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The top-end AVR floodgates have opened and Pioneer Electronics is joining the party. On Friday, the company announced three new Elite receivers that round-off the upper echelon of its 2015 Elite offerings. Designated as the SC-99, SC-97, and SC-95, these new receivers are primed and ready to tackle all of the audio and visual demands expected for the foreseeable future.



The new Elite SC-99.


The new SC receivers are packed with tech to bring immersive audio and Ultra HD video into the home, including support of both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X audio codecs. On the video side, each receiver supports 4K UHD, 60 frames per second, 4:4:4 color, and 24-bit signals; HDCP 2.2 and HDR are supported. Pioneer is also including “Super Resolution,” which is a 4K UHD technology that allows 4K signals to appear more detailed, natural, and realistic.

Pioneer is continuing its push of Class D-3 amplifiers with each model. These amps have tested well in the past and should be major assets to these units’ home performance capabilities. The company also touts the employment of two SABRE-32 Ultra DACs from ESS Technology, along with the incorporation of new Anti-Standing Wave Insulators that inhibit vibration and standing waves occurring in the insulators.

The star of the show is the SC-99, priced at a cool $2,500 MSRP. It has 9.2 output capabilities, but can run Atmos in 7.2.4 and 9.2.2 with the aide of an external amplifier (which is the industry standard for top-of-the-line amplifiers in 2015). Of course, owners can skip those configurations and run 7.2.2 and 5.2.4 Atmos deployments with the SC-99 in stand alone status. Thus far, all indicators say that Atmos in the home is best heard with seven surround channels, so buyers looking to incorporate four ceiling speakers should definitely consider budgeting to purchase an outboard amplifier.



The backside of the new SC-97.


The SC-99 also carries Pioneer’s top shelf calibration suite, MCACC Pro. Using an included microphone, MCACC Pro analyzes an acoustic environment and enacts equalization parameters to create the best sound possible. Owners can expect the system to attack all of the standard issues including phase lag and room issues in relation to low frequency effects. MCACC is a proven calibration suite and we have no reason to suspect that the Pro version will deliver anything less than top-notch results.

The SC-99 pumps-out 140 Watts per channel (8 ohms, 1 kHz, 2 channel driven), can handle 4 ohm speakers, and is Energy Star 3.0 certified. The SC-97 and SC-95 are also powerful, sporting 140W and 135W per channel respectively. Perspective buyers can assume that all three units offer fairly standard wireless connectivity via WiFi (dual band 2.5 and 5 GHz) and Bluetooth. AirPlay, Windows 8.1, and DLNA are also supported and present. Of course there’s also internet radio features, with support for the likes of vTuner, Pandora, and Spotify.

The SC-99, SC-97 and SC-95 are priced $2,500 (MSRP), $2,000, and $1,500 respectively, and offer buyers a wide price range of offerings to achieve 7.2.4 Atmos sound in a home environment – a first in the industry. Home Theater Shack has contacted Pioneer about reviewing one of these models in the future, so stay tuned! If you’re currently in the market for a new receiver, you’ll be pleased to know that all three models have been released and can purchased now.

Image Credit: Pioneer Electronics
 

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You know my first Pioneer was the DSX D509S fifteen years ago. Around that time there was as far as I know no auto calibration. The unit was still very nice.
I wish I could experience the MCACC since mine didn't have any at the time.
Either way Pioneer makes solid units.

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Mine. I'm a huge fan of class-D amplification, but Pioneer's until-now lack of upper tier models sporting Atmos AND HDCP 2.2 was a deal breaker.

But here we are! I'm checking the website daily; I'm getting one as soon as they become available. The thing that I find most interesting is that by looking at their website, the three units are remarkably similar; the only real differences between them is a slight wattage increase, AIR studios certification on the upper two, and a different transformer on the $2500 model. Otherwise, they share the same features.
 

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Not to top my hand... But I have an SC-99 in possession for a review! No promises, but I'm gunning for an early July publish.
I would make a good security guard for ya !!!
 

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I read that MCACC PRO takes care of standing waves. Do all other correction software do this?

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