Upgrading AV amp & Speakers - Pioneer SC-LX57 ?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by guitarsnstuff10, Feb 10, 2014.

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  1. guitarsnstuff10

    guitarsnstuff10
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    Dear all, I currently have an Onkyo SR-508 AVR and Cambridge Audio Minx S215 speakers. I have never been able to achieve the clarity I would like with speech. No end of fiddling with the Onkyo's dynamic volume and dynamic EQ and boosting the centre speaker - the speech always seems muffled, muddy and/or low in the mix. So I return frustratingly the old fashioned technique of guessing when an explosion is going to happening slamming the volume down, before turning it right back up again so that I might following some of the plot.

    So I am currently looking to change my amp and possibly speakers as well. I have seen good reviews of the Pioneer SC-LX57 but no real user experience. There is a youtube video that suggests that there are no 'on screen' menus and so therefore in order to see what listening mode you are in or what the current volume is you have to look at the devices LCD. Is this true?

    What are you opinions on the device? Ability to achieve clarity of speech? Any other units I should be looking at?

    By way of speakers I am looking at the q acoustics q7000i or 2000i - maybe I should replace the speakers first?


    Any insight is much appreciated as I am confused.
     
  2. PSM1

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    I think your issue is probably more to do with the speakers and maybe where they are placed in your room (i.e. are they in a cabinet etc.)
    The Pioneer deserves much better speakers than either your current speakers or the ones you propose on buying to get the best from it and justify the cost of the receiver.
    A general guide is that you can spend 2 to 3 times the price of the receiver on speakers to get the best from a given receiver. Hence you could spend in excess of £1k on speakers to get the best from your current receiver.
    Not sure if the Pioneer has OSD but my receiver does not and I do not miss it. Not really bothered what the volume on the receiver says in terms of number, I just turn it up or down until it is at a level I find comfortable.
    What is your budget for the upgrade?
     
  3. guitarsnstuff10

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    My speakers are all placed approximately at ear level (except sub of course) give-or-take- 30cm. The are all out in the open with the exception of the centre speaker which is behind my projector screen, but I cannot notice a difference in sound when the screen is up. My upgrade budget would ideally not exceed £1500.

    So would you suggest I go for the q acoustics q7000i speaker upgrade and stick with my receiver?
     
  4. guitarsnstuff10

    guitarsnstuff10
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    An additionally fear then, is the step from the Cambridge Audio Minx S215 speakers to the q acoustics q7000i not likely to bring a noticeable increase in quality?
     
  5. PSM1

    PSM1
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    I assume your projector screen is acoustically transparent? If not then this will affect the sound by blocking some of the higher frequencies which will be in the vocal range.
    The QA 7000 are another lifestyle speaker and not a lot more in terms of cost compared to the CA speakers so not sure you are going to hear a massive improvement although I would recommend going to listen to a set to see what you think.
     
  6. guitarsnstuff10

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    I am in a flat in a smallish room (5m x 3.5) so I cannot really have 4 towering speakers in the lounge. It appears that you are suggesting I cannot improve my setup for the money?
     
  7. PSM1

    PSM1
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    Why not look to replace the front 3 for your budget instead of the full 5.1 set? You do not need to get massive towering speakers since standmounts would give a good upgrade and could be wall mounted if needed.
    There are also smallish speakers like the Monitor Audio Radius and Apex that bridge the gap between tiny satellite speakers and more conventional sized speaker.
    If your screen is not an acoustically transparent one then I would look to get one of these as this will also improve your sound.
     
  8. guitarsnstuff10

    guitarsnstuff10
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    I have to retract what I said about the speaker being behind the screen making no difference. I was wrong, it makes a considerable difference. I will get a stand so I can mount my centre speaker under under the screen, I will also look at replacing the front 3 speakers
     
  9. MartinGH1369

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    I have the amp you are considering. It does have on screen display, it also has apple/android apps. I don't get on with the amp though, I'm not a fan. I have cambridge aero speakers.
     
  10. guitarsnstuff10

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    What is it that you don't like about the pioneer?
     
  11. devbias

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    +1 for Apex front set. I took the same advise from PSM1 but also changed amp to pioneer and massive difference. Voices now clear plenty of movement in surround sound also which I hadn't even noticed the absence of with previous Onkyo & Denon models
     
  12. MartinGH1369

    MartinGH1369
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    Compared to the much cheaper onkyo 609 it is very underwhelming and very difficult to use.
     
  13. Baly

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    I have a Pioneer LX85, the vocals/dialog is superb!! Some say the Pioneers are too sharp, but then this just requires some time and adjustment to get it how you want it.

    Please do review your Amp/Speaker package - Do not mis-match the pair
     
  14. guitarsnstuff10

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    Thanks all for your replies. I have opted for the Yamaha 1030 receiver with a pair of monitor audio Radius 90 fronts speakers and a radius 200 centre. Unfortunately these are now showing up my Cambridge audio minx speakers that I currently have for the surround. Don't get me wrong, the Minx speakers have served me well for the last few years, but when you can hear them next to something a level up, the difference is clear. Now considering getting a pair of monitor audio silver 6 speakers for the from and moving the Radius 90s to the back.
     
  15. Mumu

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    You may be better keeping the front 3 matched, or you may end up having to get a new centre as well ;)

    Having said that, I suspect the 1030 is able to perform better than the radius speakers. I recently bought the LX57 to go with my home builds and the sound is absolutely stunning - it is surprising just how good av amps have become nowadays when partnered with the right speakers.
     
  16. g28ski

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    Hi, I have a question. Are you using cambridge audio minx 215 with this av receiver? Because I have just bought Pioneer sclx 57 for my minx21 with subwoofer x300 and I am a bit struggling with setting it up. I know these are great speakers and I had tested them with Marantz 1504 - my jaw dropped when I watched Spiderman 3 on blurry, surround sound was incredible. However video processing was quite poor. So following great review from Whathifi I decided to go for Pioneer sclx 57 which I have had for just 1 day. Should I just let it run for a few more days before it settles?
     
  17. Mumu

    Mumu
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    Hi there, no I use the LX57 with some home built speakers - thread is in the speaker forum somewhere. The Pioneer does require a fair bit of experimentation and fiddling to get the best from the MCACC features, what is it you are struggling with?
     

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