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Thread: The Audiophile Thread

  1. #3101
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Of the IMPURE variety.

  2. #3102
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firth View Post
    Good luck, Pioneer Elite SC-LX901
    From the manual: This mode fills the entire listening area with stereo sound from the front, surround, and surround back speakers.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pioneer
    Fitted with a Full Band Phase Control function. If the speaker unit is divided into multiple parts, such as tweeter and woofer sections, this corrects for group delay (the difference between phase and timing) between speakers. Further, by lining up the phases of the connected speakers, the unit can achieve more accurate reproduction across the full range (full band) and across all channels.
    Interesting. The receiver apparently will introduce delay to the high end to simulate phase coherent driver placement.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pioneer
    Distance
    Set the distance from each speaker to the listening position. Press on the remote controller, and select the MCACC Memory first in "AV Adjust" - "MCACC" - "MCACC Memory".
    Front Left || 10' 0" / 3.00 m || Specify the distance between each speaker and the listening position.
    Front Right ||10' 0" / 3.00 m || Specify the distance between each speaker and the listening position.
    Also interesting. The receiver will introduce delay to each speaker so the sound reaches the listener at the same time, regardless of distance to that speaker.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pioneer
    Full Auto MCACC
    Place the supplied speaker setup microphone in the listening position, measure the test tones emitted by the speakers, then the unit automatically sets the optimum volume level for each speaker, the crossover frequencies, and the distance from the listening position. The influence of standing waves can be reduced to suit the listening environment, the reverberation characteristics can be measured to increase the precision of calibration, the speaker equalizers can be adjusted, and the difference in phase and timing between speakers and speaker units can be corrected. These settings and calibrations can be readjusted with Manual MCACC, and you can enable or disable them in AV Adjust.
    • Calibration takes between 3 to 12 minutes to be completed. The speakers emit the test tone at high volume during measurement, so be careful of your surroundings. Keep the room as quiet as possible during measurement.
    What is "MCACC"?
    Quote Originally Posted by Pioneer
    Pioneer’s exclusive Multi-Channel Acoustic Calibration System (MCACC) delivers an easy-to-use, automatic sound adjustment system to precision-tune your Pioneer and Pioneer Elite receivers with minimal effort.

    Every MCACC system comes with a microphone to measure and analyze reverb characteristics. The equalizer optimally adjusts sound parameters to fit the size and shape of your home environment while maintaining the integrity of high-resolution playback without any degradation to the quality of your music.

    Simply, power-on your receiver, plug in the microphone, activate the MCACC system, and sit back while the MCACC system fine-tunes your home theater to compensate for differing speaker arrays, furniture, and even ceiling height and shape.
    Interesting. I assume delay and frequency characteristics are shaped to present a coherent listening image at the position of the microphone.

    I read the acronym should be MCACS but whatever.

    That receiver has a lot of bells and whistles. Endless fun setting it up. If the delay and frequency shaping work, it could be pretty awesome.
    Last edited by rcarlberg; 01-12-2023 at 05:30 PM.

  3. #3103
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pioneer
    Sound Retriever:
    Improve the quality of the compressed audio. Playback sound of lossy compressed files such as MP3 will be improved. The setting can be separately set to each input selector. The setting is effective with 2 ch signals with a sampling frequency of 48 kHz or less. The setting is not effective in the bitstream signals. This function works in the Auto Surround, Stereo, Mono, Extended Stereo, and Extended Mono listening modes.

    Hi-bit 32 :
    By expanding the dynamic range of digital audio signal sources such as CDs, DVDs, and BDs, it is possible to achieve a smoother and more refined sound. The setting can be separately set to each input selector. This can be set when the sampling frequency is 44.1 kHz or more
    The unit has a built-in expander. "Smoother and more refined"? I wonder if it's really a compressor.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pioneer
    Upsampling :
    By increasing the sampling frequency of PCM 2 channel audio by a factor of 2 or 4, you can achieve high-quality sound reproduction. The setting can be separately set to each input selector. This can be set when the sampling frequency is between 44.1 kHz and 96 kHz. This function
    works in the Direct, Pure Direct, and Stereo listening modes.
    Built in PCM upsampler.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pioneer
    Dialog Control :
    You can increase the dialog portion of the audio in 1 dB steps up to 6 dB so that you can make dialog easier to hear over background noise.
    • This cannot be set for content other than DTS:X.
    • The effect may not be selectable with some content.

    Dialog Enhancement :
    By adjusting the localization of the center elements, you can make it easier to hear dialog in movies or give more prominence to the vocals in music. If you are using front high speakers, you can select from "1" (low) to "4" (high).
    Center channel volume control.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pioneer
    AUTO/DIRECT button
    Press repeatedly and the listening modes suited to the input signal are switched between "Auto Surround", "Direct", and "Pure Direct". The "Direct" mode shuts down some processing that can affect sound quality, such as the tone control features, so you can enjoy even better sound quality. The "Pure Direct"mode shuts down even more processes that affects sound quality, so you get a more faithful reproduction of the original sound. In this case, the speaker calibration made with MCACC is invalid.
    MCACC is switchable.

  4. #3104
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pioneer
    Listening Mode Effects
    ■ Stereo
    In this mode, sound is output from the front left and right speakers and subwoofer.
    ■ Mono
    Use this mode when watching an old movie with a mono soundtrack, or use it to separately reproduce soundtracks in two different languages recorded in the left and right channels of some movies. It is also suitable for DVDs or other sources containing multiplexed audio.
    ■ Ent.Show (Entertainment Show)
    Suitable for rock or pop music. Listening to music in this mode creates a lively sound field with a powerful acoustic image, like being at a club or rock concert.
    ■ Ext.Mono (Extended Mono)
    In this mode, all speakers output the same sound in mono, so the sound you hear is the same regardless of where you are within the listening room.
    ■ Ext.Stereo (Extended Stereo)
    Ideal for background music, this mode fills the entire listening area with stereo sound from the front, surround, and surround back speakers.
    ■ Unplugged
    Suitable for acoustic instruments, vocals and jazz. This mode emphasizes the front stereo image, giving the impression of being right in front of the stage.
    Pretty standard DSP options. More- or less-reverb to the rear speakers. "Extended stereo" sounds like all delay and frequency shaping is turned off.
    Last edited by rcarlberg; 01-12-2023 at 06:38 PM.

  5. #3105
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    I like to think of that receiver as have the capability of calibrating the impulse response including setting delays such that the impulses arrive at the microphone at the same time. In order to do that across the entire frequency and time space, different waveforms are used. EQ is frequency response, but each frequency can have a different delay. Some think frequency and phase, but phase can be ambiguous if the delay is greater than a wavelength. That’s why different waveforms are used for different bandwidths. It uses noise to obtain coarse gain balance and certain high res waveforms to measure the delay from each speaker to the microphone.

    Even though this calibration is powerful it still is limited in how fine in the frequency domain, corrections can be achieved. That’s why it’s better to have the 5 speakers to be matched in timbre as I have, all LSi series speakers with the same tweeters and similar midrange drivers.

  6. #3106
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Pretty standard DSP options. More- or less-reverb to the rear speakers. "Extended stereo" sounds like all delay and frequency shaping is turned off.
    Extended Stereo uses calibrated channels. For example if an impulse was generated to all receiver channels, the impulse would arrive at the microphone or listener in the calibrated seat at the same time and the shape of the impulse would be as ideal as the system can make it. I’m not sure what you are stating. Nothing here in the manual states Extended Stereo turns off calibration. Furthermore Stereo mode is calibrated as well with unique gain and delay management for the subwoofers.

  7. #3107
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    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    Or what we called FM in my Navy Avionics Technician days: "F***ing Magic."
    In my squadron it was PFM, well back in the '80s anyway.

  8. #3108
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firth View Post
    I’m not sure what you are stating.
    It's mutual. You use terms in unconventional ways, and describe concepts that are magical in nature.

  9. #3109
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    It's mutual. You use terms in unconventional ways, and describe concepts that are magical in nature.
    I didn’t make up my terminology. I worked on multichannel sonar and radar systems that involved phased subarrays. One calibration (some call it room correction but it’s really more capable) system is called Dirac named after the Dirac Delta function, which is the same as an impulse function. An ideal impulse can be used to stimulate and measure the impulse response of a system. In linear systems engineering, that is all one needs to characterize and correct a system to produce an ideal response and it’s more than just EQ.

  10. #3110
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Pretty standard DSP options.
    For example my Yamaha HTR-5550 has the following nine DSP options:
    1. Hall - the primary image (PI) (or the normal left-and-right front speakers) is diminished in volume, remixed to near mono, and the L+R front & rear speakers are fed an extremely reverbed version of the PI. This setting is unusable.
    2. Jazz Club - PI is normal volume, but stereo is widened by feeding -L into the R and -R into the L. Echo, with a shorter delay and less reverberance, is fed to wing speakers. This setting duplicates what Polk does with their SDA.
    3. Rock Concert - PI is not widened, but it's pretty heavily reverbed. Standard echo to wings.
    4. Entertainment - This is the most subtle of the DSP settings, so it's the one I use the most. Swapping back-and-forth between this and 9, the difference is obvious but hard to define. I believe it adds some widening to the signal above 1500Hz only.
    5. TV Sports - PI is mono without reverb, wings are fed a signal of about 50/50 PI and reverb.
    6. Mono Movie - all speakers fed the same mono signal
    7. Movie Theater 1 - stereo is widened with minimal reverb.
    8. Movie Theater 2 - same as MT1 with a bit more reverb
    9. Stereo - all effects off. Normal PI, and the best imaging.

  11. #3111
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    A short story to illustrate a point. Today the book I was reading mentioned Stevie Wonder, who I haven't played in a long time, so I put on "Talking Book" and turned it up. It hurt my ears. Gawd, I thought, this album really needs a remaster: everything is mushy and indistinct. I went out to a couple online services to see if it's ever been remastered (it hasn't) and listened to a couple of online sources to see if any were better (they weren't). Harrumph, I thought, and turned it off.

    When I turned it off, there was just a fraction of a second of reverb that lingered after the music stopped.

    A-ha!, I proclaimed. I had left my stereo in "entertainment" mode last time I fiddled with the controls, which adds some processing to the raw stereo signal.

    I popped it back to stereo with NO effects and voila! Stevie Wonder was instantly remastered to bring out the clarity and punch I knew was in there all along. Of course it doesn't need remastering, silly me.

  12. #3112
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    What is the point? You listened to a shitty mode, and turned it off.

  13. #3113
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firth View Post
    What is the point? You listened to a shitty mode, and turned it off.
    Sigh. The point is -- I thought it was obvious, but maybe not -- you can't "improve" imaging by adding processing. As I mentioned in point #4 above, the mode wasn't "shitty" on the face of it, in fact it had been left on by accident and I didn't even notice.

    Until some critical listening came up, some piece of music I knew should sound better than what I was hearing. Not "shitty" therefore.... maybe just a gas problem, or wet pants?

  14. #3114
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Sigh. The point is -- I thought it was obvious, but maybe not -- you can't "improve" imaging by adding processing. As I mentioned in point #4 above, the mode wasn't "shitty" on the face of it, in fact it had been left on by accident and I didn't even notice.

    Until some critical listening came up, some piece of music I knew should sound better than what I was hearing. Not "shitty" therefore.... maybe just a gas problem, or wet pants?
    That’s your opinion based on one experiment. And the problem with your opinion is that “you” express it as that’s how all would perceive any processing.
    Last edited by Firth; 01-20-2023 at 08:19 AM.

  15. #3115
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    LOL. Yes, that's a problem. "I" express my opinion as if it's obvious to "me." Well played.

  16. #3116
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    When are you two going to get a room?

  17. #3117
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    I'm probably done trolling.... It's fun, but not very productive.

  18. #3118
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    I recently ran across a nice test album. My dad had this as an LP so I went looking for a copy last month, but turns out it's only been released on CD in Japan so it's a bit pricey--but it's a simply gorgeous recording: well-balanced, full frequency, good dynamics, excellent imaging. Recommended to audiophiles.

  19. #3119
    I hope I don't distract from other discussions going on here, but I am hoping there might be some guidance. I am looking to replace my old system, which at present is an amplifier and a CD player, both Sony, and not expensive, and my KLH speakers. All told, that entire setup was maybe $800. I have a Technics turntable that I have not connected, since I sold off most of 2500 LP collection, holding on to maybe 100 with sentimental value.

    So, I was thinking to just get new CD player/amp and speakers (hopefully blue-tooth), but with a limited budget of maybe $1500. I have looked over mags such as Absolute Sound and of course an daunted by the phenomenal costs of high-end audio- speakers running $350,000, cables running $25,000, etc. Is it even possible to have good audio at my price point? If it is, are there recommendations? I am so confused by amps, pre-amps, subwoofers, DACS, and so much more, I am lost reading the information.

    Thanks for any insight!
    I'm not lazy. I just work so fast I'm always done.

  20. #3120
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dana5140 View Post
    I hope I don't distract from other discussions going on here, but I am hoping there might be some guidance. I am looking to replace my old system, which at present is an amplifier and a CD player, both Sony, and not expensive, and my KLH speakers. All told, that entire setup was maybe $800. I have a Technics turntable that I have not connected, since I sold off most of 2500 LP collection, holding on to maybe 100 with sentimental value.

    So, I was thinking to just get new CD player/amp and speakers (hopefully blue-tooth), but with a limited budget of maybe $1500. I have looked over mags such as Absolute Sound and of course an daunted by the phenomenal costs of high-end audio- speakers running $350,000, cables running $25,000, etc. Is it even possible to have good audio at my price point? If it is, are there recommendations? I am so confused by amps, pre-amps, subwoofers, DACS, and so much more, I am lost reading the information.

    Thanks for any insight!
    When does it sound good to your ears?

    If you want to hear everything there is in the grooves, on the CD, or with eventual streaming, then it cost... my hifi all together cost around 10.000$ second hand, and others here have spent much more. But less can do it, if you just want music to sound ok. Do you want deep bass, dynamics, the feeling of being there, nice staging, a movie for your ears, etc....?

    I would go into a HiFi-shop or two, and tell them how much money you want to spend and let them suggest the items. They will off course recommend the stuff they sell them selves, and you might be surprised how different systems can sound, so try several combinations or shops before you decide.
    Visit your friends, listen to their systems to get an idea of what you thinks is 'da shit'...bring your own albums/CD's, those that sound good (unfortunately no Magma albums are suitable imo).
    Never ask your wife about the money or the looks of your new system !

    btw - These are good but second hand speakers https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...rce_attachment
    Last edited by Zeuhlmate; 01-27-2023 at 10:04 AM.

  21. #3121
    Yep, I do have to bring Magma... and yep, I do plan on visiting places and asking, but am sort of daunted by the cost thing- high-end audio here is Dallas is mortifyingly high-end.

    https://scottwalkeraudio.com/
    I'm not lazy. I just work so fast I'm always done.

  22. #3122
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dana5140 View Post
    I have looked over mags such as Absolute Sound and of course an daunted by the phenomenal costs of high-end audio- speakers
    Looking in Absolute Sound for stereo advice is like reading Playboy for dating advice.

    As Zeuhlmate points out, find a nice neighborhood hifi shop and browse around. Tell them how much you have to spend. Ponder used gear. Stereo spending is a scale of diminishing returns -- every doubling of expenditure gets you maybe 10% better sound. At the upper end, it's more like 1% for every doubling... or 1% for every 100x.

    Fifteen hundred should but you a very serviceable rig, especially with some careful shopping. $25,000 cables are in nobody's best interest. They're what's called "milking the rubes."

    P.S. - Looking at the Scott Walker website, I'd stay away from them. They're not selling hi-fi, they're selling penis enhancements.
    https://www.bestbuy.com/site/klipsch...?skuId=6241803
    https://www.bestbuy.com/site/sony-co...?skuId=5721005
    https://www.bestbuy.com/site/denon-a...?skuId=6517803
    https://www.bestbuy.com/site/searchp...l%20Categories
    =$1360.00
    Last edited by rcarlberg; 01-27-2023 at 04:58 PM.

  23. #3123
    P.S. - Looking at the Scott Walker website, I'd stay away from them. They're not selling hi-fi, they're selling penis enhancements.
    LOL. Yeah, I don't know people who could spend a million dollars just on a stereo system. Which apparently you can do. I sure can't- my entire home is 1800 sf, and the room for the stereo stuff is just a family room/kitchen combo, less that 1000 sf. And it is half of a duplex, and next door is a younger family with a small kid.

    Thanks for the BB links!
    I'm not lazy. I just work so fast I'm always done.

  24. #3124
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dana5140 View Post
    Thanks for the BB links!
    The equipment I linked would get you a lot for your money.

  25. #3125
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dana5140 View Post
    Yep, I do have to bring Magma... and yep, I do plan on visiting places and asking, but am sort of daunted by the cost thing- high-end audio here is Dallas is mortifyingly high-end.

    https://scottwalkeraudio.com/
    The only Magma album that sounds really good is Hhai (Live 75), Retrospective II is also good but the mix is a bit funny, especially the drums. The studioalbums are not HiFi, but Ẁurdah Ďtah and Félicité Thösz has something...
    Many of the other studioalbums has something soundwise I like, but it's a mess and not very natural.
    If you have Paganotti/Paga's last album Gnosis, bring that!

    Second hand: https://www.hifishark.com/ (if you know what you want)

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