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I am in a state of desperation here. I have new speakers and no receiver, feel the pain.... :) ;) :( :mad:


so these are the ones I've gotten it down to. Today at least. Anyway, I like the look of the pio 47tx but it's too expensive locally. I have some leads on better prices but the warranty seems a little sketchy. The 3803 is 1100$ here locally so no shipping and legit warranty. Thing is, it looks like the 47tx runs circles around the 3803, I could be wrong though and I'm very new to this stuff.


So please point out some of the important positives and negatives of each. I want the best 7.1 I can get...



thanks for your help,


Rob
 

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I upgraded from a VSX26TX to the 3803 and love it. Wish it had the extra component input the 47TX has though. If you plan to get a plasma and hang it on the wall the 3803 would probably make the cleaner install since it'll upgrade the S-Vid/Composite input to component output. Makes it easire to switch as well.


I think the 47TX & 3803 have different sonic signatures. I'll get flamed for saying this, but my opinion is the Pioneer will sound warmer. So it probably depends on your speakers. If they're on the bright side, I'd lean towards the Elite.


Since you plan to purchase locally, find a dealer who handles both so you can A/B, hopefully with your speakers.


-RJ.
 

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I'd say get the 45tx it's much similiar to the 3803 has all the features of the 47tx and more. Price is about the same as 3803 the MSRP is $1400 I think. the differences between the 45 and 47 is build quality the 47tx weighs about 63lbs where the 45 and 3803 weighs around 40lbs. The 47 is 130watts 45tx is 100, and 3803 is 110. These number are very close and you hardly tell the differences between the them. Third MCACC is a great feature it automatically adjusts the builtin 5-band eq to compensate for the acoustics of your room. This feature is unmatched by anything else. The 3803 does have Video upconversion which is pretty cool (I use it on my 49tx) it converts all signals to component so just plug everything into your receiver and thenconnect one component cable to your tv and everything will run through that one cable no matter what it was connected to the receiver through and only use one input on your tv. But I still like the MCACC over that but I have both. So you have to decide. They all also have about the same processing power and the same decoding. If it matters to you the 47tx is THX ULTRA2 certified and the 45TX is THX SELECT certified while the 3803 isn't. To me this is important because it gives you peace of mind that your receiver can handle those loud explosions plus you get the THX processing such as THX cinema for the 45tx plus the 47tx has THX ULTRA2 and THX MusicMode also. I like to use THX ULTRA2 for most of my 5.1 movies and use MusicMode for some of my DVD-As. People compare ULTRA2 to Logic7 processing, I heard nothing but good thing about Logic7 but I've never heard it. It's up to you depends on what features are most important to you whther it be better amp section (47tx), Video upconversion (3803) or MCACC (47 and 45tx), or maybe you want all the cool features for a good price (45tx and 3803). You decide.


Daniel Smith
 

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The 47tx without a doubt is a better receiver. Listen on the same set of speakers with both receivers in "direct" mode and decide for yourself. Even the 45tx is sonically superior. I have done several a/b comparisons between these two and the Denon seems more stifled IMO. The acoustic calibration circuit is a nice bonus.
 

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Ditto what Spindelmannen said.


Bomber
 

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is there a difference between the 3803 using all Burr Brown DAC components? I noticed the Pioneer doesn't list them until you get into the 49TX series. Does this make a significant difference?
 

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the 47TX also uses Burr Brown DAC's, they use model number PCM 1734, while the 49TX uses PCM 1704. I believe the 45TX uses AKG DAC's or something like that I can't remember.


Daniel Smith
 

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I don't think the Burr Browns DAC's although considered to be better have translated into better sound. IMHO.


The 45 has great sound definition and also has a Hi-Bit mode that works well.


I'm sure the Denon is good and we debate these two on this forum and others. It comes down to features that you need. The MCACC is hard to beat. There is no way you can manually calibrate the system as well as the MCACC. Not only that - calibration is a 5 minute process not many hours. You can easily change speakers locations and setup and do it again. But, if you were doing it manually, you would have a great deal of time in each setup to calibrate and you wouldn't get as fine of results that are recordable. I think its a real breakthough in a receiver of this price.


Mike


Mike
 

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Mike,


this is my first Home Theatre purchase so excuse my ignorance on this point.


Once I get my speakers set up (and then call my buddy over who has some gizzmo for reading decibels or whatever), doesn't the MACC feature become obsolete?
 

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No absolutely not. There may be many different places to set up your speakers especially your sub. So, you'll want to be able to test for each different position to get the best response. The MCACC makes that easy. Subs IMHO, are very difficult to really place correctly.


Also the MCACC has a EQ for each speaker. Your buddy won't have that capability. The MCACC thru the eq tries to set the sound to the THX specs. This receiver was tuned by Air Studios to be able to do just that job.


I don't think the MCACC is ever obsolete. Your wife adding new drapes can change the sound characteristics and the MCACC will pick it up. And if you have a partner like mine,, she's always figeting with the room.


It really is the best thing I've seen on a receiver in this class.


Mike
 

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OTOH, the MCACC can induce as many or more problems than it solves. It will attempt to find the flattest response from as many as 8 speakers at one specific spot using an inexpensive microphone and a wide-band equalizer.


I've read that the 47TX uses a 9-band equalizer. With a sub in the mix, that means that each band is an octave or more. Corrections made at the mid-band point are likely to create peaks or dips at other frequencies. They will induce peaks and dips at other listening locations in the room. In this system, simply moving the microphone a couple of inches could induce dramatic equalization changes.


The Pioneer MCACC is not a TacT RCS system, where a very sophisticated equalizer is matched to a high quality microphone and a computer program, where multiple readings are taken around the room and very precise equalization changes are made. Proper room equalization is a very complex task.


Rather than using imprecise equalization, a far better solution is to use a test disc with sweep tones and a good SPL meter. Then apply the proper acoustic room correction (damping corners, moving speakers, etc.) to address any problems. The end result will be a much better sounding system. If you can't get rid of bass peaks due to room resonance, then a very good 1/3rd-octave equalizer could be useful.


Of course, if someone isn't very adept at setting up a system, then perhaps the MCACC would be useful - although it stands as much chance to screw the overall sound as to help it. One could first run it without EQ, just to see if it got all of the distances and speaker settings (large vs small) correct. If it misses getting any of these easy settings down, then you don't want to entrust it with Room EQ.


Might be interesting to start a threat on the pros and cons of automatic configuration.


Tom B.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Tom_Bombadil
OTOH, the MCACC can induce as many or more problems than it solves. It will attempt to find the flattest response from as many as 8 speakers at one specific spot using an inexpensive microphone and a wide-band equalizer.


I've read that the 47TX uses a 9-band equalizer. With a sub in the mix, that means that each band is an octave or more. Corrections made at the mid-band point are likely to create peaks or dips at other frequencies. They will induce peaks and dips at other listening locations in the room. In this system, simply moving the microphone a couple of inches could induce dramatic equalization changes.


The Pioneer MCACC is not a TacT RCS system, where a very sophisticated equalizer is matched to a high quality microphone and a computer program, where multiple readings are taken around the room and very precise equalization changes are made. Proper room equalization is a very complex task.


Rather than using imprecise equalization, a far better solution is to use a test disc with sweep tones and a good SPL meter. Then apply the proper acoustic room correction (damping corners, moving speakers, etc.) to address any problems. The end result will be a much better sounding system. If you can't get rid of bass peaks due to room resonance, then a very good 1/3rd-octave equalizer could be useful.


Of course, if someone isn't very adept at setting up a system, then perhaps the MCACC would be useful - although it stands as much chance to screw the overall sound as to help it. One could first run it without EQ, just to see if it got all of the distances and speaker settings (large vs small) correct. If it misses getting any of these easy settings down, then you don't want to entrust it with Room EQ.


Might be interesting to start a threat on the pros and cons of automatic configuration.


Tom B.
Tom,

can you go into detail about your experiences using MCACC? It sounds as if you had a bad experience using MCACC. Do you feel the microphone that is used is a subpar piece of equipment? Do you have any specs on the mic?:)
 

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I don't think its a cheapo mic Tom - seems to be very sensitive. In theory I'd agree with your comments. But, in practice the MCACC performs - that's all I can say. Its a TRUE step forward for receivers in this price range.


The 47 is 5 band and the 49 is 9 band.


Mike
 

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I've never used the MCACC, and didn't claim to have. I was addressing the issue more generically. Proper and correct room equalization is a very difficult task. Companies have been working on automated/digital room EQ for several years. The systems that seem to do it "right" (and I will qualify that term as there are audiophiles who will contest that anyone has done it right as yet) employ very precise equalizers (1/3rd octave or better), very high quality microphones, taking several measurements from around the room that all get analyzed by a computer program, and then rerunning again after tweaking the room and speaker placement.


Thinking that one can purchase a receiver for $1000 or so, where you can point a microphone one time, run some pink noise and use a wide-band equalizer, and achieve excellent room equalization is EXTREMELY optimistic.


Examples. A room has a resonance peak at 45Hz. Your wide-band equalizer has mid-points at 31.5Hz and 63Hz. How does it correct for the room peak? Does it lower response at 63Hz, thereby creating a mid-bass suck-out? Lower response at 31.5, thereby rolling off all of your low bass?


Let's say your speakers have a bright midrange from 4000 to 6000. And your equalizer has midpoints at 4K & 8K. So you are "lucky" in that your midpoint actually touches the peak. But you are unlucky in that when your EQ pulls down the 4K-6K peak, it is also pulling down the 2.5K-4K region. So now you are flat from 4K-6K, but have a dip at 3K.


Then if your system's microphone isn't nigh perfect (or at least accurate enough from 20-20K for readings to be correctable by the processor) across all frequencies in an omnidirectional pattern, as it is setting everything from a single read of the mic, then the EQ will be adjusting for peaks and dips that may not even be present. From the looks of what I've seen on the MCACC setup, that mic does not look like a high-end piece of equipment, although I suspect it is of reasonably good quality.


So no I haven't used MCACC and I will not be using it as I wouldn't let that thing loose in my listening room.


But this feature isn't aimed toward audiophiles. It is aimed at the general public who value ease of use over squeezing out the best possible sound out of their system. As such, it looks like a decent attempt to provide an easy way to get reasonable sound, and stomp out serious problems, out of a HT system. I don't fault Pioneer for offering it, nor people from using it. I'm sure a lot of people will end up with a better-sound system by using it than if left to their own devices.


People interested in reading about a precise room equalization device, can link to the following reviews of the TacT RCS system. Not that I'm promoting it as the be-all or end-all of room EQ devices, but these do illustrate how complex a task this can (and should) be. Note that the listener has the option of selecting their preferred frequency curve in the end.

http://www.stereophile.com/showarchives.cgi?437
http://www.ambiophonics.org/Tact.htm


Tom B.
 

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Tom,


The MCACC worked for me. I found some questionable logic in your arguement also. Wouldn't using an SPL as you suggest, suffer from the same localization issues you claim? The MCACC is more than an equilizer. It also makes adjustments to the delay and SPL. My guess is the average (and probably above average) user will get better results with the MCACC then they would with just a test tone and an SPL meter. These receivers are ment to to be Home Theater components and not "audiophile" as suggested. I'm sure a true "audiophile" would never by a 7 channel Receiver designed primarily for HT. Just a differing opinion.


MikeRP,


The 45TXhas a 5 band, the 47TX has a 7 band and the 49TX has a 9 band equilzer.



Bomber
 

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A good SPL meter, used properly, would work fine. But not that many SPL's are real good, and most people don't use them with any precision. It would not suffer as much localization if you measured from several locations. I don't own a good SPL meter myself, but I have access to one for short borrowing periods.


I used the term "audiophile" but perhaps should have said anyone who is very critical/demanding of their sound system. It is true that few audiophiles would buy a 7-channel HT receiver. However it is also true that a 5- or 7- or even 9-band equalization from a single mic reading will never result in optimized sound. So if the owner of a HT receiver is into getting the best sound possible out of their system, and is willing to put some time and effort into it, then they would not use MCACC or any equivalent.


As to time delay, I would use a tape measure and set it precisely. And then it would be back to the SPL meter for volume - although I've level matched so much over the years that I can do it by ear.


I agree, and said before, that for a quick, simple setup, I can understand someone liking and using MCACC-type features. But I would never tout it as a way to achieve the best sound in a room.


I own a Parasound 5-band equalizer. Picked it up for use in my bedroom system, I now use it in my office. It is well made (typical Parasound) and does what it does well. But I only use it in casual-listening systems. I played around with it in my primary system, using it with test tones and SPL meters (and my ears) but it created more troubles than it solved. In my office system, with my Radio Shack Pro LX4 speakers, it helps to address their bass deficiencies and smooth out the midrange a little.


I once told a friend that trying to optimize my system with a 5-band EQ was sort of like trying to perform heart surgery with a machete. The desired precision just wasn't there.


Getting back to the topic of this thread, when I was looking for a receiver or pre/pro & assigning values to the various features, I gave a 0 to MCACC. But that was for me. For someone else, it may be very important. So a person deciding between a 3803 or 47TX will need to make their own assessment as to how valuable it will be to them.


I also gave a 0 to the HK EZ-SET. I haven't even looked up how to make that work since getting my 8000. I anticipate that I will run it sometime, if for nothing else but to compare it's settings with mine to see how accurate it is.


Tom B.
 

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Having used AVIA and an RS spl meter to calibrate several different reciever/speaker setups in my room, and also having used the MCACC on my 45tx, I can say that the MCACC does a better job, especially in a room with less than perfect acoustics.


This is not to say that a true professional with pro-grade test equipment, a high end prepro and a few hours can't do better, just that for the average real-world HT enthusiast the MCACC can do a better job in 5

minutes than can be accomplished in many hours with meter and AVIA.


I've run MCACC several times with varying numbers of speakers and different speaker locations--it always gets speaker distances within half a foot. I have no idea how high-quality the mike is. I would assume the MCACC software is setup to match the capabilities of the mike.


So while the MCACC maybe doesn't do as good a job as a pro HT installer with megabuck equipment setting up a $12k processor, it is a boon for those of us who probably don't live within 400 miles of such an expert.
 

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Tom,


Points well noted. You're right and as Steve indicated, it was designed with the less initiated in mind.


Bomber
 
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