*Official* Pioneer Elite VSX-21/23THX Owners Thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 3525 Old 09-14-2009, 07:48 PM - Thread Starter
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I wanted to start this for us owners which have been lurking and getting help from all of the similar thread such as the 01/03 and the 05/07 and the *OFFICIAL* New 2009 Pioneer Elite A/V Receivers thread with models. I don't know how to link all the previous questions/answers and comments(posts) from those regarding the 21 and 23, but there are several buried in those threads. Maybe going forward all the info will be here. I own the 23 which is nicely replacing a Denon 2808ci which processed for a B & K 200x5 amp. With the 23 and the MCACC processing, I have as good as if not better sound and more functionality. Even ditched the amp! I use it as a 5.1 and power an A/V zone 2 and soon an audio zone 3. My only issue has been an HDMI glitch where the AVR won't recognize PCM after switching from a DD channel on Directv HDDVR(and vice versa) workaround has been setting the DVR to output PCM only. I could also hook up an digital in, but haven't yet. Hopefully some of the owners of the previous Elite models will follow and help us with our issues.

Tony B
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post #2 of 3525 Old 09-16-2009, 02:23 PM
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Thanks for opening this thread, Tony. I have the 21 and am quite pleased as well with the sound. When I switch between MCCAC and Pure Direct it's a night and day improvement.
Coincidentally, I'm using this as a pre for B&K 125.3 amp which I bought because my old Marantz couldn't drive my 4 ohm KEFs. I'd like to test this AVR to see if it is as good as the B&K but it'd be tough to hook up so am leaving as is. Have to think the Pioneer might not get the job done, but who knows?
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post #3 of 3525 Old 09-16-2009, 05:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmoss View Post

Thanks for opening this thread, Tony. I have the 21 and am quite pleased as well with the sound. When I switch between MCCAC and Pure Direct it's a night and day improvement.
Coincidentally, I'm using this as a pre for B&K 125.3 amp which I bought because my old Marantz couldn't drive my 4 ohm KEFs. I'd like to test this AVR to see if it is as good as the B&K but it'd be tough to hook up so am leaving as is. Have to think the Pioneer might not get the job done, but who knows?

You are welcome. I doubt your AVR would push those speakers well and you would have to change to 6ohm mode in the menu. I agree about the MCACC, it is really excellent.

Tony B
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post #4 of 3525 Old 09-16-2009, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmoss View Post

Thanks for opening this thread, Tony. I have the 21 and am quite pleased as well with the sound. When I switch between MCCAC and Pure Direct it's a night and day improvement.
Coincidentally, I'm using this as a pre for B&K 125.3 amp which I bought because my old Marantz couldn't drive my 4 ohm KEFs. I'd like to test this AVR to see if it is as good as the B&K but it'd be tough to hook up so am leaving as is. Have to think the Pioneer might not get the job done, but who knows?

I have the 23 and I am not sure what you mean by "switching between MCCAC and Pure Direct"

Can you provide more detail?
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post #5 of 3525 Old 09-16-2009, 08:05 PM
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Would be interested to know how the 21/23TXH compare to the 03TXH which I have now. Looking for another system for my basement in the not too distant future. I had the opportunity to pick up either of these units at a fairly decent price from the 6ave name your price deal but held off for now.
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post #6 of 3525 Old 09-17-2009, 07:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phatboy64 View Post

I have the 23 and I am not sure what you mean by "switching between MCCAC and Pure Direct"

Can you provide more detail?

I was just referring to when I switch the MCCAC on and off, the change is dramatic in a very good way.
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post #7 of 3525 Old 09-17-2009, 09:41 AM
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What do you mean by switching MCACC on and off. When you press the MCACC button while playing you get a bunch of parameters you can adjust. If you go go to a Memory setting that is "blank", i.e no Auto Calibration has been recorded, that is the default settings. All you get is an output with no adjustments for Speaker sensitivity and room configuration.
The change is dramatic and "loud".
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post #8 of 3525 Old 09-17-2009, 10:56 AM
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Maybe I'm misunderstanding the effect of the MCACC. I thought that when I select "Pure Direct" or "Direct", I was in effect switching off the effect of my MCACC calibration. Am I confused?
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post #9 of 3525 Old 09-18-2009, 10:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yung View Post

Would be interested to know how the 21/23TXH compare to the 03TXH which I have now. Looking for another system for my basement in the not too distant future. I had the opportunity to pick up either of these units at a fairly decent price from the 6ave name your price deal but held off for now.

Very similar with a few new features: mainly an extra HDMI input on the front and parallel HDMI outputs on the back. I think the processor chip is different according to website specs. I can't remember if the 03 interacts with ipod/iphone like the 23? It's a solid replacement model for the 03. MSRP even went down a C-note.

Tony B
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post #10 of 3525 Old 09-18-2009, 10:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmoss View Post

Maybe I'm misunderstanding the effect of the MCACC. I thought that when I select "Pure Direct" or "Direct", I was in effect switching off the effect of my MCACC calibration. Am I confused?

I think it drops MCACC when changed to Pure Direct, not just Direct. Mine is actually louder (likely my perception) and much more dynamic with MCACC on. Speaking of MCACC, there is a full thread on that which has gobs of great info (for those that didn't know).

Tony B
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post #11 of 3525 Old 09-18-2009, 10:47 AM
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Hello...I am thinking of purchasing the Elite 21 or 23 TXH. Was looking at Onkyo and Denon and Marantz, but seems like too many little problems, plus not as simple to connect and program things.

Any opinion if these two receivers are better than the Standard Pioneer 919 and 1019 for the price difference. Are the internal parts and Amp better in the Elite? Is the sound quality better than the standard Pioneer and the other brands?

Thanks

Dave
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post #12 of 3525 Old 09-18-2009, 11:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave41200 View Post

Hello...I am thinking of purchasing the Elite 21 or 23 TXH. Was looking at Onkyo and Denon and Marantz, but seems like too many little problems, plus not as simple to connect and program things.

Any opinion if these two receivers are better than the Standard Pioneer 919 and 1019 for the price difference. Are the internal parts and Amp better in the Elite? Is the sound quality better than the standard Pioneer and the other brands?

Thanks

Dave

Better than the standard models-yes. Worth the price difference--if you need the features and power(have a bigger room). Other brands, that's not an easy one--all have merits. My last 4 avr's were marantz and denon x3. I really liked all my Denons including the most recent 2808ci, but it had some HDMI issues and limitations. I can say my 23 is every bit as good sounding if not better and has better functionality (I truly believe the great sound is due to the MCACC). Denon got a bad rap for its GUI and setup, but I thought it was decent.

Tony B
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post #13 of 3525 Old 09-18-2009, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave41200 View Post

Hello...I am thinking of purchasing the Elite 21 or 23 TXH. Was looking at Onkyo and Denon and Marantz, but seems like too many little problems, plus not as simple to connect and program things.

Any opinion if these two receivers are better than the Standard Pioneer 919 and 1019 for the price difference. Are the internal parts and Amp better in the Elite? Is the sound quality better than the standard Pioneer and the other brands?

Thanks

Dave

To me the sound quality of the Elite 21 was not worth the price difference. I purchased the 1019 for $499 CDN and the 9040TXH (Cdn vsx 21) for $899.

http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/pro...0127294&catid=

A closer price difference would have justified the purchase but not $400.

If its a $100 difference I would have kept the vsx 21.
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post #14 of 3525 Old 09-18-2009, 08:31 PM
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Hello Insnyc....What model is the 9040 you have listed in your post? I do not even see it listed on the Pioneer website nor any other website store that sells Pioneer. Is it a new or older model? Is it as good as an Elite?
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post #15 of 3525 Old 09-19-2009, 09:02 AM
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I am missing something here...I just bought this VSX-21TXH yesterday - so I haven't had the chance to talk to support.
I have gone through all the setup I can find and cannot get the subwoofer to play very loud. I have 2.1 connected. The front speakers are set to small. The sub is turned up to 6/10(!), and the lfe setting under Audio Parameters doesn't seem to do anything. I have flipped through all the audio/surround modes... Does anyone have any suggestions?
Thanks,
John
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post #16 of 3525 Old 09-19-2009, 09:08 AM
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^^^^

first off, did you run mcacc to get the levels correct?

secondly, subwoofer positioning (etc.) will play a lot into how much impact you get from it at the seating position...

- chris

 

my build thread - updated 8-20-12 - new seating installed and projector isolation solution

 

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post #17 of 3525 Old 09-19-2009, 09:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave41200 View Post

Hello Insnyc....What model is the 9040 you have listed in your post? I do not even see it listed on the Pioneer website nor any other website store that sells Pioneer. Is it a new or older model? Is it as good as an Elite?

It is the Canadian equivalent of the VSX-21. Just to confuse everyone around Pioneer decided to name the Elites VSX-9040TXH etc.

http://www.pioneerelectronics.ca/POC...040TXH.Support

Sold in Canada by Future Shop.
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post #18 of 3525 Old 09-19-2009, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave41200 View Post

Hello Insnyc....What model is the 9040 you have listed in your post? I do not even see it listed on the Pioneer website nor any other website store that sells Pioneer. Is it a new or older model? Is it as good as an Elite?

Dave 41200; Here is a link to the 9040 on the US Pioneer website. http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PU...TXH.Shop?tab=B
I have never seen any in the stores to check them out. Specs looks similar to a VSX 21 to me, with a one year warranty, instead of the two year Elite warranty.
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post #19 of 3525 Old 09-19-2009, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

^^^^

first off, did you run mcacc to get the levels correct?

secondly, subwoofer positioning (etc.) will play a lot into how much impact you get from it at the seating position...

I let mcacc run. It is a new program to me, but I think it does it's thing automagically right?
After running and listening, I have tried setting front speakers to large/small and rerunning or changing settings to see if I can get anything to change...

I just found the Ch.Level button on the remote. That brought the sub up to where it is supposed to be.

Now I am attempting to hook up other inputs - such as PC over HDMI/DVI + Optical - It doesn't look like I can do HDMI Video with any other form of Audio Input...
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post #20 of 3525 Old 09-19-2009, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by investmentcar View Post

I let mcacc run. It is a new program to me, but I think it does it's thing automagically right?
After running and listening, I have tried setting front speakers to large/small and rerunning or changing settings to see if I can get anything to change...

I just found the Ch.Level button on the remote. That brought the sub up to where it is supposed to be.

Now I am attempting to hook up other inputs - such as PC over HDMI/DVI + Optical - It doesn't look like I can do HDMI Video with any other form of Audio Input...

Have you tried the subwoofer set to Plus vs Yes in the menu? You could also have the phase cancelling out the low end, but I guess MCACC would pick that up.
You can assign a digital audio input to all the HDMI ins with the possible exception of the BD, but double check the menu.

Later you can play with the expert MCACC setting and please check out the MCACC thread for great info. I usually end up finding answers to my questions there.

Tony B
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post #21 of 3525 Old 09-19-2009, 05:39 PM
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Hi all,
I just own vsx-23 a few days ago.

I tried to assign input HDMI to one of my source such as dvd/dvr/video. However, I would not hear any sound. Of course I need to turn KURO link off from system setup menu.

When I am in system set up menu I can hear the sound but when I got out that mode I hear nothing.
When I put KURON mode on again I can hear the sound but I could not assign any HDMI at to any input source any more.

I appreciate for any help on this issue.
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post #22 of 3525 Old 09-19-2009, 09:10 PM
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I have had the VSX-23 for a couple of weeks.
This was purchased to replace an all analog 5.1-channel receiver that I was very pleased with for about ten years.
There was a big pile of cables left over after I switched out the receivers.
HDMI is very nice with the single cable interface.
As soon as I got the gear connected I setup the speakers manually leaving the equalizer at zero. I was pretty well satisfied and considered just bumping up the low frequencies a little bit.

But why not play with all the bells and whistles since that is what they are there for. Right ???
After all the warnings about loud test tones I was a little bit disappointed that I did not need to plug my ears during the calibration. I thought it would be a series of individual test tones instead of short bursts of white noise.

The calibration worked fine and it did not take very long to run the full program.
Since the distance setting was displayed in such fine resolution, just for the fun of it I ran the calibration many times moving the mic a foot at a time to test it.
Sure enough it detected the different locations and adjusted all distances accurately each time. I certainly never bothered trying to measure the distance more accurately than +/- a foot or so when I was doing it manually for the other receiver.

So even if you don't like anything else about the automatic calibration the distance setting should be right on the money.
Since sound has such long wavelengths I was skeptical that phase control could actually do anything that could be heard, (of course it could be my imagination) but I think it does make a difference.

I do not use a subwoofer, so the receiver is driving the bass through a pair of Pioneer HPM-100 speakers. These speakers have always been considered 'bright' and I have always boosted the low frequency to get the sound I like. I was surprised that the calibration set the equalizer to attenuate the low frequencies.

I listened to it for a few days with the equalizer set per the calibration, and while I have little doubt that the calibration set the equalizer to produce a flat frequency response in the room, I like the bass to boom a bit so I boosted the lower frequencies to suit my taste.

The receiver I replaced was pretty old but it was still working without any noticeable performance degradation and as I said before I was very satisfied with it. The reason it was replaced was there were no digital inputs and I wanted to go to that format.
It had some calibration capabilities such as speaker size, individual level controls, and distance settings for each speaker.

Lots of people report hearing huge differences in sound quality when they replace a receiver (even when switching between more or less equivalent models).
If the speakers remain as a constant I find the differences between the electronics to be much more subtle, possibly even indistinguishable between receivers, as long the sound level is held constant and below the clipping level. So I did not expect to be blown away with a huge improvement with the sound quality due to replacing the old receiver.

Sure enough to my ear the sound quality is the same as I had with the old receiver.
I don't want it to sound like I regret the purchase because I am very pleased with the receiver. The features I bought it for are great HDMI switching, digital optical and digital coaxial inputs, front HDMI for the laptop, and front panel USB / iPod interface.

I really like being able to listen to the DTS soundtrack included on some DVDs instead of the regular DD 5.1 .... hearing that for the first time made me say wow.
With the television's optical output connected to the receiver, for the first time I can hear the DD 5.1 channel audio from the OTA broadcast .... again wow.

There is one additional feature that would be useful to me, direct access to input a specific value for volume control.
I don't know if this is available on any receiver, but it would be something I would use.
The Harmony remote can send the volume down command over and over when exiting an activity and this works to lower the volume, but it would be much better and faster to be able to directly set a specific volume level.
The ability to set a specific volume level at turn on is very much appreciated and adds immensely to my enjoyment of this receiver.

I think Pioneer has done a very good job balancing features and price on this machine.
The sound quality is excellent; it has very good output power, built in iPod interface, and front panel HDMI.

So far I have not found anything that does not work or does not work the way I expected it too.
I have the sound control set to auto for all of the sources and I have not had any problems with it switching modes. However, none of my sources working through the HDMI inputs switch between DD and PCM so I cannot verify the reported HDMI glitch where the AVR won't recognize PCM after switching from a DD channel and vice versa.

Regards,
Charlie

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post #23 of 3525 Old 09-19-2009, 09:44 PM - Thread Starter
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I have the sound control set to auto for all of the sources and I have not had any problems with it switching modes. However, none of my sources working through the HDMI inputs switch between DD and PCM so I cannot verify the reported HDMI glitch where the AVR won't recognize PCM after switching from a DD channel and vice versa.

As far as I know, I'm the only one reporting this issue so let me know what happens if you ever try hooking up HDMI to your DVR. thx

Tony B
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post #24 of 3525 Old 09-20-2009, 08:38 AM
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Hi Tony,
I use HDMI to connect a standard DVD player.
It does not switch between DD and PCM on the fly, in the DVD's audio output menu I have selected PCM-off, DD-on, and DTS-on.
Maybe your Directv HDDVR has similar options in the audio menu.
Admittedly I do not have the Directtv so I am making an uninformed statement here... but the only reason I can think of to use PCM instead of DD or DTS is if the receiver lacks the digital decoder.
Of course if the audio is only being broadcast with the PCM stream you don't have much choice except to use it.

Regards,
Charlie

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post #25 of 3525 Old 09-20-2009, 08:58 AM
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Here's one for the experts:

I have a 5.0 system using the VSX 21, I have a B&K 125.3 amp driving the front 3.
Here's the twist, and would like opinions if there are any:
All 5 speakers are KEF, but the are all different Ohm's I now see.


The front are older KEF Reference 2 -- 4 Ohm (why I need the seperate amp)
My center is Kef 100 - 6 Ohm
My surrounds are Kef Q15.2s - they are 8 ohm

Any thoughts on whether I should switch the VSX 21 to 6 ohm (per page 40 of manual) given my speaker situation?

Thanks
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post #26 of 3525 Old 09-21-2009, 04:51 PM
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I've been doing a LOT of research lately into what new receiver I should get. I started out, uninformed, thinking about a nice HTiB from Onkyo that I could upgrade later. I've since decided that I'm going to get a nice AVR, and either buy cheap speakers like the Energy Take Classics (saw them at Costco for $300), although I want the SVS SBS-01. I think, though, I am going to skip speakers for now, and use the set of M-Audio LX4 5.1 self amplified (by an amp in the sub) reference speakers via the pre-outs of a VSX-21TXH. Does anyone see a problem with using the AVR and speakers this way? Also, as I said, I researched all the brands that I could think of, Marantz, Denon, Yamaha, Onkyo, etc. The only other receiver I liked as much (IIRC) was the Onkyo 807. Are there any other systems/brands at this price point that I should be considering? Also, I was wondering if the 21 has ICE amps, and where I can find information on what that means, exactly. AFAIK, the only diff. between the 21 and 23 is the extra HDMI ports, and PQLS on all 5 channels, and maybe some very minor other things. Anything else I'm missing that makes the 23 worth more money? Is the future-proof ability of the 2 HDMI outs worth it alone?

Obviously this is a big decision for me, and I've never bought a new amp before, just used ones from friends, etc. So I want to make sure that I've researched all that I can and don't leave any stones left unturned. I really love the iPod connectivity of the Pioneer, though, and no other brand has it like Pioneer. Is there any other advice that y'all can offer me?

TIA!

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post #27 of 3525 Old 09-21-2009, 05:29 PM
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johnny.death...

- i think you are going about things backwards... i don't know what your budget is, but i'd budget for the speakers first, and then see what i could do for an avr...

- no, the 21 doesn't have ice amps... the ice amps are in the sc series...

- unless you plan on having a second display (or projector) any time in the near future, the 2nd out hdmi port isn't buying you anything...

- unless you plan on purchasing a pio disk spinner, pqls isn't relevant...

- chris

 

my build thread - updated 8-20-12 - new seating installed and projector isolation solution

 

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1332917/ccotenj-finally-gets-a-projector

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post #28 of 3525 Old 09-21-2009, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemoss1@gmail. View Post

Here's one for the experts:

I have a 5.0 system using the VSX 21, I have a B&K 125.3 amp driving the front 3.
Here's the twist, and would like opinions if there are any:
All 5 speakers are KEF, but the are all different Ohm's I now see.


The front are older KEF Reference 2 -- 4 Ohm (why I need the seperate amp)
My center is Kef 100 - 6 Ohm
My surrounds are Kef Q15.2s - they are 8 ohm

Any thoughts on whether I should switch the VSX 21 to 6 ohm (per page 40 of manual) given my speaker situation?

Thanks

nope. unless the avr is going into thermal protection on the 8 ohm setting, leave it there...

- chris

 

my build thread - updated 8-20-12 - new seating installed and projector isolation solution

 

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1332917/ccotenj-finally-gets-a-projector

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post #29 of 3525 Old 09-22-2009, 01:13 PM
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I could buy the speakers first, but then I wouldn't have a receiver. And I need that to enjoy surround sound. I also don't have enough to buy all the speakers I want, so with that route, I'd have a few speakers and no amp to play them with. I like the speakers that I have now well enough, so I don't see the point to buying more speakers and no amp. Thanks for the answers! I have now read some more about ICE- anyone heard the difference, or think it's worth the extra $$$?

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post #30 of 3525 Old 09-22-2009, 02:42 PM
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imo, the ice amplification is "worth it", but it's out of your budget... for what a sc-25 will cost, you can buy a vsx-21 AND the svs speakers you want...

- chris

 

my build thread - updated 8-20-12 - new seating installed and projector isolation solution

 

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1332917/ccotenj-finally-gets-a-projector

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