Auto set up (MCCAC) or meter and trial/error???

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Paul Fa, Dec 3, 2002.

  1. Paul Fa

    Paul Fa Stunt Coordinator

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    How accurate is a feature like the Pioneer MCCAC really? How difficult is it for a relatively inexperienced but technically oriented enthusiast to do the set up using an SPL meter and the test tones and set-up DVD's etc.?? I'm on the fence thinking of buying the 3803 within the week and I'm a PC guy not a Mac guy so I'd usually opt for tinker-ability rather than ease of use, but I also don't need to waste time forever trying to get a decent sound. What do ya think?? Also, any decent work-around for the lack of front AV inputs on the Denon???
     
  2. Juan_R

    Juan_R Supporting Actor

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    Paul,

    We are in the same boat. I have an SPL meter but the 45TX keeps calling because if I am correct, the MCACC also adjust the EQ according to the room. The 45TX also has the EQ to adjust to your liking. I am having a dificult time deciding between these two receivers. I like that the 3803 has more digital inputs as I am already using four in my current receiver. I also like the video conversion on the 3803 but I don't think I would ever use it. I have an HDTV and I don't anything with an S-video or composite connections. I am not even worried about the built in amps because I have an external amp already. Well I whish you luck.
     
  3. DanielSmi

    DanielSmi Second Unit

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    Paul the MCACC does much more than you can do with an SPL meter and tape measure. It does do SPL and speaker distance but as Juan said it also compensates for your listening enviroment. The 45tx has a built-in 5 band eq. Here's what Pioneer says "A room equalized by MCACC delivers much flatter frequency response and realism. MCACC also sets speaker levels and channel dealys to match the delicate nuances of your space. MCACC works in any room, regardless of size or shape, overcoming an obstacle that has frustrated acoustical engineers for decades. Most amazingly, it handles the challenge effortlessly."

    It's pretty simple just plugin the provided microphone select auto surround setup for the OSD menu and answer a few questions and away it goes. You will have a big grin on your face the first few to time you hear it in action, I think it's really cool that a receiver can do something like this.One beneifit of it is ease of use, yes, but you can go in and change most of the settings, like speaker size and all that good stuff. But I believe with the 45tx you can't adjust the eq settings. Only the 49tx and 49txi do that. If you not gonna have any use for the upconversion then I'd say go with the Pioneer no other receiver out there has this kindof technology plus it's just as affordable as the Denon or Marantz. I think you can pick it up for about $900 online.

    Daniel Smith
     
  4. Brae

    Brae Supporting Actor

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    Well, today I discovered that when I run the MCACC on my 45TX I get 85dB on my SPL when the Master Volume (as read on the fron tpanel of the receiver) is at 0dB.
    What I did was set my Radio Shack 33-2050 to the 80dB scale, which reads from -10dB to +6dB around the 80dB marker. I then put in the Avia DVD and under Speaker Setup (Chapter 7), the Front-Left test-tone is suppose to send an 85dB source signal to your receiver.
    Following this, I increased the 45TX volume level via remote while watching the SPL. When the SPL meter hit 85dB I loked up at the front panel of my 45TX and saw it was at 0dB. I did this same test for the right loudspeaker, center channel and surrounds. Only the surrounds deviated (only 1 & 2dB), but the right and center channels were also dead on.
    Yes, I am aware of the inaccuracies of this SPL meter, but what can I say? I also blindly set the Master Volume to 0dB and ran the test-tone for the Front-Left loudspeaker and again it read 85dB on the SPL, but more interesting is when I blindly lowered the volume to get the SPL to read 75dB the Master Volume was left at -10dB. Naturally. [​IMG]
    But does this literally mean that a 1dB change on the master volume coincides with a 1dB change on the SPL meter? BTW, my listening location was the same place I had the microphone that was used when I ran the automated MCACC process.
     
  5. MikeRP

    MikeRP Supporting Actor

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  6. Brian Burgoyne

    Brian Burgoyne Second Unit

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    I bought the 45TX for the MMACC, particularly the frequency equalization feature. I have an irregular shaped room and it did a remarkable job of balancing the sound. I am a Denon fan and plan on using my retired 3300 in another room. The remote on the 45TX is great and pretty intuitive. To me it is easier to use than my Denon remote. I can't really tell a difference in sound between the receivers, but I'm getting older and have been to a lot of loud concerts in my life, so my hearing is probably not the best.

    As far as tinkerability (is that a newly coined word?), once you run the MMACC on the Pioneer, you can go into the expert settings and tinker endlessly.
     
  7. Brae

    Brae Supporting Actor

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    Brian, 45TX owners don't 'tinker' the search for the meaning to life! Also, its MCACC not MMACC--unless you discovered something ahead of me! [​IMG]
     
  8. MikeRP

    MikeRP Supporting Actor

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    Brian:
    I can't believe you'd accuse us 45 TX owners of tinkering............Just can't understand where'd you get that kind of idea! Frick, Man, I'm hurt.[​IMG]
    However, if your a tinkerbell, the 45TX is for you!
    Almost infinite options.
    Mikey
     
  9. Paul Fa

    Paul Fa Stunt Coordinator

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    LOL....[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Great replies guys! You Pioneer owners are obviously happy with your gear. Don't be too hard on Brian, I don't think he was implying that you 45tx owners tinker, just that I could if I bought one and chose to do so - which I would - I just can't stand not to! If I did coin a new word is there a website where I can get worldwide credit and respectability from it??? Don't bother answering that last part...nothing will ever make me respectable![​IMG] [​IMG]
    On a more serious note - can anyone speak to Brae's reply? I haven't had a chance to set up a AV surround system yet so a lot of that was Greek to me already, but it was interesting Greek and I'd like to see what the answers might be!!
    Cheers!
     
  10. MikeRP

    MikeRP Supporting Actor

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    Brae is right - when you get your 45 TX you'll understand.
    We're still just figuring out the parameters the 45TX operates under.
    Him and I have completely 2 different rooms but similiar speakers and we come up with that the 45 is calibrating to the same levels. So the thing shows consistency which is good.
    He is trying to figure out if a 1 db change on the 45 TX volume level is equivalent to a true 1 db change in sound level. Previously we had said it was a relative thing and didn't correlate but now that we have sound meters we're finding out maybe something different. Its really obsessive behavior - but that's what I like about Brae! [​IMG]
    Mike
     
  11. Brae

    Brae Supporting Actor

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    If I have to admit that something is tinkering ni my home, its my wife tinkering with me. [​IMG]
     
  12. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    I'm also seriously considering the 45TX because of this feature, my room is an acoustic nightmare.

    My speakers are all bookshelf units, Energy EXL-16 mains, EXL-C center, and EXL-15 surrounds. I run them all "small" and route everything below 100hz to my Klipsch KSW-12, as the little bookshelf speakers don't go really low and also to give the receiver more headroom.

    I read most of a very long thread on the 45 over at AVS and got the impression that the auto-setup feature automatically sets all speakers to large, calibrates in that mode, after which one can force the settings to small.

    My question, if this is the case, is how much does the auto calibration change after resetting speakers to small? Is all the advantage of the auto equalization lost?

    This feature is truly intriguing, and one I'd really love to have. My only holdup is my concern that the auto equalization would not work for me if it's dependent on having all speakers set to large.

    My current receiver is a Sony STR-V333, with full equalization and crossover adjustment for each channel but I'm working in the dark with it.

    I do have an analog RS spl, and have had no real problem manually setting speaker levels, but the addition of auto equalization is the feature I'm really interested in.

    Does the 45TX have a fixed crossover or is it adjustable? As far as overall sound and power, would it be adequate for my speakers in a roughly 16 ft square room with 8 ft. ceiling and a large archway in one wall? Is it particularly "bright?"

    Does it have a phantom center rear mode for 6.1? My Sony has this and it works rather well, since my room setup doesn't really lend itself to a 7.1 speaker array.

    Sorry to ask so many questions, but you guys sound really enthusiastic about this receiver and I'd like to find out as much as I can before pulling the trigger, and can't find a dealer locally that carries this model.

    Lastly, any good onling sources--I've never bought any piece of gear on the 'net but as I mentionned I can't find the 45TX in any of the local stores.
     
  13. Brae

    Brae Supporting Actor

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    Dependnig on your crossover point, nothing for the 63Hz (and maybe 125Hz is xover is high enough) band is sent to a channel that if configured as Small.

    For THX spec, the crossover in my 45TX is set to 80 Hz. Therefore, any channel I have set to Small has nothing sent to it in the 63 Hz band.

    The 45TX has five (5) bands, at 63, 125, and 250 Hz, and 4 and 11.3 kHz.
     
  14. DanielSmi

    DanielSmi Second Unit

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    Steve you have to understnad that the 45TX doesn't set every speaker to large. I have a full klipsch reference setup except my JBL N24's which I use as rear surround, now I will say yes the MCACC likes to set speakers that don't really qualify as large to that setting but it doesn't do that for my JBL's it set's them to small so if your speakers don't handle bass then it will detect that and set them to small. My Klipsch setup uses 8" woofers all around and large speakers are said to be 10" woofers and up. I have rf-5 fronts (dual 8's), rc-7(dual 8's), and a pair of rs-7(one 8" each), now take for example the RF-7's which use dual 10's those are huge speakers and S&V said they don't even need a subwoofer those are genuine large speakers but my sytem is right below it.

    No, setting your speakers to small will not cancel out the MCACC; it just won't use the 63Hz adjustment it did. That's if it even did it because it might recognize your speakers as small. Everything else will remain the same.

    I can't speak for the power of the 45TX because I don't own one I have the 49TX. But remember the 45TX is THX Select certified and must be able to output 105dB for a 3000cubic foot room your is only 2048 cubic feet so you'll be fine with power. One thing to note Elite line has an automatic shutoff feature that if a low ohm speaker is beign driven by it at a loud level it will automatically shutoff. If your speakers are 8Ohm's you won't have anything to worry about. But if they are 6ohm or lower and aren't very efficient (prolly around 87dB or lower sensitivity) and you like to play loud than you might have problems. If you have 6Ohm speakers and your sensitivity rating is anywhere in the 90's then you should be fine. You might want to ask around on this though. I've never had a problem my speakers are extrememly efficient, front's are 99dB, center and side surrounds are 98dB, but my JBl's are 85dB (which is pretty low) but Ive never had any problems and I've played Gladiator, the Pod race scene, and parts of the Matrix at reference with no problems. I wonder if I'd have any problems if I played LOTR at reference, I couldn't do it and be in the same room at the same time that movie is about 15dB above average soundtrack level. I watch most of my movies at like -15dB I had to watch this at -25dB and it was still loud.

    Yes as stated above the 45TX does have a variable crossover.

    I'm not sure on the phantom center mode my first impression is to say no it doesn't but you'd have to tell me more about Sony's phantom mode there might be something it can do that I haven't tried.

    Most people say that the Pioneer is warm but that depends on who you ask, I've only heard my other Pioneer (37tx) and the 49tx sound much warmer than that one. I also had a $300 Yamaha and would compare the sound to some thing like that. I'm not saying that it's only as good as the $300 yammie I'm sure it's much better but it reminded me of it. I 'd have to do a side by side comarasion since I haven't heard my Yammie in over a year. I would say the 37tx was bright but not the 49tx, but again I can't speak for the 45tx since I don't own one.

    Online store I'd check onecall.com, 6ave.com, soundcity.com, maybe crutchfield but I don't think they carry the Elite line. I've only ordered from soundcity once and was very satisfied with their service, very quick delivery I believe got my product in less than a week, which is very fast for ground service.

    Hope I answered all of your questions. I did the best I could.

    Daniel Smith
     
  15. Brae

    Brae Supporting Actor

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    DanielSmi,
    I wonder what parameters the MCACC uses to determine if a given channel is loaded with a Large or Small speaker. There must be something that it uses as a rule. Maybe it sets them to Large because it simply determines, during the MCACC routine, that the driver(s) in question are capable of handling something in the 63 Hz region for a THX processed signal.
    Simply setting a speaker channel to Large does not mean the end of the world upon heavy conditions, as the MCACC is just as capable of determining how much volume to add or take away for a given frequency band.
    Also, I wonder what happens in situations in which rooms are equipped with two subwoofers that are not side-by-side or on top of one another. Enough bass detection from multiple subs may still further the MCACC notion that even less BASS reproduction from the regular channels isn't necessary.
    Still, I think its not all that uncommon to find a condition where connecting tiny satellite speakers in conjunction with a couple of very well-endowed subwoofers would certainly produce a Small setting across the board.
    Of course, this is all speculation, and we do not have the adecquate avenue to investigate the real answer as the American support division for Elite products is littered with ignorant Pioneer employees, out employees from an out-sourced commpany. They are truly clueless. [​IMG]
     
  16. DanielSmi

    DanielSmi Second Unit

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    I haven't had any experience with Pioneer customer service, but your prolly right. I think when it sends out the signal it determines how loud the bass signal is and if it's about the set amount then it sets it to large. Maybe Pioneer should raise the bar on how much bass has to be produced by the speaker before it can be considered as large. So if it sets the speaker to large when it outputs 65dB of bass maybe Pioneer should raise the limit to say 75dB or maybe 80dB.

    Daniel Smith
     
  17. Brae

    Brae Supporting Actor

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    They probably wrote the MCACC code based on their own speakers. HAH!
     
  18. Paul Fa

    Paul Fa Stunt Coordinator

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    Great info guys, I'm going to take a harder look at the 45tx now. One thing though, my room is aprox 20Lx20Wx15H. It has a high open beam ceiling with center beam at about 15' high and each side slopes down to meet the walls at about 8' high. If I use the above specs I come up with around 6000cu'. Do I need to have a higher wattage amp than the 45tx, the 3803 or the Marantz SR8200?? The speakers I'm considering are Paradigms - 8ohms and between 90-94db (Monitor 11 mains, CC370 center, ADP-370 surrounds). I no longer listen to music/movies at the loudness I used to, but sometimes still like to crank up Aqualung or the like when nobody else is home! What do ya think?
     
  19. Brae

    Brae Supporting Actor

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    Paul, my speakers are in a temporary location: the family room. This in and of itself means nothing, but this room has an 18' ceiling, and at ground level, hehehe, it has a 10' wide opening into the breakfast area and kitchen. I think I roughly, but conservatively, calculated the volume to be a hair over 7,000 cubic-feet.

    I am using Paradigm Studio 100's for my mains, ADP's for surrounds, their timbre matched center channel, and I have borrowed a friend's M&K 150THX subwoofer. All this is processed through the 45TX to a wonderful conclusion.
     
  20. DanielSmi

    DanielSmi Second Unit

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    My room is very small like 11*13*8=1144cubic feet. I have a THX ULTRA2 Cert receiver which means it has to hit 115dB instead of 105dB in a bigger room than THX Select plus my insanely sensitive 99dB Klipsch speakers. Soon I'll upgrade to a Parasound 2205 (hopefully), this is serious overkill for my small cramped room. Paul you won't have any problems with those speakers those are pretty sensitive. If you don't play loud then prolly won't need an external amp. The difference between this amps are very small spec wise the difference between 100 and 120 watts is about .66dB really isn't that big. 120 watts will give you a little bit more headroom than 100 but if you don't play loud than that prolly isn't necessary.

    Daniel Smith
     

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