]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11235
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
Yeah, those are some disappointing findings on the Onkyo. The Onkyo I had was a lot more entry-level, so I could understand the current-limiting crappiness, but I would have expected more from the 876. I'm interested in Peter's thoughts on the Denon vs. the Pioneer as well, not because I'm in the market, but simply for curiosity's sake.

Top
Page 5 of 12 < 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 11 12 >



Moderator:  alan, Amie, Andrew, axiomadmin, Brent, Debbie, Ian, Jc 

Home  |  Corporate Info  |  Products  |  Message Board  |  FAQs  |  Warranty  |  Site Map  |  Privacy Statement   |  Contact Us

©2014 Colquhoun Audio Laboratories Limited
All Rights Reserved.