Question New Pioneer VSX933 seems too quiet after initial setup


Standard Member
Hi all

I just treated myself to this receiver (previously had a THX rated VSX and it was fantastic until a channel died on it), it's to replace my Sony STR-DN1030 which is starting to get a bit annoying as it turns off the signal to the TV now and then.

The pioneer seemed like a fantastic deal and speak for the price, and rated 135wpc seemed like it would have tons of grunt.

Here;s the thing though. I did the initial MCACC setup (the setup I have in that particular room is 5.0 with Mission 753 fronts, mission surrounds and centre), and it was certainly plenty loud with the setup test tones.

Once it was all complete though and I tried out various sources (all through HDMI, except for trying bluetooth also) I found that to get more than a whisper out of the speakers I have to crank it way up, way higher than I would expect.

I'll be honest and say that I don't actually know if this is a problem/fault or not because volume control settings can be a bit arbitrary and what's perceived as loud or quiet is very subjective.
But for instance, the lowest volume starts at -80, and I'm having to turn it to between -40 to -30 using the TV arc channel to get it loud enough for normal TV watching (i.e. loud enough you can hear it fine in a relatively small room but if someone in the room starts talking it would interrupt what you can hear from the speakers, so essentially more or less similar level to human conversation).

On the volume bar that appears on screen this is actually around about half way up the scale, which seems WAY too far up the volume scale for a low output.
On any other amp I have (currently 2 sony str-dn's and an old yamaha dsp-ax620) you only need to turn them a fraction of this to get to the same output level.

Like I say, maybe it is just how the control and scale works on this amp but it seems very odd to have to turn it round a lot to just get to normal TV level, never mind film watching, enthusiastic gaming, or "the wife is out" music level.
I did notice on turning it further (with bluetooth, which was very much more quiet even) that when the minus volume gets to zero it continues into positive numbers, but didn't want to wind it up more just in case there is something wrong.

On the setup it asked if the speakers are 6 ohms and I clicked yes, as the Mission 753 are statedI think as 8ohms but on several sites are stated that they're actually 6ohm in reality. But I'm wondering if this option during setup has changed the amount of power the amp is trying to push into them maybe?

Any ideas what I can try, or other owners that can tell me what theirs are like to compare? Thanks!


Standard Member
Just as a vague comparison:

My Sony STR-DN1050 (100wpc). Volume range goes from 0 to 74.
At volume level 12 it's adequate for perfectly audible TV watching (not loud at all but loud enough to hear everything fine across a 15 foot room) with the Mission M35i floorstanders as long as other people are not chatting in the same room. That equates to being at 16/100 volume.

The VSX933 (135wpc) into similar floorstanding Missions (753)
The scale starts at -81.5, and goes up to +17 (seems a very odd scale, although I'm familiar with ones that go from minus numbers at least - I presume it's db attenuation or something?), ie a range of 98.5 steps from min to max.
Watching the TV at the same subjective volume level it needs to be set around -35 to -30, so that's more or less around 46.5-51.5 steps up from minimum (so around 50% volume!) to get to fairly quiet levels, which are only around 16% volume on the Sony.

Hope that makes sense but it's not inspiring at all! Otherwise sounds fine but this is bothering me quite a bit.

I will check the settings for channel adjustment that the MCACC setup might have done but I can't see what else I can adjust, and it seems pitiful/very wrong to have to be at around 50% volume just to watch TV or play a game at a relatively quiet level!


Active Member
Hi, I don’t have the exact same problem but still a problem with the mcacc set up.... the centre channel is -4.5db and it is jarring how low it is!!! I can change via the tool bar on my remote to bring it to 0 but I can’t seem to be able to change the Rear/height channels? I have gone through everything but as soon as I look at the MCACC settings they default back the calibrated settings?


Well-known Member
Actually, the quoted specs for the Pioneer are misleading...

The quoted STEREO RMS power for the Pio are 80 Watts at 8 Ohms with .08% distortion.

The Sony is 100 Watts RMS into 6 Ohms with 0.09% distortion

So, in stereo, both amps have effectively similar output power.

When it comes to surround, Pioneer states the amp has 7 x 135 Watts (6 Ohms) @1Khz with ONE CHANNEL DRIVEN. This means that it will not provide this power to all channels, they will most likely be reduced to 30-40% of this and 1Khz is not the full audio spectrum!

Sony quotes the 1050 at 165W/channel (6 Ohms)@1Khz but doesn't state it's one channel driven, although I suspect it is

So, it looks as though the Sony is slightly more powerful than the Pioneer in surround mode.

You are also comparing the Pioneer with different speakers - that could have an effect depending on their sensitivity and impedance, which may not be the same.

You should be able to change the scale of the audio readout in the setup menu but you can't compare the numbers with the previous receiver!

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