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"The" Onkyo TX-SR875 Thread - Page 189

post #5641 of 6042
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Blackburn View Post

The issue comes up because the lower cost stand-alone processors' prices tend to start at $1500 or so and go up from there. An AVR model without the amplifiers but similar sound quality if you bypass the amplifiers may sell for $1000 or even less. The surround processor may carry some extra features like XLR inputs and/or outputs that the comparable AVR doesn't have - but the circuit boards inside may be the same circuit boards used in a less expensive AVR.

As you move into higher price ranges and non-Asian manufacturers, you tend to see processors that may not have AVR "brothers" - but if the company does sell an AVR, there's a good chance there's a lot in common between the AVR and processor. We assume a $2000 processor is going to be "better" than a $2000 AVR, but it may not necessarily be true if you bypass the $2000 AVR's amps. Now... if you are going to spend $2000 on a processor, you probably would go for the stand-alone processor since there's no reason to confuse things with idling amplifiers in a $2000 AVR. But if you can get a $1000 AVR that sounds as good as a $2000 processor... bypassing the internal amplifiers might sound like a great way to save $1000 since you are going to have the external amps for the $2000 processor anyway.

When I review an AVR, it is always helpful to know how the front-end performs and how the "back end" or amplifier section performs as separate entities even though few owners may ever use the AVR that way. But some enthusiasts on a budget might consider something like an AVR selling for, say $800 or even less if the front-end sounds great because their stand-alone processor options may not start until well over $800. They won't care about the amplifier sound as long as the front-end processing works well.

Something very significant happened with the sound quality of AVRs in general about 3 years ago - I still don't know what it is... but it is NOT digital amplifiers as the AVRs I find to have good-sounding amplifier sections don't have digital amplifiers. AVRs still can't control a speaker like a decent stand-alone amp... they just don't have the power supply capability to provide the drive capabilities, especially in the bass octaves, that you get from a good standalone amp. Of course, the whole AVR may cost less than a good stereo stand-alone amp... you do (often) get what you pay for in external amps. I have stereo amps here that have a transformer or transformers that weigh more than entire AVRs... and that's a key to getting superior current-drive and control capabilities. The sound quality improvement in AVR amps has been observed in AVRs with both integrated circuit amps and discrete transistors. I remain a non-fan of digital amplifiers, though some standalone high-ish-end digital amps are starting to sound pretty good.

Another AVR feature that had been appearing in more and more AVRs in recent years is the ability to assign amplifier channel in several different ways including bi-amplifying the front main speakers - this has made a HUGE difference in driving my reference speakers (Vandersteen 3A Signature nominal 6-ohm rating with 2 or 3 dips to 4 ohms or so). A single 125 watt AVR amp driving these speakers typically sounds very uninspiring but when these are bi-amped with good AVR amps, they sound FAR better... good enough that one could live with the AVR's amps whereas 4 or more years ago, an AVR in a similar place in the product line (no fair comparing an earlier top of the line model to a current middle-of-the-line model) would not produce sound that's very listenable.

If you are discussing top of the line AVRs ONLY... I don't see the big changes I've encountered in mid-priced and lower-priced models. Denon's top of the line hasn't changed much over the years, for example.

Well that could likely be the case...but I consider the 875 on the higher end of AVR's...and I was only comparing it to older units that were on the higher end of AVR's. The AVR's I mentioned earlier were all THX ultra rated...excluding the Yamaha RX-V1 and I am certain it would have passed..for some reason Yamaha didn't want to pay the licensing fee

Getting back to the receiver as a pre-amp. I don't recall anytime where there was a "mid-line" line preamp. They were always on the upper and high end of the product range
To make it easy..you can use the Onkyo products as examples...my Prsc885 preamp is basically a 905 without the amplifier section....as is the PRSC886 is just like the 906 minus the amps...both pre-amp units were less expensive than their receiver brethren . Like the receivers they could be bought as refurbs from Shop onkyo or accessories4less. For the record the 3 onkyo pieces I have purchased have all been refurbs from one of those establishments
I make some assumption here that the 905 has some sound advantages over the 875( ditto with 906 over 876) that are non-amp related.
I also know that a good mutichannel amp is going to cost more than the difference in the pre-amp and receiver....but any good amp is likely to outperform the internal amp of one of those receivers...especially in a low impedance situation at high volume levels

That being said...and I guess I need to address this in the 905/906 forum if it applies
Why would someone buy a high end receiver and use a separate amplifier?
That is not the least expensive alternative for the same sound

The other preamps..Lexicon...Meridian..Classe..etc...are not part of the equation as I consider them to be a of better sound quality and much higher pricing than anything in the Onkyo line..preamp or otherwise


Warren
post #5642 of 6042
Doug your advice was going great except when you said that since my receiver was 8 years old the sound sucks. I am trying not to be critical of you but using the analog inputs blu-rays fricken rock with this thing, also any 2 channel listening is awesome. Truly i would think side by side at medium level listening most would prefer the 8 year old pioneer over the newer onkyo (disclaimer i have not heard the onkyo). The onkyo has alot of newer features i like and more power that is why i was considering it. My pioneer is the vsx-45tx for those interested. By the way someone snatched up the tx-sr875 before me oh well. I have decided to just stick with the pioneer for now, if another 875 comes along i will surely consider it again so i can come back to you guys!
post #5643 of 6042
Quote:
Originally Posted by turnne1 View Post

Why would someone buy a high end receiver and use a separate amplifier?
That is not the least expensive alternative for the same sound

With good receiver you may decide to add just stereo amp for front channels. Surrounds can be easily driven by receiver's amps. This is cheaper than comparable pre-processor
plus 5-7 channels power amp.
post #5644 of 6042
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIT RATE MASTER View Post

Doug your advice was going great except when you said that since my receiver was 8 years old the sound sucks. I am trying not to be critical of you but using the analog inputs blu-rays fricken rock with this thing, also any 2 channel listening is awesome. Truly i would think side by side at medium level listening most would prefer the 8 year old pioneer over the newer onkyo (disclaimer i have not heard the onkyo). The onkyo has alot of newer features i like and more power that is why i was considering it. My pioneer is the vsx-45tx for those interested. By the way someone snatched up the tx-sr875 before me oh well. I have decided to just stick with the pioneer for now, if another 875 comes along i will surely consider it again so i can come back to you guys!

I would tend to agree with you..as I said in an earlier post. I have a Pioneer Elite VSX47-TX...given the same possible format...ie..DD,DTS or stereo the elite is a better unit..bit it was also twice the MSRP of the 875 when it was new


Bitrate master
FYI...I sent you a PM as I know where there is an 875 for sale


Warren
post #5645 of 6042
Quote:
Originally Posted by ap1 View Post

With good receiver you may decide to add just stereo amp for front channels. Surrounds can be easily driven by receiver's amps. This is cheaper than comparable pre-processor
plus 5-7 channels power amp.

Understood that it is less expensive...but would there not be some sacrifice in sound quality?


Warren
post #5646 of 6042
Quote:
Originally Posted by turnne1 View Post

I consider the 875 on the higher end of AVR's...and I was only comparing it to older units that were on the higher end of AVR's.

The "high-end" of Asian AVR pricing is now in the $3000-$8000 range (varies by manufacturer). With the 875 having an MSRP of $1700 and selling mostly in the $900-$1400 range when it was a current product, it's far from the top-end of AVRs, price-wise.
post #5647 of 6042
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Blackburn View Post

The "high-end" of Asian AVR pricing is now in the $3000-$8000 range (varies by manufacturer). With the 875 having an MSRP of $1700 and selling mostly in the $900-$1400 range when it was a current product, it's far from the top-end of AVRs, price-wise.

Onkyo never had real "high-end" AVR (price wise) in their lineup. 875 was second model from the top that model year, and shared with it almost all components (with exception of power transformer and network processor. Other boards were the same, which can be seen in service manual common for both models.
post #5648 of 6042
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Blackburn View Post

The "high-end" of Asian AVR pricing is now in the $3000-$8000 range (varies by manufacturer). With the 875 having an MSRP of $1700 and selling mostly in the $900-$1400 range when it was a current product, it's far from the top-end of AVRs, price-wise.

I didn't say it was "top" end..I said it was in the high end. A mid line AVR is in the $500-600 range...ie..Pioneer 1019..or Yamaha 663. A top end would be a Denon 5308
And where do you find an AVR ( from any manufacturer) that is 8K?

And if you are using transaction prices vs retail then the competitve Denon products with similar specs are all in a higher end category than the Onkyo...simply they have higher transaction prices..ie...875 vs 3808 and 905 vs 4308
In fact the 3808 had a lower MSRP but a higher actual transaction price...a fact that still remains the case even on the used ( ebay, audiogon etc) market


Warren
post #5649 of 6042
Quote:
Originally Posted by ap1 View Post

Onkyo never had real "high-end" AVR (price wise) in their lineup. 875 was second model from the top that model year, and shared with it almost all components (with exception of power transformer and network processor. Other boards were the same, which can be seen in service manual common for both models.

and when you take the actual transaction prices in the equation it really changes things
They did( and still do) sell at a huge discount from MSRP. I am not even taking into the account the 1/2 price MSRP( or more) refurbs sold the next year of the prior years models

You ever notice how Yamaha and Denon, for example, seem to sell for a lot closer to MSRP?


Warren
post #5650 of 6042
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Blackburn View Post

You don't need much power to drive ANY Klipsch speaker - you won't have enough difference in power to worry about if the difference is 40 watts.

For example... it is generally accepted that a 10 dB increase in SPL (aka "volume") is what people call "twice as loud". In other words, if you hear sound at 70 dB, you'd think 80 dB was about twice as loud and 60 dB would be about half as loud.

You have to double amplifier watts to get a 3 dB increase in SPL (volume level). That means for an amplifier to play any speaker "twice as loud", you would have to double the amplifier power a little more than 2 times. That means a 100 w amp would have to be about 480 watts for you to double the sound pressure level (aka volume). Going from 90 watts to 125 watts is NOTHING. Your maximum sound pressure level would go up maybe 1 or 1.25 dB.

Your Klipsch speakers are rated at 98 dB for 1 watt at 1 meter. That means probably 95 dB at a more typical listening distance (say 8 feet or so). 95 dB is LOUD... too damn loud to be listening to for any length of time. Hearing damage begins within 5 minutes at sustained sound pressure levels of 95 dB or more. 95 dB is the reference level for movies... which I find to be too loud. You'll get 98 dB with just 2 watts, 101 dB with just 4 watts, 104 dB with 8 watts, 107 dB with 16 watts, 110 dB with 32 watts. Nobody in their right mind would listen to their system playing that loudly - it is bordering on the threshold of pain. To say nothing of how fast it can damage your hearing.

Do you STILL think you need more power for the speakers? Hint: You shouldn't.

More power isn't the real issue. If your Pioneer is 8 years old, the sound quality SUCKS. All AVRs had sucky sound quality back then. Something happened about 3 years ago... some power amp ICs (integrated circuits) began appearing that sound surprisingly good. That's what is in the 875... it and just about every AVR I've heard in the last 3 years all sound MUCH better than older AVRs. Prior to about 3 years ago, AVRs sounded uniformly dark, compressed, thin, closed-in, and had very unimpressive highs and poor bass quality. Newer AVRs sound so much better it's hard to describe - everything is better from bottom to top.

So forget more watts as being any sort of influence on whether you need a newer AVR or not. You should focus entirely on better sonics and more "modern" features. But keep in mind, the 875 is already old enough that it doesn't support any of the "latest" features like 3D.

Just browsing through the thread and noticed the calculations are off in this explanation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Blackburn View Post

Your Klipsch speakers are rated at 98 dB for 1 watt at 1 meter. That means probably 95 dB at a more typical listening distance (say 8 feet or so)

The 1/r law states that doubling the distance drops the sound pressure level about 6 dB and that 10 times the distance drops the sound pressure to a tenth (0.1), that is a level drop by 20 dB. So, the actual value at an 8 ft seating distance with 1W would be about 90 dB, 88 dB @ 10 ft. , and 86 dB @ 12 ft. This changes the calculations and shows that more CLEAN watts than the 875 can deliver are likely necessary for even this VERY efficient speaker.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Blackburn View Post

You'll get 98 dB with just 2 watts, 101 dB with just 4 watts, 104 dB with 8 watts, 107 dB with 16 watts, 110 dB with 32 watts. Nobody in their right mind would listen to their system playing that loudly - it is bordering on the threshold of pain. To say nothing of how fast it can damage your hearing.

So, at 10 ft. you'll get 91 dB @ 2W, 94 dB @ 4W, 97 dB @ 8W, 100 dB @ 16W, 103 dB @ 32W, 106 dB @ 64W, 109 dB @ 128W, 112 dB @ 256W. Considering dynamic peaks in movie soundtracks at reference level reach to 105 - 110 dB, the 875 receiver will likely be up to the task, but may not fare too well during the transient peaks with all 7 channels driven.

However, for a speaker with an average sensitivity of, let's say 92 dB, things are not looking good for the receiver...We have about 82 dB @ 10 ft with 1W. So, you'll get 85 dB @ 2W, 88 dB @ 4W, 91 dB @ 8W, 94 dB @ 16W, 97 dB @ 32W, 100 dB @ 64W, 103 dB @ 128W, 106 dB @ 256W, and 109 dB @ 512W. At reference level I would bet that the receiver will be clipping at points in the soundtrack, which is why a quality amp is always a good idea if you listen at reference volumes and you don't want to risk damaging your speakers.

This is the reason I'm adding an amp to my 875. YMMV
post #5651 of 6042
Quote:
Originally Posted by turnne1 View Post

I would tend to agree with you..as I said in an earlier post. I have a Pioneer Elite VSX47-TX...given the same possible format...ie..DD,DTS or stereo the elite is a better unit..bit it was also twice the MSRP of the 875 when it was new


Bitrate master
FYI...I sent you a PM as I know where there is an 875 for sale


Warren

Hello,
Warren, I too used a flagship Pioneer of that era (VSX-49txi) before the 875 and I actually think that thanks to Audyssey MultEQ XT and newer Burr Brown DAC's, that the 875 sounds better.

I should preface this with I use outboard Amplification for all channels as I did with my Pioneer. The Pioneer certainly was a far better looking piece of Industrial Design. I truly think the VSX-47/49/59 are some of the most beautiful AVR's ever made. I do miss looking at it in my rack, but I do think that Audyssey MultEQ XT does a better job than the first generation MCACC.

I cannot make judgement of the current MCACC as I have never used a current Pioneer AVR in my HT.
Cheers,
AD
post #5652 of 6042
wtf audiodork you should be the perfect judger of this anomaly but you just had to use outboard amps. Okay for mutli channel input (no odyssey or mcacc) it has to admittedly be that they are both nearly equally matched. Equally matched is the key here, doug i am surprised you have so many post but not enough knowledge to know that a 8 year old receiver is still at least capable (not even close to sucking).
post #5653 of 6042
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gooddoc View Post

Just browsing through the thread and noticed the calculations are off in this explanation.

I didn't do any "calculations" and didn't need to. He's, presumably not using the speakers in an anechoic chamber or outside in a large area with no obstructions. I assumed he was in a room inside a house and my estimates are close enough to make the point. No "calculations" are needed to make this point either. SPL in a room in typical homes doesn't drop-off as fast as it does in an anechoic chamber or outdoors in wide open spaces.
post #5654 of 6042
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIT RATE MASTER View Post

wtf audiodork you should be the perfect judger of this anomaly but you just had to use outboard amps. Okay for mutli channel input (no odyssey or mcacc) it has to admittedly be that they are both nearly equally matched. Equally matched is the key here, doug i am surprised you have so many post but not enough knowledge to know that a 8 year old receiver is still at least capable (not even close to sucking).

Just reporting my experience. And also referring to duty as a HOME THEATER surround sound product with digital inputs. It really doesn't matter much what 2-channel analog sounds like for purposes of this discussion since today's sources are all digital and that's where most people are going to want all the performance. And it doesn't much matter what the 5.1 analog inputs sound like in an 8-year-old product because there are few disc players that permit reasonably flexible settings for speaker distances, crossovers, speaker size, volume level (less than 1 dB SPL increments), or applying rooom correction, etc. When you move up from all the limitations in an 8 year old AVR to a current good-performing AVR and you setup everything the new product can do... you get better sound. What's the point of removing all the new capabilities from the newer product to try to "knock it down" a few notches? The fact is, the newer product has capabilities the older product does not have and those capabilities lead to better sound if you use the capabilities correctly.
post #5655 of 6042
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Blackburn View Post

I didn't do any "calculations" and didn't need to. He's, presumably not using the speakers in an anechoic chamber or outside in a large area with no obstructions. I assumed he was in a room inside a house and my estimates are close enough to make the point. No "calculations" are needed to make this point either. SPL in a room in typical homes doesn't drop-off as fast as it does in an anechoic chamber or outdoors in wide open spaces.

First, my post was not meant as a criticism of your explanation, as I thought it was quite cogent. However, distance from the speaker does matter if you're going to calculate SPL, even if it's in a home with walls. Many manufacturers publish anechoic AND in-room sensitivities, which account for room gain, so it is possible to to determine what amplification might be necessary to reach a specific SPL at various seating positions. My only point was that distance makes a fairly large difference in the amount of amplification necessary. Although you took the time to "figure out" (not calculate - my bad) the 3 dB rule for doubling of amplification, you dismiss out-of-hand the rule that subtracts 6 dB for doubling of distance. I mean you can't just make up a starting SPL and then proceed to construct an argument around it. As far as I understand it, and I'm no audio engineer, whether its anechoic or in-room the rules should apply in each instance as long as all other variables remain constant.
Your post suggested that the person shouldn't need any more amplification than the 875 could deliver and your numbers supported that contention quite convincingly. The reason I responded to your post is that I read it and thought to myself, "If that's true, I probably don't need an amp". But when I ran the numbers with distance calculated, and a lower starting SPL, I realized it made a fairly big difference in potential amplification needed since the starting sensitivity was significantly lower. So your post was misleading for me, and potentially for others as well that might not have taken the time to run the numbers. Personally I'm not convinced the person you responded to shouldn't get better amplification than the 875, even with his very efficient speakers.
And by the way, this is in no way a personal attack on you as it appears you are quite knowledgeable in this area. I just disagree with you on this particular point. Lets keep it as a spirited, friendly debate as that is how I see it.
post #5656 of 6042
Hello,
Doug, your Review of the TX-SR875 in Widescreen Review was fantastic and a big reason I decided on purchasing one. It is a shame the PDF is no longer available on the Audyssey Website as it is truly one of the best written, most comprehensive Reviews of an AVR I have ever read.

I meant to mention this earlier, but have been swamped. For those Owners of the 875 who did not save the PDF or have a copy of WSR, I highly recommend picking up the Back Issue or Subscribing to WSR.
Cheers,
AD
post #5657 of 6042
Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiodork View Post

Hello,
Warren, I too used a flagship Pioneer of that era (VSX-49txi) before the 875 and I actually think that thanks to Audyssey MultEQ XT and newer Burr Brown DAC's, that the 875 sounds better.

I should preface this with I use outboard Amplification for all channels as I did with my Pioneer. The Pioneer certainly was a far better looking piece of Industrial Design. I truly think the VSX-47/49/59 are some of the most beautiful AVR's ever made. I do miss looking at it in my rack, but I do think that Audyssey MultEQ XT does a better job than the first generation MCACC.

I cannot make judgement of the current MCACC as I have never used a current Pioneer AVR in my HT.
Cheers,
AD

yikes...can I ask why you spent that much on a receiver, the Pioneer VSX 49 and used outboard amps?....that had to be a $3500-4000 retail price piece
And to me the Pioneer has one heck of an analog section and a more robust power supply than the 875
But...a lot more expensive piece also...so in some regards it might be an apples and oranges comparo
I suspect a person that spent the money to buy a Pioneer Elite VSx 47 or 49 has some very limited choices if they want that old school power supply and analog section as well as the newest codes built in...the Denon 5308 comes to mind...other than that..separates are the only alternative


Warren
post #5658 of 6042
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Blackburn View Post

Just reporting my experience. And also referring to duty as a HOME THEATER surround sound product with digital inputs. It really doesn't matter much what 2-channel analog sounds like for purposes of this discussion since today's sources are all digital and that's where most people are going to want all the performance. And it doesn't much matter what the 5.1 analog inputs sound like in an 8-year-old product because there are few disc players that permit reasonably flexible settings for speaker distances, crossovers, speaker size, volume level (less than 1 dB SPL increments), or applying rooom correction, etc. When you move up from all the limitations in an 8 year old AVR to a current good-performing AVR and you setup everything the new product can do... you get better sound. What's the point of removing all the new capabilities from the newer product to try to "knock it down" a few notches? The fact is, the newer product has capabilities the older product does not have and those capabilities lead to better sound if you use the capabilities correctly.


what products are you looking at( brand and model#'s)?...why do I get the feeling you haven't listened to the higher end pieces?

At the low/mid line level..I would agree with you...at the high end absolutely not

There are several players that allow you to make audio and video adjustments with the player...and have great analog output sections....a personal one I have used is a Pioneer elite BDP-05

Newer capabilities do not lead to better sound...newer capabilities are just that, newer capabilities


High end from 8 years ago still trumps all but high end of today...and frankly the only difference is their capability....a 8 year old $3,000 receiver sounds better than anything of $1200 today...the $1200 has more capability...or shall I say more user friendly capability

While I have never tried to run an receiver until I made it clip and go into protect mode because I was running it to hard and under a low impedance load
But..if I were e betting man I would say the 875 would give out before the Pioneer elite VSX-47TXI have would.The Pioneer is a more robust unit with a much larger power supply




Warren
post #5659 of 6042
Why are you talking about analog? It's all about digital nowadays
post #5660 of 6042
Random note here:

I just found out that you can turn off the HDMI video section by keeping the dimmer button (on the remote control) pressed for >3 seconds.

Be reminded that Pure Audio does not turn off HDMI video, and bypasses bass management.

I would think that turning off the HDMI video unit could prolong the life of the receiver if its primary task is audio.
post #5661 of 6042
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bossplaya View Post

Why are you talking about analog? It's all about digital nowadays

No its not...there is still plenty of analog...the difference is that its all high end versus common place
and high end is better at everything...analog and digital

ie....you can expect more from an Oppo blu ray player than an Insignia on EVERY level


Warren
post #5662 of 6042
Quote:
Originally Posted by turnne1 View Post

yikes...can I ask why you spent that much on a receiver, the Pioneer VSX 49 and used outboard amps?....that had to be a $3500-4000 retail price piece
And to me the Pioneer has one heck of an analog section and a more robust power supply than the 875
But...a lot more expensive piece also...so in some regards it might be an apples and oranges comparo
I suspect a person that spent the money to buy a Pioneer Elite VSx 47 or 49 has some very limited choices if they want that old school power supply and analog section as well as the newest codes built in...the Denon 5308 comes to mind...other than that..separates are the only alternative


Warren

Hello,
At the time, MCACC was the only game in town. Upon hearing the difference it could make, coupled with getting it for an absurd price, made it hard to resist.
Cheers,
AD
post #5663 of 6042
Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiodork View Post

Hello,
At the time, MCACC was the only game in town. Upon hearing the difference it could make, coupled with getting it for an absurd price, made it hard to resist.
Cheers,
AD

Interesting...so after you heard MCACC were you impressed?

I question...as for the price of the Pioneer VSX49 you could have bought a Lexicon MC1....and since you were going to buy a separate amp there would be no savings with the Pioneer
I have always been a fan of Lexicon products for home theater use

and of course I have to ask the next question....what amp did you pair the 4K Pioneer to?



Warren
post #5664 of 6042
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rookie Boy View Post

OK,

Believe this.
As I type the last post, I was updating the HDMi 1.1 to 1.2.

This seems to have done it!!

Have played the scene now three times at 0db (shaking the neighbor's walls) with no shut off!

I don't know what the 1.1 to 1.2 fix is, but if anyone is having any difficulties, please try it.

Whew! (Hopefully not a fluke and I'm back on here in 20 min.)

edit: did it again (shut off) at +5.5, but that is very loud so hopefully it all stays ok at 0 db

Jason.

It appears this is not the total fix.

To re-cap the situation, I quite like bitstreaming to the reciever as the audio sounds more dynamic to me (greater range and seperation of audio). I updated my PS3 which can bitstream all audio to the 875.

I was initially watching Star Trek and a certain scene (Kirk/Spock transport to enemy ship, phaser fight ensues) would shut down the reciever every time. I then proceeded to update the firmware, as above.

I have not been in the theatre much the last few months, but when certain scenes of movies have some dynamic audio, the reciever shuts off. Last night we watched the original X-men on blu, and a scene where Storm was fighting Sabretooth, "lightening" crackles shut dowm the reciever.

I am geting quite frustrated, and am at the point of looking to get a new reciever. I am not knowledgable enough to know if my reciever is lacking enough "power" or cannot handle a bitstream feed or if this is just a poor reciever.

Any suggestions?

Jason.
post #5665 of 6042
It's not the fact that you are using bitstream to feed the signal to the receiver. If it only happens when you push the volume to very loud levels, then you are running out of amplifier power and the receiver is shutting down thermally to try and protect itself from permanent damage. You have three options to fix this.

(1.) Buy some reasonably priced external power amplifiers of around 200wpc like those sold by Emotiva or Outlaw.

(2.) Buy a new and more powerful receiver.

(3.) Get a new set of speakers that are more efficient than the ones you currently own. As higher efficiency speakers can reduce the load on the amplifiers in the receiver, which also means they will play louder and also require less power to do so than the ones you have now.
post #5666 of 6042
By the way... there is NO difference between decoding in the player and sending PCM to the receiver or bitstreaming to the receiver. One or the other may be a little louder than the other and people ALWAYS assume the louder mode sounds better, even if the sound is the same quality with the levels matched. You CANNOT trust your ears to tell you if one mode is louder than the other, you HAVE to measure with a meter to know for sure (using a test tone). It's fairly typical for bitstream audio to be a little louder than PCM audio (there is no technical reason for this - it's just the way things have been turning out so far). Assuming your receiver is typical, that small extra increase in volume level when switching to bitstream may be just enough to make your receiver's heat sink(s) hot enough to trip the thermal protection while the PCM just barely skates by from being just a little less loud for the same volume control setting. That said, the 875 has enough amp power to drive most speakers plenty loud enough without overheating unless you are using some speakers that are difficult to drive (often these are larger speakers with low-ish impedance (6 ohms or lower with dips in impedance to 3 ohms or a little less). If it's your main speakers that are tough to drive and they have dual connections on the speakers, you may be able to bi-amp the speakers to spread the hardest load over 4 amp channels instead of 2 amp channels.
post #5667 of 6042
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Blackburn View Post

By the way... there is NO difference between decoding in the player and sending PCM to the receiver or bitstreaming to the receiver. One or the other may be a little louder than the other and people ALWAYS assume the louder mode sounds better, even if the sound is the same quality with the levels matched. You CANNOT trust your ears to tell you if one mode is louder than the other, you HAVE to measure with a meter to know for sure (using a test tone). It's fairly typical for bitstream audio to be a little louder than PCM audio (there is no technical reason for this - it's just the way things have been turning out so far). Assuming your receiver is typical, that small extra increase in volume level when switching to bitstream may be just enough to make your receiver's heat sink(s) hot enough to trip the thermal protection while the PCM just barely skates by from being just a little less loud for the same volume control setting. That said, the 875 has enough amp power to drive most speakers plenty loud enough without overheating unless you are using some speakers that are difficult to drive (often these are larger speakers with low-ish impedance (6 ohms or lower with dips in impedance to 3 ohms or a little less). If it's your main speakers that are tough to drive and they have dual connections on the speakers, you may be able to bi-amp the speakers to spread the hardest load over 4 amp channels instead of 2 amp channels.

I am not sure I understand what you are saying

did you mean there is no difference in decoding in the blu ray player and sending PCM to the receiver is no different than sending bitstream to the receiver and having the DAC's in the receiver do the decoding?

if that is what you meant I absolutely disagree
I have a few personal examples that include a Sony S5550 blu ray player, A pioneer Bdp-51 blu ray player , pioneer Elite VSX47 TX receiver and a Pioneer Elite SC 07 receiver...that I spend several hours A and B ing with a Kef 2005.2 system
HUGE differences in what was doing the decoding to my ears

Bottom line...the Sony didn't measure up using its internal decoding

if that is not what you meant can you clarify?


Warren
post #5668 of 6042
Quote:
Originally Posted by turnne1 View Post

did you mean there is no difference in decoding in the blu ray player and sending PCM to the receiver is no different than sending bitstream to the receiver and having the DAC's in the receiver do the decoding?

DACs don't "decode", they convert. And the receiver DACs would still be doing the (digital to analog) converting even if the player was doing the bitstream decoding into LPCM.

Quote:


I have a few personal examples that include a Sony S5550 blu ray player, A pioneer Bdp-51 blu ray player , pioneer Elite VSX47 TX receiver and a Pioneer Elite SC 07 receiver

As far as I can see, the VSX-47 doesn't even have HDMI inputs to handle any HD audio formats, be they pre-decoded into LPCM, or otherwise, so I don't see how you could use that for such a comparison. Were you comparing differences between where the bitstream decoding was taking place, or the digital to analog conversion?
post #5669 of 6042
Quote:
Originally Posted by turnne1 View Post

I am not sure I understand what you are saying

did you mean there is no difference in decoding in the blu ray player and sending PCM to the receiver is no different than sending bitstream to the receiver and having the DAC's in the receiver do the decoding?

if that is what you meant I absolutely disagree
I have a few personal examples that include a Sony S5550 blu ray player, A pioneer Bdp-51 blu ray player , pioneer Elite VSX47 TX receiver and a Pioneer Elite SC 07 receiver...that I spend several hours A and B ing with a Kef 2005.2 system
HUGE differences in what was doing the decoding to my ears

Bottom line...the Sony didn't measure up using its internal decoding

if that is not what you meant can you clarify?


Warren

Yes - that's what I'm saying. And I'm also saying that those "huge differences" you heard (people always say this, but I have NEVER... EVER... heard a "huge difference" in decoded movie sound... a "huge difference" is like the difference between $50 Radio Shack speakers and a $500 pair of Paradigm, PSB, or Athena speakers (or something even larger than that))... anyway, if you really heard differences, I'm saying it was playback volume level because there are some (I'm not sure where they come from) inconsistencies in playback volume levels and you CANNOT do comparisons between different decode location without level matching using a test tone and a sound meter. It's just not possible.

You made a statement about the the player decoding to PCM versus the receiver's DACs doing the decoding. Let's be very clear... DACs are Digital-to-Analog-Converters. PCM is digital audio... and the DACs ALWAYS convert PCM to analog audio. DACs NEVER convert TrueHD or DTS-HD MA to analog. Conversion from bitstream (TrueHD or DTS-HD MA) to PCM is a decode process and is not done by DACs. It's a format conversion only. And because of the nature of TrueHD and DTS-HD MA, wherever that conversion is done (disc player or receiver or surround processor) you end up with the same PCM digital bitstream because these are lossless digital audio formats (more on this below). The decode process from the lossless codec to PCM is not arbitrary... you always get the same PCM bitstream from every product... disc player, receiver, or surround processor.

All processing in the receiver is done in PCM mode. So the first thing the receiver does if it is receiving a lossless bitstream is convert the bitstream to PCM - then all the processing, bass management, etc. is applied, THEN the channels are converted to analog. No matter which product (disc player, receiver, surround processor) is doing the conversion from bitstream to PCM, the receiver's DACs are going to convert to analog.

The conversion process from TrueHD or DTS-HD MA to PCM isn't subject to producing different PCM digital bitstreams in different digital products. The TrueHD and DTS-HD MA codecs are lossless formats that always produce the same PCM bitstream when they are decoded from TrueHD or DTS-HD MA to PCM. There's no way I know of to cause 2 different products to produce 2 different PCM bitstreams from the same TrueHD or DTS-HD MA track. Since the PCM bitstreams are always the same, the end-product sound quality is always the same.

Here is an ULTRA-simplified example. Let's say the original uncompressed digital signal is 101010101010 (that's 10 repeated 6 times) and this will be in PCM format. When this is encoded as TrueHD or DTS-HD MA, let's say it's about 1/2 of it's original size, or 6 bits instead of 12. And let's say the compressed bitstream is 110011. Now... when you play this segment of sound back, your options are to send 110011 from the disc player (bitstream) or to send 1010101010 (PCM) from the disc player. If you send 110011 from the disc player, the receiver will convert 110011 to 1010101010 (PCM). The decode process from the codec (TrueHD or DTS-HD MA) to PCM is not whimsical... bits are not changed from the original. That's why these are referred to as lossless codecs. No matter where they are decoded, you end up with the original pattern of 1s and 0s. Lossy codecs ARE subject to potentially altering the decoded bitstream a little from one product to another. But when you are discussing lossless codecs, they are designed to ALWAYS decode to the original pattern of bits regardless of where or what does the decoding.

The only variable I've detected is volume level. What's most puzzling is that 1010101010 should always playback at the same volume level regardless of where it was decoded (player or receiver). The fact that the volume levels aren't always matched mean there's something unexpected in the playback chain. But the bottom line is that differences in volume level, even small ones like 0.5 or 1 dB will always be detected as being "better" than the slightly lower level version of the same PCM bitstream converted to analog.

I do hear differences in ANALOG sound from disc players... but even here extremely precise volume matching MUST be employed. But, in my experience so far, there has been no detectable preference for the disc player sending TrueHD or DTS-HD MA vs PCM from the same soundtracks.
post #5670 of 6042
Would anybody be so kind as to help me obtain the main firware update files? I would like to start off with 1.04 and proceed to 1.09 if possible. I have been overseas for a while and just returned. I have an annoying lip synch issue that I understand was resolved with 1.07. However, all of the links I have tried are now dead. Just in case, I have a TX-SR875.Please feel free to PM me anytime. Thanks for any help!
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