Bought a Pioneer Elite VSX-74TXVi today - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 2114 Old 08-12-2005, 10:21 AM - Thread Starter
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I just bought a Pioneer Elite VSX-74TXVi today at the Grand Opening of a new "Mini Magnolia" in the local Best Buy for 15% off! I'll be replacing the 56TXi I currently use as a pre/pro. I haven't started swapping them out yet but will tonight.

As a side note, I was impressed by the sales staff of the new Mini-Mag, they were very knowledgeable. I asked a couple of detailed questions such as what version of HDMI did it use and they immediately answered 1.1. They also told me the replacement for the 59AVi universal player is coming out in October.
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post #2 of 2114 Old 08-12-2005, 11:11 AM
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Monty,

Very cool as I said in the other thread.


If you don't mind I'm going to post my questions again for you here, so as to keep them in the same thread.

1) Please do us a favor and use the internal amps for a little test, and give us your impressions. I'd love to hear what you think compared to the 56TXi internal amps. One more thing how big are the capacitors in the 74TXVi? I think the 56TXi had 22,000uF.

2) What kind of Headphone Surround Processing does it have?
Quote:
Originally Posted by M Code View Post

Pioneer mentions Headphone Surround but not Dolby...
for the 72TX and 74TXi..

Monty, could you verify what M Code's literature says about this? And perhaps let me know what Pioneer calls this headphone surround processing?

3) Please give us your impressions of how the MCACC works for the subwoofer freq. I think it's called "Standing Wave" adjustment, or something like that!

4) How much does the 74TXVi weigh? I think my 56TXi weighs about 44lbs.

5) How does it sound with music compared to the 56TXi?

Thanks Monty! We are all anxious (well at least I am) to hear your impressions!

Best regards,
Patrick

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post #3 of 2114 Old 08-12-2005, 11:41 AM
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Avaholic:

I was under the impression that the 56TXi had 27,000 uf for the capacitors. The 54TX, 45TX had 22,000uf x2 for a total of 44,000uf. So, the 56 would have 54,000 uf total.

Am I right?
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post #4 of 2114 Old 08-12-2005, 11:51 AM
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Mike,

That's right....., you are correct, I was remembering wrong. So I would hope the 74TXVi has at least 2x 27,000uF and hopefully more!

Thanks for the correction!
Patrick

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post #5 of 2114 Old 08-12-2005, 12:17 PM
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Good...........Love those Elites
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post #6 of 2114 Old 08-12-2005, 12:22 PM
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Hmm... I am interested in buying the 56txi being replaced, as I am not interested in video switching/processing in AVR at all. Probably I can get a good price...?! Is there any major change or improvement in audio from 56txi over 76txvi?
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post #7 of 2114 Old 08-12-2005, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Well the MCACC is downstairs doing it's thing so here's a couple of initial impressions of the 74TXVi.

The 74TXVi appears to only have a pair of 15000 uf capacitors. Which is surprising and disappointing if the 56TXi has a pair of 27000 uf capacitors. Also, on the back of the 74 is states 530w and 690VA, while the 56TXi says 600W and 780VA. The specs do say "Continuous average power output of 140 watts per channel, at 8 ohms, from 20hz to 20,000 hz with no more than 0.09% total harmonic distortion (front). But each channel is rated for 140 watts. I only use the AVR as a pre/pro with 3 Bryston amps so it's not a big deal to me anyway.

The 74 weighs 41.2 lbs as indicated on the box, and the 56 weighs 51.6 lbs as indicated on the box. The difference in weight is appearant.

Another disappointment is that the 74 has a standard lamp grade fixed power cord while the 56 had a beefy heavy duty removable power cord. I also noticed that the 74 uses alot of black screws except on the back panel it uses copper screws, while the 56 used copper screws all over.

Another issue for me is the 12v trigger is a little quirky. Several times after turning it on/off it flashes 12v Trigger Err and won't turn on my Bryston amps.

There are alot more processing modes than the 56 had, but that's expected since the 74 is THX Select 2. PLIIx Game, THX Music, SCi-FI, Musical, Drama, PhonesSurround, etc.

Overall the sound is clean but I did notice some hiss through the speakers that wasn't there before. It's hard to compare the SQ of the 74 to the 56 cause I only use them as pre/pro's and I'm used to hearing my M&K's driven by Bryston's. I used to use the 56 to drive the M&K's and they sounded good, but the Bryston made them sound better since they're relatively hard to drive and power hungry. I'm going to check all my connections and make sure nothings loose and no power cords are next to connectors. I haven't checked out the professional MCACC yet, but the standard MCACC seems to set the channel levels and speaker distance much faster than the 56 did. The 74 adds standing wave correction and it automatically checks/corrects for reverb and EQ Pro in the standard MCACC whereas the 56 seperated those into the Professional MCACC.

I still need to read the manual and tinker around with it but those were some of my first impressions. While they may negative, keep in mind that negatives are usually the first to stand out at you. The exterior is nice looking, typical Elite finish. The OSD is better looking, you can adjust it''s position on the screen and it's much more robust. It's similar to the 56 TXi but doesn't have the Commadore 64 computer look as bad. The remote is smaller and appears busier. I always liked the 56's remote and programmed it to control everything even my dimmer lights. I liked it better than some of the expensive aftermarket remotes. The MCACC microphone is nicer (LOL) and doesn't need that stupid piece of foam to sit straight.

By the way, the operating instructions are universal and they mention a VSX-74TXVi-S and VSX-72TXV-S as well as the VSX-74TXVi and VSX-72TXV. Anyone know what the "S" stands for or difference is? I couldn't find anything in the manual yet.
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post #8 of 2114 Old 08-12-2005, 12:58 PM
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Quote:


Anyone know what the "S" stands for or difference is?

Silver ?
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post #9 of 2114 Old 08-12-2005, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monty Williams View Post

The 74TXVi appears to only have a pair of 15000 uf capacitors. Which is surprising and disappointing if the 56TXi has a pair of 27000 uf capacitors. Also, on the back of the 74 is states 530w and 690VA, while the 56TXi says 600W and 780VA.

The 74 weighs 41.2 lbs as indicated on the box, and the 56 weighs 51.6 lbs as indicated on the box. The difference in weight is appearant.

Another disappointment is that the 74 has a standard lamp grade fixed power cord while the 56 had a beefy heavy duty removable power cord..

These points you made really are key for those thinking about using the internal amps of 74TXVi. Regardless of what the 140w per channel says, those cap. numbers, power supply numbers (and to a lesser extent the power cord) suggest that the 56TXi will be able to do a better job of supplying power to all speakers. Obviously not a problem for you Monty, but this is indeed important news for many!
Thanks for sharing it so quickly!

P.S. I may have to think about going with the Denon 4806 as I'm still probably going to get rid of my seperate 3 channel amp.

Best Regards,
Patrick

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post #10 of 2114 Old 08-12-2005, 02:09 PM
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Quote:


The remote is smaller and appears busier.

And more difficult to use. I hate remotes with small buttons.

Bob
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post #11 of 2114 Old 08-12-2005, 02:19 PM - Thread Starter
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I finished setting it up and if you're familiar with current Pioneers/Elite's there won't be any surprises. The MCACC seems like it does it's thing faster. The 56 seemed to take forever to set the channel levels and speaker distances. The 74 does that plus phase correction, standing wave, reverb, and Auto EQ in the same time or less than it took the 56 to just do level/distance, plus it does those automatically without having to go through the Professional menu.

The addition of the standing wave control makes a huge difference and is immediately appearant. I played a techno CD that has alot of repetitive bass around 30-35 hz and the bass was noticeably faster, punchier, and less boomy and muddy compared to the 56. This improvement in itself is almost worth the cost of the upgrade it is that dramatic.

The OSD is better and is easier to use too. As with the previous MCACC version, it still insists on initially setting all the speakers to large, but navigating to manual speaker settings is alot easier and more straighforward.

Curiously, there are a couple of places in the manual where a strip of paper is glued over the page. This is found in the "furnished parts" and "what's in the box" sections. I tried peeling it off to see what was underneath it, but it pulls the paper off too so I can't tell. I wonder if it was the XM antenna? Obviously they decided to exclude something at the last minute after the manual was printed...

I got the 12v trigger thing figured out. After I set all the inputs, even the one's I don't use to turn on the 12v trigger, no more problems. Before if I switched to an input that didn't have the 12v turned on and then switched to a input with the 12v turned on, it would error...
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post #12 of 2114 Old 08-12-2005, 02:20 PM
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Quote:


The 74TXVi appears to only have a pair of 15000 uf capacitors. Which is surprising and disappointing if the 56TXi has a pair of 27000 uf capacitors. Also, on the back of the 74 is states 530w and 690VA, while the 56TXi says 600W and 780VA.

This was my concern when I read that MSRP had dropped by $200.

It seems silly to raise the power rating and reduce the quality of components used but the marketers may have simply taken over. If these numbers are correct, I would have serious reservations about using this with any speakers rated at less than 8 ohms in a multi-channel setup.

It also sounds like the build quality has been diminished (lower weight, painted screws, captive power cord) from the 56TXi. Makes one wonder what other less obvious corners have been cut.

I was pretty much sold on tyhe 79TXVi as a replacement to my 56TXi but I may rethink this and give the Denon 4306 another look.

Bob
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post #13 of 2114 Old 08-12-2005, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Simple View Post

It seems silly to raise the power rating and reduce the quality of components used but the marketers may have simply taken over. If these numbers are correct, I would have serious reservations about using this with any speakers rated at less than 8 ohms in a multi-channel setup.

Being somebody who is extremely new to highend audio (meaning anything better than HTiB), what would the general opinion be of driving two Paradigm Studio 40s (fronts), two Paradigm Studio 20s (rear), a Paradigm Studio CC470 (center) and a SVS PB12-plus/2 subwoofer off of this receiver? I really like the HDMI inputs, as well as the transcoding to HDMI. I also don't have a lot of money for a higher end receiver ($1,500, the MSRP of this guy was pretty much my budget for audio/video processing), so I was hoping this would work (at least until it's time to upgrade something a year or two down the road).

Paradigm's website says that impedence is "compatible with 8 ohms," but I don't know what that means.

Thoughts?

CW
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post #14 of 2114 Old 08-12-2005, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avaholic View Post

These points you made really are key for those thinking about using the internal amps of 74TXVi. Regardless of what the 140w per channel says, those cap. numbers, power supply numbers (and to a lesser extent the power cord) suggest that the 56TXi will be able to do a better job of supplying power to all speakers. Obviously not a problem for you Monty, but this is indeed important news for many!
Thanks for sharing it so quickly!

P.S. I may have to think about going with the Denon 4806 as I'm still probably going to get rid of my seperate 3 channel amp.

Best Regards,
Patrick

I agree 100%....
Good info Monty, thx.
I have the 56 and was planning to check out the 74 but not if it's of a lesser bulid, which the reduced weight alone would indicate.

dc

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post #15 of 2114 Old 08-12-2005, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Simple View Post

This was my concern when I read that MSRP had dropped by $200.

It seems silly to raise the power rating and reduce the quality of components used but the marketers may have simply taken over. If these numbers are correct, I would have serious reservations about using this with any speakers rated at less than 8 ohms in a multi-channel setup.

It also sounds like the build quality has been diminished (lower weight, painted screws, captive power cord) from the 56TXi. Makes one wonder what other less obvious corners have been cut.

I was pretty much sold on tyhe 79TXVi as a replacement to my 56TXi but I may rethink this and give the Denon 4306 another look.

Bob

Not good news...
This is the same thing Yamaha did with the RX-V2500 over the 2400..
Power went up and the price went down..
Specs improvements look good on paper...
But what about the real world..
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post #16 of 2114 Old 08-12-2005, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monty Williams View Post

The addition of the standing wave control makes a huge difference and is immediately appearant. I played a techno CD that has alot of repetitive bass around 30-35 hz and it was the bass was noticeably faster, punchier, and less boomy and muddy compared to the 56. This improvement in itself is almost worth the cost of the upgrade it is that dramatic.

That is indeed good news!

Two questions Monty, does the 74TXVi still have the "up-sampling" feature for CD playback like the 56TXi?
Also, just to confirm the Headphone surround mode is callled "PhonesSurround"?

P.S. What about the "hissing" you were hearing. Is it really worse than the 56TXi?

Thanks again for the great info here!!!!

Patrick

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post #17 of 2114 Old 08-12-2005, 03:24 PM
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M Code-

I have had this ominous feeling about corner-cutting since I saw the reduction in price. I am pretty sure I commented on it but i was hopeful they had achieved the lower price point through the use of fully-amortized technologies trickling down from the 59TXi and production efficiencies.

Unfortunately, it appears that my concerns were real and I am having difficulty imagining the 74TXvi being able to provide much headroom with 15,000 uf caps. Combined with what sounds like a smaller transformer, this receiver is probably not a very good match for even 6 ohm speakers (unless they are very stable in the load they present).

Bob
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post #18 of 2114 Old 08-12-2005, 03:27 PM
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Monty-

Can you comment on the quality of the binding posts? Did you confirm the capacitors by visual inspection?


Thanks for the great info.

Bob
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post #19 of 2114 Old 08-12-2005, 03:31 PM
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Good Points Bob.

I am now considering keeping my 3-channel amp myself, with the way Monty describes how well this Standing Wave function of the MCACC works. It sounds really interesting. It may even replace the need for the Velo SMS-1 external EQ I was thinking of getting!

I'm affraid there is no free lunch. I too was hoping for the best. But I'm becoming more and more convinced that using AVR's as a preamp is a really viable option, at least for the front 3 channels where you really need the most power!

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post #20 of 2114 Old 08-12-2005, 03:32 PM
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Quote:


Also, just to confirm the Headphone surround mode is callled "PhonesSurround"?

Patrick-

The Phones Surround mode is available on the 59TXi. Unless it is night-and-day better, it strikes me as Pioneer's answer to Denonlink as a proprietary technology instead of the established standard.

Bob
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post #21 of 2114 Old 08-12-2005, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Simple View Post

Patrick-

The Phones Surround mode is available on the 59TXi. Unless it is night-and-day better, it strikes me as Pioneer's answer to Denonlink as a proprietary technology instead of the established standard.

I'm cool with that. I would not be using headphones for movie watching that much, I'm just hoping for something that enhances the movie watching experience for the times when I ocassionally watch a movie using headphones.

BR,
Patrick

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post #22 of 2114 Old 08-12-2005, 03:47 PM - Thread Starter
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It appears the corrections (stickers covering up certain sections) to the manual are related to iPod funtionality. No big deal to me. Why someone would use an inferior source such as an iPod/mp3 for a $1500 msrp receiver is another discussion...but then again SACD/DVD-A appears to be dead unfortunately.

Anyway a couple of clarifications. The manual states the 74 weighs in at 35.3 lbs versus the 56's 44.8 lbs according to it's manual. Even the 74's manual is lighter, at 86 pages versus the 54's 102 pages....

As for upsampling, yes it's the same as the 56 but without all the fine print about downsampling certain 96khz sources.

All references to headphones mention "PhonesSurround". No mention of Dolby.

My impression right now is that the sound processing is improved and cleaner, more funtionality/geegaws, XM Radio and iPod compatibilities, ALOT more indicators (i.e. the display shows when the subwoofer is actually receiving a signal in addition to it simply being illuminated for x.1 sources), improved MCACC (noticeably, and the 56 was pretty good too) with the phase control, standing wave, etc, 3 video component in, HDMI switching/conversion, 3 zones, etc at the expense of potentially compromised power (if my assessment of the caps are correct and according to what's printed on the back of the receiver, but it's still THX Select 2 certified and 6 ohm compatible) and maybe cheaper construction (fewer copper screws, a little more plastic. I didn't remove the cover I just looked through it along with a flashlight.

A cool feature I was unaware of is that besides having more MCACC memory settings (frequency adjustments for the same listening position), it also allows you to have settings for multiple seating positions, such as if you normally listen on the couch but play video games sitting on the floor closer to the monitor.

I'm excited about having XM, but the antenna is sold seperately. I have XM in my truck and I think a second receiver is only $6.95 more per month.
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post #23 of 2114 Old 08-12-2005, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avaholic View Post

Good Points Bob.

I am now considering keeping my 3-channel amp myself, with the way Monty describes how well this Standing Wave function of the MCACC works. It sounds really interesting. I'm affraid there is no free lunch. I too was hoping for the best. But I'm becoming more and more convinced that using AVR's as a preamp is a really viable option, at least for the front 3 channels where you really need it!

Patrick-

I now think that the reduced price and corner-cutting on power components may be an acknowledgement by Pioneer that many of these units are used as pre/pros.

Two questions come to mind: 1) Is Pioneer considering a "76TXvi" that is basically this unit with a better power system priced between the 74TXvi and 79TXvi; and 2) would Pioneer consider selling separate power amps designed to be used with their receivers?

The latter seems unlikely but some might buy into a plug-and-play 3-channel amp for their fronts that is essentially gain-matched to the receiver. The former makes sense considering the veritable desert between the 74TXvi and the 79TXvi when it is released. Even if the 79TXvi is reduced in price by a $1000, there is room for another receiver to compete against Denon's offerings in the premium receiver category.

Bob
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post #24 of 2114 Old 08-12-2005, 04:05 PM
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Excellent Monty! You are a wealth of information!

Regarding the Standing wave control, does it say how it works in the manual? Is there a way to view what its settings are on the OSD? Or even manually change them like the normal MCACC?

About the Professional MCACC calibration, does it have the X-Curve adjustment?

Also, what happened with the hissing you were hearing?

Thanks,
Patrick

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post #25 of 2114 Old 08-12-2005, 04:08 PM
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i.e. the display shows when the subwoofer is actually receiving a signal in addition to it simply being illuminated for x.1 sources

I recall my 54TX having that feature. The light for LFE would flash when a low frequency sound was being played. The 56TXi should have done the same thing.
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post #26 of 2114 Old 08-12-2005, 04:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Answers to questions posted :

I straightened up the connector routing and the hiss went away, the 74 is as dead silent as the 56. I figured that was it as I was in a rush to get it hooked up... like a kid on Christmas morning...

The binding posts are the same as the 56. Good quality and capable of accepting at least 12 guage.

I looked at the capacitors through the case, didn't remove it, using a flashlight to illuminate. The 71v and 15000 was in plain site and compared side to side with the 56 they were physically smaller.

As for headphone it says you can enjoy the same "sound effects" as using the speakers.

I was told, and the way the manual appears to be universal for Elites, this 74 is the top new Elite and the 59TXi is not being replaced.

I thought about the concept of Pioneer designing the new Elites to be pre/pro's but I've got to think those of us who do are the minority.

With regards to the Sub indicator lighting up to indicate actual output, you're right the 56 did too now that I think about it, but it was just a little dot next to the SW whereas the 74 has a larger indicator that stand out more, it looks like (((SW))).

I'll have4 to check the manual for more standing wave control details...
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post #27 of 2114 Old 08-12-2005, 04:39 PM
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Monty-

Thanks for the great information. I have a feeling that they must have re-oriented the boards or something and that they are using larger caps. I just can't imagine Pioneer living so close to the edge using smaller caps while increasing the power rating. Someone needs to get this unit on a test bench soon.

I will be surprised if Pioneer does not introduce a new flagship in January. I think that the reason for it not being included in this manual is that Pioneer does not want to provide any information about it at this point and that it will likely require its own manual at any rate. As an aside, if this is the new top-of-the-line receiver, then Pioneer has put its flagship on a 30 pound diet.

High-end flagship receivers is not a market you jump into and out of. You build your reputation over time and stay the course. Pioneer seems to do pretty well in this market.

Bob
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post #28 of 2114 Old 08-12-2005, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monty Williams View Post

Answers to questions posted :

I straightened up the connector routing and the hiss went away, the 74 is as dead silent as the 56. I figured that was it as I was in a rush to get it hooked up... like a kid on Christmas morning...

The binding posts are the same as the 56. Good quality and capable of accepting at least 12 guage.

I looked at the capacitors through the case, didn't remove it, using a flashlight to illuminate. The 71v and 15000 was in plain site and compared side to side with the 56 they were physically smaller.

As for headphone it says you can enjoy the same "sound effects" as using the speakers.

I was told, and the way the manual appears to be universal for Elites, this 74 is the top new Elite and the 59TXi is not being replaced.

I thought about the concept of Pioneer designing the new Elites to be pre/pro's but I've got to think those of us who do are the minority.

With regards to the Sub indicator lighting up to indicate actual output, you're right the 56 did too now that I think about it, but it was just a little dot next to the SW whereas the 74 has a larger indicator that stand out more, it looks like (((SW))).

I'll have4 to check the manual for more standing wave control details...

Good to hear the 74 is as quite as the 56!
And good to hear Pioneer keeps making improvements to MCACC!

So even if the 74 doesn't have the same build quaility as the 56, it sounds as though it should make a killer pre/pro!

dc

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post #29 of 2114 Old 08-12-2005, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monty Williams View Post

I'll have4 to check the manual for more standing wave control details...

Monty-

Cool, could you also tell us if it has the X-Curve function in the Professional MCACC calibration like the 59TXi does?


Bob,

I agree about the flagship thoughts. However, they may just be using the 74TXVi as a "stop-gap" until a year or two down the road, and then make it's replacement the new flagship with all the "bells and whistles" and POWER. Until then they may just keep the 59TXi around for those who want the extra power, etc...... Though they would probably lose quite a bit of sales to Denon with their offerings.

I also agree that they may be seeing the trend of people using AVR's as pre/pro's.

BR,
Patrick

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post #30 of 2114 Old 08-12-2005, 04:56 PM
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So there is a iPod socket on the 74?

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