Pioneer VSX-70 7.2 Home Theater Receiver
Recently manufacturers announced their new AVR lines. Pioneer was no exception. We were able to obtain one of their entry Elite models the VSX-70. The VSX-70 has an MSRP of $750 and is available now.
Like every receiver we review the setup is straightforward. Remove the receiver from the box, connect the speakers, connect the inputs, connect power, and run the auto calibration. The process took us about 30 minutes and was straight forward. Once we had a picture on the screen and sound coming from the speakers we started to dive in. There’s a lot to talk about but we’ll try to be succinct.
We’ll look at video performance first. The unit has a 4K scaler and pure cinema video processing. We don’t have a 4K TV so we can’t comment on the 4K scaling but we can comment on the pure cinema video processing. We turned it off. It just looked off and motion was choppy. Once we turned it off and let the signal go through to the TV everything was fine.
Audio had better results, after we tweaked the calibration a tiny bit. We weren’t happy with the subwoofer as it was turned way down by the auto calibration. A quick entry into the iControl app to turn up the gain on the subwoofer and we were back in business with booming bass. For our listening tests we listened to 256Kbps AAC audio, Blu-ray, and ATSC TV. We also played some music from Pandora which is built into the VSX-70. We have the premium 192Kbps Pandora so the audio is of decent quality.
Our iTunes and Pandora sound great! Well as great as those formats would allow but considering our environment, that of a typical home, most people will find the audio reproduction of their libraries quite nice. We did throw some CDs, yes we still have some laying around, and some lossless aac files and as expected they too sounded great. We struggled to hear the difference but when listening to classical music its was apparent, especially in the higher frequencies. Mate this receiver up to a good set of speakers and you will not be disappointed!
For movies we had a lot of listening experience from the Blu-ray reviews that we do and were able to go back into our notes and compare. In all cases the VSX-70 sounded as good or better than the older Elite we use to review our Blu-rays. We still get a kick out of the train crash scene in Super 8. Some of the best demo material out there and the VSX-70 was true to the sound designer. There was plenty of power and we were able to go up to ear pain levels without any distortion. The audio had a tight and solid feel.
Odds and Ends
The VSX-70 is a solid receiver that is packed with loads of features. Most of which you will like! Full two way control via IP is a great feature especially if you are using a tablet based controller like iRule or Roomie. Sound quality is fantastic and will really draw you into a movie or let you drift away listening to your music. At $750 it costs more than budget receivers but does so much more. You can buy VSX-70 even though you may not need all the features but its nice to know that you will have room to grow.
Posted by The HT Guys, May 9, 2013 10:25 PM
About The HT GuysThe HT Guys, Ara Derderian and Braden Russell, are Engineers who formerly worked for the Advanced Digital Systems Group (ADSG) of Sony Pictures Entertainment. ADSG was the R&D unit of the sound department producing products for movie theaters and movie studios.
Two of the products they worked on include the DCP-1000 and DADR-5000. The DCP is a digital cinema processor used in movie theaters around the world. The DADR-5000 is a disk-based audio dubber used on Hollywood sound stages.
ADSG was awarded a Technical Academy Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2000 for the development of the DADR-5000. Ara holds three patents for his development work in Digital Cinema and Digital Audio Recording.
Every week they put together a podcast about High Definition TV and Home Theater. Each episode brings news from the A/V world, helpful product reviews and insights and help in demystifying and simplifying HDTV and home theater.