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Pioneer VSX-84TXSi as a pre-amp?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Scott Andrews, Feb 2, 2007.

  1. Scott Andrews

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    I purchased a Pioneer VSX-84TXSi to replace my dated (but still wonderful) B&K Ref 20. Well, the sales guys at my local HiFi house assured me the Pioneer would drive a 4 ohm load. Well- it won't, it will drive down to 6 ohm but not 4. I have 4 ohm M&K's all around the theater. Needless to say I want the features of the Pioneer. My question is- how would the Pioneer sound as a pre amp? I have a ADA PTM-6150 six channel 150 w amp. I would probably use one of the Pioneers internal amps to drive the back speakers.
    I'm in my 30 day MBG so returning is not a problem.
    I dream about an Anthem 50 but I cannot afford it.
    Your thoughts...
     
  2. Neal_C

    Neal_C Second Unit

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    Hook it up and give it a listen. Your ears are the only ones that matter [​IMG]
     
  3. Jeff_CusBlues

    Jeff_CusBlues Supporting Actor

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    The receiver has pre-outs so hook it up and try it. Let us know how it sounds.
     
  4. Frank Carter

    Frank Carter Screenwriter

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    I'm using the same receiver as a preamp with Parasound amps and it sounds fantastic. I was going from a VSX54.
     
  5. HT-EXT

    HT-EXT Agent

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    I am currently using VSX-53TXI as a pre-amp but just for the fronts (L/C/R) and it works excellent. For the record I still use the "53" to run my surrounds and they show a load of 4.5 ohms to the receiver amp. I have not had any problems to date and have pushed it pretty hard without any overheating or receiver shut down issues. I would haft to try it both ways just to see the difference in sound quality. The 84TXSi should have an adjustment to set the speaker impedance down to 6 ohm. I would proably set it down and then try the 4 ohm speakers. Good Luck.

    HT-EXT
     
  6. Scott Andrews

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    Thanks for all of your input. You're right, ultimately my ears are the ones that will tell the story. My install happens this Friday- I'm getting the Sony VPL-VW50 projector with the new Stewart 100" FireHawk SST screen. I'm spending all of that money on a projector and screen and I don't want a big sonic letdown.
    I'll be uploading my new images to my current Theater pictures on the members theaters site. "Andrews Theater"

    Thanks again!
     
  7. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    A few years ago an HTF member said that even though many receivers *can* operate 4 ohm speakers with little-to-no problems, due to some quirks in UL's i.e. Underwriters Laboratories testing standards, supposedly manufacturers cannot specifically state that - IIRC the member said it had something to do with the receiver's heat sinks and possible temperature issues.

    As far as I know, pretty much all receivers have electrical and temperature sensing circuitry to prevent themselves from being damaged due to low impedance speakers (and short circuits from bad wiring).

    A loooong time ago back in the age of New Wave and weird haircuts [​IMG] I unknowingly tested out this theory on my own Pioneer SX-6 stereo receiver. For audio geek research purposes, I hooked up my Radio Shack kit speakers (12" 3-way in a 4cu/ft ported enclosure - R.I.P.) in parallel to the receiver's "A" outputs with my new Advent Baby's (actual model name of this 6.5" 2-way bookshelf). The Radshaks had an impedance of 8 ohms and the Baby's, 6 ohms. At normal listening levels, about 10-20 watts for me, the receiver did fine (can't remember what music I used though). I turned it up to 40 watts - the receiver has power meters - and still nothing happened but I got skeered after only a few seconds [​IMG] because this was my only receiver back in college so I quickly turned it back down.

    Then three years ago I did the same thing with my Technics SA-DA8 surround receiver and while done with different speakers (Bostons and Infinitys) by sheer coincidence, had the same speaker load of 8 ohms + 6 ohms. This time though I raised the volume* to much higher levels than I personally would ever listen to, for a full two minutes............and nothing happened. The receiver just played as normal. Though maybe with large floorstanders things may gone differently but I think this represented a fairly normal-sized set of speakers for an HT system (both are 2-ways and both are ported; Bostons have one 8" woofer & the Infinitys one 6.5").

    Of course, your mileage may vary, yada yada.

    * a Thievery Corporation CD was used, which has lots of low/powerful bass. Receiver was run fullrange i.e. no crossover or bass management used and the receiver's low impedance mode was deactivated.
     
  8. aht3

    aht3 Stunt Coordinator

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    Scott,
    I have the 84 and love it. I also have the JBL Sudio Ls in a 7.1 set up. They say 8 ohms but when you brive them, they will dip into the 4s. I push them with no problem. Two bits of advice, make sure that your installers do not leave any loose strands of wire touching anything and go to the AVS forum and read up on this receiver. there are some firmware update available. I have not taken my unit in yet out of laziness (taking it all aprart) but you might want to get it updated prior to installing it. This is a great unit and I love it.
     
  9. Scott Andrews

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    Andrew,
    Thanks for the reply. I have now powered up the 84 and so far I have enjoyed the sound. Superman Returns sounded quite good. I used DDPLII in THX. I must say it had a great deal more "presence" than my old Ref 20. I enjoy films with a lot of dialogue and the 84 pushed the voices right up to me with ease. I must give my ADA PTM 6150 some credit.
    I have yet to "mic" it. I am told that does a world of good. Your advice helps. The HiFi house where I bought it from has offered me a 5 year extended warranty to keep it. I am inclined to accept it. We'll see. Firmware huh? I am wrestling right now with a Sony BluRay firmware update. Whata mess that is.
    Anyway- thanks to all- I will do some critical listening this week.
    Stay tuned.
     
  10. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    No extended warranties...they are about 90% profit for the store.
     
  11. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Uh oh - I'm going to have to stick up for Big Business in this post. [​IMG]

    While I totally agree they do provide large profits margins for the store, extended warranties - IF THEY AREN'T TOO EXPENSIVE - are definitely worth buying for big ticket items, like this receiver and espeically large HDTVs and new technology like HD video players.

    IMO if the warranty is about $100, and the receiver is @$1500 dollars, I would definitely buy the warranty. $200? I would still buy it but wouldn't be quite as excited. Anyway, while an accountant may not like those numbers, a warranty can give something a spreadsheet cannot take into account: the buyer's peace of mind. Because you never know if the receiver ever needs work, at the same time a kid needs braces, the car needs a valve job and the wife wants new living room furniture (if anyone's wondering, I used to sell such warranties myself as a non-commissioned salesman, and got to see first hand how many people ended up using them).
     
  12. Rich Allen

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    I'll have to join in and agree that extended warranties are a total ripoff.

    The 84 comes with a 2 year warranty. If you buy a 5 year plan, you are only actually getting 3 more years. If most electronics don't crap out early on, they tend to last a good while. Also, check into your homeowners policy to see what exactly it covers as far as surges and the like. Quite often it will cover that. You might even be able to add a little on to that for what the extended warranty would cost and end up having it cover everything you own.

    That old peace of mind argument is always used by salemen to play on your fears. Don't buy into it. I've never once bought an extended warranty for almost 50 various things over the last 15 years and never had an occasion where I wish I had. All that money I saved would certainly pay for a lot of repairs IF they had been needed.

    Saving all that money certainly gave me a lot of peace of mind.
     
  13. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    I am in absolute agreement with Rich Allen.
     
  14. Neal_C

    Neal_C Second Unit

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    I think purchasing an extended warranty depends on the price, what it offers, etc. I won't just blanket the whole thing with "they aren't worth it".

    Depending on the store and extended warranty company, you may get carry in service, replacement service, a loaner receiver while yours is being repaired, etc. Most manufacturer warranties will require the equipment to be shipped back, repaired and returned. Depending on the repair and the company, this could be a week, 2 weeks, a month, who knows. All the while, you are without your equipment. Loaner service would be great here with an extended warranty.

    We have a small chain here in Texas (they service Austin, DFW and Houston) that I usually shop at. When I was helping a buddy shop for a DLP, I told him to buy at this store because of their extended warranty (and the fact you could haggle price, etc). Their extended warranty is 5 years for $350. Sure, its a good chunk of change. But, they replace an unlimited number of bulbs during this 5 year period. If it goes out, they replace it. And I'm not sure if they still do this, but at one time if you bought the warranty and never had to use it, they would provide you with store credit in that amount.

    So I say at times you don't get the warranty but at times you do. I think it depends on the price and what you get out of the warranty.
     
  15. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    To add to Neal's informative post, the last time I checked at most places to have someone look at a piece of gear was at least $35, and many places charge up to $50.

    And those light bulbs can cost from $100 to $250 apiece, right? And someone correct me if I'm wrong but they are not "user servicable" or at least, the standard warranty is voided if they are replaced by the user.

    Then the price of parts has shot through the roof. For my own $350 Technics SA-DA8 receiver bought in 2001, some of the individual parts are astonomically priced (for example from their price list the power transformer goes for $164 all by itself). And unfortunately, on many modern components faulty parts cannot be replaced individually*........or more sadly we are running out of qualified technicians [​IMG] that know how to properly diagnose problems & instead just replace entire chunks of a component hoping that will do the trick (from the same list: "PC BOARD W/COMPONENT" goes for $319). Of course those prices don't include the labor to install it.

    And like other regular readers of this board have surely noticed, there are many here who have the means to replace their gear almost yearly and so in turn have no clue about a particular product's or brand's actual longevity, so of course they feel comfortable recommending products with questionable build quality. And generally speaking, IMO most mid-fi gear nowadays ain't exactly made with the care of just a decade ago.

    * a part that definitely cannot be repaired: the large grey 4" x 2" encapsulated module bolted to the heat sink that makes up the entire power amp for the front main channels - one of these costs $94 each >>> most receivers under $600 use these now, including some Pioneer Elite models
     
  16. Scott Andrews

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    Im not a big fan of extended warranties.
    I am a Store Manager for a Big Box Home Improvement Center here in Atlanta (emphasis on Home). We offer them all day on specific items, so I have to walk the line.
    My deal is-
    The HiFi house offered me the 5 year warranty at no charge. I would have never bought one out right. They are trying to get me to keep the 84. I am worried that I will cook the internal amp with my M&K's with their 4 ohm load.
    I would much prefer the Anthem AVM 50 but at over $4000 i'm inclined to keep the 84.
    I'll post my picture tonight- the room is really nice.
     
  17. Rich Allen

    Rich Allen Second Unit

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    I'll be happy to correct you Lance, they are user replaceable in most cases. And they typically last a good 4-5 years each. Most of those service plans do NOT cover the bulb, at least they don't for more than 1 per 3-4 year period. If you have to replace it more often than that, something is more seriously wrong and it's very rare, at least of my experience.

    More scare tactics to sell the plans. Again. most decent electronics, if they go up, it's early in the regular warranty. Every notice that most REPUTABLE sources caution against buying them? Check out Consumer Reports and the like for real unbiased figures on repair.

    And be carefull too where the plan wants you to have it repaired. It's not the factory authorized service centers, that's for sure. It's their own techs and that is a real crap shoot.

    BTW, make sure you read the fine print in that plan. Driving 4 ohm speakers with that receiver may very well be in violation of it. Look for phrases like "use inconsistant with manufacturers recommendations" or the like.

    Some interesting articles on those extended warranties:

    http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-3000_7-6398085-1.html

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20061120/115301.shtml
     
  18. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Rich: thanks for the info.
     
  19. macintoshlover23

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    hi
     
  20. macintoshlover23

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    Just plug it in, and see the sound quality it features.

    _____________
    McIntosh MA6500 Integrated Amplifier - Get the MA6500 Integrated Amplifier Catalog by McIntosh Laboratory, Inc.
     

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