Originally Posted by avdigger
One of the complaints (for some people) for Pioneer is that it sounds a bit thin and a bit bright (as compared to Denon). And a few guys asked me about how to set the Pioneer to make it sound fuller and less bright (ie, more like Denon sound), especially under low volume. OK, here are some of the settings you can try. Be prepare to have fun tweaking.
(1)First, please know that the way Pioneer (MCACC) and Denon (Audyssey and Dynamic EQ) tune to make sound to carry their brand sound characteristics are 3 areas: (a) Freq response (b)Space: surround channels timing and balance (c)Low Freq tuning for room acoustic fix. So to make them sound similar, these areas are the ones you should adjust.
(2)Eq: I have compared Denon Audyssey and Pio MCACC Eq settings for my living room. Major differences are in two bands: (a)125HZ: Denon setting is 6db hotter than Pioneer. Pioneer somehow decreases this frequency output significantly. I guess it is related to Pio's exclusive standing wave reduction technology. (b)8K Hz band: Pioneer is a few db hotter than Denon. I think the Eq difference is one of the reason why Pioneer usually sound a bit bright and thin than Denon. So if you like fuller or less bright sound, increase 125Hz band a few db and reduce 8K Hz band a few DB. Another slightly difference I notice is MCACC tends to also lower the 1k-2kHZ band a couple of DB than Denon, so you can try bump these mid range up a bit to see if you like it or not.
(3)Standing wave: Standing wave control is a big issue in Low Frequency room acoustic fix. As I said, Pio has advantage standing wave control, it makes the bass much tighter and less booming. I like it. But you need to know that "booming" and "full" are actually the same thing, to some extend. So while the standing wave control make the sound less booming, it also give somebody a feeling that the sound is less full (ie, thin). The pioneer did a good job in eliminating standing wave boom, but in some situation it can be overdone. Plus, some people may have already get used to booming (or full) sound because they don't have this standing wave control before. If you prefer slightly "fuller" sound, you can simply increase the 125Hz a few db as I said above, or more precisely, go to the manual MCACC-standing wave adjust, and reduce the 3 filters a few db. Also, the standing wave measurement is quite sensitive to the location where the microphone puts, so try with a few different locations. But first thing, to see if it is due to the standing wave effect, you can simply switch off/on the standing wave control in the Audio Option setting to see which you like.
(4)Reverb setting in Adv EQ Prof: First check the Reverb measurement result of your room. If your room's reverb is like the one showing in the manual (ie, high freq flat and low freq more slope), then if you want more full and less bright sound, you should set the reverb time position to small number (ie, 30-50ms, or even 10-20ms) and redo the MCACC. On the other hand, if your room's reverb is opposite to the one showing in the manual (ie, low freq flat and high freq more slope), then you should use large number for time position (or just use the original MCACC setting, no need to rerun).
(5)Surrounding channel: One of the things Denon DynamicEQ does in low volume is to increase the surrounding channel level a few db (including Subwoofer channel). You can do the same thing here with Pioneer.
(6)Turn off the Sound Retriever (in Audio Option) if you don't like bright sound.
See, this is exactly why I like Pioneer, I can tweak the sound to whatever I like.