Pioneer 912K & Sony DA4ES

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Paul cbc, Mar 17, 2003.

  1. Paul cbc

    Paul cbc Stunt Coordinator

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    *
    What do folks think of this receiver? Does anyone have it yet? I've been looking into getting a receiver and have been 90%+ set on the sony DA4ES. Then I saw this unit was coming out. The budget side of me says take a look(lots of features at an inexpensive price-I've heard 350 street), the quality side says stick with the sony(better build quality, more features, much better warranty).

    I will be listening to 60/40 HT/music. Do have an sacd player, so that is important to me. Phono input is negotiable as is the second zone-again it seems the sony is richer in features.

    Appreciate any thoughts you might have,
    paul

    *From the Pioneer website:
    Power

    *Stereo: 110 Watts x 2
    *Surround: 110 Watts x 6

    Digital Decoding and Processing

    *Auto MCACC w/ Microphone Speaker and Subwoofer detection
    *Double Precision 48-Bit Motorola DSP
    *DTS 96/24 Decoding
    *DTS-ES Discrete 6.1 Decoding
    *DTS NEO 6: Music & Cinema Surround Decoding
    *Dolby Digital EX 6.1 Surround Decoding
    *Pro-Logic II Music & Movie Surround Decoding
    *96kHz/24-Bit Digital to Analog Conversion
    *7 Advanced Surround Modes
    *6-Channel Stereo
    *Music
    *Movie
    *TV
    *Sports
    *Game
    *Headphone

    *Expanded 5-D Theater
    *Midnight Mode
    *Virtual Surround Back

    Connectivity

    *DVD-Audio Ready
    *7.1 Channel Inputs
    *Pre-Amp Output ALL Channels 6.1
    *5 Digital Inputs (2 optical/2 coaxial back, 1 optical front) / 1 Digital Out (optical)
    *Inputs - 4 Audio/4 Audio/Video
    *CD
    *AUX
    *CDR/TAPE/MD
    *TUNER
    *DVD/LD
    *TV/SAT
    *VCR/DVR
    *VIDEO (Front Panel)

    *Outputs - 1 Audio/1 Audio Video/1 Video
    *CDR/TAPE Audio Output
    *VCR/DVR Audio/Video Output
    *Monitor Video Output

    *Component Video Switching (2 Inputs/1 Output Assignable)
    *TV/SAT Input
    *DVD/LD Input

    *Monitor Output S-Video (4 Inputs/2 Outputs)
    *DVD/LD Input
    *TV/SAT Input
    *VCR/DVR Input
    *Video (Front Panel) Input
    *VCR/DVR Output
    *Monitor Output

    *Independent A/B Speaker Switching
    *Heavy Duty Banana Speaker Binding Posts
    *Dual Surround Back Speaker Terminals for 7.1 Speaker Set-up

    Convenience

    *Auto MCACC with Microphone Speaker & Subwoofer detection
    *Advanced Quick Setup
    *Front Panel Quick Set-Up w/ Jog Control
    *Auto Signal Select
    *30 Preset AM/FM Digital Tuner
    *AM/FM Station Name Input
    *Semi-Dot Matrix Display
    *Front Panel Door
    *Preprogrammed and Smart LCD Remote
    *TV
    *VCR
    *DVD
    *Cable Box
    *Digital Satellite Tuner
    *Multi-CD Control

    *Aluminum Front Panel with Blue LED Indicator

    Warranty

    *1 Year Parts and Labor Warranty

    Dimensions

    *Width: 16-9/16"
    *Height: 6-4/16"
    *Depth: 15-13/16"
     
  2. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    The 912K looks like it's going to be the next version of the current 811S w/ the addition of Auto MCACC being the most notable change. It'll have a great feature set and be very hard to beat at the $350 price point. As a previous 811S owner, I would not hesitate to recommend it to someone shopping at this price point.

    That said, and as a current DA4ES owner, between the two it's really not a fair comparison. Unless the amp section of the 912 makes significant leaps and bounds over the current 811, the 4ES will eat it alive in terms of true clean power. The 4ES is also limitlessly configurable. The speaker-specific crossover settings and EQs make it one of the closest-to-seperates receivers on the market. You can tailor the sound to whatever side of the spectrum you desire (bright, neutral, warm) even with speakers that are naturally bright or warm.

    So I guess your pocket book will really make the decision here, but between the two with price set aside, the 4ES is the clear winner to me. But either way, chances are you'll be very happy.

    Hope this helps [​IMG]
     
  3. Paul cbc

    Paul cbc Stunt Coordinator

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    Stephen,

    Thanks for the help. You are right that this is not a direct comparison-different levels. I am concerned which will match up better with my sacd player-sony ns755v. Or will there be much of a difference?

    Well, more for me to think on.
    Thanks again[​IMG]
    paul
     
  4. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    That depends on the bass management of the 912K and of your actual player. You may want to call pioneer and see how the 912K handles bass from the multichannel inputs. I'm pretty sure that the 4ES's crossovers and EQs take effect even on multichannel inputs, but I could be wrong. Bass management has been a big issue all the way up to flagship receivers and should definitely be considered before making a purchase.

    Hope this helps [​IMG]
     
  5. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    I'll have to admit Sony's "ES" stuff is very nice & very well-built. It is NOTHING like the nasty "DE" series stuff they sell at Best Buy.

    But just make sure that huge load of features the Sony offers are useful to you. Personally speaking, I have found most Sony equipment to be tricky to program and "tweak"--the control interfaces are usually cryptically-labeled and not intuitive. DON'T lose the manual! (I used to sell HT & mobile audio at.....well.....let's just say I still own my three pairs of tan khaki work pants [​IMG]).

    The individual speaker equalization sounds like a very useful feature--few people have their HT in a perfectly square room with symetrically placed furniture!

    And I'm quite sure the Sony will have better construction quality than the Pioneer.

    That MCACC feature on the Pioneer sounds very useful also. Can the user adjust each channel's tone too?

    LJ
     
  6. Paul cbc

    Paul cbc Stunt Coordinator

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    LanceJ & Stephen,

    Thanks for the input. Perhaps I should have split this into two threads: What do people think about the 912K & Where to get the best deal on the DA4ES. I understand these are at different pricepoints. Perhaps the one thing they share is pushing the features/value ratio at their respective costs.

    Many thanks and all input is appreciated. [​IMG]
    paul
     
  7. Paul cbc

    Paul cbc Stunt Coordinator

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    Anyone have the 912k yet?
    Or heard it?
     
  8. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    The MCACC on the Pioneer 45TX does the individual speaker equalization automatically--has 5 band equalization done automatically for each individual speaker. The whole procedure takes about 6 minutes. I've found it does wonders for my necessarily odd speaker placement problems. Sony will do it but you'd have to find a test disc with various frequencies and use a sound meter to get it right.

    I don't know if the 912 will have this equalization in it's MCACC feature or not.

    The VSX45TX can be had for about the same price as the 4ES (I got mine from Etronics for 850 or so). It replaces a Sony STR-V333 ES which had all the adjustment parameters of the 4ES and 110 wpc vs 100 for the 45.

    The sound from my system after the 6 minute MCACC procedure is better than I was able to accomplish with hours of tweaking on the Sony.

    That being said, the Sony was a very high quality piece of equipment with plenty of power and versatility and actually useful and effective dsp modes.

    Given a choice of the 912 or the 4ES, I'd definitely go for the Sony for it's better amp section. At a price comparable to the Sony I'd seriously consider the Pioneer VSX45TX if you're not going to be driving 4 ohm speakers. The manual for my 45TX specifically states not to drive anything less than 6 ohm speakers with it.

    I must admit I do sometimes miss that cool blue indicator light on the Sony though.
     
  9. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    I'm almost positive the auto MCACC on the 912K will ONLY do speaker level adjustments and not individual speaker equalization. This is based on my reading of the description of the 912K's MCACC from pioneer.

    That said... the price difference in the 4ES and the 45TX is pretty substantial... $600 shipped online (authorized) compared to $850 online (unauthorized) for the 45TX.
     
  10. Paul cbc

    Paul cbc Stunt Coordinator

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    Steve & Stephen,

    Thanks for the replies.[​IMG]

    Yeah, I'm kinda skeptical Pioneer will deliver the goods in respect to the MCACC-but hope springs eternal! I'm building a mixed, rather budget minded system. I'm sure that I won't be dissappointed with the 4es. I just am not sure whether the 912k will satisfy my needs-and ease my budget. Hard to tell with the 912k so new. Your ideas are really helpful. I appreciate it.

    paul[​IMG]
     
  11. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    It might help if you told us what speakers you plan to use and your room size. One of the biggest complaint about the current x11 Pioneer receivers is that they are somewhat lacking in 2ch stereo. I'm guessing that this will carry over into the 912K because from most reports it has the same amp section as the current 811S. This seems like it would be an issue of concern since you stated earlier that 40% of your listening is 2ch music.
     
  12. NickSP

    NickSP Supporting Actor

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    Personally I would not like the receiver to Equalize for me as I may choose or like different settings than the one chosen by the receiver. I think one may be able to adjust the EQ settings manually also on the Elite thus overriding the one set by the receiver.
    That said, the Elite's channel setting MCACC feature does sound like a good one to have but I will always trust my VE disc and SPL meter.
    The 4ES offers 5 EQ settings and triple crossover settings plus endless tweaking makes this a remarkable receiver at that price.
    BTW, Sammans is selling this unit for $620 delivered and they are an authorized dealer.
    Paul, you should try and audition both of these receivers as they both look pretty good on paper. I would personally take the ES for build quality and quality amplification with future upgradability over the Pioneer.
     
  13. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    Everything NickSP mentioned made me like the 4ES... the $250 price difference tipped the scale...
     
  14. NickSP

    NickSP Supporting Actor

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    Stephen, how do you like the 4ES so far? Also a review maybe?
     
  15. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    So far (after a little over a week) I'm loving the 4ES. I have it set up and calibrated, but haven't even skimmed the surface on the EQs yet. The remote is different... I could probably get used to it, but I've also just purchased a pronto which I'm also absolutely in love with. As for the sound, out of the box it could be a bit bright depending on the speakers you match it with, but turned out very neutral w/ my Paradigm 3SE MK3 mains/center and Mini MK3 surrounds. It's my guess that the EQ would let you match the sound to your speakers and your preferences. Once I dive into that, I'll probably try to get a bit warmer sound out of it, but don't want to risk losing the clarity in voices that it offers right now. Power also seems to be abundant, and I like the composite-to-svideo up-conversion too. All in all I don't think I could be any happier with another receiver in the same price class.

    Hope this helps [​IMG]
     
  16. Paul cbc

    Paul cbc Stunt Coordinator

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    Stephen, NickSP,

    Thanks for the contiued help. The room measures 10' x 18', while the listening "area" is 10' x 10' if that makes sense.
    Speakers are(currently) a pair of Paradigm atoms as my mains and hsu vtf-2 subwoofer. Plan to get another atom as a center(anyone have an extra?[​IMG]), and a pair of nht superzeroes for the rear.
    I like the idea of being able to defeat/adjust the eq to where i'd like it. I would double check calibration with avia and an spl meter.

    Hope I haven't opened up a can of worms. I do appreciate the help.[​IMG]
    paul
     
  17. Paul cbc

    Paul cbc Stunt Coordinator

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    Just another plug to see if anyone has or has heard the 912k yet.

    paul
     
  18. RickardL

    RickardL Second Unit

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    Stephens pointed out a sore point which I had missed,
    it seems like the VSX-D912K will only do speaker level,
    distance and detection with help of the
    MCACC microphone. At least based on the stuff on the
    Pioneer site, no manual available yet.
    I had hoped for the equalization stuff...
    but you probably get what you pay for.
     
  19. Bill Mullin

    Bill Mullin Stunt Coordinator

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  20. Paul cbc

    Paul cbc Stunt Coordinator

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    RichardL, Bill,

    Thanks for the replies. My dvd/sacd player does have settings for distance of speakers. Wonder if this would "override" the receivers MCACC?
    The price from Sammans is very attractive. I've seen it mentioned a number of times without any negative comments.
    Let's see, how much is my tax refund?[​IMG]

    paul
     

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