Pioneer Elite or Denon? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 01-01-2013, 09:37 PM - Thread Starter
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I have just purchased the Pioneer Elite SC-61, which has a class D amp for $850. Before I open up the reciever and install it, should i consider taking it back for a Denon receiver with Audyssey (spelling)? I have heard that Pioneer uses MCACC and that it is widely considered to be inferior. I think I got a great deal on a D amp for $850 but wanted to make sure that the sales associate was telling me the truth. I am pretty new to all of this and wanted to consult with the AVS professionals first.

My new setup:

MartinLogan Motion 40 Towers (4 ohms)
ML Motion 30 center
ML Motion 4 rears
ML Dynamo 500, 10" powered sub
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post #2 of 17 Old 01-02-2013, 01:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Anyone?
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post #3 of 17 Old 01-02-2013, 02:05 AM
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I'm an audyssey fan boy. Go Denon! In reality though I never had a pioneer but several folks I know switched from Pioneer Elite AVRs to Denon 4311s when they got cheap and they loved what audyssey did for their set up. Try looking up for a Onkyo 818 which has the highest version of audyssey excluding subeq (I think that's what its called). Several folks here have been getting them for really good prices!
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post #4 of 17 Old 01-02-2013, 07:02 AM
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For every Denon fan you will hear from, you will also hear from a Pioneer fan. There are many of us too.

I would keep the Pioneer SC-61 unless you are planning to spend more on a Denon to get you the newest version of Audyssey. Great price BTW for a new SC-61. MCACC does a very good job and some actually prefer it. I have had four Elites so far and no problems with any of them. Also, the new Pioneer Class D3 amps are 4 Ohm rated and have been extremely well reviewed and received. With your 4 Ohm ML's, I would think this is something important to you. Good luck though in whatever your decision is. Ultimately it is your system; not ours.
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post #5 of 17 Old 01-02-2013, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Paraneer View Post

For every Denon fan you will hear from, you will also hear from a Pioneer fan. There are many of us too.

+1 to what you said smile.gif

KingGiant, if you already own the SC-61, here's another consideration to complicate your life wink.gif

Basically the only real significant difference is that Denon will have Audyssey vs. MCACC. And you'd have to make sure you got a Denon with the best version of Audyssey, MultiEQ 32XT or at the very least MultiEQ XT to have subwoofer EQ. The sub EQ is the main thing to consider trading to an Audyssey system.

While you can get a close-out deal on a 4311 or go with 3313, 2313 (MultiEQ XT) or spend a lot more money to get the 4520 (the better MultiEQ 32XT) you could also buy a DSPeaker Anti-mode 8033 or Velodyne's SMS-1 external sub equalizer for $300-400 and add to the sub out from the SC-61.

4311's are a discontinued model but can still be found for $1100-1500 depending on the "deal", or a refurb.

The amps in the SC are very capable.

But Paraneer is right, what you'll get are fans from either camp. If you are wavering about your purchase, go back to your dealer or another dealer and compare them yourself with same speakers in same room. It's your system, your ears, and only you can decide what sounds best or is going to best suit your needs.
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post #6 of 17 Old 01-02-2013, 08:22 AM
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Hi King,

I picked up the SC-65 for $899 a few weeks back and couldn't be happier as i previously had the VSX-45. The calibration software is excellent and the new version of the MCACC compared to that of my old unit is day and night different. I been lucky i guess to never have one issue with any of my past or present Elite receivers and recommend the highly.
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post #7 of 17 Old 01-02-2013, 10:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Really great information guys! I appreciate all the help. I think I will stick with the SC-61 as I felt that it really paired well with the ML speakers I bought. All things being even between Denon and Pioneer at my price point, then I guess I prefer the Elite astethics. Thanks again guys, you really helped me out.
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post #8 of 17 Old 01-02-2013, 10:16 AM - Thread Starter
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mizer,

How did you get the SC-65 for $899? Open box? If you found it on sale, where did you get it from?
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post #9 of 17 Old 01-02-2013, 10:59 AM
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Hi King,
Brand New not open box i went into a local electronics store that i have bought a lot from over the years. They normally don't sell the Elite models but just begun to carry them because of the area the store is in. I went in looking for the SC-63 which i saw online for $860 and i only run a 5.1 system right now so i had no need for the other 4 channels. The salesmen said that he has a SC-65 in stock and would let me have it for $899 so i jumped on it being it was a 50th birthday gift for myself. Its probably more then i would ever need and still havent figured everything out yet but i really like the fact that everything runs through it now and its also ready for most future technology upgrades coming out like 4k pass thru. My only issues now is i have to upgrade my turntable as it doesn't have a built in pre amp and the 65 doesn't have a phono input which i failed to realized in my excitement.
The calibrated MCACC sound is much more defined and clear compared to the MCACC of my older VSX45 which i retired. Movies just seem to jump out of the speakers which I'm sure has something to also do with the added watts per channel. I really need to build a dedicated HT room in the basement to get the proper worth from this system as the room its in now won't do it justice and just drives the wife nuts with how loud i like to play it lol.
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post #10 of 17 Old 01-02-2013, 11:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Wow, you really scored a great deal. Wish I had access to small local stores like that. SC-61 is actually my second receiver in as many weeks as I originally purchased the VSX-60. The salesman urged me to try it and see if I really wanted to pay the extra money for the next step up. I instantly regretted it. Why would I purchase nice 4 ohm speakers, only to run them through an 8 ohm, AB amp? I am trying to replicate the theatre experience as closely as possible using a 5.1 setup. Not using them much for music, which is one reason I didn't consider going with electro-statics.
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post #11 of 17 Old 01-03-2013, 07:10 AM
 
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Great thread - Thanks... Here is the deal... I have been reading a ton and searching and researching this very issue but the overall performance for what you need and what will help you the most has nothing to do with Den-MultiEQ XT vs Pio MCACC. I think I can provide some input on what you need and could use. I now have both. The Denon AVR2112ci withMultiEQ XT and I love it and it is great. and I have a VSX1021k with MCACC. The Denon with the XT is supposed to have the better of the two with XT but it is a overall non factor. I know it cals the sub and all but the MCACC is great too. For you it is your speakers that are way more important. I have a similar MartinLogan Motion Series System just last years version with 2- motion 12's up front and 2-motion 10's in the rear and the 8 as my center. He is the deal and what shall help you the most as my experiences have been learned fist hand plus research. I just upgraded my motion system I just bought the set of 12s for F/L and moved my 10s to the rear and i upgraded my center from the 6 to the 8 eight. I was all excited cuz the 12's are said to be a huge upgrade to the tens and this would make for a big time upgrade. Well not only did it not sound better it sounded worse like a down grade. Just not the pop and life compared to the old system/set up and I would say it is now running/sounding at 65% compared to the old system. It still sounds good but if you are new to this and you didn't just upgraded a couple parts of the system you may not be able to tell like I could with first hand comparison. It just seems that my old motion 10 upfront and the 6 was way easier for my Denon to drive verse the new 12s and 8 and 10 move to rear. I was bummed as sounded less and not better than my old set up. I have learned that the whole system being a full blown 4 ohm system is just too much for the A/B amp on the Denon. Plus the Denon watt rating at on a 2 channels basis, Both my and your run systems are all 4 ohm. Not just a few of the speakers but all of them. Also, the motions sound better with a little volume under their belt. Here is where the Pioneer Elite 61 with Class D3 amps and their wattage rating are based on running all channels not just 2 and the 4 ohm certification for all should help you the most. They have the new tech 4 ohm certified watt rating with through all channels rather than just too and with the new Pioneer Elite 61 with Class D3 amps are made for yous and my multi-channel 4 ohm loads that regular a/b amps can handle. Before the Class D3 amps we would have had to have gone to either separates with ext amp to push them but the D3 amps claim this is why and what designed for. Earlier Elite 27 and 37 ice class D amps claim to be able to rock 4 ohm no problem but they were not certified for 4 ohm and it is stated that these new Pioneer Elite 61 with Class D3 amps are even better 4ohm loads and certified for it. They give the most power to all channels simultaneously which is exactly what we need. In many ways these Pio D3 amps seem to have been designed specifically for multi-channels 4 ohm speaker systems which is exactly what the Motions series speakers are. Trust me everyone will tell you not to worry the motions can be driven by regular a/b amps because if there is a problem they have cut out protection built in but who wants that plus my system is proof that when all the speakers are 4 ohm and they are subjected to multi-channel load they will fall short and I want the right receiver for my speakers to get the absolute very best sound at the best price with a little head room if possible, nothing crazy, no overkill or under-kill preferred. Based on my research you nailed it with Elite 61 and the room correction software type is totally moot. So I am ordering a Pioneer Elite 61 with Class D3 amps today and will see if my research and the listed stats and capabilities of the Pioneer Elite 61 with Class D3 amps will give me the improvement over my old system and provide the power they claim. I hope this helps you and others because there is not a lot of information about the Pioneer Elite SC- Class D amps or D3 amps and Martinlogan Motion speakers or 4 ohm Speakers. They seem to be the perfect match on paper and we shall see how it works out in the real world. sorry for all type o was in a hurry and on my phone and wanted to get this 2 you before work smile.gif
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post #12 of 17 Old 01-03-2013, 08:31 AM
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MCACC and Audyssey are both good calibration programs. One is not necessarily better than the other. There approach is different. One thing about, MCACC is that total system integration is excellent and it is much easier to tweak after autocalibration. I see more complaints post calibration with Audyssey reguarding the system sound quality. MCACC has a bit of a learning curve since these avr's offer so many options.

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post #13 of 17 Old 01-03-2013, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by derrickdj1 View Post

MCACC and Audyssey are both good calibration programs. One is not necessarily better than the other. There approach is different. One thing about, MCACC is that total system integration is excellent and it is much easier to tweak after autocalibration. I see more complaints post calibration with Audyssey reguarding the system sound quality. MCACC has a bit of a learning curve since these avr's offer so many options.

True, MCACC is more tweakable, but it's complete lack of ability to eq the sub's range is a major issue unless you want to invest in a separate EQ.
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post #14 of 17 Old 01-03-2013, 09:12 AM
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I just went from Pioneer (VSX 925-k) to a Denon (2313 CI). Initially i was wowed by the difference in sound. The Denon opened up the sound field much better than the pioneer ever did. As far as EQing my subs i wasn't overly impressed by the difference. As a side note i had to manually adjust my levels on the subs for each platform. Each brand has its good and bad points. None of these would be enough to claim one as the victor.

I am a bit let down by the whole auto set-up options on receivers so I'm just going to build a proper theater room with acoustic treatments and be done with it smile.gif

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post #15 of 17 Old 01-03-2013, 09:44 AM
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Our company has installed several Elites for clients and the thing that impresses me is how well the new D3 amps handle hard to drive speakers without a hiccup also the lack of handshake issues from 2 other brands we used to carry is a plus.
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post #16 of 17 Old 01-03-2013, 12:20 PM
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^^
+1
agree on the amps. tried them out with Magnepans including the large 3.6 models. @ very loud volumes with sub turned off & no problems smile.gif

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post #17 of 17 Old 01-03-2013, 01:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by fsmithjack View Post

Earlier Elite 27 and 37 ice class D amps claim to be able to rock 4 ohm no problem but they were not certified for 4 ohm and it is stated that these new Pioneer Elite 61 with Class D3 amps are even better 4ohm loads and certified for it. They give the most power to all channels simultaneously which is exactly what we need. In many ways these Pio D3 amps seem to have been designed specifically for multi-channels 4 ohm speaker systems which is exactly what the Motions series speakers are. Trust me everyone will tell you not to worry the motions can be driven by regular a/b amps because if there is a problem they have cut out protection built in but who wants that plus my system is proof that when all the speakers are 4 ohm and they are subjected to multi-channel load they will fall short and I want the right receiver for my speakers to get the absolute very best sound at the best price with a little head room if possible, nothing crazy, no overkill or under-kill preferred. Based on my research you nailed it with Elite 61 and the room correction software type is totally moot. So I am ordering a Pioneer Elite 61 with Class D3 amps today and will see if my research and the listed stats and capabilities of the Pioneer Elite 61 with Class D3 amps will give me the improvement over my old system and provide the power they claim. I hope this helps you and others because there is not a lot of information about the Pioneer Elite SC- Class D amps or D3 amps and Martinlogan Motion speakers or 4 ohm Speakers. They seem to be the perfect match on paper and we shall see how it works out in the real world. sorry for all type o was in a hurry and on my phone and wanted to get this 2 you before work smile.gif


Great post! Exactly what I was looking for when I started this thread. I have set up my SC-61 and it made all the difference in the world. The 61 really warms up the audio over the underperforming VSX-60, not to mention how more energy efficient the D3 amp is. You will really be surprised by the quality of audio that the 61 produces. If I could make one suggestion back to you, it would be to abandon the Motion 8 for the new Motion 30 center speaker. I don't know how I ever lived without the Motion 30, the improvement over the 8 is just plain ridiculous. Vocals on through the dialogue track on blurays are so much richer, smoother, and clearer. I use one bluray as reference for center channel quality, The Lord of Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, Extended Edition. I don't know if I have ever heard a weaker dialogue track on a bluray before. Whenever I want to test a center speakers quality (after I have properly setup the speaker itself through the receiver), I use this movie. I figure if the speaker sounds good playing this movie, then it will perform great for others. The Motion 8 performed well, not allowing the vocals to get lost in the rest of the soundtrack but 30's brought the theater richness. At $650, it's not a bad price for a center channel of this quality. The only problem with the 30 right now, is that they are so popular right now that it takes close to 3 weeks to get one.
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