Pioneer 49TX: "Too Bright Sounding" ?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Rich H, Jul 20, 2002.

  1. Rich H

    Rich H Second Unit

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    As many here are aware, the new issue of Home Theater Magazine has a shoot-out between the Pio 49TX/Denon 5803/Anthem AVM20.

    The write-up on the 49TX is the least flattering I've seen.
    The author writes that, although it performed smoothly in his home, the 49TX was deemed "bright" sounding (overly emphasized highs) by everyone involved in the test. If I read correctly, one tester found the high frequencies emphasized enough to be uncomfortable.

    I'm curious what was going on there. The author does not state if he had employed the MCACC or not. I know many people have reported the MCACC all channel mode as producing a flat target curve, which reads as "bright" in some rooms. Or, did he simply leave the EQ flat (?).

    The two times I heard a 49TX powered system the sound was very smooth and full. But I was never able to directly compare the 49TX to another receiver within the same system.

    I'd like 49TX owners to weigh in here. Does the Home Theater Mag description jive with your experience?
    Does the 49TX have a fundamentally high-frequency emphasized sound?

    The last thing I'd want in a receiver is brightness, given that I already find many DVD soundtracks too "hot." I went for the 49TX because, among the receivers/processors I looked at, the 49TX seemed to offer the greatest degree of control over the sound, so I could get my system sounding how *I* want it to sound.
    It seems to me that the 49TX offers controls that should render questions of brightness somewhat moot, as one could use the EQ to adjust the high frequencies to taste. Still, I wonder about the essential "character" of the sound put out by the 49TX.

    (BTW, after loosing my cash to the 49TX vendor, and as I save my pennies, I've started investigating other possibilities; cheaper receivers...or even more expensive separates like Anthem. But I keep coming back to the 49TX as doing virtually everything I'd need. It seems so well thought out, and the front controls are simple and self explanatory. I'm no novice when it comes to gear, but most AV recievers have front panels that are so flashy and busy that I find them to be disorientating to figure out. The 49TX's front panel is so elegant, simple and self-explanatory that it is actually calming to use. It looks like it will make the new HT system simpler for my wife to use, not more complex. I only wish the 49TX had audio sync delay, like the Anthem and Denon, for better sound sync to my plasma screen).


    Thanks,

    Rich
     
  2. RichardMA

    RichardMA Second Unit

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    This idea of "bright" sound is less and less important
    now these high end products have built-in parametric
    equalizers. All they have to do is trim some of the
    treble and provided they don't degrade "detail" resolution,
    an inherent "brightness" issue should not come into play.
    But don't forget many of the people doing these reviews
    are ex or current audiophiles used to equipment that tends
    to cut off the treble frequencies starting at around 5000hz.
    So their opinion about brightness is somewhat understandable.
     
  3. DanielSmi

    DanielSmi Second Unit

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    Some people say the 49tx is a little bright but as Richard said all you have to do is go into the on screen menu and you can have the receiver omit a test tone and you can change each speaker individually with the built-in 9 band EQ. For ex. I have a small room like 13x14 or something and even with THX turned on Gladiator was really bright at reference levels (yeah that's loud) what makes it worse is that I have Klipsch horn speakers so I just went in and lowered freq 8k (thats where most of the brightness came from) about 3 notches (just to let you know a notch is = to a .5 Db change in freq) then 16k (very little info at this range so it only made a little difference) about 2 notches and 4k 1 notch. This made movies much easier to listen to. So you can't say the receivers bright because you can always change & I don't know about everyone else but I don't need a 32 band EQ for each speaker that's overkill it would be very confusing and don't need that much detail. I wouldn't be able to say "freq at 1000Hz sound fine but those freq at 1750Hz are too loud better turn those down" my ears can't do that and I don't know if anyone elses can so that's why I don't need a built in 32 band EQ just too much a 9 band is just fine for me.

    Daniel Smith
     
  4. Mark R O

    Mark R O Stunt Coordinator

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    If equalizers changed the way amplifiers sound, I'd open a chain of stores named "JustEqualizers".
     
  5. RajeeK

    RajeeK Second Unit

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    Well I havn't noticed my 49TX to be too bright. Keep in mind you must take all reviews with a grain of salt. Now if the clear majority of people said their 49TX was bright then that's a different story. Even so, like others have mentioned if it does seem bright to you there is always the MCACC that you can adjust. I still think it is an absolutely wonderful receiver and is priced very fairly for what you get. Now the Denon I'm sure is also wonderful, but overpriced IMO. Listen to it. If ya like it get it, don't get bogged down by others who may nitpick every little aspect of the sound.
     
  6. Aslam Imran

    Aslam Imran Second Unit

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    Using equalizers doesnt make a bright sounding receiver into a warm sounding one IMHO. Also brightness and warmth depends a lot on your other associated equipment most notably speakers.

    OTOH hooked up to the same set of equipment (Sony SACD player and Boston acoustic speakers) the Elites do sound brighter then Denon and B&K atleast to my ears.
     
  7. Rich H

    Rich H Second Unit

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    Should I assume that the Pioneer's possible brightness might come from the amp section? I like the Pioneer's features...perhaps adding different amps in the future would
    address the brightness (?)

    Rich.
     
  8. Aslam Imran

    Aslam Imran Second Unit

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    Brightness comes mostly from the amp section rather then the preamp section IMHO althouth some will argue otherwise. I can say this because I did a test with a Yamaha receiver's (forget the model number) preamp hooked to the ext inputs of my 3802 to see if I can get some of the brightness of a Yamaha but the setup sounded remarkably similar to my 3801. OTOH with the roles of the Yamaha and Denon reversed I was able to make my system sound brighter. Also my 3801 sounds remarkably warm when hooked up to a B&K amp. I know the test wasn't a controlled DBT but was enough to convince me of the results nevertheless.

    So I would definetly think that you could get the warmth in your system later on by hooking it up to an external amp like the Parasound or the B&K.
     

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