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#252593 - 03/19/09 11:10 AM Re: TX-SR876, in the house (and back in the box) [Re: PeterChenoweth]
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3820
Loc: Up yonder
Peter,

It sounds to me like you already found your audio processor. If the Pioneer makes you grin, keep it and don’t fret over your decision or you will end up driving yourself insane…….

The only suggestion I have to make at this point, is make sure that whatever you end up with, that it has HDMI 1.3 and will strip / process all the audio formats. Even if it is 1.3 and the box / instructions say it processes all the formats, check the user forums and make sure it does. Many processors do not live up to their claims. Make sure it processes bitstream DTS-HD-Master and DD-TrueHD, and Multi Channel PCM over HDMI. If is processes all three of those without a bunch of complaints from users, you’re probably safe.

One other thing that I can not live without (drives me nuts to not have), is independent channel crossover points. Global doesn’t work for me.
_________________________


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#252604 - 03/19/09 11:26 AM Re: 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
Mark - that's an excellent point. You may be right.

mDrew, good advice. It does. All of those plus DSD via HDMI, including 192khz PCM. Even though at the moment I don't have any sources that can pass high-res audio via HDMI. I didn't realize that the PS3 can only do DTSHD & DDHD via PCM - minor bummer.

Like I've said, the SQ of the Pio is making me want to keep it. When I sit back and just enjoy the music, its 'happiness-quotient' is very high. And there's the added bonus that the LPA could be eBayed, as it's unnecessary.

But its features *are* lacking, and that impacts on the overall enjoyment for me a bit. It shouldn't, but it does. The global xover is a big one, and one of about a half dozen 'quirks' that makes me want to continue my search. While I have mostly recovered from my no-HDMI-upconversion panic attack, there are still other irritations such as no F/W updates, no HD radio, no OSD of volume/source, and slightly erratic MCACC. All of that together clouds the decision a bit.

Nah, I won't go insane. ;\) At least, any more than I already am. This is part of my 'big-ticket' purchasing process. A salesman's worst nightmare, I suppose. If I have high expectations of how something should work, I'm not going to give up on finding that ideal product until I've exhausted all of my options within the budget amount. Especially with something like this that I fully intend to keep for 5-6+ years. Other than the manual labor of moving AVR's and re-connecting all of my gear, it's fun.


Edited by PeterChenoweth (03/19/09 11:35 AM)
_________________________
M80v2 | VP150v2 | QS8v2
SVS Pci+ 20-39
Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
M22ti + T-Amp, in the Office

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#252628 - 03/19/09 12:42 PM Re: TX-SR876, in the house (and back in the box) [Re: JohnK]
Zimm Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 1361
Loc: New Orleans
 Originally Posted By: JohnK
You can be sure that in your comparison with a pure direct mode in effect and MCAAC, Audyssey or other processing intended to change the sound not present that the sound of music through the 876 would be as pleasant as it is through the Pioneer if the unit was operating properly.


John, you clearly have a strong grasp of the tech side of amp design, and I don't mean this to challenge your opinion on that front in any way. I just want to open up this discussion a bit (although I know you are likely tired of having this discussion anew every month. ;\) )

But have you considered that the Pioneer and the Onkyo and the Denon and the Lexicon, etc., etc., use different parts in the signal chain before the amp and thus sound different? I understand that a competently designed amp should sound the same. (Although I still don't get how a Class A sounds just like a Class B, A/B, D, and H?) But why does Burr-Brown offer a large number of different DACs, at wildly differing prices based on claimed audible improvement. Why does Denon use different DACs as you move up the line to Burr Brown's top end chip.

In a different arrangement, Lexicon's flagship processor claims "Each output uses two 24-bit/192kHz digital-to-analog converters operating in dual-mono mode. This design provides an improved signal-to-noise ratio and extended dynamic range, resulting in superior sound quality." Is this an inconsequential change as compared to cheap AVRs that use 1 8-channel DAC? I don't know. Maybe it is all hype, but but I can think of a lot of hype that would go further than a change in DACs.

I find it very persuasive that companies like Wolfson offer many DACs and even to the untrained eye, they are not all the same. Their cheap DACs offer SNR/THD(db) rate of 98/84 while the better DACs offer 106/95. Wolfson That is a huge difference. I have seen unofficial references to the lower cost DACs selling for $.02 a piece, while the higher end DACs cost $10 a piece. So if NAD (random pick) use 4 24-bit 2-ch $10 DACs while the Sony (again random) uses a single $2 16-bit 8ch DAC so they can profitably include the $5 video chip (which NAD eschews), then I would expect the NAD to sound better - even if the amp sections alone sound 100% identical.

In real terms, the Denon 5800 series uses 2 B/B PCM-1796 DACs per ch. But the Denon 1909 uses Analog Devices ADAU1328 DAC, while still other Denons up the chain use B/B PCM-1791 DACs. Denon Onkyo says the PCM-1796 "improves tolerance to clock jitter." Burr Can you hear that, or am I just getting sold by the Deaf Monk again?

If we were talking about an analog phono input into directly into an analog amp, I could buy into the concept that all would sound roughly the same. But "its all ball bearings these days". How one chip decodes the 1's and 0's and converts that into the subtle sound Peter describes from the violin is a function of complex math, and the companies claim some chips do it better. I don't think it is all the same and Peter's experience bears that out.

And this is only one part (albeit a huge part, I think) of the signal chain. Doesn't it matter during a dynamic passage if one amp section uses small capacitors versus large on another? What about the the transformer? What about the interference caused by large transformers in the same cheaper box as a the DAC chip? Why do some amps fail to drive a 4 ohm load, and do they sound the same up to the instant they shut down. I just can't buy it. The weight of the evidence seems to say the "all amps and AVRs sound the same" argument is tied to a by-gone era when all was analog and low powered.

I all seriousness, I look forward to your response as I value your input. \:\) And thanks Peter for taking the time to publish your experience. I don't think your report does anything to undermine the Onkyo owner's experience or the product. If technically possible, I would hope the various products would have different personalities as each buyer can work those into their needs and buying decision. On a more lifeless speaker, the Onkyo may add the sparkle needed to improve the sound, etc.
_________________________
Panny 3000 PJ, 118" Carada, Denon 3300, PS3, Axiom QS8, PSB 5T, B&W sub, levitating speaker wire

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#252629 - 03/19/09 12:55 PM Re: TX-SR876, in the house (and back in the box) [Re: Zimm]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
Actually, the plot has thickened significantly over the past couple of hours....

I may be returning the SC-05 and getting an SC-07. That still doesn't solve many of my key problems, but it does have an even better amp section and a few other minor doodads.

The reason? I've got of leads as to where I can get an SC-07 for less than I paid for the SC-05, or an SC-05 for about half what I paid for it at Best Buy. From legit, factory authorized Pioneer Elite retailers. These bad boys are seriously on sale right now. Anyone wanting to get one really needs to shop around. The Best Buy prices are good, but you can do better. \:\)
_________________________
M80v2 | VP150v2 | QS8v2
SVS Pci+ 20-39
Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
M22ti + T-Amp, in the Office

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#252632 - 03/19/09 01:05 PM Re: TX-SR876, in the house (and back in the box) [Re: PeterChenoweth]
Zimm Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 1361
Loc: New Orleans
By the way, the Pioneer SC-05 uses a Wolfson WM8740 DAC, where the Onkyo uses an unidentified Burr Brown. Maybe Peter is just a Wolfson fan!
_________________________
Panny 3000 PJ, 118" Carada, Denon 3300, PS3, Axiom QS8, PSB 5T, B&W sub, levitating speaker wire

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#252635 - 03/19/09 01:30 PM Re: TX-SR876, in the house (and back in the box) [Re: Zimm]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8125
Loc: Tacoma
You guys are good.
_________________________
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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#252648 - 03/19/09 02:17 PM Re: TX-SR876, in the house (and back in the box) [Re: tomtuttle]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
Maybe it is because of the hardware. Some say DAC's matter and it is true that the 876 and the 05 have different ones.

But maybe it's because of my super sound-deadening iso-alpha-blocking flux-capacitor enriched magnetically shielded drapes that my wife bought at ikea last year. Those crazy swedes. Sweden is close enough to Denmark, maybe there's some sort of Scandinavian conspiracy between the Danish-designed ICE amps in the '05 and the drapes... \:D

Or maybe it's because of the gooey material between my ears. I don't know nor will I assert one reason over another.

All I know is that in my living room, with my setup, with my ears (and my wife's) the 05 outperformed the 876. I've tried to be pretty clear that others shouldn't just take my word for it and should try it for themselves and buy what sounds the best to them!

\:\)
_________________________
M80v2 | VP150v2 | QS8v2
SVS Pci+ 20-39
Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
M22ti + T-Amp, in the Office

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#252651 - 03/19/09 02:49 PM Re: TX-SR876, in the house (and back in the box) [Re: PeterChenoweth]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8125
Loc: Tacoma
What? No pictures of either the drapes or the gooey stuff between your ears?
_________________________
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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#252664 - 03/19/09 03:36 PM Re: TX-SR876, in the house (and back in the box) [Re: PeterChenoweth]
Sloped Offline
veteran

Registered: 12/17/08
Posts: 110
Loc: Fonthill
Is there any reason that Yamaha is discussed very little in the Axiom forums. I have an older model, RX-V1000, driving 4 ohm Jamo fronts and Axioms for the rest and have never seen an issue and I rather enjoy playing around with the DSP modes. I plan on changing the receiver with a pre/pro/amp combination OR the RX-V3900. A buddy of mine has the RX-Z7 and it sounds great, has a web interface that is a god send for zoning however it gets warm to the touch.

This thread has some great information here so I'd like to know what the opinion is on this. From what I've seen the 3900 would fit into the price range and catagory of products being discussed here.

I'd especially like to know your thoughts Peter.
_________________________
HG Cherry M60's,VP150,Qs8's,EP350

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#252714 - 03/19/09 09:23 PM Re: TX-SR876, in the house (and back in the box) [Re: Sloped]
ibmack Offline
buff

Registered: 02/15/09
Posts: 44
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
Peter, I am very sorry to hear that the 876 was not to your liking - or that it may have had some problems. My experience, as you know from my previous posts to you, align with the high praise that can be found everywhere for this receiver. There are many different listening and processing modes I still fool around with to fine tune my appreciation for this unit - not to mention the challenges and ongoing learning experience with Audyssey.

On Audyssey, I know there has been lots of comments pro and con with Audyssey. In my case I only used it for the first month with my 875 and hung it up for about a year before I decided to try it again and really work on A/B comparisons with a bunch of music sources (with my better half often disagreeing with me). I ended up vastly appreciating its contribution and staying with it ever since. But the Dynamic EQ addition to the 876 really brings the surrounds out at low volumes.

Anyway, sorry for veering off topic there. I am disappointed that you didn't like the 876 and wish you the best of luch with your future unit.

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