Pioneer VSX-D811S users - have you had a similar experience?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by ThomasL, May 28, 2002.

  1. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    One of the things I seemed to dislike about this receiver was listening to 2 channel music. It sounded detailed but we listen at low volume levels (about -55 to -60db in the volume control) and the music seemed flat, lacking richness or warmth or whatever you want to call it. We have Cambridge Soundworks Newton M50 bookshelf speakers and it also seemed that the music was a little "boxed" in. The Newtons create a great stereo image in the "sweet spot" but the music seemed just too focused in that one spot. For the record, 6.1 and 5.1 movie soundtracks sound great.

    So, as mentioned in previous threads, I really had been hoping to pick up the Onkyo SR600 this weekend to test it out. Unfortunately, other home ownership duties have intervened causing me to be fully booked for the next few weeks and I may not get a chance before my 30 day return window is closed.

    So knowing these facts, I decided to read through the manual and came across two listening modes both designed for low volume - called Midnight and Loudness (the latter seems like an odd name). I had been listening to music in "Direct" mode with the fronts set to Large so that the sub would not come into play. The manual says that Loudness enhances the bass and treble for better low volume listening. Very vague and I suspect isn't realyl saying what it is actually doing. So, leaving the fronts set to Large, I decided to click on Loudness mode and I must say what a difference. At -60db, the sound become rich, much warmer and much fuller. Going back to Direct, it sounded tinny and boxed in. This mode seems to really enhance 2 channel music listening on the Pioneer. It seems that the midrange and lower midrange is given a boost. Have other Pioneer owners/testers tried this mode? What are you experiences with it?

    thanks,


    --tom
     
  2. Mark Austin

    Mark Austin Supporting Actor

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    IMO quality sound at low volumes has more to do with the speakers than the amp/receiver. Yes, the more powerful of an amp will generally produce better sound at lower volumes, but its the speakers that make most of that difference. That's one of the things I look for most in a speaker, or what I consider the mark of a quality speaker, the ability to create involving sound even at barely audible volumes, and it generally costs. Most mass market speakers need to be at moderate volume before they come into their own, and really sound good. Conversely, most higher end speakers sound good across the volume spectrum.
     
  3. Norman L

    Norman L Second Unit

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    ThomasL,
    The LOUDNESS control was used on most receivers back in the 2 channel days for a bass boost when playing at low volume.
    It is nothing new but a nice feature that was used for years in the 1960's, 1970's 1980's.

    I am considering the 811s for my master bedroom based on it's features and price, but should I be worried about the .2%THD?

    I am going to have it tested for watts running 5 channels due to my other pair of B & W 's in my bedroom that require 35w.
     
  4. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    Norman, thanks for the info. It definitely improves casual 2 channel music listening for us at least.

    I wouldn't be concerned about the .2% THD rating for the fronts when driven with 100 watts continous power. Pioneer doesn't list this across all 6 channels though. i.e. the Onkyo you had trouble with lists any 2 channels driven out of the 6 with 80 watts from 20Hz - 20Khz with .08% THD. The Pioneer only lists continuous power of 100 watts to the other 4 channels at 1Khz with 1% THD and I'm guessing that is with only one being driven at any one time. Once again, I think the 1% THD is not that important based on the feedback from your other post. But, I am definitely interested in seeing what the receiver does though when 5 or all 6 channels are driven at the same time and how much real power it outputs before clipping. Sound and Vision tested the D850S last Dec and it came in at 59 watts with 6 channels driven simultaneously.

    cheers,


    --tom
     

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