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Denon AVR-X5200 vs Pioneer SC-LX78 - real comparison NOW

mates001

Standard Member
Hi Folks,

They have just arrived... I would like to ask you, or to give you an opportunity to ask me:) (regarding results and impressions), how to compare this two flagships. No flames please. I am just common user, who does like music and home cinema. I am not extreme fan of trademarks and I do not like flames and haters. I just wanna go through right way to compare them and make right decision. I am able to have them during this weekend, maybe till Tusday. Any suggestions? Thx. m
 

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dante01

Distinguished Member
It is basically simply a matter of listening to them. I'd suggest you use the same material to compare them with and preferably stuff you are familiar with. I'd try to configure both as basically as possible and without using additional DSP processing. Use the basic MCACC and Audyssey XT32 configurations with both and also try the pure direct options too. I'd suggest turning off Audyssey Dynamic EQ on the DEnon while testing it.

At the end of the day it is a matter of what sounds best to you.
 

mates001

Standard Member
Thx. I did setup of Denon today. Lot of time I spent with connecting to my home network and iMac and iPhone via airplay. It was showing always an error 15008. But... After midnight Denon downloaded new firmware (i was little shocked, because new firmware would be in december...). Impressions: build quality ok, setup menu superb (let say idiot proof), sound quality verry juicy, stereo excellent, surround as well. I was expected, that surronud modes (pro logic IIx / z) will be available for 2ch sources (fiber TV) - but they are not. There is only Dolby Surround mode and DTS Neo.

I hope it will be faster with Pioneer to set it up in the morning. After that I will start comparison. Btw: side by side they look as a big and little brother:):)
 

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dante01

Distinguished Member
Dolby surround is the same as the Pro Logic II and IIx on AV receivers that include Dolby Atmos. You shouldn't really need IIz if using Atmos although the speaker configurations will be different to one another.
 

mates001

Standard Member
Pioneer calibration detected reverse phase on one rear speaker. I did check it and it is ok. I did measurement again - the same results. Could be mcacc wrong, or sholud I look for some problem inside the speaker?
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
You sometimes get this and most manufacturers simply suggest you ignore it if you are sure the speakers are wired in phase. If you didn't get similar results with the Denon receiver then it is fairly certain that your speakers are not faulty. Do check them again though to ensure you have wired them up correctly.

Receivers make no adjustments in relation to phase in association with the conventional speakers so you can ignore the out of phase warning if sure the speaker isn't actually wired out of phase.
 

mates001

Standard Member
Denon did not mention reverse phase... I hope it is ok.

What I found out is, that subwoofer is not working when playing through media server - airplay. I did try several audio modes (stereo, direct, surround...) and woofer ist still silent.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Audio accessed via Airplay would be restricted to stereo so the sub will only be engaged if you've set the front speakers as being SMALL and assigned a crossover point for the receiver to use in association with them. Other than this, the sub is only employed when there's actually a discrete LFE channel present in the audio stream and 2 channel stereo has no discrete LFE channel. This isn't something specific to any particular AV receiver and something you'd experience with an AV receiver irrespective of the make or the model.
 

mates001

Standard Member
Thanks. I did play with settings of boht. Truth to say: when changing small/large speakers on Pioneer - sound on bass level is changing. When switching small/large on Denon, no sound change. If yes - verry little. Sub is off. X-frequency is set to minimum (to obtain max bass from speakers). My speakers are Taga Platinum LCR 60 (5 pcs). Pioneer detected them as large (only main R+L, surround and center as small). Denon detected them as small.

I am really not able to make decision... Pioneer or Denon:( Or Marantz. If I will ask Denon seller for Marantz, he will sell me one. I know him... My preferencies: 70-30 music-movies.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Ignore the receiver when it comes to speaker sizes and always set them to small irrespective of their physical size or indeed their rated capabilities. You gain greater upper frequency headroom if redirecting more power hungry and harder to reproduce bass frequencies away from the speakers and to a sub. It is generally suggested to use a crossover of 60 to 80Hz even with more capable speakers with rated handling capabilities below this. Nothing is gained by outputting these frequencies via the speakers themselves as opposed to using the sub to reproduce them.

The sub should be permantly left on and its own frequency filter should be set as high as it will go so as not to interferre with the filtering being done by the AV receiver's own crossover filter and bass management. The settings on the sub should be done prior to running the receiver's auto calibration and bass management, speaker sizes and the receiver's crossovers should be done after the calibration. Always set bass manament manually and override the results of the auto calibration.
 

mates001

Standard Member
I don't really know how to set sub right way before calibration. Denon showed me notification during calibration to turn sub slightly down. But no word about frequency. Pioneer did calibration without any word about sub. My Cross frequency (on sub) is set to 125Hz (in scale 50-200Hz). Speakers are 39Hz to 40kHz. What is the best frequency for woofer in my case?
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
The sub's gain or volume should be set about one third to halfway, its frequency/crossover needs to be set to maximum or to a dedicate LFE setting if it has one and phase should be set to 0° if the sub has such an option. Also turn off any auto power feature if present. These settings should not be altered after performing the calibration and you'd need to recalibrate the receiver if these settings are altered. After calibration, check the resulting level setting for the sub and ensure it isn't too high or low. By this I mean ensure that the sub's level setting on the receiver isn't at its maximum or its minimum permissible level. If it is then you need to adjust the sub's own volume dial accordingly and then rerun the calibration.

I'd tend to suggest a crossover within the range 60 - 90Hz in relation to your speaker's capabilities. I'd use a setting of 80Hz for the purpose of testing the receivers.
 

mates001

Standard Member
Dante01 lot of thanks! You are really helping me. I will recalibrate receivers tomorrow. Everything was set as you mentioned except sub frequency. I will change it.

Volume (thanks to Denon calibrating process), phase were set right way. Sub Quadral Qube 10 has no dedicated LFE, I will turn it to max tomorrow and will do recalibration.

After all I feel more detailed and open sound from Denon than Pioneer. I am testing them in Direct and Pure Direct modes. Also with calibrated settings. By the Pioneer - calibrated settings in stereo mode are (IMO) pushing down the naturalism of sound. Voices / vocals are pushing down and more in the middle of stereo space. EQ is off. I am trying to play with Presets for calibartion settings. And better results are with preset where are not saved calibrated values. By Denon, there is more open and natural Direct and pure direct mode. Calibrated settings are also too (than normal) nonrealistic. Lot of high frequencies, more bass level. It is lovely for my wife:) but for me it is too flowered. EQ is also off.

Pioneer has lot of settings for editing final sound results, but lot of them without real impact to sound for may ear.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
It is quite common for users to feel that the EQ correction results in a rather flat response in relation to music and many prefer to use a pure direct mode that bypasses the EQ filtering when playing stereo music sources. There's no need to manual turn off the EQ correction from within the settings seeing as the pure direct modes bypass this filtration anyway.
 

mates001

Standard Member
Thanks. Yes, EQ is turned off while direct playing but what about speakers calibration (distance, level and another correction) during direct and pure direct play?

What would you suggest? P or D?;) big dilemma...
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Distance and levels are still applicable to all modes. You lose any bass management and EQ filtering while using PURE DIRECT, but it is still applied to the STRAIGHT modes.

PURE DIRECT is fine with music if you've more conventional sized speakers. The STRAIGHT options are more applicable to multichannel audio such as movie soundtracks.
 

rhubarb4

Well-known Member
I'm liking this thread, very interesting comparison

Chris.
 

mates001

Standard Member
I would share more experiences. But it is useless without participant interest;) If you have questions, just write a post and I will try to reply you. Please, keep in mind, I am not expert, I am just user;)


Thx
 

mates001

Standard Member
I found out an issue with dropped sound while changing sound formats on Pioneer. So I returned it and I stay in contact with local Pioneer dealer to solve this issue :(
 

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