Excerpt: It is hard to believe it’s been six months since we first laid eyes on Pioneer’s new Class-D digital amplification technology at CEDIA last year. At the time, we were pretty excited because, based on the conversation we had at the show with Pioneer’s Executive VP of home electronics, Russ Johnston, it seemed as if the new technology the company had developed involved real technical advancement rather than just a cleverly brewed vat of marketing stew.
Pros: Extremely powerful (THX Ultra 2 Plus), Great sound, Great iPhone/iPad integration, Excellent video processing, AirPlay
Cons: Cluttered remote, No zone 2 remote, GUI needs work, Complicated operation
Excerpt: The Elite SC-57 receiver’s ($2,100) biggest claim to fame is power. Its proprietary D3 digital amplifier assumes the throne as the most powerful amp of any multichannel A/V receiver in the industry and is the only one of its kind to receive THX Ultra 2 Plus certification. From a capabilities standpoint, this unique power plant can pump out a head-splitting 140-watts of virtually loss-free power to up to nine distinct channels.
Excerpt: I’m usually suspicious of celebrity endorsements of audio gear (think Dr. Dre’s association with the Beats headphones bearing his name). But the Air Studios logo on the front panel of this attractive-looking, innovative flagship Pioneer Elite A/V receiver represents more than a casual association.