To Receiver or not to receiver that is the question?

Hello Citizens! Once again I’m back to give you a review on some new product! This week’s review will be a 2-For-1! This week we have the Pioneer Elite VSX-LX101 and VSX-LX301. These are two new additions to the Pioneer Elite family and they are both 7.2 surround audio/video receivers. So this week’s looks like a tough battle for your Masked Audiophile, but it looks like I can handle this pair of new criminals in the city. 

First up is the set-up, I had both of the receivers hooked up to my iPhone with an Audioquest lightning cable. I tested these receivers on the Bowers & Wilkins M1, 683, CM1, and CM9. I like to test receivers on the Bowers & Wilkins brand because to me I know the speakers are accurate, so the receiver will have to work its magic in order to impress me. 

The set-up for both of these receivers was really easy. I did not set it up through the onboard menu, I have my speakers already set the way I need them in my room. So I don’t feel it necessary to go the GUI (graphic user interface). But if this is your first receiver or your setting up a new room I highly suggest you use it. 

So here’s the specs for both receivers
VSX-LX101
– 80 watts per channel @ 8 ohms
– Discrete direct energy amp design
– AirPlay
 GoogleCast and Tidal streaming (soon with firmware update) 
– Dolby Atmos 
– 4k 60p pass through 
– HDMI 6 in/1 out 

What’s different on the VSX-LX301
– 100 watts per channel @ 8 ohms
– HDMI 7 in (1 front)/1 out 

So not too much of a difference between the two models. The specs for both of these receivers just aren’t there compared to older models. To me, there is much difference in last year’s vsx-45 and vsx-70 models. In my eyes, looking at the specs I don’t see a reason to upgrade from last year to this year. On the other hand, the sound that came out was pretty standard from a Pioneer Elite. 

When testing the sound, the wattage was really only good for the M1s and CM1s. (These are satellite and bookshelf speakers) When it came to the tower speakers though, it was a different story. The towers peaked to easily which is not good if you like listening to loud music. I would only recommend using these receivers for stereo sound if you’re running tower speakers. I always recommend separate amps for towers and love using Bowers & Wilkins sister company Rotel, but it’s quite expensive. But using this receiver to run a 2.1, 3.1 or 5.1 M1 setup is actually great. I can also see this receiver being used with Definitive Technologies PC600/PC800 package. But back to reality, when it came to the tower speakers, there was a ton of sound left out compared to when I use my VSX-70 which is 3 years old or when I’m at work and use the Marantz SR7010. 

All in all, I believe as an entry-level receiver for a beginning audiophile are someone who just wants a simpler setup I would recommend these receivers. But if you are a true audiophile and have had home theaters and stereo systems before I suggest that you at least wait for this year’s SC-LX501. Which will be out later in the summer. With the 101 priced at $500 and the 301 priced at $700, there are plenty of other options out there. 

Rating
VSX-LX101 — 3 Masks out of 5
VSX-LX301 — 3.5 Masks out 5 

Hope this review helps you out in your fight against bad technology I know this caped crusader, threw these criminals into jail. 

What I’m listening to this week?
New Song   – Dark Necessities (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
Old Song     – Madness (Muse)
Demo Song – Soulshine Vol. 1 (Govt. Mule

What I’m watching this week?
Movie          – Batman Vs. Superman
TV                – Huang’s World (Viceland)
Netflix         – Orange Is The New Black 

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