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Just Set Up My Pioneer Elite VSX-45TX: My thoughts on this receiver


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#1 of 14 OFFLINE   John B. Holbrook

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Posted March 25 2003 - 04:51 AM

Had to replace my refirbed 24tx which I got about 4 years ago (sob). Guess I won't buy refirb again...

This is a $1400.00 list receiver which I got online for $840.00 delivered. Not great, but not bad. I set it up last night so I'm just begining to break it in.

The remote that came with this unit isn't bad at all. I have a Pronto, but I really did need something easier to use for when my girlfriend is over or when my father visits (both can be described as technologically challenged...).

Set up was fairly simple...it has some fancy-shmanzy auto speaker optimization feature which I haven't played with much yet. I think I need to get a microphone to use this feature. Loved the individual channel adjustment features...you can even delay the individual channels based on their distance from the listener.

On the input side of things, one big plus this receiver has is a couple of component in slots...my Sony 61" TV only has one, so now I can run my Xbox in true HD Widescreen as well as my DVD.

Tonight I plan on really tweeking and optimizing, but so far it sounds really nice....it seems to support ever compression scheme and speaker set up under the sun, so I think I'm in pretty good shape from an upgrade perspective. I'd like to get 5 years out of this one at least. .

Anyone else have any thoughts on this model? Any tweeking tips?
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#2 of 14 OFFLINE   MikeRP

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Posted March 25 2003 - 05:15 AM

John:

There's a bunch of info here on this forum about setups and there is also more over on www.avsforum.com. Just search for my name or Brae or WanMan or of couse the 45 TX. We also have a manufacture date thread going on over on AVSForum. Please levase your info there.

Thanks and welcome to the club.Posted Image

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#3 of 14 OFFLINE   Brian Burgoyne

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Posted March 25 2003 - 09:54 AM

there should be a microphone included, look through the stuff in the box and hope you didn't throw it away. it is small.

#4 of 14 OFFLINE   Steve Schaffer

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Posted March 25 2003 - 12:03 PM

By all means find that microphone and the little foam disc it fits into. Place it as close to possible to where your ears are when sitting in the "sweet spot" and select auto setup under surround setup.

It may set all your speakers to "large" but you can manually set them to small later. If your sub setting comes out at -10db, turn down the volume on the plate amp on your sub and repeat the auto setup until you get an auto setup sub setting of about 0db.

Let us know what you think after doing auto setup.
Steve S.
I prefer not to push the subwoofers until they're properly run in.

#5 of 14 OFFLINE   Brae

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Posted March 25 2003 - 12:45 PM

John, as Brian stated, there is a microphone included. Follow his lead, and MikeRP's suggestion Posted Image , and use the amount of information available on this forum and on AVS.

#6 of 14 OFFLINE   John B. Holbrook

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Posted March 25 2003 - 10:47 PM

Hunh...what do you know! There was indeed a mirophone in the box...it was in with the FM antanea....didn't think anything else was there... :b

I'm tinking with it now and will report back...THANKS GUYS!!!!
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#7 of 14 OFFLINE   Brad Newton

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Posted March 25 2003 - 11:57 PM

Quote:
It may set all your speakers to "large" but you can manually set them to small later. If your sub setting comes out at -10db, turn down the volume on the plate amp on your sub and repeat the auto setup until you get an auto setup sub setting of about 0db.


Could someone please tell me what this is?
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#8 of 14 OFFLINE   Brae

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Posted March 26 2003 - 02:18 AM

Brad, you quoted a paragraph with two topics contained within it. Do you need explanation on both, or just one of the two topics?

When a user uses the auto-MCACC (Multi-Channel Acoustical Calibration Circuit), the line-levels, delays, and equalization of the speakers attached to the 45TX (or other MCACC-equipped AVR). Also, MCACC will try to determine the best description of the speakers in terms of being full-range (small being not full-range, large being full-range).

The MCACC seems to like placing most speakers in the classification as full-range, meaning they are capable of reproducing low-frequencies (bass) according to some minimum threshold. Thus, some people find their speakers sounding a lot better manually forcing the speaker classification to small (which is also a THX requirement, IIRC).

Additionally, some have experienced that the sensitivity of the MCACC to subwoofer-produced bass volume to be excessive, and through the MCACC calibration reduces the LFE lin-level to effectively lower the volume. By lowering the volume knob on the subwoofer itself, the line-level reading resulting from MCACC will bee closer to 0dB than far away on the negative scale.

Now, let's hope I didn't confuse you or unintentionally provide any misinformation.

#9 of 14 OFFLINE   Brad Newton

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Posted March 26 2003 - 03:00 AM

Thanks,
I understood basically the auto calibration, but I was wonder about the plate volume knob. I assumed that it was the volume control on the sub, but since I am just learning the ht lingo, I wasn't sure.
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#10 of 14 OFFLINE   Brae

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Posted March 26 2003 - 04:54 AM

You got it. It's the volume control on the subwoofer.

#11 of 14 OFFLINE   John B. Holbrook

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Posted March 26 2003 - 08:00 AM

Well, I ran the callibration routine...pretty neat! I was pretty happy with the front channels. It knocked my sub to -8db...way too low for my preferences...I kicked it back up to +1 db...Posted Image

I need to sample some additional source material to see if I'm happy with the rear channel calibration. But the fronts sound fantastic!
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#12 of 14 OFFLINE   Mike Fenech

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Posted March 26 2003 - 09:05 AM

How should one set an active sub's controls prior to doing the auto-calibration, including any cross-over settings? I don't have an audio setup just yet...just curious about it all for now.

#13 of 14 OFFLINE   Steve Schaffer

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Posted March 26 2003 - 02:44 PM

Mike,
As you probably already know, the crossover control on the sub itself controls the frequency cutoff on the high end that will be reproduced by the sub, with some slope and overlap involved. Recievers or separate processors allow you to select Small or Large as speaker size for the mains, center, and surround speakers. This selection can usually be made individually for the center, the 2 mains, and the 2 surrounds. When you select Small the bass frequencies below a certain point (typically 80-100hz, and on many receivers adjustable) are not sent to the speakers so designated, but are redirected to the subwoofer.

This applies to the bass in the 5 (or 6 in the case of DDEX and DTSES systems) regular channels and not the separate LFE (Low Frequency Effects--the .1 in 5.1) channel. There is much more bass in these channels than many people realize, the LFE channel by no means handles all the bass in a movie soundtrack.

Since these very low frequencies require the most power to reproduce at high volumes, and are for the most part can't be localized by the human ear (you can't tell where they're coming from as opposed to higher frequencies like birds chirping in the surrounds), it makes sense to let the powered sub's amplifier take the load off your receiver's amplifier thus increasing it's "headroom" and helping to avoid overloading it's amps.

This is called bass management and allows one to get very good sound without having to purchase huge full range speakers for the mains, center, and surrounds.

Basically you want to set the crossover on the sub's controls significantly higher than the crossover on your reciever. This way there will be no gap in the frequencies being reproduced by your sub in combination with the other speakers. Since little will come out of the receiver's sub output terminal above it's crossover setting, you can set the sub's crossover setting at it's highest setting and still not have much if anything above the reciever's setting come out of the sub, so you aren't going to get localization of bass.

The level knob on the sub is a different matter, as it's basically a volume control and does the same thing as the sub level setting on your receiver.

Most receivers have a limited range of available settings for the sub output. The lower settings may not produce enough voltage at the output to the sub to trigger the sub's auto-on function, and the higher settings on some receivers will sometimes produce distortion. A good idea, I think, is to balance the sub and receiver level settings so that a setting on the receiver about in the middle of it's range produces sub levels even with or a bit higher than main speaker levels.

I start with a midrange setting on the sub's control and try adjusting for a proper level with the receiver's control. If I get a good level with the receiver's control in about the center of it's range, I'm good to go. If I need to turn receiver sub level significantly lower than midrange I turn down the knob on the sub and try again, until I reach a balance between the sub knob and the receiver's sub level that gives me the correct sub level with the receiver's level near the center of it's available range (-10db to +10db in the case of my current receiver).

The MCACC (auto calibration) on my Pioneer originally came up with a sub level of -8.5 db, and the sub didn't turn on as often as I liked. I turned down the knob on the sub and reran MCACC until I got an MCACC sub setting of -2.5. Then, simply because I like a bit more bass than spec, I turned the receiver's sub level up manually to 0db.

I hope I haven't totally confused you, and keep in mind that this is just what's worked best for me. Others may have equally or even more valid opinions on how this adjustement should be done.

There are also some other factors involved--some receivers have separate sub and LFE level adjustments for example, and if one has no sub one can direct LFE to mains or even all 5 or 6 regular speakers and have both LFE and non LFE bass reproduced by them if they're capable of doing so and the receiver or amps can handle the load.
Steve S.
I prefer not to push the subwoofers until they're properly run in.

#14 of 14 OFFLINE   Mike Fenech

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Posted March 27 2003 - 08:57 AM

Thanks, Steve. That helps explain a lot of what's been said elsewhere on this thread as well.