Pioneer Elite Differences VSX and SC (2020 Model Year)

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Pioneer Elite Differences VSX and SC (2020 Model Year)

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What is Direct Energy?

  • The Direct Energy HD amplifier drives all channels under the same conditions and is billed as an ideal amplifier designed around “Pioneer’s multi-channel stereophonic philosophy.” The result is said to more lifelike audio reproduction.
    • High Level: Shared Amplifier Path

What is Class D3 (Direct Energy HD)?

  • Class D3 amplifiers use a Direct Signal Path Design to provide the shortest audio signal path possible. By eliminating EMI filters, feedback loops, and current limiters of previous designs, Class D3 reduces ringing distortion and noise, especially in the high frequency audio band.
    • High Level: Direct Amplifier Path


Perfectionists, get ready to be transformed by the ultimate audiophile surround-sound experience with the very best in home entertainment.

Elite® receivers combine outstanding connectivity, sophisticated room correction, advanced multi-zone features and the immense power of Class D3 amplification, all to deliver unmatched sound.

As the next evolution of Pioneer’s switching amplification strategy, Class D3 amplifiers deliver a simple, high-power solution to fully enrich the latest in high-definition, multi-dimensional highest-fidelity content available today.

With a proven track record and driven by excellence; Pioneer collaborated with AIR Studios in England to receive the prestigious AIR Studios Monitor certification. This perfect application of the world famous dubbing studio’s monitoring methods intensifies the emotion and excitement of what you see and hear to ensure a studio quality experience in your home.




The power consumption of the Digital Class D3 Amplifier is significantly lower than traditional A/B amplifiers — letting you save energy and generate less heat without compromising performance.

The Digital Class D3 Amplifier uses a simple structure employing a straight signal path, resulting in improved sound quality requiring less energy than competitive models yet producing more simultaneous power output.

This direct signal path means no EMI filters, feedback loops or current limiting – a true engineering art. Unlike traditional designs, these amps deliver the strength to handle multiple low-impedance speakers without dramatic power loss.

The Direct Power FET delivers improved thermal characteristics. Add the upper-side heat dissipation from the heat sink to the circuit board’s heat radiation feature for downward heat dissipation and you end up with efficient cooling with superior performance.

The efficiency of Class D3 means cooler operation while drawing just a fraction of the power consumed by conventional amplifiers, enhancing and extending component life and reliability.


Pioneer Class D3 amplifiers contain advanced integrated circuitry technology creating unmatched power without sacrificing sound quality or performance.

Class D3 amplifiers use a Direct Signal Path Design to provide the shortest audio signal path possible. By eliminating EMI filters, feedback loops, and current limiters of previous designs, Class D3 reduces ringing distortion and noise, especially in the high frequency audio band.

Plus, Pioneer’s exclusive Advanced MCACC® uses a 3D calibration method with even more precise measurements. The system automatically measures level, distance, phase, frequency, crossover frequency, and a host of other criteria, and makes adjustments to perfect the sound in your room — a much easier process than manual settings — and lets you check the measured data in the MCACC application.

Combined with Dolby® Atmos compatible speakers, Class D3 Amplifiers have plenty of authority to simultaneously drive 9 channels at up to 850 W (SC-89) total power output, letting you fully enjoy the enveloping dynamic scenes of a true 3-dimensional experience.

What is MCACC (Multi-Channel Acoustic Calibration System)?

  • 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.
  • Simply, power-on your receiver, plug in the microphone, activate the MCACC system, and sit back while the MCACC system fine-tunes your home theater to compensate for differing speaker arrays, furniture, and even ceiling height and shape.

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