Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 Review and Specs
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Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 (North American version)

SCORE:
92

Highlights

  • 11.2 channels
  • 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 Overview

Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 was introduced in 2019 and represents a current flagship model of the manufacturer. It is equipped with 11 channel amplifier and is capable of 11.2 maximum channel processing.

We evaluated the 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.

AMPLIFIER
92
VIDEO FEATURES
93
AUDIO FEATURES
92
CONNECTIVITY
92
MULTIZONE
92
MISCELLANEOUS
89
RADIO
92
OVERALL
92

Amplifier score is based on power ratings, minimum impedance load, power supply, transformer type, total harmonic distortion, damping factor, signal to noise ratio and other small details. Audio score depends on the number of channels, front wide channel support, maximum channel processing, support of audio formats, DAC specifications, room calibration algorithm... Video score is based on HDR, Dolby Vision and video signal passthrough and upscaling, analog to HDMI upconversion. Connectivity score is defined from all wired and wireless inputs and outputs, internet and bluetooth connections, HEOS, SONOS and others. Multizone score depends on the number of zones with their outputs. Radio score is evaluated form digital radio support and analog tuner with its frequency range, signal to noise ratio, harmonic distortion...

Pros and Cons

In this section we present pros and cons of Pioneer Elite SC-LX904.

PROS
Certified 4 Ω Performance πŸ‘
Bi-amp Capability πŸ‘
Many Channel Processing πŸ‘
Dolby Atmos πŸ‘
Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization πŸ‘
Dolby TrueHD πŸ‘
Dolby Digital Plus πŸ‘
Dolby Surround Upmixer πŸ‘
DTS:X πŸ‘
DTS Neural:X πŸ‘
DTS-HD Master Audio πŸ‘
DTS-HD High Resolution Audio πŸ‘
DTS 96/24 πŸ‘
DTS Express πŸ‘
DTS-ES πŸ‘
IMAX Enhanced πŸ‘
High Resolution Music Playback via USB and/or Network πŸ‘
Gapless Playback πŸ‘
DSD via HDMI πŸ‘
DSD via USB πŸ‘
Dialog Enhancement πŸ‘
Dialogue Lift πŸ‘
Sound Retriever πŸ‘
Compressed Music Enhancer πŸ‘
Auto Speaker Calibration System with Mic. πŸ‘
HDR10 πŸ‘
BT.2020 color space πŸ‘
Dolby Vision πŸ‘
HLG πŸ‘
3-D Ready πŸ‘
4K or 8K Video Passthrough πŸ‘
4K or 8K Signal Upscaling πŸ‘
Analog To HDMI Upconversion πŸ‘
FlareConnect πŸ‘
Chromecast Built-In πŸ‘
DTS Play-Fi πŸ‘
Works with Amazon Alexa πŸ‘
Google assistant πŸ‘
Apple Siri πŸ‘
Works with SONOS πŸ‘
Ethernet πŸ‘
Wi-Fi πŸ‘
Bluetooth πŸ‘
New HDCP Version πŸ‘
Many HDMI Inputs πŸ‘
Many HDMI Outputs πŸ‘
USB Input πŸ‘
Many Analog Audio Line Inputs πŸ‘
Phono Input πŸ‘
Composite Video Inputs πŸ‘
Component Video Inputs πŸ‘
Analog Pre-Outs πŸ‘
Zones πŸ‘
Detachable Power Cord πŸ‘
Analog Tuner πŸ‘
Pandora πŸ‘
Spotify πŸ‘
Tidal πŸ‘
Deezer πŸ‘
Low Leakage Flux Power Transformer πŸ‘
Transformer Stabilizer πŸ‘
New Bluetooth Version πŸ‘
CONS
No Front Wide Channel Support πŸ‘Ž
No DTS Virtual:X πŸ‘Ž
No Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer πŸ‘Ž
No Sound Retriever AIR πŸ‘Ž
No High-resolution Music Enhancer πŸ‘Ž
No HDR10+ πŸ‘Ž
No DLNA 1.5 πŸ‘Ž
No eARC πŸ‘Ž
No Multi-Channel Input πŸ‘Ž
No Napster πŸ‘Ž
No SiriusXM Internet Radio πŸ‘Ž

Major Changes from its predecessor

Here we are comparing Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 to its predecessor SC-LX901 and displaying the major changes.

UPGRADES Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 Pioneer Elite SC-LX901
Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization βœ” βœ–
IMAX Enhanced βœ” βœ–
HLG βœ” βœ–
Works with Amazon Alexa βœ” βœ–
AirPlay βœ” AirPlay 2 βœ” AirPlay
Newer HDCP Version 2.3 2.2
More HDMI Outputs 3 (1 MAIN, 1 SUB, 1 ZONE 2) 2 (1 MAIN, 1 SUB/ZONE 2)
USB Input 2 (1 Front) 1 Front
Newer Bluetooth Version 4.2 4.1 + LE

DOWNGRADES Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 Pioneer Elite SC-LX901
Video Signal Upscaling βœ” 1080p to 4K βœ” up to 4K/60p (YCbCr 4:4:4)
Analog To HDMI Upconversion βœ” Component**, Composite βœ” Component**, Composite
FireConnect βœ– βœ”
Less HDMI Inputs 7 (1 front) 8 (1 front)
Less Component Video Outputs βœ– 1

For more detailed comparison between the models please visit Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 vs Pioneer Elite SC-LX901.

Selected Features

Amplifier

Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 has 11 channel Class D3 amplifier and delivers 140 W (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel driven) and also has a stable performance at 4 Ω load.


Video Features

The Receiver has 4K passthrough up to 60p and 4K upscaling. It can bypass HDR10, Dolby Vision.


HDR10

High-dynamic-range (HDR) video has greater dynamic range than standard-dynamic-range (SDR) video with brigter whites and deeper blacks. HDR10 was announced on August 27, 2015, by the Consumer Technology Association and 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 up to 1000 nits of brightness and 10-bit color which corresponds to 1024 shades of the primary RGB colors.


Dolby Vision

Dolby Vision is an update to HDR10 by adding dynamic metadata that can be used to more accurately adjust brightness levels up to 10,000 nits maximum brightness on a scene-by-scene or frame-by-frame basis and supports up to 12-bit color depth (4096 shades of RGB) and 8K resolution.


Dolby Atmos and Dolby Surround upmixer

Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 supports Dolby Atmos with its Dolby Surround upmixer. It can be configured upto 7.1.4 channels using internal amplifiers.

Dolby Atmos is the first cinematic audio format in which sounds exist as individual entities, called audio objects. In Dolby Atmos, any sound - the helicopter, a car screeching around a corner, a melodic bird call - 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. You'll feel like you're inside the action, in ways you've never experienced before.

Dolby Atmos for the home represents every sound in the original cinema mix as an audio object. Extensions to the Dolby Audioβ„’ codecs, along with an advanced scalable algorithm, allow Dolby Atmos to be delivered via Blu-ray Disc and streaming media. A spatially-coded substream is added to Dolby TrueHD or Dolby Digital Plus. A Dolby Atmos audio/video receiver (AVR) adapts the cinema experience to your home theater from seven speakers to as many as 34 in 24.1.10 configuration, recreating the original artistic concept. 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.

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.


DTS:X and Neural:X upmixer

Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 supports DTS:X with its Neural:X upmixer. It can be configured upto 7.1.4 channels using internal amplifiers.

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 is a new 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.


Class D3 Amplifier

Pioneer Class D3 amplifiers contain advanced integrated circuitry technology creating unmatched power without sacrificing sound quality or performance. Class D3 amplifiers use a Direct Signal Path Design to provide the shortest audio signal path possible. By eliminating EMI filters, feedback loops, and current limiters of previous designs, Class D3 reduces ringing distortion and noise, especially in the high frequency audio band.

The power consumption of the Digital Class D3 Amplifier is significantly lower than traditional A/B amplifiers - letting you save energy and generate less heat without compromising performance. The Digital Class D3 Amplifier uses a simple structure employing a straight signal path, resulting in improved sound quality requiring less energy than competitive models yet producing more simultaneous power output. This direct signal path means no EMI filters, feedback loops or current limiting - a true engineering art. Unlike traditional designs, these amps deliver the strength to handle multiple low-impedance speakers without dramatic power loss. The efficiency of Class D3 means cooler operation while drawing just a fraction of the power consumed by conventional amplifiers, enhancing and extending component life and reliability.


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.


Room Correction

Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 comes with[y] MCACC Pro room correction system and includes the calibration microphone.


Connectivity

Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 can be connected to internet using ethernet cable or built-in wi-fi adapter. It can also connect to bluetooth devices via built-in bluetooth adapter. The Receiver works with Amazon Alexa and works with SONOS and supports[y] AirPlay 2. It has 7 HDMI inputs and HDCP 2.3 copy protection. There is a phono input with built-in phono stage for connecting the cartridge output of the turntable directly to the Receiver. There are 11.2 channel analog pre-outs for external amplification.

Front panel has HDMI and USB inputs.

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Detailed Specifications

Here we list all the available features and specifications of Pioneer Elite SC-LX904.

BASICS
BrandPioneer
SeriesElite
ModelSC-LX904
TypeA/V Receiver
CountryNorth America
Release Year2019
AMPLIFIER
Channels11.2
Front Wide Channel Supportβœ–
Amplifier DesignClass D3 (Direct Energy HD)
THXβ„’ Certificationβœ–
Continuous 6 Ω Ratedβœ”
Certified 4 Ω Performanceβœ”
Bi-amp Capabilityβœ”
AUDIO
Digital Signal Processing (DSP) EngineDigital Quad-Core 32-bit DSP (Cirrus Logic) + Aureusβ„’ Floating-Point DSP (TI)
DACESS ES9026PRO x 2
Maximum Channel Processing11.2
Air Studios Monitor Certificationβœ–
Dolby Atmosβœ”
Dolby Atmos Height Virtualizationβœ”
Dolby TrueHDβœ”
Dolby Digital Plusβœ”
Dolby Surround Upmixerβœ”
Dolby Pro Logicβœ–
Dolby Digital EXβœ–
Surround EXβœ–
DTS:Xβœ”
DTS Neural:Xβœ”
DTS Virtual:Xβœ–
DTS Neoβœ–
DTS-HD Master Audioβœ”
DTS-HD High Resolution Audioβœ”
DTS 96/24βœ”
DTS Expressβœ”
DTS-ESβœ” Discrete 6.1, Matrix 6.1
IMAX Enhancedβœ”
Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixerβœ–
PCMβœ” 2-ch/Multi-ch Input
Music Playback via USBMP3, WMA, AAC, Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, DSD
High Resolution Music Playback via USB and/or Networkβœ” 64, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192 kHz/24 bit
High Resolution Audio Formats via USBApple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, AAC, DSD
Multi-Channel Music File Playback via USBβœ” up to 192 kHz/24 bit
Gapless Playbackβœ”
DSD via HDMIβœ” 2-ch/Multi-ch Input
DSD via USBβœ” 2-ch Input
DSD to PCM Converterβœ–
USB DACβœ–
Jitter Reductionβœ” PQLS & PQFA
Dialog Enhancementβœ”
Dialogue Liftβœ”
Sound Retrieverβœ” Advanced
Sound Retriever AIRβœ–
Digital Noise Reductionβœ–
Tone Controlβœ” All Channels
Compressed Music Enhancerβœ” Advanced Sound Retriever
High-resolution Music Enhancerβœ–
Audyssey Dynamic EQβœ–
Audyssey Dynamic Volumeβœ–
Audyssey LFCβœ–
Audyssey Sub EQ HTβœ–
Audyssey DSXβœ–
Direct Modeβœ”
Pure Direct Modeβœ”
Auto Surroundβœ”
Optimum Surroundβœ–
Advanced Surround10 + 1
Wide Surroundβœ–
Front Stage Surround Advanceβœ”
Headphone Surroundβœ–
Virtual Speakersβœ–
Virtual Depthβœ–
CALIBRATION
Auto Speaker Calibration System with Mic.βœ” MCACC Pro
Manual MCACCβœ”
MCACC Memory3
Reflex Optimizerβœ”
Phase Controlβœ”
Full Band Phase Controlβœ”
Standing Wave Controlβœ” Multi-Point (9 points)
EQ Bands9-Band
Symmetric EQβœ”
Distance Adjustment0.05 feet
Precision Distanceβœ”
Polarity Checkβœ”
Auto Subwoofer Crossoverβœ”
VIDEO
HDR10βœ”
HDR10+βœ–
Dynamic HDRβœ–
BT.2020 color spaceβœ”
Dolby Visionβœ”
Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG)βœ”
Quick Media Switching (QMS)βœ–
Auto Low Latency Mode Pass-throughβœ–
Variable Refresh Rate (VRR)βœ–
Quick Frame Transport (QFT)βœ–
3-D Readyβœ”
Video Signal Passthroughup to 4K/60p (YCbCr 4:4:4)
Video Signal Upscalingβœ” 1080p to 4K
Analog To HDMI Upconversionβœ” Component**, Composite
Component Video Upscalingβœ–
Analog to Analog Video conversionβœ–
Component Video Maximum Resolution480i/576i
Stream Smootherβœ–
Pure Cinemaβœ–
Video Parameter Adjustmentsβœ–
Super Resolutionβœ”
isf Certified Calibration Controlβœ–
CONNECTIVITY
MHL Inputβœ–
DLNA 1.5βœ–
FireConnectβœ–
FlareConnectβœ”
Chromecast Built-Inβœ”
DTS Play-Fiβœ”
Works with Amazon Alexaβœ”
Google assistantβœ”
Apple Siriβœ”
Works with SONOSβœ”
AirPlayβœ” AirPlay 2
Apple Product Connectionβœ” Made for iPhone, iPod and iPad (Airplay only)
InstaPrevue Input Source Prevueβœ–
Ethernetβœ”
Ethernet Switchβœ–
Wi-Fiβœ”
Bluetoothβœ” SBC, AAC
HDBaseT Compatibleβœ–
Enhanced ARCβœ–
HDCP Version2.3
HDMI Input7 (1 front)
HDMI Output3 (1 MAIN, 1 SUB, 1 ZONE 2)
USB Input2 (1 Front)
USB DC Out Portβœ–
Analog Audio Line Input6
Analog Audio Line Outputβœ–
Phono Inputβœ”
Optical In3
Optical Outβœ–
Coaxial In/Out2 / βœ–
Composite Video Input2
Composite Video Outputβœ–
S-Video Inputβœ–
S-Video Outputβœ–
Component Video Input2
Component Video Outputβœ–
PC Inβœ–
Multi-Channel Inputβœ–
Analog Pre-Outs11.2
XLR Inputsβœ–
XLR Pre-outsβœ–
Front A/V InputsHDMI, USB
Speaker A/Bβœ”
Headphone Outβœ” 6.3 mm
ZONES
Zones3
Powered Zones2 and 3
Zone 2HDMI, RCA Pre/Line Out
Zone 3 OutsRCA Pre/Line Out
RS-232βœ”
+12V Trigger Output2 (A: 100 mA, B: 25 mA)
Remote (IR) Input/Output2 / 1
MISC
GUI Languages7
AVNavigatorβœ–
IP Control for CIβœ”
PreAmp Modeβœ”
FL Dimmerβœ”
Function Renameβœ”
Remote Controllerβœ”
Detachable Power Cordβœ”
adapterportβœ–
RADIO
Analog Tunerβœ” FM/AM
Presets40
Digital Radioβœ–
Internet Radioβœ” TuneIn
Pandoraβœ”
Spotifyβœ”
Tidalβœ”
Deezerβœ”
Napsterβœ–
SiriusXM Internet Radioβœ–
CONSTRUCTION
Solid Aluminum Frontβœ”
Advanced Direct ConstructionAdvanced Direct Construction
Speaker Terminals11
Large Speaker Terminals11
Color-Coded Speaker Terminalsβœ–
Gold plated RCA terminalsβœ”
POWER
Power SupplyAC 120 V, 60 Hz
Low Leakage Flux Power Transformerβœ”
Transformer Stabilizerβœ”
Power Consumption340 W
Standby Power0.1 W
GENERAL
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"
Weight18.5 kg (40.8 lbs)
Warranty3 Years
SPECS
Power Output (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2140 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
THD0.04% (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 Impedance1 V/470 kΩ
Rated Headphone Power Output57 mW (32 Ω, 1 kHz, 10% THD)
Phono Overload70 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 HDMI2.8 MHz
DSD Sampling Rates via USB11.2 MHz, 5.6 MHz, 2.8 MHz
Video Input Sensitivity/Output Level and Impedance1 Vp-p/75 Ω (Component Y)
0.7 Vp-p/75 Ω (Component PB/CB, PR/CR)
1 Vp-p/75 Ω (Composite)
Ethernet Standard10BASE-T/100BASE-TX
Wi-Fi StandardIEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n
Wi-Fi Terminal Frequency5 GHz, 2.4 GHz
Bluetooth Version4.2
Bluetooth Frequency2.4 GHz
USB TerminalVer. 2.0, 5 V, 500 mA
Extension Terminalβœ–
FM Frequency87.5 MHz - 107.9 MHz
FM 50 dB Quiet Sensitivity (IHF, 1 kHz, 100% MOD.)Mono: 1.0 Β΅V (11.2 dBf)
AM Frequency530 kHz - 1710 kHz

* - 480i/576i and 480p/576p only
** - 480i/576i only
*** - no 1080p/24 upconversion
**** - 1080p signal is not converted

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