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#288869 - 01/27/10 11:13 AM Sound of Receivers
RayLewis Offline
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Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 153
Can one end up with different sound "quality" from different receivers? I understand that there are many factors that will affect sound quality, and to a much greater extent than the receiver, but I've also read some references to receivers having sound that is "warm" and other receivers having a different type of sound.

Here is the context of my question: I have two receivers currently. One is a Pioneer Elite 72TXV that is a few year old. It currently is in our basement. The other is a new Denon 2310CI that is still in the box. I originally had planned to put the Denon in our basement and move the Pioneer into our bedroom. Now I am trying to decide if the switch is worth the effort, or whether I should just put the Denon in the bedroom. I still need to figure out whether there are any particular (non-sound quality) features of one of the receivers that I'd prefer in one location over the other. For example, the basement is going to have a new Pioneer Elite TV, and I think there may be some features that I get when the Pioneers are matched up. My question is this: Should different potential sound quality be one of the considerations as I decide where to put the receivers, or is the idea of different sound quality based on the receiver just a myth. In terms of power from the receivers, I'm pretty sure that is a non issue because I think both have plenty for my listening volumes.

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#288873 - 01/27/10 11:42 AM Re: Sound of Receivers [Re: RayLewis]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3466
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
Well built receivers, as both of those are, sound more alike than different. It really does come down to features, as you were thinking.

That said, pairing an older Pioneer receiver with a newer Pioneer TV really doesn't gain you anything. That receiver uses SR+ to send the extra info to the TV. When they are connected that way, the TV must be on, and the remote for the receiver must be pointed at the TV in order for it to be controlled. While I have a Pioneer TV, receiver, and DVD player, I've only connected the DVD and receiver together with the SR+ cable. I've also used the "out" on the receiver to go into the DVD player, so the receiver is the component which must be on to control the player. For some reason Pioneer only puts SR+ outs on their TVs so they become the control point. So there's no point in using the pairing feature available to you. If you had a newer receiver you would be able to use the HDMI-CEC (aka Kuro Link), but it's pretty much equally useless.

Also the older Pioneer doesn't support HD audio bitstreaming. With it's HDMI audio support being limited to LPCM. For me, that's not an issue, as I believe that's the way it should be done (i.e. the player unpacking the compressed audio and sending the result to the receiver, rather than sending the straight bits). Some people like to see the DD or DTS lights shining on their receiver, but that's meaningless to me.

The only limit I really see from the Pioneer receiver is that it only has 2 HDMI inputs, that's pretty restricting these days, but you could get an external switch. If it were me, I'd invest in an external scaler, like the DVDO Edge, or the Lumagen Radiance XS, to get extra HDMI inputs, and high quality scaling for all my sources, and run the display in Dot-by-Dot mode all the time.

So if it's easier to live the Pioneer where it is, I don't think you'll really be losing out, sound quality wise, and only slightly in the feature area.
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Sony PS4, surround backs
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#288875 - 01/27/10 11:57 AM Re: Sound of Receivers [Re: RayLewis]
htnut
Unregistered


Are you doing any critical listening? If not then it may not be worth the hassle, just put the Denon in the bedroom.

If you're worried about the sound differences then you'll have to factor in not just the receiver, but also the sound characterstics of your speakres and room environment.

Obviously you are already happy with the Pioneer in your basement, so I would set up the Denon in the bedroom first and see how it goes. If you're happy with how the Denon sounds with the speakers in your bedroom then leave it there. If you're curious then switch up the Pioneer and Denon and if there is a difference.

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#288877 - 01/27/10 12:05 PM Re: Sound of Receivers [Re: ClubNeon]
RayLewis Offline
veteran

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 153
Thank you. The number of HDMI inputs on the receiver actually is not an issue for me. I only have a Sony Playstation and cable box connected to the receiver via HDMI. The only other thing I have connected to the receiver is a Wii (via component), but that does not have an HDMI output anyway. I recognize things can change, but at least at this moment it's a non-issue.

One other quick question for you (o.k. it really turned into two). Would you still recommend a scaler if I place the Denon in the basement with the Pioneer TV? I'm not too conversant on scalers, though I've read some stuff about them in the past. Do they help with pictures when the source is high definition to start with, or do they only help when I'm watching a non-HD source?

Thanks again.

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#288882 - 01/27/10 12:38 PM Re: Sound of Receivers [Re: RayLewis]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3466
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
The recommendation of a scaler was a two birds with one stone thing. It would 1. get you more HDMI ports, and 2. improve the video quality. The Denon only has a slightly better scaling ability than the Pioneer. I don't know if it's also limited to analog sources, but the specs page on Denon's site seems to indicate that.

The scaler won't do anything for 1080p sources (well, more expensive ones can do gamma/gray scale correction, but not the two I mentioned). But for anything less, 1080i/720p/480, they offer an improvement. I don't like overscan (when a display pushes the edge of the picture off the screen); while it might have been needed in analog days, there is actual picture content out there now, and it's being hidden. Only in 1080 mode can Pioneer's displays go into Dot-by-Dot (no overscan) mode. Many games, on the PS3 are only 720p, and bonus content on BDs is often 480p. Having a scaler will improve those things. A lot of television is 1080i, so having a superior de-interlacer can improve things there too.

A scaler isn't a necessary item, but it does offer some improvements. Just depends if you think it's worth the money.
_________________________
Pioneer PDP-5020FD, Marantz SR6011
Axiom M5HP, VP160HP, QS8
Sony PS4, surround backs
-Chris

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#288885 - 01/27/10 01:26 PM Re: Sound of Receivers [Re: RayLewis]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6955
Loc: PEI, Canada
An up-scaling device basically tries to 'enhance' a standard definition picture by using a best guess algorithm to 'fill in the banks' if you will and produce a HD signal to send to your TV.

For instance, the up-scaler in my AV receiver will take standard def TV (480i) and regular DVDs (480p) and upscale them to 1080i which is the maximum that my TV can handle. I assume it would also try to upscale a 720p HD signal to a 1080i HD signal but some would argue that that this is not worth the effort and could possibly be, in fact, detrimental.

I can tell you that I 'think' I see a Difference in standard def TV but it can't work magic. Shows poorly filmed still look poorly filmed.

DVDs definitely show an improvement. However, I think it is the upscaler in my Toshiba HD player that is doing the trick as it upscales it to 1080i at the source so the receiver wouldn't do anything. I say this because I think I see superior results when I use my Toshiba player vs. the PS3.

All HD sources, HD TV, and Bluray look great. The Bluray of course, would not be upscaled. Again, poorly produced sources will look worse than stuff well filmed or made specifically for HD.
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#288887 - 01/27/10 01:34 PM Re: Sound of Receivers [Re: Murph]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13576
Loc: Iowa
As long as your not introducing any tone or EQ controls, most solid state receivers will sound no different in blind AB tests.
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#288889 - 01/27/10 01:56 PM Re: Sound of Receivers [Re: SirQuack]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7786
Loc: Canada
But what if you're not blind or your name isn't Ab?
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#288892 - 01/27/10 02:48 PM Re: Sound of Receivers [Re: fredk]
RayLewis Offline
veteran

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 153
Thanks everyone. Interestingly enough, my name is Ab and I'm blind. So, I'll assume no sound difference.

I'm going to look into scalers as well. Not sure I'll buy one, but I'll check it out. At a a minimum, it is something to kill some time with when I feel like taking a break at work.

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#288896 - 01/27/10 03:03 PM Re: Sound of Receivers [Re: RayLewis]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3466
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
The two I mentioned are the ones most worth reading up on. There are other models from those makers, and other brands entirely. But when a scaler costs more than the TV you're scaling to, you're doing something wrong. It wasn't until the DVDO Edge that I even thought about buying one; even if I've had an interest in the technology for much longer.

To get you started. You know how everyone goes on at length about how good the scaling is in Oppo's BDP-83 Blu-ray player? It uses most of the features that Anchor Bay put into the chip which also powers the DVDO Edge. So you could make the DVD output of the PS3 (turn off all scaling and noise reduction features) look as good as the Oppo, and have the same for your cable, and all other sources too.
_________________________
Pioneer PDP-5020FD, Marantz SR6011
Axiom M5HP, VP160HP, QS8
Sony PS4, surround backs
-Chris

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