Originally Posted by OldSchoolMETAL
Any chance of getting recording loops back into production as well as a healthy assortment of analog a/v and digital audio connections to keep compatibility with music oriented equipment as well as older A/V equipment???
Comments on this and other areas for improvement:Tape loops
: Even though the original purpose of tape loops was to monitor the recording off the playback head on 3-head decks, which virtually no one uses anymore, it does serve other purposes, like making sure the recording deck is actually getting an undistorted signal. And if you don't need them as tape loops they actually also serve as extra inputs. Up until I bought the SC-55, I was still using an Apt-Holman preamp from 1980 that had absolutely terrific functionality, which I miss terribly. In a modern receiver, the tape loops should work in conjunction with zones so that you can send one signal to the recorder, monitor that when you want to, but also listen to something else.Phono Input
: I noticed on the new line that only the SC67 and SC68 have a phono input. It seems to me it should be the opposite: the lower end models should have the phono input because someone buying the higher end models is more likely to buy an external high-quality phono preamp (although I wouldn't take it away from the high-end part of the line). While there are many videophiles who don't care about music, the revival of vinyl (although still less than 2% of the physical audio media market), should, IMO, cause Pioneer to keep phono inputs on all models. Why give someone an excuse not to buy your receiver?Other Inputs
: Why no Coax out?Legacy Video connections
- While everyone has their own opinion on what legacy connections are still necessary, does anyone these days really need more than one composite, one s-Video (even though Pioneer has already dropped them completely) and one (maybe two) component?
- The SC-68 has 3 component in and 2 out. Is that necessary when there's also the new HDMI Zone 4?
- In an HD age, does it really make sense to have Zone 2/3 composite video out at all? Who buys a high-end receiver and is okay watching SD analog video?
- What's the point of composite video in/out from/to a DVR or BDR?
- And how come we're not seeing a Thunderbolt input port as yet?Product Line
: IMO, there are three very distinct kinds of users:
- those with large homes, room for 7.x, 9.x or 11.x speakers and multiple rooms to feed signals to.
- those who want high quality, but live in small spaces or apartments and still have some analog or non-HDMI sources
- someone who has only HDMI sources + an MP3 player or iPod or computer.
I'm in the second group and while I want the highest possible audio quality, I'm never going to go beyond 5.1 and I'm never going to wire up the other rooms (wireless zones might make a lot of sense, though).
A user in the third group might want the same high audio quality as the top-of-the-line, but they only need 4 HDMI in (max), 1 out (with ARC), an input for the MP3 and that's it. Strip a receiver model down to the essentials, add the equivalent of an outboard D/A into the receiver and market it as a true digital receiver.
So maybe it's time to have different receivers for those different types of users so you can remove functions that each group will never use and replace those with other improvements that they will use.EQ
- I'm an ex-recording engineer and while hearing is believing (and I haven't heard it yet), I really have to wonder whether Sub-EQ really makes much difference, except perhaps to dip out resonant frequencies, however I'll admit that from a marketing perspective, there are tons here who want to see it.
- What I'd really like to see instead is 1/3-octave equalization on the "main" frequencies. I'm assuming that MCACC uses the same frequencies in the auto setup mode that we see when we set the EQ manually, which is nowhere near enough.UI/Sound Modes
- I find these modes terribly confusing, especially the relationship between them. These need to be organized in a better way. I can never tell when I engage certain modes whether I've turned off the other mode or whether they're working in conjunction with each other and what that means. Where is it documented what Auto does and what Optimal does?
- And although the new OSD might resolve some of this issue, isn't it time for a top-of-the-line receiver to have a bitmapped color display?
- I realize that you do it for the neophytes who have no idea how to setup the receiver, but having these pre-labeled inputs actually cause more confusion, IMO. I think they should simply be numbered, then you set them up as you like. It's never made sense to me that you treat HDMI differently than the other inputs in that the HDMI input jacks are pre-labeled like the other jacks, but from a switching perspective, you also have HDMI 1-4. Also, in setup, you should select each input from the HDMI, digital coax, digital optical, composite, component and analog audio jacks and if one hooks up multiples for the same input, be able to switch between all of them from the front panel button and the remote. In the SC-55, you can run out of input selection before you run out of input jacks.
- I see you've renamed the jack, so have you fixed the issue where if you used the ARC, you couldn't also use the TV/Sat input? I always thought that should have been switchable from the input function (or automatic - if the TV wasn't feeding an ARC signal back to the receiver and the analog or digital audio input was used, it would pick up that signal.)WiFi/Bluetooth
: I realize you want to market to certain price points, but it's time these were built in.
IMO, if Pioneer would like to "own" this market (which I realize is relatively small), it's time to re-think what a receiver is and we need to see more than these small incremental updates year after year.