Pioneer Elite SC-79 (USA version)
- 9.2 channels
- 9.1 channel processing
- 150 W (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel driven)
- USB DAC
- THX Ultra2 Plus certified
- 4K Upscaling, 4K Passthrough
- AirPlay, DLNA
- Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
- USB and Phono inputs
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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.
Pros and Cons
In this section we present pros and cons of Pioneer Elite SC-79.
|Front Wide Channel Support|
|9.1 Channel Processing|
|DSD via HDMI|
|Auto Speaker Calibration System with Mic.|
|New HDCP Version|
|4K or 8K Video Passthrough|
|4K or 8K Signal Upscaling|
|Analog To HDMI Upconversion|
|Many HDMI Inputs|
|Many HDMI Outputs|
|Many Optical Inputs|
|Composite Video Inputs|
|Component Video Inputs|
|Low Leakage Flux Power Transformer|
|No Dolby Atmos|
|No Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization|
|No IMAX Enhanced|
|No Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer|
|No Dolby Vision|
|No Chromecast Built-In|
|Does not Work with Amazon Alexa|
|Few 8K Inputs|
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 Elite SC-68|
|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|
|Video Signal Upscaling||up to 4K/30p||vs||up to 1080/24p (Marvell Qdeo)|
|HDBaseT Compatible||for MAIN/HDZONE (HDMI Extension via CAT5 Cable)||vs|
|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)|
|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 Elite SC-68|
|Multi-Zone On-Screen Display||vs||(Z2 & Z3)|
|SiriusXM Internet Radio||vs|
|Extension Terminal||vs||5 V, 150 mA|
For more detailed comparison between the models please visit Pioneer Elite SC-79 vs Pioneer Elite SC-68.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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 offers multi-zone playback which allows you to play different input sources in 4 different rooms.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Inputs and Outputs
- 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.
- XLR Inputs: There is one pair of XLR inputs on this a/v receiver. If your CD player, Blu-Ray player or other source have XLR outputs you can connect them to the Pioneer Elite SC-79's XLR Inputs for higher quality balanced connection.
- Analog Line Inputs and Outputs: There are 5 line inputs and 1 line output for analog audio connection.
- Digital Inputs and Outputs: 1 optical input, 2 optical outputs 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.
- 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
Here we list all the available features and specifications of Pioneer Elite SC-79.
|Front Wide Channel Support|
|Amplifier||Class D3 (Direct Energy HD)|
|THX™ Certification||Ultra2 Plus|
|Continuous 6 Ω Rated|
|Certified 4 Ω Performance|
|Bi-amp Capability||Front, Center, Surround, SP-B|
|Digital Signal Processing (DSP) Engine||Texas Instruments Aureus|
|DAC||ESS SABRE32 Ultra|
|DAC Specs||192 kHz/32 Bit|
|Maximum Channel Processing||9.1|
|Air Studios Monitor Certification|
|Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization|
|Dolby Atmos Music|
|Dolby Digital Plus|
|Dolby Surround Upmixer|
|Dolby Pro Logic||PLIIz|
|Dolby Digital EX|
|DTS-HD Master Audio|
|DTS-HD High Resolution Audio|
|DTS-ES||Discrete 6.1, Matrix 6.1|
|Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer|
|Music Playback via USB||AIFF/WAV/Apple Lossless/FLAC/MP3/WMA/AAC/DSD 5.6Mhz|
|High Resolution Music Playback via USB and/or Network||88.2, 96, 176.4, 192 kHz/24 bit|
|High Resolution Audio Formats via USB||Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, DSD|
|DSD via HDMI||2-ch/Multi-ch Input|
|DSD via USB||2-ch Input|
|DSD to PCM Converter|
|Jitter Reduction||plus PQLS (HDMI Bitstream/ Multi)|
|Auto Level Control||Multi-Channel|
|Dialogue Lift||via Dialog Enhancement|
|Sound Retriever||Advanced (Multi-Channel / Auto with ARC)|
|Sound Retriever AIR|
|Digital Noise Reduction|
|Tone Control||All Channels|
|Compressed Music Enhancer||Advanced Sound Retriever|
|High-resolution Music Enhancer||Hi-bit32 Audio Processing|
|Audyssey Dynamic EQ|
|Audyssey Dynamic Volume|
|Audyssey Sub EQ HT|
|Pure Direct Mode|
|Advanced Surround||15 + Headphone Surround|
|Front Stage Surround Advance||(Focus/Wide)|
|Independent Subwoofer Outputs|
|Auto Speaker Calibration System with Mic.||Advanced MCACC|
|Full Band Phase Control|
|Standing Wave Control|
|EQ Bands||9 (Advanced)|
|Distance Adjustment||1/2 Inch|
|Auto Subwoofer Crossover|
|HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma)|
|BT.2020 color space|
|QMS (Quick Media Switching)|
|ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode)|
|VRR (Variable Refresh Rate)|
|QFT (Quick Frame transport)|
|Video Signal Passthrough||up to 4K/30p|
|Video Signal Upscaling||up to 4K/30p|
|Analog To HDMI Upconversion||Component****, Composite|
|Component Video Upscaling|
|Analog to Analog Video conversion|
|Component Video Maximum Resolution||1080p (1125p)|
|Video Parameter Adjustments||Advanced Video Adjust - HD Sources Progressive Motion - YNR, CNR, BNR, MNR, Detail, Brightness, Contrast, Hue, Chroma, Black level|
|Triple HD Noise Reduction|
|isf Certified Calibration Control|
|MHL Input||Android MHL 3D/Full-HD/Charge|
|Works with Amazon Alexa|
|Works with SONOS|
|Apple Product Connection||iPod, iPhone and iPad via front USB|
|Remote App||iControlAV2013 (for iOS and Android)|
|InstaPrevue Input Source Prevue|
|Wi-Fi||via optional AS-WL300 adapter (sold separately)|
|Bluetooth||via optional AS-BT100 or AS-BT200 adapters (sold separately)|
|HDBaseT Compatible||for MAIN/HDZONE (HDMI Extension via CAT5 Cable)|
|HDMI Inputs||9 (1 front)|
|HDMI Outputs||3 (2 for MAIN, 1 for MAIN/HDZONE)|
|USB Input||1 Front|
|USB DC Out Port||1 Rear for AS-WL300 (5 V, 0.6 A)|
|RCA Line Input||5|
|RCA Line Output||1|
|XLR Line Inputs|
|Composite Video Input||5 (1 front)|
|Composite Video Output||2|
|Component Video Input||3|
|Component Video Output||1|
|Front A/V Inputs||HDMI, USB, Composite Video|
|Headphone Out||6.3 mm (1/4")|
|Powered Zones||2 and 3|
|Zone 2 Outs||Component Video, Composite Video, RCA Pre/Line Out + Subwoofer|
|Zone 3 Outs||Composite Video, RCA Pre/Line Out + Subwoofer|
|Zone 4 Outs||HDMI|
|+12V Trigger Output||2 (Main, Zone2, Zone 3, HDZone)|
|Remote (IR) Input/Output||2 / 1|
|On-Screen Display||Graphical User Interface (GUI) with Album Artwork (HDMI only)|
|Multi-Zone On-Screen Display|
|HDMI Speaker B Link|
|PC Set-Up||With Remote Maintenance|
|IP Control for CI|
|Versatile Speaker Configuration|
|Remote Controller||Learning Remote Control (Lumius)|
|Detachable Power Cord|
|SiriusXM Internet Radio|
|Chassis||Insulated Dual Chassis|
|Front Panel||Aluminum (Hairline)|
|Solid Aluminum Front|
|Advanced Direct Construction||Advanced Direct Construction|
|Large Speaker Terminals||11|
|Color-Coded Speaker Terminals|
|3D Space Frame Construction|
|Gold plated RCA terminals|
|Power Supply||AC 120 V, 60 Hz|
|Low Leakage Flux Power Transformer|
|Power Consumption||370 W|
|Standby Power||0.1 W|
|ECO Mode / Hybrid Standby Function|
|Auto Power Standby|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||435 mm x 185 mm x 441 mm|
17-1/8" x 7-5/16" x 17-3/8"
|Weight||17.6 kg (38.8 lbs)|
|Warranty||2 Years Parts & Labor|
|Power Output (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2||150 W (0.08% THD)|
|Power Output (6 Ω, 1 kHz, 2||200 W (1.0% THD)|
|Power Output (4 Ω, 1 kHz, 2||255 W (1.0% THD)|
|Multi Channel Simultaneous Drive (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 1.0%)||850 W (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 1.0%)|
|THD||0.04% (1 kHz, 130 W + 130 W, 8 Ω)|
|Input Sensitivity and Impedance (Line)||400 mV/47 kΩ (Line)|
|Input Sensitivity and Impedance (Phono MM)||5 mV/47 kΩ|
|Rated Lineout Level and Impedance||400 mV/2.2 kΩ (REC OUT)|
|S/N Ratio (Line, IHF-A)||103 dB|
|DSD Sampling Rates via HDMI||2.8 MHz|
|DSD Sampling Rates via USB||2.8 MHz|
|USB DAC Terminal||USB2.0 (Type B)|
|Video Input Sensitivity/Output Level and Impedance||1 Vp-p/75 Ω (Component Y)|
0.7 Vp-p/75 Ω (Component PB/CB, PR/CR)
1 Vp-p/75 Ω (Composite)
|HDMI Terminal||19-pin (not DVI)|
|HDMI Output Type||5 V, 55 mA|
|HDMI Input/MHL Terminal||5 V, 900 mA|
|USB Terminal||USB2.0 (Type A) 5 V, 2.1 A|
|adapterport Terminal||5 V, 100 mA|
|FM Frequency||87.5 MHz - 108 MHz|
|AM Frequency||530 kHz - 1700 kHz|
* - 480i/576i and 480p/576p only
** - 480i/576i only
*** - no 1080p/24 upconversion
**** - 1080p signal is not converted
In 2014 Pioneer Elite SC-79 was replaced by SC-89. Let us now have a look at some important changes that the successor brought.
|UPGRADES||Pioneer Elite 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 Elite SC-89||vs||Pioneer Elite SC-79|
|THX™ Certification||vs||Ultra2 Plus|
|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 Pioneer Elite SC-89.