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Pioneer VSX-LX505 (with Dirac) Unboxing and Overview

dlaloum

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Oct 4, 2021
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Mostly I think, because we are talking digital EQ, and the relevant algorithms are provided by Dolby - on previous generation AVR's there was Dolby Volume (for Dolby audio streams) - but also Audyssey Dynamic Volume - which if you had Audyssey enabled, was applied to all Audio streams - as soon as you switched to Pure Audio, it became unavailable. - And then there was THX Loudness... which you would think would be available on any THX setting....

Now we have AVR's without Audyssey ( so that option is gone), and even with THX certification, there is no sign of the THX loudness setting - leaving us with the Dolby provided option.

But previously the Dolby option had the following possible parameters: 1) EQ (preceived loudness frequency EQ) 2) Compression - Low/Medium/High

The current "Loudness " setting is a bit of an unknown - is it EQ only? or EQ + Compression, and if it includes compression, what level of compression?
 

tjcinnamon

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Sure... it may take time but I expect that it will happen :)
Also, the Bass Control option for standalone Windows and Mac is planned but we are busy working on a completely new feature for Dirac Live that will be announced at CES... all I can say is that it addresses a completely different aspect so that it complements Dirac Live and Dirac Bass Control

View attachment 172804
Coming to your home? Is it like a smart hub or something? Or is it a 3rd module for the existing features
 

Flak

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Coming to your home? Is it like a smart hub or something? Or is it a 3rd module for the existing featur
It's a completely new feature that addresses an aspect which until now has not been addressed by any DRC (including Dirac Live)
 

tjcinnamon

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It's a completely new feature that addresses an aspect which until now has not been addressed by any DRC (including Dirac Live)
This is great! Will it be available on current AVR's or only new AVR's? How about previous AVR's? I have an NAD 758v3 but plan to upgrade to one of these Onkyo or Pioneers.
 

MLaranjeiras

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Sep 25, 2021
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Hey all,



I recently picked up a Pioneer Elite VSX LX 505 and wanted to share some impressions and a half baked video review for you. I haven’t seen much media on these new Pioneer/Onkyo devices with Dirac, as they are pretty new and pretty hard to find. This unit will be making its way to Amir come 2022 for measurements, but until then, feel free to post any questions and I’ll try my best.

Below are some quick pros and cons for me personally. Obviously feature set will vary person to person, so you’ll have to determine this for yourself. Most of the “pro’s” are stuff I’ve found different from my XMC-1. I know I’ve taken for granted how quick switching inputs could/should be, and how CEC and eARC should just work (but often times, never did on my XMC-1)



Over the course of a weekend I pulled together some rando videos and TRIED (but failed) to make a congruent video showing off some of the stuff I thought was important. This video…is not good, and the quality is all over the place, but I’m trying to squeeze into these 15 minute intervals I have while wrangling a baby. Anyways, I hope maybe it will help at least someone. You don’t have to watch it, its cool.




Pros

-CEC is great. I can turn on the receiver and my TV all thru my nvidia Shield remote. Volume and power across the board just work. I can’t emphasize how important this is in a household where others just need something to work properly and can’t be fussing around with 3 different remotes

-video quality looked really different (and I didn’t have upscaling turned on). It seemed higher resolution/sharper a bit, but the colors just seemed wider and deeper. Same HDMI cables. I had the 4k hdmi upgrade board on the XMC-1, so it should be doing all the same color/resolution stuff, but the Pioneer looks so much better.

-can do almost everything with Dirac in the app and using the built in mic. Advanced users can use a calibrated mic and use Dirac 3 on a laptop for greater control.

-really good amount of hdmi 2.1 inputs (first 3 are full bandwidth for 8k60)

-firmware update thru app via network connection (didn’t brick, didn’t have to plug in a usb stick. Again, this SHOULD be the norm….but I had an XMC-1)

-Nice OSD

-If you do the Dirac using the included mic and the Pioneer app, you can do a 3 measurement “quick” adjustment (great for us busy dads). ALSO: in both the mobile app and the desktop Dirac software, you can choose which nodes you want to measure. Again, this should be standard, but in Dirac v2, you had to do the whole shebang and you couldn’t choose which nodes you wanted to measure in your preferred order.





Cons

-
no USB type B input on back for digital input/dsd DoP (only plays usb storage devices)

-one coax/one optical

-analog video inputs for….reasons?

-absolute garbage speaker terminals

-music server will play DSD and hi bitrate but only thru a music server? Nothing seems addressable in Roon via LAN (aside from chromecast endpoint)

-has a phono input, but unclear documentation anywhere as to if its MM/MC, and no adjustability. Its buried in the specs at the end of the manual, but it seems to be an afterthought.

-The Dirac setup via the mobile app is finicky. It wanted me to up the gain on my subs during the volume calibration portion, but when it took measurements, it couldn’t proceed and asked me to turn them down again.

-Its not clear where MCACC ends and Dirac begins. I did an initial MCACC setup, which added delay and level adjustments to my speakers. But this seemed to have carried over and effected the Dirac calibration process. I ended up resetting it and proceeded with Dirac and it was fine

-No real separation of the dual sub outputs. In level adjustments and Dirac, it just appears as one, so even though I’m using both, its juts a 3.1 setup to the unit

-They seem to be really pushing the MCACC. Its labeled as the default room correction, and it seems to make you complete the MCACC calibration first before the Dirac (which seemingly caused some confusion on my unit). They also label Dirac for “advanced users” which seems misleading as Dirac is fairly simple to use and much much better than pretty much anything else out there

-The stock mic can be used for Dirac, but I have no doubt it’s a substandard mic and it got confused by low frequencies which causes me to have to redo the Dirac setup a bunch of times. The standalone process with Dirac on a laptop and UMIK worked flawlessly the very first time







Overall, I’m pretty impressed with the unit and just how seamlessly everything seems to work. As I mentioned, I was coming from an Emotiva XMC-1 and while I may still upgrade that unit to an XMC-2, I really just need something that is a bit more simple, a bit less “half baked” and integrates into my home theater. While the Emo unit may be a bit more “tuner friendly” (ie lots of stuff you can tweak/adjust/etc), the OSD was garbage, the switching was a frickin’ nightmare (super super slow), and frankly, the measurements for the Emotiva pre/pro units on this site just haven’t shown to be worth the upcharge over the venerable Denon’s (and hopefully this unit).



https://jp.pioneer-audiovisual.com/manual/vsxlx505elite/en.pdf
I bought in 2019 on Amazon USA a 503 for US$ 550.00, while Denon, Yamaha and Marantz of same configuration was three times more expensive, around 1500 bucks. Overall, very satisfied. It is with me me till now and covers all my needs.
 

Flak

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Just a heads-up that the Dirac Live activities for the CES 2022 are cancelled. The background is that all meaningful meetings have been cancelled, or even impossible to book in the first place, due to travel restrictions on the part of our customers/partners. Most media outlets who we would typically meet have also announced that they will not attend the CES in person this time around :(
 
OP
G

greenpsycho

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ah man! bummer to hear, but not surprising given the situation of everything. I wonder if there will be any online component of it (ces or independent reveal)?
 

tjcinnamon

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Just a heads-up that the Dirac Live activities for the CES 2022 are cancelled. The background is that all meaningful meetings have been cancelled, or even impossible to book in the first place, due to travel restrictions on the part of our customers/partners. Most media outlets who we would typically meet have also announced that they will not attend the CES in person this time around :(
Selfish question: So does this mean we have to wait for CES to hear about it?
 

dlaloum

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Joined
Oct 4, 2021
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Just a heads-up that the Dirac Live activities for the CES 2022 are cancelled. The background is that all meaningful meetings have been cancelled, or even impossible to book in the first place, due to travel restrictions on the part of our customers/partners. Most media outlets who we would typically meet have also announced that they will not attend the CES in person this time around :(
So.... what will you guys do about your announcement?.... where and how do we get to hear about it?
 

Smitty4ut

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Jan 4, 2022
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One of the really cool features of the 305, & 505 is the web user interface. In to Pioneer user manual it says to use admin, and the default password. Use cisuer, ciuser instead. It pretty much gives you control of every setting there. Makes it really easy to change things around. Rename inputs using your laptop keyboard, Choose which inputs to skip, you can see the temps, video it is recieving, and outputting. It also has a function to test HDMI cables. Not sure if the lower models has this feature or not.
 

abdo123

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Just a heads-up that the Dirac Live activities for the CES 2022 are cancelled. The background is that all meaningful meetings have been cancelled, or even impossible to book in the first place, due to travel restrictions on the part of our customers/partners. Most media outlets who we would typically meet have also announced that they will not attend the CES in person this time around :(
Any plans to do the announcement anyway?
 
OP
G

greenpsycho

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One of the really cool features of the 305, & 505 is the web user interface. In to Pioneer user manual it says to use admin, and the default password. Use cisuer, ciuser instead. It pretty much gives you control of every setting there. Makes it really easy to change things around. Rename inputs using your laptop keyboard, Choose which inputs to skip, you can see the temps, video it is recieving, and outputting. It also has a function to test HDMI cables. Not sure if the lower models has this feature or not.
whaaaat?

just tried it. holy crap, this is a game changer! i honestly had no idea and I think i read that manually pretty carefully (not carefully enough). and the UI is actually pretty good - simple, straight forward.
 

Smitty4ut

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The ciuser is what is listed for the new Onkyo. They are too simular, so I tried to use it and it worked.
 
OP
G

greenpsycho

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Yah same here. I'm just poking around, and it has diagnostics too. and the ability to save out a config file to your PC for backing up or uploading a presaved config. this is everything!

1641306172508.png

1641306118953.png
 

Smitty4ut

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Glad to pass on something that I think most will find useful/helpful. Just so you know, you will now be playing around with this for days.
 

Smitty4ut

Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2022
Messages
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Hey all,



I recently picked up a Pioneer Elite VSX LX 505 and wanted to share some impressions and a half baked video review for you. I haven’t seen much media on these new Pioneer/Onkyo devices with Dirac, as they are pretty new and pretty hard to find. This unit will be making its way to Amir come 2022 for measurements, but until then, feel free to post any questions and I’ll try my best.

Below are some quick pros and cons for me personally. Obviously feature set will vary person to person, so you’ll have to determine this for yourself. Most of the “pro’s” are stuff I’ve found different from my XMC-1. I know I’ve taken for granted how quick switching inputs could/should be, and how CEC and eARC should just work (but often times, never did on my XMC-1)



Over the course of a weekend I pulled together some rando videos and TRIED (but failed) to make a congruent video showing off some of the stuff I thought was important. This video…is not good, and the quality is all over the place, but I’m trying to squeeze into these 15 minute intervals I have while wrangling a baby. Anyways, I hope maybe it will help at least someone. You don’t have to watch it, its cool.




Pros

-CEC is great. I can turn on the receiver and my TV all thru my nvidia Shield remote. Volume and power across the board just work. I can’t emphasize how important this is in a household where others just need something to work properly and can’t be fussing around with 3 different remotes

-video quality looked really different (and I didn’t have upscaling turned on). It seemed higher resolution/sharper a bit, but the colors just seemed wider and deeper. Same HDMI cables. I had the 4k hdmi upgrade board on the XMC-1, so it should be doing all the same color/resolution stuff, but the Pioneer looks so much better.

-can do almost everything with Dirac in the app and using the built in mic. Advanced users can use a calibrated mic and use Dirac 3 on a laptop for greater control.

-really good amount of hdmi 2.1 inputs (first 3 are full bandwidth for 8k60)

-firmware update thru app via network connection (didn’t brick, didn’t have to plug in a usb stick. Again, this SHOULD be the norm….but I had an XMC-1)

-Nice OSD

-If you do the Dirac using the included mic and the Pioneer app, you can do a 3 measurement “quick” adjustment (great for us busy dads). ALSO: in both the mobile app and the desktop Dirac software, you can choose which nodes you want to measure. Again, this should be standard, but in Dirac v2, you had to do the whole shebang and you couldn’t choose which nodes you wanted to measure in your preferred order.





Cons

-
no USB type B input on back for digital input/dsd DoP (only plays usb storage devices)

-one coax/one optical

-analog video inputs for….reasons?

-absolute garbage speaker terminals

-music server will play DSD and hi bitrate but only thru a music server? Nothing seems addressable in Roon via LAN (aside from chromecast endpoint)

-has a phono input, but unclear documentation anywhere as to if its MM/MC, and no adjustability. Its buried in the specs at the end of the manual, but it seems to be an afterthought.

-The Dirac setup via the mobile app is finicky. It wanted me to up the gain on my subs during the volume calibration portion, but when it took measurements, it couldn’t proceed and asked me to turn them down again.

-Its not clear where MCACC ends and Dirac begins. I did an initial MCACC setup, which added delay and level adjustments to my speakers. But this seemed to have carried over and effected the Dirac calibration process. I ended up resetting it and proceeded with Dirac and it was fine

-No real separation of the dual sub outputs. In level adjustments and Dirac, it just appears as one, so even though I’m using both, its juts a 3.1 setup to the unit

-They seem to be really pushing the MCACC. Its labeled as the default room correction, and it seems to make you complete the MCACC calibration first before the Dirac (which seemingly caused some confusion on my unit). They also label Dirac for “advanced users” which seems misleading as Dirac is fairly simple to use and much much better than pretty much anything else out there

-The stock mic can be used for Dirac, but I have no doubt it’s a substandard mic and it got confused by low frequencies which causes me to have to redo the Dirac setup a bunch of times. The standalone process with Dirac on a laptop and UMIK worked flawlessly the very first time







Overall, I’m pretty impressed with the unit and just how seamlessly everything seems to work. As I mentioned, I was coming from an Emotiva XMC-1 and while I may still upgrade that unit to an XMC-2, I really just need something that is a bit more simple, a bit less “half baked” and integrates into my home theater. While the Emo unit may be a bit more “tuner friendly” (ie lots of stuff you can tweak/adjust/etc), the OSD was garbage, the switching was a frickin’ nightmare (super super slow), and frankly, the measurements for the Emotiva pre/pro units on this site just haven’t shown to be worth the upcharge over the venerable Denon’s (and hopefully this unit).



https://jp.pioneer-audiovisual.com/manual/vsxlx505elite/en.pdf
FWIW, I watched a 8k with HDMI 2.1 reciever comparison video, and it shows the phono being MM.
 

Smitty4ut

Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2022
Messages
6
Likes
4
Hey all,



I recently picked up a Pioneer Elite VSX LX 505 and wanted to share some impressions and a half baked video review for you. I haven’t seen much media on these new Pioneer/Onkyo devices with Dirac, as they are pretty new and pretty hard to find. This unit will be making its way to Amir come 2022 for measurements, but until then, feel free to post any questions and I’ll try my best.

Below are some quick pros and cons for me personally. Obviously feature set will vary person to person, so you’ll have to determine this for yourself. Most of the “pro’s” are stuff I’ve found different from my XMC-1. I know I’ve taken for granted how quick switching inputs could/should be, and how CEC and eARC should just work (but often times, never did on my XMC-1)



Over the course of a weekend I pulled together some rando videos and TRIED (but failed) to make a congruent video showing off some of the stuff I thought was important. This video…is not good, and the quality is all over the place, but I’m trying to squeeze into these 15 minute intervals I have while wrangling a baby. Anyways, I hope maybe it will help at least someone. You don’t have to watch it, its cool.




Pros

-CEC is great. I can turn on the receiver and my TV all thru my nvidia Shield remote. Volume and power across the board just work. I can’t emphasize how important this is in a household where others just need something to work properly and can’t be fussing around with 3 different remotes

-video quality looked really different (and I didn’t have upscaling turned on). It seemed higher resolution/sharper a bit, but the colors just seemed wider and deeper. Same HDMI cables. I had the 4k hdmi upgrade board on the XMC-1, so it should be doing all the same color/resolution stuff, but the Pioneer looks so much better.

-can do almost everything with Dirac in the app and using the built in mic. Advanced users can use a calibrated mic and use Dirac 3 on a laptop for greater control.

-really good amount of hdmi 2.1 inputs (first 3 are full bandwidth for 8k60)

-firmware update thru app via network connection (didn’t brick, didn’t have to plug in a usb stick. Again, this SHOULD be the norm….but I had an XMC-1)

-Nice OSD

-If you do the Dirac using the included mic and the Pioneer app, you can do a 3 measurement “quick” adjustment (great for us busy dads). ALSO: in both the mobile app and the desktop Dirac software, you can choose which nodes you want to measure. Again, this should be standard, but in Dirac v2, you had to do the whole shebang and you couldn’t choose which nodes you wanted to measure in your preferred order.





Cons

-
no USB type B input on back for digital input/dsd DoP (only plays usb storage devices)

-one coax/one optical

-analog video inputs for….reasons?

-absolute garbage speaker terminals

-music server will play DSD and hi bitrate but only thru a music server? Nothing seems addressable in Roon via LAN (aside from chromecast endpoint)

-has a phono input, but unclear documentation anywhere as to if its MM/MC, and no adjustability. Its buried in the specs at the end of the manual, but it seems to be an afterthought.

-The Dirac setup via the mobile app is finicky. It wanted me to up the gain on my subs during the volume calibration portion, but when it took measurements, it couldn’t proceed and asked me to turn them down again.

-Its not clear where MCACC ends and Dirac begins. I did an initial MCACC setup, which added delay and level adjustments to my speakers. But this seemed to have carried over and effected the Dirac calibration process. I ended up resetting it and proceeded with Dirac and it was fine

-No real separation of the dual sub outputs. In level adjustments and Dirac, it just appears as one, so even though I’m using both, its juts a 3.1 setup to the unit

-They seem to be really pushing the MCACC. Its labeled as the default room correction, and it seems to make you complete the MCACC calibration first before the Dirac (which seemingly caused some confusion on my unit). They also label Dirac for “advanced users” which seems misleading as Dirac is fairly simple to use and much much better than pretty much anything else out there

-The stock mic can be used for Dirac, but I have no doubt it’s a substandard mic and it got confused by low frequencies which causes me to have to redo the Dirac setup a bunch of times. The standalone process with Dirac on a laptop and UMIK worked flawlessly the very first time







Overall, I’m pretty impressed with the unit and just how seamlessly everything seems to work. As I mentioned, I was coming from an Emotiva XMC-1 and while I may still upgrade that unit to an XMC-2, I really just need something that is a bit more simple, a bit less “half baked” and integrates into my home theater. While the Emo unit may be a bit more “tuner friendly” (ie lots of stuff you can tweak/adjust/etc), the OSD was garbage, the switching was a frickin’ nightmare (super super slow), and frankly, the measurements for the Emotiva pre/pro units on this site just haven’t shown to be worth the upcharge over the venerable Denon’s (and hopefully this unit).



https://jp.pioneer-audiovisual.com/manual/vsxlx505elite/en.pdf
FWIW, I watched a 8k with HDMI 2.1 reciever comparison video, and it shows the phono being MM. I also found where it shows MM in the 505 spec sheet from Pioneer. Here is a screen shot of it. It is listed in the middle colume.

1641316550148.png
 
OP
G

greenpsycho

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Yah, your right. I eventually found it in the manual with the impedance/capacitance. but it was buried and CLEARLY an afterthought. I guess I understand, no one hooking up their turntable to this midtier avr will be using a "fancy" cartridge (MC's or more boutique MM's). I'm sure they just have the "feature" to check a box, but still, I think I'd rather pay $20 less and just have another line level analog input or something.

I have matching cart/phono stage (dynavector), so it was never a realistic option for me, but still, why does this avr in 2021 have to have a phono input and if so, why does it have to be such low spec?
 

Smitty4ut

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I haven't gotten back into vinyl. Mostly listen to CD's, SACD's, Tidal, or Pandora.
 
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