Pioneer Previews New Flagship AV Receiver

Pioneer today offered a preview of a new flagship AV receiver designed to deliver “best-in-class home theater functionality.”

The latest addition to Pioneer’s prestigious Elite series, the 11.2-channel SC-LX904 ($2,999) will be officially unveiled at the upcoming 2019 CEDIA Expo, which opens in Denver September 10.

Rated to deliver 11 x 140 watts into 8 ohms, the LX904 is built around the sixth generation of the brand’s Direct Energy HD Amplifier, designed to support “simultaneous multichannel amplification” and updated with new power coils and custom capacitors to lower noise and improve sound quality. The design follows what Pioneer calls a “multichannel stereophonic philosophy” and is applied throughout the audio path to achieve more lifelike reproduction.

The updated power section will also appear in a second addition to the Elite series — the 9.2-channel SC-LX704 ($1,599), rated to deliver 9 x 135 watts into 8 ohms. Both models are slated to ship in October.

Shared features include Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and IMAX Enhanced surround processing, 32-bit/384-kHz digital-to-analog conversion on all channels, and Pioneer’s automated MCACC (Multi-Channel Acoustic Calibration System) PRO, which equalizes frequency response and compensates for differences in speaker size, level, and distance from the seating location. The system also uses full-band phase control to ensure “more precise room conditioning by adjusting group delay occurring in each speaker” and is said to be effective for all speakers, even those installed above the listener in object-based surround installations.

Both models have seven HDMI inputs, including one on the front panel, three HDMI outputs, and support 4K/60-Hz passthrough with HDCP 2.3, wide color gamut, 4K upscaling for 1080p sources, and three high dynamic range (HDR) formats — Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma).

The use of an advanced “precision quartz lock system” in the LX904 and LX704 is said to significantly reduce jitter and improve the accuracy of D/A conversion when the receiver is connected via HDMI to one of Pioneer’s Blu-ray/universal disc players, such as the Top Pick-designated UDP-LX500.

For elevated sound quality, both models provide two audio-centric modes: Audio Exclusive turns off the HDMI video signal and AV Direct turns off network functionality.

Additional features include:

• Dialogue enhancement for adjusting movie dialogue and vocals in music

• Ability to create up to three “personal presets” that save favorite inputs and settings for volume and surround sound

• A Reflex Optimizer said to enhance audio reproduction from Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers that have upward firing drivers

• Voice control functionality via Google Assistant and Alexa (via a future firmware update)

• Wireless connectivity via Chromecast built-in, Apple AirPlay 2, Bluetooth, DTS Play-Fi, Wi-Fi, and Pioneer’s FlareConnect

• Onboard access to internet radio and a variety of online music services, including Tidal, Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music, and Deezer

• Support for 24-bit/192-kHz high-resolution audio in FLAC, WAV, AIFF and ALAC file formats and DSD 2.8-, 5.6-, and 11.2-MHz files

For more information on Pioneer’s Elite series, visit pioneerelectronics.com.