Beginner Home Cinema Build (Pioneer AVR/Q Acoustics 5.1)

patrick7487

Novice Member
Evening all,

I have recently completed a Home cinema setup comprising:-

AVR: Pioneer VSX 529-K
Speakers all Q Acoustics...
Fronts: Q3050i
Centre: Q3090
Rears: Q3010
Sub: Q3070

So far I'm a little underwhelmed. My biggest two issues are A) Getting the audio to work via Optical Only and B) Getting decent sound in 2.0 instead of 5.1

A) I absolutely CANNOT get the AVR to produce sound through Optical only. I know the TV transmits Audio through the in-built speakers and Optical simultaneously because I ran it previously through an off-shelf Theatre system (Panasonic) for a few years now. So it can't be the signal, it has to be the AVR. I have tried it with and without HDMI Cables (I hate the ARC so I disabled this at both ends, still didn't work). I tried taking the Optical signal from the Sky Q Box. Nothing.

The only way I have got audio through it so far is via HDMI. But this system is my baby and I don't want anyone using it without me around. They can make do with the TV Speakers, maybe a soundbar eventually.

B) The AVR Has a Stereo option and it does indeed kill the Other speakers, leaving just the fronts. However the sound is rubbish. These 3050i's are beasts and I know the inner monster is begging to be released but I cannot get any meaningful bass from them and they just sound a bit, well, flat!

I am suspecting AVR Issues with the Pioneer 529 and I tried to do the factory reset by holding BAND and pressing and holding STANDBY for 2 seconds (as per the Manual) and have had no success. Nothing happens. The AVR is a used unit I paid £80 cash through a free-selling site.

For added context, the 5.1 Sound is decent but only because the Sub is on. I am definitely not getting the best from these speakers at the moment. I have tried playing with the levels and setting the Speakers Manually to Fronts LARGE and all others to OFF/NO and no difference made.

I would thoroughly appreciate any help from those who have experienced similar. Many thanks in advance.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
If you are getting no sound at all with the optical then you must check that you have the optical input assigned on the Pioneer. You have the manual to help guide you through the set up procedure. Otherwise with a used unit it may be that the optical input is no longer working or could be as simple as user error.

Your stereo option I take it is for music. Sadly what you are hearing is what you are going to get. Even using the amp in a direct mode music is going to be poor. AV amps are very poor compared to a stereo integrated of the same price range. This particular Pioneer was just above entry level when first released and to get any kind of good stereo music performance you need to be looking at the higher end units from the mainstream manufacturers.

If you use the direct mode then the speakers will automatically be treated as large but the sub will not be used as direct by-passes the bass management.

As for the overall sound have you run MCACC?
 

patrick7487

Novice Member
Unfortunately the mic was lost by previous user. Didn't realise until I got it home and unboxed the unit. Tried to get back in touch but I got ghosted. I am getting there with manual speaker setup, but there's only so much can be done with the ears...

I had a Eureka moment last night and got the optical working directly from the back of the sky box into the AVR. So I'm happy I have the functionality I want when listening to TV or movies.

You have confirmed my suspicions. For decent stereo music listening I'm going to invest in a dedicated integrated amp just for the 3050i's.

The pioneer does what I want it to for the home cinema and for the time being I can put up with using multiple speakers for playing music.

Cheers for your response 👍🏻
 

ShanePJ

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
With the Optical connection, can you see a little red light at the end which you would plug into the AV Receiver when it is plugged into the TV? You may have to move the end around, but it their is no light, it usually means that something is wrong with either the source or cable.

As you have now achieved sound, this would point towards the TV not outputting an optical signal. So, its one of two reason, either the optical out is faulty or the incorrect setting are set

Improving stereo, as you have lost the calibration mic, you can usually pick these up for a few pounds of Amazon and that should give you a boost in performance.

Few other things for you to check.
Make sure your speakers are set to large as this could be filtering some of the 3050's frequencies away,
Eco mode is switched off,
Toggle though the sound stages on the remote until you find "Stereo", or "Pure Direct" and see if that gives you a boost in stereo sounds
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Unfortunately the mic was lost by previous user. Didn't realise until I got it home and unboxed the unit. Tried to get back in touch but I got ghosted. I am getting there with manual speaker setup, but there's only so much can be done with the ears...

I had a Eureka moment last night and got the optical working directly from the back of the sky box into the AVR. So I'm happy I have the functionality I want when listening to TV or movies.

You have confirmed my suspicions. For decent stereo music listening I'm going to invest in a dedicated integrated amp just for the 3050i's.

The pioneer does what I want it to for the home cinema and for the time being I can put up with using multiple speakers for playing music.

Cheers for your response 👍🏻

Try to find the calibration mic used if you can find one as Shane pointed out, otherwise you need decent quality spl meter (c-weighted, slow response) to setup the system.

Optical connection is limited to old lossy 5.1 Dolby Digital so you miss the surround DD+ quality. If you were to connect other devices via optical you don`t get the lossless HD audio support either which you get with hdmi connection.
 

patrick7487

Novice Member
Yeah something has definitely changed because I used to be able to get the sound through Optical and TV Speakers simultaneously... In my frustration whilst trying to get things working I've almost definitely changed this function. No matter, I can put up with it for now. Optical is working which is... Fine.

As far as HDMI Goes, I will have yet another cabling session and play with the settings so that I can still use the Sky Box and TV without having to turn on the AVR (I am aware of the ARC Options on both devices so will set these to off. I don't want the AVR to come on when I turn the TV on all the time.

So far I have only seen MCACC Mics for £35ish and that is half what I paid for the AVR. Are there compatible mics without Pioneer branding which will do what I need it to do?
 

patrick7487

Novice Member
SHanePJ, As you state, do the setup Mics from Amazon do what I need? Thanks for your other suggestions, I had in fact played about with all the settings you mention but I appreciate your input.
 

ShanePJ

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
If you can find a Pioneer one anywhere, I would go down that route even if its from eBay. If not, look to any of the popular av receiver brands for a mic before buying a third party unbranded one as I've no idea on the level of their accuracy and using one which was supplied with a manufacturer electronics means it has to work with certain parameters

As the connection is just a mono input, there shouldn't be any difference between the fitting and I guess any mic would be better than no mic if you really had to use any
 

MQJ

Active Member

patrick7487

Novice Member
Thanks guys for the input. I am slowly getting to know the AVR (which is the best way to learn about them I suppose). I am already forming plans for upgrading the AVR but I definitely DEFINITELY want to get the most out of these speakers for both Home Theatre and Stereo music listening (I have a decent CD Collection and am building a Vinyl collection (slowly).

So I think it needs to be a High-End AVR (or separates) or a Mid-range AVR but with a dedicated Integrated Amplifier with some sort of cable switcher for when it's time for the Telly to go off and the records going on 8)
 

MQJ

Active Member
Yes, build bit by bit. And you are correct, upgrading the AVR is the next step. I would recommend Denon or Marantz but I don't think you need separates (unless you are sitting over 16ft or 17ft away).
My Denon allows me to power it off and it still passes sound and picture through to the TV, which is great late at night.
And don't forget room treatments. You can get some nice living room-friendly acoustic panels nowadays. But bit by bit as they say.
 

ShanePJ

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
If you are looking at a new AV Receiver, then I'd look at one which front outs! This means you can connect an integrated stereo amplifier at a later date if you find the stereo sounds are inadequate

Yamaha's RX-V6 is a starting point as its about the cheapest unit to offer this feature (although Denon, Marantz and others also offer this feature as you go up the range). Of course you'll also need to look at an integrated stereo amplifier which has a fixed input which will allow the Yamaha to control the volume levels and for everything else where music is a factor, you can input those the traditional RCA way

You can read more here about this feature

 

patrick7487

Novice Member
Yes, build bit by bit. And you are correct, upgrading the AVR is the next step. I would recommend Denon or Marantz but I don't think you need separates (unless you are sitting over 16ft or 17ft away).
My Denon allows me to power it off and it still passes sound and picture through to the TV, which is great late at night.
And don't forget room treatments. You can get some nice living room-friendly acoustic panels nowadays. But bit by bit as they say.

Great advice, many thanks for this!! This unit also has pass-through but when I had this I was unaware of ACR functionality and it annoyed me that the TV coming on automatically powered up the AVR. This setup is in the living room and it's not always appropriate to have the home cinema on when the missus is sleeping off nightshift! But I'm getting there with the functionality issues

If you are looking at a new AV Receiver, then I'd look at one which front outs! This means you can connect an integrated stereo amplifier at a later date if you find the stereo sounds are inadequate

Yamaha's RX-V6 is a starting point as its about the cheapest unit to offer this feature (although Denon, Marantz and others also offer this feature as you go up the range). Of course you'll also need to look at an integrated stereo amplifier which has a fixed input which will allow the Yamaha to control the volume levels and for everything else where music is a factor, you can input those the traditional RCA way

You can read more here about this feature


I'm learning new things all the time! I had no idea about front-outs before now so thanks very much! I have a lot of shopping around (and a bit of saving) to do for upgrading the AVR
 

The latest video from AVForums

Samsung QN95B 4K QLED TV Review
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom