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Question In Need Of Some Advice!

Chrjy

Novice Member
Hi guys,

Many moons ago I used to keep up with all the latest audio stuff, having HiFi separates and older cinema setups. However, as I got older and had to be more responsible(!), I lost touch so was hoping you guys could offer me some advice.

In 2008 I bought the Pioneer LX01 (Pioneer LX01 Home Cinema System Review | Trusted Reviews) (Manual and tech specs: Table Of Contents; Section One - Pioneer LX01 Operating Instructions Manual [Page 4]), I have had it ever since and it’s been awesome for my needs. I’m still happy with the 5.1 sound and it always surprises me how the tiny little speakers can produce such audio.

I feel it’s now time to upgrade my TV to 4K. I currently have a Sony Bravia KDL42W8. I’m looking at the Sony Bravia KD43XF8096. I have SkyQ and am looking to replace my Apple TV (3rd gen) for an Apple TV 4K. My Pioneer setup does not work with 4K.

My intention is to spread the cost, so looking to get the receiver and subwoofer followed by the TV and Apple TV.
Initially I was just going to buy a receiver and hook up my current Pioneer speakers but realised that it won’t work with the sub. So I now need to ascertain if the Sony Receiver will power the little speakers okay without blowing them up! Any advice on this would be helpful.

Also the LX01 didn’t come with a centre speaker (by design) so will the audio still sound fine if I don’t hook up a centre speaker?

The receiver I am looking at as I don’t need anything too fancy is the Sony STR-DH790 (Sony 7.2ch Home Theatre AV Receiver | STR-DH790).

Please note that I’m not worried about 7.1 channel setup, 5.1 is just fine for my needs. I am mainly looking to take advantage of 4K content so it seems I need to upgrade a lot of my kit!

I would appreciate and advice….thanks.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Using a modern receiver with the older type speaker can be problematic if the speakers have a low impedance rating. Many of the old speakers with 5.1 systems had very low ratings sometimes as low as 3.2 ohms. With a modern receiver you should not run speakers with a rating of lower than 4 ohm. Check the label on the back of the speakers to confirm the rating.

The sub woofer is more than likely a passive one which again you cannot easily run with a receiver as they are designed to run with a powered unit via the LFE connection.

There maybe a work around if the Pioneer has a digital optical input and that is to connect the TV via the optical cable to the Pioneer, this will give you 5.1. You would then connect all your other equipment by HDMI to the TV.
 

Chrjy

Novice Member
Thanks for the detail, very helpful.

I just checked the impedance rating on the speakers and believe it or not they are 8 ohms for those little things. Would they be okay to work with a new receiver with that impedance rating?

The Pioneer does have an optical input actually. Would that degrade sound? I was under the impression that HDMI audio is better or is that only for things like ATMOS?

So if I have all equipment connected to the TV, I can just switch inputs as normal via the TV and the Pioneer will handle the 5.1 audio using the optical cable? How would it handle the audio of 4K titles?

EDIT: I've just had a thought, I could probably test the optical cable workaround with my current setup as my current Sony TV has an optical out so I can get a feel for how it sounds.
 
Last edited:

IWC Dopplel

Distinguished Member
Using a modern receiver with the older type speaker can be problematic if the speakers have a low impedance rating. Many of the old speakers with 5.1 systems had very low ratings sometimes as low as 3.2 ohms. With a modern receiver you should not run speakers with a rating of lower than 4 ohm. Check the label on the back of the speakers to confirm the rating.

The sub woofer is more than likely a passive one which again you cannot easily run with a receiver as they are designed to run with a powered unit via the LFE connection.

There maybe a work around if the Pioneer has a digital optical input and that is to connect the TV via the optical cable to the Pioneer, this will give you 5.1. You would then connect all your other equipment by HDMI to the TV.

The problems with low impedance speakers and difficult to drive speakers is amplifier design where low cost often means low current delivery and small power supplies. You can buy old and new speakers with low and high impedance as well as old and new receivers with sufficient drive for difficult loads. Good power supplies are heavy and expensive, so often smaller cheaper receivers are specced to look powerful, but in reality they are not
 

Chrjy

Novice Member
I tried the optical route and was getting no luck at all. Basically my Pioneer was saying PCM and I could quite clearly hear it was stereo. I tried changing numerous settings on the TV and the Pioneer without luck. I could not get 5.1 audio from either my SkyQ Box or Apple TV using an optical cable.

In the end I just bought the Sony Receiver (STR-DH790) and a Yamaha Subwoofer (NS-SW100). They arrive tomorrow so I'll plug them in, keep my fingers crossed, and see how I get on!
 

The Dreamer

Distinguished Member
That’s the way to do it!:D

I always tell people looking to get better speakers to take look on eBay and the like.

Speaker technology doesn’t really change, and there are loads of bargains to be had from people upgrading. Until I built my own speakers, all of my speakers were pre-owned.

One of my favourite types, if a speaker has to be on show and look ‘cool’ are the Kef Eggs - loads available.

Of course there are other brands too, but a matching set of 5 speakers will have your room singing in no time!

Or, since your new receiver can do Atmos, you could even dip your toe into those waters!;)

Probably best to get the 5.1 running first, but with an eye to moving to 5.1.2 in the future - it’s a game changer!:smashin:
 

Chrjy

Novice Member
Thanks The Dreamer :D I concluded that I couldn't be bothered to mess around trying to get it to work via some workaround and to stop kidding myself that I wasn't going to upgrade at some point! Bit by bit...at least now I have something to start with...well hopefully, as long as I don't nuke my speakers ;)

I spent ages reading your thread, what an absolutely epic project, that must be an amazing place to watch a movie and hats off to you sir, that is some serious work you've put into that and should be very proud. Your DIY skills and attention to detail is phenomenal, I wish I had half that talent! Looking forward to a fully finished job with high res photos from all angles!

Thanks all for helping me along.
 

The Dreamer

Distinguished Member
Thanks The Dreamer :D I concluded that I couldn't be bothered to mess around trying to get it to work via some workaround and to stop kidding myself that I wasn't going to upgrade at some point! Bit by bit...at least now I have something to start with...well hopefully, as long as I don't nuke my speakers ;)

I spent ages reading your thread, what an absolutely epic project, that must be an amazing place to watch a movie and hats off to you sir, that is some serious work you've put into that and should be very proud. Your DIY skills and attention to detail is phenomenal, I wish I had half that talent! Looking forward to a fully finished job with high res photos from all angles!

Thanks all for helping me along.

Thanks, it is a very special place to watch a movie - which is why it’s taking me so long to finish it!:blush:

My DIY skills are mediocre at best, most of it is trial and error, and watching YouTube videos on how things are done. I’ve made plenty of mistakes - only a portion of which are shown on my thread!

There’s plenty of stuff I just keep quiet about and hope that no-one notices or calls me out on my errors!:D

But it’s all part of the fun, and the finish line is heaving in to view, or maybe it’s the halfway mark - difficult to tell!;)

Enjoy playing with your new gear, and as I say, keep your eyes open for bargains on eBay - very little point in spending money on new speakers, when pre-loved work just as well!
 

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