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#335661 - 01/26/11 12:31 PM There here...
zuter Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 81
My speaker's finally arrived. I settled on the M80's, QS 8's and VP180. Man is that center big! The wife kept asking me "did I need that one that big?" Later, when we watched LOTR - BD edition, she noted how clear the dialog was, so the question became moot. Setting up didn't take long and I ran the receiver's speaker setup (Pio's MCACC) all in about an hour.

First impressions. I played Saving Private Ryan, the opening battle scene. I was immediately dismayed at how loud I had to crank the volume to get descent sound. Later I discovered the Poineer's MCACC had reduced all the speakers by -7 db (average). I believe my HT room is too reflective and the receiver had to reduce everything for it's adjustments. I'll have to get the spl meter from work to adjust things myself. I set the MCACC to off and things improved immediately. Also I'm going to look into sound deadening for the room.

After this test I put on a few cd's. One thing I've read about these speakers being unforgiving is true. Only well recorded material shines! I tried both 2 channel and 7 channel stereo. Both were excellent but I preferred the 7 channel. I walked all around the room and noticed the sound completely filled in everywhere I stood. The full and seemless sound of these speakers is amazing. Later we settled down to watch LOTR's "The Two Towers" in BluRay. As I said before the dialog was steller. I also noted that campared to my old speakers the differences were more subtle than I expected. This was surprising since my old speakers were largish bookshleves of a 2 way design.

The sound and movie (LOTR) is very familar to me so comparing differences were easy to spot. Clearity and dialog were improved. Dynamic's were very close with the new system edging out the former. Bass to high range again were similar. However the real differences were in the subtetly's of the overall sound. Like comparing fine wines or scotches (pick your poison). Sounds I have become accustomed to were more varied and detailed. There is more texture in all sound ranges. These new speakers are more an improvement in quality than quantity, compared to my old speakers.

I have much more work and testing to do, as evidenced above. If anybody has suggestions regarding Pioneer Elite receiver's and setting's please chime in! As for my HT room, it's 20' x 11.5' x 7.5', just on the lower side, sizewise, for running this system. Sound deadening to deal with relections I feel will best be addressed at the end's of the room. We sit a little further back than half way, about 14'. The QS 8's are located at this point along the side wall at about 6 - 6.5' high. If anyone has suggestions for reducing reflections let me know!
_________________________
M80's, VP180 and QS8's.
Marantz AV 7005 pre/pro
Outlaw 7700 power amp

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#335665 - 01/26/11 12:40 PM Re: There here... [Re: zuter]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3448
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
Were all the speakers set to -7? That shouldn't happen. What was the sub set to? If the sub was closer to 0, or positive, try bringing up the volume on the sub slightly.

It won't be reflections that makes the receiver trim a channel, but just the efficiency of the speaker. I don't have M80s, just '22s, so I don't know if the -7 is appropriate, but it does seem like a lot.

Also, what was your final master volume setting that you considered "cranked"? I listen to films at -15 dB all the time.
_________________________
Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K, PDP-5020FD, DV-79AVi
Axiom M22s, VP150, QS8s
Sony PS3, surround backs
-Chris

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#335667 - 01/26/11 12:53 PM Re: There here... [Re: ClubNeon]
Argon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/24/04
Posts: 1443
Loc: Oak Ridge, NC
Chris,
When I listen to cable TV, a comfortable (with spouse in the room) level is around -24 to -22. When I listen to DVD the same, apparent level is around -20 to -18. Blu Ray runs -16 to -14. Is there a technical explanation for the difference?
_________________________
"A fanatic is someone who can't change his mind and won't change the subject" Churchill

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#335669 - 01/26/11 01:15 PM Re: There here... [Re: zuter]
cb919 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 1041
Loc: Ottawa, Canada
Hi Zuter,
I have the Pio SC-05. I run MCACC but then I defeat the EQ setting it applies (my personal preference). The one thing I really like about the MCACC is the standing wave correction - definitely go through and measure it at 3 spots in the advanced mode to cover your prime seating positions. Other than that I also go back and tweak my speaker levels manually with my Radioshack SPL meter. I like to set the center at 0dB offset and the other 6 channels relative to that so they give the same SPL in the prime seat. The reason I do that is I will often bump up the center for movies and back to 0 for music - it's just easier to remember my base calibration setting that way blush

I have smaller speakers (M22's) so set the X-over at 80Hz. Because of the QS8's you might want to do the same as you can't do per speaker X-over in the Pio's (unless this has changed recently). What sub are you running?

Hope that helps,
_________________________
Dan
In/On Wall 500 w M2 Center Channel

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#335672 - 01/26/11 01:26 PM Re: There here... [Re: Argon]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3448
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
Originally Posted By: Argon
When I listen to cable TV, a comfortable (with spouse in the room) level is around -24 to -22. When I listen to DVD the same, apparent level is around -20 to -18. Blu Ray runs -16 to -14. Is there a technical explanation for the difference?

There's just no standard for mixing level. Also audio with more dynamic range compression applied will seem louder over-all.

I find I listen to even TV at -18 up to -15, but that's from a Dolby Digital source, I don't know how you get your audio from cable sources.

CDs are usually -30 to -24.

(Yes, I'm odd, I always keep my volume at a multiple of 3.)
_________________________
Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K, PDP-5020FD, DV-79AVi
Axiom M22s, VP150, QS8s
Sony PS3, surround backs
-Chris

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#335673 - 01/26/11 01:53 PM Re: There here... [Re: ClubNeon]
alan Online   content
connoisseur

Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 3191
Loc: Toronto/New York/Dwight
To echo Chris's comments on variability in levels, it's true. The live in HD broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera in New York are remarkably (and annoyingly) low in level, perhaps to allow for exremely loud crescendoes and the full dynamic range with full orchestra and chorus. I find I have to run my AV receiver as loud as -10 dB.

Those broadcasts are mixed in Dolby Digital 5.1 from a remote truck parked behind Lincoln Center. When I've walked past the remote truck I've sometimes thought of knocking on the door and saying, hey, get those levels up a bit!!

On CDs, I've found variations of 15 to 20 dB from one low-level disc to some "hot" ones.

Regards,
Alan
_________________________
Alan Lofft,
Axiom Resident Expert

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#335675 - 01/26/11 01:57 PM Re: There here... [Re: ClubNeon]
zuter Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 81
Originally Posted By: ClubNeon
Were all the speakers set to -7? That shouldn't happen. What was the sub set to? If the sub was closer to 0, or positive, try bringing up the volume on the sub slightly.

It won't be reflections that makes the receiver trim a channel, but just the efficiency of the speaker. I don't have M80s, just '22s, so I don't know if the -7 is appropriate, but it does seem like a lot.

Also, what was your final master volume setting that you considered "cranked"? I listen to films at -15 dB all the time.


I currently have no sub. The 3 fronts are set to large and QS8's to small. Yes, all speakers were set from -6.5 to - 7.5 db under MCACC. With my old system -30 to -25 was very good, -20 if it was a quite movie - this would be very loud for most movies though! When I used the MCACC setting I had it closer to -10 before the sound was comparable to my old "loud" setting.
_________________________
M80's, VP180 and QS8's.
Marantz AV 7005 pre/pro
Outlaw 7700 power amp

Top
#335678 - 01/26/11 02:03 PM Re: There here... [Re: zuter]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3448
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
It's the goal of the receiver to get -0 dB to be "reference", so it just may be that the M80s are that efficient.

The number on the display doesn't really mean all that much, and really can't be directly compared between receivers, and that goes doubly so for different brands.

Don't worry what the number reads, just set the volume to a comfortable listening level for you. As long as it isn't in the + range, you'll be fine (the noise floor rises quickly when you get above 0).
_________________________
Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K, PDP-5020FD, DV-79AVi
Axiom M22s, VP150, QS8s
Sony PS3, surround backs
-Chris

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#335679 - 01/26/11 02:06 PM Re: There here... [Re: ClubNeon]
jakewash Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10399
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
Congratulations zuter! As Chris mentioned and the others, you really can't judge by the speaker settings. Your old system could very well have had a boosted midbass hump or some other anaomoly that affected the settings and your perception of 'loud'.
_________________________
Jason
-----------------
TTTHHHPPPPPTTTT!

My HT

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#335687 - 01/26/11 02:56 PM Re: There here... [Re: alan]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10942
Loc: Central NH
Alan, anytime I'm doing a live digital recording I allow for an awful lot of headroom, just in case. If these are being broadcast live, the remote truck people are likely doing the same.

If I'm recording a mono source with a two track recorder(say, a voiceover), I always record one channel at a level that I believe will peak at zero...and the other channel 8~12 dB down from that to cover my bases. Usually I can use the hotter channel (with the better S/N) but at least I've got the second channel to draw from if I need it!
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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