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Decisions....JVC THA35R Vs Pioneer DCS 303

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Buying & Building' started by Boof, Sep 18, 2003.

  1. Boof

    Boof
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    Hi all,

    I'm new to the whole home cinema thing so could do with some advice. I've narrowed my shortlist down to the 2 systems above, the JVC for £220 (Richer Snds) or the Pioneer for £230 (online, Techtronics). Both multi region.

    Both seem to be quality, and v good for the price. So people, the question is, which one, and why???:confused: I really can't decide.

    Of course any other suggestions are welcome (though I want one with DTS, Pro-logic II, RDS, decent sound output, and reasonable at playing CD's...and under £250. I don't ask for much!!!)

    Cheers,
    Steve
     
  2. bonzobanana

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    Pioneer better sound, JVC better picture. If your planning on using s-video output as your using your rgb scart socket for a digibox or something like that then the Pioneer is the better option. Also the JVC only plays back region 1 dvds in converted to pal 50hz mode (bit of a giveaway this that its made by Samsung).
     
  3. thewallboy

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    I have literally just bought a Pioneer 313, I think this is the newest one. I paid £245 and it really is a treat. I bought a scart switch box and can now have both Satellite and DVD's thru RGB. Also sounds great when hooked up to my PS2. Vice City is programmed in DTS so it is superb.

    Hope this helps.

    Chris
     
  4. bonzobanana

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    The Pioneer DCS313 got a real slating in What Hifi. They described the picture as looking like it had been smeared with vasaline and weren't impressed with the sound either. The older DCS303 while only having s-video out appears to have better quality speakers and was originally meant to sell for a lot more than its current price. So for many the DCS303 may still be a better option than its replacement. Certainly from a style perspective I think the DCS303 is an easy winner.
     
  5. thewallboy

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    I appreciate your comments and your opinions on the aesthetics of the 313. I am just expressing my opinion as an OWNER (not reader) of the system. I used to have a Sony A30 and IMO AS AN OWNER the 313 kicks its arse. Having not OWNED a 303 I can not say weather its better or not. All I can say is that companies rarely release a new system if it is worse than the old one. I bought mine for £245 which in my opinion represents GVFM. If you can pick up the 303 for >£200 go for it!
     
  6. andy572

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    Blimey, I'm posting on this every few days! :)

    As an owner of the older 303, I can recommend it (if you can't take the separates route!) and would have no hesitation in considering its replacement.

    On that note, it may be worth noting that aside from the RGB SCART, the specs of the 313 appear to be identical to the older model. Aside from the cosmetics, they look to be the same and merely a revision of the previous year's features.

    I have no experience with other systems, but from my own experience and an occasional comment or review, I'd still choose and recommend a Pioneer system. With my RGB-unfriendly TV (dull picture), DVD playback via PC or consoles and sound via PC 4.1 or TV Pro-Logic (using external 'sats'), the detail and boldness of the visual and audio playback of the 303 came as rather a shock. I suppose I was expecting the worst (it's all so tiny! :rotfl: ); but even nine months after purchase, I experience moments of pleasant surprise :smoke:

    Perhaps I should add one final note regarding the potential seller. Several years of seeing the name in a less than favourable light suggest that you seek a vendor other than the one listed for the Pioneer. Again, I have no experience with them and have seen messages of support; but it should be noted that I have observed a vast amount of complaint regarding that one company. Your experience may differ, of course.

    Happy choosing :clap: I'm sure you'll enjoy whatever you end up with :smashin:
     
  7. bonzobanana

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    The DCS303 and DCS313 are completely different models with different internals and completely different speakers. The DCS313 is not just a DCS303 with a scart rgb socket.
     
  8. andy572

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    I did use the word 'appear' and state that I have no experience of other systems! :D

    Pictures (showing at least similar chassis, display and subwoofer design) and the numbers that I'd read suggested what I'd stated above. I've seen little to challenge that and in any case, trust that the original poster would do a little more research before settling on a final purchase.

    Oh, and even I noticed that the speakers are different! ;)

    To close, I recommend the 303. Again. :laugh:
     
  9. bonzobanana

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    Well the DCS303 power consumption is 195watts compared to 160 watts for the newer model. Considering they have the same sound output its pretty obvious the amplification electronics is a completely different design, more efficient but not necessarily as nice sounding. The newer speakers have a wider frequency range (slightly) but again they are probably the item that has been most reduced in quality to fit the price point. The main unit dimensions are different too.

    Basically What Hifi gave a pretty damning verdict on the dcs313 for both sound and picture. I don't remember the dcs303 ever being so heavily criticised. Theres no question in my mind that the DCS303 is better than the DCS313 and considering you can get the 303 for about £50 less it seems like a no brainer to me.
     
  10. andy572

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    Just another reason to be glad I have my 303, eh? :clap:

    Always being dubious of manufacturers' figures, I didn't know what to make of those. I had a look last night, and it appeared to be 'one point in favour, one point off...'!

    Yay to the 303!

    Ahem. :blush:

    For what it's worth, I've never found a damning report either. The worst were comparable to other criticisms of the time, with one review mentioning the sub's potential to be overpowering and some pointing out the lack of RGB output (common in older all-in-ones, right?).

    If reviews are truly reflective, it's amazing that things could have taken such a turn (considering my own experience with the 303... Yay! 3-0-3! Sorry :D ).

    Tsk, profit margins :thumbsdow

    Out of interest, bonzobanana, if you have one, what size of room does your 303 fill? I read a magazine review last year that suggested the 303 may be one of few all-in-ones possibly suitable for a larger room. It's certainly got more than enough for the 3 by 3 metre box here; but I'm still on the lookout for anyone using it in a larger room and would love to read their experiences (or any others, generally).
     
  11. bonzobanana

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    I don't have a DCS303 but it was the runner up choice to the system i got which is a Samsung HTDM150. Basically I didn't like the s-video only output of the DCS303 as my television (sharp) isn't great with anything other than RGB. The Samsung and Sharp work brilliantly together.

    http://www.whathomecinemamag.com/cgi-bin/displayreview.php?reviewid=2697

    I bought it for £240 but it was falsely advertised as progressive scan and so complained and managed to get a £40 refund from the credit card company and £20 off the original dealer making it £180 but then I might have spent a couple quid in phone calls so call it £182.
     
  12. andy572

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    Wow, congrats on the pricing! :smashin:

    The old telly and RGB thing's a funny un, isn't it?

    Just last weekend, I noticed that my friend's telly is exactly opposite to mine and produces brighter pictures when using RGB (as opposed to the sharper, more detailed, but darker images of my old Toshiba set).

    The Samsung looks great, by the way. I particularly like the idea of the larger box used for the centre speaker. Although I like the matching speakers on the Pioneer, I find the 'small box sound' quite noticeable (but I am being picky! :D ) and still prefer the larger output of my TVs larger centre.

    I should ask if you were surprised at how much 'poke' these little boxes have? I was unable to 'audition' any of them and was left to make my choices by price and size (the slender 303 and accompanying sub won out!), so feared the worst. It perhaps goes without saying that I had a pleasant surprise after the first DVD was turned :clap: Oh yeah, and that was magnified when my separates-owning brother and friend said that I'd made the right choice :eek:
     
  13. bonzobanana

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    I did audition a few systems in places like Currys and Comet but obviously they weren't ideal conditions. There was quite a few good systems sound wise. To be honest I bought the Samsung on good reviews in magazines and its features and auditioning was a minor part of the equation. Once I got it I still checked out other systems when I visited Currys and Comet afterwards. To get the right sound that I wanted from the samsung I put the subwoofer on a high shelf which gave it tighter bass but this also made the sound too bass heavy. So after a bit of fiddling with volume levels to each speaker I got what I still think is a truly fantastic sound. The Pioneer does have a bit more poke than the Samsung. The Samsung maxes out at 69 on the volume control I think and the highest I've ever taken the system is 63 but this is extremely loud. The Samsung is 40 watts per channel with 70 watts to the sub. Its probably not as efficient as some systems as the actual speakers are fairly large. DTS DVDs and external sources going into the digital port are louder than normal dolby digital sound from its built in dvd drive.

    The RGB picture on the Samsung is pretty amazing I think with excellent fine detail.

    Its been a truly brilliant system and it looks fantastic. Well the main unit looks fantastic the speakers don't have the same visual impact.
     

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