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Has anyone had any experience with Pioneer's VSX range (in particular the VSX-LX304)? I've been on the lookout for a "not so expensive" 9.2ch AVR to use with my secondary setup in the living room so that I can power the 7.1 setup there and a 2 speaker Zone 2 setup outside. It seems to tick all the right boxes for me, but I'm just a little wary judging by how few reviews I can actually find online of this AVR.

 

I know the tried and true saying of "you get what you pay for" - in this case seems to be about $1600, but can't help but wonder if I can get away with this for a setup I might not use all that often. Open to be convinced to choose an alternative though!

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The main limitation with the LX304, like other recent Pioneer AVRs, is that the room correction (MCACC) is quite basic, as they didn't want to add the cost of a second processor. However, next year's Pioneer AVRs will reportedly add Dirac Live room correction and make them much more competitive with other brands.

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19 hours ago, Quark said:

The main limitation with the LX304, like other recent Pioneer AVRs, is that the room correction (MCACC) is quite basic, as they didn't want to add the cost of a second processor. However, next year's Pioneer AVRs will reportedly add Dirac Live room correction and make them much more competitive with other brands.

 

I'm assuming room correction is something I could potentially tweak manually though?

 

There's also the question of longevity - would there be any reason why their cheaper range won't last as long? I suppose if I'm considering something that I want lasting at least 10 years like my Denon is getting to - the cost spread out over that duration might justify a more expensive option.... wonder if I've just talked myself into spending more 😅

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3 minutes ago, chunjun said:

 

I'm assuming room correction is something I could potentially tweak manually though?

 

There's also the question of longevity - would there be any reason why their cheaper range won't last as long? I suppose if I'm considering something that I want lasting at least 10 years like my Denon is getting to - the cost spread out over that duration might justify a more expensive option.... wonder if I've just talked myself into spending more 😅

 

The Pioneer's manual tweaking options are much more limited than some other brands. To go beyond that you're looking at room treatments and/or an external EQ correction product.

 

TBH, I'd have doubts that any current AVRs would have a 10 year life if you're using MTBF as a measure.

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11 minutes ago, chunjun said:

I'm assuming room correction is something I could potentially tweak manually though?

Please have a read  at this old, but still relevant  Room Correction article.  MCACC is best described as basic. Manual tweaking will not get you there unless you add  an external product, but that complicates things. 

 

There are AVRs costing a little more than your budget but do a much better job of room correction eg. NAD T758V3 with Dirac Live.  Or replace with another Denon that runs Audyssey, far better than MCACC.

 

11 minutes ago, chunjun said:

There's also the question of longevity - would there be any reason why their cheaper range won't last as long? I suppose if I'm considering something that I want lasting at least 10 years like my Denon is getting to - the cost spread out over that duration might justify a more expensive option.... wonder if I've just talked myself into spending more 😅

AVRs are one of the fastest depreciating products because technology change constantly with sound & video formats, HDMI standards etc.  Unlike stereo, a 5 to 10 years AVR feels dated and it is reflected in the Classified prices.  Yes, you can keep it for 10 years, assuming of course that you can live with outdated technology.

 

It is probably better to buy a mid priced AVR and change over more often than buy a high end one.  Some people chose to go the way of a prepro plus multi channel amp, but that means a lot more dollars, no need to change multi channel amp (much better than amps in AVR).

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the advice Quark and Snoopy, I ended up spending a little bit more to get a Denon AVR-X3600H that was on sale for a decent $2099. I have been living in the dark ages in terms of what AVRs can do, now like a kid in a candy store playing with the features. Guess I'll be using the living room setup more than I anticipated!

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