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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Did quite a bit of searching for this topic and reading about folks experiences with the Pioneer DV-563A, but, can't seem to get these questions answered.


I have 2 new SACD multichannel capable machines going head to head in my home theater at the moment


Marantz SA8260


and


Pioneer DV-563A


After 2 days of messing with the settings I'm confused about center channel level. I'm running both units alternately into the one 6 channel external analog input on my Denon AVR3300. Not matter what settings I choose for the Pioneer (there aren't many settings on the Marantz) center channel level remains extremely low. Perhaps the SACDs I have just don't make much use of the center channel:


Telarc Carmina Burana

Telarc Mahler Sym No. 5

Allison Krauss and Union Station live


With the Pioneer I have tried every combination of "small" and "large" speaker settings and even made all the other speaker levels cut by 6db and the center channel boosted by 6db. Nothing seems to produce a reasonable center channel level. If I play DD DVDvideo through the Pioneer the center level is normal. If I play DVDvideo through my HTPC to the Denons' coax Digital input, levels are normal. Levels are matched using the Denon's internal test tones using a Radio Shack meter.


Any Help?


Mark H
 

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Are you sure your receiver's input is set to 6 Ch analog and not the digital input? You won't get more than 2 channels through the digital input.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm sure. When either unit is playing the receiver says "6 channel external in"
 

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You don't want a hot center channel mix for M/C music. If it bothers you, you may want to experiment with the placement of your stereo speakers.


$0.02
 

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Many MC discs (SACD and DVD-A) use the center only sparingly.


Putting that aside, you really need to run SACD test tones through both players, and tweak the channel levels in the players (while leaving your 6.1 levels in the Denon alone).


Thats the only way to be assured that both players are correctly calibrated.


Once thats done, you will be able to judge whether one player is higher than the other.


And unless you have full range speakers all around, you probably want to be sure that both machines are set for small/sub on in the speaker menu. While I am sure that BM will be different player to player (different slopes, crossovers, etc), that will be as close as you can get to apples to apples (unless you run both through an ICBM).


BGL
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the useful responses. BGLeduc what do you recommend for SACD test tones disk?


Just for clarification. When I say center channel level extremely low, I mean vanishingly low. If I turn off the front and sub amps so just the center and rears are playing It have to put my ear right up to the center speaker to tell that it is playing at all....


Mark H
 

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On the Pioneer there is a setting under "initial setup" that gives you a choice for SACD playback as 2 Ch or multi channel. The default is 2 ch from what I recall. If this is the case - no centre channel (or surrounds for that matter). When I first got my 563, I played Dark Side of the Moon and thought this sounds like 2 ch ............ because it was. Once I flipped the setting on the 563 - voila mulitchannel.
 

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Quote:
Thanks for the useful responses. BGLeduc what do you recommend for SACD test tones disk?
Good question, but unfortunately, I have yet to put my money where my mouth is!


I currently lack an SACD test disc. Having said that, IIRC there are Telarc SACD's that have test tones on them. I think there may be a Sony disc as well.


In my rig, I use a DVD-A disc to calibrate my Pioneer 45A universal player. That disc is the Chesky Ultimate DVD, which has DVD-A and DD test tones, and quite a few other very useful tests for things like bass management, time alignment, etc.


While I do not calibrate with SACD tones, I find that SACD software sounds fine (a subjective term is there ever was one!) after running the DVD-A calibration.


It does seem odd that you do hear some sound from the center, but you need to place your ear up to the driver to hear it.


As was suggested by others, it would not hurt to be 100% sure that the SACD settings are set for MC, and also that the discs you are using do in fact have a center channel encoded. If by chance the 563 is still selecting the 2 CH mix, what you may be hearing is simply bleed through from the mains to the center.


I seem to recall that David Bowie's Heathen, and Beck's Sea Change have fairly prominent center channel. If you have access to one of those, it would be worth a check.


BGL
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Problem solved. Thanks for the help. I picked up the Telarc 1812 overture disc which has a very enjoyable test tone sequence. This showed that my center channel level is dialed in correctly. It must just be that the disks I chose don't make much use of the center. The 1812 overture disk makes a much higher level use of the center (although not nearly as high as L and R) and the James Taylor stereo/surround hybrid disc I have locks JT's vocal in the center at a high level.


Mark H
 
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