Pioneer SC-27

The new Pioneer SC-27 AV Receiver is coming to the shelves as a top end class product, for which you will have to pay top end class prices. However, does the unit step up and take the hit for its price tag, or does it prove to be a disappointing strike and fail to impress?

Pioneer SC-27 Receiver

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Design

Pioneer offers you the SC-27 AV Receiver as one of their elite range of receivers. When removed from the box the unit has an impressive height and again, as is the trademark to the pioneer units, and features the fake double stack front panel, making it appear to be two units rather than just the one. However, it does look good. The bottom half panel contains the power button, and the top half plays host to the two large dials that have become synonymous with Pioneer, and between these you find the large LCD display panel that features an orangey white display that is easy to read. The unit is the expected sleek black finish, which isn’t quite matched by the remote control which looks faded in comparison and features silver buttons, which sadly give the impression that they lost their original remote and hastily borrowed one from somewhere else – a closer color and style match would have been better.

Performance

Nit picking on the looks aside, it is the performance that really matters, so how does the Pioneer SC-27 AV Receiver perform here? Well, in terms of set up this is fairly straightforward to get going, and it doesn’t require a large technical knowledge to get the unit functioning. However, the target market is for those who can don the home entertainment anorak and get to grips with the intricate options available. Only then can the Pioneer SC-27 AV Receiver come in to its own and truly excel. This isn’t really for the consumer who needs an AV receiver that can be installed and left, as it will seem rather average unless you are able to understand the technical stuff and learn to use the whole range of features on offer. Get this right and you really are looking at one truly sensational piece of kit.

The Pioneer SC-27 AV Receiver eats high definition and Blu-ray for breakfast. It makes very light work of delivering both these formats with impressive ease with a crisp picture and little screen instability a definite home cinema level performance that cannot be faulted. Added to this the fact that the sound quality is almost second to none it definitely rates as the ‘Arnie’ of AV receivers, floored only by its big brother the SC-09 TX in terms of performance. However, its flaws are no where near as significant as the gap in cost between the two, so we see little reason why you would choose big brother’s massive price tag.

The speaker controls are impressive, and you can bring to life any piece of music you desire. There are bass options that send the armchair shuffling across the floor and make the neighbors knock on the walls (probably because they want to join you), and more subtle functions that release the pent up emotions of your favorite romantic piece engulfing you in tears of sadness or the warmth of love’s first glow. Get you head around the user manual and the sounds will come alive and add a touch of vibrancy and light to any room.

Conclusion

The Pioneer SC-27 AV Receiver meets its brief easily. The quality of the design teamed with the superb performance makes this an excellent choice in the top end AV receiver market. The price, although high is fairly targeted for the amount of gadgetry you are purchasing, the iPod ready standard adds another pleasing tick in the box, and the accolades that it receives in the technological field are quite something. Pioneer is the only manufacturer who can boast full THX Ultra2 Plus certification for its D class amplifier, and this is one notoriously difficult award to win, so the fact that this is one of the only units to achieve this, and that the only other units to do the same were also Pioneer made really says a lot. Looking down the chart the green ticks are outweighing the red crosses on a huge scale, with the few niggles actually being small annoyances rather than anything significant in terms of performance. So, the bottom line is this; if you can release the inner geek and afford the price then the Pioneer SC-27 AV receiver should be high on your list.

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