Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 (North American version)
- 11.2 channels
- 11.2 channel processing
- 140 W (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel driven)
- Dolby Atmos, DTS:X capable
- HDR10, Dolby Vision, 4K Upscaling, 4K Passthrough
- AirPlay 2, Chromecast, DTS Play-Fi
- Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
- USB and Phono inputs
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Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 was introduced in 2019 and represented a flagship model of a manufacturer. It is equipped with 11 channel amplifier with 140 W (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel driven) power per channel and is capable of 11.2 maximum channel processing. It supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, passes 4K/60Hz and upscales 1080p to 4K video signal.
We evaluated the a/v receiver and gave 92 overall score out of 100. Our ranking system is based on the amplifier specifications, audio and video features, connectivity, multizone capabilities, radio and many other details.
Pros and Cons
In this section we present pros and cons of Pioneer Elite SC-LX904.
|11.2 Channel Processing|
|Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization|
|DSD via HDMI|
|Auto Speaker Calibration System with Mic.|
|New HDCP Version|
|4K or 8K Video Passthrough|
|4K or 8K Signal Upscaling|
|Analog To HDMI Upconversion|
|Works with Amazon Alexa|
|Many HDMI Inputs|
|Many HDMI Outputs|
|Many RCA Line Inputs|
|Many Optical Inputs|
|Composite Video Inputs|
|Component Video Inputs|
|Low Leakage Flux Power Transformer|
|New Bluetooth Version|
|No Front Wide Channel Support|
|No Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer|
|Few 8K Inputs|
Here we are comparing Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 to its predecessor SC-LX901 and displaying the major changes.
|UPGRADES||Pioneer Elite SC-LX904||vs||Pioneer Elite SC-LX901|
|Higher DAC Specs||384 kHz/32 Bit||vs||192 kHz/32 Bit|
|Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization||vs|
|Newer HDCP Version||2.3||vs||2.2|
|Works with Amazon Alexa||vs|
|More HDMI Outputs||3 (1 MAIN, 1 SUB, 1 ZONE 2)||vs||2 (1 MAIN, 1 SUB/ZONE 2)|
|USB Input||2 (1 Front)||vs||1 Front|
|Solid Aluminum Front||vs|
|Newer Bluetooth Version||4․2||vs||4․1 + LE|
|DOWNGRADES||Pioneer Elite SC-LX904||vs||Pioneer Elite SC-LX901|
|Air Studios Monitor Certification||vs|
|Music Playback via USB||MP3, WMA, AAC, Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, DSD||vs||MP3, WMA, AAC, Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, DSD, Dolby TrueHD|
|High Resolution Audio Formats via USB||Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, AAC, DSD||vs||Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, AAC, DSD, Dolby TrueHD|
|Video Signal Upscaling||1080p to 4K||vs||up to 4K/60p (YCbCr 4:4:4)|
|Analog To HDMI Upconversion||Component**, Composite||vs||Component**, Composite|
|Component Video Maximum Resolution||480i/576i||vs||1080i|
|Less HDMI Inputs||7 (1 front)||vs||8 (1 front)|
|Less Component Video Outputs||vs||1|
For more detailed comparison between the models please visit Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 vs Pioneer Elite SC-LX901.
11 channel Class D3 Amplifier
Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 features 11 channel power amplifier with Class D3 design. It is rated at 140 W (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel driven) and is able to drive 4 ohm speakers.
Pioneer Elite SC-LX904's 11 channel amplifier can be assigned for different speaker configurations.
- Dolby Atmos Configurations: The following speaker configurations are supported for Dolby Atmos:
- 5.2.2, 5.2.4, 7.2.2, 7.2.4 with internal amplifier.
- DTS:X Configurations: The speaker configurations for DTS:X are the same as for Dolby Atmos:
- 5.2.2, 5.2.4, 7.2.2, 7.2.4 with internal amplifier.
- Configurations without height channels: There are also other speaker configurations available which do not include height channels:
- 5.2, 7.2 with internal amplifier.
- 4-ch Bi-Amp: Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 allows you to bi-amp up to 4 main channels simultaneously. During bi-amplification two amplifiers are used for one speaker. One amplifier powers the midrange and tweeter section of the speaker and another amplifier powers the low frequency woofers. Each amplifier is less loaded and performs better. In order to use this feature speakers must have 2 pairs of connectors.
Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 supports Dolby Atmos. It is a cinematic audio format in which sounds exist as individual entities, called audio objects. In Dolby Atmos, any sound can exist as an independent audio object, free of channel restrictions. They can be precisely placed and moved anywhere in your room, including overhead, to flow above and around you in three-dimensional space. Through the use of audio objects, overhead sound, and all the richness, clarity, and power of Dolby sound, Dolby Atmos turns your room into an amazing place for entertainment. The format supports up to 128 simultaneous independent audio objects in a mix for rich, realistic, and breathtaking sound. It recreates the director's original concept through descriptive metadata to provide customized playback for home theater and delivers sounds above you through overhead speakers, special upward-firing Dolby Atmos speakers, or a Dolby Atmos enabled sound bar.
- Dolby Surround Upmixer: If the content is not mixed in Dolby Atmos then the Dolby surround upmixer will expand the audio to all channels including ceiling speakers. The upmixer has replaced the Dolby Pro Logic II family with improved upmixing algorithms.
- Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization: Dolby Atmos height virtualization is a digital signal processing solution that leverages Dolby's deep understanding of human audio perception to create the sensation of overhead sound from the listener-level speakers.
Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 supports DTS:X. A technique used in DTS:X is similar to the one used in Dolby Atmos. Instead of a fixed number of channels, DTS:X defines object locations from the listener in polar coordinates. An a/v receiver then dynamically renders sound according to the current speaker configuration. The speaker layout employed by DTS:X is the sum of Dolby Atmos and Auro-3D. It has standard 7.1 channel base layer, a 5 channel height layer above the base layer on the front and side walls, and 3 rows of speakers on the ceiling.
- DTS Neural:X: DTS Neural:X is an advanced upmixer that can take non DTS:X content and upmix it to the DTS:X speaker layout. It has replaced the DTS Neo family with improved flexibility.
- DTS Dialog Control: This function adjusts the dialog levels during playback of the DTS:X stream. It allows you to separately increase the dialog levels in contrast with the background sound and hear dialog easily even under noisy circumstances.
- Advanced Sound Retriever: Compressed music enhancement in Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 is done by Pioneer’s Advanced Sound Retriever. Hear the detail, warmth and clarity, the way the artist intended it, from all of your highly compressed MP3 and WMA files stored on USB, Smartphone and portable media players. By restoring data that tend to get lost in the digital compression process, Pioneers Advanced Sound Retriever Technology enhances audio reproduction all the way upto 20 Khz frequencies.
Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 comes with MCACC Pro room correction system and includes the calibration microphone.
- MCACC: Pioneer’s exclusive Multi-Channel Acoustic Calibration System (MCACC) delivers an easy-to-use, automatic sound adjustment system to precision-tune your Pioneer and Pioneer Elite receivers with minimal effort. Every MCACC system comes with a microphone to measure and analyze reverb characteristics. The equalizer optimally adjusts sound parameters to fit the size and shape of your home environment while maintaining the integrity of high-resolution playback without any degradation to the quality of your music.
Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 features 7 HDMI inputs. It has 3 outputs: 1 MAIN and 1 SUB and 1 ZONE 2.
- 4K/60Hz Passthrough: All inputs pass up to 4K/60p (YCbCr 4:4:4) video signal.
- 4K Upscaling: Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 can upscale 1080p to 4K from HDMI and analog sources.
- Analog To HDMI Upconversion: The a/v receiver supports video upconversion, so you can connect your analog Component and Composite video sources and Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 will output them via HDMI. This means that you will need only one HDMI cable to connect to your TV.
- BT.2020 Color Space: BT.2020 or Rec. 2020 is a color standard which delivers a wider color gamut compared to Rec. 709. It covers approximately 75% of the total visual spectrum while the Rec. 709 covers only 35%.
- HDCP 2.3 Copy Protection: All inputs and outputs are HDCP 2.3 compliant which is a requirement for 4K/HDR copy-protected content transmission.
- 3D Ready: Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 is able to pass 3D video through HDMI.
HDR (High Dynamic Range)
Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 supports HDR (high dynamic range) video formats such as HDR10, Dolby Vision and Hybrid Log-Gamma. High dynamic range video has greater dynamic range than standard dynamic range (SDR) video with brighter whites and deeper blacks. The result is greater contrast and more details in dark and bright areas, better color and depth.
- HDR10: HDR10 uses the wide-gamut Rec. 2020 color space. It sends static metadata via video stream to the TV which calibrates its screen brightness and color according to that. HDR10 supports 10-bit color which corresponds to 1024 shades of the primary RGB colors. It is technically limited to a maximum of 10,000 nits peak brightness, however common HDR10 contents are mastered with peak brightness from 1,000 to 4,000 nits.
- Dolby Vision: Dolby Vision is a set of technologies developed by Dolby Laboratories for high dynamic range (HDR) video. It covers content creation, distribution, and playback. Like HDR10+, it includes dynamic metadata that are used to adjust and optimize each frame of the HDR video to the consumer display's capabilities in a way specified by the content creator. Dolby Vision allows for a maximum resolution of 8K up to 12-bit color depth, maximum peak brightness of 10,000 nits and a color gamut up to Rec. 2020. It uses Dolby's proprietary dynamic metadata defined in SMPTE ST 2094-10.
- Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG): The Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) is a transfer function developed mainly for HDR live video feed and over-the-air broadcasts. It is an HDR format that uses BT.2020 color primaries and a bitdepth of 10-bit. It is backward compatible with the transfer function of SDR and is designed to be better-suited for television broadcasting, where the metadata required for other HDR formats is not backward compatible with non-HDR displays. HLG defines a non-linear optical-electro transfer function, in which the lower half of the signal values use a gamma curve and the upper half of the signal values use a logarithmic curve.
Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 is IMAX Enhanced certified. To qualify for IMAX Enhanced certification, 4K HDR televisions, projectors, sound bars, a/v receivers, loudspeakers, powered subwoofers and other premium home entertainment devices must meet carefully prescribed performance requirements established by IMAX, DTS and Hollywood's leading experts.
- What makes an IMAX Enhanced A/V receiver different from an A/V receiver with DTS:X technology? DTS:X technology is commonly found in most multi-channel A/V receivers on the market today. All IMAX Enhanced A/V receivers include DTS:X technology and deliver additional features, such as auto-sensing of IMAX Enhanced content, via IMAX Mode. IMAX Mode indicates that your A/V receiver supports fully immersive IMAX signature sound.
- IMAX Enhanced Content: IMAX Enhanced studio partners have announced IMAX Enhanced versions of movies that exclusively feature IMAX's signature picture, sound and scale.
- Picture: Stunning, ultra-vivid 4K HDR picture that utilizes the newest, proprietary Digital Media Remastering technology (DMR) developed by IMAX. DMR accurately reduces noise and grain under the filmmaker’s guidance to best optimize the content for a much higher-quality, higher-brightness display. Without this technology, high-dynamic range content can actually look worse than what was originally seen and intended by the filmmaker.
- Sound: IMAX and DTS have partnered with award-winning Hollywood sound mixers leveraging DTS:X codec technology integrated in home audio equipment and select televisions to deliver an IMAX signature sound experience with deeper bass and more dynamic range.
- Scale: Select IMAX Enhanced titles that were shot with IMAX-certified cameras or specially formatted for IMAX theatres feature its exclusive expanded aspect ratio, enabling viewers to see the full scale and scope of the picture on 4K HDR TVs.
- Streaming Services: IMAX Enhanced is now available on the world’s biggest streaming services, including Disney+, BRAVIA CORE, Tencent, iQiyi and more.
Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 offers multi-zone playback which allows you to play different input sources in 3 different rooms.
- Powered Zone 2: You can use the unit's 2 amplifier channels by connecting Zone 2 speakers directly to the speaker terminals. The remaining 9 channels will be left for main zone amplification.
- HDMI Output: Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 offers HDMI output for Zone 2. This means that it can send two different HDMI signals to two displays.
- Audio Pre/Line Output: If you have a dedicated amplifier for Zone 2 you can connect it to the a/v receiver via pre/line outs and use "pre out" option to control volume from the a/v receiver or use "line out" option - send fixed signal and then control volume on the Zone 2 amplifier.
- Powered Zone 3: You can use the unit's 2 amplifier channels by connecting Zone 3 speakers directly to the speaker terminals. The remaining 9 channels will be left for main zone amplification.
- Audio Pre/Line Output: If you have a dedicated amplifier for Zone 2 you can connect it to the a/v receiver via pre/line outs and use "pre out" option to control volume from the a/v receiver or use "line out" option - send fixed signal and then control volume on the Zone 3 amplifier.
Inputs and Outputs
- Analog Pre-Outs: Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 has 11.2 preamplifier outputs which allow you to connect the a/v receiver to the external power amplifier. You may want to use a high quality external amplifier for certain channels, usually for front L/R and center, and use the a/v receiver to power the rest.
- Analog Line Inputs: There are 6 line inputs for analog audio connection.
- Digital Inputs and Outputs: 1 optical input, 3 optical outputs and 2 coaxial inputs are available for digital audio connection.
- Headphone Output: There is a 6.3 mm (1/4") headphone output jack on the front panel.
- Inputs: 7 (1 front) Outputs: 3 (1 MAIN, 1 SUB, 1 ZONE 2)
8K Inputs: 0
- Composite Video: Connect you VCR, Laserdisc player and other old video equipment with composite video cables.
- Inputs: 2 Outputs: 0
- Component Video: Component video connection gives you the higher quality video compared to the composite video connection. So in case your old DVD player and other equipment do not have an HDMI output but have Component video output use this connection over the composite one. Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 supports up to 480i/576i resolution on Component video connectors.
- Inputs: 2 Outputs: 0
Here we list all the available features and specifications of Pioneer Elite SC-LX904.
|Front Wide Channel Support|
|Amplifier||Class D3 (Direct Energy HD)|
|Continuous 6 Ω Rated|
|Certified 4 Ω Performance|
|Digital Signal Processing (DSP) Engine||Digital Quad-Core 32-bit DSP (Cirrus Logic) + Aureus™ Floating-Point DSP (TI)|
|DAC||ESS ES9026PRO x 2|
|DAC Specs||384 kHz/32 Bit|
|Maximum Channel Processing||11.2|
|Air Studios Monitor Certification|
|Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization|
|Dolby Atmos Music|
|Dolby Digital Plus|
|Dolby Surround Upmixer|
|Dolby Pro Logic|
|Dolby Digital EX|
|DTS-HD Master Audio|
|DTS-HD High Resolution Audio|
|DTS-ES||Discrete 6.1, Matrix 6.1|
|Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer|
|Music Playback via USB||MP3, WMA, AAC, Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, DSD|
|High Resolution Music Playback via USB and/or Network||64, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192 kHz/24 bit|
|High Resolution Audio Formats via USB||Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, AAC, DSD|
|DSD via HDMI||2-ch/Multi-ch Input|
|DSD via USB||2-ch Input|
|DSD to PCM Converter|
|Jitter Reduction||PQLS & PQFA|
|Sound Retriever AIR|
|Digital Noise Reduction|
|Tone Control||All Channels|
|Compressed Music Enhancer||Advanced Sound Retriever|
|High-resolution Music Enhancer|
|Audyssey Dynamic EQ|
|Audyssey Dynamic Volume|
|Audyssey Sub EQ HT|
|Pure Direct Mode|
|Advanced Surround||10 + 1|
|Front Stage Surround Advance|
|Independent Subwoofer Outputs|
|Auto Speaker Calibration System with Mic.||MCACC Pro|
|Full Band Phase Control|
|Standing Wave Control||Multi-Point (9 points)|
|Distance Adjustment||0.05 feet|
|Auto Subwoofer Crossover|
|HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma)|
|BT.2020 color space|
|QMS (Quick Media Switching)|
|ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode)|
|VRR (Variable Refresh Rate)|
|QFT (Quick Frame transport)|
|Video Signal Passthrough||up to 4K/60p (YCbCr 4:4:4)|
|Video Signal Upscaling||1080p to 4K|
|Analog To HDMI Upconversion||Component**, Composite|
|Component Video Upscaling|
|Analog to Analog Video conversion|
|Component Video Maximum Resolution||480i/576i|
|Video Parameter Adjustments|
|isf Certified Calibration Control|
|Works with Amazon Alexa|
|Works with SONOS|
|Apple Product Connection||Made for iPhone, iPod and iPad (Airplay only)|
|InstaPrevue Input Source Prevue|
|HDMI Inputs||7 (1 front)|
|HDMI Outputs||3 (1 MAIN, 1 SUB, 1 ZONE 2)|
|USB Input||2 (1 Front)|
|USB DC Out Port|
|RCA Line Input||6|
|RCA Line Output|
|XLR Line Inputs|
|Composite Video Input||2|
|Composite Video Output|
|Component Video Input||2|
|Component Video Output|
|Front A/V Inputs||HDMI, USB|
|Headphone Out||6.3 mm (1/4")|
|Powered Zones||2 and 3|
|Zone 2 Outs||HDMI, RCA Pre/Line Out|
|Zone 3 Outs||RCA Pre/Line Out|
|+12V Trigger Output||2 (A: 100 mA, B: 25 mA)|
|Remote (IR) Input/Output||2 / 1|
|IP Control for CI|
|Detachable Power Cord|
|SiriusXM Internet Radio|
|Solid Aluminum Front|
|Advanced Direct Construction||Advanced Direct Construction|
|Large Speaker Terminals||11|
|Color-Coded Speaker Terminals|
|Gold plated RCA terminals|
|Power Supply||AC 120 V, 60 Hz|
|Low Leakage Flux Power Transformer|
|Power Consumption||340 W|
|Standby Power||0.1 W|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||435 mm x 185 mm x 440 mm|
17-1/8" x 7-5/16" x 17-5/16"
|Weight||18.5 kg (40.8 lbs)|
|Power Output (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2||140 W (0.08% THD)|
|Maximum Effective Power Output (6 Ω, 1 kHz, 1 channel driven, JEITA)||260 W (10% THD)|
|Multi Channel Simultaneous Drive (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 1.0%)||880 W (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 1.0%)|
|THD||0.04% (1 kHz, 100 W)|
|Input Sensitivity and Impedance (Line)||200 mV/82 kΩ|
|Input Sensitivity and Impedance (Phono MM)||3.5 mV/47 kΩ|
|Rated Preout Level and Impedance||1 V/470 kΩ|
|Rated Headphone Power Output||57 mW (32 Ω, 1 kHz, 10% THD)|
|Phono Overload||70 mV (MM, 1 kHz, 0.5%)|
|S/N Ratio (Line, IHF-A)||108 dB|
|S/N Ratio (Phono MM, IHF-A)||90 dB|
|DSD Sampling Rates via HDMI||2.8 MHz|
|DSD Sampling Rates via USB||11.2 MHz, 5.6 MHz, 2.8 MHz|
|Video Input Sensitivity/Output Level and Impedance||1 Vp-p/75 Ω (Component Y)|
0.7 Vp-p/75 Ω (Component PB/CB, PR/CR)
1 Vp-p/75 Ω (Composite)
|Wi-Fi Standard||IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n|
|Wi-Fi Terminal Frequency||5 GHz, 2.4 GHz|
|Bluetooth Frequency||2.4 GHz|
|USB Terminal||Ver. 2.0, 5 V, 500 mA|
|FM Frequency||87.5 MHz - 107.9 MHz|
|FM 50 dB Quiet Sensitivity (IHF, 1 kHz, 100% MOD.)||Mono: 1.0 µV (11.2 dBf)|
|AM Frequency||530 kHz - 1710 kHz|
* - 480i/576i and 480p/576p only
** - 480i/576i only
*** - no 1080p/24 upconversion
**** - 1080p signal is not converted
In 2023 Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 was replaced by VSX-LX805. Let us now have a look at some important changes that the successor brought.
|UPGRADES||Pioneer Elite VSX-LX805||vs||Pioneer Elite SC-LX904|
|Amplifier||All new symmetric Class AB||vs||Class D3 (Direct Energy HD)|
|Higher DAC Specs||768 kHz/32 Bit||vs||384 kHz/32 Bit|
|Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer||vs|
|Music Playback via USB||MP3, WMA, AAC, Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, LPCM, AIFF, DSD||vs||MP3, WMA, AAC, Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, DSD|
|Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC)||vs|
|Auto Low Latency Mode Pass-through||vs|
|Video Signal Passthrough||up to 8K/60p RGB/YCbCr4:2:0/10-bit uncompressed or RGB/YCbCr4:4:4/12-bit compressed (TV needs DSC)||vs||up to 4K/60p (YCbCr 4:4:4)|
|Video Signal Upscaling||1080p to 4K/8K and 4K to 8K||vs||1080p to 4K|
|More 8K Inputs||6||vs|
|XLR Pre-outs||Front L/R||vs|
|More Speaker Terminals||15||vs||11|
|More Large Speaker Terminals||15||vs||11|
|Bigger Power Supply||1095 W||vs||340 W|
|Higher Rated Headphone Power Output||75 mW (32 Ω, 1 kHz, 10% THD)||vs||57 mW (32 Ω, 1 kHz, 10% THD)|
|Wi-Fi Standard||IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac||vs||IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n|
|DOWNGRADES||Pioneer Elite VSX-LX805||vs||Pioneer Elite SC-LX904|
|Bi-amp capability||Front L/R and Center Channels||vs|
|Less RCA Line Inputs||4||vs||6|
|Less Component Video Inputs||1||vs||2|
|Remote (IR) Input/Output||1 / 1||vs||2 / 1|
|Higher THD||0.08% (20 Hz - 20 kHz, half power)||vs||0.04% (1 kHz, 100 W)|
|Lower S/N Ratio (Line, IHF-A)||107 dB||vs||108 dB|
|Lower S/N Ratio (Phono MM, IHF-A)||78 dB||vs||90 dB|
For more detailed comparison between the models please visit Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 vs Pioneer Elite VSX-LX805.