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Pioneer Elite SC-05 A/V Receiver Reviews and Discussion

14837 Views 20 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  Claw
From Pioneer Site

7.1-Channel A/V Receiver Featuring Direct Energy HD Amplification, Advanced HDMI® Connectivity, and Network Media Entertainment

  • ICEPower® Class-D Amplifier module
  • PQLS with HDMI
  • Home Media Gallery
Suggested Price: $1,899.99
Street Pricing in Canada is likely near $1,400 or $1,500. (if you know of a deal, please post it in the Digital Deals forum) as this thread is for discussion of the receiver itself.

From AVmag review

If your net worth is heading south and you're looking for flagship performance at a bargain price, the Pioneer Elite SC-05 brings a lot to the table. Sure, it falls short in its video processing but makes up for it with fantastic audio performance.

Home Media Gallery
4 HDMI inputs
Clean, dynamic amplifiers
Excellent two-channel performance
Decodes Dolby TrueHD & DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks
Internet radio

No HD radio
No video processing of HDMI inputs
No video processing of 1080i/720p component signals

Complete Ultimate AVMag Review
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The ICE implementation of the class D amp certainly seems to be the way ahead for mainstream AVRs, after having already gained a foothold in the boutique world. There are come great reviews out there on the Rotels, Axion etc. My concern on the SC-05, (and 07, 09 for that matter) is the lack of video processing on HDMI and 1080i/720p component inputs. Especially at this price/level of an AVR. I know that a good source would not need any further processing however, it really should be an option, in particular for the $7k+ Elite SC-09!
SC05 Pricing

I am currently looking at upgrading my entire home theatre and have looked at 2 AV receivers. The first is the NAD I775 and the second the Pioneer Elite SC05.

If anyone has an opinion on the NAD versus the Pioneer, I'd like to hear it...
Pioneer sc-05 vs Nad

Well Leaflover,...bad showing from the buds last night,eh?

As for your query,just yesterday I was purchasing a pair of
Totem's Rainmakers.Unbelievable sound by the way.
I asked the salesman,who, I believe is the owner of the shop as well,what receiver he would recommend,for a serious music listener like myself.
Without hesitation,he showed me the Nad.
He also sells the Pioneer.
Nad focuses it's design on musicality over all else.
However for home theater purposes the Pioneer
shines with more features.
It also sports the new "ICE"technology.
I have heard the Pioneer,but it was driving a pair of Monitor Audio silver 8's.Sounded amazing.
Was it the amp or was it the speakers?
I believe the speakers ultimately convey the bottom line.
If your a serious music listener,I would go with the Nad.
Their 2 channel for stereo is unsurpassed.
But if you lean more to movie watching,then the Pioneer
is the one for you.
Oh by the way,are you upgrading the speakers?
If so,Totems,Totems,Totems.
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From what I have read on other forums, I wouldn't be running any 4 ohm Totems with any Pioneer Ice amplification. Looks like an external true 4 ohm capable amp (NAD/Rotel/Outlaw/Cambridge Audio/Arcam etc) is required to get all of what the Totems are capable of.
Agree, the Leafs played poorly last night but I have high I have year after year. Thanks for the opinion acoreano. Yes, I am in the process of upgrading everything over time. I will start with the AVR and then move to speakers; followed by a new projector. Mine are all tired.

We spend a lot of time watching movies, but do listen to music often as well, especially the DVD versions of concerts. I am leaning towards the NAD T775 which I can get for $1600 CDN new. The dealer picked up a whack when the dollar was high...go figure a Canadian company leveraging our high $ to buy back product that supposedly originates here. In any event, my research tells me that the Pioneer is exactly what you suggest, more feature rich for video. The guy I spoke with (who seemed very objective) just emailed me what I think is a very compelling aurgument.

From his email:

"But really the most important thing to remember is that when you buy audio the fundamental is sound NOT video....if you purchase a piece based on supposed video processing then what you're doing is gambling on the longevity of that processing (which will be obsolete within a year or two if not sooner) and sacrificing the most important element of sonic fidelity.

One of the things that some AVR's will do that the Nad will not do is video upscaling.....which in my opinion is the most overrated feature I have ever many components going forward will you need upscaling for assuming it does anything at all? VCR? Regular DVD (certainly not blu ray). See what I mean? Everything now has HDMI and you don't need the upscaling - moreover the upscaling can make an analogue source look worse - if you're starting with a lousy signal then it really doesn't matter how many algorithims you apply to it....its still a low res lousy signal."

I think this makes a lot of Also, thanks very much for the Totem suggestion, I have listened to a bunch of speakers and I will check out the Totems to be sure. Tried hard not to compare...!
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Completely agree with that argument.

And by buying NAD and Totems,you are buying Canadian.
That was the the same argument that my salesman gave to me when I was looking at the sc-05 and the marantz 6003, and was leaning towards the sc-05 because of its options. He said I would be sacrificing quite a bit of sound quality for features I most likely will never use. It's pretty cool to have a guy like that who is willing to sacrifice a few dollars on commission in order to steer the client to a better product. And once he had them set up so I could do a side by side, the choice was very apparent of why he recommended the marantz over the Pio Elite. I would guess it would be a similar situation with the NAD vs. the Pio as well.

As for speakers, Totems are amazing but make sure you give them proper power. As 987654321 suggested, if you were to go this way, run a seperate 2 channel 4-ohm capable amp so as not to strain anything. I would also suggest Paradigm Studio's (still have my v.1 20's for rears and they are incredible for a monitors), NHT, KEF and Energy Reference Conoisseur 50's or 70's. I have the Energy rc-50's and the marantz gave them new life.
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I have had 2 Pioneer Elite Recievers....they are great....never a problem always sounded good...high resell value....can't wait to get the new surround formats.

The Pioneers do not scale over HDMI which means Blu and HD are left untouched.
BTW, my -07 blows the Marantz9000 -Carver M1 to smithereens.
Well I hope your brand new sc-07 beats out a 9 year old pre-amp processor:rolleyes:.
obviously for new HD sound formats but not necessarily for stereo. Age has nothing to do with that. If I understand your post , you were more concerned with the sound of a 05 compared to the Marantz. I'm telling you the sound is better in the 07 compared to the Marantz 9000. This has nothing to do with age , stereo vs stereo.
I pick mine up on Friday (trading up my VSX03)

I'll report then. As for the decision NAD vs. Elite - I've had 2 NADs and 3 Elites. If not for my Elite 151 TV, I'd buy NAD (But I use HDMI control on the elite)
If you wanna go this can invest in the Elite (05 or 07) and maybe latch it together with an Elite Bluray player and you'll have PQLS (Precision Quartz Locking System) wherein the AVR & Bluray synchronize the CD data for perfect audio.

Just a thought.
obviously for new HD sound formats but not necessarily for stereo. Age has nothing to do with that. If I understand your post , you were more concerned with the sound of a 05 compared to the Marantz. I'm telling you the sound is better in the 07 compared to the Marantz 9000. This has nothing to do with age , stereo vs stereo.
That's cool, I'm glad you like it, but for me the 05 just lacked a bit of fullness in it's sound compared to the Marantz 6003. But it could be that the 07 is better than the 05 in this regard. I don't know as I didn't listen to the 07 as it was out of my price range and I didn't want to wait 6 months to a year for the shops around here to bring the price down.
SC-05 upgrades

Since this model has been out for a while has there been improvements or upgrades? If so, how would you know if you are buying the latest and greatest of the SC-05s?
There is no upgrades for the SC-05. I currently am using one and its Advanced MCACC feature is what I love the most (other than the cleanliness of ICEpower amps and PQLS jitter-free audio playback). The standing wave and reverb control of Advanced MCACC work like a charm!
Home Media Gallery Question on the SC-05


I just figured out how to properly setup the HMG to see my Windows based laptop and the media on it.

Problem is, since then, HMG takes about an hour to load. I have tried it unplugging the network cable with the same result. Anyone have any idea what may be causing the slow load time for HMG and if there is a reset for the the network settings? I am predicting it may be a configuration problem that doesn't know how to get rid of itself.

I have tried resetting the receiver to factory defaults, but it didn't resolve this problem.

Hmmm VSX-1019 or SC05 ?

Was going for a VSX-1019 but a sale this weekend has the SC05 on for $888.
I'm mostly a Home Theatre guy with some old Klipsch Synergy series. in 7.1

At this discount, its only a tad more the the $630 for the 1019.
Any reason NOT to go for the extra and get an Elite?

Sources will me some HD media on the network, played over HDMI from an MVIX, some 1080i/720p from an assortment of cable and sat boxes.
Maybe some BluRay from an HTPC.

Output to a Panny 54V10 or 58V10 if the sale looks what I think it does.

All HDMI of course.

Is there ANYTHING the VSX has over the Elite I should be looking at other than price?

Need to know by 08:00 AM this Saturday
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Go get the SC-05, the sound quality difference is night and day. There is no comparison between the two. I absolutely love my SC-05. Even if you don't think there is no use of the ICEpower amplification, the extra warranty and better remote and build quality alone is enough justification for the extra money.

Depending which store you're going to, you might see me there. I'm the chinaman with a long ponytail.
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