The Pioneer SC-25 is one of the newest babies to be born to the Pioneer AV receiver family and is considered royalty amongst its peers, being one of the elite brand of receivers. It makes for a high end piece of kit that comes with a matching high end price tag that will get the bank manager ringing in a blind panic. However, what makes this unit special and why would you want to have it gracing the shelves of your living room and turning it into a home cinema that is sure to get the neighbors talking?
Pioneer SC-25 Receiver |
This is actually the baby of the four new elite machines to hit the shelves, although it still costs the best part of a thousand dollars. However, looks wise it would be hard to pick it out of a Pioneer line up. That’s not to say it doesn’t look good because Pioneer certainly came top of the class in design, just that all their elite units kind of merge into one to the untrained eye. The sleek glossy finish, the clean lines, seriously we are not as unimpressed as this sounds, its just once you have seen one Pioneer elite unit you really have seen them all, but you will like the look. Just don’t expect to fall for the SC-25 for its outstandingly unique looks. This one sells on performance and it comes down to which elite offers the closest match to what you are looking for. Again, and this has come up before on a Pioneer review, they flunked out of remote control design school. As a stand alone remote it’s cute enough, a little button busy but that can be forgiven. However, as an out of the box team it just totally fails as the Pioneer SC-25 has nothing in common with it, and it looks suspiciously like they got a job lot of remotes. For the money you spend on an elite unit, a remote that matches in even color would be good (the remote is gray black).
Ok, moan over. And no, we concede the remote control isn’t going to make or break in terms of whether you purchase the Pioneer SC-25 or not. So lets look at the stuff that just might clinch it or not.
Pioneer is proud to offer the following information in their opening gambit about the Pioneer SC-25: A Certified 7-Channel Elite A/V Receiver Featuring ICEpower Class-D Amplification and AIR Studios Monitor Sound Tuning Certification – fantastic, that sounds wonderful, if only you knew what it all meant! Seven channels is good. This is top end stuff and you certainly won’t find that in the mid to low ranges. ICEpower‚ is just the name of the technology that the SC-25 uses to support the sound output it gives; however, it is a good technology and does produce some excellent depth of sound that is sure to impress. Finally, again Air Studios Monitor Sound Tuning Certification means that the guys in white coats at Pioneer have impressed the folk of Air Studios enough to get this particular unit awarded a certification, which again is good.
Most people are, whether they know it or not, going to want a set up that can offer an excellent performance when you load the latest Blu-ray DVD or play High Definition television, and whilst most people have heard of Dolby as a sound company, that is about as far as it goes. Well, rest assured the technologies chosen by Pioneer for the SC-25 just love to show off when it comes to the video output. You will get sharpness of image that you can only dream of, and colors you didn’t even realize you could see. It really is that good.
Pioneer has made a great effort here, and if you just want to get your foot up onto the elite ladder then this unit will certainly do you proud. However, as with all top end AV receivers you do need to spend some time getting to know the functionality of the unit in order to maximize the potential and make sure you are getting the most for your money. The added extras you would expect are all present, and the natty iPod ready as standard feature which has been on all of the latest Pioneer rigs is always pleasing to see and you can now view the contents of the iPod on the screen and use the oddball remote to select what you want. Leaving remote control frustrations at the door, and said with due grace, the Pioneer SC-25 is more than welcome to take pride of place on any entertainment shelf at anytime.
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