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New Pioneer LX 302 Elite class receiver- first impressions

AV Cables

Amarendra

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Picked up the pioneer LX 302 Elite receiver on the recommendation of hifimart.

I bought this blindly without any audition or demo. There are not many reviews online hence posting a slightly detailed review here for the benefit of forum members. I am writing this with my phone hence please excuse any spelling/ formatting errors.

First impressions:
- excellent build quality looks and feels elite
- ?quite light weight ( possibly because of class D amps ?)
- ?two WiFi antennae at the back make it wireless ( very convenient)
- ?comes with auto calibration mike (mcacc) and radio antennae (fm)
- ?bluetooth is in built
- ?display on the front is large and clear

Sound quality:

Movies:
Saw a few movie scenes from The Book of Eli, Avatar, Thx demo, LOTR, Bajirao Mastani, Jungle Book, etc.
The sound is large- the amp creates a big sound field which makes the room boundaries disappear. However it is not abrasive. Its very detailed doing justice to all the finer sounds in a movie track. Sound effects are placed very well and seamlessly across all channels. While playing the Jungle Book scene where Sherkhan suddenly jumps at Mowghli in the open dry grassland, my daughter jumped out of her seat. We have watched this scene several times but it had never been so impactful. While watching Avatar and couple of other movie scenes, my wife commented that she could hear a lot of sounds which had earlier gone unnoticed. During the thx demo I felt that I had rear surround speakers although I have just mounted side surrounds.

Music:
Surprisingly the AVR sounds good for music as well extending the same detailed articulate sound. Separation of instruments is good. Bass is adequate ofcourse courtesy the wharfedale subwoofer. I haven't tried the sound retriever yet but songs played through DTS playfi or Chromecast sounded equally impressive. CD playback through the onboard DAC of the AVR was excellent.
The phonostage also seems to be good since I couldn't notice any degradation when moving from the Rotel RA 10 to the AVR's phono input.

Set up:
Set up is a breeze with mcacc which requires calibration across just one seating position against audyssey which requires more measurements.
After measurements the mcacc set an equalizer curve after assigning my speakers as large and crossover set at 80 hz. I changed the speaker selection to "small" to ensure that the sub is put to work.
After testing the sound post calibration, I removed the equalizer settings preferring the open sound of the system against the equalized sound. Will test this more in the coming days.

Utilities
- Chromecast and DTS playfi got added after system update.
- ?both add a lot of convenience allowing me to listen to wynk or locally stored songs from my phone.
- ?Phono connection at the rear allowed me to connect my Marantz tt5005.
- ?2 HDMI outs are a plus so that I can connect my projector and tv if required.

Comparison with Marantz:
Having owned a Marantz SR 5007 in the past I can think of the following pros and cons:

+ More beefy sound compared to the Marantz. At times I used to find the Marantz sound quite anaemic.

- Marantz was more intuituve to set up with more user friendly menus

- Marantz used Audyssey which was better though it's too early to comment.

+ Inspite of Marantz being Marantz, I find the Pioneer to be more musical (subjective)

+ ?Marantz was a bit lazy in the special effects department whereas the Pioneer is quicker with effects.

+ ?Large enveloping sound field with the Pioneer (vs Marantz).

- Marantz remote is any day more user friendly than the Pioneer.

I am yet to connect ceiling speakers hence can't comment on Atmos or DTS x.

As the days go by I will add to this.
I will also attach a few pics as I find time.

Thanks.
 

efernand1

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Hi

Nice review....would suggest you post this in the Pioneers Owner Thread which will benefit existing Pioneer users and also the new ones who seek information before purchase....

Congrats...
 

spirovious

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Apr 10, 2008
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Nice and detailed review Amarendra. Comparison with Marantz was even good to know.
I guess VSX-LX302 is not class D looking at power consumption.LX 502 is class D as per comparison-

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