Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc.
Nice review. I particularly like the idea that Pioneer's room correction is adjustable. Net net, how does this system compare with Audyssey?
I have the SC-25 and concur that once setup using MCACC there is a slightly bright aspect to the top-end. Otherwise it's a sonically outstanding receiver. Just wondering if the reviewer found a fix for this?
I see a few features that improve on the SC-07 (user-upgradable firmware for one), but how about audio and video performance? Any noticable changes?
It's all about the Burr Brown 192kHz/24-bit A/D and Wolfson WM8740 192kHz/24-bit DACs for me. Been eyeing this receiver since Pioneer announced it would include these!
I've been using an Elite 81TXV for three years and while the sound is very good, it's not necessarily a match for my Class A amp and other separates (which reside in my closet because of NY apartment space constrictions!). I hope I can get this unit soon...but THAT'S all about getting the $$ together.
I had a chance to audition this receiver but only in stereo mode in a store a few years ago. I auditoned the same music source against Denons, Sonys and Yamahas that were out at that time competing with this unit. IMHO, this Pioneer and the upper models that were selling were the only units to buy. The quality of reproduction of the music I heard was second to none; in fact the quality sounded more like something out of a MacIntosh and I said that to the salemen in the store. The stereo reproduction of the same music on the other models I mentioned above in stereo were nothing short of atrocious. Only the 80TXV from Pioneer did not have quality sound.
Yamaha recievers are trash on audio quality. That's friggin' hilarious. I've heard several >$10k separates that don't sound as good as a Yamaha playing stereo.
Your statements about compariing "this Pioneer" unit with "other" modles a few years ago confuse me. The Pioneer has several ker technologies that are VERY current like the advanced surround decoding options, certification, etc. that were not available in an all out unit like this model, so what could you have been listening to, and I agree with Matt W. about Yamaha equipment. Yamha is known"industry wide" as a VERY GOOD manufactuerer of high quality great sounding"especially in stereo" gear.
Did you do any wattage measurements to see if the unit perfomed as specified?
I thought Pioneer was getting out of the home electronics business and focusing on automotive electronics? If that's true, why would I ever invest in Pioneer for my home?
No not true. Pioneer have been suffering trying to make a buck out of plasma (universally rated the best around) and have taken a real financial
beating, however they have always worked hard to bring something special to the world of audio and their optical expertise stretch from bluray to
the creation of the laser disc. I understand that after exiting the flat panel business they will continue strongly in car audio, navigation and
the home entertainment area. It appears their association with Britain's Air studios is continuing to pay dividends. Last years Elite model A/V receiver
was voted "Receiver of the year" in the U.K. This looks like a brilliant follow up from what i've read.
I has a speaker set from NHT classic . Is Elite sc-27 good match for my speaker?
Hellow - these 2 receivers have both received very good reviews from your publication and seem to be in the same class. Would you be able to comment on any sonic differences between the two? I am weighing the potential purchase of one of these, and would be pairing it with either a def tech ST based system or a Mirage OMD-28 based system. I tend to dislike "bright" sounding equipment, and generally enjoy the warmth of Yamaha to the sound of Denon, which often sounds hard and edgy to me.
Any comments that you might be able to make between the 2 would be quite helpful. Thank you much.
sorry - didn't realize that the subject didn't populate the body. The two receivers I was asking you to compare were the Pioneer sc-27 and the Onkyo SR-tx876. Thank you
I enjoyed your review of the Pioneer SC-27 very much. I am currently considering a Yamaha RX-V3900 and thought I'd locked on this decision. After reading your review of the Pioneer, I'm waffling some. I realize the Pioneer has the THX certification, which seems to be an advantage over the Yamaha, but in many other respects these units are very similar. I appreciate the Yamaha's advanced sound processing capabilities, which seem a step above the Pioneer (I realize many poo-poo these, but I've always like them.) In addition, I think the Anchor Bay video processing in the Yamaha is a win. It appears the user interface received a better score than the Pioneer too.
Do you have a recommendation for one over the other? I've noted that the Pioneer can be had (from an authorized retailer) for around $1400, while the Yamaha goes for nearly $1800. Too much $$$ to ignore in the overall decision possibly.
- Rob (San Diego)
In this price range, you might want to consider the Denon AVR-4310CI. I think it has better separation, more detail, and bigger sound stage than the Pioneer SC-27. I have demo both at Bestbuy and decided to go with the Denon. I was able to get the unit for $1399 w/ 3yr interest free financing down from $1999 after speaking w/ the manager.
I've considered Denon in the past, but they've received really negative reviews of both their user interface, remotes, and manuals that I've dropped them from my list.
>>>I think it has better separation
That's absurd. Even a $100 receiver has more than 90db separation between channels when playing back anything but radio and vinyl. There is no way you could be hearing BETTER separation via the receiver, assuming by separation, you mean separation between the channels. All you have to do is put a test CD, DVD or Blu-ray that sends audio to one channel at a time to prove this. If you can't hear anything in the other channels when a signal is playing in the designated channel, than the separation is perfect. And you'll find that it will be in any receiver that doesn't have a short.
Good for the audio industry there are so many of us concerned about sound, music, and movies! Also good to hear people point out that separation in a high quality av receiver, especially one with THX certification, is not something that's a concern. I can tell you from working with THX to obtain their certification that noise, separation, distortion, etc. are huge concerns for them and very difficult standards must be met. These standards are not audiophile snakeoil but very specific and stringent numbers for distortion, separation, long term power without overheat, etc. . They focus on what makes electronics perform at a level not obtainable many years ago. It's interesting to me that nobody has commented on the ICE amplification mentioned here. Bang & Olufsen own this technology and is being implemented under license by several ultra high end manufacturers in their separate components. It is one of the few amplifiers of any kind which doubles its power as impedance is halfved, i.e. 100 watts at 8 Ohms/200 watts at 4 Ohms. Krell and other hugely expensive separates amplifiers will achieve this but at the expense of lots of dollars and lots of heat! The ICE technology does this for low cost and extremely low heat. That you get this amplifier performance alone would be worth far more than $2,000, competing as it does with high end separates. Doubling of power as impedance is halved is the benchmark for high end amp performance, current capability, and the ability to drive any speaker regardless of how difficult the load presented. ICE technology accomplishes what used to take massive transformers, filter caps, etc. and the associated size, weight, heat, and cost. If you used to long for the performance of Levinson, Krell, and other wonderful companies, ICE has delivered the biggest performance advantage those companies offer: current capability out the wazoo (wazoo is a technical term too complex to cover here). That it does so without the weight, size, heat, or cost means we live in a wonderful age where technology is bringing high end sound to the masses! Exciting stuff! BTW, several highly respected manufacturers such as Macintosh use ICE as well...Pioneer is to be commended for offering ICE amplification. 5 years ago you would have paid WAY over $10,000 to get a standalone amplifier with this low impedance drive capability with the possible exception of the Sunfire amps. That Pioneer offers it with a processor, tuner, room optimization, etc for $2K makes this a glorious time to be an audiophile hobbyist!
Can you provide any insight on how this receiver compares to the ARCAM FMJ AVR600 which is presently considered to be a benchmark in Home Theatre audio performance?
i haven't auditioned the FMJ in my house but i have the SC-27 in my media room. what i can offer is some insight into the *abilities* of each brand. Pioneer is both a manufacturer and a brand, Arcam does not *make* anything, rather it tweaks products oem'd to spec. that doesn't mean it SOUNDS bad, but that it has higher costs. reputedly, Arcam spent one million dollars developing the AVR600, which is considerably less than what Pioneer pays to Lucasfilm in royalties each year. What is more interesting, and a game changer to me is/was the implementation of the Bang & Olufsen ICEpower technology. This receiver sounds so good my Meridien M-80/MacBook Pro system has been expelled to the bedroom. I'm using the Oppo BDP-80, Panasonic tcp 50 v10 plasma, Elite SC 27 receiver, ATC SCM 11 (L&R) and C3C with Orb Audio Mod2 (x4) surrounds, HP m9060n Media PC
btw, i am using the Benchmark DAC-1usb with my Mac/Meridien system that's now in the bedroom. the SC-27's built in dual dacs/upsampling *outperformed* the Benchmark DAC on my ATC monitors in my room, both with and without room correction.