How to Improve Sterio Music from a AV Amp


New member
Aug 10, 2019
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I've got a a Pioneer SC-LX73 Amp and Monitor Audio Apex speakers. I mainly use it for watching Blu Ray films which sound great, however I'd like to improve it's stereo music performance if possible.

I've got my CDs ripped onto my NAS drive in Apple Lossless which I'm streaming through a Sonus ZP90 and Chord Prodac Pro digital cable to the amp. However overall music quality is disappointing. It sounds quite flat particularly at the mid range. I've tried changing various setting to try and improve the sound e.g. changing the speaker size set up to small, which now means the sub is used. This has improved things slightly but I wondered whether there is anything else I can do to improve it's musical performance? For example are there any other settings I should be changing or would buying a descent DAC e.g. the Arcam rDAC make a significant improvement? Or is it just the case that I'm always going to be limited by it being an AV amp and satellite speaker set up?

Many thanks


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Jul 25, 2008
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i brought a cambridge dac magic for my MT-30 system and it made a great differance even with small speakers. so crack on with a dac get a decent set of interconnects and a good optical cable and your away. reckon an R dac would be great but the CA Dac magic is great


Hi DMK5361,

I had exactly the same issue as you, but with an older pioneer AVR and Radius speakers from monitor audio.

The system was great for movies, but no good for music.

My local hifi store (Sevenoaks) suggested auditioning some full range speakers instead of the radiuses.

The difference is incredible and I'm really happy with my new MA bronze bx5s.

I also auditioned my system with alternative sources and better amps, but nothing came close to the improvement that the speakers made. The movies sound much better too!

I'd recommend getting your dealer to loan you some kit, so that you can see what gives you the best result for your money.



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Dec 11, 2008
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My Cousin has Apex with an LX83 and I actually think his system sounds better for music than it does films - quite an odd way round and not the norm.

He gets fantastic sepeartion and bacgrounds drums are really easy to pick out and follow - they are good speakers and do good bass.

The 73 should be similar - dont spend any money yet mate until you 100% confident your getting the best from the receiver, coz you are not at the minute.

What dont you like about the sound currently?

How have you got your amp setup? - Just chaging the speaker size to small wont do enough, its needs a full cal when their set to small.

Example. Do a full calibration A using all channel adjust, then change the xover to 80htz, speakers to small and do a second calibration - using the second auto setup B all channel adjust again - but select to keep the speaker size and crossover the same? this is how you get the best auto setup ;) - first thing to do

Have you got it in stereo but with stream direct on? - little tip for better cd playback is one of buttons on remote - small impreovement but helps

Another quick thing to try - try adding x curve -1.0 db is a good balance, it allows more detail to come through in the upper mid range, it could be the bit your missing. Ignore the picture of what it does as thats a false economy - listen and see if it helps, I am guessing it will, especially after the cal I have suggested.