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"OFFICIAL" Pioneer MCACC thread - Page 116

post #3451 of 5311
Hi,

I have a SC35 (LX73 in Sydney Australia) which used to play good. I wanted to explore improvement and bought a Rotel 1080 to power my front speakers (Castle Howard S3). I have connected the front pre-outs to the Rotel using a red/white decent RCA cable.

I got very minimal to no improvement in my sound. In fact after re-calibrating, there was way too much bass. The front reference levels also went up to +5 (from +4).

Is there anything I can tweak through MCACC further to get some SQ improvement. The Rotel is 200 watts per channel which should have provided crisper sound but not very impressed yet.

Any suggestion would be much appreciated.

Cheers
Dave
post #3452 of 5311
I've got an SC-05.

Ever since I added my Bryston amp, using auto trigger to turn it on, I get a pop... sometimes pretty loud when I shut the system down.

But the worst thing that happens is every so often while watching cable tv, when the programming changes , say to a commercial, the volume all of a sudden goes through the roof. All I do is hit the volume button and it returns to normal I may have to get rid of this thing.
post #3453 of 5311
Sell the amp and buy more tunes?

Seriously, unless something was wrong or you really needed the extra power, I would not expect sonic changes by adding an amp to most systems.

What does "crisper" mean? What was wrong that you hoped would be fixed by adding an amp?
post #3454 of 5311
A world of choices.

I have a set of Legacy speakers that can take a lot more than this SC-05 can put out. I like real theater sound with power.

I decided to use the low level outs, expecting that they would allow me to use a separate amp.

I expected that when I turned the power off I would not get a loud fking pop. Is that too much to ask?

I also expect the SC-05 to not friggen throw the volume up out of control.. possibly damaging my equipment. This has nothing to do with adding the amp.

Was I unreasonable when I expect these things?
post #3455 of 5311
Sorry, I was addressing the OP, not you mhrischuk.

I agree the volume control is something else, but are you sure that is not from the source? On my systems, on some channels, commercials go insanely loud, but not on others, at least for me and Comcast here. In my case it is the source, not the AVR (I have several around the house, Pioneer, Sony, Denon, Yamaha, and the AVR does not matter for "the commercial gets loud" issue).

On the popping, I am not sure there is a good solution. My guess is the Pio is putting out some grundge at turn-off (likely a small dc offset) and the Bryston is just amplifiying what it sees before it is turned off. Ideally the trigger would go off first, turning off the amp, then the AVR. How nicely such a system plays together depends on a lot of things. Some amps seem to exhibit no pop no matter what, others are very sensitive (I have had amps in the past that I had to turn off and wait until they died away before switching off the rest of the system). It would be nice if all AVRs included some sort of trigger delay that would allow us to turn the amps on last, off first, as we were all trained to do in the olden days before trigger circuits. Alas, not to be... Fortunately my amps don't pop. If they did, I would rig up something, probably some simple relay circuit, that would allow me to turn off the amps first. Getting it automatic or remotely controlled would take a little more work. In the primordial past I used a model RC unit someone gave me; I imagine there are similar solutions using RF or IR systems now. I wonder if a remote IR receiver/repeater could be modified...
post #3456 of 5311
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhrischuk View Post
I expected that when I turned the power off I would not get a loud fking pop. Is that too much to ask?

It may be. I have two subs via BFD that "pop," so I just leave them on, hoping "sleep" mode uses minimal power.

The power strip has the two subs, the Behringer, and a Darblet. If I go away for a while, I turn them all off (and cringe at the pop). It's been a while, so I'm not sure if they pop going on, too.

post #3457 of 5311
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post

Sorry, I was addressing the OP, not you mhrischuk.
I agree the volume control is something else, but are you sure that is not from the source? On my systems, on some channels, commercials go insanely loud, but not on others, at least for me and Comcast here. In my case it is the source, not the AVR (I have several around the house, Pioneer, Sony, Denon, Yamaha, and the AVR does not matter for "the commercial gets loud" issue).
On the popping, I am not sure there is a good solution. My guess is the Pio is putting out some grundge at turn-off (likely a small dc offset) and the Bryston is just amplifiying what it sees before it is turned off. Ideally the trigger would go off first, turning off the amp, then the AVR. How nicely such a system plays together depends on a lot of things. Some amps seem to exhibit no pop no matter what, others are very sensitive (I have had amps in the past that I had to turn off and wait until they died away before switching off the rest of the system). It would be nice if all AVRs included some sort of trigger delay that would allow us to turn the amps on last, off first, as we were all trained to do in the olden days before trigger circuits. Alas, not to be... Fortunately my amps don't pop. If they did, I would rig up something, probably some simple relay circuit, that would allow me to turn off the amps first. Getting it automatic or remotely controlled would take a little more work. In the primordial past I used a model RC unit someone gave me; I imagine there are similar solutions using RF or IR systems now. I wonder if a remote IR receiver/repeater could be modified...

No it's not just the commercials, getting louder... BTW I read once that it's not the commercials getting louder. They lower the volume of the primary program. Not sure if this is true.

No this is like crazy loud... as soon as I touch the volume down it resets back to normal sound. Makes me wonder if something in the source decoder is causing this. Software issue maybe? You know how it senses the type of surround or stereo?
post #3458 of 5311
Hmmm. That definitely sounds like a bug, or a failure someplace.

They tend to compress the dynamic range of the commercials then raise them to the max. There are FCC regs that limit the modulation you can apply, or were (not sure how they've been modified for the digital world), but the same principle applies. Take your movie with 50 - 70 dB of dynamic range and with average level of maybe -30 dB, then switch to a commercial with maybe 10 dB dynamic range and push it as close to zero as you can and it's about four times louder than the show. If the average for the show is -40 dB, the commercial is 8 times louder. Ouch!
post #3459 of 5311
Thanks for your reply Don.
I would like the sound to be firmer, crisper with louder mid-range but the extra amp did not bring any significant improvement. Basically wanted to move to a more advance setup as I was told AVR are inefficient in doing everything.
What a disappointment so far.....
Dave
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post

Sell the amp and buy more tunes?
Seriously, unless something was wrong or you really needed the extra power, I would not expect sonic changes by adding an amp to most systems.
What does "crisper" mean? What was wrong that you hoped would be fixed by adding an amp?
post #3460 of 5311
^^^

that's not surprising... amps aren't tone controls...

if you want "firmer, crisper mid-range", get speakers that have it...

avr's are actually rather efficient at doing most things... there are many who "believe" things... however... those "things" aren't borne out in controlled testing...

what you "hear" is entirely dependent on the speakers and their interaction with the room... as long as the electronics aren't overdriven (or junk) they should make virtually no impact on the end result...
post #3461 of 5311

Interestingly, there's a thread about this on the home page:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1436610/are-amplifiers-worth-it

post #3462 of 5311
Quote:
Originally Posted by devgcl View Post

Thanks for your reply Don.
I would like the sound to be firmer, crisper with louder mid-range but the extra amp did not bring any significant improvement. Basically wanted to move to a more advance setup as I was told AVR are inefficient in doing everything.
What a disappointment so far.....
Dave
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post

Sell the amp and buy more tunes?
Seriously, unless something was wrong or you really needed the extra power, I would not expect sonic changes by adding an amp to most systems.
What does "crisper" mean? What was wrong that you hoped would be fixed by adding an amp?

Not sure who told you AVR's are inefficient at everything, that makes no sense to me.

The root cause is likely the speakers, as Chris said. If you want to play around, save your MCACC setting into another memory, then go into manual mode on that memory and try playing with the equalizer settings. If you want "louder, crisper" midrange try tweaking up the levels of the upper midrange, say in the 2k - 8k range, by maybe 3 dB or so and see if that helps. That will put a little "edge" on the sound.

HTH - Don
post #3463 of 5311
Quote:
Originally Posted by devgcl View Post

Hi,
I have a SC35 (LX73 in Sydney Australia) which used to play good. I wanted to explore improvement and bought a Rotel 1080 to power my front speakers (Castle Howard S3). I have connected the front pre-outs to the Rotel using a red/white decent RCA cable.
I got very minimal to no improvement in my sound. In fact after re-calibrating, there was way too much bass. The front reference levels also went up to +5 (from +4).
Is there anything I can tweak through MCACC further to get some SQ improvement. The Rotel is 200 watts per channel which should have provided crisper sound but not very impressed yet.
Any suggestion would be much appreciated.
Cheers
Dave

If you added the amp, then ran MCACC, you will basically be back where you started. MCACC is going to do its best to compensate for whatever is in the audio system. It tries to produce a certain sound. The amp might get you more volume if your speakers are capable, but it should not change the sound once MCACC is rerun. Which is a good thing.

It sounds like you prefer a different sound than that provided natively by MCACC. Personally I like more bass. So I do MCACC with my sub set at 50%. Then when i want more I turn it up. But I know I can get back to the exact sound by turning it back to 50%. If you want more than just extra bass, you may have to make more tweaks post MCACC. I believe you can make tweeks without wiping the whole MCACC setup. I haven't had the time to experiment though.
post #3464 of 5311
^^
you can

if someone wants the option to easily go back to a un-altered MCACC preset, I would suggest taking the existing preset(s) and using the data management menu, copy them to one or more of the unused presets before doing any manually adjusting. you would then be able to store & retrieve both the un-altered & altered ones by just selecting which one to use at any particular time. The 1st 3 will be Symmetry, All Channels Adjust & Front Aligned. You can rename the altered ones from a list of preset names, like Movie, Music, etc to differentiate them from the normal ones. They are all numbered as well, 1 - 6.

ie. copy M1 to M4, adjust M4 to taste, and M1 is left alone.
post #3465 of 5311
Quote:
Originally Posted by dnoyeB View Post

If you added the amp, then ran MCACC, you will basically be back where you started. MCACC is going to do its best to compensate for whatever is in the audio system. It tries to produce a certain sound. The amp might get you more volume if your speakers are capable, but it should not change the sound once MCACC is rerun. Which is a good thing.
It sounds like you prefer a different sound than that provided natively by MCACC. Personally I like more bass. So I do MCACC with my sub set at 50%. Then when i want more I turn it up. But I know I can get back to the exact sound by turning it back to 50%. If you want more than just extra bass, you may have to make more tweaks post MCACC. I believe you can make tweeks without wiping the whole MCACC setup. I haven't had the time to experiment though.

I use the IControlAV app from Pioneer to up the subwoofer bass. Just a touch of the finer on the screen and the bass is increased to what you want. This app for the Pioneer recievers is the best thing out there for adjusting audio on the fly.
post #3466 of 5311
The loud popping is from the amp. I use a power console with a harmony remote and it cut things off in sequence. This got rid of the popping with my external amp. The other choice is to leave the amp on.
post #3467 of 5311
Thanks for the advice on getting more from my Rotel.
It shows I am a newbie and still learning. I will play around with the equalizer and re-calibrate this week-end... hopefully would improve the muddy bass.
Dave
post #3468 of 5311
Quote:
Originally Posted by devgcl View Post

Thanks for the advice on getting more from my Rotel.
It shows I am a newbie and still learning. I will play around with the equalizer and re-calibrate this week-end... hopefully would improve the muddy bass.
Dave

I tweaked the equalizer manually on my Pioneer Sc35 lowering the lower freq, upping the mid and slight up the high.
Sound is way much better now. However, dont know if the power amp helped. Want to use some amp switch to try both amps driving the front.
Any advice on this approach.
Thx for enhancing my audio experience
Dave
post #3469 of 5311
To get rid of the muddy bass, try slightly repositioning the speakers/sub. Room treatments may also help If the amp is working properly, the room /autocalibration is the most likely problem. Keep ported speakers of walls at least the diameter of the port and out of the conrners of the room. You may need a parametric EQ and not the one in the avr (Behringer FEEDBACK DESTROYER FBQ1000 Parametric EQ http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/behringer-feedback-destroyer-fbq1000-parametric-eq?src=3WWRWXGP).
post #3470 of 5311
Great thread here. Many thanks to all you who have contributed. I've got an LX.75 in my HT-system. running a 5.2 set up. I did all the steps mentioned in the start and got great result. When I was finished with my first set up I had All adjust on 1, Symetry on 2 and Front allign on 3. The numbers were adjusted with regards to distance and some dB (my surrounds were 1-2 dB lower than the rest of the speakers who all had a 80 dB reading when the Full MCACC was done.
On 4,5 and 6 a have a copy of the above settings but they have been tweaked with regard to Reverb time wich is 20-40 ms. The setting I found best was the All adj 20-40 ms.
post #3471 of 5311
Hooked up my new SC-65 a week or so ago and just let the Auto MCACC run defaults in the Symmetry Mode. The results right out of the box surpassed what I was hearing from the prior Anthem MRX500's ARC. I was lucky that my retailer let me out of the Anthem after 2 years and 3 receivers worth of problems. I'm running 5.1 with a pair of vintage Klipsch Heresy (HOL's) for my fronts...and this is the best I've heard from these speakers to date. I've never been a Pioneer person before, but so far...so good smile.gif
post #3472 of 5311
Have a Denon 3312 and want to explore the Pioneer SC-65. I love Audessey and believe I can work with mcacc but there are questions i would like someone to answer.

Dynamic volume uses several settings such as Day, Night and Evening (as many know). I use this function all the time to decrease bass and increase dialogue.

How does mcacc handle this?

Also, I love the automatic feature set of Audessey.

Is mcacc easy for the non-audiofile to set up?
Does it calibrate the sub?
Does mcacc use 8 position settings? If not, do you need all those positions?

I have Elite TV, Bluray and want to have "like" components.

Thanks for everyone's advise and answers.
post #3473 of 5311
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squirrelly View Post

Have a Denon 3312 and want to explore the Pioneer SC-65. I love Audessey and believe I can work with mcacc but there are questions i would like someone to answer.
Dynamic volume uses several settings such as Day, Night and Evening (as many know). I use this function all the time to decrease bass and increase dialogue.
How does mcacc handle this?
Also, I love the automatic feature set of Audessey.
Is mcacc easy for the non-audiofile to set up?
Does it calibrate the sub?
Does mcacc use 8 position settings? If not, do you need all those positions?
I have Elite TV, Bluray and want to have "like" components.
Thanks for everyone's advise and answers.
{"refItemType":"35","refItemId":"1420740","userId":"8434161","refItemTitle":"Turn off Time Warner's Whole House DVR MoCA service?"}

Been out of Pioneer Elite ownership for awhile, but unless they've made dramatic changes to MCACC, I believe I can steer you in the right direction.

MCACC is very easy to set up. Put the mic at your listening position and run MCACC.

MCACC does not calibrate the sub, per se. But, if memory serves, it does calibrate down to 60Hz. Not sure what version of Audy the 3312 uses, but in my experience, Audyssey XT 32 is the only version that's effective in calibrating sub(s) for Denon.

MCACC does not use 8 positions for calibration. Don't know if that's actually needed, unless you have a very large HT room with many, many seats.

Elite TV, Blu Ray, etc does offer some minor inter-operability advantages, but not enough that I would make a change in AVR.

Your 3312 is a nice AVR, as is the Pio SC65. I don't know that one has a performance advantage over the other, however. Can't go wrong with either.
post #3474 of 5311
Quote:
Originally Posted by graphicguy View Post

{"refItemType":"35","refItemId":"1420740","userId":"8434161","refItemTitle":"Turn off Time Warner's Whole House DVR MoCA service?"}
Been out of Pioneer Elite ownership for awhile, but unless they've made dramatic changes to MCACC, I believe I can steer you in the right direction.
MCACC is very easy to set up. Put the mic at your listening position and run MCACC.
MCACC does not calibrate the sub, per se. But, if memory serves, it does calibrate down to 60Hz. Not sure what version of Audy the 3312 uses, but in my experience, Audyssey XT 32 is the only version that's effective in calibrating sub(s) for Denon.
MCACC does not use 8 positions for calibration. Don't know if that's actually needed, unless you have a very large HT room with many, many seats.
Elite TV, Blu Ray, etc does offer some minor inter-operability advantages, but not enough that I would make a change in AVR.
Your 3312 is a nice AVR, as is the Pio SC65. I don't know that one has a performance advantage over the other, however. Can't go wrong with either.

I have a Denon 4311 and Pioneer SC-67. For me it was SQ! Audyssey XT32 was Ok but MCACC was more lively and real. Also, tweaking of audio was better via the iControlAV2012 app.
post #3475 of 5311
Quote:
Originally Posted by devgcl View Post

Hi,
I have a SC35 (LX73 in Sydney Australia) which used to play good. I wanted to explore improvement and bought a Rotel 1080 to power my front speakers (Castle Howard S3). I have connected the front pre-outs to the Rotel using a red/white decent RCA cable.
I got very minimal to no improvement in my sound. In fact after re-calibrating, there was way too much bass. The front reference levels also went up to +5 (from +4).
Is there anything I can tweak through MCACC further to get some SQ improvement. The Rotel is 200 watts per channel which should have provided crisper sound but not very impressed yet.
Any suggestion would be much appreciated.
Cheers
Dave

Hi,
After much research, I am told probably my SC35 has low voltage pre-out hence below par Rotel amp performance.
I tried connecting the RCA cable into my Pio LX73 both into CD Line In and Multi-channel Front/Left (multi-channel is apparently analog) - both sounded below par and muffled. I was thinking of connecting the Bluray player directly to my Rotel amp but I am scared this might blow something as I do not have any volume control on the Samsung Bluray player (BD-S5500).

Based on the comments above, it seems I have to try something going straight to my Rotel power amp. Which option is the best (assuming not investing in integrated pre-amp):

1. BD Player (CD transport) => DAC with volume Control => Rotel Power Amp (suspect such DAC will be costly)

2. BD Player => Pio LX73 (thru HDMI) => DAC => Rotel Amp (to use Pio's volume control)

3. BD Player => DAC => Pio LX73 (thru HDMI) => Rotel Amp (but this option still uses the pre-out to Rotel)

Any bright ideas much appreciated. I am close to running out of options.

Cheers

Dave
post #3476 of 5311
Quote:
Originally Posted by devgcl View Post

Hi,
After much research, I am told probably my SC35 has low voltage pre-out hence below par Rotel amp performance.
I tried connecting the RCA cable into my Pio LX73 both into CD Line In and Multi-channel Front/Left (multi-channel is apparently analog) - both sounded below par and muffled. I was thinking of connecting the Bluray player directly to my Rotel amp but I am scared this might blow something as I do not have any volume control on the Samsung Bluray player (BD-S5500).
Based on the comments above, it seems I have to try something going straight to my Rotel power amp. Which option is the best (assuming not investing in integrated pre-amp):
1. BD Player (CD transport) => DAC with volume Control => Rotel Power Amp (suspect such DAC will be costly)
2. BD Player => Pio LX73 (thru HDMI) => DAC => Rotel Amp (to use Pio's volume control)
3. BD Player => DAC => Pio LX73 (thru HDMI) => Rotel Amp (but this option still uses the pre-out to Rotel)
Any bright ideas much appreciated. I am close to running out of options.
Cheers
Dave

personally, I think you are, as we say, barking up the wrong tree.

1st, the input sensitivity of the rotel 1080 is (copied from their web site specs):
Input Impedance/Sensitivity: 1.5V, 32 kOhms)

in other words, in order for the amp to reach FULL power output, it should have 1.5 volts input.

2nd, some forum member several years ago got this info straight from a tech person at Pioneer for the SC-09, similar Ice amp design) and no reason to think Pioneer changed it just for your model:

For preamp out : output impedance is 490ohm.
output level for -20dBFs input , 0dB VR position => 150mV
-20dBFs input , +12dB VR Position(MAX) => 600mV
0dBFs input, 0dB VR position => 1.5V
This output level is determined by THX. (THX model is the same.)

in other words, to reach 1.5v, the volume should be at 0.0
and notice that if the receiver is THX certified, it must meet this spec'd output

if you calibrated the 35 with the rotel connected as your front 2 ch amplifier, it will have AUTOMATICALLY compensated for any differences in output by adjusting the channel levels for your fronts in order to achieve reference levels all around.

unless you have a defective SC-35 & its preamp opamps are weak & it needs repaired, your info is incorrect about being "weak".

I hate to say this, if you are thinking the Rotel amp is supposed to make it sound dramatically different used in place of the Ice amps, then I think you are going to be disappointed. I also use a hi powered class a/b amp, with much more power on tap than your Rotel (600 wpc @ 4 ohms) wink.gif and it really does not sound dramatically different. With MCACC off, the Ice amps sounded a very slight touch clearer on the highs, but the class a/b amp sounded a slight touch better on bass. I use it because I have very inefficient planar speakers and the ext amp provides better transient attacks (percussion, piano, etc) because of the extra power headroom and current.

If you are expecting a big difference in sound, using the Rotel over your Ice amps, then you will be wrong smile.gif. 1st, any freq response differences will be compensated by MCACC EQ IF you calibrated with the Rotel in use. 2nd, if you have stronger or weaker bass, don't use a sub or set fronts as Large, then re-run MCACC. If you do use a sub, then bass freq's lower than the Xover point are being handled by the sub, not the Rotel.

Instead of chasing rabbits, your choice should be, do u like the "sound" of the SC-35, meaning how MCACC equalizes your speakers? if answer is no, then get a different receiver using Audyseey or Yamaha's YPAO. Connecting your BD player directly to the amp using a DAC with volume control or a 2 ch preamp tells me that you prefer NOT using MCACC for the fronts. In that case, have you tried Front Aligned MCACC calibration?? which leaves fronts un-EQ'd but EQ's all the rest to "match" the non-EQ'd fronts? Or Pure Direct mode? Or manually tweaked certain freq bands to taste? Pure Direct & also turn MCACC completely OFF in the menu, is the ONLY way to compare any potential sound differences between sources & amps. If you have done this, then have did you rerun MCACC after you added the Rotel?

Or you can look at adding a 2 channel preamp with a home theater bypass. Some are unity gain, meaning no change in signal level input to output but still going thru the preamp, and some are true bypasses, with a relay/switch bypassing the preamp circuitry all together and you can still send receiver outs to amp with the preamp turned off. Parasound, most tube preamp companies like Audio Research, Cary, Conrad Johnson, Rogue Audio, etc even companies like Emotiva, have preamps with HT bypass modes implemented in some fashion.

But to think the SC-35 preamp output is somehow weak and that's why your Rotel is not performing the way YOU THINK it should is wrong-thinking. Unless it needs repaired of course. It's rated preamp output is consistent with comparable Denon, Onkyo and Yamaha receivers - if you don't believe me, check these specs on comparable models:

Denon 5308 - THX certified - analog section rated output 1.2 V & digital section rated output 2 V @ 0 dB

It's analog preamp output looks to be consistent with your SC-35 - comparing the 2 plugged into your Rotel, I doubt you would not notice any significant difference in volume levels between the 2, especially since the Rotel at that input levels would be able to crank out its full 200 wpc @ 8ohms in either case IF the soundtrack demanded that much transient power to reproduce it.

I think your disappointment lies elsewhere....wink.gif
post #3477 of 5311
Quote:
Originally Posted by graphicguy View Post

{"refItemType":"35","refItemId":"1420740","userId":"8434161","refItemTitle":"Turn off Time Warner's Whole House DVR MoCA service?"}
Been out of Pioneer Elite ownership for awhile, but unless they've made dramatic changes to MCACC, I believe I can steer you in the right direction.
MCACC is very easy to set up. Put the mic at your listening position and run MCACC.
MCACC does not calibrate the sub, per se. But, if memory serves, it does calibrate down to 60Hz. Not sure what version of Audy the 3312 uses, but in my experience, Audyssey XT 32 is the only version that's effective in calibrating sub(s) for Denon.
MCACC does not use 8 positions for calibration. Don't know if that's actually needed, unless you have a very large HT room with many, many seats.
Elite TV, Blu Ray, etc does offer some minor inter-operability advantages, but not enough that I would make a change in AVR.
Your 3312 is a nice AVR, as is the Pio SC65. I don't know that one has a performance advantage over the other, however. Can't go wrong with either.

Thanks for the advice. I hope I'm not contemplating the SC65 for aesthetics. Do you know if the SC65 has a function similar to the Audessy Dynamic Volume?
post #3478 of 5311
I'll add to my remarks -

as long as both amps have similar gain and are operating in their linear output range, at normal volume levels and neither one is clipping, then volume & sound should be close to the same. That's also providing that you used MCACC to calibrate the receiver with the Rotel connected so that the ch levels are balanced to produce the same output. All the extra power is doing is adding a few dB of headroom to reproduce transient loud sounds or attacks, such as drum twacks, hitting piano keys, sudden dynamic peaks in a movie, etc.

In my own listening comparisons, the ONLY differences I could tell in pure analog direct mode, was with those kinds of music / sounds that had transient attacks & peaks. Perhaps also with massed choral music, like Beethoven 9th, I could tell a bit of difference when vol turned way up but with a lot of music, I heard absolutely NO difference in the sound.

IF you bought the Rotel with the idea that it would somehow transform, change the volume level or sound characteristics noticeably, then you were misled. IF a dealer told you that, then they gave you a line of bull.

And I repeat, unless your SC-35 is defective, its preamp output levels are about the same as all other receivers & adequate for the Rotel to do its job when you have the volume turned up. Where you would get less performance is if you had added an amp with a much higher input sensitivity, like one using the 500 & 1000 watt Ice amp modules, which have pretty high input sensitivities (2.1 & 2.95 v respectively) IOW, the preamp output would have to be 2.95v for the 1000 w module for it to be able to reach 1000 watts. Those modules can be nicely driven by dedicated preamps but not reach their potential using typical receiver.

I haven't read all your posts, trials & tribulations about the Rotel & SC-35 but IMO, if you expected the combination to be a lot different you will continue to be disappointed because it won't be smile.gif You *may* get a "different" sound connecting a player to the amp directly, or thru another preamp, but you will still be deluding yourself if you equate "volume" with "sound quality". Everyone recommends level matching to within tenths of a dB using a sound meter, like the Radio Shack, to do listening comparisons & be convinced that what you hear is not due to diff in loudness/volume not a sound characteristic per se. And personally, I don't have the patience to do that much precision...I just set the volume level at same, use the same player, same discs, same tracks, and use Pure Direct with ALL MCACC completely turned off. If you haven't done your comparison with MCACC on vs off, then you have nothing.

but you are free to pursue all the complex player, DAC, preamp combinations in pursuit of that idea. your dealer will no doubt enjoy the benefits of your quest wink.gif I'm being a little sarcastic but considering adding the amp isn't going to change much of anything at normal vol level anyway, concluding that your SC-35 is to blame isn't warranted when it's no different than any other receiver on the planet. Did the person who told you this actually bench test measure your SC-35 preamp output with a lab meter?

Let's see what your Rotel really does add in performance -

SC-35 spec'd @ 140 watts 8 ohms
Rotel 1080 spec'd @ 200 watts 8 ohms

Volume dB difference = 10 x LOG(power1 / power2) = 10 * LOG (200/140)

This = only 1.54 dB difference & that's at full power! Turn the volume knob up 1.5 - 2 dB and you've accomplished the same thing as adding your Rotel wink.gif

The audio experts say 1 dB is the minimum perceptible difference majority of people can hear so you're talking minimal differences in perceived sound levels from adding a 200 watt amp. Where your amp will pay off is with those loud but brief, transient differences in sound and transient attacks in music. Like going from whisper quiet passage to full orchestra in a second or when an explosion goes off in a movie. Otherwise, it's just idling along, basically doing the same thing as your SC-35 Ice amp would be smile.gif and you will hear no practical difference at all!

For you to "double" the perceived volume, it takes about 6 to 10 dB difference which would require at least 600 watts @ 8 ohm rated amp vs the SC-35! 600 watts, not a measly 60 watts which is what you have with the Rotel. That's why the people who add budget Emotiva 200 wpc amps & say the sound "blows the receiver away" are deluding themselves with expectation bias or trying to justify their expenditure rolleyes.gif

All the extra power does is add a few dB of headroom to reproduce spikes without going into clipping.

Seriously, hope you and everyone has a great Thanksgiving!!
Edited by ss9001 - 11/22/12 at 12:37pm
post #3479 of 5311
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squirrelly View Post

Thanks for the advice. I hope I'm not contemplating the SC65 for aesthetics. Do you know if the SC65 has a function similar to the Audessy Dynamic Volume?

not quite the identical functionality but it has the same purpose - THX Loudness Plus, plus Pioneer's Auto Level Control surround mode and a Loudness Management setting specifically when using Dolby TrueHD
post #3480 of 5311
Quote:
Originally Posted by devgcl View Post


I realize you have your heart set on getting the most from adding that Rotel so if you still want to achieve full 200 w power output while not running your SC-35 at 0 dB vol wink.gif then something like this preamp with multichannel bypass can accomplish your goal.

Parasound P7
http://www.parasound.com/halo/p7.php

Full output is 8V.
Selected pages from manual are attached. Is this what you had in mind?

Parasound P7Manual.pdf 232k .pdf file
Parasound P7Manual_2.pdf 288k .pdf file

I would not connect your player up to the amp directly, even with ext vol control because you'll lost all the benefits of having MCACC for the front speakers. And any benefits (albeit small wink.gif) from the Rotel will be negated by not using the SC-35 capabilities. I would consider the preamp with HT bypass/unity gain instead. I also have a tube preamp with that feature so know what it's about smile.gif but I don't use that feature since mine is unity gain (same as Parasound) and I can't see the use of using the tubes' life just to save me swapping cables from receiver or preamp to the amp. The Parasound is solid state so that would not be a consideration for you but any preamp that uses unity gain has to be turned on to pass the 2 ch signal.

It'll add more complexity, cables, and use more electricity but may be what you're after. But, IMHO, if you are considering going to this much effort, you might as well make it more worthwhile and get an amp that's adds more than a measly 60 watts per ch rolleyes.gif As the math shows, that does not make a significant diff at all.

Before you bought the Rotel, did you look at higher pwr alternatives from brands like Outlaw, ATI, Parasound. You can get 2 - 7 ch amps rated at 350w 8 ohm & can almost double at 4 ohms with all channels driven from ATI or Outlaw Audio, their 7 ch amp is only $3600! That would be an increase worth spending > $2000 on a dedicated 2 ch preamp.

fwiw smile.gif
Edited by ss9001 - 11/22/12 at 12:44pm
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