MY PRELIMINARY RATING: 3.75 out of 5
i've got mine hooked up. i like it. not completely overwhelmed, but i do like it. by the end of the weekend i will decide whether to keep or not.
mcacc pretty much measured my speakers accurately to the inch which was impressive. seemed to do a nice job of setting up the room as well.
i don't like the 'volume up' action with the remote. it's slow....too gradual in my opinion. surprisingly, i actually like the remote, with a few exceptions. sometimes i have found myself hitting a button only to find i haven't hit RECEIVER first. next thing you know the source has changed and i am scrambling to re-config everything. this is especially annoying if you are listening via DLNA and you have to reconnect to the media server and browse back to the song you were playing.
the DLNA implementation is actually better than my Panasonic bluray player (DMP-BDT110) similar, but slightly better. Also, Flac files stream nicely and sound really good.
the volume control with airplay is a bit dodgy. if you aren't careful, you will end up with melted voice coils and screaming babies. audio resolution is pretty good though.
it is difficult to tell in some situations if you have unknowingly affected your MCACC settings. you can....say....jump to your MCACC 3 settings, then add an effect of front wide or something, and i am not sure exactly how adding these different effects or enhancements affects MCACC if at all. there also seem to be 2 or 3 places to change the MCACC setting, which can be confusing. not to mention the integration of MCACC with Direct, PureDirect etc. there are 15 footnotes in the manual for when each of these is set, and the myriad effects it has.
one of my biggest gripes is that the audio and video parameters and effects are not integrated with the on-screen menu, which i find absurd. there is a TON of fine tuning you can do with the surround sound, but i can't do it from my viewing spot, because i can't read the LCD!!
another big gripe? USB port in the front only. i would love to plug in a portable HD with a copy of my music BEHIND the receiver. the only one is behind the front door which means the door must be kept open.
one of the main reasons i got this model was the ability to remote control with an iphone. i have an old iphone 3 i rebuilt and wanted to use. as of yet, i am completely unable to connect to the receiver with the AV control software. i get various errors both on my Droid and the iphone. after an hour-plus of troubleshooting, and the 2 star google play/app store rating, I consider the function 'broken'. i am a network engineer. it is not a network issue. and i did enable the network standby mode. googled the errors. they are very common. not acceptable. ESPECIALLY for all the Apple sales propaganda (tech glitch? the HORROR!) in fairness, the same thing happens on my HTC. but droid is SUPPOSED to be glitchy, right ?
i printed and bound the manual as a flip book in landscape format, which i definitely recommend for quick reference. it's a TON of information.
i wish there was a toggle button to turn on HDMI sound passthrough. the system doesn't need to be on fully when my kid is watching iCarly. i wish for an easy way to have the system compensate for the particular viewer and their skills. perhaps i am asking too much but a 9 year old (who can work the hell out of VOD) can't be expected to get into a sub-menu and change the HDMI audio so that it passes through to the TV. looks like the only option is to use the Stereo full time for sound.
vs my 12 year old Yamaha receiver ($1600 MSRP at the time), the receiver has not done much for the 'quality' of the sound. the power and (obviously subjectively judged) "fullness" of the 110wpc yamaha was similar if not superior, especially for music. BUT, the Yammie was only sporting the S-video jacks!! Didn't even do component video, LOL!. BluRay and cinematic sound effects etc DO sound better on the pioneer, but only marginally. i would say when watching something like Homeland in 5.1, the differences are extremely minimal with a slight nod going to the Pioneer, which definitely has more of a finely tuned "cinematic" sound, which definitely sounds nice! I am decently impressed with the HT aspects of the unit. my main gripes are with the stuff that is HARD to do (see above).
Prior to ordering the SC-1222, i'd already ordered a TXNR818 from B&H for a great price when the deal with Newegg came out. it was backordered 3 weeks. i kept the order in place, and the Onkyo will be here tonight. i am going to audition them side by side and keep the one i like the best.
i think for the $549 this Pioneer cost me, it's a good value and a nice/functional receiver. again...not overwhelmed, but maybe i am expecting too much. if I spent any more money than i did on either of these, and still had the issues i am having, i would be really upset. However, i betcha i'd be having the EXACT same gripes with a $1500 Elite model.
if there is/are any specific points of comparison anyone would like assessed between the two units, please let me know. i will do the bulk of the 2nd audition this weekend and will make my decision then. with the advent of Onkyo's add-on airplay unit, i am thinking that this could come down to which has the better on-screen display and whose software/controlability works as advertised. My early money is still on the Pioneer, due mainly to the price diff of $150 (plus some if i add airplay to the Onkyo). the onkyo will really have to impress me to knock the pioneer out.Edited by Russianblue - 12/18/12 at 8:36am