Originally Posted by david3772
Apologies in advance for another "A vs. B" thread. I've been pondering these receivers and thought someone might have a fresh perspective . . . I have been considering a new av receiver for a while now, and have been consistently impressed with the sound of Pioneer's Class D3 amps. I am leaning toward an SC-71 because I am interested in the power but not the bells and whistles offered by the higher models. I thought I might pick up one of last year's models at a discount, but it seems the SC-61 and its siblings are over 17" deep and won't fit in my cabinet. The SC-71 is about 14.6" deep according to Pioneer's website . . . That being said, I keep reading very good things about the new Sony STR-DN1040. Both the Pioneer and the Sony have plenty of power, but I notice the Sony weighs just over 10 pounds and the Pioneer about 25 pounds. That concerns me a little bit. And I understand power ratings can be tricky and misleading. What gets my attention is that the Sony is $300-$400 less, but includes built-in wifi and bluetooth. . . Should the Pioneer sound better? Or just sound different? I don't mind the extra cost if I get something for the money. Any thoughts are welcome.
I am also interested in those brands/model + the Yamaha RX-A720. I think they're all fine and anyone of them would serve me well when I listen to a "taxi-cab driver blow his horn" in a romantic comedy movie set in NYC, or watching the Weather Channel, or News, or many other programs. In fact, it was this forum where one of the engineers said that 90% of HT is video not audio, and of that 90%, only 10% involves movies that even need full surround sound, like an action movie. Essentially it is all hyped up money making duping us all. I realized that it was really overkill, kinda like buying a Ferrari to go grocery shopping. I am still building up a HT but not in such a crazy way as some here might often suggest. I mean, do I really need a McIntosh AVR to hear a taxi cab blow his horn? . . . I think not! And neither do I need an Integra, Rotel, Anthem, Marantz, Pioneer Elite, Cambridge, B&K, Lexicon, Adcom, Cary, Luxman, etc., etc., etc! to hear that taxi-cab driver. There are two situations where you might want a higher end AVR: listening to full complete music tracks, or if you only have one system and do not separate your audio and video.
But there are two other situations where you do not need a high end AVR, one, where you separate your audio and video, and the other, where you only watch video. I separate mine, so I got interested in the entry level AVR's for about $250. Even if I wanted to show off my system at the end of Fright Night 3D, when Hugo sings the entire 99 Problems, I mean c'mon, how important is that when you could donate that extra money to some child in Guatemala that would be thankful for just a cheap old analog tube radio. Not if I won the lottery would I buy a high end AVR for these purposes. So, basically I am making my HT for my Grandchildren, and for others to enjoy -- but it wont have a McIntosh level. Yes, I'll watch it some but it just isnt all that critical. The proof of that is that this HT thing is somewhat of a novelty, a fad that wears off. I've seen and talked to too many disillusioned former HT advocates end up with just simple 2 channel systems for all their audio-video needs. But the new generations seems to think its kool, so I figure let them have it, life's cruel enough soon enough.
So, I got to the point of even considering the Sony STR-DH740. It does 2 channel stereo, and the taxi driver sounds good, as well as, the weather channel. Ummm, it doesnt have any Internet functions, but my 3D TV has a full web browser and my high end Blu-Ray player does, so how many times do I need all those same apps-features? For example I have the MHL on my Oppo (now there is a wise place to put your HT $$$), so why does my AVR need it too? So, I saved $$$ just by nixing off AVR with MHL. As for the Pioneer SC-71, what I liked best about the unit was that it was supposed to run cooler, because it has a class D amplification. That is, until I read a review about someone's testing that model. So, now I nixed that model off, and again saved many $$$ by doing so. Btw, the Pioneer is not $1,200 or $1,400, it is listed at $1,000 and is greatly reduced to $700 on Amazon. And furthermore if it is so darned good why isnt Pioneer offering a 3 year warranty like Yamaha does. It has the same year warranty as the Sony 1040. And about the Sony, it isnt $500 retail as previously mentioned, it is $600. Here is a copy of the Pioneer review:
. . . "I have noticed that this receiver gets quite warm, even when being used at medium listening levels. The heat is not enough to concern me, but more than I expected, considering the advertised efficiency of the D³ amps . . . It also made evident a weakness: lack of subwoofer EQ. The SC-71 will EQ down to about 125Hz, but below that you are basically stuck with your sub's natural response in your room (or an external EQ/DSP solution). After playing with sub placement and seating location, I have a setup that is pretty good for my main listening position despite a couple of peaks and dips, however the other seats in the room suffer from a nasty peak in bass below 40Hz. Another drawback is the lack of ability to measure and average room responses from multiple positions, as others like Audyssey and YPAO can do. It is something that could potentially be very beneficial for my room, and many others . . .
Conclusions and Recommendations: My major gripes would be lack of bass EQ and preamp outputs (beyond subs and main L&R), and a lousy remote. Unfortunately gripes 1 & 2 would both be deal breakers for me. Pioneer receivers probably do not get the attention they deserve, considering the majority of the discussion I see and hear seem to be focused around Onkyo, Denon, and Marantz, but based on my time with the SC-71 I believe many consumers would be very happy with any one of the Elite receivers.[END QUOTE]
Again, the heat issue was my interest in a Class D, and that review opened my eyes about that model. And the Subwoofer Hz issue was the other deal- braker for me. But the Pioneer is the nicest looking, with the orange backlighting display -- orange and black go well together -- I dislike the white backlighting, too distracting. I do agree that I would still pick the Pioneer over the Onkyo, Denon, and Marantz. I know a dealer who said that Onkyo had the worst attrition rate of all the brands he ever sold. Eight out of ten units he sold came back for some type of repair; id, for Denon, not what they use to be. As for Saul Marantz's products, look on the back, its Death by China. So, now its a race between the Sony 740, and the 1040, or the Yamaha RX-A720. I'm sure all are fine for movie sounds, so I'm waiting to see what develops. Btw, according to Matthew Moskovciak of C|net, his fellow employee, Audio expert, Steve Gutenberg, liked the 1040 the best out of all the AVR's tested this year . . . Hmmm, that guys knows tons more than we do. The 1040's large caps and transformer is what initially grabbed my attention. Since then I have learned that since it has the most power of all the models I considered, I would not have to turn the vol up as high to get the same level of efficiency, and therefore it will run cooler, and therefore will last longer, and therefore is a better value. That's my take on it.