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#251067 - 03/10/09 09:39 AM Pioneer Elite SC-05/07?
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
My current Pioneer Elite VSX-43TX from 2002 is officially slated for retirement this year.

I'm on the preorder list for Emotiva's UMC-1, but frankly I'm getting fed up with waiting for it. And the whole Axiom vs. Emotiva stuff has soured my feelings about them to some degree. I'm about to express my dissatisfaction with their project management by buying someting else.

I'm starting to research various other receivers. The Denon 3808 is an extremely popular one around here, and so I'm looking at that. But I have a soft spot for Pioneer Elite receivers, and I've found that I can get an SC-05 for a reasonable price. Does anyone have any experience with it?

If you do, sell me on it. What do you like? What do you dislike? Any problems in general? And if I'm lucky enough to find someone with an SC-05 and M80's - any problems running them? My 43TX is not happy running my M80's at *high* volume (thus the LPA-1). I assume the newer Elites are significantly better in this regard. But it may not matter to me as I can continue to use the LPA-1, though I'm up for selling it if the new receiver's amp section is up to the task.

I've read through about 150 pages of discussion about the SC-05/07 over on AVS and have learned a great deal. But I'd love to hear about it from a fellow Axiomite.

Thanks in advance!
_________________________
M80v2 | VP150v2 | QS8v2
SVS Pci+ 20-39
Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
M22ti + T-Amp, in the Office

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#251165 - 03/10/09 05:35 PM Re: Pioneer Elite SC-05/07? [Re: PeterChenoweth]
cb919 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 1041
Loc: Ottawa, Canada
Sorry can't be of immediate help, however I will be picking up my SC-05 last week of March along with the delivery of my new Axiom on-walls (W22's & W150). I will let you know how it goes. I chose the SC-05 because I liked the idea of the ICE amplification, the home media gallery (I put all media files on my NAS) and a well rated on screen GUI as well as good professional reviews. Won't be able to help with M80's specific feedback obviously. Feel free to prompt me with a PM come the end of March!
_________________________
Dan
In/On Wall 500 w M2 Center Channel

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#251167 - 03/10/09 06:01 PM Re: Pioneer Elite SC-05/07? [Re: cb919]
jakewash Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10389
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
Just run both W22s on one output and crank it up, this would simulate an M80 load quite nicely ;\)

Looking forward to your thoughts and some pics.
_________________________
Jason
-----------------
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My HT

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#251168 - 03/10/09 06:18 PM Re: Pioneer Elite SC-05/07? [Re: jakewash]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3442
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
 Originally Posted By: jakewash
Just run both W22s on one output and crank it up, this would simulate an M80 load quite nicely ;\)

It's funny that you would say that. That's the one thing which the SC-07 seemed to have a lot trouble (according to the Audioholics' review), running into one full bandwidth channel with a 4 Ohm load. Anything above 5kHz would shut the amp down when going higher than 100 Watts. Two channels with 4 Ohms each were fine providing 150 W/c. The reviewer found this to be strange (that one channel would provide less power than 2), but figured it had something to do with the symmetrical load balancing on the power supply.

This matters little in the real world. Especially considering that even the M80 is well above 4 Ohms at frequencies >5kHz
_________________________
Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K, PDP-5020FD, DV-79AVi
Axiom M22s, VP150, QS8s
Sony PS3, surround backs
-Chris

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#251203 - 03/10/09 10:42 PM Re: Pioneer Elite SC-05/07? [Re: jakewash]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10304
Yeah Jay, and in some respects it would be a tougher test. The M22s drop to about 3ohms in an upper-midrange area(which would hit about 1.5 ohms in parallel)and are a bit less sensitive and require more power than M80s. Besides theory, practical tests with M22s in parallel a few years ago plus trying various receivers on a speaker owned by a colleague, having both a lower impedance curve and lower sensitivity than the M80s(Magnepan 1.6), are factors which lead me not to overestimate the difficulty in driving something like the M80s. Played at normally loud levels with even material having very wide dynamic range there should be no trouble in the vast majority of home systems. Of course almost anything can be forced to shut down if driven hard enough and long enough.
_________________________
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Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#251249 - 03/11/09 10:31 AM Re: Pioneer Elite SC-05/07? [Re: JohnK]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
Good stuff gents, thanks.

cb919, I'll keep you in mind. Once you get your system all fired up, do post your impressions of it. I'll be curious to see what you think of the SC-05.
_________________________
M80v2 | VP150v2 | QS8v2
SVS Pci+ 20-39
Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
M22ti + T-Amp, in the Office

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#251760 - 03/15/09 11:16 AM SC-05, in the house. [Re: PeterChenoweth]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
So while wandering around my local Best Buy:Magnolia store yesterday I discovered that they had SC-05's on sale for $899. Brand new. That's *half* MSRP, and equal to the cheapest online fly-by-night, no-warranty places I've seen for this receiver. And of course, easily returnable and with the full warranty since it's a real dealer, and I'll get a Blu-Ray or two worth of reward points, so I couldn't pass it up.

I figured, at best I was getting a great deal on a receiver that I've been looking at for awhile, and at worst I could just return it within 30 days.

So after a couple of hours of rewiring all of my gear (whew!), I've got it all hooked up. Since the main feature of this thing is its ICE Class D digital amplification section, I decided to remove the LPA-1 from the loop to see if the SC-05 could run M80's. It can. Easily. As measured with my standard demo material, I can hit spl levels even higher than the LPA-1 can. At my volume-tolerance level, I can just begin to hear my LPA-1 strain - just a bit. Not so with the SC-05. Extremely clean, even at absurd+++ volume levels. Wow. Anyone wanna buy an LPA-1? ;\) Anyone worried that the SC-05 (and the 07 & 09) might not handle the 4-ohm M80's, don't be. It barely got warm even while running through a few 'torture' tests. \:\)

I ran through a few sessions of the MCACC calibration. I like what it does. It's hard to explain but it definitely changes the characteristics of the sound. In my case, it really smoothed out the bass response. I've been struggling for years at taming a both boomy AND bright room, and this thing has fixed it. Very smooth & clean sound, from the deepest bass to the highest highs. The SQ seems really, really good. My wife and I spent about 4 hours just re-listening to music yesterday and we're both in agreement that it just sounds better. I have no idea if it's a difference between the 43tx vs the sc-5, the amp, or the MCACC. But we really like the change.

Everything else seems just fine. Source switching & signal acquisition & processing seem to work perfectly. No weird quirks that I can find.

Drawbacks? Well, there are a couple of annoyances...

1. I knew that it "only" had Faroudja video processing when I bought it. But what I didn't know is that the Pioneer Elites do absolutely nothing with HDMI input video. So there is no upscaling of digital video, only analog. I am somewhat disappointed in this because I had sort of wanted a good upscaler (Reon in the 876). But on the other hand, as I've thought about it I don't know *why* I think I need a good upscaler. All of my sources (Dish HD, PS3, AppleTV) are native 1080i or 1080p anyway, and the PQ looks fantastic to me. So I'm not sure why I think I need an AVR that upscales. Still, one less feature....

2. Lack of OSD. This is a bigger annoyance. It has an OSD for the setup - speaker sizes, MCACC calibration & graphing, etc. But it does not have any kind of OSD for volume, source, or processing modes (DD, DTS, etc). Well, it does if you buy a Kuro plasma I guess, but not for us lowly owners who can't afford them. Sure, it's on the 05's display, but it's impossible to read the itty-bitty 5mm tall status lights from across the room. I understand Pio's logic in saying that they don't want to touch the video. I get it. But other manufacturers don't seem to have an issue with that so I don't know why they do.

3. Global crossover only! I don't know how I missed this in the reviews, but this thing only has a single crossover for the whole system. Wow, how 2002. Would have been nice to be able to cross my M80's at a different point than my QS8's.

So, I am happy with it. If the fundamentals of what an AVR should do are sound quality & source processing, the SC-05 seems great. It's as solid as a rock (so far), with absolutely no quirky behaviors. I'm loving the one-cable HDMI connections between everything. Serious clean-up behind the AV Rack. And the sound quality, as I've said, seems to be outstanding. So for that, it's amazing. My Axiom's have never sounded so good and the music just sounds, well, alive.

I'm less thrilled with the lack of 'toys', as my wife puts it. I'm not sure it's a deal-breaker but it is a bit disappointing. The perfect-reputation of the Denon 3808 and the amazing array of features on the Onkyo TX-SR876 are tempting. In fact, I have nearly talked myself into ordering one or both of them to compare at home, and then returning the two that I like the least.

We shall see....
_________________________
M80v2 | VP150v2 | QS8v2
SVS Pci+ 20-39
Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
M22ti + T-Amp, in the Office

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#251774 - 03/15/09 11:56 AM Re: SC-05, in the house. [Re: PeterChenoweth]
jakewash Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10389
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
So when does the 3808 arrive?
_________________________
Jason
-----------------
TTTHHHPPPPPTTTT!

My HT

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#251782 - 03/15/09 01:03 PM Re: SC-05, in the house. [Re: jakewash]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
Not sure! A good friend just got a 3808 a few weeks ago. He's loving it. I've been meaning to stop by his house and check it out. I'm going to try to do that sometime this week. That will at least give me a feel for its features and so forth.

Though given the choice, on paper I think I like the the Onkyo better than the 3808. Though there are just *so many* happy 3808 owners, I can't ignore it. \:\)


Edited by PeterChenoweth (03/15/09 01:11 PM)
_________________________
M80v2 | VP150v2 | QS8v2
SVS Pci+ 20-39
Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
M22ti + T-Amp, in the Office

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#251784 - 03/15/09 01:44 PM Re: SC-05, in the house. [Re: PeterChenoweth]
cb919 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 1041
Loc: Ottawa, Canada
Peter,
That was a heck of a deal for the SC-05. Good to hear your experiences so far. Let us know if you get to do a direct comparo with the 3808.

I will be buying the SC-05 in about a week so if you have a good reason to reconsider something else (like the 3808) I'd like to hear it soon! I am currently on vacation in Myrtle Beach but will be setting everything up next week when I'm back home.

Thanks for the negative points being stated so clearly, but I think the positive (for me) outweighs the negative. The only one that slightly concerns me is the global crossover, although with W-22's. W-150 and QS8's I don't think this will be a big issue for me. It's more for future flexibility.

Glad to hear you liked the ICE amps though. I'll be watching this thread closely .
_________________________
Dan
In/On Wall 500 w M2 Center Channel

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#251786 - 03/15/09 02:12 PM Re: SC-05, in the house. [Re: PeterChenoweth]
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4729
Loc: western canada
That was a good review of the Pioneer, very helpful.

I am also considering retiring our Onkyo 797 from 2002. I plan on going to a 7.1 setup and our unit is not so featured.
I also want to consider some of the newer sound formats (or newer video switching capabilities) for the same and again, the older Onkyo is out of date in this regard.
It also has a global crossover but it is sadly also fixed (either on or off at 80Hz), so i don't use it.

We're looking into possibly getting another Onkyo and an external amp (again future considerations for power requirements of various speakers, and more of them).
It was interesting to read how the newer Pioneers still seem to have some of the same, 'outdated' features from 2002. I would never have guessed.
_________________________
"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#251805 - 03/15/09 05:52 PM Re: SC-05, in the house. [Re: chesseroo]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
That is my feeling as well, Chess..

I've spent some more time today with the SC-05 and my enthusiasm for it is waning. The sound quality is phenomenal, without question. When I sit back and just enjoy the music, I'm very happy.

But there are a lot of features in the SC-05 that really aren't that much more advanced than what were in my Pioneer Elite VSX-43TX, circa 2001-2002. And in that sense, I'm not really sure it's worth the upgrade...

And that's the dilemma. Sounds great, but just a little lacking in the setup arena.
_________________________
M80v2 | VP150v2 | QS8v2
SVS Pci+ 20-39
Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
M22ti + T-Amp, in the Office

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#251809 - 03/15/09 06:34 PM Re: SC-05, in the house. [Re: PeterChenoweth]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
Just pulled the trigger on an Onkyo TX-SR876. It should be here Tuesday. I figure that the only want to make sure I get what I want is to try them both. I expect to keep this AVR for at least 5 or 6 years - hopefully longer. So I want to make sure I get the right one that meets my needs.

I'll let everyone know how the 876 stacks up against the SC-05.
_________________________
M80v2 | VP150v2 | QS8v2
SVS Pci+ 20-39
Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
M22ti + T-Amp, in the Office

Top
#251817 - 03/15/09 08:03 PM Re: SC-05, in the house. [Re: PeterChenoweth]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6551
Loc: It's all about the location.
Congratulations Peter, keep us informed.
_________________________
A person convinced against their will is of the same opinion still.

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#251820 - 03/15/09 08:13 PM Re: SC-05, in the house. [Re: Adrian]
Zimm Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 1361
Loc: New Orleans
Yep, let us know.
_________________________
Panny 3000 PJ, 118" Carada, Denon 3300, PS3, Axiom QS8, PSB 5T, B&W sub, levitating speaker wire

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#251905 - 03/16/09 11:57 AM Re: SC-05, in the house. [Re: Zimm]
Zimm Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 1361
Loc: New Orleans
I'm "kinda" in the market for a new AVR, and following Peter's search has helped target my questions. I was looking at the NAD AVR's, having heard they make great amp sections. Obviously, one of the big points in the AVR market now is the video chip - Silicon Optix v. DCDi, most notably. But as Peter mentioned, many of us many not need to upscale the video. So I found the following interesting. The Flagship T785 does not have an up-scaling chip at all! This is their reasoning, and I must say it resonates with me, as it makes me think my money would go to parts I would use, rather than an upscaler I don't need for 1080p sources:
 Quote:
NAD has secured the latest version of V1.3 HDMI technology from Analog Devices. All input resolutions (480i, 576i, 720p, 1080i and 1080p) are supported at the output with cross conversion of analog formats between Composite, S-Video and Component video. Further, all existing analog inputs are also available for up-conversion to HDMI output. Output resolution always matches input resolution: perfectly.

With respect to adjunct video processing, NAD has decided to exclude "format conversion" in order to sustain the maximum video performance that exists from the source. This means that the NAD only changes formats, and passes the native resolution, without adding any of the "conversion artifacts" generated by this scheme of signal processing.

For best overall system performance, onboard video processing is not included. While onboard video processing is considered a popular feature by some of NAD's competitors, it is just as likely that you will end up with an inferior picture, because a digital processor is substituting the missing pixels with "virtual guesses" rather than actual data. Additionally, reprocessing already processed video can cause obvious picture distortion. Finally, many if not all fixed pixel displays already provide a scaling solution engineered specifically for the native resolution of their product.

Very interesting. This has me rethinking things and puts NAD on my short list of AVRs. Also impressive, is that they list their FTC power as 200w/ch into 7, but explain that by their methods it is only 120 watts, but that those watts are guaranteed to be there at all times. Amazing, FTC rating can be off by almost 40% compared to real power. What does that tell us about the many 100w/c FTC rated AVRs.
_________________________
Panny 3000 PJ, 118" Carada, Denon 3300, PS3, Axiom QS8, PSB 5T, B&W sub, levitating speaker wire

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#251907 - 03/16/09 12:05 PM Re: SC-05, in the house. [Re: Zimm]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11053
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
Upscaling isn't important to me, but I'd still call that spin. Yes, the added pixels are "guesses," but that's the whole point. Maximum video performance comes from having high-definition sources that don't need the guesses, not from having unmolested standard definition. They just wanted to save money and charge you more for it.
_________________________
SuperGrand UltraDeluxe (Plus Extra More)

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#251909 - 03/16/09 12:08 PM Re: SC-05, in the house. [Re: CV]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
That's my thought too, CV.

My same complaint with the 'we-don't-touch-the-HDMI-inputs' attitude of the Pioneer Elite. Just like NAD. But Denon, Onkyo, etc, don't seem to have a problem doing it. And the feature is defeatable for the purists.

I'm torn about the issue. On the one hand, I understand the need for purity. Leave the video upscaling to the video devices, and let the AVR handle the audio processing. But on the other hand, I want the ability to upscale if I need it. Of course, that $180 Oppo DVD player has an amazing upscaler, and if I'd just break down and buy one of those then my AVR upscaling ability would be a moot point (as would my SACD issues....)

But that's a key reason why I ordered the 876. I intend to really take a hard look at what its Reon chip can do. If it makes an improvement (to DVD's and 1080i HD TV) then I'll keep it. If it doesn't, then I'll send the 876 back and get a 3808.

At this point in time, my feeling is that the SC-05 may end up being returned. Unless, of course, I discover that the amp sections of the 876/3808 turn out to be underwhelming compared to the '05. The 05's sound quality really is magnificent, and as my wife points out, isn't that really the point of all of this? Decisions decisions. \:\)
_________________________
M80v2 | VP150v2 | QS8v2
SVS Pci+ 20-39
Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
M22ti + T-Amp, in the Office

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#251915 - 03/16/09 12:22 PM Re: SC-05, in the house. [Re: PeterChenoweth]
Zimm Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 1361
Loc: New Orleans
I hear you, I have been traveling that road a long time. But for me, I plan to get a projector. It will upscale all sources. I don't want to process the image twice, and my primary sources is 1080p BluRay. The cable TV is 1080i, but I'd trust the video section of a good projector over the video section of a good amp. So, assuming my money is not just being taken , I like the idea of putting it into the amp section. Notice I edited my post to add a blurb about the power ratings.

Good stuff guys, this discussion is really helping me.
_________________________
Panny 3000 PJ, 118" Carada, Denon 3300, PS3, Axiom QS8, PSB 5T, B&W sub, levitating speaker wire

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#251917 - 03/16/09 12:31 PM Re: SC-05, in the house. [Re: Zimm]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
My problem is that I really have no basis for comparison of upscalers. I've not seen a 'good' one. I've not seen a 'bad' one. I've read reviews but it really doesn't do much for me. I need to see it in my own living room to really understand.

My DVD/SACD player is a Denon 1920 that upscales to 480p via a Faroudja chip. It looks fine to me. Not BR quality but ok. DVD's on the PS3 to 1080P look about the same. I can't really tell a difference.

My Dish box upscales everything to 1080i. That's the primary source I'm curious about w/ a better upscaler. I don't know if sending that signal through an AVR's upscaler to 1080p will make any difference, + or -.

My AppleTV outputs everything at 1080p, and it looks *really* good, IMHO. Even SD movies look better than DVD. And the HD movies look fantastic. As good as HDTV and nearly as good as BluRay. It just doesn't have the new lossless HD audio formats.


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

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#251946 - 03/16/09 03:27 PM Re: SC-05, in the house. [Re: PeterChenoweth]
Zimm Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 1361
Loc: New Orleans
Let us know what you think. I'm very interest to hear if the Reon chip can better the PS3 on BluRay or DVD. In theory it can't improve the BluRay if you output 1080p as that is the native resolution. But who knows. This probably seems obvious, but when testing DVD from an upscaling unit, you probably need to defeat all treatment by the player. Otherwise the Reon chip will be working with adulterated content, not the original sources. Both in a line might help, ????, but for comparison I think you want to know if the Reon chip is better than the Denon 1920 or PS3 alone.

Enjoy.
_________________________
Panny 3000 PJ, 118" Carada, Denon 3300, PS3, Axiom QS8, PSB 5T, B&W sub, levitating speaker wire

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#251953 - 03/16/09 03:42 PM Re: SC-05, in the house. [Re: Zimm]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3442
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
I don't know about the Reon chip, but to expand upon some of your thoughts...

The 4:2:0 to 4:4:4 chroma upscaling in the Oppo BDP-83 seems to be able to retrieve more color resolution from Blu-ray discs than any other sub-$2k player. It uses an Anchor Bay scaler. So it is possible to improve upon even Blu-rays.

Also, finding a DVD player which output 480i over HDMI is a bit difficult. Using 480p as an input into a scaler does have drawbacks, if it was de-interlaced poorly in the player (e.g. not taking into account film and handling everything as video--which is what the PS3 does). Again, Anchor Bay has a PReP - Progressive ReProcessing technology which re-interlaces progressive video to redo the job correctly.
_________________________
Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K, PDP-5020FD, DV-79AVi
Axiom M22s, VP150, QS8s
Sony PS3, surround backs
-Chris

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#251956 - 03/16/09 03:50 PM Re: SC-05, in the house. [Re: ClubNeon]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
Well, I'll be using my Denon 1920 as an output source, and its HDMI connection doesn't seem to work at all. It's never worked for me, not with my HDTV, and not with this SC-05. Not sure if it's broken or just incompatible. I'm using the component video outputs @ 480p.

The SC-05 upscales that to 1080p/HDMI with its Faroudja upscaler. While my HDTV does register that it is indeed receiving a 1080P/60hz signal, I can tell no difference between it and the 'native' 480p signal.

I think I just need to trash it and upgrade to an Oppo. ;\)
_________________________
M80v2 | VP150v2 | QS8v2
SVS Pci+ 20-39
Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
M22ti + T-Amp, in the Office

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#251957 - 03/16/09 03:55 PM Re: SC-05, in the house. [Re: ClubNeon]
Zimm Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 1361
Loc: New Orleans
 Originally Posted By: ClubNeon
I don't know about the Reon chip, but to expand upon some of your thoughts...

The 4:2:0 to 4:4:4 chroma upscaling in the Oppo BDP-83 seems to be able to retrieve more color resolution from Blu-ray discs than any other sub-$2k player. It uses an Anchor Bay scaler. So it is possible to improve upon even Blu-rays.

Also, finding a DVD player which output 480i over HDMI is a bit difficult. Using 480p as an input into a scaler does have drawbacks, if it was de-interlaced poorly in the player (e.g. not taking into account film and handling everything as video--which is what the PS3 does). Again, Anchor Bay has a PReP - Progressive ReProcessing technology which re-interlaces progressive video to redo the job correctly.


Interesting. While I am quick to laud the PS3 with praise, I guess I'm not surprised that after a few years players would be passing it up. Has there been any review of the Oppo yet? Never mind - I AM NOT IN THE MARKET, I WANT NO NEW INFO ON BR PLAYERS.
I must go now, I am feeling the urge to research blu ray players.
_________________________
Panny 3000 PJ, 118" Carada, Denon 3300, PS3, Axiom QS8, PSB 5T, B&W sub, levitating speaker wire

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#251960 - 03/16/09 03:58 PM Re: SC-05, in the house. [Re: Zimm]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
Whatever you do, don't look into the BDP-83. ;\) It's not out yet, but it promises to be quite extraordinary. And Oppo's reputation is, from everything I've ever read, pretty much flawless.

For anyone who would like an all-in-one SACD, DVD-A, DVD, and BluRay player, it may be The One.
_________________________
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#251963 - 03/16/09 04:05 PM Re: SC-05, in the house. [Re: PeterChenoweth]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3442
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
I've not tried the Faroudja DCDi in my Pioneer receiver (since the Elites don't scale HDMI, the lowly standard models definitely don't). But I have an older Pioneer Elite DV-79AVi flagship DVD player, and a PDP-5020 Kuro plasma, along with my PS3. While the PS3 is rated good at enhancing detail while scaling DVDs, it isn't as good some of the newer scaler chips.

Of the scalers I own and have been able to test I rate them in this order:

PS3: Very good, but doesn't do film cadence detection and scales the 240 lines of each field of 480i directly to 1080p/60.

DV-79AVi: Softer looking than the PS3, but still does a pretty good job, maxes out at 1080i, but the Kuro de-interlaces this and will go into 24 Hz mode on film content.

PDP-5020: Fed a base 480i signal from the DV-79AVi or 480p from the PS3, it produces a very soft looking image. I'm surprised it is this poor. Goes to show that even one of the best TVs in the world still needs a quality scaler before it.

GefenTV 1080P HDMI Scaler: Horrible, horrible, horrible. Stay far away. Not only does it produce a poor picture, it even screws with the colors and white/black levels.
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Sony PS3, surround backs
-Chris

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#251965 - 03/16/09 04:08 PM Re: SC-05, in the house. [Re: PeterChenoweth]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10666
Loc: Central NH
 Originally Posted By: PeterChenoweth
it may be The One.


uuuuuhhhhh..... the one............THE ONE.............


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#251966 - 03/16/09 04:09 PM Re: SC-05, in the house. [Re: MarkSJohnson]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
I was thinking more along the lines of...



With the bullets being various other DVD,SACD, BR, etc players.

;\)
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#251967 - 03/16/09 04:10 PM Re: SC-05, in the house. [Re: ClubNeon]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
 Originally Posted By: ClubNeon
...and a PDP-5020 Kuro plasma


...droool _nice_ TV! \:\)
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#251968 - 03/16/09 04:11 PM Re: SC-05, in the house. [Re: PeterChenoweth]
Zimm Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 1361
Loc: New Orleans
 Originally Posted By: PeterChenoweth
Whatever you do, don't look into the BDP-83. ;\) It's not out yet, but it promises to be quite extraordinary. And Oppo's reputation is, from everything I've ever read, pretty much flawless.

For anyone who would like an all-in-one SACD, DVD-A, DVD, and BluRay player, it may be The One.


GREEAAATTT. Yeah, I'm sure I won't look at THE ONE!

I gotta get off the fourm.
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#251970 - 03/16/09 04:16 PM Re: SC-05, in the house. [Re: ClubNeon]
Zimm Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 1361
Loc: New Orleans
 Originally Posted By: ClubNeon
I've not tried the Faroudja DCDi in my Pioneer receiver (since the Elites don't scale HDMI, the lowly standard models definitely don't). But I have an older Pioneer Elite DV-79AVi flagship DVD player, and a PDP-5020 Kuro plasma, along with my PS3. While the PS3 is rated good at enhancing detail while scaling DVDs, it isn't as good some of the newer scaler chips.Of the scalers I own and have been able to test I rate them in this order:

PS3: Very good, but doesn't do film cadence detection and scales the 240 lines of each field of 480i directly to 1080p/60.


See, I am just still very impressed the PS3 is even in the discussion. My TV is a fill in until I can get a projector so I have not been overly concerend with video details to this point, but your experience is very helpful. I mentioned to Peter the other day that a recent review of new projectors said the Reon chip was the best of the group. The other was in-house Sony, and I think the Panny used DCDi, but I might have that wrong. So I was thinking the Onkyo might actually do a really good job.
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#251977 - 03/16/09 04:26 PM Re: SC-05, in the house. [Re: Zimm]
cb919 Offline
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Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 1041
Loc: Ottawa, Canada
Well guys, all I can say about Oppo is that as soon as the BDP version is available to the regular Joe I will be ordering one. I love the PS3 as well, but I really do notice a difference watching upscaled DVD's on my PS3 vs. my Oppo 981 - less jaggies and motion artifact in general with the Oppo (I am not a video expert but certain things do annoy me). Sorry Zimm, but I thought you needed to know \:D

Peter - get an Oppo and forget about upscaling features in your AVR as you suggested

As for the SC-05 (to try and keep this thread on track), I do think it's about the audio quality primarily so I am still leaning towards the SC-05. I agree with your wife Peter! My only concern is regarding the crossover settings. For my setup I will need to set the crossover in the 80 to 100 Hz range. The SC-05 allows 80 or 100 and others but not 90 Hz (thanks for the info Peter). Does anyone think this would be a serious shortcoming with W22's, W150 and QS8's having to choose between 80 and 100Hz crossover?
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#251979 - 03/16/09 04:33 PM Re: SC-05, in the house. [Re: cb919]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
Yes, I ought to agree with my wife more often too. In the end, she's usually right. \:\) I see no reason why this AVR debacle is any different. ;\)

I'd say that in your situation, the 80/100 xover is not a problem.

When my setup was M22's + VP150 + Energy Take5 surrounds, I kept it at an 80hz crossover. It worked well. 80hz is a good xover for M22's and the VP150. I assume that the w versions are similar. If 90 is optimal, then I doubt you'd have issues running 80 or 100. You're just shifting a tiny amount of bass between speakers & sub. NBD, IMHO. If you needed a 200hz crossover and your AVR could only do 80hz, that would be a problem.

With the M80's, I'd like to cross them at more like 50hz but leave the VP150 + QS8's at 80hz. The idea that this new state-of-the-art near-flagship receiver can't do it just irritates me. I'm easily irritated by little quirks like that.

To be fair, I've read at least one article (which of course, I can't remember where) that says that independent crossovers can cause problems in a setup, and that most users are better off with just a global xover anyway. Probably one sponsored by Pioneer.
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#251984 - 03/16/09 04:45 PM Re: SC-05, in the house. [Re: PeterChenoweth]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3442
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
It is harder (perhaps impossible?) to maintain phase coherence between different cross-over points and/or slopes, even when done in the digital domain.
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#251987 - 03/16/09 04:47 PM Re: SC-05, in the house. [Re: PeterChenoweth]
thedude_044 Offline
hobbyist

Registered: 07/07/05
Posts: 22
Loc: Mich
For the previous mentioned reasons I await the first thread on the latest NAD-Oppo combo. That's my goal if it ever happens to mesh. My Pio-Technics-Kenwood days are long gone. \:\) *ducks*
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#251988 - 03/16/09 04:49 PM Re: SC-05, in the house. [Re: ClubNeon]
Zimm Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 1361
Loc: New Orleans
How so? I though you were just cutting off the frequency to certain speakers. Why would the absence of freq at 60hz for example, cause the L/R tower crossed at 40 to be out of phase with the center crossed at 80 and SR/SL crossed at 80?

Just asking, I don't know the answer.
Edit: Hell, i don't even know what my question means, much less the answer to it. \:\(


Edited by Zimm (03/16/09 04:50 PM)
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#251990 - 03/16/09 04:51 PM Re: SC-05, in the house. [Re: thedude_044]
Zimm Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 1361
Loc: New Orleans
 Originally Posted By: thedude_044
For the previous mentioned reasons I await the first thread on the latest NAD-Oppo combo. That's my goal if it ever happens to mesh. My Pio-Technics-Kenwood days are long gone. \:\) *ducks*


Audio Advisor is running a deal on NADs with the BR player in for free. In case you had not seen that.
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#251991 - 03/16/09 04:51 PM Re: SC-05, in the house. [Re: Zimm]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
 Originally Posted By: Zimm
How so? I though you were just cutting off the frequency to certain speakers. Why would the absence of freq at 60hz for example, cause the L/R tower crossed at 40 to be out of phase with the center crossed at 80 and SR/SL crossed at 80?

Just asking, I don't know the answer.


Ditto.

If multiple xover points *are* a problem, them why is it that Audyssey supports it? Pure marketing gimmick? I mean, the 3808 & 876 both allow independent xovers. No one seems to complain about their 3808 having phase problems. And just like Zimm, I'm just curious, I don't know either!
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#251993 - 03/16/09 04:54 PM Re: SC-05, in the house. [Re: PeterChenoweth]
Zimm Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 1361
Loc: New Orleans
Not a new issue, my AVR lets you set small or large for each set of speakers. So it sets 80 for the smalls and none for the large. But I have never understood that would cause phase problems. If so, I wonder if Audessey fixes it? I've never heard that, but they damn well should.
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#251994 - 03/16/09 04:57 PM Re: SC-05, in the house. [Re: Zimm]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3442
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
But it isn't just a "cut", it is a filter. In the analog world of discrete component filters, a filter will always alter phase. Now in the digital domain is it possible to filter the frequency and compensate for time (so now it may be possible, just hard).

Filters at different frequencies (cross-over points) will result in different phase changes.

How much of a problem this is depends on how picky the listener is, and the similarity of the content between dissimilar speakers. Say the fronts are crossed at 40 Hz, and the surrounds at 80, and the low-pass portion of the filter is being routed to the same sub. If there is similar content between the front and rear the phase differential will cause a comb-filter effect in the signal which is being sent to the sub.
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Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K, PDP-5020FD, DV-79AVi
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#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
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#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.]
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#251997 - 03/16/09 05:07 PM Re: SC-05, in the house. [Re: Zimm]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3442
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
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#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!
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#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.
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#252300 - 03/17/09 09:54 PM Re: More thoughts [Re: Zimm]
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3820
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.
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#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... ;\)
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#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.
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Dan
In/On Wall 500 w M2 Center Channel

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#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.

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#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: 11053
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.
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#252326 - 03/18/09 05:12 AM Re: TX-SR876, in the house (and back in the box) [Re: CV]
jakewash Offline
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Peter, I will guess you tried the Onkyo with Audyssey turned on and off? Notice any differences between the 2? Was it better with it turned off?
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#252330 - 03/18/09 06:52 AM Re: TX-SR876, in the house (and back in the box) [Re: jakewash]
MarkSJohnson Offline
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+1 for buying and testing a 3808 for my own completely selfish reasons.

I'm appreciative of the time and patience taken in your reports!
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#252345 - 03/18/09 09:27 AM Re: TX-SR876, in the house (and back in the box) [Re: MarkSJohnson]
PeterChenoweth Offline
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Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
Thanks guys.

Let me caution everyone to keep in mind that these are just my opinions. I'm sharing with everyone because I have, in the past, wished someone would do what I'm doing and post about it. I finally just got up the nerve to do it myself. \:\) I would strongly encourage anyone looking at any of these receivers to do exactly what I'm doing and test them for yourself. All the reading in the world is no substitute for actually hearing/seeing it for yourself. I don't have an agenda over which setup 'ought' to sound best, and so I'm trying to be as impartial as I can. But I'm only human and don't pretend to have golden ears. I just know what I like. I'm sure there's more than one Onkyo owner around here that's cursing me for being negative about the 876. Sorry about that, but it just doesn't work for me.

I will freely admit that I did not spend hours tweaking the Audyssey setup, and so it is very likely that is is better than I say it is. I went so far as to calibrate it to 3 listening positions (I know more is better), and then to tweak the crossover points. Audyssey wanted the M80's and VP150 as full, with the QS8's crossed at 70hz. I had read online (AVS) that it's best to set all the speakers to an 80hz crossover, which is ironic, since a global xover is one of my complaints about the SC-05. I also played around with which EQ mode it used, 'MultiEQ XT' vs 'Dynamic EQ' vs 'Off'.

I was not impressed at all with the 'MultiEQ XT' mode. It sucked all of the midrange out of the setup and did something that completely killed the soundstage - speakers became very easy to pinpoint. The Dynamic EQ was what I used (per AVS recommendations) for most of the testing, unless I was using the 'Pure Audio' direct mode or the multi-channel in, neither of which use any calibration (AFAIK). But for PCM signals, yes I tried both Audyssey on and off. It certainly changed the sound, but I can't really say that one way was better than the other. I could tell that Audyssey was trying to enlarge the 'sweet spot' at the center of the couch, but it was not really all that impressive.

It genuinely pains me to say it, but neither MCACC nor Audyssey seem to really be doing much more than what I've been able to accomplish with an SPL meter, rugs/drapes, and some speaker positioning tweaks. Maybe my room is better than I think it is. ;\)

The most revealing test for me was the pure, analog-input, no processing, SACD sound. That's where the difference between these two was most apparent.

The 876 is heading back to Amazon. I'll probably have to pay the return shipping on it but that's ok. It's fair and worth the peace of mind to me. As soon as Amazon issues the credit (about a week, in my experience), then I'll re-evaluate the situation. I've got a month to decide on the SC-05.

As it stands right now, I'm leaning towards returning the SC-05 too and waiting until the UMC-1 is released. Or I may just wait until the 3808's replacement is released, considering that it's almost 2 years old at this point. Or I may just swap the SC-05 for a 3808 and give that a shot. I've read through the manual and it is an extremely impressive bit of kit. And it's clear to me that it has a huge following around here. My only problem with the 3808 is that the best price I've found is about $1,400. And for that, I could get a UMC-1 and an XPA-2. Or a UMC and Oppo's BR player. Too many options.

Though my wife's suggestion is that we start looking even further up the food chain. "What about Marantz or NAD," she asked last night. "Those are going to be closer to $2k, if not more " I replied. "So?" she asked. Oh bother.

Not exactly sure where this will end up. All I know for sure is that I need a few days to rest my back after hauling around 60+ pound AVR's and amps for 4 days. \:\)


Edited by PeterChenoweth (03/18/09 10:04 AM)
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#252352 - 03/18/09 10:25 AM Re: TX-SR876, in the house (and back in the box) [Re: PeterChenoweth]
MarkSJohnson Offline
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Peter, just one quick note that as of fairly recently, it's been reported that 6th Ave Electronics is still selling the 3808 for $1100.

You have to call and ask for the "AVS" price, and they are an official Denon retailer.
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#252359 - 03/18/09 10:49 AM Re: TX-SR876, in the house (and back in the box) [Re: MarkSJohnson]
PeterChenoweth Offline
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Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
That is a good price. But the problem is that I don't know about their return policy. And in doing what I'm doing I've got to know that the seller has a good one.

I've never dealt with 6th Ave before, other than hearing their name throw about over on DPReview.com. I've returned stuff to Amazon before, so I'm reasonably comfortable with them. But I don't know about 6th Ave.
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#252373 - 03/18/09 11:42 AM Re: TX-SR876, in the house (and back in the box) [Re: PeterChenoweth]
tomtuttle Offline
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Registered: 06/20/03
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Thank you for sharing your journey, Peter. Fascinating read.
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#252396 - 03/18/09 12:52 PM Re: More thoughts [Re: michael_d]
Zimm Offline
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Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 1361
Loc: New Orleans
 Originally Posted By: mdrew
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.


I am starting to get on the that train. I also just noticed that the spanking new (and very attractive) Rotel AVR RSX-1560 and separate pre-pro RSP-1570 do not mention anything regarding video chips, although they pass HDMI 1.3. Looks like several well respected companies (if you like NAD) are looking to take the road less traveled and skip video processing. Interesting.
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#252407 - 03/18/09 01:38 PM Re: More thoughts [Re: Zimm]
CV Offline
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I'm all for leaving out scaling, but they should be passing the savings on to consumers.
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#252429 - 03/18/09 02:55 PM Re: More thoughts [Re: CV]
Zimm Offline
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Registered: 12/08/08
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Loc: New Orleans
That's where the rubber meets the road on this. If the savings is going to better sound, then great, everyone can buy to fit their circumstances. Cutting a chip and not passing on the savings is another issue all together.
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#252430 - 03/18/09 03:00 PM Re: More thoughts [Re: Zimm]
jakewash Offline
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If you can leave out a chip and still have people buy it for the same price or more than the competitors, great way to increase profits, the perfect business model.
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#252432 - 03/18/09 03:15 PM Re: More thoughts [Re: jakewash]
Zimm Offline
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Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 1361
Loc: New Orleans
In theory, that should not happen, assuming a free flow of information. I think the opposite is more likely. With the often recited assumption that all AVRs and amps sound almost identical (regardless of a single 8 channel DAC v. four 2 ch DACs, and 10K farad v. 60K farad capacities, etc.), I think the improvements would be lost in the shuffle and these companies will suffer dearly. From reading the Rotel site with great interest, I can tell you that they did nothing to convince me to go with Rotel over NAD, or Denon, etc. They don't even address the lack of video processing, which at least NAD did explain - whether the buyer believes them or not.

Some would say the Rotel v. Denon is an apples to oranges comparison. But that is my point. If you want my $2000 you better tell me why the orange is so much much sweeter than an apple. Lots of people are enjoying the apples these days.
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#252435 - 03/18/09 03:22 PM Re: More thoughts [Re: Zimm]
MarkSJohnson Offline
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I'm hungry.
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#252442 - 03/18/09 03:42 PM Re: More thoughts [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Zimm Offline
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Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 1361
Loc: New Orleans
 Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
I'm hungry.


Yeah, I kinda got that too!
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#252511 - 03/18/09 09:50 PM Re: TX-SR876, in the house (and back in the box) [Re: PeterChenoweth]
JohnK Offline
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Peter, I realize that your experience must be a little irritating, but rather than sending it back "ASAP" it might be a better idea to find out what's really wrong. 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. The independent professional testers and users who've praised it aren't crazy or lying. Since it wasn't, that clearly indicates that the unit wasn't operating up to spec and may have been damaged in shipping or been defective from the factory(should have tried a factory refurb). No receivers from major manufacturers these days(even $100 units)play music in a "harsh", "screechy", "muffled" etc. manner unless something is seriously wrong.
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#252526 - 03/19/09 12:04 AM Re: TX-SR876, in the house (and back in the box) [Re: JohnK]
PeterChenoweth Offline
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Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
Thanks for the advice John.

The experience isn't irritating, I'm having fun. ;\)

The sound was just different, and we simply preferred the SC-05. I know you're a pretty big proponent of amps not sounding any different from each other, and that's your opinion (and many others!), so I respect that. But from the experiences that I've had in HT, I respectfully disagree.

Bypassing *all* of the processing, listening to analog-only SACD sound, the SC-05 and 876 sound different. The most telling example was when listening to our SACD of Janine Jansen playing Vivaldi's Four Seasons, specifically, the third movement, Presto. There are some very violent violin runs in there, about halfway through that end with some very peaky highs. With the SC-05, at those high-frequency peaks, it still sounds like a violin. It's angry, agressive, and sharp, but there's still a beautiful smoothness to it. It's passion. With the 876, those same peaks (at the same volume, according to the db meter), are much sharper with a grating 'ccccshhhh' of sibilance, with a complete breakdown of any smoothness to it. It's not imagined, it's not just 'kind of there', it's went from being a highly emotional musical moment to just a blast of high frequency noise that made me wince. Not cool. My wife, unprompted in any way by me, also said that the SQ was too harsh for her liking before I gave her any opinion.

But yes, I agree with you that it is absolutely possible that something was wrong with my 876. Or perhaps this was some sort of manifestation of problems driving M80's. I left the 876 in 6-ohm mode, per suggestions on AVS, so maybe something was going on there. Who knows. The bottom line is that if that 876 was defective, then I guess I'll never know what a 'good' one sounds like because I'm not dealing with Onkyo's customer service on a brand new unit. Not going there if I don't have to.

But whether it's defective, or unable to drive M80's effectively, or there was some phantom DSP at work (whether pro on the SC-05's side or con on the 876's), or it just simply doesn't sound as good to us, it didn't make the cut for us. Simply put, it just didn't impress us enough to part with a thousand bucks. Neither the audio nor the video nor the features in general. Maybe that's unfair to the 876. Maybe I should spend a few more hours tinkering with it. But I really don't want to, so it loses. That's how it works sometimes.

The SC-05 "just works" and its SQ continues to impress.

Maybe I'm just subconsciously psycho-acoustically brainwashed to prefer the Pioneer. Anything is possible, I guess. Though if we bring psychology into it, I actually really wanted to prefer the Onkyo because of it's greater feature set. I had high hopes that the Reala would blow me away and that the SQ would be fantastic. It also just has more toys, like HD Radio and the pretty GUI. And also simply because it's easier to return the SC-05 to the local Best Buy than it is to ship the 876 back to Amazon.

But I'm not done. We're going to check out a local HT store that sells Rotel and NAD gear this weekend. I'm skeptical that they'll have anything that will convince me to part with even more money on an AVR/prepro. But we're going to check it out. One never knows what they'll have on sale. ;\)

And the 3808 is still a very viable option too. \:\)
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#252531 - 03/19/09 12:18 AM Re: TX-SR876, in the house (and back in the box) [Re: PeterChenoweth]
SirQuack Offline
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Peter, sorry your having issues. I'm sure things will work out for you in the end. I've read lots of rave reviews on the new Onkyos, so your feedback is a bit puzzling. I have not read this entire thread, but were these harsh results with Audyssey engaged? If so, my guess is the calibration, mic placement, or number of locations was done wrong.

Anyway, I know what your saying. Sometimes you just don't want to spend a lot of time getting something to work. Reminds me of the problems I had with Emotiva. The only difference is I gave them 3 months of screwing around with me before I said enough is enough.
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#252533 - 03/19/09 12:22 AM Re: TX-SR876, in the house (and back in the box) [Re: SirQuack]
PeterChenoweth Offline
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Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
Nah, don't be sorry. I'm having fun trying stuff out. It just didn't work out for me, NBD. I'm puzzled about it too, as I've read many great reviews of the 876.

For PCM music, I tried it with Audyssey both on and off. I was not really that impressed by what it was doing. I'll freely admit that I did not tinker with it for a great length of time, so it's very likely that there's more to if I had given it more of a chance. Though I followed the instructions on setting it up (and 876-specific tips from AVS) to the letter.

The bulk of my criticism of the 876 stems from what I heard via straight multi-channel analog SACD inputs, which is not processed by Audyssey. Maybe I'm just the only fool who still has an analog-only SACD player, trying to use the analog-input stage of an 876. ;\)
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#252547 - 03/19/09 06:32 AM Re: TX-SR876, in the house (and back in the box) [Re: PeterChenoweth]
MarkSJohnson Offline
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Peter, did you also try the Onkyo at the 8 Ohm setting?

I would be curious if, under the same approximate volume levels that you were using the other night, if you ran a test whereby you switched back and forth between the 6 Ohm setting and the 8 Ohm setting, you would find a difference.... i.e., a clipping problem.

I don't "do" AVS, so I'm not sure what was talked about over there, but here the concensus has always been to leave anything and everything in the 8 Ohm position so as to not limit the output capability.

Any chance that what you were somewhat describing as a crescendo simply drove the Onkyo into clipping?
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#252564 - 03/19/09 09:12 AM Re: TX-SR876, in the house (and back in the box) [Re: MarkSJohnson]
PeterChenoweth Offline
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Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
Sure, it could have been the start of the amp running out of juice. But I thought that clipping usually manifested itself with the bass frequencies giving out. I certainly could be wrong about that. It was the high end that was especially problematic for us, and it wasn't at what I would consider 'reference' levels of volume. Peaks were hitting at about 85db at my listening position.

With my old Elite 43TX that seems to struggle with my M80's, it's the low end that really starts to fall apart when the volume levels are pushed, and that starts to happen at 90+db.

The only two options are 4 ohm and 6+ ohm, so there isn't a discrete 8-ohm speaker setting. I did try the 4 ohm mode, just to see what it would do. It didn't seem to make any difference, either in volume or SQ. And yes, leaving it in 6-ohm mode is also what is recommended over on AVS's 'official' 876 thread.

Likewise, the SC-05 has either a 6 ohm or 8+ ohm setting, which I left in 8+. 4-ohm speakers are not even recommended - they never are with Pioneer. But the SQ is clean and clear all the way out to my volume tolerance level.
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#252585 - 03/19/09 10:55 AM Re: TX-SR876, in the house (and back in the box) [Re: PeterChenoweth]
MarkSJohnson Offline
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Registered: 09/27/04
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Aaaahhh... I didn't realize that the switch didn't have an "8 Ohm" position.

And I thought it possible that despite your hearing the issue in the "mids and highs" of the violin, that it might be an overall crescendo where other instruments (read: More "Bassy") were sucking up wattage that was just showing itself more clearly in the violin.
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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
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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
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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)
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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
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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.
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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
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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
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Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
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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!
_________________________
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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.
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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?
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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.
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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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#252731 - 03/19/09 10:57 PM Re: TX-SR876, in the house (and back in the box) [Re: Zimm]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10304
Charles, not only has this been a topic anewed every month, but also every year. The answer is always essentially the same and will continue to be the same unless there's some major new discovery(Nobel prize in physics class)in the relevant technology(truth has no expiration date). As to amplifiers, the relevant factors(again)are audibly flat frequency response with inaudibly low noise and distortion. If this is accomplished the result is transparent amplification with no added sonic characteristic. The editor of the Audio Critic summarises it quite well in "Electronic Signal Paths Do Not Have a Personality!" .

As to the DAC matter, it's also been pointed out, several times by Alan, that DACs are now a mature technology. Relatively small measurable differences in specs such as the SNR have no audible effect when the typical inexpensive DAC(available to manufacturers in quantity for less than $1 each, as you correctly point out)has a dynamic range more than sufficient for source material which almost never has a dynamic range of more than about 60dB and which has an inaudibly low noise floor.
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#252748 - 03/20/09 04:02 AM Re: TX-SR876, in the house (and back in the box) [Re: JohnK]
davekro Offline
aficionado

Registered: 02/12/09
Posts: 562
Loc: Discovery Bay, CA
Peter,
I too will selfishly REALLY like you to test a 3808 too. PLease. Pretty please? ;o) I am pretty close yo buying one and would love to hear your opinion compared to the Pion. & Onkyo.
Thanks for all your efforts and posting your thoughts!

If I do get the 3808, I'll be able to test it with my 1909, M80's M60's and report back.
_________________________
Dave

"In theory, practice and theory are the same. In practice they're not."

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#252785 - 03/20/09 10:25 AM A temporary conclusion. [Re: davekro]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
Tinkered around more with both the SC-05 and 876 last night. I have nothing new to add to that discussion. Same observations as before. But for grins and giggles, I also hooked my old VSX-43TX back up, *without* the LPA amp.

Recalibrated it and did a little bit of listening. Now in the past, I have had a few problems with this receiver driving my M80's. Sure enough, at loud volume (90-ish db peaks @ 0db on the volume scale) the SQ starts to go downhill. It's almost *exactly* like the way the 876 sounds @ 95-ish db peaks. So if I've described the 43tx's problems as clipping in the past, or at least straining then that's what's going on with the 876 too. The 43TX is rated for 100w/channel (8ohm), vs 140w/channel (8ohm) on the 876, FWIW. But at normal listening levels, I was actually pleasantly surprised at just how good the old girl still sounds. Very much a case of, 'you don't know what you have until it's gone'.

So then I hooked the LPA-1 back up to the 43TX, bi-amping my M80's (shuuush, I like it that way), as I had it before. As critical as I want to be about SQ, I can't honestly hear any tonal differences up until that 90-ish db ceiling. It sounds lovely. Past there, the LPA holds it together beautifully until about 100-ish db, at which point it (and my ears) may be starting to strain. Yes, these are *extreme* volume levels that I would only peak at when doing a wide-open demo for friends and family. So the practical relevance is low. But then again, it also pleases me to know that my car is capable of 155mph (on the Autobahn), even though 99.999% of the time I'd only need half of that. Boys and their toys.

I was particularly surprised with the soundstage from the 'sweet spot'. My TV is aligned with the center seat of my couch. I have a few Diana Krall albums where she's mixed to be more-or-less smack dab in the middle of the soundstage. Right in front of you. Straight direct stereo sound modes, with the 876 (Audyssey on/off), the SC-05 (MCACC on/off), she was right in front of me, but I could detect that the sound was coming from the speakers. I could dial in a little + trim on the L or R channel and the sound would shift to that side, as expected, but the overall presence didn't change much. With the 43TX+LPA, she sounds like she's coming *from* the TV. There's no sense that it's being produced from the speakers. I'm somewhat embarrassed to say it, but my first thought when hearing that was, "ahhh, now that's the way it should sound". Oh dear.... If I similarly purposefully mis-adjust the trim, then it quickly falls apart and her voice snaps to the L or R and the effect of coming from the TV vanishes. With the MCACC, that's even doing the setup at one primary spot, where it should not be doing any sort of 'averaging' for other spots. On the 876, it was on that averaging mode where I took 3 measurements, each seat on my couch. I didn't know how to tell it *not* to do that. I'm sure there's a way, but I didn't explore it. And yes, to be fair, I bet that one could tweak MCACC/Audyssey to get that same feeling.

So where do I go from here? The 876 is boxed up and on it's way back. Now that I've re-listened to my old 43TX+LPA combo, trying to be as objective as I can, it's harder than I thought to justify spending the $1k on the SC-05. Is it worth $1k to have one HDMI cable going to the TV? Worth $1k for DDHD/DTSHD (via PCM, since my PS3 cant pass that bitstream). I struggle to say yes. Yes, the SC-05 is an amazing AVR for SQ. And yes, it can do that amazing sound on it's own *without* the LPA. So that's very cool. It is a *stunning* upgrade for anyone with a low-to-mid range AVR that wants a sonic kick in the rear. But the lack of a few features (discussed, ad nauseum), grates on me a bit.

So it's likely that the SC-05 is *also* going back this weekend. When the SC-05 goes back, it's possible that I'll come home with a 3808. Although my good friend that owns one says that as soon as March Madness is over, he'd be happy to let me borrow his 3808 for a weekend to see if I like it without having to buy one. As of right now, that sounds appealing to me, as it'll give Emotiva a few more weeks to maybe bring the UMC to market. Even if I fall in love with the 3808, I know that I'm going to have to buy a UMC when it comes out just to bring some sense of closure to this year+ of waiting.

I could spend $500 on the upcoming Oppo BR player and get DDHD & DTSHD via analog 7.1, plus an amazing upscaler for the only source that I have that ought to be upscaled (DVD), probably get a good improvement on SACD SQ, and I'd be ready with a player that supports bitstreaming those new formats too. That seems like a more prudent use of funds.

And if it's just great SQ at absurd volume levels that I'm after, $1,000 would go a long way towards upgrading the LPA-1 to something even more powerful.

So I think I'm just going to wait a little bit longer for what this spring/summer brings in the way of new AVR's/processors. The fabled UMC/XMC. A Denon 3809 perhaps? Outlaw's 997 looks quite interesting too. Unless, of course, the 3808 proves to be as good as everyone says it is. ;\) We shall see.

I hope I haven't ticked anyone off with any of this. This is just me 'blogging' about the experience. I don't mean to ruffle any feathers about amps vs DACS vs Onkyo's vs {whatever}. Just trying to post my thoughts & feelings as honestly as I can. And I'm just a guy with his own ideas, so keep in mind that all of this is just my opinion. I'm not an expert on any of this, just a guy that knows what he likes to hear. Nothing more, nothing less. I also like incredibly stinky cheeses and have been known to enjoy balsamic vinegar sandwiches, so my tastes are skewed towards the weird.

The best thing to do is go out and buy what you want and listen to it in your house with your ears. Seriously. \:\)

Peace & cookies.


Edited by PeterChenoweth (03/20/09 10:42 AM)
_________________________
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Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
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#252789 - 03/20/09 10:57 AM Re: A temporary conclusion. [Re: PeterChenoweth]
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3820
Loc: Up yonder
One point of clarification worth mentioning…….

John does, month after month, year after year discuss the virtues of sound in relation to amplifiers. The key word however, is “amplifiers”, and not “receivers”. That distinction is, month after month, year after year, overlooked. I am in complete agreement with John in regards to amplifiers. I’ve done enough testing on my own (completely un-controlled), to determine that amps do not sound “different”. Tubes are a different animal, and do not pertain to this. The only discernable difference I have been able to make out between amplifiers is in regards to high dynamic peaks. It is at these times when a more robust amplifier does in fact give the perception that there is an improvement in sound quality. However, at normal listening levels, I can not make out any difference in “sound”.

The other half of this perpetual “receivers sound different” topic, is the processing section of the receiver. It is this part that I believe separates one receiver from another and leads a person to the conclusion that one sounds “different” or “better”. Even when they are put in a “Pure” or “Pure Direct” mode, I find it very difficult to believe that each does not add some form of processing to the data stream which could lead to one sounding different than another.

I am not surprised at all to hear that Peter prefers the sound of the Pioneer over the Onkyo. Pioneer fans love their Pioneers and continually speak to how they just sound better. I have not owned Pioneer since the late 70’s, so I have no opinion to share.
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#252796 - 03/20/09 11:42 AM Re: A temporary conclusion. [Re: michael_d]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8125
Loc: Tacoma
Nice work, Mike.
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#252812 - 03/20/09 12:35 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
JohnK, thanks for the article link and repeating your points - I know it is tiresome. I'll give the article a read. I'm not at a point in terms of technical knowledge or experience with enough processors and amps to disagree with you beyond the theoretical, so I'll let it rest until I can find some useful bit of information to advance the discussion.

Thanks for the input. ;\)
_________________________
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#252906 - 03/20/09 10:09 PM Re: A temporary conclusion. [Re: michael_d]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10304
Mike, you wouldn't find it "difficult to believe" that none of these processing features could possibly have an effect in a "direct" type of mode if you fully took into account the fact that the processing features are totally bypassed in that mode.

As to the effect of the pre-amplifying section as distinguished from the amplifying section, certainly that's in no way being overlooked, either here or in the test labs. If you check the lab tests on receivers run by Sound&Vision and HomeTheater Magazine, you'll note that they test with the various low-level inputs in use, so therefore the audibly transparent results that they've measured include the effect of both the pre-amplifier and amplifier in the receiver.
_________________________
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Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#253265 - 03/23/09 11:51 AM Re: A temporary conclusion. [Re: JohnK]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
Just an update for anyone following this crazy thread...

Both the SC-05 and 876 have been returned now. Amazon credited the full amount back plus the return shipping, which I thought was pretty amazing. So that endeavor didn't cost me a dime. The SC-05 was from Best Buy, so that was easy to return.

I thought about coming home with a 3808, but ultimately didn't. I was somewhat lukewarm to the idea of re-moving/connecting all of my gear *again* to start with. Lazy, I know. But Best Buy was packed and there were no Magnolia drones around, so just sort of gave up on the endeavor for this week.

A local shop that is widely known for doing car stereos has recently (12 months ago) opened a new 'higher-end' showroom. They carry many fine brands, including B&W, Pioneer Elite, Integra, Rotel, Adcom, NAD, etc. I finally stopped by there to say hello and to see what they had. I am now somewhat more inclined to believe that perhaps my 876 may have actually have a problem, because an Integra DTR9.8 + B&W 703 combo sounded absolutely lovely. While it's not the identical amp section, I know that Integra is Onkyo's high-end brand, and so they share some of the same design philosophy.

The owner was pretty cool and said he completely understood the need to want to demo an AVR/pre-pro at home, and said he wouldn't have a problem letting me demo some stuff at home. It's been a long time since my area has had a 'nice' home theater shop, and so I'm kind of inclined to throw some business their way to start up a relationship with them. We are chatting about an Integra DHC-9.9, as I mentioned that I liked the DTR9.8's sound but had my own amp. Nice, but not sure I want to spend $2k on a pre-pro just yet. And the numerous complaints of Onkyo/Integra tech support over on AVS have spooked me a little bit.

Oh, this place's main 2-channel listening room had a pair of B&W 802's. Good lord, I love those speakers. I've heard them before, but not with my own demo material. Wow. I don't know if they're worth TEN pairs of M80's, but they're pretty spectacular. \:\)

I'm still pretty sure that I'm going to wait until the Emotiva UMC/XMC and/or Outlaw 997 see the light of day before I make a decision. The 997 in particular seems pretty awesome.
_________________________
M80v2 | VP150v2 | QS8v2
SVS Pci+ 20-39
Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
M22ti + T-Amp, in the Office

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#253289 - 03/23/09 02:44 PM Re: A temporary conclusion. [Re: PeterChenoweth]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
Aren’t the B&Ws nice. I just couldn’t justify the price tag.

Thanks again for posting your thoughts. Your experimenting has come at a good time for me.

Cheers,
Dean
_________________________
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#253301 - 03/23/09 04:57 PM Re: A temporary conclusion. [Re: grunt]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6551
Loc: It's all about the location.
There are some nice speakers out there but once you get North of $2-3000.00 the law of diminishing returns starts applying, exponentially speaking, of course.
_________________________
A person convinced against their will is of the same opinion still.

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#253305 - 03/23/09 05:26 PM Re: A temporary conclusion. [Re: PeterChenoweth]
davekro Offline
aficionado

Registered: 02/12/09
Posts: 562
Loc: Discovery Bay, CA
 Originally Posted By: PeterChenoweth

I thought about coming home with a 3808, but ultimately didn't. I was somewhat lukewarm to the idea of re-moving/connecting all of my gear *again* to start with. ... so just sort of gave up on the endeavor for this week.


Peter,
I'm glad to hear that there is still a ray of hope for us fence hangin' folks not 'quite' ready to place the order due to 'waffle-itis', that you may find it in your heart take a 3808 into foster care for a week or so. ;\)
_________________________
Dave

"In theory, practice and theory are the same. In practice they're not."

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#254784 - 03/31/09 09:37 PM Re: TX-SR876, in the house (and back in the box) [Re: PeterChenoweth]
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4729
Loc: western canada
 Originally Posted By: PeterChenoweth
Or perhaps this was some sort of manifestation of problems driving M80's. I left the 876 in 6-ohm mode, per suggestions on AVS, so maybe something was going on there.

A very likely issue indeed.
Onkyos are not known for their robust amplifier sections. Although i have run a light 4 ohm speaker on mine in the past, distortion was quickly evident depending on SPL and this occurred at far lower SPL than with a 8 ohm speaker.
Screeching as you suggest, at the more aggressive passages, is exactly how i would have described my experience in the past in a similar situation.

It is too bad you did not have an external amp for comparison with both AVRs to remove that possibility of being a problem.
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#254785 - 03/31/09 09:40 PM Re: A temporary conclusion. [Re: PeterChenoweth]
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4729
Loc: western canada
 Originally Posted By: PeterChenoweth
While it's not the identical amp section, I know that Integra is Onkyo's high-end brand, and so they share some of the same design philosophy.

IMO, skip the Integra.
If you were not keen on the Onkyo, the Integra isn't going to be any better.

The Rotel path is certainly a good one, or there's still that option to just find a good external amp section and choose the AVR with the best features of preference.
Some good inexpensive amps include Anthems MCA series. Used you can get a MCA20 or 30 for about $500-700 Cdn.
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#254855 - 04/01/09 08:08 AM Re: A temporary conclusion. [Re: chesseroo]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6612
Loc: PEI, Canada
But the Anthems have no glowing lights????

I say that only half jokingly as I readily admit that they serve no purpose on a stand alone amp but I also admit I'm a sucker for electronics that have a lighted display or at least an eerie glow.
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#254867 - 04/01/09 10:03 AM Re: TX-SR876, in the house (and back in the box) [Re: chesseroo]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
Thanks chesseroo for the comments. Interesting that you've had similar experiences with Onkyo.

 Originally Posted By: chesseroo

It is too bad you did not have an external amp for comparison with both AVRs to remove that possibility of being a problem.


I actually do. I've got my LPA-1 that I use with my VSX-43TX, as the 43TX has similar issues with my M80's at high volume levels.

I didn't bother trying the LPA with the 876 because I don't want to continue on with an AVR acting as a prepro, as I have now. I either want a stand-alone AVR that is capable of effectively powering my system on its own or I want to continue down the path to true separates.

And right now, with Emotiva's UMC-1 finally actually having a projected release date of June '09, I'm holding out for that. If that doesn't impress me, I'll re-evaluate the status of Outlaw's 997 compared to whatever Denon & Pioneer are offering at that time.
_________________________
M80v2 | VP150v2 | QS8v2
SVS Pci+ 20-39
Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
M22ti + T-Amp, in the Office

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#254868 - 04/01/09 10:40 AM 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
It's a tough market for pre-pros right now. Even the big dogs of audiophilia seem to be waiting on the sidelines, lagging behind with HDMI 1.1, old codecs, etc. Yesterday I looked around at my list of "if I had a billion" toys, and saw that B&K, Proceed Halo, NAD Master Series, Lexicon, and Mark Levinson all lack pre-pro that I would buy right now, even if $$ were no object. Meanwhile, Denon wants $7,000 for its Pre-pro, and Inegra adds no features over the 9.9 AVR, but keeps the price the same for the identical pre-pro sans amps. It seems like the only place to get all the basic 2008 features is a mid-level AVR. Very strange; to me anyway. Emotiva and Outlaw/Sherwood should rush their products to the market.
_________________________
Panny 3000 PJ, 118" Carada, Denon 3300, PS3, Axiom QS8, PSB 5T, B&W sub, levitating speaker wire

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#254869 - 04/01/09 10:51 AM 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
Not to defend Integra/Onkyo, but the DHC and DTR are priced differently.

MSRP on the DHC 9.9 (the prepro) is $2,000. MSRP on the DTR 9.9 (the receiver) is $2,600.

When talking to my local Integra dealer about the DHC, he said they could do much better than $2k. I don't know if that meant $1,950 or $1,200. I didn't press him on it at the time. Either way, for $700, the UMC-1 looks pretty compelling.

Totally agree though- Sherwood/Outlaw & Emotiva can't bring their new products to market soon enough!

The latest info I've read says that Sherwood's new AVR (with Trinnov) should be ready by "late April". That's according to what I've read over on the Outlaw Forum. Outlaw's 997 supposedly should follow 60-90 days later, pending problems with the Sherwood. With a little bit of luck, the 997's and UMC ought to be hitting consumer doorsteps by mid-summer. One can hope. ;\)

I'm holding on to what I have until then, as both products hold too much promise to ignore.
_________________________
M80v2 | VP150v2 | QS8v2
SVS Pci+ 20-39
Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
M22ti + T-Amp, in the Office

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#254873 - 04/01/09 11:05 AM 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
That's very interesting about the Integra. My local Integra shop sucks in every since of the word. They were willing to drop the price of the 9.9 AVR to about $2000 without a fight, but said the prepro was not so easily obtained or discounted. If that is not the case, then the Integra would be worth some consideration as it seems like its amps are the point of concern.
_________________________
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#254876 - 04/01/09 11:17 AM DHC 9.9 [Re: Zimm]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
When we were talking about the DHC, the owner of the store and a salesman were present. When the owner said they'd be able to do a deal on a DHC, he added that I'd have to act quickly because they were still in the "dealer buy-in" period on the DHC 9.9 - they would be able to get one for less than their usual price and pass along that savings to me. He was cool about it, even saying he'd gladly let me borrow a DTR for the weekend to see if I liked it. I darn near took him up on the offer. But I decided to pass, as I still had (have) a slightly bitter taste regarding Onkyo.

But still, spending any more than $1k on a prepro right now will leave me thinking that I "coulda/shoulda" tried the UMC for $700.


Edited by PeterChenoweth (04/01/09 11:20 AM)
_________________________
M80v2 | VP150v2 | QS8v2
SVS Pci+ 20-39
Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
M22ti + T-Amp, in the Office

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#254881 - 04/01/09 11:44 AM Re: DHC 9.9 [Re: PeterChenoweth]
Zimm Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 1361
Loc: New Orleans
Very true, but I'm on a mean strak today so I'll just lob this in: With the Emotiva product, you have a company making (I think) its first effort into this strata, using several very new technologies. That is why I think so many big boys are waiting for others to iron out the kinks. So for $300(or so) in savings, you have to wait and get a much riskier product.

You know Onkyo can make a prepro that competently decodes and passes all the signals around, and you have an amp. For $1,000, I'd take the Integra over the Emotiva even if they were dead equal. Given what I have heard about Emotiva, I have some reservations that their product will equal the Integra right out the gate.
_________________________
Panny 3000 PJ, 118" Carada, Denon 3300, PS3, Axiom QS8, PSB 5T, B&W sub, levitating speaker wire

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#254887 - 04/01/09 12:02 PM Re: DHC 9.9 [Re: Zimm]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
The UMC will be Emotiva's fourth prepro. While they are all discontinued now, they had the entry level LMC-1, the mid-range MMC-1, and the high-end DMC-1. They sold an AVR too, the DMR-1, which I think is functionally the same as the DMC-1, but I'm not completely sure.

A couple of years ago, I owned an LMC-1 for a couple of weeks. It had some 'quirky' problems that annoyed me. Emotiva was great to work with. Lonnie (the designer) and I exchanged many emails and a phone call or two. He was helpful. But in the end I just wasn't happy with it. I returned it for a full (and prompt) refund. AFAIK, the MMC and DMC were well-regarded by those that owned them. Only the LMC has a reputation for being slightly buggy, and really only in the early versions of the software (which is what I had). The software was fully user-updatable, so had I just been patient with those quirks, I might be a happy LMC owner eagerly awaiting his 40% discount on the UMC. ;\)

I have full confidence that *if* the UMC turns out to be a dud, Emotiva will actively work hard to solve the problem(s). They did exactly that on the LMC-1. Or if I just don't like it, they'll abide by their 30-day return policy, just as they did before. It's a shame that Emotiva has a bit of a tarnished reputation around here due to the M80-impedance debacle. I do think they're a good group of folks trying to make a great product. Very much like Axiom. Just an unfortunate fact that some M80's appear to not play well with some of their amps.

And while I have zero personal experience, I have read nothing but horror stories about Onkyo and Integra customer support. Integra certainly enjoys a high reputation for quality, but I'm sure a lot of that price is simply a reflection of the markups required to sell it through their dealer network. The fact that a dealer can knock $600 off the price without batting an eye is testament to that fact.

I'll give the UMC a shot. If it's crap, I'll say so, send it back, and find something else. That 9.9 will still be waiting. ;\)
_________________________
M80v2 | VP150v2 | QS8v2
SVS Pci+ 20-39
Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
M22ti + T-Amp, in the Office

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#254890 - 04/01/09 12:12 PM Re: DHC 9.9 [Re: PeterChenoweth]
Zimm Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 1361
Loc: New Orleans
Glad you pointed that out. I'm in the market for the UMC as well and that background helps (although I know you have expressed that before). Can't argue with the Integra markup point. I'm hoping Emotiva sets the world on fire with their product - just not sure it will better the Integra in version 1 trim.
_________________________
Panny 3000 PJ, 118" Carada, Denon 3300, PS3, Axiom QS8, PSB 5T, B&W sub, levitating speaker wire

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#254915 - 04/01/09 02:16 PM Re: DHC 9.9 [Re: Zimm]
bugbitten Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 04/06/05
Posts: 2339
Loc: Madisonville, KY
Emotiva now has June as the expected date for the UMC-1 on their website.

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#254922 - 04/01/09 03:04 PM Re: DHC 9.9 [Re: bugbitten]
jakewash Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10389
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
Hmmmm. April, last year, then more assorted dates through till this April now June, do I hear December 09 just in time for Christmas, I think they would be better off just not saying with this particular item as it seems to not want to go to market. Why do I suspect there are some bugs they are trying to fix and once that bug is squashed it produces another, kind of seems the case with all the delays, this applies to S/N as well.

I wonder how much of it is due to all the new technology they are trying to bring out in this model. Makes me wonder if Cary Audio has the right idea with a seperate audio processor and video processor.
_________________________
Jason
-----------------
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#254924 - 04/01/09 03:12 PM Re: DHC 9.9 [Re: jakewash]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
I've been following this UMC situation for over a year. While there have been hints in the podcasts as to dates, this is the first time that they've actually put up a date on the product page itself. I find that meaningful. Perhaps I'm being too optimistic.

Make no mistake though, I totally agree with you that it's taken a VERY long time to bring it to market. Hell, there are posts that I made on Emotiva's forum last May/June where I said I was looking forward to the July '08 release date. ;\)

They claim to be in the second round of testing, to test the error corrections made from the first round. It just seems to take them a really long time to get stuff done.

But I can't help but think that they wouldn't have actually published that date if they weren't reasonably sure they could hit it.

And Emotiva has learned from this. They've already stated (in the forums) that they have other products in the pipeline, but that they will not be releasing any information about them until they have firm release dates. Whether that's BS remains to be seen, but it's probably a wise decision.
_________________________
M80v2 | VP150v2 | QS8v2
SVS Pci+ 20-39
Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
M22ti + T-Amp, in the Office

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#254931 - 04/01/09 04:05 PM Re: DHC 9.9 [Re: PeterChenoweth]
jakewash Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10389
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
All those previous release dates sounded pretty firm too, but I agree, I think many companies are learning from this. I just know that many of the larger players never release any info until the product is ready for sale, which I think is smart.
_________________________
Jason
-----------------
TTTHHHPPPPPTTTT!

My HT

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#254959 - 04/01/09 06:54 PM Re: DHC 9.9 [Re: jakewash]
Gieseman Offline
old hand

Registered: 05/08/06
Posts: 90
Loc: Utah
I picked up a early 9.8 and was not happy with it, the video decoding was very bad. Took it back and picked up a rotel-1068 audio only, very happy with it. I have the integra 5.6 receiver in the bedroom, happy with it but I use it only for audio too. I'm to scared to try anthor per-pro the 9.8 fixed me and I didn't like the audio part of it either.
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#268120 - 08/04/09 02:07 AM Re: DHC 9.9 [Re: Gieseman]
mikeak Offline
hobbyist

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 28
Late to the party, but I went the other way with my receiver / speakers. I got the SC-07 for what I thought was a great price (still happy about it). And then I started speaker shopping. Well the SC-07 should OFFICIALLY not be used for speakers below 6ohm. Plenty of owners on the other forum verified that it works fine. I was interested in how does it work with the M80's.

Peter thanks for confirming that it was a great setup minus some things you didn't like. I have the receiver and it isn't going back. Now I am getting the 80s \:\)

Thanks

Separate item -- it was discussed at length in this thread why receivers weren't upscaling HDMI input data when cheap DVD players / bluray players can do this.

One question on this subject (could be covered elsewhere) is it possibly cheaper to upscale the data from the disc and then output it via HDMI vs. receiving it through HDMI and then processing it?

Probably covered somewhere, but it was just a thought I had while reading this

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#268127 - 08/04/09 09:57 AM Re: DHC 9.9 [Re: mikeak]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
Congrats on the SC-07, mikeak. I was extremely pleased with the SC-05 (even though I returned it....). I'm sure you'll be impressed with the SC-07. It had no trouble at all running my M80's to high volume levels, so I highly doubt the SC-07 will.

Did you get it from the 'name your price' campaign from Sixth Avenue Electronics? I know that's been a very popular way to get an amazing price on the 05 & 07.

One slight caveat is that I did run my M80's bi-amped on the SC-05. That might make a very slight impedance load difference to the receiver/amp. I didn't try the M80+SC-05 combo in the 'normal' wired mode.
_________________________
M80v2 | VP150v2 | QS8v2
SVS Pci+ 20-39
Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
M22ti + T-Amp, in the Office

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#268133 - 08/04/09 10:10 AM Re: DHC 9.9 [Re: PeterChenoweth]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3442
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
As I recall Pioneer's implementation of the ICE amp modules, had issues with low impedance at high frequencies. They become unstable, and go into thermal protection when driving <4 Ohms at >12kHz. Luckily the M80 presents a load of about 9 Ohms at that frequency and it goes up from there.

Down low, where the M80's impedance drops, Pioneer's amps are solid. So they are a well suited match.
_________________________
Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K, PDP-5020FD, DV-79AVi
Axiom M22s, VP150, QS8s
Sony PS3, surround backs
-Chris

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#268148 - 08/04/09 11:47 AM Re: DHC 9.9 [Re: ClubNeon]
mikeak Offline
hobbyist

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 28
Thanks for the added information. Apparently there was only one reviewer that had an issue with the ohm load for the SC-07 / 05. The others that tested the receiver had no issues and none of the owners have had any issues so I am pretty comfortable about it now. I am also looking at the Triple 8s which are to be great HT speakers and then I would drive 3 4ohm speakers and that does concern me a bit.... will think about it

Did not get it from the name your price. They were cheaper than where I got it, but wanted almost $200 to ship it to Alaska. The other seller was locked in by Amazon at $39 shipping so that made that the best deal. BB didn't want to lower the price enough so went through an Amazon dealer. Now the prices are up from a 1 1/2 month ago actually - they are running out of them but I got one and am happy about it.

Thanks!

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