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Pioneer dcs-313 vasaline

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Buying & Building' started by seafoodmix, Nov 21, 2003.

  1. seafoodmix

    seafoodmix
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    can anyone tell me which issue of what hifi to get hold of to read this review, or better still post it on here.

    in the latest issue of what hifi i have looked in the back pages at the listing and there is no rating or reference to it.
     
  2. bonzobanana

    bonzobanana
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    The issue is Sept 03.

    I doubt if I can be arsed to write it all but here goes.

    With a bulk reminiscent of an old school video recorder, the pioneer dV313 won't be saving any space beneath your television, but bigger doesn't necessarily mean better.

    Its size gives the main unit a solid feel, but the staid design offers little in the way of style, with only a single blue standby light giving it any sort of aesthetic appeal. thankfully the slim, sloping satellite speakers and tall subwoofer look more attractive, and Pioneer claims its kit offers a relatively high 75w for each channel, making it supposedly the most powerful system on test.

    As with the other models here there's digital decoding for a range of dolby surround formats including prologic II music, and its compatible with just about any disc you care to feed it, including cdr/cdrw, mp3 and picture encoded discs. There's also a standard RDS tuner with 30 presets.

    Setting up the system is aided by colour coded cables and a sensible remote that devotes its space to primary functions. Two cursors guide you through the various advanced surround settings, which are easily calibrated by adjusting distance and channel levels from onscreen displays, while less used functions are hidden by a sliding hood. The unit itself has a single RGB scart connection, as well as an optical-digital input and both stereo analogue inputs and outputs.

    Although performance levels at this price point are never going to be amazing, we were disappointed by the overall standard of picture quality in this group and the Pioneer is especially guilty. Images appear as if the screen's been smeared with a thin coat of vasaline, leaving the sort of soft focus edges usually associated with artistic photography. Watch any fast motion sequence - we tried a number of fight scenes from the remastered 'Way of the dragon' and there's noticable fizz and undefined lines that are more a product of video imaging than Bruce Lee's legendary dexterity. Theres also a problem with digital noise, which creates a grainy resolution, particularly in shadowy scenes.

    Otherwise the colour balance isn't bad, but on the whole the DV313's picture is distinctly average and the sound isn't much better. Although the amplification provides enough power, the system lacks dynamics which, combined with hollow sounding bass leaves even energetic scores sounding dull and indifferent. Similarly, the steering is less than seamless and during the effects laden Behind Enemy Lines we noticed speakers firing in sequence without the smooth integration we normally expect.

    But this is an entry level product and it would be harsh to over analyse the specifics considering the minimal cost involved. however even among its contemporaries the pioneer is no more than mediocre.

    For.
    ***

    simple setup, powerful sound

    Against.
    *******

    Cumbersome design, soft edges, poor surround sound steering.

    Verdict

    A beast whose bark is worse than its bite.

    3/5
     
  3. bimmer

    bimmer
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    I can just say that i strongly disagree with that review. And i'm an owner of pioneer dcs-313. I have tested some systems from samsung, LG, philips and pioneer is the best one.
     
  4. bonzobanana

    bonzobanana
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    Well you certainly seem pleased with your DCS313 so how about a run down of what you like and dislike about the system? I mean we can all read the reviews and fiddle with them in the shops but what is it like on day to day basis?
     
  5. cruncher75

    cruncher75
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    is this multi-region free out of the box
     
  6. bonzobanana

    bonzobanana
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    It will be if you buy a multiregion version but otherwise won't be. you don't get the big japanese companies making models that are region free out of the box It seems only smallish chinese manufacturers can get away with that. Companies that sell multiregion jap players convert them themselves or farm it out to a contracter to convert them.
     
  7. rozzar

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    it does sound a lot better than the old dsc303 but i still prefer the Philips lx3600/3700. the build may be a shad more fragile, but sound is in a different league imo
     
  8. bonzobanana

    bonzobanana
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    Wait a minute are you saying you think the DCS313 sounds better than the DCS303! Because this would contradict practically all the reviews of the DCS303 which highly rated its sound and the one DCS313 review that slated it. Admittingly it does seem a mite unfair to judge the DCS313 on one review but the DCS313 has been out a while and Pioneer seem reluctant to send out many systems for review. Which surely is a sign in itself that Pioneer aren't too proud of the system.
     
  9. andy572

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    As you know, bb, I own the 303; but I'd dearly love that to be true! :laugh:

    Hey, I'm just someone that thinks people should rely a little more on their own senses - with extra research, in the process :)

    Although I've had no access to magazines until recently, your comment does appear that it could well be pertinent. A friend handed me the 'November' issue (which I guess means it was the October issue :rotfl: ) and I was surprised to see the lack of the 313's presence - particularly as the current models of other manufacturers appear to be present.

    As someone unable to audition equipment, I know I'd have hated to have to rely on that one review, had I seen it. It would certainly be enough to make one think twice!

    Back to the 303... :devil: ;)
     
  10. cruncher75

    cruncher75
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    ive just went a got myself a 313 looks good and sounds great the only problem is that the PQ looks a bit grainy to the cheap yamada i had set up
     
  11. bimmer

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    1. Ok i don't have much time so i won't go in details. First of all, like i mentioned in some posts is that pioneer sounds much better then some systems that i have tested (Samsung HT-DB750, LG5630, some Sony-s, Sanyo). Also i heard Sony dav-550 (it looks great) and it was dissapointment because i expected more. So when i bought dcs-313 i was impressed and it sounded above my expectations. Picture quality is also good. Colors are great, sharpness too, and all this with cheap (1.5 euro) scart to scart cable (i'm planing to buy GoldPlus). It is very loud and it has more power then some other systems. I know that there is better HT systems but for this price this is great product and it is even better then some systems that costs more.
    2. Regarding this review in whathifi. I have seen 2 diffrent reviews of dav-550 in same magazin (on net) and it got diffrent grades and in one review there was a lot of negative staff about it and other (few months later) was very positive. And there is even more radical examples in some other reviews i saw. (not regarding HT-s). One review is not enough for making a judgment.
     
  12. bonzobanana

    bonzobanana
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    Regarding the DAVS550 it seems What Hifi rated it so highly as to them SACD is a really important feature and the DAVS550 plays these really well in fact it could be said the system is optimised to play these discs. However as a home cinema system it can lack dynamics and therefore other magazines orientated towards only home cinema don't think so much of it. Personally I think its a stunning looking system but is poorly thought out for the uk. I mean come on progressive scan in ntsc only when the system is very hard to make multiregion and even if you buy it multiregion it only has to have a software crash to reset it back to region 2 only.

    What Hifi's critiscism of the DC313's sound seems to be mainly due to poor surround steering. They even described it as firing in sequence. Sounds like the picture may be a bit poor looking at the comments above from another owner as he says the ultra budget Yamada model he tried had a better picture (less grainy). Perhaps I'm taking his comments out of context but thats what it reads like.
     
  13. andy572

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    The 550 was at the top of my very short list, with its looks making the good first impression. At the end of the day, it came down to ker-ching (or lack of!) and a well-priced 303. As I couldn't audition any hardware, I suppose I've been extremely lucky in finding my choice a pretty good one (for the price). Though I imagine most all-in-ones at this price range would be okay - and still leave one yearning for those big boxes... :laugh:

    Re: further 550 reviews, bonzo, were they vastly different to that of 'WHF'? Hmm, I can remember once reading a review that criticised the 550 for its remote or more specifically, the colour! Blue?!? Well, it'll be no good then![/fake shock] :devil:

    I didn't know about your remaining points, but in the case of the NTSC prog scan, I suppose that was just a sign of the times - rather than some great failing on Sony's part. Prog scan for PAL is a recent addition, after all. Hmm, I suppose the multi-region thing isn't officially supported either... :laugh: Not that it makes things any better, should that happen!

    Although I'm not opposing any observations (I haven't heard the 313, after all), isn't there a possibility of the software being 'at fault'? I could possibly aim the same comment on a few of the DVDs that I own (played on any hardware), as they don't all create a wide and enveloping field of sound. Just a thought.

    For what little it's worth, I read the Yamada comments in the same light. Hey, finally it doesn't seem that I'm on some 'oppose everything' trip!;) I wonder if some of that could have been that very change however? D'oh, it was going so well...

    I'm thinking of the surprise I had (and still do) on viewing DVD via RGB and indeed through the s-video of the 303 after having only experienced films via PC (on a monitor) and PS2 (composite>TV). Heh heh, to think I thought they were good...

    Hey, it was - compared to VHS! :laugh:
     
  14. bonzobanana

    bonzobanana
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    With regard individual dvds I'm pretty sure the same dvds were used to test a range of home cinema systems and only the DCS313 was reported to have the 'firing in sequence' problem. This well could be a firmware issue that is now resolved but it could also be a permanent problem with the system that at times it loses its timing audio wise. Certainly in the absense of DCS303s in shops now, the DCS313 represents the most powerful budget system out there in the sub £250 price range. Mind you with that superb Pioneer NV-DS99 model now available I'd definitely pay the extra for that.
     

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