Pioneer Elite VSX-94TXH

V

VOguyinLA

Enthusiast
Ratings
3
#1
I have had the VSX-94TXH for almost 10 years now and the sound has been great with my 7.1 surround configuration. I recently purchased a new 4k Samsung big screen and as a result I no longer connect my devices (cable box, Blu-ray, etc..) to the 94TXH directly. Instead I connect them directly to the TV and use the TV's optical out to the receiver's input. Aside from that minor inconvenience everything continues to work well.

My question is in regard to where I am missing out with a 10 year old receiver from a sound perspective. Would the newer surround sound technologies that I would get with a new receiver produce a noticeable improvement in my Home Theatre's sound experience?
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
3,882 16 36
#2
You'll be limited to the lossy codecs, passing up the lossless codecs (Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD-MA) since they can't be passed through optical. If you connected a newer avr the same way you'd also miss out on Atmos type tech. Audio is generally better thru the avr. I take it your source devices don't have dual hdmi output so you can send video to your new tv and still route the audio via hdmi to your Pioneer?

FWIW I haven't tried the immersive tech like Atmos, but the reports are pretty good...I just don't want to put speakers in/on my ceiling at this time (too much work).
 
V

VOguyinLA

Enthusiast
Ratings
3
#3
You'll be limited to the lossy codecs, passing up the lossless codecs (Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD-MA) since they can't be passed through optical. If you connected a newer avr the same way you'd also miss out on Atmos type tech. Audio is generally better thru the avr. I take it your source devices don't have dual hdmi output so you can send video to your new tv and still route the audio via hdmi to your Pioneer?

FWIW I haven't tried the immersive tech like Atmos, but the reports are pretty good...I just don't want to put speakers in/on my ceiling at this time (too much work).
Thanks for input! Do you think the Denon AVRX4400H would be a good switch? The only concern I had was that it only has 125 watts per channel and I think the Elite had 140 watts per channel.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
3,882 16 36
#4
I have a couple Denons working well, my Pioneer crapped out just after warranty. :) Difference between 125 and 140 watts is trivial, just makes half a dB difference. Look for bench tests to see if there's a more significant difference outside the manufacturer spec (older avr specs were a bit more conservative) if you want to really see how much difference in amp section, but they're fairly close. Look to the rest of the features/connectivity would be my recommendation as to choosing which avr you want/need.
 
V

VOguyinLA

Enthusiast
Ratings
3
#6
A quick update.. I ended up buying the Pioneer SC-LX701 which came in at 135 watts per channel as opposed to the 125 watts from the Denon AVRX4400. While the SC-LX701 is a great receiver I have determined that it just doesn't fill the room (15ft x 20ft with 7.1 surround) like my 140 watt 94-TXH has for the last 9 years.

I want my next receiver to keep me going for 8 to 10 years so while price is a consideration, it is not as important as quality. Which receiver(s) would you recommend and do you think it makes sense looking at 150 watts?

Thanks again!

Jason
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
3,882 16 36
#7
So just how did you determine that? Did you measure? I'd be surprised there's a significant difference but OTOH you can only take manufacturer's spec so far...

You may simply be a candidate for adding a more powerful external amp. Your SCLX701 has pre-outs. Think it's mostly your mains that could use some extra juice? Or all the speakers?
 
everettT

everettT

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
771 9 11
#8
A quick update.. I ended up buying the Pioneer SC-LX701 which came in at 135 watts per channel as opposed to the 125 watts from the Denon AVRX4400. While the SC-LX701 is a great receiver I have determined that it just doesn't fill the room (15ft x 20ft with 7.1 surround) like my 140 watt 94-TXH has for the last 9 years.

I want my next receiver to keep me going for 8 to 10 years so while price is a consideration, it is not as important as quality. Which receiver(s) would you recommend and do you think it makes sense looking at 150 watts?

Thanks again!

Jason
Did you update the firmware when you hooked it up? Some of the 501/701 units had issues with MCACC not working correctly, so check the settings. As Loving said the difference in wattage isn't an audible one.

The 94 you had was the last of the beast units in terms of class AB amps. The current crop of D3s seem to have all the kinks out as far as i can tell.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
4,351 7 1
#9
A quick update.. I ended up buying the Pioneer SC-LX701 which came in at 135 watts per channel as opposed to the 125 watts from the Denon AVRX4400. While the SC-LX701 is a great receiver I have determined that it just doesn't fill the room (15ft x 20ft with 7.1 surround) like my 140 watt 94-TXH has for the last 9 years.

I want my next receiver to keep me going for 8 to 10 years so while price is a consideration, it is not as important as quality. Which receiver(s) would you recommend and do you think it makes sense looking at 150 watts?

Thanks again!

Jason
At this point we don't know your listening habit, that is, how loud, same kind of level you hear in movie theaters, or much quieter? It also depends on how far you sit, what kind of speakers you have etc. You can use an online calculator such as the one linked below to get a good idea of you power need.

http://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html

The AVR-X4400H that you asked about, it is listed for $1,599 but some people were able to get it for $799 or less recently, as the X4500H will be out in 2-3 months.

Based on S&V bench measurements, your Pioneer is about 1.2 dB more powerful than the Denon, that is truly negligible. The LX701 uses class D amplifiers, but it should still be comparable to you 94TXH for real world use, though I am more confident with the class AB Denon.

Another option is, keep the 94TXH, depending on your 4K needs, that is to buy 4K media players that offer two HDMI outputs as well the apps you need.

The 94TXH is a powerful one, it currently rank 17 out of 38 on my AVR power output chart, right below the Elite SC-89, based on 2Ch into 8 ohms, but its 2Ch into 4 ohm output is higher than the SC-89.
 
Last edited:
V

VOguyinLA

Enthusiast
Ratings
3
#10
So just how did you determine that? Did you measure? I'd be surprised there's a significant difference but OTOH you can only take manufacturer's spec so far...

You may simply be a candidate for adding a more powerful external amp. Your SCLX701 has pre-outs. Think it's mostly your mains that could use some extra juice? Or all the speakers?
I was wondering if I could leveraging the 94TXH for some extra power. How would I connect the two units via the pre-out and what additional configuration would be required?
 
V

VOguyinLA

Enthusiast
Ratings
3
#11
At this point we don't know your listening habit, that is, how loud, same kind of level you hear in movie theaters, or much quieter? It also depends on how far you sit, what kind of speakers you have etc. You can use an online calculator such as the one linked below to get a good idea of you power need.

http://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html

The AVR-X4400H that you asked about, it is listed for $1,599 but some people were able to get it for $799 or less recently, as the X4500H will be out in 2-3 months.

Based on S&V bench measurements, your Pioneer is about 1.2 dB more powerful than the Denon, that is truly negligible. The LX701 uses class D amplifiers, but it should still be comparable to you 94TXH for real world use, though I am more confident with the class AB Denon.

Another option is, keep the 94TXH, depending on your 4K needs, that is to buy 4K media players that offer two HDMI outputs as well the apps you need.

The 94TXH is a powerful one, it currently rank 17 out of 38 on my AVR power output chart, right below the Elite SC-89, based on 2Ch into 8 ohms, but its 2Ch into 4 ohm output is higher than the SC-89.
Thanks much. I am hoping I can combine the two Elite units via the pre-out for some extra heft.
 
V

VOguyinLA

Enthusiast
Ratings
3
#13
Thanks - That's what I thought. I think all I need is the boost for the Front and Center speakers. I will try it and report back.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
4,351 7 1
#18
That looks like it may be overkill with a different device for each speaker. Any recommendations for a single amplifier?
The Monolith 5*200 watts is a good one, though I don't know why the 701 can't do the job as good as the 94TXH can. Your room is not that big, something doesn't sound right!

Using both together will give you more reserve if you don't mind the inconvenience.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
3,882 16 36
#19
I was wondering if I could leveraging the 94TXH for some extra power. How would I connect the two units via the pre-out and what additional configuration would be required?
As was mentioned, yes you can but doubt it will yield much difference. What are your listening levels, tho? How did you setup the new unit? Did you run MCACC?
 
V

VOguyinLA

Enthusiast
Ratings
3
#20
As was mentioned, yes you can but doubt it will yield much difference. What are your listening levels, tho? How did you setup the new unit? Did you run MCACC?
My speaker setup is as follows. I know I need to upgrade them as well.

2 X Polk Audio RTi12 floor standing speakers.
1 x Definitive Procenter 100 center speaker
2 x Mitsubishi Surround
2 x KLH Surround Back
1 x Mitsubishi MSUB10 Subwoofer

I did run the MCACC and the system sounds great. I notice the difference when I listen to music both Stereo, Extended Stereo, and Surround when playing Blu-Ray concerts (e.g. Jeff Beck Live in Tokyo as an example) and I pump up the volume. I manually adjusted the bass but it is not the same at the 94-TXH.
 

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