Pioneer receiver overloads with DefTech speakers -- HELP!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Gary Coker, Oct 17, 2002.

  1. Gary Coker

    Gary Coker Auditioning

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    I have a Pioneer VSX-D608 receiver (about 3 yrs old). I recently upgraded my speakers to a DefTech setup (BP2006TL mains, CLR2300 center, BP2X surrounds). This is the first time I've had a center speaker hooked up to the receiver.

    The problem I have is that the receiver now gives me the OVERLOAD indication and turns itself off when I turn the volume up past about -20 db. I didn't have this problem with my old Pioneer speakers: I could turn the volume all the way up to 0 db with no problem. Any ideas?

    TIA,
    - Gary
     
  2. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    Pioneer receivers are notorious for "Overloading" when using anything but 8ohm speakers. Most def techs are rated at 6 ohms and can be closer to 4ohms. This added load is more than the pioneer amps can handle at higher volumes. You either need to get a receiver that's stable w/ 6ohm loads (Denon, Elite, ect...) or get 8ohm speakers. Probably not the answer you're looking for, but these are the only solutions.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Gary Coker

    Gary Coker Auditioning

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    Thanks, Stephen. I had planned to upgrade my whole system a piece at a time and I was leaning towards a new HDTV next, but it looks like the receiver will be the next upgrade. A few more questions:

    1. Since the DefTechs have powered subs built-in, would it help if I ran the LFE output from the receiver into the DefTechs and then set the main speakers to "small"?

    2. I've looked at both Onkyo and Denon receivers and they're both extremely nice, so it's hard to decide. I want to spend less than $1000. Any recommendations?

    Thanks again,
    - Gary
     
  4. Patrick TX

    Patrick TX Stunt Coordinator

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  5. Brae

    Brae Supporting Actor

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    Oh this is just all too funny. I think you may want to know that I have personally shutdown all the current Elite receivers wired to a variety of speakers in several area HT shops.

    Initially, I thought it was a fluke, bad unit, one-off kind of observation on a VSX-45TX about when the unit first hit the streets. The, multiple discussions on this unit developed on this forum and others.

    I then had someone in the business tell me that this happens on all the Elite receivers, and I then set out to test that theory. Sure enough, I've beaten the 43, 45, 47, and 49TX into a shutdown condition without ever crossing the 0dB mark.

    I think that the problem you are experiencing is that you will need to resort to some sort of stereo amplification for your mains. I do understand that the 2006/2300 have an active element (subwoofer) integrated in the unit, but if these speakers were 100% active then you should only need to preout them--which isn't the case I take it.

    Also, the Elite 47 and 49 models easily support 6-ohm speakers, and the 43 and 45 have impedance settings for 6 ohms also. Still, when I first got my Paradigm Reference 100's I could easily shutdown the unit (VSX-45TX) at -24dB, but with some adjusting (before I buy that stereo amp for the mains and get a real sub) I can now traverse SW:TPM -8dB and LOTR at about -10dB.

    Of course, my results and everyone else's will be different for each combination of speakers, receiver, amplification, room, etc., etc., etc. So, YMMV.
     
  6. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    Gary, having the speakers handle bass amplification directly a la a power subwoofer should help as far as the load put on your receiver. I'm not familiar with the Def Techs but what are their sensitivity ratings? In addition, how big is your room? I own a Pioneer receiver and while I don't listen at ear bleeding volumes, I've routinely had 2 pairs of 8 ohm, 88db sensitive CSW Newton bookshelf speakers running in stereo mode off of the receiver without any ill effects. Granted, this is not in multi-channel operation. As with computer software problems there are two avenues of solution. One is to debug things further, perhaps tweak things, etc to try and verify that the Pioneer is indeed being asked to do more than it can. The other is to simply buy bigger and better hardware [​IMG] and to get a receiver that is rated with plenty of wattage at 6 ohms.
    good luck,
    --tom
     
  7. Gary Coker

    Gary Coker Auditioning

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    The speakers are rated at over 90dB sensitivity and my room is 20x15x9 = 2700 cubic feet. Everything sounds great at "normal" volumes, but when I really want to crank it up is when I get the "Overload". This is the first time I've had a center speaker (I've only been driving the 2 mains and 2 surrounds up until now), so I guess that may be what put me over the top.

    Anyway, I'm going to try running the powered subs in the mains and center using the receiver's LFE pre-out (and set those speakers to "small") and see what happens. I'll also be shopping for a new receiver, so any suggestions for good matches for the DefTechs are appreciated.

    Thanks again,
    - Gary
     
  8. Brae

    Brae Supporting Actor

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    Thomas, although the use of active subwoofers is always a good idea, one should not simply through away and full-range capability of their main loudspeakers is said capability is present.
    For instance, using just the Elite receiver my main loudspeakers can easily shutdown the receiver. They are full range and can easily cover from 39Hz upwards (thanks to the two 8" bass drivers).
    Although I will definitely be using a healthy subwoofer, I think one will find it a lot more seemless to continue to use any full-range capability of one's speaker and compliment it with a stereo amp then expect one's subwoofer to constantly be solely responsible for the 120-15Hz range.
    Just my humble opinion, and a newbie one at that. [​IMG]
     
  9. Doug_H

    Doug_H Supporting Actor

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    Some of the 4ohm Def Techs require a very sturdy amp. I have seen people having problems with Yamaha, Denon, Sony and Pioneer receivers driving these speakers. With the Pioneers already having problems driving any 4ohm speaker it is a really nasty combination.
     
  10. IraSWeiss

    IraSWeiss Stunt Coordinator

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    About a year ago I asked DefTech about what receivers they recommend and they said Denon, Nad, Rotel and Outlaw. That's why I'll be going with a Denon 3803 soon rather than a Pioneer VSX-45TX when I upgrade soon
     
  11. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    Gary, as I mentioned, I've never shown my Pioneer a 4 ohm load when in multi-channel (well, that isn't quite true, I actually have but not on purpose and the volume was at pretty moderate levels - that is what happens when you forget how your speaker selector is positioned [​IMG] ), so it sounds to me that you're simply overloading the receiver. Letting the powered sub handle the bass may help some since amplifying bass frequencies requires more power in general. The biggest problem you have is that for every 3db of volume, as you crank it up, you're asking the receiver to double its output of watts. The sensitivity rating says that from 1 meter away, it'll take 1 watt of power to reach 90dbs for your mains. I think as you double the distance, you minus about 6 dbs from the rating. So, if you sit about 12 feet away then the rating should drop to 78dbs. I may be remembering this incorrectly here so someone can correct me. So, for every 3dbs more, you'll need to double watt output. So, to get up to 99dbs, you'd need 128 watts for that channel. So, as one can see, you really need a lot of power if you like to listen to things really loud [​IMG] This is one reason many go to a separate power amp for their mains and possibly center channel - it lightens the load on the receiver - especially for multi-channel operation where the front speakers are handling a good bit of the load.
    As for receivers, I'd say you probably want to look for models that actually list rated power specs rated for 6 or even 4 ohms.
    cheers,
    --tom
     

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