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#251067 - 03/10/09 09:39 AM Pioneer Elite SC-05/07?
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
My current Pioneer Elite VSX-43TX from 2002 is officially slated for retirement this year.

I'm on the preorder list for Emotiva's UMC-1, but frankly I'm getting fed up with waiting for it. And the whole Axiom vs. Emotiva stuff has soured my feelings about them to some degree. I'm about to express my dissatisfaction with their project management by buying someting else.

I'm starting to research various other receivers. The Denon 3808 is an extremely popular one around here, and so I'm looking at that. But I have a soft spot for Pioneer Elite receivers, and I've found that I can get an SC-05 for a reasonable price. Does anyone have any experience with it?

If you do, sell me on it. What do you like? What do you dislike? Any problems in general? And if I'm lucky enough to find someone with an SC-05 and M80's - any problems running them? My 43TX is not happy running my M80's at *high* volume (thus the LPA-1). I assume the newer Elites are significantly better in this regard. But it may not matter to me as I can continue to use the LPA-1, though I'm up for selling it if the new receiver's amp section is up to the task.

I've read through about 150 pages of discussion about the SC-05/07 over on AVS and have learned a great deal. But I'd love to hear about it from a fellow Axiomite.

Thanks in advance!
_________________________
M80v2 | VP150v2 | QS8v2
SVS Pci+ 20-39
Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
M22ti + T-Amp, in the Office

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#251165 - 03/10/09 05:35 PM Re: Pioneer Elite SC-05/07? [Re: PeterChenoweth]
cb919 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 1041
Loc: Ottawa, Canada
Sorry can't be of immediate help, however I will be picking up my SC-05 last week of March along with the delivery of my new Axiom on-walls (W22's & W150). I will let you know how it goes. I chose the SC-05 because I liked the idea of the ICE amplification, the home media gallery (I put all media files on my NAS) and a well rated on screen GUI as well as good professional reviews. Won't be able to help with M80's specific feedback obviously. Feel free to prompt me with a PM come the end of March!
_________________________
Dan
In/On Wall 500 w M2 Center Channel

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#251167 - 03/10/09 06:01 PM Re: Pioneer Elite SC-05/07? [Re: cb919]
jakewash Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10398
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
Just run both W22s on one output and crank it up, this would simulate an M80 load quite nicely ;\)

Looking forward to your thoughts and some pics.
_________________________
Jason
-----------------
TTTHHHPPPPPTTTT!

My HT

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#251168 - 03/10/09 06:18 PM Re: Pioneer Elite SC-05/07? [Re: jakewash]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3448
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
 Originally Posted By: jakewash
Just run both W22s on one output and crank it up, this would simulate an M80 load quite nicely ;\)

It's funny that you would say that. That's the one thing which the SC-07 seemed to have a lot trouble (according to the Audioholics' review), running into one full bandwidth channel with a 4 Ohm load. Anything above 5kHz would shut the amp down when going higher than 100 Watts. Two channels with 4 Ohms each were fine providing 150 W/c. The reviewer found this to be strange (that one channel would provide less power than 2), but figured it had something to do with the symmetrical load balancing on the power supply.

This matters little in the real world. Especially considering that even the M80 is well above 4 Ohms at frequencies >5kHz
_________________________
Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K, PDP-5020FD, DV-79AVi
Axiom M22s, VP150, QS8s
Sony PS3, surround backs
-Chris

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#251203 - 03/10/09 10:42 PM Re: Pioneer Elite SC-05/07? [Re: jakewash]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10372
Yeah Jay, and in some respects it would be a tougher test. The M22s drop to about 3ohms in an upper-midrange area(which would hit about 1.5 ohms in parallel)and are a bit less sensitive and require more power than M80s. Besides theory, practical tests with M22s in parallel a few years ago plus trying various receivers on a speaker owned by a colleague, having both a lower impedance curve and lower sensitivity than the M80s(Magnepan 1.6), are factors which lead me not to overestimate the difficulty in driving something like the M80s. Played at normally loud levels with even material having very wide dynamic range there should be no trouble in the vast majority of home systems. Of course almost anything can be forced to shut down if driven hard enough and long enough.
_________________________
-----------------------------------

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#251249 - 03/11/09 10:31 AM Re: Pioneer Elite SC-05/07? [Re: JohnK]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
Good stuff gents, thanks.

cb919, I'll keep you in mind. Once you get your system all fired up, do post your impressions of it. I'll be curious to see what you think of the SC-05.
_________________________
M80v2 | VP150v2 | QS8v2
SVS Pci+ 20-39
Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
M22ti + T-Amp, in the Office

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#251760 - 03/15/09 11:16 AM SC-05, in the house. [Re: PeterChenoweth]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
So while wandering around my local Best Buy:Magnolia store yesterday I discovered that they had SC-05's on sale for $899. Brand new. That's *half* MSRP, and equal to the cheapest online fly-by-night, no-warranty places I've seen for this receiver. And of course, easily returnable and with the full warranty since it's a real dealer, and I'll get a Blu-Ray or two worth of reward points, so I couldn't pass it up.

I figured, at best I was getting a great deal on a receiver that I've been looking at for awhile, and at worst I could just return it within 30 days.

So after a couple of hours of rewiring all of my gear (whew!), I've got it all hooked up. Since the main feature of this thing is its ICE Class D digital amplification section, I decided to remove the LPA-1 from the loop to see if the SC-05 could run M80's. It can. Easily. As measured with my standard demo material, I can hit spl levels even higher than the LPA-1 can. At my volume-tolerance level, I can just begin to hear my LPA-1 strain - just a bit. Not so with the SC-05. Extremely clean, even at absurd+++ volume levels. Wow. Anyone wanna buy an LPA-1? ;\) Anyone worried that the SC-05 (and the 07 & 09) might not handle the 4-ohm M80's, don't be. It barely got warm even while running through a few 'torture' tests. \:\)

I ran through a few sessions of the MCACC calibration. I like what it does. It's hard to explain but it definitely changes the characteristics of the sound. In my case, it really smoothed out the bass response. I've been struggling for years at taming a both boomy AND bright room, and this thing has fixed it. Very smooth & clean sound, from the deepest bass to the highest highs. The SQ seems really, really good. My wife and I spent about 4 hours just re-listening to music yesterday and we're both in agreement that it just sounds better. I have no idea if it's a difference between the 43tx vs the sc-5, the amp, or the MCACC. But we really like the change.

Everything else seems just fine. Source switching & signal acquisition & processing seem to work perfectly. No weird quirks that I can find.

Drawbacks? Well, there are a couple of annoyances...

1. I knew that it "only" had Faroudja video processing when I bought it. But what I didn't know is that the Pioneer Elites do absolutely nothing with HDMI input video. So there is no upscaling of digital video, only analog. I am somewhat disappointed in this because I had sort of wanted a good upscaler (Reon in the 876). But on the other hand, as I've thought about it I don't know *why* I think I need a good upscaler. All of my sources (Dish HD, PS3, AppleTV) are native 1080i or 1080p anyway, and the PQ looks fantastic to me. So I'm not sure why I think I need an AVR that upscales. Still, one less feature....

2. Lack of OSD. This is a bigger annoyance. It has an OSD for the setup - speaker sizes, MCACC calibration & graphing, etc. But it does not have any kind of OSD for volume, source, or processing modes (DD, DTS, etc). Well, it does if you buy a Kuro plasma I guess, but not for us lowly owners who can't afford them. Sure, it's on the 05's display, but it's impossible to read the itty-bitty 5mm tall status lights from across the room. I understand Pio's logic in saying that they don't want to touch the video. I get it. But other manufacturers don't seem to have an issue with that so I don't know why they do.

3. Global crossover only! I don't know how I missed this in the reviews, but this thing only has a single crossover for the whole system. Wow, how 2002. Would have been nice to be able to cross my M80's at a different point than my QS8's.

So, I am happy with it. If the fundamentals of what an AVR should do are sound quality & source processing, the SC-05 seems great. It's as solid as a rock (so far), with absolutely no quirky behaviors. I'm loving the one-cable HDMI connections between everything. Serious clean-up behind the AV Rack. And the sound quality, as I've said, seems to be outstanding. So for that, it's amazing. My Axiom's have never sounded so good and the music just sounds, well, alive.

I'm less thrilled with the lack of 'toys', as my wife puts it. I'm not sure it's a deal-breaker but it is a bit disappointing. The perfect-reputation of the Denon 3808 and the amazing array of features on the Onkyo TX-SR876 are tempting. In fact, I have nearly talked myself into ordering one or both of them to compare at home, and then returning the two that I like the least.

We shall see....
_________________________
M80v2 | VP150v2 | QS8v2
SVS Pci+ 20-39
Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
M22ti + T-Amp, in the Office

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#251774 - 03/15/09 11:56 AM Re: SC-05, in the house. [Re: PeterChenoweth]
jakewash Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10398
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
So when does the 3808 arrive?
_________________________
Jason
-----------------
TTTHHHPPPPPTTTT!

My HT

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#251782 - 03/15/09 01:03 PM Re: SC-05, in the house. [Re: jakewash]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
Not sure! A good friend just got a 3808 a few weeks ago. He's loving it. I've been meaning to stop by his house and check it out. I'm going to try to do that sometime this week. That will at least give me a feel for its features and so forth.

Though given the choice, on paper I think I like the the Onkyo better than the 3808. Though there are just *so many* happy 3808 owners, I can't ignore it. \:\)


Edited by PeterChenoweth (03/15/09 01:11 PM)
_________________________
M80v2 | VP150v2 | QS8v2
SVS Pci+ 20-39
Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
M22ti + T-Amp, in the Office

Top
#251784 - 03/15/09 01:44 PM Re: SC-05, in the house. [Re: PeterChenoweth]
cb919 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 1041
Loc: Ottawa, Canada
Peter,
That was a heck of a deal for the SC-05. Good to hear your experiences so far. Let us know if you get to do a direct comparo with the 3808.

I will be buying the SC-05 in about a week so if you have a good reason to reconsider something else (like the 3808) I'd like to hear it soon! I am currently on vacation in Myrtle Beach but will be setting everything up next week when I'm back home.

Thanks for the negative points being stated so clearly, but I think the positive (for me) outweighs the negative. The only one that slightly concerns me is the global crossover, although with W-22's. W-150 and QS8's I don't think this will be a big issue for me. It's more for future flexibility.

Glad to hear you liked the ICE amps though. I'll be watching this thread closely .
_________________________
Dan
In/On Wall 500 w M2 Center Channel

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