Pioneer Elite SC-79

    84
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    Highlights

    • 9.2 Channels
    • 9.1 Channel Processing
    • 150 W (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel driven)
    • USB DAC
    • THX™Ultra2 Plus Certified
    • 4K/30Hz Passthrough, 4K/30Hz Upscaling
    • Bluetooth, Ethernet
    • Phono Input
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    Disclosure: We earn money from the affiliate links to products associated with content in this article.

    Overview

    Pioneer Elite SC-79 was introduced in 2013 and represented a flagship model of a manufacturer. It is equipped with 9 channel amplifier with 150 W (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel driven) power per channel and is capable of 9.1 maximum channel processing. It passes 4K/30Hz and upscales up to 4K/30p video signal.

    We evaluated the a/v receiver and gave 84 overall score out of 100. Our ranking system is based on the amplifier specifications, audio and video features, connectivity, multizone capabilities, radio and many other details.

    Amplifier
    97
    Audio Features
    78
    Video Features
    66
    Connectivity
    87
    Zones
    95
    Radio
    85
    OVERALL
    84

    For more details about the ranking please scroll down to an    Evaluation section.

    Pros and Cons

    In this section we present pros and cons of Pioneer Elite SC-79.

    PROs

    •   High Power Output - 150 W
    •   Front Wide Channel Support
    •   THX™ Certification
    •   9.1 Channel Processing
    •   DSD via HDMI
    •   USB DAC
    •   Auto Speaker Calibration System with Mic.
    •   New HDCP Version
    •   Analog To HDMI Upconversion
    •   Bluetooth
    •   9 HDMI Inputs
    •   5 HDMI Outputs
    •   USB Input
    •   Phono Input
    •   RCA Pre-Outs
    •   Composite Video Inputs
    •   Component Video Inputs
    •   Ethernet
    •   4 Zones
    •   Analog Tuner
    •   Pandora
    •   Spotify
    •   Low Leakage Flux Power Transformer

    CONs

    •   No Dolby Atmos
    •   No Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization
    •   No DTS:X
    •   No IMAX Enhanced
    •   No Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer
    •   No HDR10
    •   No HDR10+
    •   No Dolby Vision
    •   No eARC
    •   No 8K Passthrough
    •   Does not Work with Amazon Alexa
    •   0 8K Input
    •   No Digital Radio
    •   No Tidal

    And here are some specifications which fall into average criteria and are neither in PROs nor in CONs category:

    AVERAGE

    •   9.2 Channels
    •   Wi-Fi
    •   RCA Line Inputs

    Pioneer 2013 Lineup

    In 2013 Pioneer released 14 new receivers. Here is the lineup:

    Pioneer 2013 Lineup
    ModelChannelsPowerMax. Ch. Proc.Pre OutsRoom Corr.Zones Price
    SC-79 Image cannot be found 9.2150 W9.111.2 Advanced MCACC4
    SC-77 Image cannot be found 9.2140 W9.111.2 Advanced MCACC4
    SC-75 Image cannot be found 9.2135 W9.111.2 Advanced MCACC4
    SC-72 Image cannot be found 7.2130 W7.19.2 Advanced MCACC4
    SC-71 Image cannot be found 7.2120 W7.12.2 Advanced MCACC3
    VSX-70 Image cannot be found 7.290 W7.12.2 Advanced MCACC3
    VSX-43 Image cannot be found 7.180 W7.12
    SC-1523-K Image cannot be found 9.2135 W9.111.2 Advanced MCACC4
    SC-1323-K Image cannot be found 7.2125 W7.19.2 Advanced MCACC4
    SC-1223-K Image cannot be found 7.2120 W7.12.2 Advanced MCACC3
    VSX-1123-K Image cannot be found 7.290 W7.12.2 Advanced MCACC3
    VSX-1023-K Image cannot be found 7.180 W7.1 MCACC Auto2
    VSX-823-K Image cannot be found 5.180 W5.1 MCACC Auto1
    VSX-523-K Image cannot be found 5.180 W5.1 MCACC Auto1

    You can view their side-by-side comparison here: Pioneer SC-79 vs SC-77 vs SC-75 vs SC-72 vs SC-71 vs VSX-70.

    Predecessor

    Here we are comparing Pioneer Elite SC-79 to its predecessor SC-68 and displaying the major changes.

    UPGRADES Pioneer Elite SC-79 vs Pioneer SC-68
    Higher Power Output 150 W (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel driven) vs 140 W (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel driven)
    Music Playback via USB AIFF/WAV/Apple Lossless/FLAC/MP3/WMA/AAC/DSD 5.6Mhz vs WAV, MP3, WMA, AAC, FLAC, DSD
    High Resolution Audio Formats via USB Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, DSD vs WAV/FLAC/DSD
    Gapless Playback vs
    HDBaseT Compatible for MAIN/HDZONE (HDMI Extension via CAT5 Cable) vs
    Video Signal Upscaling up to 4K/30p vs up to 1080/24p (Marvell Qdeo)
    More HDMI Inputs 9 (1 front) vs 8 (1 front)
    More HDMI Outputs 3 (2 for MAIN, 1 for MAIN/HDZONE) vs 3 (2 for MAIN, 1 for Sub/Zone4)
    Spotify vs
    Low Leakage Flux Power Transformer vs
    Higher Power Output (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel Driven, FTC) 150 W (0.08% THD) vs 140 W (0.08% THD)
    Higher Power Output (6 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel driven, FTC) 200 W (1.0% THD) vs 190 W (1.0% THD)
    Higher Power Output (4 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel Driven) 255 W (1.0% THD) vs 250 W (1.0% THD)
    Higher Multi Channel Simultaneous Drive (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 1.0%) 850 W (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 1.0%) vs 810 W (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 1.0%)
    Higher DSD Sampling Rate via USB 2.8 MHz vs 2.8 MHz
    DOWNGRADES Pioneer Elite SC-79 vs Pioneer SC-68
    Multi-Channel Input vs 7.1
    Multi-Zone On-Screen Display vs (Z2 & Z3)
    SiriusXM vs

    For more detailed comparison between the models please visit Pioneer Elite SC-79 vs SC-68.

    Successor

    In 2014 Pioneer Elite SC-79 was replaced by Pioneer SC-89. Let us now have a look at some important differences between Pioneer Elite SC-79 and its successor.

    UPGRADES Pioneer SC-89 vs Pioneer Elite SC-79
    Dolby Atmos up to with firmware update vs
    Independent Subwoofer Outputs vs
    More Advanced Auto Speaker Calibration System MCACC Pro vs Advanced MCACC
    Video Signal Passthrough up to 4K/60p (4:4:4 24-bit)
    4K/60p (4:2:2 36-bit)
    4K/24p (4:4:4 36-bit)
    vs up to 4K/30p
    Video Signal Upscaling up to 4K/60p (Marvell Qdeo) vs up to 4K/30p
    More Powered Zones 2, 3 and HDZone vs 2 and 3
    Multi-Zone On-Screen Display HDZone vs
    DOWNGRADES Pioneer SC-89 vs Pioneer Elite SC-79
    Lower Power Output 140 W (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel driven) vs 150 W (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel driven)
    THX™ Certification vs Ultra2 Plus
    Surround EX vs
    Less HDMI Inputs 8 (1 front) vs 9 (1 front)
    Less RCA Line Inputs 3 vs 5
    Less Composite Video Inputs 2 vs 5 (1 front)
    Less Component Video Inputs 2 vs 3
    Front A/V Inputs HDMI, USB vs HDMI, USB, Composite Video
    Zone 2 Outs RCA Pre/Line Out + Subwoofer vs Component Video, Composite Video, RCA Pre/Line Out + Subwoofer
    Zone 3 Outs RCA Pre/Line Out vs Composite Video, RCA Pre/Line Out + Subwoofer
    Lower Power Output (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel Driven, FTC) 140 W (0.08% THD) vs 150 W (0.08% THD)

    For more detailed comparison between the models please visit Pioneer Elite SC-79 vs SC-89.

    Audio Section

    9 channel Class D3 Amplifier

    Pioneer Elite SC-79 features 9 channel power amplifier with Class D3 design. It is rated at 150 W (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel driven) and is able to drive 4 ohm speakers.

      THX Ultra2 Plus certified

      Pioneer Elite SC-79 is THX Ultra2 Plus certified. This means that it brings the cinematic experience to large home theaters, 3,000 cubic feet (85 cubic meters) in size, with a viewing distance of 12 feet (4 meters) or greater from the screen.

      • THX™ Certification: THX™ Certification offers optimal performance, superior quality and seamless integration. THX works with partners from the ground up, so that certified products deliver professional quality audio-visual experiences right out of the box. They only certify the very best products with uncompromised quality, performance and consistency. They ensure that THX certified devices play well with lower performing devices and components. THX listening modes make the receiver to have one speaker set up for movies, music and games. They are tested for power output, bass management, signal-to-noise ratio and feature THX Loudness Plus, Boundary Gain Compensation, Timbre Matching and RE-EQ.
      • Power Output: Power output is tested to ensure the receiver accurately plays source material at THX Reference Level in every input and mode and at every sampling rate for all possible playback combinations selected by the listener.
      • Frequency Response: THX has strict requirements for frequency response to ensure that you hear all the details in high-resolution tracks, ensures dialog in movies, and vocals in music are clear while maintaining deep, impactful bass output that doesn’t overpower the listening experience.
      • Signal-to-Noise Ratio: THX tests the signal-to-noise ratio to ensure the unit is designed to have low noise performance with very little to no audible hiss from the speakers.
      • Bass Management: THX requires an 80Hz crossover point in the setup menu to ensure proper bass management in every THX Certified AVR. This setting confirms that the subwoofer handles low frequencies, freeing up the loudspeakers to handle mids and highs.
      • THX Loudness Plus™: THX Loudness Plus™ is a volume control technology featured in THX Certified Dominus, THX Certified Ultra and THX Certified Select AV Receivers, and preamplifiers that automatically adjusts the front-to-back speaker level relationship as you turn the volume down. With THX Loudness Plus, home theater audiences can now experience the rich details of surround sound at any volume level.
      • Boundary Gain Compensation: Sitting near a wall may result in increased acoustic levels at the lower frequencies. BGC corrects the way low frequency sound is perceived when seated near a wall. This results in a more accurate bass response.
      • Timbre Matching: Your ears hear different tonal qualities in sounds coming from different directions. Timbre Matching restores the frequency balance between your front and surround speakers ensuring seamless and smooth panning between the front to back of the room.
      • RE-EQ: Many movie soundtracks are mixed in studios for playback in large cinema auditoriums with an array of speakers. When played on home systems, they may appear abrasive and edgy. Re-EQ establishes a more accurate tonal balance when enjoying movies in your home.
      AMPLIFIER
      Channels9.2
      Power Output150 W (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel driven)
      Front Wide Channel Support
      Amplifier DesignClass D3 (Direct Energy HD)
      THX™ Certification Ultra2 Plus
      Continuous 6 Ω Rated
      Certified 4 Ω Performance
      Bi-amp Capability Front, Center, Surround, SP-B

      Speaker Configurations

      Pioneer Elite SC-79's 9 channel amplifier can be assigned for different speaker configurations.

      • Configurations: Available configurations are:
      • 5.2, 7.2, 9.2 with internal amplifier.
      • Front Wide Channel support: Pioneer Elite SC-79 supports front wide channels. With the presence of two front wide speakers you can enhance the front surround stage. The following speaker configurations are available for front wide channels - 9.2.
      • 4-ch Bi-Amp: Pioneer Elite SC-79 allows you to bi-amp up to 4 main channels simultaneously. During bi-amplification two amplifiers are used for one speaker. One amplifier powers the midrange and tweeter section of the speaker and another amplifier powers the low frequency woofers. Each amplifier is less loaded and performs better. In order to use this feature speakers must have 2 pairs of connectors.
      Pioneer Elite SC-79
      DECODING
      Dolby Atmos
      Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization
      Dolby Atmos Music
      Dolby TrueHD
      Dolby Digital Plus
      Dolby Surround Upmixer
      Dolby Pro Logic PLIIz
      Dolby Digital EX
      Surround EX
      DTS:X
      DTS Neural:X
      DTS Virtual:X
      DTS Neo Neo:X
      DTS-HD Master Audio
      DTS-HD High Resolution Audio
      DTS 96/24
      DTS Express
      DTS-ES Discrete 6.1, Matrix 6.1
      IMAX Enhanced
      Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer

      Sound Processing

      • Advanced Sound Retriever: Compressed music enhancement in Pioneer Elite SC-79 is done by Pioneer’s Advanced Sound Retriever. Hear the detail, warmth and clarity, the way the artist intended it, from all of your highly compressed MP3 and WMA files stored on USB, Smartphone and portable media players. By restoring data that tend to get lost in the digital compression process, Pioneers Advanced Sound Retriever Technology enhances audio reproduction all the way upto 20 Khz frequencies.

      Room Calibration

      Pioneer Elite SC-79 comes with Advanced MCACC room correction system and includes the calibration microphone.

      • MCACC: Pioneer’s exclusive Multi-Channel Acoustic Calibration System (MCACC) delivers an easy-to-use, automatic sound adjustment system to precision-tune your Pioneer and Pioneer Elite receivers with minimal effort. Every MCACC system comes with a microphone to measure and analyze reverb characteristics. The equalizer optimally adjusts sound parameters to fit the size and shape of your home environment while maintaining the integrity of high-resolution playback without any degradation to the quality of your music.

      Video Section

      HDMI

      Pioneer Elite SC-79 features 9 HDMI inputs. It has 3 outputs: 2 for MAIN and 1 for MAIN/HDZONE.

      • 4K/30Hz Passthrough: All inputs pass up to 4K/30p video signal.
      • 4K Upscaling: Pioneer Elite SC-79 can upscale up to 4K/30p from HDMI and analog sources.
      • Analog To HDMI Upconversion: The a/v receiver supports video upconversion, so you can connect your analog Component and Composite video sources and Pioneer Elite SC-79 will output them via HDMI. This means that you will need only one HDMI cable to connect to your TV.
      • HDCP 2.2 Copy Protection: All inputs and outputs are HDCP 2.2 compliant which is a requirement for 4K/HDR copy-protected content transmission.
      • 3D Ready: Pioneer Elite SC-79 is able to pass 3D video through HDMI.
      Pioneer Elite SC-79
      VIDEO FEATURES
      HDR10
      HDR10+
      Dynamic HDR
      BT.2020 color space
      Dolby Vision
      HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma)
      HDBaseT Compatible for MAIN/HDZONE (HDMI Extension via CAT5 Cable)
      Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC)
      HDCP Version2.2
      QMS (Quick Media Switching)
      ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode)
      VRR (Variable Refresh Rate)
      QFT (Quick Frame transport)
      3-D Ready
      Video Signal Passthroughup to 4K/30p
      Video Signal Upscaling up to 4K/30p

      Multi-zone Playback

      Pioneer Elite SC-79 offers multi-zone playback which allows you to play different input sources in 4 different rooms.


      Zone 2

      • Powered Zone 2: You can use the unit's 2 amplifier channels by connecting Zone 2 speakers directly to the speaker terminals. The remaining 7 channels will be left for main zone amplification.
      • Audio Pre/Line Output: If you have a dedicated amplifier for Zone 2 you can connect it to the a/v receiver via pre/line outs and use "pre out" option to control volume from the a/v receiver or use "line out" option - send fixed signal and then control volume on the Zone 2 amplifier.
      • Composite Video Output: Pioneer Elite SC-79 has analog Composite Video output for Zone 2. This means that it can send a different video signal to the TV.
      • Component Video Output: Pioneer Elite SC-79 has analog Component Video output for Zone 2, so you can send a different video signal to the TV. Component video connection provides the higher image quality than the composite and S-Video connections.

      Zone 3

      • Powered Zone 3: You can use the unit's 2 amplifier channels by connecting Zone 3 speakers directly to the speaker terminals. The remaining 7 channels will be left for main zone amplification.
      • Audio Pre/Line Output: If you have a dedicated amplifier for Zone 2 you can connect it to the a/v receiver via pre/line outs and use "pre out" option to control volume from the a/v receiver or use "line out" option - send fixed signal and then control volume on the Zone 3 amplifier.
      • Composite Video Output: Pioneer Elite SC-79 has analog Composite Video output for Zone 3. This means that it can send a different video signal to the TV.

      Zone 4

      • HDMI Output: Pioneer Elite SC-79 offers HDMI output for Zone 4. This means that it can send two different HDMI signals to two displays.
      ZONES
      Number of Zones4
      Powered Zones 2 and 3
      Zone 2 OutsComponent Video, Composite Video, RCA Pre/Line Out + Subwoofer
      Zone 3 OutsComposite Video, RCA Pre/Line Out + Subwoofer
      Zone 4 OutsHDMI
      RS-232C Interface
      +12V Trigger Output2 (Main, Zone2, Zone 3, HDZone)
      Remote (IR) Input/Output2 / 1
      >

      Inputs and Outputs

      Audio

      • Phono Input: There is an MM phono input with built-in phono stage for connecting the moving magnet cartridge output of the turntable directly to the a/v receiver.
      • Analog Pre-Outs: Pioneer Elite SC-79 has 11.2 preamplifier outputs which allow you to connect the a/v receiver to the external power amplifier. You may want to use a high quality external amplifier for certain channels, usually for front L/R and center, and use the a/v receiver to power the rest.
      • Analog Line Inputs and Outputs: There are 5 line inputs and 1 line output for analog audio connection.
      • Digital Inputs and Outputs: 2 optical inputs, 1 optical output and 2 coaxial inputs are available for digital audio connection.
      • Headphone Output: There is a 6.3 mm (1/4") headphone output jack on the front panel.

      Video

      • HDMI:
      • Inputs: 9 (1 front)   Outputs: 3 (2 for MAIN, 1 for MAIN/HDZONE)
        8K Inputs: 0
      • Composite Video: Connect you VCR, Laserdisc player and other old video equipment with composite video cables.
      • Inputs: 5   Outputs: 2
      • Component Video: Component video connection gives you the higher quality video compared to the composite video connection. So in case your old DVD player and other equipment do not have an HDMI output but have Component video output use this connection over the composite one. Pioneer Elite SC-79 supports up to 1080p (1125p) resolution on Component video connectors.
      • Inputs: 3   Outputs: 1

      Front A/V Inputs

      • HDMI, USB, Composite Video
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      TERMINALS
      HDMI Inputs9 (1 front)
      HDMI Outputs3 (2 for MAIN, 1 for MAIN/HDZONE)
      8K Inputs
      USB Input1 Front
      USB DC Out Port1 Rear for AS-WL300 (5 V, 0.6 A)
      Optical Inputs2
      Optical Outputs1
      Coaxial Inputs2
      RCA Line Inputs5
      RCA Line Outputs1
      XLR Line Inputs
      Phono Input
      Multi-Channel Input
      RCA Pre-Outs11.2
      XLR Pre-outs
      Composite Video Inputs5 (1 front)
      Composite Video Outputs2
      S-Video Inputs
      S-Video Outputs
      Component Video Inputs3
      Component Video Outputs1

      Pioneer Elite SC-79 Evaluation

      We evaluate Pioneer Elite SC-79 and give score of 84 out of 100. We also give separate scores for 6 different categories according to the available features and specifications some of which are listed below. These evaluations are relative and may change each time a new receiver is added to the database.


      OVERALL
      84

      Amplifier

      EXCELLENT
      97

      We give Pioneer Elite SC-79 a score of 97 for Amplifier features.

      •   9.2 Channels
      •   High Power Output - 150 W
      •   THX™ Certification

      Audio Features

      GOOD
      78

      We give Pioneer Elite SC-79 a score of 78 for Audio Features features.

      •   9.2 Channels
      •   Front Wide Channel Support
      •   9.1 Channel Processing
      •   No Dolby Atmos
      •   No Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization
      •   No DTS:X
      •   No IMAX Enhanced
      •   No Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer
      •   DSD via HDMI
      •   USB DAC

      Video Features

      AVERAGE
      66

      We give Pioneer Elite SC-79 a score of 66 for Video Features features.

      •   No HDR10
      •   No HDR10+
      •   No Dolby Vision
      •   No 8K Passthrough
      •   Analog To HDMI Upconversion

      Connectivity

      EXCELLENT
      87

      We give Pioneer Elite SC-79 a score of 87 for Connectivity features.

      •   No eARC
      •   New HDCP Version
      •   Wi-Fi
      •   Bluetooth
      •   Does not Work with Amazon Alexa
      •   9 HDMI Inputs
      •   5 HDMI Outputs
      •   0 8K Input
      •   USB Input
      •   RCA Line Inputs
      •   Phono Input
      •   RCA Pre-Outs
      •   Composite Video Inputs
      •   Component Video Inputs
      •   Ethernet

      Zones

      EXCELLENT
      95

      We give Pioneer Elite SC-79 a score of 95 for Zones features.

      •   4 Zones

      Radio

      EXCELLENT
      85

      We give Pioneer Elite SC-79 a score of 85 for Radio features.

      •   Analog Tuner
      •   Pandora
      •   Spotify
      •   No Tidal


      For a full specification list please go to the specifications page:

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