Pioneer 1014 MCAA help!

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Sam Pat, May 21, 2005.

  1. Sam Pat

    Sam Pat Stunt Coordinator

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    I bought a Pioneer 1014 from Best Buy yesterday to replace my wimpy Sony 595 and what a difference it has made to bring life into my Paradigm Esprits, CC270, Mini Mons and PS1200! I didn't know my speakers could do this!

    I ran the MCAA but it set the speakers to large. I set them back to small but realized that there was hardly any bass going to my PS1200. I'm talking almost nothing. I used to let it shake the house. I was probably running it too hot, but the current calibration is like a whisper by comparison.

    I reran the auto mcaa again (with my small settings) but at the end it set them right back to large.

    Any ideas?

    P.S. Crossover at 80Hz.
     
  2. RyanJE

    RyanJE Second Unit

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    Mine does that to just leave them at small and 80hz should work well. I also noticed that after MCACC that my sub was running a little thin. (i used to have a 595 also). I think part of it is that the 595 was bloated in the low end at 40hz and below so it wasn't tight bass but it sounded louder. Just turn up the db's on the pioneer to you taste and I would also advise you get your hands on avia if you already haven't. It will help out your whole system, I don't think the MCACC is very accurate. (at least not as a avia and an spl meter).

    Let me know if you have any questions.
     
  3. Sam Pat

    Sam Pat Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the response. I dont have Avia, but I have DVE. No SPL meter right now, though.

    Im also wondering if MCAA calibrates a bit hot besides the sub. I tried Kill Bill and LOTR EE last night, and I had both at -40dB and those were plenty loud for me. Dialogue was clear and action scenes were loud. At least for my ears.

    I never had my 595 calibrated so I dont know what I listened to it at, but -40 just seems like it would be a whisper on the dialogue, but it isn't.

    My speakers are about 89-90 db sens.
     
  4. MikeGee

    MikeGee Second Unit

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    am i the only one that found the MCACC to be kinda overrated? On my 1014 the only thing i found the MCACC helped out with was the speaker distance but the EQ settings were not as good as i did by ear with the manual calibration.
    I set my front and surround (Athena AS-B2's) to large so it gives a bit more oomph till i get a subwoofer going.
     
  5. VinhT

    VinhT Second Unit

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    It just means that you prefer your own EQ settings. That certainly doesn't invalidate the auto-EQ feature. I don't consider blind equalization to be very accurate.

    Sam,
    The calibration routine is probably picking up on a room mode. As a result, the sub level is set low. There are two options. If you have a parametric equalizer, go ahead and flatten out the frequency response of the sub and recalibrate. Otherwise, just turn the sub up by ear back to the way you like it. It might just be that you don't like a calibrated sub and prefer it run hot.
     
  6. Sam Pat

    Sam Pat Stunt Coordinator

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    I think this might be it.

    I still havent bumped anything up yet, but I put in the Incredibles DVD tonight, turned it up a notched (to -35dB) and really enjoyed it. No lack of bass here and having a calibrated sub is really nice; everything is solid and tight.

    I might just bump it up a tad, nothing more.

    Thanks for the response.
     
  7. Chris Brock

    Chris Brock Second Unit

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    Sam, could you let me know what sceen you were watching in LOTR? I seem to have the exact opposite probelm with my 1015. We were wathcing the star wars prequals after performing an MCACC and at -15 we could sit on opposite sides of the room and talk at with normal voices. I really had to turn it up to -5 before it approached what I would call a typical level for a good HT experiance. My speakers are DIY and are in the neighborhood of 91 - 92db sens.
     
  8. Sam Pat

    Sam Pat Stunt Coordinator

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    Chris, this was the opening scene of LOTR I. This is where the voice-over narrator explains the various rings, and then the big battle scene.

    At -40, the dialogue was clear without any need to strain, and the battle scene was plenty loud enough to get the full surround effect. I jumped ahead to several other quiet scenes, like when they celebrate in the little hobbit village and there is quiet dialogue, and those are fine too.

    I really can't tell you whether my perception is skewed because this is my first 'calibrated' system. I didnt bother calibrating my old Sony 595 so I really don't know what reference 75db should sound like, other than what I hear in big movie theaters, and those I find way tooo harsh and waay too loud. I don't play anywhere NEAR that loud, but it doesn't 'feel' to be 40 db quieter, either.

    On a softer track (like The Incredibles), I play at -35db.
     
  9. James Phung

    James Phung Second Unit

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    Make sure all your speakers are set to small, MCACC has a tendency to set speakers to large, most of us set it back to small.

    After running the auto MCACC check your speaker and sub levels in the manual speaker set up. If Mcacc set your sub to -6db then you should set the dial on your sub up a little more. If it's at +6 db then you should set the dial lower. You want auto MCACC to set your sub as close to 0db as possible. Most of us want to get a little "oomph" from our sub after the auto mcacc and add 1 to 3db to the sub level on the receiver.

    How big is your room?
     
  10. Chris Brock

    Chris Brock Second Unit

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    thanks for the info. The room is 21 x 18 or so with an eight foot ceiling. There is only 1 open stairway up to the next level so it is pretty isolated. The speakers are set to small and I think the sub is around +4 right now. I will have to try listening to that sceen in LOTR to see what kind of impression I get. It would be wierd for two recievers that are so close to each other have such a dramatic difference in calabration. It would be interesting if you had an SPL meter. I would be curious to what what peaks you were hitting during that sceen at -40 and then compare then to mine. I have a feeling mine is calibrated alot more conservativly.
     
  11. todbnla

    todbnla Screenwriter

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    Todd
    Quick question about the MCACC:
    I assumed when you run the auto setup, the mic should be placed in the "sweet spot" for optimum performance? Was my assumption correct? If so, I find it odd that my back rear l/r center speakers are adjusted lower then the l/r rear side speakers are? Does this sound correct? And should the mic be laid flat or placed on its side?
    I assumed layed flat.
     
  12. Sam Pat

    Sam Pat Stunt Coordinator

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    MCAA set it at -8 db, which I thought was very low. On the sub itself, the dial is set to the middle position (as recommended by the Pioneer manual).

    The room is about 18 x 20 x 12, with no rear wall (opens to large area).

    Also, whenever a new source is detected, the Pioneer's screen says "Diag. Norm +4". What is this?

    I have made very sure no enhancements of any kind are activated (dialogue, night, etc.). I use auto standard for listening mode.

    I don't see anything in the manual either.
     
  13. John S

    John S Producer

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    In Dolby Digital.. There are volume setting called offsets that your AVR will display when they change by source.

    This is what you are see'n I believe with the Diag, Norm +4 being displayed.
     
  14. James Phung

    James Phung Second Unit

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    Sam,
    It seems like your room is quite large, especially with the large opening and no rear wall.

    -8db is pretty low setting for your sub level. Turn the dial up some more on your sub and run MCACC again so that until MCACC will set it closer to 0db.

    I don't think my 300watt SVS PB10 would be powerful enough to handle your room either.
     
  15. Sam Pat

    Sam Pat Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks, John.

    James, do you mean I should turn up the sub by its dial and run MCAA again? As opposed to manually going into levels and bumping up the Bass channel?

    I ask because if I ran MCAA again with the sub turned up, wouldn't MCAA set it even lower, even lower than -8db, resulting in no net change?
     
  16. James Phung

    James Phung Second Unit

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    Sam,
    For some reason my reply came out wrong. [​IMG] Turn the dial down.

    When I first ran MCACC, I had my sub dial at 12 o'clock and MCACC set my sub level on the reciever to -6db. So I took the dial down to 9 o'clock and it mcacc set my sub leve to +6. Now I have it at around 10-11 o'clock and it is just right at 0db. I went ahead and bumped up the level to to +1db to get a little extra bass. [​IMG]

    Sorry for the confusion, I don't know what I was thinking then.
     
  17. Sam Pat

    Sam Pat Stunt Coordinator

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    James,

    No worries. Thanks for the tip!

    However, Im confused. If MCAA gives different calibrations on the sub based on where the dial is at (everything else being constant), doesn't that mean it's not working very well? Shouldn't the calibration be at reference regardless?

    Or I guess what you're saying is that when MCAA sets your sub at around 0db, THAT is the correct reference value...

    But how is that different from me going into the levels right now and bumping it up from -8 to 0?
     
  18. James Phung

    James Phung Second Unit

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    The MCACC sets the levels depending what it can hear/process from the mic. If you have your dial on your sub set too high, it will see that you bass output is high and set the db level low.

    MCACC set your bass level to -8db because the output it felt from your sub was too high. I think we want to get mcacc to set your bass level somewhere close to 0db so that it will give some legroom to easily add a few db here and there when needed instead of having to manually change the dial on your sub.

    At -8, the receiver isn't sending much to the sub, causing your sub to not detect an incoming signal, and output anything.

    I wouldn't recommend manually going from -8 to 0db, that seems to be a significant jump and it could even blow your sub.

    I may not be 100% on this, but this is how I see it...and I'm still learning.
     
  19. Sam Pat

    Sam Pat Stunt Coordinator

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    I did what you suggested and MCAA set the sub to -0.5dB. It turned out very very well! Plenty of smooth, tight bass!

    Very happy right now. [​IMG]
     

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