old Pioneer simulated surround sound receiver - anyone used it in the good ole days?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by ThomasL, Jan 8, 2002.

  1. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2001
    Messages:
    963
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have a friend who steadfastly refuses to upgrade/retire his circa 1988 Pioneer SX-2300 simulated surround sound receiver (he's waiting for it to break). I was wondering if anyone has any experience or remembers this receiver since we're trying to figure out exactly how it does simulated surround sound. It has two channels - A and B - and somehow uses both of them when you turn on the simulated surround sound. Any have a wayback machine that will allow them to remember how this works? [​IMG] I know the correct answer to this question is "upgrade!" but my friend has a built in Yankee thrift gene which gets in the way of his enjoyment of modern technologies sometimes [​IMG]
    thanks!
    --tom
     
  2. Ergin Guney

    Ergin Guney Agent

    Joined:
    May 24, 1999
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm not familiar with that particular model and the technique it uses, but I'm willing to venture a few guesses.

    This reminds me of some stereo systems that I remember from more than a decade ago that had (seemingly) similar "wide" or "surround" modes. Usually what they did involved inverting the phase of one channel so that the soundfield became vague and diffuse. Although those were always two-speaker affairs, it's not hard to image that the Pioneer that you mention might be doing a similar thing by playing the first pair of speakers in correct phase and the second pair in inverted phase to achieve this "simulated surround" effect. If that's what it does, it should be fairly easy to find out: just try inverting the conductors of the speaker cable connected to the second speaker pair and try the surround mode. If it now sounds simply like two regular pairs of stereo speakers playing together, then there's your answer.

    Another idea might simply be applying a few milliseconds of delay to the signal going to the second speaker pair. If the "rear" speakers are delayed a little, the sound coming from them might give the impression of being a reflection of the sound from the front speakers coming back to you after hitting the rear boundary of a deep area behind you, thus creating something approximating a crude surround soundfield. If this is what it's doing, I can't think of any simple litmus test to confirm this, though.

    It can, of course, also be a combination of the two techniques above.

    One might also give that old Pioneer a bit more credit and imagine that it could be using some simple matrixing technique to extract the out-of-phase surround component in the stereo recording to route it to the rear. But that would be like inventing Dolby Pro Logic before Dolby. I wouldn't bet my money that that could be what it's doing.
     
  3. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 29, 1999
    Messages:
    983
    Likes Received:
    0
    I had a couple of Pioneers back through those days. As Ergin speculates, it seems like I remember the simulated surround having something to do with the phase relationship of the 2 channels. I don't think Pioneer went so far as to introduce any delay of any kind.

    As for how this sounds in comparison to today's stuff?? (How can I put this delicately?) There is absolutely NO comparison. Can you compare an Edison gramophone with a DVD? Yes, they both produce sound, but...

    My best advice is to take him to a true audio dealer (where you get the best demos) and show him what's available. 5.1 Dolby Digital, DTS, Dolby Pro Logic II. I just can't imagine anyone wouldn't be able to hear the true improvements made (in both sound and picture) in the last 5 years or so. (It's also important to make certain he understands that good sound won't require a large cash outlay. Some of the Home Theater-in-a-Box setups are quite nice. (Kenwood for eg.))

    The sad truth is that even back in '88, his SX-2300 was next to the bottom of the Pioneer line. Today's equivalent will kick his Pioneer's a**!!!
     
  4. DavidAM

    DavidAM Second Unit

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    375
    Likes Received:
    0
    I just replaced my 12 year old SX-3600 with a HK AVR-520 and there was a huge difference. Dolby Digital is just amazing. I do like that Pioneer receiver though and its now my bedroom stereo. I never had any problems with it. Its just that today the surround modes are superior to the dolby surround that my Pioneer has. And I do have the simulated surround mode but I have no clue how it functions.
     
  5. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2001
    Messages:
    963
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, I talked with my friend with the old Pioneer SX-2300 receiver and this is how he has things currently wired. If someone tells him that this might blow up in his face then he might upgrade [​IMG]
    He claims that A channel Right is only outputting "bass" so he has two old Pioneer tower speakers hooked up to this and are sort of acting like "woofers" in his simulated surround setup. A channel Left is outputting the entire signal which he has hooked up 3 small speakers that sort of act as his fronts and center. The B channel Left and Right is outputting the entire signal and he has a couple Radio Shack Optimus speakers hooked up to.
    Now, does any of this seem to make sense to anyone? It doesn't make sense to me [​IMG] If someone told him that if the above is happening, it probably means something is wrong with the receiver [​IMG], then he might upgrade to a newer Pioneer such as the D510 or D810S.
    Anyone have any comments?
    thanks!
    --tom
     
  6. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 29, 1999
    Messages:
    983
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well (as I said above) how can I put this delicately??
    If your description of his setup is essentially correct (and I understand your confusion) there is absolutely no way that his system is working the way he has explained it to you. NO WAY!
    Now that doesn't mean that he doesn't like the way it sounds. And that may not get him any closer to upgrading...
    But no receiver ever made was configured to output bass only from one channel (and still be full range from some of the others. (If he is only getting bass from the one channel (which IS possible) then he likely has some circuitry that has failed and his beloved 2300 could be defective. [​IMG] )
    One thing to consider is that if you do get your friend started down the upgrade path, he CANNOT run all of those speakers in series like he has. Adding speakers in series adds their impedences and affects the frequency response of the sound (this could also possibly explain the bass thing too!) BTW, "A" & "B" speaker outputs derive their signal from the same amplifier channel. So, his "B" right can't be fullrange and the "A" right bass only.
     
  7. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2001
    Messages:
    963
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the reply Chuck. Like you, I suspect something isn't working quite right in his SX-2300.
    But I also suspect he won't let go of his beloved 2300 until it starts to either spew smoke or dies completely. [​IMG] He has a hard time letting go of things that still work. He still owns an Amiga, need I say more? [​IMG]
    cheers,
    --tom
     
  8. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2001
    Messages:
    963
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, in case anyone wants to know the latest in this saga. My friend still won't upgrade even after weeks of humiliation In fact, what he has done now is to add in a Cambridge Soundworks passive subwoofer (whatever came with the Ensemble II system a number of years ago - another friend gave him this 3 piece satellite/sub system) to Right-A channel along with the two Pioneer tower speakers. He's got a total of 8 speakers now hanging off the A/B channels on the SX-2300! I'm beginning to wonder if his secret desire is to kill his receiver so he can rationally upgrade and not feel like he's wasting something that still works.
    He's been over to my place (which is a fairly modest system which includes a newer Pioneer DD/DTS budget receiver) but still stubbornly claims that his setup is 80 percent of what I have. I've tried to explain that 6 distinct channels of sound is quite the leap above 2 channels of pseudo-simulated sound. Anyone have any recommendations? The next time he has a get together should someone just pour a drink onto his Pioneer and put it out of its misery? [​IMG] Or perhaps if he invites us over for a movie, should we all turn away from the tv and receiver and clasp our hands over our chests a la the Klingons ex-communicating Worf [​IMG]
    Anyone have the magic elixir to wake him out of his late 1980s audio/video funk?
     
  9. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 29, 1999
    Messages:
    983
    Likes Received:
    0
    WOW!!!!! 80% of a 5.1 discrete surround sound system?? Not even 1 millionth of 1%!!! I'm LOL!!!

    Well, IMO, you've done all that you can do. As they say, you can lead the horsey to water but you can't make him drink. Some love good sound. Some don't...
     

Share This Page