Optimal Audio Settings for Pioneer Receiver - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 1 Old 09-14-2010, 09:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi, this is one of my first posts so bear with me. I'm a rookie in the home theater world, but not entirely hopeless, hopefully

My setup is as follows:
Pioneer VSX-9040TXH
Polk M50's for fronts - 14 gauge wire, bi-wired with surround back channels
R150 for surrounds - 16 gauge wire
CS10 for Center - 14 gauge wire
Velodyne VDR-12

The goal and reason why i'm here is to make it sound as good as possible.
At the moment, i'm missing digital output from my PC. It does sound really good at the moment with analog, but working at making it the best configuration it can be for now until I get a new sound card/vid card, which maybe i'll mention near the end.

This is my first really high tech receiver so I do have some questions, as well I have already done a bit of research and haven't really gotten the greatest results.

I did the auto setup with the Pioneer. Its a high tech piece of equipment, so I trust that it knows more than I do, guess not
It set the all of the speakers to Large, strange....

Well, in any case I tested the speakers with the subwoofer disabled and how the receiver setup the system. They actually sounded quite good, except for the R150's :P they actually weren't that bad, i'm thinking it's the speaker wire I have to those, it isn't very good.

Bass was deep and hit with good thump on techno music, rock and hip hop (set to extended stereo mode) . Movies and TV sounded not bad as well, with dialogue clear and in your face from the center channel (in dolby surround set to movie). When playing the music, I had it relatively loud, and the receiver seemed to get pretty hot when played for 30+ minutes. Now just for that fact, I know I was pushing the Pioneer pretty good. It's only rated at 100 watts X 7. The fronts M50's are 150 watts alone, and i'm pretty sure it's best to leave the speakers set to small just for performance and longevity sake, no matter how good it sounds.

Takes me to my next point, wattage. I know it's 100 X 7, but how accurate is that really? It also states 100 watts X 2 stereo, I don't understand the difference. Why isn't it 350 X 2 stereo? Probably a stupid question.
Now ratings, the Monitor 50's are rated at 150 watts each, I couldn't seem to find out if this was 150 RMS or what not. I am going on that though, but how does this relate to my settings and receivers power? Should I get a 150 watt X 2 power amp? What about preamps? Are they needed with home receiver applications?
If I turn off the large setting and set everything to small, tune the crossover to 80 hz, does this produce more wattage, maybe not produce but put less strain on the amp? I guess the real answer I'm trying to get at is, 100 watts X 7, is that at full output with no crossover and speakers set to Large? Can my receiver handle my setup? I'm sure it can, its a monster of a receiver

Now on to the more advanced options. Actually, pretty much anything in the audio menu. I don't understand what most of these things mean, what they do or whether to turn them on or leave them off.
Here's the link to the manual if needed:
Chapter 8, pg 66 has information on most of the things I don't understand, but just need an dummies explanation.

S-Wave? DRC, do I even need this? SACD gain? UP mix? I have no idea what these do. Also Phase control, on or off, not sure.

Another thing is the surround settings. Now I know certain sources require different surround modes, but Dolby, THX, Pro Logic IIx, Neo 6, Neural THX, Dolby Digital EX, DTS ES and the list goes on and on...
So how do I chose a certain setting that sounds the best on all general movies, and also, do I have to look at all of the little icons on the DVD or Blu-ray case just to see what to set my receiver to? Kind of a pain in the ass.

For the most part, hopefully this will give the general home theater guy some information without going into more detail with the manual speaker and EQ setup which I have decided to avoid, WAY too complicated.

In any case, I thank whoever reads my long rambling!
Oh, and if you know PC's, I'm thinking of getting an Nvidia vid card with HDMI, probably the way to go instead of a sound card. Any benefits to getting a separate sound card? Separate thread for this?

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