Recently whenever I use my receiver in surround sound (5.1) after a while the center channel goes muffled. Sometimes it happens after a few hours and sometimes it happens after 20 minutes. It usually fixes itself if I turn the receiver off and let it sit a while (30 mins or longer). When I picked it up a few months ago this never happened but now it is quite frequent. Is it something as simple as it overheating and needing to be cleaned inside or is this something that would require repairs?
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Re: Center channel goes muffled after a while of use.
It is likely that something overheating is causing the problem, but nothing should be overheating. Cleaning won't hurt and may help but it is likely to require repair of the faulty component, perhaps a failing capacitor or amplifier.
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Make sure the speaker is good by connecting it to a known good working site. If speaker is good, make sure it is properly connected to center speaker terminals. Then if it is a surround receiver make sure that the sound mode is one where the middle channel works such as 5.1 DTS, etc. If the center channel still does not work then the problem lies with the decoder chip that is not working properly and sending the center channel info to that specific amplifier.
Assuming that you mean Dolby digital 5.1, confirm that you have a center channel properly connected and perform the following;
Using the remote, enter the menu on the receiver and navigate to the selection labeled "LEVEL." Toggle through the selections until you reach the "CENTER CHANNEL". You will be able to use the remote to increase the volume of that channel in .5dB increments.
Can you say explicitly that the Center Channel speaker is defined as something other than NONE?
And how does dialog sound? If it sounds ok you're routing it to the front speakers. This is from the manual...
"For ideal Surround effects, all speakers should be installed. If a
center speaker or subwoofer is not connected, the sound from the unused channel is properly distributed to the connected speakers in order to produce the best Surround sound possible."
If you do not have a center channel speaker connected, then in the reciever setup menu for speakers, there should be a selection for center channel that says something like either yes or no. I'm guessing it says yes. Then you need to select "no" so that the circuitry will direct sound specified for the center channel to be reproduced through your front speakers.
Just to rule out the easy solutions, have you made sure no settings changed? Make sure that you didn't accidentally turn off any surround sound settings or turn off the center channel in the MCACC setup or the like (I have the VSX-D814, so your receiver should have MCACC as well). If you're sure no settings changed and the center channel should be working according to the receiver, then it would appear that the center channel amp went out in the receiver. You can either get a Pioneer service center to take a look at it, or if you're comfortable with electronics, I believe you can get the parts straight from Pioneer.