Pioneer Elite SC-85 vs. Denon 4100W - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 08-29-2014, 06:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Pioneer Elite SC-85 vs. Denon 4100W

Ok guys (and girls); give me your input here, please. After weeks of research I’ve narrowed it down to these 2 AVRs. I’ve used pioneer for years and have been happy with them for the most part. I especially like the ‘auto level control’ feature (which is a necessity under my circumstances). It holds the volume at a comfortable level without sacrificing too much quality in the mix. I understand that most AVRs have this “midnight”option but some work better than others. I’ve never personally heard a denon but the specs and reviews sounds nice, and I especially like what I’ve heard about audyssey. Pioneers MCACC is also nice but I still have to do a lot of tweaking after.

I’ve also researched the various dolby atmos speaker set-up options between the 2 and I like that denon can be set-up to play 5.1.2 or 5.1.4 (with an additional 2 channel amp). And the pioneer can do 7.1.2 in atmos, but I cannot find any information about whether it could also be set-up to play 5.1.4. That option might be a selling featureto me. Anyone know about that?

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post #2 of 16 Old 09-02-2014, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven414 View Post
Ok guys (and girls); give me your input here, please. After weeks of research I’ve narrowed it down to these 2 AVRs. I’ve used pioneer for years and have been happy with them for the most part. I especially like the ‘auto level control’ feature (which is a necessity under my circumstances). It holds the volume at a comfortable level without sacrificing too much quality in the mix. I understand that most AVRs have this “midnight”option but some work better than others. I’ve never personally heard a denon but the specs and reviews sounds nice, and I especially like what I’ve heard about audyssey. Pioneers MCACC is also nice but I still have to do a lot of tweaking after.

I’ve also researched the various dolby atmos speaker set-up options between the 2 and I like that denon can be set-up to play 5.1.2 or 5.1.4 (with an additional 2 channel amp). And the pioneer can do 7.1.2 in atmos, but I cannot find any information about whether it could also be set-up to play 5.1.4. That option might be a selling featureto me. Anyone know about that?
I could be wrong about this... (if not I hate to be the bearer of bad news) but I don't think the Denon can do 4 overheads... (5.1.4= 5 channel surround with 4 overheads right?) If I'm wrong please let me know. I'm looking for the cheapest reciever that can do 4 overheads... looks like cheap might mean 2 grand for the time being... haha.
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post #3 of 16 Old 09-02-2014, 04:22 PM
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^^
You are indeed wrong. All of the new D&M models (to include the X4100W w/2CH external amp) can do 5.1.4.

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post #4 of 16 Old 09-02-2014, 05:23 PM
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^^
You are indeed wrong. All of the new D&M models (to include the X4100W w/2CH external amp) can do 5.1.4.
Ohh man that's awesome! That made my day... perhaps I'll be early adopter after all

So the other 2 are the rear overheads? If so, do you know which outputs on the Denon = .4 instead of .2? I was especially confused when looking at Pioneer's elite/ sc85/87/etc... as I've read "height" is the designation for overhead... but I see no such thing in the rear photos of Pionner.
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post #5 of 16 Old 09-02-2014, 05:46 PM
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Front Middle and Wides should be assignable for say Front Top, etc. Atmos speaker designations will vary as each manufacturer is likely to approach the old with the new differently.
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post #6 of 16 Old 09-02-2014, 06:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aras_Volodka View Post
Ohh man that's awesome! That made my day... perhaps I'll be early adopter after all

So the other 2 are the rear overheads? If so, do you know which outputs on the Denon = .4 instead of .2? I was especially confused when looking at Pioneer's elite/ sc85/87/etc... as I've read "height" is the designation for overhead... but I see no such thing in the rear photos of Pionner.

The 4100w will do 5.1.4 but you will need an external 2 channel amp. Same with the 7.1.2 configuration. The default is 5.1.2.

I Copied this from the Denon 4100w manual...

Detailed settings when “Assign Mode” is set to
“Dolby Atmos”
When “Assign Mode” is set to “Dolby Atmos”, set the following items.


n
Layout

Select the speaker layout for Dolby Atmos playback.
7.1ch + 2 Height:
This is a layout that adds the top middle
speakers to the 7.1 channel layout including
the surround back channel.
Connect the top middle speaker to the
HEIGHT1 channel (left/right) pre-amp output
by using an external power amplifier.



5.1ch + 4 Height:
This is a layout that adds the top front and
top rear speakers to the basic 5.1 channel
layout.
Connect the top front speakers to the
HEIGHT1 speaker terminals, and connect
the top rear speakers to the HEIGHT2
channel (left/right) PRE OUT connectors by
using an external power amplifier.



5.1ch + 2 Height
(Default)


:

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post #7 of 16 Old 09-02-2014, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven414 View Post
The 4100w will do 5.1.4 but you will need an external 2 channel amp. Same with the 7.1.2 configuration. The default is 5.1.2.

I Copied this from the Denon 4100w manual...

Detailed settings when “Assign Mode” is set to
“Dolby Atmos”
When “Assign Mode” is set to “Dolby Atmos”, set the following items.


n
Layout

Select the speaker layout for Dolby Atmos playback.
7.1ch + 2 Height:
This is a layout that adds the top middle
speakers to the 7.1 channel layout including
the surround back channel.
Connect the top middle speaker to the
HEIGHT1 channel (left/right) pre-amp output
by using an external power amplifier.



5.1ch + 4 Height:
This is a layout that adds the top front and
top rear speakers to the basic 5.1 channel
layout.
Connect the top front speakers to the
HEIGHT1 speaker terminals, and connect
the top rear speakers to the HEIGHT2
channel (left/right) PRE OUT connectors by
using an external power amplifier.



5.1ch + 2 Height
(Default)


:
Are you going to buy a separate preamp? If so, what are you looking at? I've never bought an audio preamp except for my record player.
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post #8 of 16 Old 09-02-2014, 08:00 PM
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Or does anyone know if there are receivers in that price range that can do 7.1.4 Or 5.1.4 without the need for a preamp? I figure if you have to spend the extra cash to get a preamp might be worth it to step up but doesn't seem there are any options below 2k.
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post #9 of 16 Old 09-03-2014, 03:12 AM
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If you want 11Ch (7.1.4), you either need an 11CH AVR or a 9CH AVR that can expand to 11CH with an external amp. As noted, the X4100W is a 7CH AVR that can expand to 9CH (5.1.4) with a 2CH amp. You can purchase an inexpensive amp like the AudioSource100 to power the height or surround speakers as they require very little power.


http://www.amazon.com/AudioSource-AM.../dp/B00026BQJ6

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post #10 of 16 Old 09-03-2014, 09:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aras_Volodka View Post
Are you going to buy a separate preamp? If so, what are you looking at? I've never bought an audio preamp except for my record player.
I'm still undecided between the denon 4100w and the pioneer SC-85. I'm really not crazy about the idea of having to purchase an external amp, but it's not totally out of the question for me either. I would like to see what the speaker configurations of the pioneer are, but I can't find any info on that. The pioneer is $200 more and if it will do 5.1.4 out of the box then I would prefer that.


Update: Well, did some more research and from what I have found, the Pioneer will only play 5.1.2. So that counts it out for me. So far, best bang for the buck if you want 5.1.4 is the Denon 4100w with an AudioSource 100 external amp for an additional $130.

Steven J

Last edited by Steven414; 09-03-2014 at 09:58 AM.
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post #11 of 16 Old 09-03-2014, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven414 View Post
I'm still undecided between the denon 4100w and the pioneer SC-85. I'm really not crazy about the idea of having to purchase an external amp, but it's not totally out of the question for me either. I would like to see what the speaker configurations of the pioneer are, but I can't find any info on that. The pioneer is $200 more and if it will do 5.1.4 out of the box then I would prefer that.


Update: Well, did some more research and from what I have found, the Pioneer will only play 5.1.2. So that counts it out for me. So far, best bang for the buck if you want 5.1.4 is the Denon 4100w with an AudioSource 100 external amp for an additional $130.
Please share your source since that doesn't make sense given the SC-85 has 9 channels of amplification. If I was buying the Denon it would a for XT32, not that MCAAC doesn't have a few advantages depending on what you value.
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post #12 of 16 Old 09-03-2014, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by smurraybhm View Post
Please share your source since that doesn't make sense given the SC-85 has 9 channels of amplification. If I was buying the Denon it would a for XT32, not that MCAAC doesn't have a few advantages depending on what you value.

If only Pioneer could give some specifics... looking at their site it's really hard to discern what setups you can use.
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post #13 of 16 Old 09-03-2014, 01:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by smurraybhm View Post
Please share your source since that doesn't make sense given the SC-85 has 9 channels of amplification. If I was buying the Denon it would a for XT32, not that MCAAC doesn't have a few advantages depending on what you value.
Sorry, my mistake. Amazon has the SC-85 listed wrong. It's listed as a 7.2.
But the speaker setup configurations of the pioneer are still vague.

Steven J

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post #14 of 16 Old 09-20-2014, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Steven414 View Post
Sorry, my mistake. Amazon has the SC-85 listed wrong. It's listed as a 7.2.
But the speaker setup configurations of the pioneer are still vague.
I have the manual to the receiver if you want it. It's in PDF format. I own this receiver. Just got it in yesterday. it is definitely capable to go beyond 5.1.2. It will do:

7.2.2ch TMd/FH

7.2.2ch TMd/FW

7.2ch + Bi-Amp

7.2ch + HD Zone

7.2 + Speaker B

5.2 Bi-Amp+HDZONE

5.2.4ch


There is a bunch more. Here is a link to the manual.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_g...it?usp=sharing

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post #15 of 16 Old 09-21-2014, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
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I have the manual to the receiver if you want it. It's in PDF format. I own this receiver. Just got it in yesterday. it is definitely capable to go beyond 5.1.2. It will do:
Wow, last time I checked they were scheduled to be released Oct 25th. Apparently that changed. Cool! Let us know what you think. Thanks for the link.

Steven J
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post #16 of 16 Old 09-21-2014, 02:46 PM
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Wow, last time I checked they were scheduled to be released Oct 25th. Apparently that changed. Cool! Let us know what you think. Thanks for the link.
Actually I had one shipped direct from Pioneer. The started stocking in Aug. 14th. I was one of the lucky. I sent my SC-65 in for service, couldn't fix it so they sent me the newest model.
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