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  1. #1
    Forum Regular phileserver39's Avatar
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    Advice on replacing my Pioneer VSX-99

    Hey Audioreviewians,

    I have a Pioneer VSX-99 receiver that I bought for $50 a year ago. It sounds fantastic but just one of the two digital inputs work and, alas, it is capped at 5.1 decoding. I will say that the Dolby Digital option makes my average Pioneer DVD player sound really, really good. I guess my question to you is this: what would you suggest as an upgrade? The VSX-99 retailed for $2,100 when it debuted in the late 90's. I would hate to buy a new unit for the modern features (more digital inputs and format decoding, HDMI, etc) only to be disappointed by the sound quality. Any suggestions for around $1,000? I am very open to a used piece. Would I be able to match the sound quality at this price point?

    Thanks in advance for sharing your knowledge,

    J
    The round mound of rebound sound is profound and bound to pound the ground. OK, I got nuthin.....

  2. #2
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    Hands down my personal choice in that range is the Yamaha 2065, it made a Pioneer Elite and Onkyo sound pretty bad in a side by side. I wish I remembered the other model numbers but they were comparable or maybe even more expensive, the Onkyo was the 3007 or 3009 which ever is current. The Yamaha had much more and better detail. This was in a store so I can't be positive everything was set for optimum 2 channel but I was very impressed by the 2065, it in fact, changed my view on Yamaha quite a bit.

    Other options worth listening to just to be sure would be whatever you could afford in that range in NAD or Rotel.
    Mark Levinson #512
    Pass Labs XP-10 & X250
    Clearaudio Performance DC, Dynavector 10x5, AcousTech Ph-1p
    Clarus Crimson loom - AC outlet to speaker terminal
    Revel Performa F52 main/center & S30's
    SVS PC13 Ultra (sub)
    Marantz BD-7003 > AV-8003 > LINN 5125
    Transparent cables / Tributaries HDMI
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  3. #3
    Forum Regular phileserver39's Avatar
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    I owned a Yamaha Natural Sound CD player YEARS ago and it was a great unit. Thank you for your post and advice; reminds me to definitely revisit Yahama. Peace out.
    The round mound of rebound sound is profound and bound to pound the ground. OK, I got nuthin.....

  4. #4
    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phileserver39
    I owned a Yamaha Natural Sound CD player YEARS ago and it was a great unit. Thank you for your post and advice; reminds me to definitely revisit Yahama. Peace out.
    Yamaha has changed since then. True, I have one of their "desktop" audio players for work,
    but their current day receivers leave something to be desired, IMHO.
    My last two receivers have been Integra, Onkyos version of a LEXUS. Only got rid of my first after four years because of obsolescence, have had my current one for about a year now,
    and love it. Its version of Audessey is especially decent, and makes your stuff sound amazing. BUT one thing Onkyo has mastered that a lot of modern receiver manufacturers
    is reliability, their stuff is rock solid as well as musical, and they haven't given up on vinyl,
    having a real phono stage, which is getting harder and harder to find these days.
    Their FM section is decent also.
    LG 42", integra 6.9, B&W 602s2, CC6 center, dm305rears, b&w
    sub asw2500
    Panny DVDA player
    sharp Aquos BLU player
    pronto remote, technics antique direct drive TT
    Samsung SACD/DVDA player
    emotiva upa-2 two channel amp

  5. #5
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    Pix, you need to get back out to the stores again, as I did. You know if you've followed my threads I have not been a Yamaha supporter except for maybe their budget CDP's. I typically do recommend Onkyo for their better than average amp section but the current Yamaha 2065 embarrassed the comparable Onkyo in sound quality. Maybe they put more refinement in the Integra but I was just in shock at how much better the Yamaha came off over the Onkyo.
    Mark Levinson #512
    Pass Labs XP-10 & X250
    Clearaudio Performance DC, Dynavector 10x5, AcousTech Ph-1p
    Clarus Crimson loom - AC outlet to speaker terminal
    Revel Performa F52 main/center & S30's
    SVS PC13 Ultra (sub)
    Marantz BD-7003 > AV-8003 > LINN 5125
    Transparent cables / Tributaries HDMI
    PS Audio Quintet

  6. #6
    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    Pix, you need to get back out to the stores again, as I did. You know if you've followed my threads I have not been a Yamaha supporter except for maybe their budget CDP's. I typically do recommend Onkyo for their better than average amp section but the current Yamaha 2065 embarrassed the comparable Onkyo in sound quality. Maybe they put more refinement in the Integra but I was just in shock at how much better the Yamaha came off over the Onkyo.
    I hear you P man.
    But sound was never a problem with Yamaha any more than driving was for an
    Alfa Romeo(walking when the Alfa broke was the problem).
    I actually liked my last YAMMY, a rxv780 or so, but it seemed to be put together
    by drunken monkeys. quit working all the time, after several attempts they said it was the digital board. Also when on an empty input I could hear crosstalk at average listening levels,
    just sloppy in a modern receiver. But the detailed sound (some might say harsh) went
    well with my B&w's. But after reading on several forums about reliability, I gave it up as a
    bad job. My gear has to work , the music keeps the monsters away.
    BESIDES, I have a pretty new INTEGRA, as soon as I can afford a preamp I am going to
    start working on an audio only system, the Integra will be my sole HT power, my Emotiva
    will be the power for an audio only system. Its always been about the music, and what
    only a (at least slightly above average) audio system can do to you.
    I want to get back to my roots while I still have some of my hearing, in other words.
    I FInALLY figured out (actually several years ago) that the movies I like don't really
    need a "hot" soundtrack, although it helps with a TARENTINO movie.
    A receiver and eight year old speakers are fine. But thanks for the interest.
    However my receiver days are over except for the occasional upgrade, I am turning back from the turn I made toward HT in the late eighties. BESIDES, BLU and its codecs
    don't really require much to sound spectacular. MAYBE its nostalgia, but I want
    the experience back that I enjoyed so much before HT, listening to music.
    Now, about that spare Adcom....
    Attached Images Attached Images
    LG 42", integra 6.9, B&W 602s2, CC6 center, dm305rears, b&w
    sub asw2500
    Panny DVDA player
    sharp Aquos BLU player
    pronto remote, technics antique direct drive TT
    Samsung SACD/DVDA player
    emotiva upa-2 two channel amp

  7. #7
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    Adcom preamps are very reasonable used. The matching USP-1 for your amp would be a good move too but the remote sure isn't as nice as the one with the ERC-1. What really made me want to get the USP-1 is the dedicated sub out with built in crossover.
    Mark Levinson #512
    Pass Labs XP-10 & X250
    Clearaudio Performance DC, Dynavector 10x5, AcousTech Ph-1p
    Clarus Crimson loom - AC outlet to speaker terminal
    Revel Performa F52 main/center & S30's
    SVS PC13 Ultra (sub)
    Marantz BD-7003 > AV-8003 > LINN 5125
    Transparent cables / Tributaries HDMI
    PS Audio Quintet

  8. #8
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    The USP-1 has "Theater Bypass" as well so you could have 2-channel and still run your power amp on the front mains. I've heard Emo is coming out with a preamp that is a step up to better match the XPA series amps.
    Mark Levinson #512
    Pass Labs XP-10 & X250
    Clearaudio Performance DC, Dynavector 10x5, AcousTech Ph-1p
    Clarus Crimson loom - AC outlet to speaker terminal
    Revel Performa F52 main/center & S30's
    SVS PC13 Ultra (sub)
    Marantz BD-7003 > AV-8003 > LINN 5125
    Transparent cables / Tributaries HDMI
    PS Audio Quintet

  9. #9
    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    The USP-1 has "Theater Bypass" as well so you could have 2-channel and still run your power amp on the front mains. I've heard Emo is coming out with a preamp that is a step up to better match the XPA series amps.
    I like that feature, was looking at a Marantz integrated that had that feature. You could
    plug it into your fronts, bypass the front end and shoot your fronts HT straight into it.
    Turn off the bypass, you have an Integrated amp-two channel speaker setup.
    Is that what you are talking about?
    LG 42", integra 6.9, B&W 602s2, CC6 center, dm305rears, b&w
    sub asw2500
    Panny DVDA player
    sharp Aquos BLU player
    pronto remote, technics antique direct drive TT
    Samsung SACD/DVDA player
    emotiva upa-2 two channel amp

  10. #10
    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by phileserver39
    I owned a Yamaha Natural Sound CD player YEARS ago and it was a great unit. Thank you for your post and advice; reminds me to definitely revisit Yahama. Peace out.
    Yeah, in the mid eighties they had a single tray audiophile player for 450 bucks(double that
    for todays price) and I LOVED IT, was a bit delicate in operation tho.
    Now all they have is the outsourced stuff, at least that is all I see at the local dealer.
    LG 42", integra 6.9, B&W 602s2, CC6 center, dm305rears, b&w
    sub asw2500
    Panny DVDA player
    sharp Aquos BLU player
    pronto remote, technics antique direct drive TT
    Samsung SACD/DVDA player
    emotiva upa-2 two channel amp

  11. #11
    Lurker Hyfi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody

    Other options worth listening to just to be sure would be whatever you could afford in that range in NAD or Rotel.
    After just picking up an older Rotel RX-1050, and having their CDP, I will also second the rec for Rotel gear.
    Hyfi
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Main - Rotel 1072 > VAC CLA1 MKII > Counterpoint NPS 400 > Clearfield Continentals > Synergystic Research
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Secondary - Oppo 93 > Hafler 945 Pre-Tuner >Odyssey Stratos Plus > JM Labs Tantal 509s > Tara Labs

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by pixelthis
    I like that feature, was looking at a Marantz integrated that had that feature. You could
    plug it into your fronts, bypass the front end and shoot your fronts HT straight into it.
    Turn off the bypass, you have an Integrated amp-two channel speaker setup.
    Is that what you are talking about?
    Yeah, you'd run RCA's from your Integra main L/R pre out into the USP-1 "theater bypass" then select that on the preamp when watching movies and any other time using a different input you'd have a 2-channel set up. When using the theater bypass it makes the 2-channel a slave to the Integra so the Integra's volume and speaker settings work just like they do with the internal receiver amp.
    Mark Levinson #512
    Pass Labs XP-10 & X250
    Clearaudio Performance DC, Dynavector 10x5, AcousTech Ph-1p
    Clarus Crimson loom - AC outlet to speaker terminal
    Revel Performa F52 main/center & S30's
    SVS PC13 Ultra (sub)
    Marantz BD-7003 > AV-8003 > LINN 5125
    Transparent cables / Tributaries HDMI
    PS Audio Quintet

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