Pioneer Elite VSX-60 VS. SC-61 - New to the home audio world - PLEASE HELP - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 01-01-2013, 02:11 AM - Thread Starter
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I have just entered the world of high end audio and could really use some help. I have just purchased a set of MartinLogan Motion 40 towers, ML Motion 4 rears, ML Motion 8 center, and the Pioneer VSX-60 receiver. I have been slowly setting them up but they seem to be missing something.

I was wondering if I should upgrade to a class D amp receiver like the SC-61, or if it wont make much of a difference in sound quality from my A/B VSX-60. Would I be better off just upgrading my center channel to the larger ML Motion 30? I use my speakers mainly as a home theater, so replicating the movie theater experience is the most important aspect to me. Are class D amp receivers worth the price hike (about $400 more than what I paid for the 60)?

Any help would be greatly appreciated as I am trying to learn as much as I can about this new exciting world. Thank you in advance for any tips.
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post #2 of 16 Old 01-01-2013, 02:46 AM
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Perhaps higher quality then what you're used to, but high end doesn't really start until you're in to at least the $5k-$20K/speaker range as speakers can go up to well over $150K each. Ideally the center speaker should be of equal or better quality than the FL/FR speakers when TV/movies make up the majority of your listening so upgrading the center speaker to the ML-30 would be a good start. Although not really familiar with either the VSX-60 or 61, the 61 would likely be a better choice as it is designed to power 4-ohm speakers, although I'd first see how the 60 handles the 4-ohm Martin Logan speakers and if more power is needed, then upgrade to the 61.

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post #3 of 16 Old 01-01-2013, 05:00 AM
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Did you buy a subwoofer? If you don't have a good sub your home theater will always sound like it's lacking something.
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post #4 of 16 Old 01-01-2013, 10:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for the information, it was very helpful. How would I go about seeing if the VSX-60 has enough power? The 60 only has 8 ohm power output, is this really limiting my speakers?

I also forgot to mention that I am using the ML Dynamo 500, 10" powered sub.
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post #5 of 16 Old 01-01-2013, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
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post #6 of 16 Old 02-06-2013, 08:30 PM
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Someone posts excited about the high end and the snobbery needs to kick in. You expose yourself as being sophomoric by writing this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post

Perhaps higher quality then what you're used to, but high end doesn't really start until you're in to at least the $5k-$20K/speaker range as speakers can go up to well over $150K each. Ideally the center speaker should be of equal or better quality than the FL/FR speakers when TV/movies make up the majority of your listening so upgrading the center speaker to the ML-30 would be a good start. Although not really familiar with either the VSX-60 or 61, the 61 would likely be a better choice as it is designed to power 4-ohm speakers, although I'd first see how the 60 handles the 4-ohm Martin Logan speakers and if more power is needed, then upgrade to the 61.
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post #7 of 16 Old 02-06-2013, 08:48 PM
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A $2000.00 pair of speakers will always benefit from a better amp. The biggest benefit to the class d amps is not their 4 ohm capability but is in their ability to drive all the channels without any power lag. In other words, most receivers with traditional a/b amps will drop their power output when 5 or 7 channels are driven. The class d design maintains power across all the channels when driven hard. You can refer to the pioneer web site and watch their video on class d amps. If you compare the two at matched levels, the class d amps will have a more robust sound. Any Best Buy with a Magnolia should be able to demo the difference. Good Listening.
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post #8 of 16 Old 03-09-2013, 05:29 AM
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Hi KingGiant,
If you are using $2,000.00 speakers you might as well spend the extra for a Pioneer SC receiver.
I have the Elite VSX 60 in my Bedroom and the Elite VSX 53 in my living room, in both situations I love them!
They provide just what I need, they both sound great and have great video processing so my picture looks great on my HDTV's
I did not go for a SC such as the Elite SC61 because I live in a condo and "loudness" is not an option, if you know what I mean! LOL!
Though one of the D3 features is a more efficient multi/surround channel stability in 7.2 amplifiers, enjoyed at all volumes.

Product Sheet for the Elite VSX 60:
http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/ephox/StaticFiles/PUSA/Files/Home/VSX-60%20New%20Single%20Sheet.pdf
The Features in BOLD Black are the upgrades from the Elite VSX 42 to the Elite VSX 60 receiver.
For the $200.00 increase in price between the Elite VSX 42 at $450.00 and the Elite VSX 60 at $650.00 the features make it worth the extra $200.00.
Plus the Elite VSX 60 has a 2 year warranty compared to the 1 year warranty of the Elite VSX 42.

This Product Sheet for the Elite VSX 61, shows in the BOLD areas the differences between the VSX 60 and the SC61. http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/ephox/StaticFiles/PUSA/Files/Home/SC-61%20New%20Single%20Sheet.pdf
You will see:
1) 9.2 Pre-Outs / The VSX 60 has no Pre-Outs
2) Pre-Out Mode / See # 1
3) Zone Volume, Tone & Balance / Living in a Condo I do not need "Zones"
4) The D3 Power Amp / This is the biggest difference between the Elite VSX 60 (AB amp) and the Elite SC61
In my case I just didn't think that the D3 amp was worth the $450.00 increase in cost between the two receivers.

With each Product sheet the bold indicates upgrades from the previous model so check out the SC63 here:
http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/ephox/StaticFiles/PUSA/Files/Home/SC-63%20New%20Single%20Sheet.pdf
The only thing in bold is:
1) Aluminum Chassis
2) Digital Filter Slow Mode (96kHz)
3) PC Set-Up with Remote IP Maintenance
Are these upgrades worth a $200.00?

The SC65 upgrades to THX and more, you can see here:
http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/ephox/StaticFiles/PUSA/Files/Home/SC-65%20New%20Single%20Sheet.pdf

Bottom line is that you need to decide what you need in a AV receiver.
Sometimes purchasing "Features" that you may not need today but could use in the future is not a bad rationale, but if it's not in the near future and is more in the far off future,
I'd say wait, because if it's far off there will be more advances and you can just upgrade the entire AV receiver. If you get my drift!
So with me I did not need Pre-Outs, Zones, or SC D3.
You however may need some or all of those things.
Though Pre-Outs on a D3 A/V receiver don't make a lot of sense to me, your buying the receiver for the D3 amp, so what amp are you going to pre-out to?

Pioneer also has a great comparison feature.
Check here: Check off any three.....
http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PUSA/Home/AV-Receivers/ch.Elite+Receivers.Compare

Good Luck and I agree about the Best Buy Magnolia stores where you can hear and feel the Pioneer A/V Receivers.

Bud B
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post #9 of 16 Old 03-09-2013, 06:10 AM
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Pioneer sc1522 is more powerful than the sc61 and 4 ohms certified would take a look at that reciever
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post #10 of 16 Old 03-09-2013, 06:37 AM
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JDsmoothie says:
Quote:
Perhaps higher quality then what you're used to, but high end doesn't really start until you're in to at least the $5k-$20K/speaker range as speakers can go up to well over $150K each.

I think that there are many more levels to "High End" than your specs!
If someone spends thousands rather than hundreds on speakers, in my book that's "High End!"
If someone spends a thousand or more on a receiver, in my book that's "High End"

I understand that their are those that have unlimited funds and can and will spend thousands and thousands, probably even hire a company to set up and install their A/V environment.
But, for much much less the average Joe can have a great A/V environment in their home or condo.
Myself I have the Pioneer Elite VSX 60, B&W 685 bookshelf (L&R) Polk T15 Surrounds and Polk CS10 in my bedroom (at about $1500.00) and it sounds GREAT!
Living Room: Pioneer VSX 53, Pioneer Kuro sound Bar for Center Speaker, Polk T15's Surround speakers and vintage Technic SB-LX90 15" 3Way (L&R) speakers. at about $1300.00,
not sure how I'd price the Kuro's sound bar for the Ctr. speaker. The system rocks and puts big smiles on friends and relatives that visit.
Most people that I visit still use their CRT TV or HDTV's speakers or some may have an old "Stereo" receiver that they ran an RCA cord from the TV and have audio in their only front L&R speakers.
Or someone with a quasi surround bar and sub that they picked up at WalMart and they think is surround (even though they have no surround speakers) LOL!

You don't need to spend 5K to 150K for a Great A/V Surround Experience!
Think of it this way, when you go to any HDTV store and see 30 HDTV's LCD, LED, Plasma hanging on a wall next to each other and you are comparing HDTV to HDTV
and deciding which one looks great.
In the store and side by side you can see differences but when you get your HDTV home it will always look great, you will not notice any difference, because you do not have other HDTV's sitting next to it.
A Surround Sound environment is the same, mine sounds GREAT but I am not sitting in a $5,000.00 to $150,000.00 A/V surround environment day in and out to compare or even notice a difference.
If I stood in something like a Best Buy Magnolia store audio room and selected their most expensive speakers would it sound good, sure, but are those the only speakers that would sound good? No!
You can have your own "Great" A/V Surround Experience that for you (and most anyone you know) is definitely High End!

These are just my opinions and we all know what that's worth! LOL!
Just get out and do it, and if your here, your already High End...Your not listening to your 3 inch TV speakers! That's a big step right there!
Of course if I win the Lottery, I'll buy some of those Ultra "High End" components LOL!
I think that in the Upper Class that can afford these Ultra High End components, many times it's more for bragging rights than Great Sound!.
My Living Room Surround Experience at less than $1500.00 and Joe Rich's at $150,000.00 plus, does his really sound 150,000 times better!
That would be impossible!
It will surely look a lot more impressive with that WOW Factor that's for sure and it will be great talk at parties, but it will NEVER sound 150,000 times better than mine!

Well time for breakfast so I'm heading to my Living Room to Turn mine on and Enjoy!
You do the same!
Have a Great weekend!

Bud B
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post #11 of 16 Old 03-10-2013, 03:43 AM
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Hi Wronganswer,
This thread is the Elite VSX 60 vs the SC61 but since you brought it up.........

The Elite comparison to the SC1522 ($1599.00) is the Elite SC65 ($1600.00) and for the extra dollar you get an Elite with a 2 year Warranty, the SC1522 has a 1 year Warranty.
They both have the same output specs at 130 x 9
One would need to delve deeper into the specs and Owners Manual to see what if any other differences exist between these two A/V receivers.
I am sure that the Elite SC65 matches the SC1522 feature for feature and may have one or more, but the fact that the Elite SC65 is an Elite with a 2 year warranty,
is more than worth the extra dollar and all D3 A/V receivers perform at 4 ohms.

SC1522 Product Sheet and Owners Manual Link:
Owners Manuall: http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/StaticFiles/Manuals/Home/SC-1522-K_OperatingInstructions061512.pdf
Product Sheet: http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/ephox/StaticFiles/PUSA/Files/Home/SC-1522-K%20New%20Single%20Sheet.pdf

Elite SC65 Product Sheet and Owners Manual:
Owners Manual: http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/StaticFiles/Manuals/Home/SC-65_OperatingInstructions061112.pdf
Product Sheet: http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/ephox/StaticFiles/PUSA/Files/Home/SC-65%20New%20Single%20Sheet.pdf

The above is FYI if your interested.
You can do this with all of the Pioneer A/V receivers.
The SC1222 relates to the Elite SC61 in that they are both $1100.00, the SC1222 is 120 watts x 7 and the Elite SC61 is 125 x 7.
The Elite SC61 again has a 2 year warranty and the SC1222 is only a year warranty.

Have you set your clocks forward?

Bud B
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post #12 of 16 Old 03-10-2013, 05:44 AM
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I got the sc1522 for $800 brand new and thats a huge price gap some minor diferences or video processing that a high end tv can handle. My point is that the OP can have a great amp for less money.
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post #13 of 16 Old 03-10-2013, 10:29 PM
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Hi WA,
I get your idea, get the SC1522 with specs of an SC65 and move up from the SC61 vs VSX 60 comparison.
Save $300.00 from the Elite SC61 @ $1100.00.
BUT...
Your purchase of the SC1522 at $800.00, is an amazing price, even at an Internet seller like A_ _zon it is over $1100.00.
In fact I googled over the net and I did not find the SC1522 for under a thousand, also you obviously do not have a Pioneer Warranty.

Pioneer has very few places on the net that they deem as "Authorized" sellers (no Authorized Sellers would sell it for $800.00 or they would find themselves UN-Authorized very fast)
So more than likely your purchase was "AS IS" and you either hope for the best or get a Warranty from a 3rd party service.
That worries me a lot, in the old days components lasted 10 years, these days consumer electronics (unless very expensive) are more expendable.
I had a VSX 1020 die on me "Out of Warranty" (2.5 years old) and Pioneer eventually worked out a deal with me for the Elite VSX 60 as the replacement that I have now.
Going the unauthorized route, Pioneer would not have even talked to me and I would have had no option but shell out the money and buy another receiver.
Add that to the five hundred that I initially paid for the VSX1020 and I would have had a really bad deal.
$99.00 at my time of purchase would have saved me a lot. I now at least try for a 4 year Warranty on all electronic components that I buy.

Did you purchase a warranty from a 3rd party or are you winging it with a hope and prayer on your $800.00?
Many things to consider for everyone and the poster of this thread.
But I get exactly what your saying, (options) I'd just say that I hope that you (or anyone that gets a deal like this) also took some of what you saved and got a great 3rd. party warranty! CYA!

Enjoy your SC1522, I'm sure that it is a great unit..I love Pioneer!

Bud B
PS. If I am wrong about your purchase and you got it fully warranted please explain..Scratch & Dent, Open Box/missing remote etc... What?
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post #14 of 16 Old 03-11-2013, 04:20 PM
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A friend sold me the 1522, he got the sc67. It was sealed in the box. That beast sounds much louder than the 2002 vsxd412 that replaced. The 412 is still in use at my office for background music.
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post #15 of 16 Old 03-11-2013, 04:23 PM
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Yes, my old pioneer vsxd412 is still in use for 8 hours a day everyday
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post #16 of 16 Old 03-11-2013, 05:07 PM
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Get the SC 1222 instead. Usually on sale at NewEgg for $550 or less. For all practical purpose it's identical to the SC-61.

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