Dialed in – HT happiness

I just had to post – nothing silver face about this…


Since we re-did the basement, I re-assembled my HT components (106″ Da=Lite screen, Epson 1080UB Projector, Pioneer VSX-820K receiver, Sony Blue-Ray Player, B&W ASW600 sub, Boston Acoustic VR12 Center, Polk Monitor 7A fronts) but hadn’t dialed them in.

The result was a great picture, humongous bass, clear vocals.

But the sum was not greater than the parts. In HT surround mode, there was a pronounced jump between the center and front L and R. I thought the timbre was off between the Polk left and right and Boston Center. I was ready to resign myself to this disparity to enjoy my crystal-clear dialogue. At least the polks sounded good with music.

Dialogue also sounded a bit boxy, funnily enough. That was something I’d never heard in a review about the Boston Lynnfield VR12 Center, which is a massive 4-driver 3-way center channel which is lauded as one of the best centers ever.

I hadn’t run Pioneer’s automatic EQ program, MCACC, since the new speakers joined the fold. I wasn’t expecting much. And afterward, I noticed that while watching TV on Netflix, bass was low. Hmm.

Then I put in the Man of Steel Blu-Ray.


Wow wow wow.

MCACC showed its worth. Even without rear surrounds, the soundscape was seamless and involving. The speakers melted away. Timbre match was excellent.

Interestingly enough, while bass was low on some Netflix streaming shows, with the Blue-Ray it was perfect. I’d long been a little annoyed by the massive rumble I was getting from the subwoofer during action films. It was awesome and I could feel the action but it definitely got tiring. And it drives my dog nuts.

This time bass was excellently paired. Rumbles were felt, low frequencies heard, but my ears didn’t hurt. The EQ made my excellent speakers amazing.

Once again, room placement and correct EQ are shown to be the supremely important factor in listening pleasure. it took my speakers to the next level. And I didn’t even know what I was missing. I wonder how many other people are suffering through mediocre sound from amazing speakers due to the same thing?

Oh, and for the money, the Pioneer VSX-820 does an amazing job. I’m using it to push into a relatively large space (12×16) and I’m getting no distortion that my ears can discern. Music is great too, and with the inboard DAC, iPod tracks sound wider and airier than on my restored Sx-1250. I am very satisfied, and would recommend anyone look at a refurb or used VSX-820-21-22-23 before moving higher up the food chain, especially if they’re mostly playing Mp3s and movies.


~ by silverfacestereo on December 11, 2013.

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