After the fact...1014Tx review

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by John Garcia, Aug 20, 2005.

  1. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    It's earmarked for a customer, but it will be with me over the weekend. Still under original warranty, seller bought it right when the 1015 came out. Going to give it a run through this weekend to see if it lives up to it's rep. as a top budget receiver.

    I fired it up real quick and dirty in my 2ch rig. Analog only from my CDP to the CD input, stereo, direct. Bass was slightly subdued, and the highs are a bit dialed back at the top - not quite a lack of detail, but for lack of a better term, less of a "round" sound compared to my Marantz PM -7200. Though a bit flat, midrange detail seems good, but when I went back to my 7200 (in class AB mode), it seemed pretty clear that there was not as much depth with the 1014. It sounds almost identical to the 41Tx I had listened to previously.

    Power is what I was most curious about, and when I cranked it, this is where I really started to notice the difference. The 1014's power was all at the top. To get the 1014 at a moderate level, I was at -18 on the dial (MCACC off), and the volume only really seemed to make significant changes when I reached about -20, as if 90% of the the volume range was between -25 and 0, and I figure at -20 I'm at about 85% of total power. To achieve the same volume on my 7200 I'm at less than 30% on the dial. I checked the manual, and found it to be rated 20-20K .09THD, but it specifically states that is only with the two main channels driven. No numbers given for all channels driven, and while the numbers look good, with just my two bookshelf speakers hooked up, distortion was quite evident when I pushed it up to -12. With Loreena McKennit Live in Paris & Toronto, her vocals quickly became "fuzzy" and the loss of control was obvious during the heaviest vocal passages, so I brought it back down. Back to the 7200 - not a hint of this fuzzy sound at even higher volume. Perhaps there is some kind of current limiting going on in the amp section? I am now hesitant to even hook up my 4 Ohm mains to this guy...

    Build quality is very good for a receiver in this price range. The remote is impressive also. I'll be trying out the 1014's DACs, and possibly MCACC. I'll also use a SPL meter so I am comparing sound at the same registered volume.

    IMO, it's par for the price range, and is certainly not a bad receiver by any means. I picked it up for $300, BTW.
     
  2. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    I bought one a few months ago from OneCall and while it's a good receiver with many features (some that didn't work all that well) I don't think it lived up to all the hype (but how could it?). The bass and treble did seem a little flat to me and the MCACC came up with some very strange settings. Even though it seemed to sound o.k. I just couldn't get myself to trust the numbers. 110 wpc also seems to be a bit of a stretch. But all things considered it was a nice upgrade from my Onkyo htib receiver it wound up replacing in a secondary room. But it was un-able to push aside my HK 520 in my main room for which it was intended. My fault though. I should have known better.
     
  3. Oachalon

    Oachalon Stunt Coordinator

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    i just picked up the 1015tx the other day and its a good receiver for the price. I picked it up for my basement setup which isnt my main setup and im using cheap speakers down there but it works. I still like my yamaha rx-v1400 for my main setup better but im happy.
     
  4. Like all THX receivers, the 1014TX when setup and calibrated with the supplied mic will do reference at 0. This means at 0 it will have average levels of 85dbc. This is why it seems as if it is closer to the top end of its volume control when watching a movie.
     
  5. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    My receiver is THX Select also, and reference is not zero. I hit 85dB at about -15; average listening level is about -25, depending on material. Reference level for a given room is relative to that particular set of speakers and room, and since I had MCACC off and the receiver in direct mode, that isn't a factor.

    I wasn't watching a movie, this was stereo only, with two relatively easy to drive bookshelf speakers in my bedroom. I have not tried MCACC yet, but I have to say, the amp section doesn't live up to it's reputation or it's rating. I recently installed an Onkyo 601 for a customer and I was more impressed with the sound quality and amp section of that receiver (also with Mordaunt Short speakers), and it was about the same price MSRP.
     
  6. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    You know, people on the Ecoustics message board have questioned my hearing when I posted some comments on the Pioneer receivers - and their ability to not be as musical. For theater, it performs flawlessly. With music, the dynamics and separation were a bit weak, IMO.

    Then again, we all know it can be very hard to cover all the bases with just one system. I'm not telling people not to buy Pioneer receivers. However, I would indicate that when it comes to music, ensure the Pioneer is right for you.

    For music, even my H/K AVR-125 could outshine the 54TX. Plus, I only paid 1/8th the cost of the 54TX. The Pioneer was new and the H/K was used.
     
  7. lee ison

    lee ison Stunt Coordinator

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    all these tests(?) are purely subjective and NOWHERE based on fact , purely personal, just muddies the truth.Size of room, speakers, as well as source material is a big influence on preceived validation of opinions. Like all equip., it either suits your preference or it don't , without a controlled lab test these comparisons have no weight. They are after all just opinions....everybody has one.
     
  8. chrisCo

    chrisCo Extra

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    Five years from now someone will pickup one of these up at a garage sale and feel compelled to post a "review" of it comparing unfavorably to their then current $700 HT receiver. Declaring it par just validates spending more for comparable performance. A review of a receiver that for all practical purposes is unavailable for purchase, what could the posters motivation be? This offers nothing, let the thread die.
     
  9. Steve_L

    Steve_L Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a 1014 and I think it is great. I've owned Marantz, Sherwood and HK previously and this is much more receiver for the money.

    Great power. Full, warm and robust across the frequency spectrum.
     
  10. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    My receiver actually costs a LOT more than that...and I've had it for over 2 years. I have a business installing equipment and I actually spend quite a bit of time setting up and listening to many brands. There's so much hype about the 1014 and 1015, I had to give one a listen MYSELF, and this is what I found. I have NO ulterior motives, except to report what I hear. Do you think any review in a magazine by a "professional" is NOT subjective? They don't just give the numbers do they? I didn't think so. 90% of everything on this forum and most forums like it, are opinion...yours is no more valid than the next person's. Again, don't bother posting in this thread unless you have something relevant to say. The truth is, your respose actually offers nothing as opposed to my post.

    I just spent some time using the 1014's DACs. They sounded pretty good, to be honest. Depth is still not up there with the best, but bass was improved. Overall midrange is still flat with a hint of bloom, but vocals were very good. No thumbs down for this guy, it's a good receiver, but it isn't going to be competing with models above it like the hype would seem to suggest. I don't have any problem recommending this receiver (or rather the 1015) in the price range.
     
  11. John S

    John S Producer

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    It is great AVR and a great fit for many many people.

    If your even an average audiophile type and really push your system often, you will want external amplification for it period.
     
  12. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Ironic as I was considering using the 1015 as a cheap PRE/PRO. I have an NAD T763 with the annoying hiss/buzz sound. Love the power, but not the hiss/buzz. Too late to return it. Found out the hiss/buzz is all in the pre-section as when I remove the main jumpers in the back and use my old Sony STR-DA555ES as a pre, the hiss was gone.

    So lack of power will not be a problem for me as the T763 has more than enough horses for my speakers.

    So John (and others) what are your thoughts about using the 1014/1015 as a cheap PRE/PRO? I don't have the cash to spring for a real one, and my sister works for a Pioneer affiliate so I can get the 1015 for wholesale (think less than Best Buy employee costs).
     
  13. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I didn't get a chance to try it out with an external amp, but I'm going to ask the guy if I can when I install it. I have an Audiosource Amp One and some cables laying around, so I'll be able to see how it does as a pre.
     
  14. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    John, if I recall, the Audiosource One puts out what, 50 watts? I paired my 54TX up with an Audiosource Three amp (150 watts per channel @ 8 Ohms) and really tell much benefit. The levels at the receiver end were set to "0", but I had the gains set to about 80% so it would blend with my other speakers.

    I think if one is going to purchase a Pioneer, they should just leave it as it is and run it with its own amps. However, if you can score some insanely levels of power amps (e.g. 250 watts per channel by McIntosh) then, by all means, go for it. [​IMG]
     
  15. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    That is one option. Also, don't overlook the other choices either to use as a pre/pro from Yamaha, H/K and Onkyo.
     
  16. lee ison

    lee ison Stunt Coordinator

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    no one said i didn't like it , i said it has no basis in fact or truth just your opinion and you are entitled to it , after all this is America , on the the other hand such vague statements need to be refutted. I am entitled to my reveiw of your opinion as well. TO make such outlandish statements beg for a opposing veiw.I think all red cars are faster. (this means nothing)somebody prove me wrong.Have a nice day.
     
  17. John S

    John S Producer

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    The Amp1/A is 80 watts at 8 ohm into two channels, and is quite capable of performance gains on most AVR's out there.

    Bridged it is a monster nice amp, I use a bunch of them, but man they do run hot, even as far as amps that run hot go.

    I'm running Qty9 of those amps on my system these days. I think they will lower my heating bill this winter. [​IMG]
     
  18. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I don't have a problem with you questioning anything I say, but don't suggest that it has no validity at all because you feel it doesn't.

    Wayne, the Amp One puts out 80w x 2. It puts out a respectable amount of power, being 2Ohm stable and all. This particular one is a prototype model that has dB/watt meters on the front which were not put in on the production models. I figure it has about as much real power as the 1014, but it will at least allow me to compare the 1014's pre section only, leaving the amp section out.
     
  19. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Unfortunately for me, Pioneer is the only model I can get wholesale pricing on (think more than 40% off of MSRP) due to having a relative working for a Pio affiliate. So unless there are other Yammy, HK or Onkyo receivers that you are thinking of that street sub-$300, I think the 1015 is pretty much going to be tough to beat at that price.
     
  20. John S

    John S Producer

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    I am a big fan of the pre/pro section in the 1014/1015's...

    It is well worth the price alone in my opinion.
     

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