Pioneer 709-s throws bass away,whats wrong here?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Geoff L, Mar 9, 2002.

  1. Geoff L

    Geoff L Screenwriter

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    Pioneer people, HELP
    The neighber has come to me with this and I've tried to help, but can not figure out whats going on.
    He has a Pioneer VSX-709S, my understanding is this is basicly a unbadged THX Elite 33TX. Am I correct on this part???
    Also his 709s has the white sticker on the back showing that it's gotten the upgrde for problems in the Pioneer 709s, 33tx and 36tx...
    Settings are small all speaks, subwoofer yes, and recievers crossover set at 80hz.
    Used Avia and spl meter to set all channel volumes and subs running a little hot. About 3-4db
    Watching Titian-AE when the ships are crashing into the flying space rocks the explosions start in the differant channels but then the sub dose not pick up the final house shaken bass (at all)...! I know this finishes in the sub as it works fine at my house and my brothers. When all speaks are set to small and sub yes. We all have different equipment....but all of us useing Tos connection from our player to recievers or pre-pros.
    The explosions start in the different channels with the heavy deep bottom end of the explosions *finishing with the sub*.
    We have tried every type set-up in the Pioneers reciever (thats possile we belive), Mains at large with sub yes and plus selected along with every other combo we could find in the receiver. We also played with the sub itself, messing with the subs volumes, crossovers, and used pass threw of course letting the reciever handel crossover duties. None of the selections helped. Dosn't matter if you play DTS or DD same problem.
    Again, we started the whole set up useing Avia and Spl meter, all checked out fine. Played a bunch of different movies that im very familar with, and it is definitly (Throwing Bass Away) so something is obvously not set up right.
    OH, and the 709's manual, well I guess you got to be *Smokeing Something* to make sence of it all. They seem to make the little things way to confuseing along with not going in depth far enough on allot of issues... IMO.
    So dose anyone have any ideas of whats going on with his setup, or that we may have been missed while setting up the receiver.
    His set up --- speakers are AR-226ps all round with matching Center C-225ps
    I belive, and SVS-2039pc.
    There is ~{defenitly nothing wrong}~ with the sub!!!
    2-channel and 5 channel stereo will rip your face off he wants too.
    Im NOT familar with Pioneers receivers at all, so this dosn't make me much of a big help, :b but at the same time I spent 2 days 2-3 hours a crack trying to help and can't figure it out!!!
    HELP [​IMG]
    Thanx
    Geoff
     
  2. Michael Mohrmann

    Michael Mohrmann Screenwriter

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    My first guess, since you are talking about the subwoofer, is to look for a "bass limiter" or "LFE limiter" option in the receiver. This can restrict the bass output to the subwoofer when it reaches a certain sound level. I don't think any "limiter" would come into play when calibrating the sound levels.

    Michael
     
  3. Brian E

    Brian E Screenwriter

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    Hopefully someone here can help you out. If you figure it out please post back. I'll be setting up my system in a week or two using a 709S and would like to know your solution in case it happens to me.
     
  4. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    I've got this same model receiver in my bedroom system. I haven't noticed a problem like you are describing, although I don't have this movie (Titan-AE). Sorry.

    The one problem I am having is the right front channel will sometimes "disappear" when playing though analog inputs (VCR or SACD/CD). Unplugging and replugging the cable seems to help, so I'm not sure if it's a cable or receiver problem.

    Like your friend's receiver, mine is a reconditioned unit, so luckily I didn't pay much for it. Next time a Yamaha for me.
     
  5. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    Julian, if unplugging and plugging the connector back in "fixes" the problem, then you have a loose connection being made. The easiest fix to try is to swap in a new cable or use some rubbing alcohol solution to clean the connector on the cable. If neither of these help, then it is probably the connector on the receiver itself that is flaking out.

    Geoff, that certainly is a strange problem. I have a lower end Pioneer in that same model line and it has no problems - we certainly hear bass. I have all speakers set to small with the crossover set to 100 Hz. Make sure that if your sub has a crossover setting to either turn it off or set it to its maximum. Also, you mentioned you have Avia, yes? Then a definitive answer is within reach. Go into Avia and send the front left or right speaker a low frequency sweep from 200 - 20 Hz. See what happens around 80 Hz. At some point the bass should drop off of the front and increase coming out of the sub. If the sub is silent, then something is wrong. I think the next experiment I would try is to make sure the sub is working by sticking it into a another setup if possible. You could also try a different RCA cable from the receiver to the sub. Basically, you need to eliminate variables so you can isolate where the problem is. But if the sub and cable work fine in another setup, then my guess is that the receiver is not working properly.

    good luck,

    --tom
     
  6. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    Thanks, Tom
    Since this is my bedroom system, the cables are cheap (I hate to admit it, but most are the freebies that cme with the components). So it may be poor cables. I'm making new interconnects right now; it will also clean up that godawful rat's nest of excess cables behind the receiver.
    What bothers me is that this happens occasionally on two separate inputs: VCR and CD, and it's always the right channel. It may be something poorly connected inside the receiver. Out of warranty, of course. [​IMG]
     
  7. Geoff L

    Geoff L Screenwriter

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    Mike
    Yes their is an attenuator for to high of an input level, when turned on drops the input signal aprox 4db according to the manual. On all DVD's played so far 30 or more DD & DTS, this has never lighted up though on CD it has, and it works nicely.
    There is no mention of an LFE limiter in the manual that I could find. It dose make referance clearly in the manual, that when front and center are set to small all bass is routed to the LFE channel! If something is set to large you have to add subwoofer yes and plus. Well this may be so but it is not happening with his 709. I don't know if as stated above in my first post maybe some how or somewhere we are missing something, or there is a problem with the internals in the unit it's self.
    Brian*
    The 709s is really a nice receiver. As I understand it it's basicly a Elite 33tx without the THX and Elite badges.
    Im not a big fan of Pioneer but must admit at the price he gave for this thing, it's a heck of a unit. He worked a deal with a wholesaler out of NY and managed to get it for 189.00 plus 15.00 to ship. Inputs up the wazzoo, all channels preouts, selectable crossovers and a ton more. Very feature laiden. Amp section strong also. The problem he's haveing with the bass throw away (only on DVD) is something I have not read anyone else complaining about. The closest thing I've read is some think the bottom end is a little week and thin. They talk of this when doing (Stereo).. I didn't and don't find this to be the case except for the problem with DVD bass throw away he's having.
    Cd sounds good and bass is fine, SVS could be helping this out [​IMG]
    Still looking for ideas to this DVD bass throw away problem.
    Regards
    Geoff
     
  8. Geoff L

    Geoff L Screenwriter

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    Thomas
    This was done, Avia with the drop out around 80hz and sub picking up! The SVS is set to pass tru, Reciever is doing the crossing! All checked fine. YES this is strange, and like you said leads me to belive a possible software problem inside.
    BAD deal... Still under warrenty so if we can't figure it out, (and seems he's running out of options) fast. Looking like fix it shop time!
    The reciever will hold different settings for 5 channel stereo, DD DTS and Sound fields. The only thing that seems to be affected by this problem is when doing DD and DTS. Pro-Logic and 5 channel works fine when useing the same settings.
    It's wacky...
    Geoff
     
  9. Brian E

    Brian E Screenwriter

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  10. Geoff L

    Geoff L Screenwriter

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    I probley should be clearer about the throwing away bass. The sub dose work in DD and DTS. When I went over to help him useing my Avia disc this is when I noticed the problem. Everything went fine then started to demo some movies.
    I brought some bass heavy movies and some with alot of matrial moveing threw all the channels. Being I know the Titian AE disc very well this is when I noticed that in certain areas of the AE movie, bass was not being picked up from the other speakers that where set to small. The one scene I spoke of in particular, is extremly noticeable.
    Other movies not so noticable.
    I have checked and re-checked cabels, connections, and the receivers manual trying to find the problem. I think that there is a problem inside the unit. When setting speakers to small it's not sending the 80hz under material from them to the sub. It's pretty bad when most DVD's sound better in Pro logic, *bass wise*.
    Setting the speakers to large and sub to yes & plus things sound better but his mains, center and surrounds are not true full range speaks. The one thing I have not tried is changeing the receivers crossover from the 80hz he wants and would be best, to 100 or 120. Doubt it would make a differance aside from the loss of more material but who knows. Guess we can give that a shot.
     
  11. Michael Mohrmann

    Michael Mohrmann Screenwriter

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    "It's pretty bad when most DVD's sound better in Pro logic, *bass wise*"

    If the sound track has an LFE (.1) channel and you run the receiver in DPL mode, then the LFE channel gets folded back into the mains. Then the receiver can apply bass management and reroute all bass from the "small" speakers (including "small" mains) to the subwoofer.

    Given this situation, I am still convinced that a bass/LFE limiter may be in play here. It may also be called a peak limiter or bass peak limiter or LFE bass limiter or sub peak limiter. This limiter is typically applied to AC3/DD or DTS signals, but may not impact other modes (DPL, stereo, etc.).

    Michael
     
  12. Geoff L

    Geoff L Screenwriter

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    Mike
    I will dive in again tomorrow and see if something like you mention is in their somewhere. I don't recall seeing anything like that but it certainly could be a possibility.
    Thanx
    Geoff
     
  13. Brian E

    Brian E Screenwriter

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    Geoff, just did some looking through the PDF copy of the manual I have. Don't know if any of this helps with what Michael was saying.

    From page 28

    "Bass Level (See p.37)

    Dolby Digital and DTS audio sources include ultra-low bass tones. Set the bass peak level as needed to prevent the ultralow bass tones from distorting the sound from the speakers."

    and from Page 37

    "2 Output the test tone for the LFE channel and specify the peak level. If your subwoofer has a volume control, set it to the middle position before proceeding.

    1 SETTING START will be selected, press ENTER The MASTER VOLUME goes to the reference level [MIN (---dB)]. Then the test tone is output to the subwoofer, front or surround speakers.

    2 Use the up/down buttons (or the MULTI JOG dial) to select the BASS LEVEL. Each press moves the level 1dB in a range of - 80dB to +12dB. Gradually increase the level of the LFE channel until the test tone begins to distort. Then go back and leave the level setting at a point just before that.

    3 Press the ENTER button.

    It takes a few seconds for the MASTER VOLUME to return to its previous position."
     
  14. Michael Mohrmann

    Michael Mohrmann Screenwriter

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    Brian,
    That is exactly the information I was hoping someone would find! I believe that this is the setting in the receiver that may be hindering the DD and DTS output for the LFE channel.
    Excellent find! [​IMG]
    Michael
     
  15. Geoff L

    Geoff L Screenwriter

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    Brian
    You da man, and Michael looks like he new the possible problem from the start.
    Well don't I look like the Pioneer idiot! :b Can't come any clearer than that!
    Hopefully this is the problem as I do not remember reading or seeing this.
    Will let you know if this is the problem, more than likely it is.
    Brian is it me, or is the manual almost confuseing the way it's laid out as you read threw it?
    I found it to be so as I read threw it. Normaly most manuals even poorly laid out ones I can figure out, but this thing had me scratching my head alot. Pioneer manuals for equipment I've had in the past where one of the better companies for manual write ups, but this one seems to go backwards as much as it dose forward in places.
    Thanks guys
    Geoff
     
  16. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    Julian, if it happens on more than one sets of inputs, I'd begin to suspect a soldered connection inside may be loose. Still, can't hurt trying new cables [​IMG]
    Geoff, sounds like Brian found the missing nugget of information. My Pioneer has no such setting so this may be something particular to the 709S in that series line. Let us know if that fixes the problem.
    cheers,
    --tom
     
  17. Brian E

    Brian E Screenwriter

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  18. Selden Ball

    Selden Ball Second Unit

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    Most receivers don't transcode between digital and analog signals. If you want to record a CD or DVD on tape, you have to select the player's analog signal. Usually the "second area" output (often called Zone B, which lets you listen to one of the receiver's inputs in another room) also only works with the receiver's analog inputs.

    In addition, some CD players have noticably better DAC circuitry than some receivers. And some have worse. It can be educational to compare the differences, if any, in your own audio system. "Analog stereo direct" is a feature on many receivers which selects the analog inputs and bypasses all of the tone controls for the most accurate reproduction of the source material using just your front L&R speakers.
     
  19. Wes

    Wes Screenwriter

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    I'm sure it is the bass peak limiter. I have a 709 also and if you jump through the set up to quickly you will select the tone (which starts out real quite) that your suppose to use to set your own limit and then move on to the next setup step and in turn set the limiter quite high. I have done this myself and wondered what happened to the bass.
    Do this:
    Turn the sub's vol. down from its regular calibrated setting.
    When you select the Bass Peak Limit the Vol. #s will go wild, just sit back and wait.
    Then it will start bringing the vol. up while playing a pink noise, wait till it ends with out touching the setup knobs.
    Buy doing this you will not have any limiting taking place.
    Recalibrate sub.
    If you push the knob in during this you will set the sub to limit at the vol. it was at when the knob was depressed. Sense he is using a woosey SVS you might want to set it at a low Vol.so you don't blow it.[​IMG]
    Wes
     
  20. Geoff L

    Geoff L Screenwriter

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    Hey Guys,
    I've been so busy just have not had time to get back to the thread for an update.
    It was the limiter problem. Sarted Calibration from scratch again, wew, and this time things are all working correctly. No more bass throw away. Some how I set this up wrong, :b speaking of the (page in question posted above in the manual)!!!!
    Things are working EXCELLENT now and Jay could not be happier, and me to for that matter....[​IMG]
    Want to thank everyone as this was driveing me/us nuts.
    Regards
    Geoff
     

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