Bright speakers with Bright receiver?

prioryinn

Standard Member
Hi,

I have my heart set on the Pioneer vsx919 and the JBL CS480 speakers. Problem is they are both considered "bright" and apparently its not a good idea to combine them.

Im not an audiophile, but do appreciate good sound, do you think this would really be a problem pairing these two? Can the settings on the amp neutralise any excessive "brightness"?

My backup option is the Harman Karden HKTS 7 5.1, which apparently is more warm, so supposedly would pair more naturally with the bright pioneer receiver.

Any thoughts would be very much appreciated. Cheers!
 

Member 639844

Former Advertiser
Some people prefer a brighter sound, so its only you can that say if its really a problem or not for you. Taste is a personal thing. There is also your room to consider into this equation. Some rooms have a brighter sound that others. A bright combination of speakers and amp in a very 'hard' room will sound brighter still. However, if you have a very soft room, the bright combo might actually be better, picking out details that would otherwise get lost or subdued.

Different sound modes on the amp wont cure an naturally bright sound from your setup, only augment it, but that brightness will remain to the point you make the system start sounding dull.

Demo your combo, and see what you think, and dont forget to take your room into account. Its difficult to do that last bit when demo'ing in a shop, but you should have some idea of the characteristics of your room, and you have to try figure this into your demo as you listen.
 

marscay

Novice Member
There is different definitions of bright depending on the person also, i know of ppl who will call bright a sound which is actually just very detailed and of better quality than they're used to......but they've only ever heard symbols sound recessed under woolly speakers and poor amplification and so a signature that is more lively is considered harsh to them.

You really need to listen to the pairing together though, sometimes 2 dynamic items together can be too much.
 

prioryinn

Standard Member
Hi guys, it has been very useful to read your replies. It certainly sounds like the sensible thing to do would be to listen to this setup, but unfortunately for me thats not very practical for me as I dont live anywhere near a store that would stock this stuff. I plan on ordering them online and having them delivered.

My living room and adjoining rooms are what I guess you would call "hard". We have wooden floors, no rugs or wall hangings to speak of. So with the Pioneer receiver and JBL speakers thats bright, bright and bright ("we're rocking a triple entendre there, you know")!!

I am starting to now think that the HKTS 7 would be the safer option, considering Ill be purchasing deaf, so to speak.
 

Passingbat

Distinguished Member
mate get the on you want,if you dont then you will wish you had.
And keep that thought when the possibly over bright sound is driving you crazy?

You're doing things the right way --- doing research and gathering opinions. If you can't demo, going with tried, tested and popular combos is possibly not a bad idea and can save a lot of regret. People who can demo are at an advantage as they can try all sorts of combos.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
While bright amps, bright speakers, warm amps, warm speakers, are a reality, I've always considered it a very subtle reality.

Now if a speakers is harshly bright, that could be a problem, but I've generally known JBL's to be reasonably clear on the high end. If the highs are emphasized but with no distortion, then the brightness can easily be controlled to your taste.

One the front of the amp there is very likely a knob that says 'Treble', you are allowed to turn it down.

Again, the absolute best test is to hear the amp and speakers together before you buy. If that is not possible, then remember that in general all amps are made to work with all speaker, and conversely, all speakers are made to work with all amps.

But then, that's just one man's opinion.

Steve/bluewizard
 

prioryinn

Standard Member
Thank you everyone who replied to this thread. Your posts really helped me to make my final decision. I would have loved to demo the products before hand (this certainly sounds like the best advice someone in my position could follow) but given that was not possible I had to just make a decision and go for it.

Well i went with the original combo JBL CS460's 5.1 and the Pioneer VSX 919.

I have hooked this up last night and am absolutely delighted with the sound!! Just amazing clarity. I think I can hear what people are talking about when they say brightness, but I dont think its a problem for me, it sounds fantastic.

During my research I read that the Pioneer is quite adjustable and so I should be able to make some adjustments should I ever experience another concept I read about "listening fatigue". But to be honest, all the concerns I had are gone. Could not be happier.

By the way, the JBLs look very stylish, the Pioneer too is a classy looking receiver. My only HDMI input to the receiver is my PS3 (not slim) and I have not had a single problem passing this through to my TV ( I have read some people are having PS3 issues with the 919).

Thanks again everyone :)
 

bobbymax

Active Member
Has the vsx919 got an X-curve function ? As this function can reduce the brightness level as far as I know, although I haven't witnessed it in action.
 

lhlsteve

Standard Member
Hi Guys,
Just bought a vsx919 and JBL480 speakers. After setup the system with 5.1 using the Auto MACC the volume output is like kind of low. I have to turn the volume to -40db or -20db just to get sound to from the speaker.

Any sifu here got any comments on this? Many Thanks.

regards,
Steve
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
In general, I've never known JBL to be particularly bright. I had a pair, and I thought they were kind of bass heavy.


As to lhlsteve's comment, I'm not quite sure what the question is.

Are you asking why the setup arrive at the settings it did?

Keep in mind, it is not uncommon, from what I read, for the Setup to come up with some odd combinations of setting. People frequently have to run the setup several times with the microphone placed differently to get a setup that makes sense.

So, many things can interfere with the setup. If there are reflective surfaces near the mic. Placement and positioning of the Mic. How many people are in the room, and if they are moving around during the test.

Like I said, from the feedback we are getting here, it frequently takes several tries to get a setup that makes sense, and even then, it sometimes need personal tweaking.

Hopefully other can confirm or deny what I have said.

Steve/bluewizard
 

lhlsteve

Standard Member
Hi Bluewizards,

Thanks for the comments. Basically, the cs480 was a 5.1 speaker system. So i connect up all together with my vsx919. The vsx919 is capable of volume -70db (no sound) to +12db. Thats what the manual said.

After hooking up all the speakers and run the Auto Macc (abt 4 to 5 times), then try play with some audio CD and movies. I need to pump up the volume till roughly -20db to -40db just to get sound from the speaker. Is this normal or i have set up something wrong?

Any help is greatly appreciated... Thanks. :)
 

rgvsean

Novice Member
Hi, I have the VSX919 and may be able to offer some advice.

I also found the volume low after using 'full auto' macc

Try using just the 'auto' macc and tell it you have THX speakers, this will make auto macc set up for small speakers as the full auto seems to always go large. It will also set the x-over to 80hz. (anything below that is now sent to the sub and the sub will also now work when stereo is selected)

Once that's done you will find in speaker levels that the db for each is now around 0 or 0.5 instead of -6 on full auto (that's what happened to mine anyway - your room may vary this).

You may also see the centre channel slighly lower, if this is the case bring it up a little if you can't hear voices clearly on films. But try it first of course.

Set your sub crossover knob to full/max then adjust on the volume knob only.

On the pio there is an x curve and you can adjust it down for hard rooms I think but I'm no expert. I knocked mine down as I was using missions which are bright, however I found some of the brightness uncomfortable, to explain this I say it's like you want to turn it down even though the volume is not excessive??? Does that make sense?


Hmmm anyway, I love the amp and the detail is definatley a good thing but it's a complicated thing to me and it's taken me a few weeks to start to understand it as a rank amatuer.
 

rgvsean

Novice Member
As I just fitted new speakers I redid the whole process so here you go:

Set sub to approx 3/4 volume full x-over (amp will tell you if it's too loud and you just turn it down a bit)
Install microphone
Select "AutoMCACC"
Select ALL
Select THX
Press Start

Wait.............

Go to SYSTEM SETUP

Speaker type - Should be SMALL SMALL SMALL

Channel Levels:

Mine was on 80hz (Correct) however I had -6.5 on rears and minus 3 on fronts minus 5 on sub so I brought them all up by 3 so the balance was the same.

I did not alter any of the speaker distances, this seems remarkably accurate.

As I have a hard room I moved the x curve down.

I then loaded pink floyd dark side of the moon SACD to test.

For night time listening I had a good detailed sound at -37 not had chance to run them loud yet and also want to run them in a bit first. However that worked for me. Adjust the sub so the bass sounds like it's coming out your speakers and not the sub. I like it so you can hear the sub but wonder if it's working. To check turn the sub off and you should hear a massive difference yet when it's on you're not sure it's coming from there. Hope that makes sense.

I've not been brave enough to mess with the pro equaliser so let the amp set it for me, hence the ALL setting earlier on.
 

lhlsteve

Standard Member
Hi Sean,

Wow, excellent info. :) Many Thanks.

I have not got a chance to reconfig last nite... :p wife was watching the tele... will do it this friday... holiday (yeah...)

regards,
Steve
 

rgvsean

Novice Member
No problem Steve, it's nice to be able to help.

I was reading the manual last night, much easier to understand AFTER a play.

There is a good section on the x-curve feature giving advice on settings based on room size. On that basis I notched it down 0.5 There is also some advice how to turn on the treble/bass settings but as I am now happy with the sound I've not explored that. If you have bright speakers you may need to.
 

cy1984

Standard Member
My favorite sound comes from my 48-pound, Pioneer SX-1010 stereo receiver driving a pair of Accoustic Research AR94sx speakers. Now I have a Yamaha RX-V1400 receiver driving the same AR's and have lost much of the richness and depth produced with the SX-1010; for example, violins sound comparatively anemic through the Yamaha while the Pioneer renders strings beautifully and effortlessly with detail and richness and without any fatiguing effects whatsoever. I generally prefer more efficient speakers like the ARs at 92db. I am keeping the SX-1010/AR combo for stereo. For those familiar with the SX-1010 and ARs, how can I approximate that sound character in a 7.1 or expandable 5.1 HT setup either with or without the RX-V1400 and on a $4,000 budget? I have been leaning toward Axiom speakers but they have been described as bright and maybe not a good match for the Yamaha, although it's hard to say since reviews seldom include what amp was used in the testing. I need to really narrow the prospect list of speaker and amp makes and models. I know it's not an easy question but any general direction would be great.
 

a8ch

Novice Member
My favorite sound comes from my 48-pound, Pioneer SX-1010 stereo receiver driving a pair of Accoustic Research AR94sx speakers. Now I have a Yamaha RX-V1400 receiver driving the same AR's and have lost much of the richness and depth produced with the SX-1010; for example, violins sound comparatively anemic through the Yamaha while the Pioneer renders strings beautifully and effortlessly with detail and richness and without any fatiguing effects whatsoever. I generally prefer more efficient speakers like the ARs at 92db. I am keeping the SX-1010/AR combo for stereo. For those familiar with the SX-1010 and ARs, how can I approximate that sound character in a 7.1 or expandable 5.1 HT setup either with or without the RX-V1400 and on a $4,000 budget? I have been leaning toward Axiom speakers but they have been described as bright and maybe not a good match for the Yamaha, although it's hard to say since reviews seldom include what amp was used in the testing. I need to really narrow the prospect list of speaker and amp makes and models. I know it's not an easy question but any general direction would be great.
Well I think you should have a listen to the Marantz SR6004 and Denon 2310, some folk rate the yamaha RV2065 but I havnt heard it personally. The Marantz is revered for its excellent stereo sound quality and has gained the nickname `the audiophiles av receiver' but it does has an issue with the Audessy sound processing feature and sony blu ray players.

I personally like the distinctive AR sound. It is going to be difficult to get an exact match from another maker, but pushed I would say the kef IQ 50 could offer similar traits, try and get a listen against your 94sx's.
 

Techlord

Novice Member
You can always tame that hard sound through hanging acoustic panels designed for sound absorption, I'm making my own using Owens Corning 703 4" thick, already have wooden frames made. I'll be covering them with some nice fabric, white ivory burlap. I have a lot of Slap Echo in my room, installing 3-4 2' x 4' ft. panels on the back wall with 2" thick panels behind the front speakers. This should soften things up a bit.

Regards,
Techlord.
 

gandley

Novice Member
hlsteve

when you run the auto calibration setup you have to remember this sets sound output for reference sound levels, so that may account for why you have to push the volume knob a little further than before adjustment, my pioneer AX10 needed to be at -24db before things started to get going and its not really an issue.
If you have a sound meter then you can pretty much get every channel to hit you at equal sound levels and this normaly is more accurate then relying on the auto channel level function.
 
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