After adding the VSX-43 and VSX-70 to its Elite receiver lineup last month, Pioneer just announced two new additions at the top of the line: the SC-71 and SC-72. If you’re confused by the shift in prefixes, the SC designation is Pioneer’s way of saying that these new models are equipped with the company’s Class D3 amplification, designed to deliver tons of power and all the resolution required by high-definition audio sources, while still being more sucking less energy out of the wall. At 8Ω, the SC-71 delivers 120 watts per channel, while the SC-72 delivers 130 watts per channel (those ratings are with two channels driven), and until you really start digging into the features, both models seem otherwise pretty comparable. Both feature advanced control support, including RS-232, as well as advanced video processing, AirPlay, HTC connect, iControlAV2013 Remote Control App support, Pandora and vTuner internet radio, and gapless playback of 192 kHz/24-Bit audio files, including IFF, Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, MP3, WMA, AAC, and DSD.
Both also feature extensive multi-room audio capabilities, and that’s where the SC-71 and SC-72 start to diverge a bit. Both feature simultaneous playback of separate sources in different zones, but the SC-72 goes one step further by allowing you to add a subwoofer to a second zone, for 2.1-channel audio playback. Unlike the SC-71, the SC-72 also features multi-channel pre-amp outputs — 9.2 channels’ worth, which means you’ll have to choose between front-height and front-width channels even if you bring your own amps.
Both the Elite SC-71 and SC-72 Elite will be available in June from authorized Elite dealers, for $1,100 and $1,400 respectively.