SC-35/37 vs. new Elite SC series? What's been imrpoved, what's lost? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 08-22-2013, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey all, I am curious to know if an older ICE SC-35/Sc-37 would just suffice for 7-channel HT, with an extra Zone, powering some B&W 804 series speakers (front), and satellite speakers in surround? I don't do 3D, like to feed it HTPC, Bluray, iPod, and BT Audio (from phone), passthrough HDMI, and do some basic AV distribution.

Do I really need to look into newer SC series? or SC-35/37 with ICE actually might sound better (a lot of debate if D3 amps are better or worse than ICE)? The RF remote of SC-37 obviously would be a plus too.

Any help from people who've had either and moved to new ones would be great.

Thanks

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post #2 of 19 Old 08-22-2013, 07:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Anyone?

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post #3 of 19 Old 08-23-2013, 08:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Or to put it differently, what would be the best receiver under $1000 new or used for my purposes?

Thanks

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post #4 of 19 Old 08-24-2013, 06:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexb76 View Post

Hey all, I am curious to know if an older ICE SC-35/Sc-37 would just suffice for 7-channel HT, with an extra Zone, powering some B&W 804 series speakers (front), and satellite speakers in surround? I don't do 3D, like to feed it HTPC, Bluray, iPod, and BT Audio (from phone), passthrough HDMI, and do some basic AV distribution.

Do I really need to look into newer SC series? or SC-35/37 with ICE actually might sound better (a lot of debate if D3 amps are better or worse than ICE)? The RF remote of SC-37 obviously would be a plus too.

Any help from people who've had either and moved to new ones would be great.

Thanks
So what do want to know about them,i have sc-37
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post #5 of 19 Old 08-24-2013, 07:09 AM
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have you downloaded the manuals & compared the features?

which way is "better" really depends on what you place the most value on & that's probably why it's hard for people to answer your question smile.gif

for example, while the RF adapter for the remote might be interesting, the new receivers with their i-app control is important to many. if you want RF control, there are a number of options & perhaps better alternatives, like programmable remotes from URC. but if that feature is a must have, then a used SC-37 is a good choice.

what you will get with the newer models: DTS NeoX, more file media support, if you got an SC-79 or last year's SC-68 you'd get the async USB-DAC.

class D3 vs Ice amps...each one has its proponents. if you read past reviews in Home Theater Mag for example, for SC-37 vs SC-57 & SC-68, you'll see some minor test differences in power output, with the Ice amps being just a bit more powerful multiple channels driven at once, but the class D3 amps have lower distortion in lower to middle power range where most listening occurs. Neither one will probably be an audible difference but on paper, the class D3 amps have the advantage of simpler circuitry, not needing the feedback correction that Ice amps needed. you'll need to do some homework on this if you're a technophile type, much info has been posted over the yrs with links on the Ice amp models & the International Recfifier class D3 design, white papers, etc. I have the SC-09 and the SC-68 and the SC-68 has a very capable amps, holds up well.

speakers? I have Magnepans, 4 ohm, low efficiency. both the SC-09 & the SC-68 drive them OK. my gut is that the Ice amps in the SC-09 handle peak loads better, since the SC-68 has shut down on protect mode several time, with hi volume, very loud, high noise sound effect peaks, while the SC-09 has never shutdown. however, the SC-37 is NOT the equal of the SC-09 (7 X 200 wpc capable with its 1400 watt pwr supply) IMO, you would not notice any real world difference in power capability between a 37 and a 68/79.

in measurements I've seen online, the new amp design does seem to have bit less distortion at the extreme: high power - high frequencies. I suggest you read reviews of both on hometheaterhifi.com & hometheater.com

esthetics...some still prefer Pioneer's traditional gloss black over the brushed alum look. I'm one that does smile.gif but in the end, it's about sound quality & features, not the paint job wink.gif

if you want to save money by getting a used 37 and seeking confirmation that it's the better choice, the only one who can answer that is you smile.gif I have no plans to sell my SC-09, valuing its robust build quality, unique construction & neat LCD display. but that doesn't mean I think it's automatically better than the SC-68, because in quite a few things, the 68 runs circles around the 09, like the new surround processing, PQLS over HDMI, having internet radio, the i-app control, and more.

it's up to you to decide how much, if any, differences between the 37 & 68 or 79 are important to you.

if I had hard to drive speakers, not sure if B&W 804 qualify, I think the 37 *might* be just a little bit more powerful, all channels driven, but at the expense of rising distortion. if you look at the Home Theater mag review of the SC-57, you'll see Ice amps have a gradual rising distortion level, starting at mid power levels, all the way up to clipping. IIRC, the distortion in class D3 amps is flatter in the mid power region, maintaining a much lower distortion level until it starts to turn upward, the curve being more similar to a class A/B amp. this is an advantage the new design has over the previous Ice amps.

you'll probably be happy with either choice, so do some homework, read the reviews, & decide if you aren't going to miss some features in a 68/67 or 79/77, like some of the file support, go from there smile.gif

Steve
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post #6 of 19 Old 08-24-2013, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ss9001 View Post

have you downloaded the manuals & compared the features?

which way is "better" really depends on what you place the most value on & that's probably why it's hard for people to answer your question smile.gif

for example, while the RF adapter for the remote might be interesting, the new receivers with their i-app control is important to many. if you want RF control, there are a number of options & perhaps better alternatives, like programmable remotes from URC. but if that feature is a must have, then a used SC-37 is a good choice.

what you will get with the newer models: DTS NeoX, more file media support, if you got an SC-79 or last year's SC-68 you'd get the async USB-DAC.

class D3 vs Ice amps...each one has its proponents. if you read past reviews in Home Theater Mag for example, for SC-37 vs SC-57 & SC-68, you'll see some minor test differences in power output, with the Ice amps being just a bit more powerful multiple channels driven at once, but the class D3 amps have lower distortion in lower to middle power range where most listening occurs. Neither one will probably be an audible difference but on paper, the class D3 amps have the advantage of simpler circuitry, not needing the feedback correction that Ice amps needed. you'll need to do some homework on this if you're a technophile type, much info has been posted over the yrs with links on the Ice amp models & the International Recfifier class D3 design, white papers, etc. I have the SC-09 and the SC-68 and the SC-68 has a very capable amps, holds up well.

speakers? I have Magnepans, 4 ohm, low efficiency. both the SC-09 & the SC-68 drive them OK. my gut is that the Ice amps in the SC-09 handle peak loads better, since the SC-68 has shut down on protect mode several time, with hi volume, very loud, high noise sound effect peaks, while the SC-09 has never shutdown. however, the SC-37 is NOT the equal of the SC-09 (7 X 200 wpc capable with its 1400 watt pwr supply) IMO, you would not notice any real world difference in power capability between a 37 and a 68/79.

in measurements I've seen online, the new amp design does seem to have bit less distortion at the extreme: high power - high frequencies. I suggest you read reviews of both on hometheaterhifi.com & hometheater.com

esthetics...some still prefer Pioneer's traditional gloss black over the brushed alum look. I'm one that does smile.gif but in the end, it's about sound quality & features, not the paint job wink.gif

if you want to save money by getting a used 37 and seeking confirmation that it's the better choice, the only one who can answer that is you smile.gif I have no plans to sell my SC-09, valuing its robust build quality, unique construction & neat LCD display. but that doesn't mean I think it's automatically better than the SC-68, because in quite a few things, the 68 runs circles around the 09, like the new surround processing, PQLS over HDMI, having internet radio, the i-app control, and more.

it's up to you to decide how much, if any, differences between the 37 & 68 or 79 are important to you.

if I had hard to drive speakers, not sure if B&W 804 qualify, I think the 37 *might* be just a little bit more powerful, all channels driven, but at the expense of rising distortion. if you look at the Home Theater mag review of the SC-57, you'll see Ice amps have a gradual rising distortion level, starting at mid power levels, all the way up to clipping. IIRC, the distortion in class D3 amps is flatter in the mid power region, maintaining a much lower distortion level until it starts to turn upward, the curve being more similar to a class A/B amp. this is an advantage the new design has over the previous Ice amps.

you'll probably be happy with either choice, so do some homework, read the reviews, & decide if you aren't going to miss some features in a 68/67 or 79/77, like some of the file support, go from there smile.gif
I was about to tell him to email you,and you know about pioneer receivers better than me,i only have 600 series BW's speakers,which my sc-37 does go enough for me,maybe he need thinking going separates,thats my opinon .
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post #7 of 19 Old 08-24-2013, 10:16 AM
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^ I have no experience with B&W speakers can't make judgments on the 804's except I know they are large speakers smile.gif I do know they are 8 ohm nominal & also 90 dB sensitivity, certainly not the most efficient but much more so than my 85 dB Maggies wink.gif

Separates do offer certain advantages, no doubt about it, but at a higher cost. many find using a receiver as prepro with amps like Emotivas or any brand, budget or boutique, to be a good alternative to hi-priced prepros. Amps last a long time, what gets obsoleted in receivers is obviously the processing & digital end.

one alternative is get a new SC model for all the latest features + affordable amps from a company like Emotiva, Outlaw Audio, etc. that way you can have it all and not concerned over the amps in a receiver plus can swap the receiver end every few yrs.

my own eventual plan is to go that route, use the receiver with amps, that way if the expensive SC-09 goes belly up and is not worth repairing, or I decide to take the hit selling it used, I have the framework in place for replacing its amps.

Steve
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post #8 of 19 Old 08-24-2013, 02:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ss9001 View Post

^ I have no experience with B&W speakers can't make judgments on the 804's except I know they are large speakers smile.gif I do know they are 8 ohm nominal & also 90 dB sensitivity, certainly not the most efficient but much more so than my 85 dB Maggies wink.gif

Separates do offer certain advantages, no doubt about it, but at a higher cost. many find using a receiver as prepro with amps like Emotivas or any brand, budget or boutique, to be a good alternative to hi-priced prepros. Amps last a long time, what gets obsoleted in receivers is obviously the processing & digital end.

one alternative is get a new SC model for all the latest features + affordable amps from a company like Emotiva, Outlaw Audio, etc. that way you can have it all and not concerned over the amps in a receiver plus can swap the receiver end every few yrs.

my own eventual plan is to go that route, use the receiver with amps, that way if the expensive SC-09 goes belly up and is not worth repairing, or I decide to take the hit selling it used, I have the framework in place for replacing its amps.

Thanks a lot on your detailed response, fantastic info.

I now know more of what I wanna do with my setup, so here it is:

- Feed 5 channel for HT in living room [B&W 804, B&W XTC center, B&W M1 surround]
- Feed 2 extra channels in Kitchen (independently, or altogether as 7-ch) [B&W M1 or in-ceiling speaker?]
- Feed at least 2 TVs -- see attached
- Be controlled from all over the apartment (hence SC-37 consideration)
- Fit within small enclosure and not run too hot
- Have enough remote controlling capabilities, so I can turn it on/off from a distance, change channels to desired TV, or audio, and have a good App to control things (I thought SC-37 also had an app, no?)
- PASS HDMI in standby to the main TV for quick TV watching
- Potential (unlikely): Feed 4 more channels (in bedroom/kitchen)
- Potential (unlikely) - Feed 2 more TVs (in bedroom/kitchen)

The reason I was wondering about SC-35/SC-37 was the fact that it was the last of ICE amps, and some say ICE was better, it had the old finish (I prefer), AND SC-37 had the RF capability which makes it easier for my AV distribution.. and just the overall fact of business that companies invest more in features than Audio Quality these days, hence sometimes the 2-3yr old gear is a better gear than the brand new one.

The new audio sources in newer Receivers are a bit intriguing, and may tip the scale for me. I will have an HTPC connected to it that would have a lot more features then, but built-in is always much easier to manage, control. Specially if I wanted to just turn some music on from bedroom and enjoy without fiddling with living room setup.

I guess at the end of the day, I am looking for the best networked with good AV distribution capable Receiver, with a good Amp section to do this job, and I don't care if it was new or used. Thanks!


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post #9 of 19 Old 08-24-2013, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexb76 View Post

Thanks a lot on your detailed response, fantastic info.

I now know more of what I wanna do with my setup, so here it is:

- Feed 5 channel for HT in living room [B&W 804, B&W XTC center, B&W M1 surround]
- Feed 2 extra channels in Kitchen (independently, or altogether as 7-ch) [B&W M1 or in-ceiling speaker?]
- Feed at least 2 TVs -- see attached
- Be controlled from all over the apartment (hence SC-37 consideration)
- Fit within small enclosure and not run too hot
- Have enough remote controlling capabilities, so I can turn it on/off from a distance, change channels to desired TV, or audio, and have a good App to control things (I thought SC-37 also had an app, no?)
- PASS HDMI in standby to the main TV for quick TV watching
- Potential (unlikely): Feed 4 more channels (in bedroom/kitchen)
- Potential (unlikely) - Feed 2 more TVs (in bedroom/kitchen)

The reason I was wondering about SC-35/SC-37 was the fact that it was the last of ICE amps, and some say ICE was better, it had the old finish (I prefer), AND SC-37 had the RF capability which makes it easier for my AV distribution.. and just the overall fact of business that companies invest more in features than Audio Quality these days, hence sometimes the 2-3yr old gear is a better gear than the brand new one.

The new audio sources in newer Receivers are a bit intriguing, and may tip the scale for me. I will have an HTPC connected to it that would have a lot more features then, but built-in is always much easier to manage, control. Specially if I wanted to just turn some music on from bedroom and enjoy without fiddling with living room setup.

I guess at the end of the day, I am looking for the best networked with good AV distribution capable Receiver, with a good Amp section to do this job, and I don't care if it was new or used. Thanks!

I do admit SC-37 is good receiver,i played around SC 57,67,79 at work,im still keeping what I have,as for BW"s speakers I have plenty experience with them.
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post #10 of 19 Old 08-24-2013, 09:34 PM - Thread Starter
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I do admit SC-37 is good receiver,i played around SC 57,67,79 at work,im still keeping what I have,as for BW"s speakers I have plenty experience with them.

Thanks, sorry but I am not sure what you were recommending. Are you recommending to find an older SC-37 over the newer SC57,67, 79?

Thanks

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post #11 of 19 Old 08-25-2013, 03:21 AM
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Originally Posted by alexb76 View Post

Thanks, sorry but I am not sure what you were recommending. Are you recommending to find an older SC-37 over the newer SC57,67, 79?

Thanks
Only thing buying something used has it been abused,you better of buying SC-75,77,79 at least you have a warranty or open box SC-67,68 and for now im keeping mines for now,i keep my volume limit on -10,and don't have to worry blowing up any my speakers.
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post #12 of 19 Old 08-26-2013, 12:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Any idea how the apps are different between iControlav 1, 2, 2012, 2013? This also is a bit of a factor now.

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post #13 of 19 Old 08-26-2013, 02:13 AM
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Any idea how the apps are different between iControlav 1, 2, 2012, 2013? This also is a bit of a factor now.
Ask ss9001
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post #14 of 19 Old 08-26-2013, 02:41 AM
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I have the SC-07 and just bought a SC-77. I love the new app. Lots of cool control features. Sound wise there are some new Dac's that are rated very highly on the 77. I'm going to post a full review tonight over on the 77 thread but I couldn't be more pleased with the 77. It taps right into my network so I can just bring up my songs on the app which is very cool.

Sound wise, they both are very good. However, I'm giving the edge to the 77. Both drive my Paradigm studios very well. Both have very clear detailed soundfields which I think it the high mark of these receivers. However the 77 is a fuller sound, I hate to say warmer some might describe it as that, I'd say just absolutely amazing reproduction and change in my speakers. Yesterday, listening to Clapton and BB King on the Crossroads DVD was just out of this world.

Detailed perfect guitar, I felt like I was there, it's definitely a step above the 07. I gave the 07 to my son, it was a good friend. I really hate to see it go but the increased functionality of the 77 sold me and the plus was the sound which I did not expect.
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post #15 of 19 Old 08-26-2013, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Interesting find after looking at HT Magazine measurements!

SC-37:
HT Labs Measures
Five channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 135.7 watts
1% distortion at 171.9 watts

Seven channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 125.4 watts
1% distortion at 164.7 watts

SC-57:
Five channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 115.1 watts
1% distortion at 132.0 watts

Seven channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 109.6 watts
1% distortion at 123.7 watts

SC-68:
HT Labs Measures
Two channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 144.5 watts
1% distortion at 191.6 watts

Five channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 92.3 watts
1% distortion at 138.8 watts

Seven channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 90.0 watts
1% distortion at 113.8 watts

---

So is the amp section actually getting worse? Most shocking, is SC-68 is being worse than SC-57?

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post #16 of 19 Old 08-26-2013, 02:10 PM
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I already posted about Ice amp vs new design, discussed a whole lot in the SC-57 thread. class D3 amps = lower distortion.

SC-68 vs SC-57

exact same amp chips and amp design. confirmed with Pioneer. no change, no difference. this was discussed in the SC-68 thread. as long as you dug up Home Theater's numbers, I suggest you also read these and they focus more on distortion level testing at various voltage levels (higher volts = higher power) and compare those:

http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/receivers/receivers-reviews/pioneer-sc68-receiver/page-5-conclusion.html
http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/receivers/receivers-reviews/pioneer-sc-57-91-av-receiver/page-6-conclusions.html

so no, not getting worse.

testing anomolies or some variance in units tested.

even if you took the tests at face value, the difference between a test measurement of 92 watts vs 115 watts is < 1.0 dB difference in volume! 0.96 dB to be exact. that's barely audible detectable and even that would be the amps maxed out.

it take 10 times the power to double the volume. that is the math. the differences you raise with the HTM numbers aren't that significant.

http://www.gcaudio.com/resources/howtos/voltageloudness.html

if you check the table, even if you double the power, that only results in a perceived volume change of 1.23X. ~25% louder is not a lot for doubling the power wink.gif but that's what it is.

here's another way to look at it, which may help to put 1 dB difference in perspective -



while I understand why you would question the tests, in the real world, even at face value, it doesn't mean much.

if it were me, I'd take a newer SC-68 over a SC-57 and not give it another thought. you get the USB-DAC and even more media & file support, including DSD files, plus the ability to have HDMI sent to a 2nd zone, which the SC-57 lacks.

your money, your decision smile.gif

if you are that concerned about powering the 804's, you could buy the receiver for features, and add an ext 2 ch amp for the fronts, like the $900 Emotiva XPA2. let the receiver power the rest. I have this kind of setup myself, although not an Emo amp. Mine is a 600 wpc 4 ohm rated amp tweaked for driving electrostat & planar speakers.

Steve
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post #17 of 19 Old 08-26-2013, 07:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ss9001 View Post

I already posted about Ice amp vs new design, discussed a whole lot in the SC-57 thread. class D3 amps = lower distortion.

SC-68 vs SC-57

exact same amp chips and amp design. confirmed with Pioneer. no change, no difference. this was discussed in the SC-68 thread. as long as you dug up Home Theater's numbers, I suggest you also read these and they focus more on distortion level testing at various voltage levels (higher volts = higher power) and compare those:

http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/receivers/receivers-reviews/pioneer-sc68-receiver/page-5-conclusion.html
http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/receivers/receivers-reviews/pioneer-sc-57-91-av-receiver/page-6-conclusions.html

so no, not getting worse.

testing anomolies or some variance in units tested.

even if you took the tests at face value, the difference between a test measurement of 92 watts vs 115 watts is < 1.0 dB difference in volume! 0.96 dB to be exact. that's barely audible detectable and even that would be the amps maxed out.

it take 10 times the power to double the volume. that is the math. the differences you raise with the HTM numbers aren't that significant.

http://www.gcaudio.com/resources/howtos/voltageloudness.html

if you check the table, even if you double the power, that only results in a perceived volume change of 1.23X. ~25% louder is not a lot for doubling the power wink.gif but that's what it is.

here's another way to look at it, which may help to put 1 dB difference in perspective -



while I understand why you would question the tests, in the real world, even at face value, it doesn't mean much.

if it were me, I'd take a newer SC-68 over a SC-57 and not give it another thought. you get the USB-DAC and even more media & file support, including DSD files, plus the ability to have HDMI sent to a 2nd zone, which the SC-57 lacks.

your money, your decision smile.gif

if you are that concerned about powering the 804's, you could buy the receiver for features, and add an ext 2 ch amp for the fronts, like the $900 Emotiva XPA2. let the receiver power the rest. I have this kind of setup myself, although not an Emo amp. Mine is a 600 wpc 4 ohm rated amp tweaked for driving electrostat & planar speakers.

Thanks man, you are definitely the source here! I wasn't considering SC057, just found the results interesting and both worse than SC-37, but your explanation makes sense.

I think the idea of getting the best features and if Amp is not the best, just power the fronts if the way to go. I am leaning toward SC-68, as it looks like it has some of the best features and a decent amp, and hopefully can be had at a discount. Even if I can find a decent SC-37 at a good deal, in good shape, that might even do.

Pioneer Elite Kuro 111FD, Elite BDP-05FD, Elite 72TXV, B&W 805/XTC/M1.
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post #18 of 19 Old 08-27-2013, 02:06 AM
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Thanks man, you are definitely the source here! I wasn't considering SC057, just found the results interesting and both worse than SC-37, but your explanation makes sense.

I think the idea of getting the best features and if Amp is not the best, just power the fronts if the way to go. I am leaning toward SC-68, as it looks like it has some of the best features and a decent amp, and hopefully can be had at a discount. Even if I can find a decent SC-37 at a good deal, in good shape, that might even do.
The size room you have any these receivers will fit your need and zones whatever.
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post #19 of 19 Old 09-01-2013, 01:18 PM
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Interesting find after looking at HT Magazine measurements!

SC-37:
HT Labs Measures
Five channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 135.7 watts
1% distortion at 171.9 watts

Seven channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 125.4 watts
1% distortion at 164.7 watts

SC-57:
Five channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 115.1 watts
1% distortion at 132.0 watts

Seven channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 109.6 watts
1% distortion at 123.7 watts

SC-68:
HT Labs Measures
Two channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 144.5 watts
1% distortion at 191.6 watts

Five channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 92.3 watts
1% distortion at 138.8 watts

Seven channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 90.0 watts
1% distortion at 113.8 watts

---

So is the amp section actually getting worse? Most shocking, is SC-68 is being worse than SC-57?

Something is weird about their numbers because they measured the SC-61 as having MORE power than the SC-68!

NHT speakers, Denon 4520, 65VT50
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