or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › Audio › Receivers, Amps, and Processors › Pioneer's Reasonably Priced SC-61 Class D Receiver
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Pioneer's Reasonably Priced SC-61 Class D Receiver - Page 2

post #31 of 140
Thread Starter 
This will be the last post on matching SOTA value speakers to the Pioneer (I just didn't want people to buy polks!tongue.gif)

The speakers arrived. First impression is the 570 is a midget floor standing speaker. At 34” it’s less than waist high. It might prove beneficial to mount on a sturdy 7-8” base.

First major ordeal solved: I was wrong in assuming the Studio 5 grill would be transparent. From the pictures it appeared that the grill didn’t cover up the horn. There was an initial rather nasty brightness/pinching irritation, which after a couple of hours of intense experimentation was traced to the grill. I removed the grill and then was able to determine what the mysterious included curved glass filled ABS piece was for (without reading the owner’s manual!). Removing the grill and installing this “leaf” maximizes the controlled directivity. Just like the skin of an aircraft, a smooth flared surface everywhere is extremely important for high performance air-flow. High fidelity is getting quite refined. Impressive but did the other reviewers miss this?

The series 5 horn is mounted vertically which i recall was determined to be better than horizontal mounting. The horn is very large in proportion to the speaker, just like the professional gear. The step down model Studio 190 horn is dinky in comparison).

Confirmed the speaker is inefficient. Reviewer Keith Howard explains it best:
“Horn loading used often to be regarded (and still is) merely as a means to enhance a speaker’s sensitivity. But when you combine a horn-loaded tweeter with direct-radiating bass-mid units, as JBL does here, there’s only so much of this potential you can exploit because the latter will inevitably determine the speaker’s overall sensitivity. So JBL deploys horn loading to different effect: to reduce distortion and increase dynamic range, and to control directivity. As JBL puts it in the Studio 580 product leafl et, ‘Controlled directivity at ear level of seated listeners minimizes unwanted HF interaction with walls and furniture’.”.

The pioneer SC-61 provides a total of about 300 watts bi-amped into the rated six ohm speaker impedance. The Series 5 woofers are designed for excellent transient response and gradual low-end fall-off, which mate exceptionally well with a sealed box sub-woofer. Bi-amping is best but bi-wiring offers most of the benefits.
The bottom line is the speaker is performing just as the reviews stated. It is very dynamic (read loud), well balanced and almost full range, coherent with strikingly low distortion. It’s a breakthrough of sorts, especially for home theater. It will be a welcome addition to one of my surround sound installations. The taller 42” 580 is better suited for main speakers. I might also be purchasing the 520C center for maximum speech legibility.
Here is another good chart explaining the series 5 advantages:
http://manuals.harman.com/JBL/HOM/Quick%20Specs/STUDIO580_FB_EN.pdf
post #32 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiFun View Post

I think there is a bit more to this.
Pioneer doesn't want owners to use the SC-61 ONLY as an inexpensive seven channel class D amplifier.
But they provide pre-amp outputs to skip the Class D amplifiers. Doesn't make much sense.
I wish it were the other way around!

Pioneer has provided room for future system expansion..
The SC61 has a reasonable choice of inputs but is limited somewhat in its DSP resources mostly due to the TI part...
However sometime in the future the user may want more power for the left/right front channels to drive some upgraded L/R front full-range loudspeakers now it is very easy to add on an external stereo power amplifier..

IMHO..
A nice touch from Pioneer in the days when other major brands are deleting features, check out the latest HK AVR lineup they don't have a single model with 7.1 Pre-Outs... rolleyes.gif

Just my $0.02.. wink.gif
post #33 of 140
Only the SC-68 supports analogue multi channel input.See page 36 of the owners manual.
post #34 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by M Code View Post

A nice touch from Pioneer in the days when other major brands are deleting features

very true. Onkyo just removed them from their new $3K flagship. Pioneer is to be commended for keeping these connections that some users still use, for example the Oppo 95 or older Pioneer flagship BD-09 player that has separate Wolfson DAC's on its analog outputs.
post #35 of 140
Exactly. I have an OPPO 95 with loads of mch sacd and dvd audio discs.
Funny, I looked at the back of my old Panasonic class D receiver that the SC-37 replaced and was surprised to see it has everything I need. Even hdmi for my OPPO that I never needed before. So my plan is to wait and buy the SC-68 when it goes down in price or see if next years models have imprived the TI chip and buy the 2013 model. Thanks for the input.
post #36 of 140
Thread Starter 
The JBL Studio 5 Series speaker review continues over to the speaker forum:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1422898/jbl-studio-series-5-the-magic-guaranteed/0_60#post_22271893
post #37 of 140
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by M Code View Post

No..
The majority of the later AVRs have deleted this feature, not really required as most source components are connected by HDMI..
Just my $0.02... wink.gif
You would not know this by listening to the American establishment "high-end" press who still, as a whole have not accepted HDMI
To be generous, the small independent manufactures who support them have difficult time paying for the HDMI and HDCP licensing.
So they stick to analog and S/PDIF with that nasty USB 1.1 gaining a bit of ground.
post #38 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiFun View Post

You would not know this by listening to the American establishment "high-end" press who still, as a whole have not accepted HDMI
To be generous, the small independent manufactures who support them have difficult time paying for the HDMI and HDCP licensing.
So they stick to analog and S/PDIF with that nasty USB 1.1 gaining a bit of ground.

To judge the impact of HDMI one has to step back and look @ the total market...
Check out the latest AVRs..
Next compare the # of analog inputs to the # of analog inputs on the previous generation, they are decreasing rapidly.
Next do a similar comparison for the # of HDMI inputs..

Yes..
For separate high-end components they still swear by their vinyl records and tube amplifiers but this doesn't drive the market, this segment is simply too small in terms of economic muscle/market buying power.. rolleyes.gif

Also if there was no HDMI or HDCP (thanks to Intel) we wouldn't have some of the incredible HD software now available as the studios are not going to make the same mistake as they did for audio content by selling/distributing unprotected content...

Just my $0.02... wink.gif
post #39 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by M Code View Post

Also if there was no HDMI or HDCP (thanks to Intel) we wouldn't have some of the incredible HD software now available as the studios are not going to make the same mistake as they did for audio content by selling/distributing unprotected content...
Just my $0.02... wink.gif
The real mistake the "studios" (aka content pirates in suits) make, is that they lack the balls to sell their content direct on the internet. Itunes and Amazon experience makes it clear that the average joe (aka the brad and butter customer for content) would prefer to buy content via official channels if you make it easy and drop the DRM nonsense.

Also, a cursury 5 minute search on Google.com will confirm that HDMICPblablabla is doing nothing to "protect" said content. Its all their in its 1080p glory. They put ut 4K content, it will take about 5 hours before its cracked and out there again.

The trick is to sell to the customer before they go searching for it via the back door channels.

I know for a fact that the "studios" have been told this since the mid 1990s, and that includes very expensive market analysis from consultants that they chose to ignore while bleeding to death by a hthousand cuts.

On the receiver, kudus to Pioneer for making progress on the digital front. Not sure why they refuse to drop the buy-it-buy-the-kilo packaging though - surely the point of digital amps is to not only save energy but do so in a smaller size. Besides which this technology is very up to date, so why not update "MCACC" with 21st centurty tecnhology and bless it with a name that is even remotely understandable let alone marketable.
post #40 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiFun View Post

I think there is a bit more to this.
Pioneer doesn't want owners to use the SC-61 ONLY as an inexpensive seven channel class D amplifier.
But they provide pre-amp outputs to skip the Class D amplifiers. Doesn't make much sense.
That feature is there so that they don't have to build a processor. At least that is what they told us when we asked why they don't build a unit without amps smile.gif.

Great thread by the way. Great effort to document what you are finding there. Well above call of duty smile.gif.
post #41 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiFun View Post

You would not know this by listening to the American establishment "high-end" press who still, as a whole have not accepted HDMI
To be generous, the small independent manufactures who support them have difficult time paying for the HDMI and HDCP licensing.
So they stick to analog and S/PDIF with that nasty USB 1.1 gaining a bit of ground.
HDMI is starting to trickle into high-end 2-channel gear. Mark Levinson announced such a pre-amp/DAC. Devialet integrated DAC+amp has been out for a while. And I am starting to hear others warm up to the idea. If HDMI was not such a pain and support grief for everyone, it should have been a standard feature on everything. It is a pain otherwise to integrate 2-channel and Multi-channel systems.
post #42 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by M Code View Post

4. The Marvel QDEO video processor was good in its day but now getting dated

What are we considering as a step up from the QDEO these days? I mean available at standard AVR/BD player price points, not standalone VPs.
post #43 of 140
Thread Starter 
Over the years I’ve always stressed the importance of successfully integrating each new component into a system. The main culprits which cause audible nastiness are RFI/EMI and no standard for signal grounding. Gear which still use three prongs for safety are especially troublesome as the noise can flow or couple to other components. From experience the nosiest are satellite/cable boxes and home theater PC’s.
A system’s resolution is like an onion with each new layer the limiting the system naturalness. Since the Pioneer is superbly designed its noise has been effective dealt with. However other components A/C can cause interference.
What I do is feed multiple branches off the dedicated 20 amp A/C line with either the Furman Power Factor Pro (PFP) or the Belkin PF60.
The Pioneer forced me to added a second PFP dedicated to the HTPC with its AMD HDMI 1.4 video card as there was current flowing through the green chassis ground. I could tell because temporarily inserting a cheater plug greatly reduced the modulated noise riding along the envelope/edge of vocals. So this eliminated one m critical layer.
Are there other layers to be dealt with before and after this layer? Most definitely! Almost all interact with each other which is why it takes a lot of experience to separate and deal with them. I’ve already written them up it’s just too time consuming making progress to write them up - yet cool.gif

The bottom line is every physical, mechanical, acoustical and electrical issue should be dealt with before applying parametric DSP. The first step is realizing when its time to buy into new twists on mature but refined technology. The best designs (think Pioneer SC-61 and JBL Studio 5 Series) are further simplified and cost effective. Further the best products require no advertising, as they sell themselves.
post #44 of 140
Thread Starter 
As an example here is a quote from the $2.6K Onkyo/Integra DHC-80.3 Surround Processor

“Fine detail in recordings sounded better than ever, and the slight harshness I occasionally noticed in the midrange is gone.”
Kris Deering is an excellent reviewer and I admire his accurate observations, yet how many generations of $5K worth of components is the consumer expected to buy?

Further no amount of DSP auto room correction will eliminate this hash as the (school of Julian Hirsch) designers have given it a free ride.

http://www.hometheater.com/content/integra-dhc-803-surround-processor-and-dta-701-amplifier-page-2
post #45 of 140
Thread Starter 
I use 1960 cd rock tracks to evaluate and optimize naturalness, of which many are mono.
After all the setup tweeks (as of yet still not documented), the Pioneer Hi-bit24 processing adds life to 16 bit recordings WITHOUT adding hash.
Further thePhase Control does, for the first time improve the bass focus, timing and yes, coherency. This gives the vocals a bit more lively body to “float” along with.

With optimized set-up, the bi-amped JBL Studio 570 is capability of wide-frequency-range precise mono imaging (and taking advantage of no crossover in the 2-3KHz region).
I’ve also used the foobar play re-sampling with the “brighter” linear phase digital filter (Sox) and it sound goods at 88.2KHz and a bit better at 176KHz. Note: At this highest frequency most Pioneer surround modes are disabled.

Again at this time I’m again leaning toward using the SC-61s processing. I guess I'm in complete agreement with its talented designers. The foobar player will act like a CD player and output the exact same data over HDMI.

Note: used the JL Audio f113 subwoofer which offers always impressive bass, like the crazy low-end of track Bobby’s Girl (the mastering engineer probably didn’t hear it or would have filtered it).
Now back to stereo sources with huge vocal soundstages. like Battle of the Green Beret!
post #46 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiFun View Post

I use 1960 cd rock tracks to evaluate and optimize naturalness, of which many are mono.
After all the setup tweeks (as of yet still not documented), the Pioneer Hi-bit24 processing adds life to 16 bit recordings WITHOUT adding hash.
Further thePhase Control does, for the first time improve the bass focus, timing and yes, coherency. This gives the vocals a bit more lively body to “float” along with.
With optimized set-up, the bi-amped JBL Studio 570 is capability of wide-frequency-range precise mono imaging (and taking advantage of no crossover in the 2-3KHz region).
I’ve also used the foobar play re-sampling with the “brighter” linear phase digital filter (Sox) and it sound goods at 88.2KHz and a bit better at 176KHz. Note: At this highest frequency most Pioneer surround modes are disabled.
Again at this time I’m again leaning toward using the SC-61s processing. I guess I'm in complete agreement with its talented designers. The foobar player will act like a CD player and output the exact same data over HDMI.
Note: used the JL Audio f113 subwoofer which offers always impressive bass, like the crazy low-end of track Bobby’s Girl (the mastering engineer probably didn’t hear it or would have filtered it).
Now back to stereo sources with huge vocal soundstages. like Battle of the Green Beret!

If you want to hear the Pioneer in its best you should try the Chesky 192/24 WAV CDs..
I attached a link below for you.
CDs from the 60s are analog, and though some may be remastered they are frequently noisy, their output levels and dynamic range are too low..
Recording performance capability has come a long way in the last 50 years... biggrin.gif

http://www.chesky.com/index.html


Just my $0.02.. wink.gif
post #47 of 140
Hey All,

I am looking at the 60 or the 61. Seems to be a big price difference and I would guess that is because of the class D amp on the 61.
Has anyone done an AB between the two? Will the sound quality be that much better to justify the almost double in price?
post #48 of 140
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcarithers View Post

Hey All,
I am looking at the 60 or the 61. Seems to be a big price difference and I would guess that is because of the class D amp on the 61.
Has anyone done an AB between the two? Will the sound quality be that much better to justify the almost double in price?
The price on Amazon is outstanding for the performance. I will ignore any support issues except the highly seller said I could send it back to him.
post #49 of 140
Thread Starter 
I was looking at the two pound heavier SC-65 as I may purchase a second receiver (they are that good!) I noticed one difference is the addition of DTS:Neo:X an 11.1 channel surround system.

Then it dawned on me why Thx recommend the every speaker’s bass filtered out and sent to the MONO sub-woofer.

The key evidence is to realize that there are VERY FEW static pictures showing a typical family or home theater with 11.1 channels. Why?
Because there is no room for 11 full range speakers! They would totally dominate the room and look like hell.

Here is the only picture I found which designers use for all them channels:


The fact is speakers need space to develop an image. They cannot shake or wobble on stands and need distance from the walls. So can anyone picture an 11.2 system in their room?
From the picture look at the special, large, flat flange attaching the speakers in the laboratory. This reduces cabinet vibration and improves imaging. Picture how these same speakers would look if they were moved away from the wall to image better.
Even the laboratory would look messy.

My advice is to start with 5.1 channels and work hard to get everything right, by select the right components and tweak the speakers properly so they image hugely and precisely.
This means the height off the floor so the tweeter is about ear level. I used three concrete patio blocks to raise the JBL 530 speaker up so the image floated freely, then attached spiked feet to refine the bass and allow precise imaging.
For the larger JBL LS80 I added spiked feet attached to a 12x12" patio block. Note: this speaker only came with rubber feet, a huge mistake.
So create the best 5.1 system then decide how much of a return the extra speakers add, if any.

The Pioneer SC receivers fit this bill tremendously as they float a huge image all around you with “just” a 5.1 system. Sounds can be located precisely, as if a speaker where located there. A virtual speaker!
Better off to bi-amp the full range front channels and use fewer full-range speakers to allow each to reproduce high-fidelity sound.
Edited by HiFiFun - 8/12/12 at 9:55am
post #50 of 140
actually, the photo you linked was used by SRS in their promotion of true object-oriented 3D audio wink.gif

rather than speakers & channels, they were pursuing sound coupled with metadata that had the xyz coordinates associated with that sound. This has been used in PC gaming for quite awhile but hasn't caught on in the AV world which chose to use matrix derived surround, using more & more # of channels & speakers tongue.gif

when I was building my own PC's, I had a Diamond MM sound card using the Aureal 3D chip and system. Aureal could position sounds anywhere around your head, forward, back and pans. It was uncanny with headphones! It worked with std desktop speakers but with headphones, it was spooky real.

then Creative bought out Aureal & shut 'em down, since they pursued their own "Live" technique of creating a surround field using reverb and other effects.

To me it seemed SRS was re-inventing the Aureal model when DTS bought them out this year. Whether 3D audio positioning sees the light of day now depends on whether DTS wants to pursue & use NeoX as a foundation for it. And SRS was promoting an open source consortium to refine it and produce real hardware. Now that DTS owns it all, it'll be interesting to see if it stays open source or even gets developed at all wink.gif Then again, they may see it as a game changer & that would be great.

Besides being able to position audio anywhere around the listening positions, they would not be bound by # of channels or physical speakers.
post #51 of 140
Thread Starter 
Reasons to Upgrade to the SC-68
The SC-68 extends the bi-amping capability of the SC-61 by adding the bi-amping option for both the front AND surround channels.
Putting the extra two amplifiers to work is a very useful feature in a 5.1 system. The feature is not included in the similar nine channel SC-65.

However the center channel still remains single-amped. How about 10 amplifiers Pioneer?
This would be a true high end system with nothing left to upgrade!
post #52 of 140
Thread Starter 
Optimizing Digital Filters Before Applying Auto-Equalization
In digital sampling theory digital filters are a necessary evil in that they greatly attenuate out-of-band high-frequencies.

However it is becoming well known that they also introduce audible and unnatural overtones to digital playback especially when there is a transient signal (read all the time). Now 30 years into digital playback, this common artifact is exposed a major source of brightness or harshness which incidentally cannot be removed by auto-calibration.

The SC-61 audible superiority has made the effects of these nasty digital filters all the more apparent. It's peeling back the layers of the artifact onion.
The anomaly is being dealt with on several fronts. Original credit goes to high-end manufacture Meridian Audio who introduced the first apodizing up-sampling digital filters about 10 years ago. The technology has recently been included in Dolby TrueHD option on the mastering side:
http://www.dolby.com/uploadedFiles/Assets/US/Doc/Professional/Dolby_TrueHD_Encoder_WhitePaper_web.pdf

Why have the improvements taken so long to correct? The root cause can be traced to the high-end cottage industry inability to use HDMI in conjunction with HTPC. Their dilemma is reoccurring : it sounds better but how can i add value? Well they can't, unless they build their own hugely expensive proprietary computer with two legacy analog outputs. So that has been their solution: $5K+ digital players (for that 1%).

The good news is everything has come together for the consumer.
There are several options to reduce or eliminate the pre-echo of standard digital filters, all of which involve up-sampling:

First natively, Pioneer knew many years ago the audible effects of digital filters. The SC-65 and 68 include three selections of digital filters: slow, sharp and short.
The key question is are any of these the apodizing which remove or shift the pre-echo into the transient (where it is masked)?

SC-61 owners can use the Foobar2000 player to hear first hand the improvements of the latest digital filters using the Pioneer's 176KHz decoding capability. There is no cost as the upgrade is simply updating the digital filter software. Here is the new Sox digital filter plugin for foobar2000:
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=67373&st=0&p=732180entry732180

Sox manual:
A phase response setting may be used to control the distribution
of any transient echo between ‘pre’ and ‘post’: with minimum
phase, there is no pre-echo but the longest post-echo; with lin-
ear phase, pre and post echo are in equal amounts (in signal
terms, but not audibility terms); the intermediate phase setting
attempts to find the best compromise by selecting a small length
(and level) of pre-echo and a medium lengthed post-echo.
Edited by HiFiFun - 8/16/12 at 5:29am
post #53 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiFun View Post

Reasons to Upgrade to the SC-68
The SC-68 extends the bi-amping capability of the SC-61 by adding the bi-amping option for both the front AND surround channels.
Putting the extra two amplifiers to work is a very useful feature in a 5.1 system. The feature is not included in the similar nine channel SC-65.

However the center channel still remains single-amped. How about 10 amplifiers Pioneer?
This would be a true high end system with nothing left to upgrade!

not a knock on the unit in any way, but as a "consumer advocate", you probably shouldn't be extolling the virtues of the ability to passively bi-amp... wink.gif
post #54 of 140
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by M Code View Post

If you want to hear the Pioneer in its best you should try the Chesky 192/24 WAV CDs..
I attached a link below for you.
CDs from the 60s are analog, and though some may be remastered they are frequently noisy, their output levels and dynamic range are too low..
Recording performance capability has come a long way in the last 50 years... biggrin.gif
http://www.chesky.com/index.html
Just my $0.02.. wink.gif
Of course I agree. I'm testing tonal quality and spectral balance only here, using some of the most obnoxious sound quality ever created.
I have a collection of 1950 music (like Steve Hoffman Music for a Bachelor's Den) which sounds pretty darn natural.

Its all to easy to cringe on these 1960's transistor sound. But I find it a challenge to tweak these to see how musical they can be made to sound.
As I've posted since then, I've been testing both spike or not to spike speaker feet combined with bright, harsh digital filters. Determining the best reality, is time consuming with multiple "failures" occurring simultaneously.

My Triton Two speakers finally sound excellent on a concrete floor with spikes (made the most improvement) and then tuned with the latest Sox upsampling digital filter. I also removed the cloth grill, then carefully adjusted the built-in bass level. I saw the gritty Get the Gringo Dvd and the Dolby Digital soundtrack was really musical.

The JBL LS80 sounds best with grills off, rubber feet back on, but setting on a concrete patio block on top of the carpeting. They are a bit sweeter but less precise than the 570.

The 570 is complicated in that its grill only covers 25% of the horn, but effects the sound dramatically. No grill and spiked feet probably go to far. Now that I have the more musical Apodizing filter, I will once again tweak for the best sound. All this new precision, dynamic sound is richly rewarding.
I've got several ripped Chelsky Cds, along with 55 dvd-audio on my listening queue, but I will look into the 192/24 along with Norway's 2L.

To take advantage fo the Pioneers extraordinary soundfield I did purchase the 530 rears and 520 center channel to get the same seamless JBL signature sound.

I do plan to be lazy and hit the auto-cal button, but first things first.
post #55 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiFun View Post

Of course I agree. I'm testing tonal quality and spectral balance only here, using some of the most obnoxious sound quality ever created.
I have a collection of 1950 music (like Steve Hoffman Music for a Bachelor's Den) which sounds pretty darn natural.
Its all to easy to cringe on these 1960's transistor sound. But I find it a challenge to tweak these to see how musical they can be made to sound.
As I've posted since then, I've been testing both spike or not to spike speaker feet combined with bright, harsh digital filters. Determining the best reality, is time consuming with multiple "failures" occurring simultaneously.
My Triton Two speakers finally sound excellent on a concrete floor with spikes (made the most improvement) and then tuned with the latest Sox upsampling digital filter. I also removed the cloth grill, then carefully adjusted the built-in bass level. I saw the gritty Get the Gringo Dvd and the Dolby Digital soundtrack was really musical.
The JBL LS80 sounds best with grills off, rubber feet back on, but setting on a concrete patio block on top of the carpeting. They are a bit sweeter but less precise than the 570.
The 570 is complicated in that its grill only covers 25% of the horn, but effects the sound dramatically. No grill and spiked feet probably go to far. Now that I have the more musical Apodizing filter, I will once again tweak for the best sound. All this new precision, dynamic sound is richly rewarding.
I've got several ripped Chelsky Cds, along with 55 dvd-audio on my listening queue, but I will look into the 192/24 along with Norway's 2L.
To take advantage fo the Pioneers extraordinary soundfield I did purchase the 530 rears and 520 center channel to get the same seamless JBL signature sound.
I do plan to be lazy and hit the auto-cal button, but first things first.

The LS80 is an excellent loudspeaker but the user does have to make some mods to get the best out of them..
The 2" horn/compression driver has an excellent horizontal dispersion but limited for the vertical dispersion, we addressed this by making some smaller angled 1" wedges that slide up in the front L/R corners elevating the cabinet about 1" in the front. This helped dramatically and made the system sound much fuller, especially for the crucial mid-range frequencies between 1.5k up to 7kHz. We were also running the LS Center, LS40 and LS120P though they were expensive, it helps to have a neighbor who is a high ranking JBL executve that gets great employee, accomodation pricing.. . cool.gif

We did get a chance to talk with Mr.Timbers (chief JBL engineer) a couple of weeks back and he acknowledged some of our observations. Mr.Timbers has been @ JBL for about 40 years after taking over for the legendary Mr.Ed May who invented many of the original JBL design patents. Though I like the JBL loudspeakers, I am going back to my B&Ws which to my ear simply had a smoother, better balance between the low frequencies and more spaciousness and transparency for the upper frequencies. I just sold the JBL LS80s, Center, LS40s and LS120P and actually made more $ than I paid for these...

Just my $0.02... wink.gif
post #56 of 140
I've looked but the only difference I can find between the 61 and the $200 more 63 is the addition of an aluminum front. Is that all?
post #57 of 140
SC-63 also adds PC Setup w/Remote Maint
post #58 of 140
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by M Code View Post

The LS80 is an excellent loudspeaker but the user does have to make some mods to get the best out of them..
The 2" horn/compression driver has an excellent horizontal dispersion but limited for the vertical dispersion, we addressed this by making some smaller angled 1" wedges that slide up in the front L/R corners elevating the cabinet about 1" in the front. This helped dramatically and made the system sound much fuller, especially for the crucial mid-range frequencies between 1.5k up to 7kHz. We were also running the LS Center, LS40 and LS120P though they were expensive, it helps to have a neighbor who is a high ranking JBL executve that gets great employee, accomodation pricing.. . cool.gif
We did get a chance to talk with Mr.Timbers (chief JBL engineer) a couple of weeks back and he acknowledged some of our observations. Mr.Timbers has been @ JBL for about 40 years after taking over for the legendary Mr.Ed May who invented many of the original JBL design patents. Though I like the JBL loudspeakers, I am going back to my B&Ws which to my ear simply had a smoother, better balance between the low frequencies and more spaciousness and transparency for the upper frequencies. I just sold the JBL LS80s, Center, LS40s and LS120P and actually made more $ than I paid for these...
Just my $0.02... wink.gif
The limited vertical dispersion is an issue for the LS80. But it was corrected in the new and less expensive Studio series. It is also most important that the center of the horn be near ear level height, to eliminate sonic anomalies.
I went back and forth between the LS80 and the 570 and ended up selecting the bi-amped 570 because of remarkable soundfield imaging.
In both cases I used the supreme JL Audio 113 subwoofer anchor in the middle of the speakers speakers and below my 120" projection screen.
Note: with little gear (obstructions) in the center, front projector systems offer the best imaging.

I raised up the 570 six inches (four patio blocks) using just the normal rubber ft. Toe-in is so critical, I'm not used to such extreme precision. But once locked in the Pioneer SC receiver and the 570 offer phenomenal imaging at high volume levels with no strain. The LS80 had a certain sweetness (second harmonic?). I will modify mine as you did. Note: all speakers and electronics (and people) take some time to break-in, so you just can't set-up in two seconds and expect the best sound quality.

Your selection of the B&W is understood to be the more traditional musical choice. Mastering engineering systems use B&W, but movie theaters use horns.
Note: the British reviewers luv these ballsy JBL's - certainly a milestone in musical history.
Why not get the same dynamics, articulation and immerse atmosphere at home? Home theater systems should not be polite: "what did you say?"! Note: i purchased the 520C center channel for two of my systems for maximum intelligibility.

I'm at the point where i think what i've set-up is higher fidelity with lower distortion. Its been quite a challenge to rectify so many deficiencies. But that is price-of-progress. Many like a little sugar on top. Even worse Boston Markets banned the use of salt shakers on their already very salty food. True progress? I feel it now: it must be time to do auto-equalization to enhance my sound! Note: my Triton II and Adam ARTist 3 both used Heil tweeters and are softer and sweet too.

I have listened to many of the free 2L recordings from Norway which anyone can download. The higher sampling rate offer a more pristine tonality and air around the instruments.
http://www.2l.no/hires/
Note the Pioneer cannot decode the 352KHz master sampling rates!

Two more things: an Amazon reviewer compares Pioneer vs Onkyo vs Denon and finds the SC-61 to play the loudest:
http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-SC-61-Channel-Network-Receiver/product-reviews/B008530P7W/ref=cm_cr_dp_see_all_summary?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending

On most systems this noise band will sound terrible, but not on my optimized Pioneer and JBL system. Of course I use foobar2000 player, with the Sox oversampler set to 4X (176KHz) and set for minimal pre-ringing (read as all system settings are interrelated). Its pretty cool and unique experience:
http://www.amazon.com/Treats-Sleigh-Bells/dp/B003KT3NS4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1346095341&sr=8-1&keywords=sleigh+bells+treats
Edited by HiFiFun - 8/27/12 at 1:22pm
post #59 of 140
Thread Starter 
High-end audio is all about refinement. This involves peeling off the layers to achieve new sonic heights.
It's enlightening to conduct a face-off of different components. I've already done this for speakers.
With the Pioneer SC-61 being so clean and dynamic, it became apparent that my HTPC was the weakest leak.

As everyone knows computer are noisy, and not just audibly. They considerable RF and EMI generators. Using HDMI avoids some of the issues but not as many as you would hope!
I've played the new Battleship movie many times using my reference Samsung 6700 Blu-ray player comparing against my HTPCwith Asus 6800 video card.

The Pioneer revealed that the Samsung was cleaner under loud dynamic conditions. So i substituted another mini i3 Gateway HTPC with a low-proifile ATI 66xx card. I was pleasantly surprised with the authority and weight of vocals and the clean delineation of treble. This is the first time the 6700 player has "lost" in a face-off.
So i was left to ponder where in the first HTPC was the sonic affliction? Power supply, board or the video card? So i installed the low profile AMD card and notice a large improvement.
To that end, I'm moving on to the latest low power HTPC card:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202002

Note the sonic issues i heard with the JBL speakers with the video card replacement are gone.
After this layer was removed i was able to hear the effects of the Passband and Phase Response of the Sox upsampling digital filter.

The Passband is like a Presence control with the minimum sound "dry" as a dry wine.
The Phase Response is the transient control so i keep that set low to keep the pre-echo fairly flat.

While the Battleship sound is impressive, the extreme low bass has been filtered out.
There is all sorts of multiple faults/limitations occurring simultaneously, so the challenge is to keep testing (and upgrading when necessary) to make progress.
The further you go, the easier it is to hear anomalies and the more rewarding the sound quality.
I'm very pleased with the kick-ass sound quality the Pioneer and JBL combination. True progress!
Edited by HiFiFun - 9/4/12 at 4:40am
post #60 of 140
Thread Starter 
One important lesson I've learned:
Should you select speakers with forward firing woofers or side firing?

Normally only choose front firing woofers, especially when there is nothing to physically block between the speakers, as with front projection systems.

Side firing woofers are acceptable when your gear and sub-woofer are located between the left and right woofers. This creates a necessary degree of isolation.

I state this here because, otherwise the Pioneer will never sound its best.
Knowing this, we see why Thx recommends the compromise of redirecting bass away from (even) full range main speakers to just one woofer.
Edited by HiFiFun - 9/4/12 at 4:43am
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Receivers, Amps, and Processors
AVS › AVS Forum › Audio › Receivers, Amps, and Processors › Pioneer's Reasonably Priced SC-61 Class D Receiver