Pioneer 45tx distortion trouble

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by chaz c, Mar 7, 2004.

  1. chaz c

    chaz c Auditioning

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    Hi everyone,
    I have read these pages for quite some time. I purchased a Pioneer Elite 45tx based on the recomendations by many members of this site. Recently I have been having a distortion problem.

    My center channel spaeaker is a Paradigm Studio CC and I have Studio 100's on the left and right. Whenever I watch a movie, or Sponge Bob with my kids, I hear a "crackling" sound on the dialog. It only comes out of my center channel speaker because I am listening to pro-logic II. No distortion is heard from my left and right channels.

    I brought the center speaker back to my dealer and we hooked it up to his system and it sounded fine. At low and high volume, it sounded great. He told me "you need to bypass the amps in the Pioneer. They are cheap. Keep the reciever for the electronics but bypass those internal amps".
    My question is this.....has anyone else had any crackling in their center channel? I listen to movies and TV 90% of the time at about 20-10 on the Pioneer dial.
    Is the salesman blowing smoke about the internal amps? The receiver was bought about 6 months ago and it is not being made anymore. Should I send it to Pioneer for warranty service or invest in a new 5 channel amp.
    I want to find a solution because it is driving me crazy! My wife can't even hear it.......go figure. Thanks very much.

    --Chaz
     
  2. TimMc

    TimMc Stunt Coordinator

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    "you need to bypass the amps in the Pioneer. They are cheap." Sounds a bit like a dealer trying to make a sale, doesn't it?

    I'm running a Studio 470 center off an Elite, and in all my extensive(;-) experience I've never heard such a thing (which we all know doesn't mean squat). Seriously, I haven't had any amp problem or "insufficiency". Now I'll be the first to admit that the amps in this Elite probably don't stand up to a $3500 separate amp, but they're not exactly chopped chicken liver.

    If your wife can't hear it, do you have someone else who can? Just for your peace of mind - and to know that (one way or another) before you start the warranty discussion w/ Pioneer. The 45tx should work right for you - it does for gazillions of other folks. You shouldn't get roped into buying an additional/separate amp unless that's what you really want to do.
     
  3. chaz c

    chaz c Auditioning

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    Thanks Tim,
    I am an audio engineer for television by trade so I know when I hear a crackle. I am paid to have good, clean sounding audio come out of my mixers rather than bad. My wife, on the other hand, can't tell good from bad. She has asked me to point it out next time so I will for a second opinion.
    I did do a search in this forum and it looks like I am the only one with this problem. Not a good feeling.....
    I also know the dealer is trying to make a sale. What do you think? I already took the speaker to the dealer and ruled out the Studio CC being bad. I also swapped the center channel wires from the CC to the 100's and no crackling was heard. When I swapped them back, however, I could hear the distorton at a reasoable level.
    At first I thought it was broadcast TV garbage audio. Then I thought my old B&W films on DVD just had bad audio. But Sponge Bob and Fairly Oddparents and Lord of the Rings are pretty recent. And when their dialog gets hot and loud, distortion (crackling) is heard on the audio. Let me know what you think.

    -Chaz
     
  4. TimMc

    TimMc Stunt Coordinator

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    Yikes! LoTR audio should be a good enough test, and if that crackles...

    Truth in advertising admission: you're the pro here - I am a village idiot. Everything I'd try you've probably already done a couple of times, so please just humor me or laugh quietly when I've left the room ;-)

    Stupid question #1 - where's the CC sitting? Is it on top of the TV? And if so, what happens if you move it off the TV and put it on the floor some distance from the TV? I know - I'm really reaching, but when you took it back to the dealer where was it tested? Probably not sitting on top of a TV.

    Stupider question #2 - did you completely swap wires going to the CC? Yeah, I know you did, but I had to ask 'cause that's something I'd typically just know was OK so I'd overlook.

    I occasionally "dust" when the family isn't home, and the Elite hasn't come up short. For a while I'd also hooked up the Hafler to drive the fronts and did not notice any real difference in the center (although I did have to reset levels) but then I wasn't concentrating much on the center at that time. In my limited experience the Elite's driven all of the Studios just fine.

    Do you have any other electronics available or you could borrow to try w/ the CC? Other than these simple suggestions I really don't have much of a clue - other than you might be the unlucky recipient of a receiver in need of a fix. Good luck!
     
  5. Drew_W

    Drew_W Screenwriter

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    I had this problem with my 53TX when I was watching Alias Season 1, and it was quite noticeable, and annoying. I've rarely noticed it otherwise, so I thought it was the DVDs (but that would have been pretty impossible I guess now that I think about it...). Oh well, it seems to be holding up ok now. The Elites have SOLID amps though, don't be fooled by this idiotic salesman calling the amps "cheap". Granted it isn't the best out there, it still does quite a good job. I love mine to death. It's fantastic for movies. (-15 or so on the dial is good for me).

    If I read your post correctly, you've ruled out the wires and the speaker. I'd contact Pioneer and see what they have to say. The fact that your dealer is already trying to make another sale out of this situation, even though you don't want to buy anything extra (and shouldn't have to!) is quite disturbing, if not the fact that he's bashing a piece he already sold you to make another sale. Bad business in my books.
     
  6. chaz c

    chaz c Auditioning

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    Hey Tim....you dust??[​IMG] Good suggestions for testing.

    Stupid#1- The CC is right on top of my 57" RP Hitachi. When I took it to the dealer, we had it on its side on the floor. Not anywhere near a TV. I will move it around to day and listen in different positions in case I have some TV interference going on.

    Stupid#2- All of my wires are run through a wall. I swapped the speaker cable that ran to my CC and the one that runs to my Studio 100's, both right and left channel. What I didn't do was run a brand new cable from my reciever to my CC right across the floor for testing. That would eliminate anything behind the wall causing a problem.

    I also have another receiver in the bedroom that I will pull out to power the CC today. This will bypass the center channel amp in the Pioneer and let me know if the 45tx is fine. I will dust it off as well.

    I have today off so I will test this puppy up and down. Hey Drew.....did your problem just go away? Before I contact Pioneer I will test it completly and let you guys know what happened. It doesnt help that this problem only occurs at certain times. It's not a constant issue. Thanks for your suggestions guys!

    --Chaz
     
  7. TimMc

    TimMc Stunt Coordinator

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    Chaz - Just FYI: our "dusting" is also known as turning the big knob way around to the right. The result is usually sufficient vibration of every dust-bearing surface (in the neighborhood) to motivate any/all dust particles off of that darned surface. Once in a great while I even remember to turn on a vacuum cleaner to suck the suspended dust out of the air... (of course, that could ruin the sonic splendor but who the heck can hear the vacuum when you're "dusting" ;-). Good luck! Hope you find something that's real simple to fix.
     
  8. chaz c

    chaz c Auditioning

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    Hi guys,
    Just a follow up. After extensive testing, I have determined the problem to be the Studio CC.

    I hooked up my center channel wire to my Studio 100 and no distortion. I then hooked the wire back to my CC and there was distortion. I then moved the CC off the tv onto the floor with the center channel wire still attached. Distortion again. I plugged in the left channell wire into the CC and there was crackeling as well.

    The test was done while playing a section of "The Wizard Of Oz" which my kids were watching yesterday when I heard it crackeling. I know its an old movie but when I listened to the same passage on my Studio 100 acting as the center channel, it sounded great. I have heard the crackeling on more recent movies like "Lord of the Rings" and "Freaky Friday".

    I took the grill off the CC and listened to the sound. The crackle comes right from the tweeter and only on certain frequencies. It's not a constant, only when the dialog or music (and volume for that matter) hits a certain point.

    I guess I was right the first time in bringing in this speaker. Now its only 6 months old and they have a policy of bringing in you speakers whithin the first year and get full credit torwards a new pair. Sounds pretty good right now considering he told me it was the 45tx's problem.

    Now.....what to get in replacement. I have Paradigm Studio CC/100's and 40's for the rear. Any suggestions are appreciated but I will search this site for opinions. Thanks.

    --Charlie
     
  9. TimMc

    TimMc Stunt Coordinator

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    Glad to hear it's something that should be fairly straightforward to remedy. And glad to hear that it should be a whole lot easier than the 45tx going south.

    Suggestions are easy, too. Get at least the 470, and if you can swing it go for the 570. There, that was easy.

    Audition both if at all possible. I got the 470 'cause the 570 wasn't generally available then and I got a very, very good deal (but that's to be expected, 'cause I am a bottom-dwelling scum sucker ;-). If I could do it again today I'd get the 570 for lots of good reasons - all of which you'll probably hear if you can audition the 570. The $$ difference doesn't seem as big now as it was when I found the 470 and while I haven't listened to the 570 for days on end it did subjectively seem the better speaker & the better buy. YMMV.

    Good luck when you bring that speaker back - hope there's no hassle and a quick exchange for whatever you decide upon. Try to not let them just replace the tweeter if you can get full credit toward a 570...
     

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