Pioneer shows SC-LX901 AVR with 11 amplifiers at CEDIA 2016 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 36 Old 09-25-2016, 12:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Pioneer SC-LX901 AVR with 11 amplifiers Demo at CEDIA 2016

Last year, there was only one 11-channel AVR on the market. This year, there are several. With Dolby Atmos and DTS X gaining in popularity, Pioneer has taken the logical step of introducing an AV receiver that offers 11 built-in channels of amplification. Now, it's possible to use an Elite receiver to power an entire 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos-enabled speaker system with one box using the Pioneer Elite SC-LX901 ($3000), which is the company's flagship.


The Pioneer Elite SC-LX901 at CEDIA 2016. Photo by Mark Henninger

This Elite receiver deploys class-D amplification that is capable of simultaneously driving all 11 channels with a total of 850 watts of power (1% THD, 1000 Hz). According to pioneer, this is superior to the typical performance of class-AB amplifiers found in many competing AV receivers, which is limited to between 300 watts and 400 watts of total output power using the same metric.


Inside the Elite SC-LX901. Photo by Mark Henninger

Aside from the all-channel-driven figure, power output for the SC-LX901 is rated at 140 W per channel (two channels) into an 8-ohm load, with 0.08% total harmonic distortion. Measured at 1 kHz. It's all a fancy way of saying you'll possibly get a couple extra decibels of output from this receiver, thanks to its use of class D amps.

Like all the latest receivers and pre-pros from major manufacturers, Pioneer's new Elite handles all the latest video formats (4K, HDR, WCG, 4:4:4 color, 60p) thanks to the inclusion of HDMI 2.0a connections with HDCP 2.2 support.

Intriguingly, this AVR supports Google cast, which has emerged as a personal favorite (of mine) among the many multi-room, networked audio ecosystems. With this forthcoming feature—it requires a future firmware update—it'll be possible to stream music from hundreds of applications, on Macs, PCs, plus Android and iOS platforms.

The SC-LX901 ($3000) is a heavyweight when it comes to decoding high-res audio formats. It handles stereo DSD at up to an 11.2 MHz sample rate. Audio processing is performed in a 32-bit computing space, and it can decode a wide variety of PCM formats that can be played through USB, HDMI, optical, coaxial digital, or noetworked/streaming input.

Connectivity options including eight HDMI inputs and two HDMI outputs. Wi-Fi is built-in, and so is Bluetooth, plus there is an Ethernet port for fast, realible Internet and LAN connection, and even analog video plus audio inputs. What's distinctly new for 2016 is an updated graphic user interface for Pioneer's Elite receivers. It makes menu navigation, system configuration, and feature selection easier than the primitive DOS-like menus that came before.

Pioneer's MCACC Pro automatic room-tuning software is included, and the company touts the correction of phase differences as a differentiating factor from other automated room correction solutions.
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post #2 of 36 Old 09-25-2016, 01:50 PM
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Pioneer's MCACC Pro automatic room-tuning software is included, and the company touts the correction of phase differences as a differentiating factor from other automated room correction solutions.
And isn't Pioneer going to be switching to Dirac Live room correction.
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post #3 of 36 Old 09-25-2016, 02:11 PM - Thread Starter
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And isn't Pioneer going to be switching to Dirac Live room correction.
That certainly is what Dirac says, and that would be great but I guess that's for future models. Also, I wonder what's happening with DTS Play-Fi, which Onkyo and Pioneer recently said they will support.

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post #4 of 36 Old 09-25-2016, 02:23 PM
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^ The announcement was only this April 21, probably way to soon against these models to incorporate Dirac over MCACC pro if that is what they choose to do.

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post #5 of 36 Old 09-25-2016, 02:30 PM
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Just beautiful- I have always loved the Pioneer Elite range- top quality!!
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post #6 of 36 Old 09-25-2016, 02:48 PM
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I wonder what influence Onkyo has had on these new products compared to the last generation. Whats interesting to me is the new menu system....

Ive been thinking about picking up an SC99 now that the price should be coming down but Id like to see how it would compare with the SC-LX801 (the next model down from the 901) or if its even worth it.

http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PU...lite+Receivers

Ive checked their website and looked at images of the back input on the top 2 models 901 and 801 and im not seeing a USB in on the back like they did for the SC99...

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post #7 of 36 Old 09-25-2016, 05:08 PM
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Love the power ratings!

Does Onkyo just use the 1 KHz 1% distortion at non-standard ohms ratings only or do they publish realistic ones along with the inflated ratings? Yamaha has their marketing ratings but also includes FTC normal ratings. The sticker on the front says 200 watts which I find rather tacky for $3,000...

So the power supply when adjusted to normal specs would be around 600 watts--not bad as Class D can cram more power and efficiency in a smaller space. Get the L/C/R on their own outboard amp channels and the 600 watt power supply should feed the surround channels nicely.

I'm sure the 11 channel amps will be a lot of fun on the test bench. When/if you ever test one that way, it would be interesting to just load the surround channels only to inform the consumer what it is capable of with the LCR going to outboard amps.
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post #8 of 36 Old 09-25-2016, 07:55 PM
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My Pioneer receiver died after about two years of very light use. As a longtime Pioneer user, that really turned me off and I now am hesitant to purchase another Pioneer in the future, even though this one sure looks sweet. My Denon receiver that I bought in 1999 is still running strong, with the exception of a high pitched whine from the internal cooling fan.

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post #9 of 36 Old 09-25-2016, 07:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Five28 View Post
My Pioneer receiver died after about two years of very light use. As a longtime Pioneer user, that really turned me off and I now am hesitant to purchase another Pioneer in the future, even though this one sure looks sweet. My Denon receiver that I bought in 1999 is still running strong, with the exception of a high pitched whine from the internal cooling fan.
One thing I'm learning with review gear is equipment defects and failures happen, and while it's easy to let a bad experience "taint" a brand, the reality is all brands (and models) have their lemons.

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post #10 of 36 Old 09-25-2016, 08:27 PM
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How long is the warranty, I like five years that way at least you don't feel like you have been ripped-off!

2017 should be interesting!

http://www.dirac.com/news/2016/4/19/...t-with-pioneer

We will also see the Marantz 8803 hopefully

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post #11 of 36 Old 09-26-2016, 12:58 AM
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So, for $3k can I run my center channel at a different crossover point than my mains yet?...or not.

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post #12 of 36 Old 09-26-2016, 03:59 AM - Thread Starter
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So, for $3k can I run my center channel at a different crossover point than my mains yet?...or not.
I am afraid not. First question I asked.
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post #13 of 36 Old 09-26-2016, 06:38 AM
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From all my contacts over the years with Chris Walker, formerly Pioneer's home audio manager (now with ELAC ), Pioneer will not give up their approach to using a global single crossover. According to him, Pioneer's audio engineers place a high priority on preserving phase integrity and they felt multiple Xovers would degrade that.

Never say never, especially being owned by Onkyo, but....they haven't changed yet!

As far as this model is concerned, this long-time Pioneer Elite fan(boy) - me - thinks this is close to perfect but I am very disappointed that it looks like Pioneer dropped the USB-DAC, multichannel analog inputs (for the 2nd time - last year they put them back but dropped them again this year) and I can find no mention of other long-time features on their website - 192Khz-32 bit audio upscaling being one.

Maybe some of them are really there but they are missing from the specs with a "---" next to the feature.
And I know Denon is doing this as well, but this move to power ratings at 1% THD, 1 ch driven, is lame - for all mfgs using it or other 1 ch driven derivative, I give them a raspberry. Still, Pioneer's class D amps will come closer to giving larger power than class A/B types but it's still a lame way to rate AVRs IMHO. I know it's the 11 channels that's behind this but trying to disguise physics isn't going to convince an informed audio fan. A casual BB buyer, yes and that is the sad truth of it - people are impressed by a larger number even if it's a meaningless one.

Those that still may remember me as an an active poster in Pioneer threads, I still have my SC-09TX, the most powerful HT AVR made and an SC-68. While I've have made progress to putting in an Atmos setup by installing overheads, I still have an AVR-prepro to buy and have held off for nearly 2 yrs until all the pieces were in place for Atmos-dts-x-4K UHD.

I've strongly considering the Marantz 8802A, but I would strongly add this new Pioneer to my list IF only it had multichannel analogs in's. I wish Pioneer hadn't dropped them. I may be in a minority but I do need them if I am to ever replace my SC-09TX. So sadly I have to pass on the SC-LX901.

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me - thinks this is close to perfect but I am very disappointed that it looks like Pioneer dropped the USB-DAC, multichannel analog inputs (for the 2nd time - last year they put them back but dropped them again this year) and I can find no mention of other long-time features on their website - 192Khz-32 bit audio upscaling being one. Still, Pioneer's class D amps will come closer to giving larger power than class A/B types but it's still a lame way to rate AVRs IMHO. I know it's the 11 channels that's behind this but trying to disguise physics isn't going to convince an informed audio fan. A casual BB buyer, yes and that is the sad truth of it - people are impressed by a larger number even if it's a meaningless one.

Those that still may remember me as an an active poster in Pioneer threads, I still have my SC-09TX, the most powerful HT AVR made and an SC-68. While I've have made progress to putting in an Atmos setup by installing overheads, I still have an AVR-prepro to buy and have held off for nearly 2 yrs until all the pieces were in place for Atmos-dts-x-4K UHD.

I've strongly considering the Marantz 8802A, but I would strongly add this new Pioneer to my list IF only it had multichannel analogs in's. I wish Pioneer hadn't dropped them. I may be in a minority but I do need them if I am to ever replace my SC-09TX. So sadly I have to pass on the SC-LX901.
I am building a Atmos HT, and so far I am going to go with the Marantz 8802A and the D-Sonic amps. Would you say that is still the best way to go? Thanks for any help.
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post #15 of 36 Old 09-26-2016, 08:52 AM
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I am building a Atmos HT, and so far I am going to go with the Marantz 8802A and the D-Sonic amps. Would you say that is still the best way to go? Thanks for any help.
I know D-Sonic used to use Icepower modules but maybe doing something more proprietary now; you'd have to check with them if it makes a difference.

But in any event, they are certainly an excellent option for a high power multichannel amp - if you need that much power for your speakers & space As a Magnepan owner, I have looked at their products & Wyred4Sound's, Maggies being both low efficiency & 4 ohm. So for me, high powered amps are needed. For someone with a speaker like a Klipsch, it's kind of a waste

On the combo, you can't go wrong with the Marantz either, based on reviews, discussions with 2 seller and owner threads. Although for me, no matter what I buy, at some point I would add Dirac using a miniDSP vs staying with Audyssey. I have no experience with Audyssey but one advantage of Pioneer's MCACC is you can have presets with your own target curves which you can't do with Audyssey out of the box in the Marantz 8802A. For most, this isn't an issue but maybe for some.

I would say you've picked one of the best combinations, if you need the power and if you want a reasonably priced, high quality prepro. It's a good choice for sure.

One comment that I know I've struggled with is - how much power do you really need for overheads or Dolby enabled modules? IMHO, the power levels that D-Sonic amp modules can hit, from 400 to 1000+ wpc isn't going to be needed for overheads, so maybe they'd consider customizing a solution for lower pwr in the 2 or 4 overhead channels or get one hi-pwr DSonic and a lower pwr amp from Emotiva, Monoprice Monolith, Outlaw, ATI, etc. I would think 150-200 8 ohm wpc would suffice for vast majority of overhead or DE Atmos modules.

Sorry to pollute this Pioneer specific model post but wanted to answer your question.

You could also consider this SC-LX901 as a prepro with the amps or look at last year's SC-99. It depends on features or qualities in both that you value the most. I can only speak for me, but unless this Pioneer had met all my needs, I'll still probably end up going with the 8802A myself. I was hoping the SC-LX901 would meet my needs as I would have liked to consider it but as soon as I saw the rear photo showing no multichannel analog inputs, I had to drop it from consideration.

I really wish Pioneer had kept the inputs & the unique USB-DAC features! If they had, I would have seriously considered not going with the 8802 since Audyssey vs MCACC was never a reason for me to switch and in the longer term I'm thinking of adding the miniDSP Dirac boxes no matter what I buy.

FWIW

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post #16 of 36 Old 09-26-2016, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Five28 View Post
My Pioneer receiver died after about two years of very light use. As a longtime Pioneer user, that really turned me off and I now am hesitant to purchase another Pioneer in the future, even though this one sure looks sweet. My Denon receiver that I bought in 1999 is still running strong, with the exception of a high pitched whine from the internal cooling fan.
Pioneer Elite receivers have a 3 year warranty.
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post #17 of 36 Old 09-26-2016, 09:01 AM
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^^
which is a 50% improvement over what it used to be - 2 yrs That's definitely a plus!

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post #18 of 36 Old 09-26-2016, 09:43 AM
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Darn. I keep hoping a 16 channel pre pro or receiver will come out of Cedia. I have my heart set on a 3 row atmos layout in the future, but it'd be a compromise to the listening positions to use a receiver like this.
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Darn. I keep hoping a 16 channel pre pro or receiver will come out of Cedia. I have my heart set on a 3 row atmos layout in the future, but it'd be a compromise to the listening positions to use a receiver like this.
there's always the Trinnov Altitude or a Datasat

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Meh.

MCACC is so far behind in "proper" acoustics it's mind boggling how people still pay $3,000 for a receiver that does nothing special in the sound department.
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Meh.

MCACC is so far behind in "proper" acoustics it's mind boggling how people still pay $3,000 for a receiver that does nothing special in the sound department.
You realize a $70 sound meter from Radio Shack can go a long way to take care of that, right?
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there's always the Trinnov Altitude or a Datasat
Ya smart***!
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Meh.

MCACC is so far behind in "proper" acoustics it's mind boggling how people still pay $3,000 for a receiver that does nothing special in the sound department.
I disagree. Ive had both Pioneer Elite using MCACC Pro and a Marantz SR7010 and I was consistently disappointed with the way Audyssey handled things.

Thats not to say that one is more inferior than the other, just that for me I prefer the sound Pioneer gives me after its calibration than I do with Audyssey. Just a personal preference in sound.

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I am afraid not. First question I asked.


It would've been mine as well.


I don't know many people...okay, I personally don't know anybody who is running 5+ equally capable speakers in a HT setup. Heck, I've got three different speaker types from three different manufacturers, and it was by choice...mostly.


For a modern flagship AVR that has the ability to decode a thousand formats and bitrates to not even have the ability to vary the crossover point between different speaker types/positions is just silly. Their competition has been dong it for a while now.

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post #25 of 36 Old 09-27-2016, 01:01 AM
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Darn. I keep hoping a 16 channel pre pro or receiver will come out of Cedia. I have my heart set on a 3 row atmos layout in the future, but it'd be a compromise to the listening positions to use a receiver like this.
Things are moving in the wrong direction for that to happen with all the manufacturers that offered front wides dropping them in the 2016 models. 7.1.4 will be the standard for quite a while I'm afraid. There are however affordable workarounds if you want 16 channels as you can see in my signature.

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When did they go to a 3 year warranty?

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post #27 of 36 Old 09-28-2016, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by adrummingdude View Post
So, for $3k can I run my center channel at a different crossover point than my mains yet?...or not.
Quote:
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From all my contacts over the years with Chris Walker, formerly Pioneer's home audio manager (now with ELAC ), Pioneer will not give up their approach to using a global single crossover. According to him, Pioneer's audio engineers place a high priority on preserving phase integrity and they felt multiple Xovers would degrade that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by adrummingdude View Post
I personally don't know anybody who is running 5+ equally capable speakers in a HT setup. Heck, I've got three different speaker types from three different manufacturers, and it was by choice...mostly.

For a modern flagship AVR that has the ability to decode a thousand formats and bitrates to not even have the ability to vary the crossover point between different speaker types/positions is just silly. Their competition has been dong it for a while now.


I guess this is why it's for the Elite?!?!
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post #28 of 36 Old 09-28-2016, 10:19 AM
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Darn. I keep hoping a 16 channel pre pro or receiver will come out of Cedia. I have my heart set on a 3 row atmos layout in the future, but it'd be a compromise to the listening positions to use a receiver like this.
I'm hoping for this too. Actually what I really want to see is less amps in AVR's and more external solutions from AVR company's. Marantz years ago had "small" mono amps, I think a slim AVR sized 3 channel amp would work wonders for most companies. Keep the 9-11 channel amps in the lower end models and lower the channels in higher end AVR's. And I still don't know why we don't see sub $1000 pre-pro's from everybody with 11+ RCA's out.
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post #29 of 36 Old 09-28-2016, 01:37 PM
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Mark: Great review as usual. I have always been a Pioneer customer and still have my Elite VSX-03. When comparing 2 new receivers (the 901 & 801), I noticed that both had 4K 60 Ultra HD pass through but not 4K Ultra HD Pass through. Would this be important when purchasing a new 4K tv? I stopped by the Pioneer booth when I went to CES in NYC and was told about the new line of receivers especially the 11 channel unit..thanks in advance.. Matt

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post #30 of 36 Old 09-28-2016, 02:31 PM
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Why is it that no one seems to be able to tell you, other than the extra 2 amped channels - what the difference between the 901 and this years SC-99 is?

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