My stereo

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Old 12-16-14, 08:51 PM
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My stereo

Hey folks,
I've got some great speakers that I bought in the 70's and my receiver broke down. I bought a new receiver I thought was pretty good. It won't drive my speakers like it should. I get no woofer at all. Any ideas how to resolve this issue?
I would appreciate any input here.
Thanks,
Lonnie
 
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Old 12-16-14, 09:18 PM
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We can't have music with no bass.

What's the make and model of your new receiver ?
 
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Old 12-16-14, 09:38 PM
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It's a Pioneer VSX-518, and it just won't do the bump.
 
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Old 12-16-14, 09:53 PM
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Not a terribly powerful unit. I found the speaker outputs a little unusual. Normally the two front channels would be high power and the surround channels would be much lower. According to the specs all the channels are +/- 95w maximum.

I'm guessing your old speakers aren't terribly efficient and require more power. I don't think there is much you can do to increase the level with that unit. I did see one piece in the manual that told how to set the output impedance for the front speakers. If your speakers are 4 ohm you'll need to make that programming change.
 
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Old 12-17-14, 04:40 AM
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If only two speakers are connected make sure the setting is correct for 2.0 sound. Also make sure the speaker cables are identical (positive to positive and neg to neg on both speakers and both amp channels).

I always shake my head when I read an amp's specs like those above. The input power "consumption" is only 250 watts. Yet the amp supposedly can drive five speakers at 120 watts each (600 total watts). That means the amp is generating 300 more watts than it consumes. Somewhere in that manual I'll wager there is a disclaimer that says it's really 95 watts for any given pair of speakers.

Also, read carefully. When in surround mode the system (supposedly) produces 95 per channel. In stereo mode the rating is 95 watts, but it doesn't say per channel.

That means just under 50 watts per speaker, which makes more sense given the input power. Five channels at 47.5 watts = 237.5 total input power.
 
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Old 12-19-14, 07:34 AM
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... XX watts per channel with all channels driven ...
vs
... XXX watts maximum power per channel ...

OT: Long long time ago, like more than 40 years ... Consumer Reports magazine tested a "console stereo with impressive six foot wide wood cabinet and 200 watts of audio power"; it had two watts per channel "RMS" continuous, frequency range 50 to 15,000 Hz, at 5% total harmonic distortion, both channels driven.

"No woofer at all"? Also look for a setting on the amp or receiver that directs the low frequencies to the regular speaker outputs versus withhold the low frequencies from the regular outputs delivering them only to a subwoofer output. The setting might be called "large" for the former and "small" for the latter alluding to the physical size of the speaker units that would be used..
 

Last edited by AllanJ; 12-19-14 at 08:31 AM.
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Old 12-20-14, 09:06 PM
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Back in the 70's, a good quality amp/receiver typically delivered around 40-50 watts per channel, and speakers of that era were designed to rock with that amount of input power. Therefore, your vintage speakers SHOULD produce good sound from your new amp. A couple things to check for ---- make sure your speakers are connected correctly with regards to polarity. A pair of speakers operating out of phase will cancel out each other's bass response. So make sure both speakers are connected to the amp correctly, positive amp outputs to positive speaker terminals, negatives, the same. Make sure the amp's ohm output is set correctly to match the speakers. Does your new amp have a loudness switch? If so, set it to the "on" position, as that will help emphasize bass response. I know many new amps don't have a loudness switch, which was common on older amps. Obviously, you will have to tweak the bass control on the receiver to get the bass response you want. Hope these suggestions work for you.
 
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Old 12-21-14, 05:58 AM
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Receivers these days sometimes require you to be a sound engineer in order to operate the unit. In the past, turn on, volume up, adjust base/treble and listen to music. Now you need to tell the unit what kind of set up you have. Refer to the manual here - http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/St...s%20Manual.pdf. It says on page 15 - "If not using subwoofer set front speakers to Large". This directs more bass to the front speakers that normally would have been sent to the subwoofer. It also refers to pages 31 and 32 which tell you how to set those parameters. It also states of page 32 that you can also adjust the frequency cut off which dictates how low the frequencies in the bass range are sent to the front speakers. I would set that as low as it will let you to see if that changes things. I believe the default is a 100 HZ and your system goes as low as 20 HZ per a previous post.

Personally, I broke down and got a sub (was on clearance at BBuy) and wish I had done it earlier. Really changes the dynamics of watching movies or listening to music. So my system is a true 7.1 set up.
 
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Old 12-28-14, 09:26 PM
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Thank you to all that responded. I've tried all of your suggestions and they still don't sound like they did with my Pioneer SX-1010. My hearing is not as good as it was either so I guess I'm just going to live with what I have. Again, thank you.
 
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Old 12-28-14, 10:18 PM
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Yeah, I think the problem here is that the receiver simply isn't designed to send full bass frequencies to the speakers, but even on the "Large" speaker setting is still filtering the sound at a higher cutoff than your speakers can handle.

Honestly, you might be better off checking pawn shops or thrift stores for an old receiver, or at least something that's not designed for surround sound.
 
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Old 03-08-15, 08:29 PM
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I agree Matt. I have heard some rumors from places that it might can be programmed for the better. I will update as I find out.

Thanks again for all the help,
Lonnie
 
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Old 03-08-15, 09:06 PM
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I am in agreement with all the inputs I have received.

My speakers are power hungry, I have in one speaker:

1 - 15" woofer
1 - 5" mid range
2 - 2.5" tweeters
1 - 1.5" super tweeter

And supposed to be some sort of cross over network inside. Back in the day, I rattled the putty off the neighbors windows with these babies. My nearest neighbor is 200 yards away.

If there is a way to make my amp push these speakers like they should be, I would appreciate the knowledge in advance.

Thank you,
Lonnie
 
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Old 03-09-15, 06:45 AM
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Does your receiver have a subwoofer output in the form of two screw terminals? As opposed to one RCA jack requiring a powered subwoofer which was an almost unknown concept back in the 1970's.

Try connecting one of your 1970's speaker systems to the subwoofer output for just a few minutes. Don't crank it up all the way but see if you get more bass that way. This will at least prove that the receiver is handling the bass.

Can you open up your speaker systems easily, by undoing a few screws in back? If you find that you can get good bass out of the subwoofer receiver output, you might unhook the woofer leads from the crossover network inside the speaker system and connect those woofer leads to an extra set of terminals you install on the speaker cabinet back. Now you can connect the receiver regular left and right outputs to the regular speaker terminals and connect the subwoofer output to the new woofer terminals you installed. With the woofer no longer connected to the main speaker terminals and internal crossover, use the "small" setting on your receiver.

If you so treat both of your speaker systems you could connect the subwoofer output to both woofers which will give even more bass (if the preceding experiment worked in the first place). It would require some research and/or some trial and error to get both woofers phased correctly.
 
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Old 03-09-15, 05:38 PM
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Thanks Allanj, that is a do-able experiment and sounds like it might just work. I will look into that and let you know how it comes out.
 
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Old 03-15-15, 10:27 PM
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Things have been crazy here and I have not been able to try your suggestions but, hopefully I will be able to do that soon and I will let you know what I find. Thanks again for your help.
 
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Old 03-16-15, 07:05 AM
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Is the receiver brand new or used? Did you through the setup menu yet and set it to deliver full-range output to the Front L&R speakers (2.0, Large, as mentioned previously)?

I agree with AllenJ that your problem sounds like a "filter" issue rather than a power issue (unless the outputs are blown). Your bass is being directed to the subwoofer output.
You should hear full-range sound at decent volume with only 1 watt output so don't assume your new receiver is a wimp just yet ;-)
 
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Old 03-16-15, 08:41 PM
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Thanks for the input Guy.

I bought it new but that's been probably six years ago. I just hooked it up and went through all the menus I could find on the thing and none of them sounded good at all. There was a suggestion that I go into my speakers and rewire them to operate like a sub-woofer instead of discreet stereo speakers but, I haven't gotten around to doing that. It's been a couple of years since I even turned this thing on. I will again though. It's a goal now to hear these speakers as they were meant to sound. If they do, I won't need hearing aids to hear them. LOL.
 
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Old 03-17-15, 07:18 AM
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http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/St...s%20Manual.pdf

Did you go through the Quick Setup steps on the remote (page 7)? Set the Front speakers to "LARGE", Subwoofer to "NO" and Surround to "2.0". These settings disable the crossover filter that would normally send all the bass to the line-level Subwoofer jack.
On page 31 of the manual there's a manual speaker setup procedure that covers the same steps.

Verify the speakers are connected to the correct FRONT posts on the receiver and are wired in phase...Red(+) to Red, Black(-) to Black. Speakers wired out of phase will have the lower frequencies cancel each other, for a thin "hole in the middle" sound.

You should not have to re-wire your speakers (and purchase an additional Subwoofer amp) to get full-range sound out of them.
 
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Old 03-29-15, 06:51 PM
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Thanks Guy, Sorry it took so long to answer. I have not tried those suggestions but I will and I'll let you know how they work out.
 
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