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The newer SC AVRs from Pioneer feature an improved CLASS D ICE AMP over previous generations.

Better is subjective and depends on what you need. What is your criteria for a new AVR?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well i need an AV reciever than can drive 4ohm speakers ( Monitor Statements ) . I know they can both drive them . I know the the SC-57 was top of the line last year with great reviews , just wondering if the newer models like SC -61 is just as good or better for cheaper ?
 

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In my opinion it's going to be better or improved over the previous generation. If you need to drive 4ohm speakers, I would also look at Marantz or Yamaha's Adventage line. Last years top model aventage can be had for about $1200 and it's much different than this years model, except for some simple internet services.

I have heard the current gen Pioneer SC-xx and it is a bit too warm, bass is a bit too over driven. And the Yamaha was good but a tad sterile (at times, underwhelmed) and didn't have the bloated bass of the Pioneer; but it does contain one of a beefy amplifer. I felt the Marantz was more refined, musical, and the best balance between Pioneer and Yamaha.
 

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I have heard the current gen Pioneer SC-xx and it is a bit too warm, bass is a bit too over driven. And the Yamaha was good but a tad sterile (at times, underwhelmed) and didn't have the bloated bass of the Pioneer; but it does contain one of a beefy amplifer. I felt the Marantz was more refined, musical, and the best balance between Pioneer and Yamaha.
With all due respect to 8086, I would not pay too much attention to the reviews of an amplifiers "sound". There are a plethora of people who voice their opinions on the sound of an amp and they are not consistent. It is my humble opinion that the sound differences between amps, if they exist at all, are overwhelmed by the speaker selected, it's location /room interaction, and any equalization / sound correction applied by the automated systems contained in most receivers.

For example, if the Pioneer was really "bit too warm, bass is a bit too over driven", this would be easily measurable as a variation in frequency response, but it does not show up in specs or test results. I have no idea what "a tad sterile" means, but tube amps are considered to sound warm and do so because they have higher levels of even order harmonics and these are readily apparent in equipment testing.

I know that 8086 believes very strongly otherwise and continues to post his impressions as facts. He is certainly entitled to his opinion and I expect he will continue to express it. Please keep in mind that there are many that feel as I do, and still others who listen to these same amps and conclude they have very different sound than what 8086 posts.

I think it is more important to look at features, reliability (difficult to do), design / looks, interface / ease of use, warranty, and price. Most specs are relatively useless as distortions / noise etc. test well below audibility. Power difference are of limited value because we hear logarithmically which means we need 10 times the power to sound twice as loud, while doubling the power is barely noticeable.
 

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With all due respect to 8086, I would not pay too much attention to the reviews of an amplifiers "sound". There are a plethora of people who voice their opinions on the sound of an amp and they are not consistent. It is my humble opinion that the sound differences between amps, if they exist at all, are overwhelmed by the speaker selected, it's location /room interaction, and any equalization / sound correction applied by the automated systems contained in most receivers.

For example, if the Pioneer was really "bit too warm, bass is a bit too over driven", this would be easily measurable as a variation in frequency response, but it does not show up in specs or test results. I have no idea what "a tad sterile" means, but tube amps are considered to sound warm and do so because they have higher levels of even order harmonics and these are readily apparent in equipment testing.

I know that 8086 believes very strongly otherwise and continues to post his impressions as facts. He is certainly entitled to his opinion and I expect he will continue to express it. Please keep in mind that there are many that feel as I do, and still others who listen to these same amps and conclude they have very different sound than what 8086 posts.

I think it is more important to look at features, reliability (difficult to do), design / looks, interface / ease of use, warranty, and price. Most specs are relatively useless as distortions / noise etc. test well below audibility. Power difference are of limited value because we hear logarithmically which means we need 10 times the power to sound twice as loud, while doubling the power is barely noticeable.
Bells and Whistles like internet software are no replacement for quality amplification and overall sound quality.. after all it is a receivers main duty to deliver a clean and pure signal to the speakers.

The differences in bass was greatly noticeable between the three on B&W CM series speakers. Treble on the SC- Elite wasn't as refined as it was on the Yamaha or Marantz. A recent audioholics review even said the same thing I heard about the Advetage. You can hear it for yourself, go find a dealer that sells all three product lines, like my local Magnolia.

(review to be posted when i find it)
 

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Bells and Whistles like internet software are no replacement for quality amplification and overall sound quality.. after all it is a receivers main duty to deliver a clean and pure signal to the speakers.

The differences in bass was greatly noticeable between the three on B&W CM series speakers. Treble on the SC- Elite wasn't as refined as it was on the Yamaha or Marantz. A recent audioholics review even said the same thing I heard about the Advetage. You can hear it for yourself, go find a dealer that sells all three product lines, like my local Magnolia.

(review to be posted when i find it)
I don't mean to pick on you. I am concerned that newbies might read the pronouncement and pick their amp because of perceived sound differences that are not real. Similar posts are prolific on this website, and by many different people.

To start:
http://www.hometheatershack.com/audiolies.pdf

I would suggest looking at #10 as it fits here.

For example, if the Pioneer really did sound "a bit too warm" and "the bass was greatly noticeable" then this would be obvious on the frequency response curves, or perhaps frequency vs. power output. Even more important, if it were obvious, it would be in every review of the amp.

http://www.hometheater.com/content/pioneer-elite-sc-61-av-receiver

On page 2, "the SC-61 handily aced those thundering passages" and this reviewer raves about the ability of this amp to handle bass passages and does not characterize as "too warm or over driven". If the defect you mention is "greatly noticeable", how can it be missed by this professional reviewer?

I cannot even begin to understand what "treble.. wasn't as refined" means, but the review found no deficiency in that area. "The receiver’s top end was far from vague—David Cross’ violin was detailed and natural". That hardly sounds not "as refined". I can only conclude that for the Pioneer SC-XX models do not have the "greatly noticeable" defects that you mention in your comments.

"The Yamaha was good but a tad sterile (at times underwhelmed)". I have no clue what that means. Sterile is lack of warmth?

http://www.hometheater.com/content/yamaha-rx-a1020-av-receiver-page-2

Again, if the Yamaha defect was "greatly noticeable", where is it in the review linked above that states, "its clean amplification brings authority to movie soundtrack elements and nuanced harmonics to well-recorded music. The more I listened to it, the more I liked it, until finally it moved into “I could live with this” territory. Highly recommended. " This does not sound like it is a "tad sterile".

I don't know how you heard it so differently. It might be that you knew what product line you were listening to as all of us are subject to the Placebo Effect. Or it could be that the amps were not perfectly balanced. This is an old salesman trick. A small difference of even 0.1 db in volume can lead to subjective difference in sound.

I suspect you can find subjective reviews to support your point of view. If these sound differences are "greatly noticeable" why are there so many different opinions about the same product?

Personally, I ignore most of the subjective parts of reviews. I used to pour over magazine that claimed to hear profound differences in amps. Then, one day, some of these "golden ears" participated in a carefully controlled (meaning volumes were balanced and the amps were not driven to clipping) blind listening test and these profound differences disappeared. Those "golden ears" were pyrite.

I stand by my statement that the major differences in amps / receivers are features, reliability, design / looks, interface / ease of use, warranty and price. If the auto equalization is important to you, Audyssey (and what flavor of it) vs. MCACC, vs. YPAO are likely important - but I am having trouble finding facts about how they work and their differences. Bells and whistles are important to some people (AirPlay, streaming, apps, etc).
 
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