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post #1 of 6 Old 07-19-2014, 04:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Question Newbie receiver & speaker sound questions

Hi,
I thought this would be the best place to ask (I heard about here on home theater geeks), I want to improve my audio knowledge and thought I'd start with a couple of queries about my current setup. Apologies in advance for any stupid questions!

I've been using a Pioneer VSX-C100 Receiver with S-V40 speakers for DVD playback for a few years now without any trouble and I now use it for blurays with a PS3 connected with optical.

I've noticed that on certain sounds, specifically explosions and anything "whooshy" that it sounds metallic, like it's coming from inside a bucket. Would this be caused by the receiver or speakers? The spec of the receiver mentions 96/24 so it should be able to handle bluray audio shouldn't it?

This leads to my second question, playing music from a CD is fine but I recently played 96/24 flac through it and got a lot of crackle, again is this more likely to be a speaker issue?

Here's the full specs of my sound setup if that helps.

http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PU...ivers/VSX-C100
http://www.pioneer.eu/uk/products/ar...-V40/page.html

Thank you in advance!
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post #2 of 6 Old 07-19-2014, 04:35 AM
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VSX-C100 Receiver:
Power: 25 Watts x 5 @ 8 Ohm

You may be running out of steam on those explosions.

Does it have the bucket sound at lower volumes? How about the 24/96 crackle?

I'll be back later...


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post #3 of 6 Old 07-19-2014, 05:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superduck1984 View Post
Hi,
I thought this would be the best place to ask (I heard about here on home theater geeks), I want to improve my audio knowledge and thought I'd start with a couple of queries about my current setup. Apologies in advance for any stupid questions!

I've been using a Pioneer VSX-C100 Receiver with S-V40 speakers for DVD playback for a few years now without any trouble and I now use it for blurays with a PS3 connected with optical.

I've noticed that on certain sounds, specifically explosions and anything "whooshy" that it sounds metallic, like it's coming from inside a bucket. Would this be caused by the receiver or speakers? The spec of the receiver mentions 96/24 so it should be able to handle bluray audio shouldn't it?

This leads to my second question, playing music from a CD is fine but I recently played 96/24 flac through it and got a lot of crackle, again is this more likely to be a speaker issue?

Here's the full specs of my sound setup if that helps.

http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PU...ivers/VSX-C100
http://www.pioneer.eu/uk/products/ar...-V40/page.html

Thank you in advance!
Your whole system is well below the performance level for a middle-of-the road AV system except at fairly low sound levels.

I would expect it to be low on dynamic range at all audible frequencies if pushed even a little hard.

What is unclear is the SPLs that you are trying to listening at. This is a tool that you can use to measure your peak listening levels at your listening location and communicate to us. It only costs about $30 and is simple to use:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/30-130dB-USB...-/251425940110
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post #4 of 6 Old 07-19-2014, 06:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for such quick replies!

The bucket sound is the same at all levels really. When I plug headphones in though the sound is much fuller. I am using Audio-Technica ATH-M50s which are 38ohms, does that explain why they would sound better? Sorry I'm still trying to get my head around ohms.

This is the information I could find about the speakers:

Frequency Response: 100 Hz - 20 kHz
Peak Power Handling: 50 watt
Impedance: 8 ohm
Sensitivity: 88 dB

So am I right in understanding their impedance is correct for the receiver but they require double the power than the receiver is supplying (5 Watts x 5 @ 8 Ohm)? Would that also explain why the receiver gets so hot you can barely touch it?

Regarding the crackle, I just discovered that's a different issue. I was playing through the tv's media player app via optical to the receiver, however the sound crackles through the TV's speakers as well. I don't have any other method of playing flac through the receiver at the moment though.

Regarding the system being "below the performance level for a middle-of-the road AV system" what sort of specs should I be looking out for in a new one? If I have to buy new equipment can I salvage anything I have?
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post #5 of 6 Old 07-19-2014, 06:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superduck1984 View Post
Thank you for such quick replies!

The bucket sound is the same at all levels really. When I plug headphones in though the sound is much fuller. I am using Audio-Technica ATH-M50s which are 38ohms, does that explain why they would sound better? Sorry I'm still trying to get my head around ohms.
ATH M50s are highly regarded in the professional world as being good-sounding, well-balanced headphones. In contrast your speakers have virtually no reputation at all.

It is not so much about ohms, it is very much about the fact that a pair of headphones work in an isolated environment and hardly have to produce any acoustic energy at all to be plenty loud. You frosted that cake by picking some really pretty good headphones, but I know that you also paid some money for them, especially given how little acoustic power that they have to deal with.

Since you have some good headphones, you may want to use them as a reference for what your speakers sound like. You won't be able to duplicate the sound quality, but you should be able to duplicate the smoothness, balance and bass extension of the headphones with good speakers.


Quote:
Originally Posted by superduck1984 View Post
This is the information I could find about the speakers:

Frequency Response: 100 Hz - 20 kHz
Peak Power Handling: 50 watt
Impedance: 8 ohm
Sensitivity: 88 dB

So am I right in understanding their impedance is correct for the receiver but they require double the power than the receiver is supplying (25 Watts x 5 @ 8 Ohm)? Would that also explain why the receiver gets so hot you can barely touch it?
The power you require is primarily dependent on how loud you want to play your speakers, in dB SPL. Power ratings of receivers and speakers are dependent on a number of things. You need to use a peak power calculator such as this one to estimate how much power you need:

http://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html

To make that work, you need information about your preferred listening loudness levels in dB, SPL. I told you how to deal with that in my previous answer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by superduck1984 View Post
Regarding the crackle, I just discovered that's a different issue. I was playing through the tv's media player app via optical to the receiver, however the sound crackles through the TV's speakers as well. I don't have any other method of playing flac through the receiver at the moment though.
Good job on isolating that problem!

Quote:
Originally Posted by superduck1984 View Post
Regarding the system being "below the performance level for a middle-of-the road AV system" what sort of specs should I be looking out for in a new one? If I have to buy new equipment can I salvage anything I have?
The best place to start is probably with the LCR speakers, then the subwoofer.

I don't know what your budget is, and I don't know where you are purchasing equipment in the world, or I could make some suggestions about where to start.
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post #6 of 6 Old 07-19-2014, 10:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks again. I'll have a look into the sound pressure tester.

I am in the UK. In terms of budget I'm not really sure where to start, my current setup was about £100 for the receiver and speakers in 2008 which I know is really cheap. When you say the best place to start would be the speakers do you mean you think that I might still be able to get better sound of the receiver with better speakers, or that I should replace the receiver as well? I wouldn't want to spend a fortune as my gripes with what I have a quite minor, if I could just improve the dynamic range during those moments I mentioned before I'd be happy I think.

I see on amazon some of the best selling receivers start at around £200-£300, is this a reasonable amount to spend on one? What would the advantages of a more expensive one be considering it will be for an average sized living room.

Thanks again for all your advice
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