Pioneer Elite VSX-49TX

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by LorenzoD, Mar 12, 2002.

  1. LorenzoD

    LorenzoD Agent

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    I was looking at this receiver because it's one of the two that feature THX Ultra 2. If I remember correctly, this receiver is rated at 130Wx7. Would I need any pre/pro amps to make a 7.1 system truly shine with this receiver?
     
  2. Wolf Jenkins

    Wolf Jenkins Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm looking at this model as well, but can't see ANY reason to get the 49 over the 47. The 49 has a nicer remote, but that doesn't even come close to being worth the $700+ cost differential. I'm going to use my pronto anyway.

    Anyone have a good reason to get the 49 over the 47???
     
  3. RajeeK

    RajeeK Second Unit

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  4. Wolf Jenkins

    Wolf Jenkins Stunt Coordinator

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    Cool - thanks for the link.

    How is the 'video conversion' of the 49? I think I heard this is the feature of the 49 taking all video inputs (s-video, composite, etc) and converting it to the component output for example. A nice feature and if it works really well, I'll definitely consider this a big plus. So, how well does it work? How's the video quality from say a LD when converted to s-video?

    Thanks!
     
  5. RajeeK

    RajeeK Second Unit

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  6. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    I purchased the 47TX instead of the 49TX. The 47TX was actually more than I wanted to spend, so the 49TX was definitely out of my price range. The video conversion would have been nice, but I am not even using the component video switching on the 47TX right now -- I could see no reason to purchase another expensive component cable to run through the receiver since my 16x9 TV has two HD component inputs and I only have two devices with this type of video connection.

    I compared the 47TX to the Denon 4802 when making my choice. It was a little more expensive, but I thought the Pioneer was worth the extra cost for the features it included. Both units are fine audio performers.

    One note regarding the link RajeeK posted: posts on that link claim that the results of the MCACC auto calibration are not manually revisable on the 47TX. I can tell you that this statement is false. I have modified the results of the calibration, changing speaker size and subwoofer level output. The equilization is also adjustable, but I left those results alone.
     
  7. Robert George

    Robert George Screenwriter

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    We had a great thread on the 49TX going just before the server took a crap last week. It's a shame we lost it.

    On the video conversion, no question this is the best implementation of such a thing as I have seen. Actually, Pioneer's design is unique in many ways, but there have been a few attempts at this before with generally poor results. Composite video sources look very, very good when run through the 49TX and output as component video. My laserdiscs loook better than I have ever seen a laserdisc look. Same for broadcast using a VCR as a tuner. I assume converting from composite to Y/C would be almost as good since there is obviously a digital comb filter of very high quality in the video section of this receiver.

    Don't forget this receiver is one of the very first to pass on-screen displays through the component outs as well.
     
  8. RajeeK

    RajeeK Second Unit

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  9. Rich H

    Rich H Second Unit

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    Robert George,

    I am just about persuaded to buy the 49TX :) In fact I have an excellent offer for one, going fast, so I have to make a decision very soon. I beg you for your knowledge, dear sir....

    I'll be receiving a Panasonic 42" plasma, and I understand it's component input looks best, so the fact the 49TX can upconvert all signals to the component in (the Panasonic only has one component in) sounds extremely helpful.

    Still, I would like to maintain the best video quality (without being too obsessive).

    I'm a bit confused about comments regarding the quality (and bandwidth) of the 49TX component switching. It seems many have stated total satisfaction with the component output - "no degradation to my eyes." But I remember reading a post of yours saying you could detect degradation, loss of detail or softening of the image. Would you mind elaborating on that? I'm wondering just how fine this resolution loss is. Is it only detectable on HDTV quality signals (which need super-high bandwith passthrough)? Or is there also visable degradation of DVD images? (I don't know if DVD needs the same bandwith for safe passthrough).

    Also, I'd be curious if upconverting an S-video signal (such as from cable/Sat boxes and VCRs) to component simply risks degrading the signal (as it seems any conversion process risks doing). Or would the benefits of turning S-video into a component signal perhaps improve the signal?

    Finally, I can also get a Harmon Kardon AVR 7000 receiver for 1/2 the price of the Pioneer 49TX. If you are familiar with HK stuff, would you rate the 49TX above/below HK sound quality?

    (I suppose I should be checking out the 47TX too, but the 49TX component conversion just sounds so handy).

    Many, many thanks for your time.

    Rich.
     
  10. Rich H

    Rich H Second Unit

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    Whoops, two more things for Robert, or any 49TX owner:

    How is the Tuner? I hear many AV tuners are weak to useless, almost just for show. Is the 49TX tuner passable?

    I'm curious about the dynamic range control of the 49TX. I hate riding the volume button throughout movies, so some compression control would be ideal for me. I note in the Pioner 49TX web site product description, under "Convienience" it mentions a "Loudness Curve." Can anyone tell me what that is?

    Thanks again,

    Rich.
     
  11. Robert George

    Robert George Screenwriter

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    Rich:
    Yes, I did experiment with routing my (progressive scan) DVD component signal through the 49TX. After about a week of getting used to the picture, which I initiallly thought amazingly good, then switching back to a direct connection from the DVD to the monitor, I do feel there is a very slight loss of fine detail going through the receiver. Remeber, though, I am using a 64" Pioneer Elite widescreeen which is a very revealing television. On the other hand, color saturation and black level seem very slightly improved when fed through the receiver. Go figure.
    On a monitor such as the 42" plasma, I might be inclined to say the image using the 49TX as a switcher may actually look better than a direct connection due to the somewhat "hard" edges a digital display can sometimes have. Certainly the image from the 49TX video section is very clean with remarkably little grain (noise) which always looks like crap on a digital display. I have no experience with hi-def signals so I can't comment. As for lower resolution sources such as cable, VCR, laserdisc, or satellite, the format converter is close to a miracle.
    The 49TX does have dynamic range control in the digital decoder, as do all Dolby Digital decoders. There is also some form of dynamic range control for other sources as I was reading about some of the DSP modes and at least one of them mentions applying dynamic range compression. I can''t tell you much about this though because I never use dynamic rage limiting in any form. Give it to me straight, man! [​IMG]
     
  12. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Obi,

    I hope you're doing well!

     
  13. Robert George

    Robert George Screenwriter

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    Crawdaddy,

    I'm off the work, but I'll jump back in here later this afternoon.
     
  14. Robert George

    Robert George Screenwriter

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    It's difficult to quantify something like that when we are discussing two products that are the pinnacle of design for their respective companies. All I can do is telll you what I like better about the 49TX as opposed to the B&K. Unfortunately, such a comparison will ultimately make the B&K sound worse than it is. I can only preface by saying the B&K 307 is a top-flight receiver, albeit with a few quirks I found hard to get used to.
    Some of these things may or may not sound important to others, but it sometime the little things that make one product more attractive over another. You can attach whatever importance to the following you wish.
    The one thing the B&K does that I simply could not get used to is it makes a "pop" whenever a digital bitstream switches. For instance, at the beginning of a DVD, you get a pop each time a menu changes (that can be very annnoying on some of the more elaborate menus) and also at the layer change on dual layer discs. This is by design and not a defect. Still, I never liked it and the Pioneer doesn't do it. B&K claims this was a design decision intended to maintain a certain level of sound quality. I can't say the Pioneer suffers for using a different design.
    Which brings up sound quality. Despite the more robust amp section of the B&K, I find the sound quality of the Pioneer more to my liking. Music has a somewhat more "open" quality with a very detailed forward soundstage. Tonal characteristics of the Pioneer are a bit smoother and cleaner than the B&K. Are these differences large? No, not at all, but they are large enough that I can hear them so that is large enough for me. Before I actually heard the Pioneer, I would have beeen satisfied if it had sounded "almost as good" as the B&K. The fact that it actuially sounds better to me is both surprising and satisfying.
    Features - The Pioneer wins this easily. Some would argue that many of these features will not be used. Perhaps, but then, what is worse, having features you don't use or not having features you want? I think you know the answer to that one.
    Looks - Obviously a subjective point (beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder). In my eyes, there is no more attractive receiver on the market. I admit I have always been partial the that deep gloss black Urushi finish of the Pioneer Elite components. The 49TX has this beautiful finish on a metal faceplate instead of the more common plastic. It simply oozes class.
     
  15. Rich H

    Rich H Second Unit

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    Thanks for your info on the 49TX Robert.

    I'm gonna order one o' those suckers! I've done some further investigation, talking to Pioneer reps about my questions, and the 49TX seems like it can do virtually everything I could ask of a receiver, and more. And, hey, with the preamp outs I can always "tweak" the sound by introducing other amplification into the chain. (Goodness help me but I'm a tube amp fan, and I can't help but wonder....).

    BTW, what happened to that wonderful 49TX thread (the one that got me interested in this receiver) called "About to buy 49TX, any reason not too?" There was tons of info on the thread but I can't seem to access it anywhere.

    Thanks,

    Rich.
     
  16. PaulKH

    PaulKH Second Unit

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    Rich, I started that thread, but the web site crashed and lost that one! [​IMG]
    Oh well - I DID get my 49TX and I'm ecstatic! [​IMG]
     
  17. Rich H

    Rich H Second Unit

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    Robert,

    Regarding the slight signal degradation through the component output that you perceive.

    I just read on a thread about the new Denon AVR 5803 that the Denon will not have OSD through the component outputs.

    The Denon rep who answered questions on the thread said this: "Any source unit connected via component will NOT get OSD. OSD requires a buffer memory that degrades, however small, the video signal and with high resolution sources like DVD, interlace or progressive, we do not want any signal degradation. "

    With the Pio 49TX, do you think the OSD offered through the component outputs has possibly affected the signal?

    Just curious,

    Rich.
     
  18. Robert George

    Robert George Screenwriter

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    Rich:

    I have also heard that the character generators used for OSDs in audio gear are not of very high quality and do introduce "noise" into the video output of the switching circuits. This is one of the main reasons video switcching in receivers has not been very good in the past.

    As for the 49TX, I'm not going to pretend to be expert enough to say whether or not the OSD circuit, as impremented by Pioneer, is causing any degradation of the video that is routed through the receiver. In my experience, however, the type of (very slight) degradation that I am seeing is more likely related to signal loss, not signal contamination. I would surmise it is possible to eliminate signal contamination from the character generator if the circuit was of adequately high quality and the signal paths were isolated to the point there was no interaction between them. Just my guess as I don't know what Pioneer has done in this regard, only that they were able to meet the Ultra 2 spec and still have OSD in the component signal path.

    It should also be noted that the THX Ultra 2 spec does set a relatively stringent standard for component video switching in receiver/controllers that have it and get Ultra 2 certification. If I recall correctly, the Denon 5803 will be Ultra 2 certified. Perhaps Denon was not able to meet the Ultra 2 spec with their OSD in the component signal path. This would be an interesting comparison when the 5803 is released.
     
  19. John A. Casler

    John A. Casler Second Unit

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  20. PaulKH

    PaulKH Second Unit

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    Robert - I can't see ANY difference in component signal through the receiver or direct to my (Pioneer Elite) TV.

    Of course there's many factors involved like the two sets of cables you and I might have between DVD and receiver and receiver and TV and whether those cables are being interfered with by other signals, etc.

    It should be noted the OSD on the Elite is a SWITCH OUT and not an overlay (like my old Sony). By 'switch out' I mean that when you bring up the OSD, the video source is NO LONGER sent to the TV, which to me means the OSD is not inline with the video signals going through the receiver and so shouldn't have any bearing on the video throughput.
     

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