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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Pioneer 45A DVD player, Pioneer 43TX receiver, and Infinity IL60/IL36/IL10 speakers. The 45A has limited bass management for SACD, but no channel delay, and according to two reviews I've read (including S&V) DVD-A has channel delay but no bass management. What a mess--but the 45A was still more capable in terms of bass/delay than almost anything in this price range when I bought it, and nowhere near the cost of combos like the Pioneer 49TX/47Ai that bring the audio digitally into the receiver for processing. Buying an Outlaw ICBM is tempting, but I'd rather save the $ for a next generation DVD-A or SACD player with full channel delay and bass management built in, or better yet, an affordable digitally-linked DVD/receiver. I'm trying to make the best of what I've got. Making the speakers equidistant worked well as a channel delay solution. The biggest question I now have is about DVD-A bass management. If I set the 45A subwoofer setting to off, low bass and/or LFE (sub 150Hz) appear to be directed to the front speakers (which is fine for the IL60s which are good down to 28Hz). This yields good sound but I'm still not sure what's going on with the other channels. I would like to know if the 45A can also redirect low bass from the small speakers to the large ones (as it does for SACD -- crossover is 100Hz). The manual doesn't say it won't. I don't have the ear/equipment to figure it out. Since the IL36c and IL10s handle down to 55Hz and not too much deep bass is being sent their way on most multi-channel recordings, I can live with occasional lost low bass in those channels, but I'm still curious as to what is actually going on. I plan on emailing Pioneer on this but wondered if anyone knew for sure. BTW, it would make life a little easier if all DVD-Audio and SACD discs came with a "lowest recorded frequency" number for each channel so buyers could adjust systems accordingly! Even simply an indication of whether LFE is engaged would be good.
 

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I have the Pioneer 45A DVD player as well. The 45A has bass management for both DVD-A and SACD. I currently set my Subwoofer to on and all of my speakers to small.


Additionally, I've found that the subwoofer level is quite a bit lower than that coming from my receiver LFE. To compensate, I've set the 45A speaker levels to -6db and the subwoofer level to +6db. I've also increased the input level at the subwoofer and decreased the LFE output at my receiver. This arrange works equally well whether I'm playing SACD discs or DVD-A discs.


There is another thread laying around AVS Forum from a couple of months ago that discusses 47A and 45A owner bass management experiences.


As to the channel delay for SACD, I'm not aware of any current SACD player that offers this.


Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the info, Steve. I just found a Dec 2002 Sound & Vision article that also confirms that bass management works for both formats (BTW the article is very favorable toward the 45A). I'll do as you did and set the sub on and all other speakers to small. I'm now going to search for that thread you mentioned for some additional reading.... Thanks again.
 

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I've got my 45A and 45X combo set up like this:

Speakers = small

Sub = yes

45A speaker level setup:

Variable output

Sub = +6dB

all other speakers = 0dB


I notice no lack of bass at all. In fact, I've only got it set like this so I can have some more bass in my SACD and DVD-A music collection. DSOTM 30th anniversary sounds so damn good multichannel. :D


Sorny
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
DSOTM SACD is phenomenal. As a rule, I try to avoid overplaying a new CD so I won't get sick of it, but I've played DSOTM a dozen times in the last week alone. Anyone who is not convinced the future of audio lies in multichannel needs to hear this recording.


I've got my 45A settings like yours--I noticed the bass problem right away and set my receiver subwoofer level to +6 on top of the 45A +6 setting. I've also (today) experimented again with setting all 45A speaker settings to Large and the subwoofer Off. This way the 45A mixes the LFE to my full-range fronts, where I get the advantage of a -24 dB/octave crossover (as opposed to the -12dB low pass and -6dB high pass in the 45A). The downside is that my center and surrounds have to handle full range. Anyway, I can't really discern any difference, so I'm going back to all speakers Small in the 45A.
 

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Quote:
Thanks for the info, Steve. I just found a Dec 2002 Sound & Vision article that also confirms that bass management works for both formats (BTW the article is very favorable toward the 45A).
Sorry to attempt to ruin anyone's day, but in some cases, that article was wrong, particularly WRT DVD-A.


When set to all small/sub on, things do seem to work, but all large and sub off loses any bass that was on the LFE channel.


To prove this, you need a test disc with bass only on the LFE. The Chesky Ultimate Set-up disc is such disc, and it has a test for this purpose.


I tested this myself, as did some other 45A owners I know of. The test requires you set all speakers to large, sub off. If BM works correctly, the bass test should be sent to the mains; it does not. You get nothing.


It also has been reported that 4.0 DVD-As will NOT redirect bass from the mains to the sub. That appears to be true as well, but I only have one title (also from Chesky) in 4.0, so its not a show stopper. It will be however, if they start mixing DVD-A w/o using the LFE channel.


None of this is an issue with all small/sub on, but death if you have large mains and no sub.


FWIW, if you do not set things to small/sub on, the only 100% solution is to get an ICBM. I bit the bullet and got one, and its a killer combo.


You might want to also take a look at the Home Theatre Forum. There are several threads about the 45A, some started last October that will tell you everything you want to know about the BM in this player. It also has a problem (as do many universal players) with low LFE channel.


BGL
 

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The low LFE manifests itself if you let the 45A decode DD and DTS. If you use the digital outputs for DD/DTS, there is no lack of bass. Not a show stopper, IMHO, unless you don't have a DD/DTS decoder built in to your preamp/receiver.


Sorny
 

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Quote:
The low LFE manifests itself if you let the 45A decode DD and DTS. If you use the digital outputs for DD/DTS, there is no lack of bass.
True, but it also affects DVD-A and SACD, which is decoded in the player. And really, there is no "lack" of bass. Its not missing; just low relative to the main channels. If you can dial it in, your room will shake as it should.


I stumbled on this when I installed the 45A in place of an external DD decoder. I expected to have to make very small level adjustments to the 6CH inputs for the new player, but found that the sub level was down by perhaps 10 dB relative to any other DD decoder I had used.


It can sometimes be corrected by adjusting the 6CH trim level, the sub amp level or both (I was able to dial it in), but in some users systems, the result was a mismatch in sub level between the decoder in the player, and any external decoding.


I am lucky enough to have separate levels for the 6CH input, versus the Pro Logic levels in my receiver. I am able to get equal levels across all channels and all formats. Not all users were able to do that, and having to manually reset sub levels between formats is a PITA.


On a positive note, this seems to be an issue with almost ALL universal or dual format players.


BGL
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
BGL,


Regarding LFE redirection, if I understand you correctly I can set my Sub On and all others to Small and not lose the LFE. My main speakers are full-range but have subwoofer line inputs. I am still a tad skeptical, because when I've tried sub Off and all others Large, and used the main speaker direct inputs, I still get rich bass including what seems to be sub 100Hz that I assumed would have been placed, in part, on an LFE channel. I'll try the Chesky disc, but it would be more entertaining (and a better place to put $20) if you could recommend a recording that you know has some serious decibels on the LFE channel! :)
 

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Quote:
I'll try the Chesky disc, but it would be more entertaining (and a better place to put $20) if you could recommend a recording that you know has some serious decibels on the LFE channel!
Well, it would of course depend on what kind of music you like.


As for DVD-A, Hotel California, ELP Brain Salad Surgery, and Big Phatt Band all come to mind as using the LFE channel (that covers classic rock, prog rock, and swing).


The Chesky disc also has a 1/2 dozen music tracks that are in 4.0 and 6.0 (they have started to use the LFE and Center channel for additional ambiance tracks. Not something most people will ever use, but it is clever). The disc also has the same program in DD. There are many tests in both DVD-A and DD. I consider it one of the better set-up discs for DVD-A and DD.


In fact, I have standardized on that disc for audio set-up as far as levels and BM (and believe me, I have most of all the others, such as Avia, VE, Delos Surround Spectacular, DVD Spectacular, Ultimate DVD, Sheffield, Bass Makanix...I am just a sucker for test discs!).


Although not relevant to the DVD-A discussion (SACD BM is said to work correctly, but I have no test software to try it), there are a couple SACD's that have very solid .1 bass. Telarc's Weather Report tribute disc, David Bowie's heathen, and Beck Sea Change.


If I get a chance, I will revisit the testing. I am 100% certain that All Large, Sub Off wil lose the LFE (as least as far as the Chesky test is concerned). I am less certain about the 4.0 behavior, although I think I lost the low end when running all large/sub off. There is a thread on the HT Forum that was started by a user that found that problem. I will re-visit that as well.


BGL
 

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Here is the link to the HTF thread:

http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...&highlight=45a


The crux is that if you are running all small/sub on, the 45A is not sending bass to the sub with DVD-A. If the disc is mixed with all bass in the LFE (and you have a sub), you may not notice anything missing.


But thats death with a x.0 recording if you do NOT have a sub, unless you have all truly full range speakers.


As I may have said, I solved the problem with cash....I bought an ICBM ($199 for a B Stock Unit). That way I have no BM issues, plus, I am able to run an 80 Hz crossover, which is important to me, since I also run an Audio Control Bijou HT EQ, which assume your mains are crossed over at 80 Hz.


BGL
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by BGLeduc
Here is the link to the HTF thread:

http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...&highlight=45a


The crux is that if you are ... over at 80 Hz.


BGL
That's one heck of a thread. I haven't finished it yet, but it really inspires two questions -- why hasn't S&V stepped forward to defend their test of the 45A (did any letters to the editor show up later on?) and would Pioneer (or any major vendor) correct a problem such as this midstream? Thanks also for the music selections. I think that instead of spending the $250 for the Outlaw I'll buy 15 or so new SACDs (including Chesky), and in a year or so there will be something out to replace the 45A that is less than $400 and has all the BM and channel delay problems solved. How's that for unusual AV budgeting? Thanks again for all the info.
 

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Quote:
That's one heck of a thread. I haven't finished it yet, but it really inspires two questions -- why hasn't S&V stepped forward to defend their test of the 45A (did any letters to the editor show up later on?)
I have seen no letters, although I should write one (its on my to-do list!).


There was a user in a different thread (I think) that said he received an e-mail from Ken Pohlman (he did the write up, David Ranada did the bench testing). Ken said he did not recall anything specific, but seemed to remember something "weird" about the BM.


Unfortunately, his test rig has 5 full ranged speakers, so depending on what software he used for the test, he may or may not have heard a problem.


The problem with Pioneer is getting through to someone that knows what is going on. I had many e-mails with one of their techs regarding the Low LFE thing. He just had no idea what I was talking about. In fairness to him, he did pass along my e-mails to Japan, and they did answer, but I am still convinced that they do not really understand. And believe me, the reply I got was obviously written by someone that uses a language other than English.


I also asked if there were different versions of the player, he said no.


Well, enjoy the player, but I would keep an eye on the Outlaw B-Stock list. The ICBM does make a noticeable improvement.


BGL
 
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