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Any opinions re. Pioneer Elite VSX-03TXH?

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11 replies to this topic

#1 of 12 Geo Gabor

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Posted September 25 2008 - 12:32 PM

I'm finally getting ready to take the plunge into Hi-Def, which means I'll need a new receiver to handle HDMI. My Kenwood VR-2080 has served me well for 9 years or so, but it's time to part ways.

Right now I'm leaning towards the Pioneer Elite VSX-03TXH. I haven't heard or seen too much talk about it though. The VSX-91TXH (and 92 and 94) produce a lot of positive comments, but things have been pretty mute with regard to the 03. Is it too new still? Does anyone have any thoughts they'd like to share - good, bad or otherwise - on the 03?

Or would people have alternate recommendations (give or take $100 or so) with roughly the same feature set? I'm happy to get lots of opinions to confuse myself even more!


#2 of 12 Alon Goldberg

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Posted September 25 2008 - 01:47 PM

Hi Geo, the VSX-03TXH is very new so you're not likely to find many reviews yet, though there are a few people over at AVS Forums that have already purchased this new model.

At the $1,000 price point you have a lot of options.. Denon AVR-2309CI, Yamaha RX-V863, Onkyo TX-SR806, and you might be able to swing the Denon AVR-2809CI or Marantz SR6003. Of these models, the Onkyo 806 offers the best bang for your buck and is very popular on the forums. If I were purchasing, the new Marantz SR6003 just announced today would probably top my list. But much of this comes down to brand preference. Posted Image

The question is.. what speakers are you driving? What are your sources? How big is your room? Is this system primarily for movies, music, gaming, sports? What has guided you towards the Pioneer Elite receiver?


#3 of 12 Geo Gabor

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Posted September 26 2008 - 07:23 AM

Thanks, Alon. To answer your last question first, I guess it was the price/features ratio that drew me to the Pioneer. That and the brand recognition. I've been out of the receiver buying loop for a while, so I don't know who's had the hot items lately. Right now the 03 can be gotten for $740 at DigitalMegaStore, by the way, so I was looking at $750-$800 as my price point.

My theater, unfortunately, is not an enclosed room in the house. It's the family room, and it opens into a much larger space (nook, kitchen, etc.). The theater area (i.e. family room) itself is 17 x 19 feet. My main speakers are B&W DM604 S3's (rated to 200W). My center is a matching B&W LCR600 S3. My rears are Axiom QS8's, and I'll eventually get another pair of QS8's for the surrounds. I've got an SVS PB12-ISD sub. I'm not one to play movies or music overly loudly, but I do like a clean sound. I'll only be using the setup for music and movies - probably a 60:40 ratio. No games, no TV.

Thanks again for your thoughts!

#4 of 12 Carlo Medina

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Posted October 01 2008 - 11:06 AM

I'm really digging my new 03 (purchased a week ago). I know you saw my other thread about HDMI dropouts, but I think I've narrowed it down to the John Mayer Blu Ray disc. Another PS3 -> Pio Elite 01TXH expressed the same issue on AVS. No other disc has really had any audio dropout problems and I've sampled about 30 of my BDs. Transformers once didn't come right back with a picture when it was loading all the BD-J stuff but a quick pause/play fixed that, and it hasn't happened since.

My room isn't as big as yours, but it's still big (I'd say about 14'x18'). I run 4ohm MB Quart QLS-1030 mains and the matching 530 (I think) center, and Energy 8 ohm rears, and this receiver has no problem driving them to reference volumes. I'm coming from an NAD T763 which has a toroidal transformer and weighed about 15lbs more than the 03, yet at normal to loud (yet still bearable) volumes I can't tell any difference in power, and the fidelity for the 03 is improved due to the ability to decode the new codecs (as well as play 5.1 PCM) and the noise floor is much lower. My T763 had a hiss/hum problem.

I'm friends with a dealer who gives me employee pricing so I got mine for less than what you quote at DMS, but I certainly wouldn't have minded paying the price DMS is selling it for, at that price point I think it's a bargain (at $1000 as Alon says you have a lot of options).

I have a PS3 hooked up to it via HDMI (for BD/DVD/SACD playback) and a Panasonic RP91 DVD player via multi-channel in (for DVD/DVD-Audio playback). And an iPod via USB. I use mine 65% of the time for movies, and 35% of the time for music. But as you can tell with my SACD/DVD-A needs, I really care about my music. I find the 03 to be very capable at playing back all of those sources. Could you get better for more money? I'm sure you could. But I certainly don't feel like I'm missing out on anything, especially at a sub-$800 price point.

#5 of 12 Geo Gabor

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Posted October 29 2008 - 01:25 PM

Hey Carlo -

I just got my VSX-03 and I'm in the middle of setting it up. I also just got a Panny 35 BD player. I hooked up the HDMI from the Panny to the Pioneer and just get some screen flickerings on my TV. If I hook the Panny directly to the TV via HDMI/DVI, I get the picture (but no sound). For some reason, the Pioneer is barfing on receiving or passing the signal. Do you know if I need to tweek some basic setting? Thanks!


#6 of 12 Carlo Medina

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Posted October 29 2008 - 02:38 PM

Geo, I only get dropouts when the BD is switching between screens (like from the FBI warning to trailers, from the trailers to the menu, etc.). Once I'm playing a movie, or a special feature, I never get dropouts. Are you getting dropouts while playing a movie?

#7 of 12 Geo Gabor

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Posted October 29 2008 - 10:17 PM

I can't even get to playing a movie. There's just nothing that gets passed!

When I pass HDMI to the receiver and HDMI out, I get neither video nor audio, even though the HDMI light is on on the receiver.

When I pass HDMI to the receiver and component out, I get audio but no video.

I also get nothing if I try the other HDMI inputs.

I can get to the receiver's setup screen on the TV via the HDMI cable (or via component cables); it just doesn't seem to pass the signal from the BD player (or the DVD player). It's very frustrating! I might need to call Pioneer.

#8 of 12 Carlo Medina

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Posted October 30 2008 - 02:33 AM

Sounds like a setup problem, so a call might be best. My unit passes HDMI with no problem. Check the manual, make sure you've done what you can, then place the call to Pioneer. Best of luck!

#9 of 12 Geo Gabor

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Posted October 31 2008 - 11:50 AM

It turns out that it's a compatability issue with my 5-year-old Mitsubishi TV set. It has a DVI input rather than HDMI, and the guy at Pioneer said that when using an intermediary step (such as a receiver) to send an HDMI signal to a DVI input, the DVI input won't accept the signal. It will, however, accept the source signal when not passed through the intermediary. That's why I could connect the video from the Panny Blu-Ray player but not via the Pioneer receiver.

Since I'm only watching movies on this setup and thus only need one input, I can get around the problem by returning my new Panny BD35 and upgrading to a Panny BD55. That way I can send the video signal direct to the TV and the lossless audio via the 7.1 output to the receiver. It's annoying, but I'm not up for shelling out several thousand for a new TV right now. (I've already decided that my next TV will be a 1080p projector)

So that's the sad story of my attempt to upgrade my HT. I just didn't happen to go far enough.

#10 of 12 aht3


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Posted November 03 2008 - 12:45 AM

Hi Geo,
Just checking. Did you turn off HDMI control?
Pioneer VSX 94THX
JBL Studio L890s Up Front
JBL Studio LC2 at Center
JBL Studio L820s Surrounds
JBL Studio L820s RearsHSU VTF2-MK3 SubSony 46" XBR3 LCD

#11 of 12 Robert Fellows

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Posted November 06 2008 - 07:27 AM

Originally Posted by Geo Gabor
Right now the 03 can be gotten for $740 at DigitalMegaStore, by the way

Go to pricegrabber.com to get another "quote".


p.s.: This advice is worth exactly what you paid for it...

#12 of 12 turtle67



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Posted November 15 2010 - 06:40 AM

I bought one of these (VSX-03TXH) in August 2008. In June 2009, it failed. (Unit "shuts down" - possibly due to some faulty power or temp sensor.) I took it to an authorized repair place, and it took them FOREVER (10-12 weeks) to repair the unit. They replaced "the main assembly", which I took to mean the main PCB.

OK, I can forgive one failure, and now it is fixed.

Except, now one more year has passed, and the unit is DOING THE SAME THING again.

Now it is out of warranty, and Pioneer accepts no responsibility for this.

I'm not buying Pioneer again, and I would suggest other not do so either.

BTW, I also have a Pioneer Blu-Ray player (BDP-51FD) which I also don't much care for. It takes a long time to start up, and I've upgraded FW many times to correct various problems.