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Hi everyone, New member with a few new gear additions here!- Been reading bits and bobs on and off here for a while now. Very helpful community :T :bigsmile:

I have done a quick search on the forum and looked on line but I can't find a straight answer to my question... I don't think the answer will be too complicated :rolleyes:

Background

I currently own a Yamaha A2 amp which has a faulty rear speaker channel, probably a blown fuse but as it was limited in AV connections anyway I decided to order a new one that was on offer (Pioneer VSX-923 otherwise known as the vsx-1123 outside of Europe). It was only £229 BNIB.

To go with my new amp I have ordered a :hsd: BK Monolith :hsd: subwoofer- the only subwoofer I have owned to this point is a creative subwoofer that came with my old pc surround system when I was in high school! :nerd: . The Yammy was a very simple Amp to set up and operate and the new one has loads of features and settings for me to get to grips with hence I am not so clued up on setting these new items up.

My question relates to the setting up the system for Stereo and for Surround... How do I best go about using the sub to compliment unadulterated stereo listening? Does the amp allow a direct pass through 2.1 set up using the .1 Low level connection whilst removing all pocessing from the front speakers or Do I have to also connect the High level cable and set up the crossover on the Amp?

Part of the reason for my confusion is that I have B&W CM4 floorstanding speakers which provide good range and are excellent for music 'as is'. I'm not sure if I should run them as 'small' or 'large' speakers in the options- up until now, not having had a sub I have used them as Large speakers. I understand the speaker size is a global option so will affect both 5.1 and 2/2.1 operation. They sound great as 'Large' speakers. I can run both the low and high level connections to the sub safely but have been advised that doing so in 5.1 will end up playing all signals received on both inputs and will probably sound off or muddled.


It is worth noting that these components are on order and I'm currently working away form home - i have been reading manuals etc... to try and give myself a head start on setting up and calibrating everything when I get home. Also I'm quite excited at the first new gear I've bough in ages!!!

Thanks for any help and sorry if I haven't been too clear in my question!

Dougie :dumbcrazy:
 

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. . . Pioneer VSX-923 otherwise known as the VSX-1123 outside of Europe.
To go with my new amp I have ordered a :hsd: BK Monolith :hsd: subwoofer . . . .

My question relates to the setting up the system for Stereo and for Surround... How do I best go about using the sub to compliment unadulterated stereo listening? Does the amp allow a direct pass through 2.1 set up using the .1 Low level connection whilst removing all pocessing from the front speakers or Do I have to also connect the High level cable and set up the crossover on the Amp?

Part of the reason for my confusion is that I have B&W CM4 floorstanding speakers which provide good range and are excellent for music 'as is'. I'm not sure if I should run them as 'small' or 'large' speakers in the options- up until now, not having had a sub I have used them as Large speakers. I understand the speaker size is a global option so will affect both 5.1 and 2/2.1 operation. They sound great as 'Large' speakers. I can run both the low and high level connections to the sub safely but have been advised that doing so in 5.1 will end up playing all signals received on both inputs and will probably sound off or muddled.

Dougie
Dougie,
Welcome to the forum and congratulations on your new kit.

You can run your CM4 speakers as large or small as you see fit or as it sounds best to you.
- The Pioneer 923 receiver (more than just an amp) default settings out of the box will set your front speakers to small and the subwoofer X-over to 80Hz.
- If you run the MCACC automatic calibration it may change these settings, but even so, you can change them afterwards by going into the Manual Speaker Setup menu (see manual p. 84)

There should be little to no need to connect the high level (aka speaker outputs) to your subwoofer, since the 923 can provide the bass management itself.

IMHO even floorstanding speakers benefit from using a subwoofer to handle the very low end of the frequency spectrum. For example, B&W's CM9s list a low end of about 56Hz which still leaves plenty of room below for a subwoofer to assist with.
- In addition, if you set the X-over at/near 80 Hz it will keep the CM's from operating near the limit of its capability, which generally is never quite as good as the speaker is in it's heart-of-the-envelope.
Assuming you have a quality sub, it is designed to produce low frequencies, so let the sub do its job vice stretching even a "full-range" speaker to do so.

Cheers,
XEagleDriver
 

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Discussion Starter #3
IMHO even floorstanding speakers benefit from using a subwoofer to handle the very low end of the frequency spectrum. For example, B&W's CM9s list a low end of about 56Hz which still leaves plenty of room below for a subwoofer to assist with.
- In addition, if you set the X-over at/near 80 Hz it will keep the CM's from operating near the limit of its capability, which generally is never quite as good as the speaker is in it's heart-of-the-envelope.
Assuming you have a quality sub, it is designed to produce low frequencies, so let the sub do its job vice stretching even a "full-range" speaker to do so.
Hi, thanks for your reply - That's good to get most of that cleared up, I appreciate your help.

The above (Quoted) is as I was expecting from what I've been reading over the last couple of days- the bit I'm left being not 100% on is how the amp will run if I want to go to 2.1 does anyone know or have experience with similar Pioneer amps to how they work with providing a 'clean' stereo sound from the speakers and adding in the sub without applying all the MCACC settings I will no doubt be using (Pressure sound meter on Order to help with that :) ) on top of the audio - in case I'm not as happy with the processed sound for stereo.

My last question would be why can I set the speaker size of the fronts if there is an independent crossover setting? Surely one makes the other slightly redundant or is there another level of processing going on there?

Cheers :T
 

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Hi, thanks for your reply - That's good to get most of that cleared up, I appreciate your help.

The above (Quoted) is as I was expecting from what I've been reading over the last couple of days- the bit I'm left being not 100% on is how the amp will run if I want to go to 2.1 does anyone know or have experience with similar Pioneer amps to how they work with providing a 'clean' stereo sound from the speakers and adding in the sub without applying all the MCACC settings I will no doubt be using (Pressure sound meter on Order to help with that :) ) on top of the audio - in case I'm not as happy with the processed sound for stereo.

My last question would be why can I set the speaker size of the fronts if there is an independent crossover setting? Surely one makes the other slightly redundant or is there another level of processing going on there?

Cheers :T
T,

I do not have a Pio receiver, but many other receivers have either a Direct or Pure Direct mode (Pio's name may be different) which can bypass the automatic calibration (MCACC, YPAO or Audessy) settings.

In my Denon, I believe I can set a menu item deep in the Manual Setup to select if Direct/Pure Direct will or will not appply auto-correction to these modes.

Concerning the crossover vs large/small speaker setting--generally it works as follows:
- If you set the front speakers to LARGE, then the L/R front channels low frequencies are sent to the front speakers, however LFE (low frequency effects) signals are normally always sent to the sub [a movie not a music thing].
- If you set the front speakers to SMALL, then the L/R front channels low frequencies below the selected X-over value are sent to sub [in addition to the LFE].
- For multi-channel audio sources (SACD, movies, etc.) the remaining speakers (i.e. center, surrounds, & backs) set to SMALL will have their low frequency signals (below X-over) sent to the sub.
- Many modern receivers also allow you to set different X-over settings for different speakers (i.e. fronts, center, surrounds, and backs).

To further complicate, some receivers also allow you to send the low frequencies from all designated small speakers to "Front + Sub" if you desire.

Cheers,
XEagleDriver
 

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I have the US cousin (SC-71). With your CM4's you have options. From most bare bones to most whiz-bang.

  1. Pure Direct - the most straight through path from source to speakers - minimal digital invervention - no sub.
  2. Direct - slightly more digital intervention - still no sub.
  3. Stereo - 2.1 - the fronts and the sub with full MCACC EQ. - no center, no surounds.
  4. Various DSP modes - all use all speakers and sub - all will mess with the source to varying degrees - that said, my wife and I do like the Expanded Stereo mode for music. It basically wraps the two channel info around the room.
You'll find all of this in the Pioneer quagmire that resides under the 1, 2, and 3 buttons on the remote. It may take a while to really get a handle on how to get each one. Check pages 49 & 50 of your manual.

Addendum: BTW there is a very good (but verrry loooong) thread over on AVS that covers MCACC cal in great detail (info, work flows, options, preferred approaches). Like I said it's long but it has most if not all of the needed info. http://www.avsforum.com/t/1112470/official-pioneer-mcacc-thread
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That's fantastic info, Thanks mate :5stars:

Looking in the manual it says that you can select stereo and then add in your desired surround speakers as connected but it doesn't say that you can single out the sub as in 2.1 (ignoring the rear speakers) perhaps it cycles through the options and 2.1 is one of them - the manual isn't all that clear here. It does point out that I will be able to defeat MCACC partially or fully to give you direct audio with phase and level correction or totally direct as in 2 channel. I may be able to put this to the guys in the owners thread as its quite specific and I'm probably just getting worked up over nothing!

Thanks again - best be off back to designing my new HiFIi rack so I have some extra work to try and squeeze in when I get home haha :ponder:
 

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Looking in the manual it says that you can select stereo and then add in your desired surround speakers as connected but it doesn't say that you can single out the sub as in 2.1 (ignoring the rear speakers) perhaps it cycles through the options and 2.1 is one of them - the manual isn't all that clear here.
I believe that is dependent on whether the source is multi-channel or just two channel stereo. In either event if you have the sub setting to "yes" the sub will be used.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have the US cousin (SC-71). With your CM4's you have options. From most bare bones to most whiz-bang.

  1. Pure Direct - the most straight through path from source to speakers - minimal digital invervention - no sub.
  2. Direct - slightly more digital intervention - still no sub.
  3. Stereo - 2.1 - the fronts and the sub with full MCACC EQ. - no center, no surounds.
  4. Various DSP modes - all use all speakers and sub - all will mess with the source to varying degrees - that said, my wife and I do like the Expanded Stereo mode for music. It basically wraps the two channel info around the room.
You'll find all of this in the Pioneer quagmire that resides under the 1, 2, and 3 buttons on the remote. It may take a while to really get a handle on how to get each one. Check pages 49 & 50 of your manual.

Addendum: BTW there is a very good (but verrry loooong) thread over on AVS that covers MCACC cal in great detail (info, work flows, options, preferred approaches). Like I said it's long but it has most if not all of the needed info.
You must have replied while I was responding to "XEagleDriver" so I missed your post at first, thanks for that info - that fully clears everything up for me so I'm very grateful to you both :D:D

RE - the thread on AVS forums - I'm not a member but I have it bookmarked for later, skimmed it before so hopefully that plus a wee bit of common sense and such will get me through.

Again Thanks to you both :T
 

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I need to make an addition to qualify my previous post(s).

The statements were made based on 2-channel source material. If playing a 5.1 source you would hear LFE (*.1) material through the sub even in Pure Direct since that would be the "native" channel for that material. I DON'T THINK it redirects the material below the crossover point to the sub in Direct with 2.0 material but I'll have to check to be sure and I'm not home right now.
 

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Ok, I'm not home for at least another week either and then I have touch of Diy to do in the living room before I can really get to grips with the set-up. If you get the chance to clear this up before I get back then it will save me a bit of messing about! But it's no great shakes otherwise.
Cheers
 

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I'm not home for a week or so anyway, even then I've a few diy tasks before I get a good run at setting things up :)
 

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Life rule of Thumb: Make your words sweet, you may have to eat them later.

I stand corrected. I cranked up a 2-channel source - FLAC music file, ripped from a stereo CD - from my media server. On Pure Direct it played only on the front speakers as expected, however when I switched to Direct there was output to the sub and the Advanced MCACC blue panel light came on. I don't know how much of the MCACC is in force. This warrants more investigation. I'm wondering now if the front speaker size setting (currently "small") is bypassed even in Pure Direct.

Hmmm?
 

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My question relates to the setting up the system for Stereo and for Surround... How do I best go about using the sub to compliment unadulterated stereo listening? Does the amp allow a direct pass through 2.1 set up using the .1 Low level connection whilst removing all pocessing from the front speakers or Do I have to also connect the High level cable and set up the crossover on the Amp?
I think your ticket is Direct. Further checks showed that Pure Direct does reset the fronts back to "Large" with no sub on 2 channel sources. Direct retains the speaker setting (Small in my case) but engages the sub at the selected crossover. If my ears are telling the truth the channel EQ isn't in force. That would be the closest to pure with a sub I think you could get.

I would still recommend setting the fronts to small to free up the headroom.
 

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From the manual:

Direct - Plays back sound from the source with the least modification next to Pure Direct. With Direct the only modifications added to Pure Direct playback are calibration of the sound field by MCACC system and the Phase control effect.

If only it said what other options were explicitly available then this would have been simpler, its just a bit vague as to what can and can't be activated and adjusted. It's probably the case that I will have to leave the front speakers untouched Phase and level wise for everything if I want it closer to 'Pure' with the sub activated. Maybe I'm being daft though and if I get the MCACC set up to my liking with films in terms of Phase etc... music may well sound better as there should only be minimal adjustment to suit the room. A couple of profile slots would be nice but I expect it will all be fine and I'll be very happy with the Amp when set up.

Cheers for checking this out for me :)
 

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... A couple of profile slots would be nice but I expect it will all be fine and I'll be very happy with the Amp when set up.
You have 6 preset slots to save multiple configurations. If you like you can keep one untouched and if need be make any changes manually to suit your taste. If you keep the fronts set to Large you'll need to set the sub for "Plus" which will DUPLICATE the content below the crossover, not advised as it makes for odd timing at the low end. If you feel the need to run the fronts full range for music I'd have to recommend Pure Direct with no sub.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Yeah, that makes sense about the timing, try to minimize the overlap between the sub and speakers. I'm looking forward to experimenting but what you have said seems very 'sound' and will give me a great starting point I'm sure. I think my problem is having too much time free to think about this and not being able to mess about with the equipment. To make matters worse I've just bought my first projector and being picky about picture quality and colour accuracy (I like to dabble in photography) with a lower end projector will keep me learning .

I think part of the reason I enjoy av is the thinkering and trying to achieve the best you can on a budget- makes things more fun!

I did not realise you could set the speakers to large and small between the MCACC presets btw, although I knew they existed so that's another overthink cleared up :)

:T
 

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I did not realise you could set the speakers to large and small between the MCACC presets btw, although I knew they existed so that's another overthink cleared up :)

:T
I didn't say you could but it can be changed easy enough. But if you use a sub you want to go Small anyway. That's why Pure Direct will reset to Large, because the sub is not in use.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Ok, no Probs. I'll post back here to let you know how I get on, thanks for your input ��
 

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Just to let you know, the Amp works well for music using the sub, it only switches off the sub if you use pure direct. I am very happy with how it sounds using the MCACC with a little bit of the x-curve to tone down the higher frequencies but I am running B&W speakers with metal tweeters which are 'bright' anyway.

I use the speakers set to small and the crossover at 80Hz and its a revelation compared to my old amp without a subwoofer.
 
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