New Elite Network AVRs Add Direct Energy AV Amplifiers
Pioneer & Onkyo USA Corp. revealed its latest Elite branded network AV receivers, highlighted by the forthcoming Elite SC-LX904 and Elite SC-LX704.
The two high-end receivers will ring in at suggested retail prices of $2,999 and $1,599, respectively and will both have the latest version of Direct Energy HD Amplifier that the company calls “a uniquely designed Class D amplifier that supports powerful, simultaneous multi-channel amplification with 140W x 11ch (LX904) and 135W x 9ch (LX704).”
The Direct Energy HD amplifier drives all channels under the same conditions and is billed as an ideal amplifier designed around “Pioneer’s multi-channel stereophonic philosophy.”
The result is said to more lifelike audio reproduction. Further, both receivers use ESS9026 384kHz/32-bit high-quality DACs to equalize all channel signal processing from the beginning, he company said.
With the Direct Energy HD amplifier, the SC-LX904 and SC-LX704 reproduce the latest surround formats such as Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and IMAX Enhanced content via simultaneous multi-channel speakers (8 ohms, 1kHz, THD 0.08 %, 1ch driven FTC).
Both models also incorporate Pioneer easy setup for reference grade sound, the company said. Upon set-up, the Multi-Channel Acoustic Calibration System (MCACS) PRO auto calibrates for the acoustic environment via the receiver’s custom microphone.
The system automatically compensates for differences in speaker size, level and distance, and equalizes the response. Additionally, P&O USA said the full-band phase control in MCACC PRO produces more precise room conditioning by adjusting group delay occurring in each speaker.
The company pointed out that MCACC PRO corrects for speakers installed in high places like in-ceiling speakers, making it ideal for the latest object-based audio format installations (Dolby Atmon, DTS:X etc).
Key features in the LX904 and LX704 include: 7 HDMI In / 3 Out with support for Ultra HD pass-through and HDCP 2.3, 4K / 60 Hz, Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma), WCG (Wide Color Gamut) and Ultra HD upscaling (1080p to 4K).
When connected to a Pioneer Universal Disc Player like the UDP-LX800 or UDP-LX500 via HDMI, the SC-LX904 and SC-LX704 minimize jitter in the HDMI transmission and deliver accurate D/A conversion.
Pioneer’s advanced Precision Quartz Lock System (PQLS) audio technology improves the S/N rati of the sound, for more realistic expression and a rich, expansive 3D sound field, the company said.
Both the LX904 and LX704 also incorporate two new modes: Audio Exclusive Mode where the HDMI video signal is turned off to focus on sound quality; and the AV Direct Mode, which turns off the network function for superior audio and video playback.
Other features include the following:
• Dialog Enhancement which makes it easy to adjust and listen to movie dialogue and music vocals.
• Personal Preset which can save up to three personal preferences that include favorite inputs, volume and surround settings.
• Reflex Optimizer that enhances object-based audio reproduction from upward firing Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers.
• Works with Alexa so owners can use their voice to control the AV receiver by speaking commands through an Alexa device. Just to ask Alexa to play, pause, and skip music or control the volume. Users can enjoy playing music through streaming services such as Amazon Music, and can make selections by song title, artist name, release year, or genre. Works with Alexa Multi Room Music (MRM) which plays back multiple devices in synchronization is also planned. The company said Works with Alexa will be available with future firmware update.
• Works with the Google Assistant enables turning up the volume, skipping tracks, or stopping the music using an Assistant-enabled Smart Speaker or Smart Displays, like Google Home.
• Wireless connectivity includes Chromecast built-in, Apple AirPlay 2, Bluetooth, DTS Play-Fi, Wi-Fi as well as FlareConnect, Pioneer’s wireless protocol that mirrors any audio source connected to the receiver on compatible speakers in other rooms.
• Music, sports, talk, and news entertainment from internet radio stations and online music services, including Amazon Music, Pandora, Spotify, TIDAL, and Deezer.
• Support for high-resolution sound sources (192 kHz / 24-bit) in FLAC, WAV, AIFF and ALAC file formats, and DSD (2.8/5.6MHz/11.2MHz) files.
• Custom integration features common in Elite receivers, including IR In, 12V trigger out, RS-232c and a detachable power cable.
By Greg Tarr
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