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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've decided to add the VSX-55TXi to my receiver short-list. I'll be making a three-plus hour trip up to the SF Bay area to listen to some speakers in the next couple of weeks and thought I'd take a look at this receiver while up there. Unfortunately, Pioneer does not have the owner's guide for this model posted at their website so that I can do some initial research into its features and how they are implemented.


I'm hoping owners or others who have spent some time with this receiver can help me get a sense for the receiver (I have downloaded the manual for the 45TX, as well).


If possible, I'd like opinions on the receiver's 3 best and 3 worst 9well, more if you are so inclined) features/performance issues. I know this is no substitute for spending some quality time with this unit but it will help a base of knowledge beyond reading manuals and marketing materials.


Thanks-

Bob
 

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The 55TXi has the USB input and the iLink input. Other than these two inputs there is not much difference operationally between the 45TX and the 55TXi. You should listen to the 55TXi using the iLink from the 47Ai or 59AVi for the full effect of this receiver.
 

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plus:


mcacc really works, natural sound, powerful for my mid size room


minus:


none for me



may be wait for a while later this year newer model with HDMI connection
 

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Hi Bob,


I recently purchased the 53TX model. My understanding is that it is identical to the 55TXi expect it is missing the USB port and the iLink input. Amps and DSPs are the same.


I returned a Harman Kardon AVR-630 and got the 53TX because the 630 was giving me a nasty hiss and buzz from the two main channels. I tried to 630s, and both did the same thing.


For me, the 53TX has the following plusses, in no particular order:
  • Excellent build quality. Compared to the 53TX, the AVR-630 looked and felt a little "cheap". The 53TX is truly a beauty and seems extremely well-built.
  • Sounds very, very good. Plenty of power in my medium-sized room.
  • MCACC works extremely well. When I first heard about MCACC, I figured it was more a marketing feature than something really useful (especially after my less-than-successful experiences with HK's EZSet feature). I figured I'd be able to do a better job calibrating with an SPL meter. Wrong! MCACC set speaker levels spot-on (I checked with my meter). It also has a 5-band equalizer that helps adjust for room characteristics. I was quite impressed with the results. It does it all automatically in about 10 minutes.

The 53TX does have a few weak points, however. IMO, the weakest are:
  • No bass management for the 8-channel direct input. The HK 630 has this, and it's very nice for SACD/DVD-A. Now, if you will be using the iLink input fed by one of Pioneer's universal players, you have nothing to worry about, since the receiver *will* be able to handle bass management for the digital iLink signal.
  • Bass management crossover settings not as flexible as the HK receivers, which allow different crossover points for each set of speakers. The Pioneer receivers use the same crossover (adjustable) for all speakers.
  • May not have enough digital inputs for all systems if you have a lot of digital sources. The 53TX has 2 coax and 2 optical in the rear and one optical in the front. (I think the 55TXi is the same, but you'll want to double-check).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Warp-


Thanks much for your input. It's especially interesting because the HK 630 was one of the receivers I had originally short-listed (along with the Denon 3803) I'm anxious to actually see the 55TXi (and I would be using iLink for the difital in for DVD-a/SACD so no bass management problem there).


Thanks also to DynamiteD and cou8088 for your inputs


Anyone else have any thoughts on the strengths and weaknesses of the 55TXi?


Bob
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Sounds Simple



Anyone else have any thoughts on the strengths and weaknesses of the 55TXi?


Bob
I don't have time now. But do a search on 55TXi and my username "avaholic", on ALL forums. You should find LOTS of info regrading how beneificial the i.Link and MCACC are with the 55TXi and the 47Ai!


BesT Regards,

Patrick
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Sounds Simple
Anyone else have any thoughts on the strengths and weaknesses of the 55TXi?

Bob
Bob,

55TXi is only one receiver for $1k price with i-link, so it has no competition in this category. And i-link is the most advanced digital audio interface at the moment, so there is nothing to talk about, get it :)
 

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I agree with Gordon. If you can utilize the i.link then it seems a no-brainer to me. I don't have any firewire sources so I went with the 45tx, which I thought was better than the HK 630 and the Denon 3803 even without the i.link.
 

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Just recieved my 55Txi last night (replacing a 53TX that's going back to the store). One downside is that there aren't as many digital inputs as other units in this price rage However, if you intend to use a dvd player w/ an iLink (like the 47Ai or 59Avi), you won't need to use an optical/coaxial digital input at all. iLink takes care of all audio connections from the player to the reciever. Plus the 55Txi will recognize them on the front panel (displaying "DV59Avi...iLink") as iLink is its own seperate input (still making the DVD/LD inputs available for another source).


The 53TX/55Txi is a touch on the bright side as compaired to the 3803. However, I like it that way for HT.


The MCACC works well and makes a huge difference. I disconnected the 53TX hooked-up the 55Txi last night but didn't get a chance to run the calibartion. What a difference without running the routine. No balance to room at all. I was suprised to hear that much diffeence in a small room. A testament to the effectiveness of MCACC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the replies.


It seems I have a lot of reading to do thanks to avaholic .


I wish the 55TXi had 3 component video-ins and component video up-conversion. The Denon 3805 will have both these and higher-bandwidth on the component video circuitry. Then again, it will most likely come at the expense of power (though that will not be an issue for me) and a first-generation auto-setup implementation plus the proprietary DenonLink.


Can anyone compare the surround-processing to the NAD receivers? I listened to a NAD 762 which was exceptionally detailed.


Any additional comments are appreciated.



Thnaks-

Bob
 

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I have the 55txi and love it. As for i-link, be prepared to drop a Grand on a DVD player. If you're not ready to spend that kind of change on a DVD player, then maybe you don't need the 55txi.


I plan on getting the 59avi, but I did come the the realization that if I didn't buy a DVD with an i-link connection, then I just wasted some money, paying for a option I would not be using.


Ofcourse the prices may come down and more dvd players will be available, but we're talking about today.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks Rob.


I may not buy a new player immediately but I want a digital connection for all audio formats between my player and receiver eventually: this was one of the reasons I started looking beyond HK and NAD. It annoys me that Denon came up with DenonLink instead of using a standard like IEEE-1394 (iLink or FireWire) but I would still consider a Denon receiver given the price difference between it and the comparative Elite model. I really need to spend sometime with the 55TXi to get a sense of it.


I have heard nothing that dulls detail out of the surround processing the way the NAD does so far; I'm curious how the Elite units compare in this regard.


Bob
 

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NAD is one of the last companies, still using 24-bit processing in their DSP. Pioneer uses 48-bit dual precision processing for a long time now, Denon and Yamaha - 32-bit, even HK and Rotel in their latest lines use 32-bit processing. We had a lot of discussion about the difference, one can use search to find them in this forum.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Sounds Simple


I have heard nothing that dulls detail out of the surround processing the way the NAD does so far; I'm curious how the Elite units compare in this regard.


Bob
It has been my experience that speakers will have more of an influence on the detail than the receiver, not to mention the room. But, that said a receiver will make a difference, and each has thier pluses and minuses.

I get Incredible detail with my 55TXi/47Ai and Phase Technology Velocity combo.


I've never heard NAD before but the 55TXi, COMPLETELY blows away any HK I've had, including the AVR8000, 7000, and 500. Some people refer to the 55TXi as a little bright, I look at it as DETAILED. Much of the "bright" label can be attributed to the speakers being used anyway, I'm sure. Again, I think my Phase Techs. have more to do with the Detailed sound I hear than the 55TXi. BUT, as always it's the combination of components and the listening room itself.


BTW: the Phase Tech. Velocitys (in combination with the 55TXi/47Ai and my room ;) ) are not just detailed, the imaging is second to none "I've heard in thier price range, and they throw out a HUGE, DEEP soundstage.


You mention "surround processing" with the NAD, is that with Multi-Channel Hi-Rez recordings, like SACD and DVD-A, or movies (DTS, DD, etc.)?

For both, the particular combo I have now (this is after owning countless speaker/receiver combos) just plain KICKS A** :D


Not to mention CDs when playing through the Jitterless i.Link connection with DPLII and Hi-Bit Upsampling set to "on", sound so amazing it's like listening to the CDs for the first time. ALMOST" like Hi-Rez recordings, DAMN CLOSE!!!


ALSO, by the way the 47Ai can be had for $700 from an authoried dealer!


Hope this helps,

Patrick
 

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I too succumbed to the hype on this forum about H/K, and tried a 630 (my first H/K). It went back after 3 days, and I went straight back to Elite. Neither build quality nor detail are strong-suits with the 630.


Ditto all of the positives regarding the 55TXi.


Wish there were more crossover points though. From 50Hz to 80Hz leaves a little to be desired.
 

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I have had a 53Tx for about 2 weeks now and am pretty impressed. The MCACC is all it is cracked up to be. I was using a B&K 3090 with an M&K 5.1 setup which sounds great but after running the MCACC on the 53TX the front soundstage really became seamless. I had moved my listening position with respect to my surrounds and now I am going to move the surrounds (pair of wall mounted SS-150THX) and then rerun MCACC. I will also probably add the 2 additional speakers for 7.1. The WAF went up tremendously with the Elite. My wife was always frustrated with how difficult it was to run the system and now everything switches with a single knob. (she's not into remotes)

I was also surprised how fast it recognizes DTS or DD. The older B&K took several seconds to lock up and there was always that pause. The 53TX is essentially instantaneous and if I switch from DD to DTS on Theatertek, the 53 switches instantly. I guess my only complaint is that I am still looking for a rack mount shelf to set it on. I will likely have to use a shelf that mounts at the front and rear of the rack along with some Black trim plates.

If you need a place to look at the 55TXi in the South Bay area, you can see it at Laserland on Sunnyvale-Saratoga road in San Jose, just off of 85. I first saw it there and decided I did not need the Firewire or USB connections.


Hope your theater made it through the quakes ok. We love that Paso wine country!


..Doyle
 

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I droped a massive chunk of change on the Pioneer Elite line today (1110HD display, 59Avi DVD, and 55Txi receiver). Selecting these parts was "easy" in the sense that Pioneer has set these up to work as a team (HDMI from DVD to display, iLink from DVD to receiver...). Selecting the speakers was a bit trickier...


As for nifty 55Txi features... the 55Txi's rear surround binding posts can be used either as (a) rear surrounds (duh!) (b) bi-amps for your front speakers or (c) as a two-channel second zone (i.e., for speakers elsewhere in the house). That much is in the on-line manual. Perhaps this is a common receiver feature, but I thought it was cool.


The salesguy also told me that the 55Txi could run the second zone speakers simultaneously and independently from the other five (i.e., watch a movie on the "main" speakers while the second zone could play FM.) This, however, I couldn't see in the manual so I cannot confirm it.


My plan is to use option (c). I'm setting up the home theatre in the basement, then run some 16-gauge cables upstairs onto the main floor to drive some bookshelf speakers.


I also found out recently that the 55Txi's USB port can interface with a PC, so you can have the Mother of All MP3 players.


As for how the 55Txi *sounds*, gosh, you'll have to wait until it arrives next week. I'm hooking it up to a set of Focal-JMLabs 716's mains, 700 centre and 705 surrounds. A pair of 706's will be used as the main floor bookshelves. I'm using a local Toronto company (Reel Acoustics) sub.


Ross in Toronto
 

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Ross, im curious about the speakers you chose and how you came to select them. I know its off the thread subject but I am groping with selection of speakers for Elite AV also.. perhaps you could pm me.
 
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