Originally Posted by windshear
I have to add my fews cents to this as well. I have the Onkyo PRSC5509 (almost identical to the 80.3) as well as the Oppo BDP95. I also prefer the Oppo analogue via the Onkyo analogue in, in direct mode. I have noticed a strange anomaly and have verified it via spl meter measurments. If i take the analogue in and change it from pure or direct mode to stereo mode or use the HDMI input from the Oppo, the stereo image loses is enveloping nature. It seems to shift off axis , slightly to the left and the central image of voices is all over the place. Strangely enough the sound stage seems to increase in size, but it becomes difficult to "pinpoint" instruments. In direct mode with the analogue input the image and instrument localisation is spot on.
I have measured this with a spl meter and the left volume is approximately 1,5 to 2 dB louder. I can trim the effect in the set up menu by reducing the left channel volume and it centralises the image from a voicing perspective, however instruments are still all over the place. Ideally this is not a solution to what im encountering as it messes up the channel balance when using the direct mode.
To try and understand this, it seems almost like a level and phasing issue when using the digital modes for stereo, namely the HDMI inputs or analogue in Stereo mode. Only pure and direct mode with the analogue input are correct to my ears. To try and isolate the problem i swopped the speaker cable/s around , first one and then both , with understandably horrible imaging effects.
How i ended up finding the anomaly is down to the fact im testing a Classe CP800 preamp in the persuit of improving my stereo audio. When i use the Oppo into the CP 800 via the analogue input i can not according to my ears hear a difference between it and the CP 800 as a DAC, via spdif. The CP800 with the Oppo either via analogue or SPDIF sound pristine and well imaged with a large soundstange in my system. If i revert to feeding the Oppo into the Onkyo via analogue it almost sounds identical, with a slight reduction in bass output(less punchy). Imaging and soundstage are virtually identical.
None of the above was used with Audyssey to firstly limit the variables and secondly using it with stereo sources sounds terrible to my ears, making it unnaturally bright.
I thought I needed to get an ear wax removal kit, because I too am finding a leftward shift of balance when using the 80.3 in a variety of surround modes via hdmi...system was calibrated with audyssey pro, and ainchecked the trims, but something sounds off. Ive done the latest firmware...
I too own a ssp800, and purchased the 80.3 (along with a cp800 for two channel music listening) was hoping to gain some of the features and neo-x that the classe doesn't offer without too much of a tradeoff for soundtracks, but this balance issue is bizarre to me.
Clearly, many options and settings, but nothing seems obvious to me that would cause this type shift/collapse of the bubble.
Oddly, a Pioneer sc-57 receiver with mcacc, which I also purchased, does a great job creating a solid surround field.
Certainly no giving up on the 80.3, but I'm not sure what else to try.