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  1. #1

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    Default Pioneer Elite vs. Harmon Kardon 247

    Hey guys,

    I'm currently considering upgrading from a H/K 247 to a Pioneer Elite series receiver (specifically the VSX-92TXH) and was wondering if anyone has had any experience with this?

    As I'm not really concerned about the decoding of lossless audio formats on the receiver side (as my PS3 will do that anyway), my main concern is the sound quality between the two.

    Could anyone comment on the sound quality differences they hear between the mid-range H/Ks and the high-end Pioneers? I've never had an Elite in my home before so I'm not sure what to expect...

    Thanks in advance!
    Derek

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  2. #2

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    Personally, I think the Pioneer Elites are the best AVR's out there. When i was searching for receivers, I always ended up coming back to the Pio Elites, which is why I wound up choosing one. My next AVR will be a Pioneer Elite as well.

    My opinion is slightly biased, and this is also subjective since we all like different things. I'm sure others can and will chime in on this for you.

    Good luck! :D

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    Well,

    There's certainly going to be a price difference there. No? Harman Kardon receivers are generally among the 'warmest' sounding mid-fi AVRs.

    Pioneer Elites are solid pieces of equipment, the newer 0X series much better than the previous. I've heard the previous series Elite with LSI towers and the Elite just couldn't really drive them properly, it never opened up their sound stage and imaging.

    The newer Pioneers are a different story, I would definitely go with one of the higher models over the HK.

    I see you have on older Denon so the upgrade is really for the pass through HDMIs, and Tru-HD...I have a PS3 too and I use a Denon 2807 to pass the decoded sound. Any reason why you're leaving Denon. Don't like the sound, looking for something warmer, or just a cheaper pre-pro?

    cnh

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    Quote Originally Posted by cnh View Post
    Well,

    There's certainly going to be a price difference there. No?
    There's not going to be a massive price difference, he's considering buying my Pioneer Elite 92 for $700 shipped.

    But yeah, you want something a little better, gotta spend a little more money, usually..lol :p:D

  5. #5

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    Is it the 94 then that was the Real step-up that year, maybe that's what I was thinking.

    cnh

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    Quote Originally Posted by cnh View Post
    Is it the 94 then that was the Real step-up that year, maybe that's what I was thinking.

    cnh
    There wasn't really any big difference between the two, at least not enough for me to justify the price difference between the 92 & 94.

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    I have an HK240 and have tested a Pioneer Elite 92 and a Pioneer 1018 (supposedly an "inexpensive Elite-like" receiver. I would have to say my impression was that the sound was very similar on the Elite, and slightly "thinner" (less warm, less dynamic) on the 1018. I kept feeling the 1018 was straining a little on the 4-6 ohm loads. The 92 was not. Don't get my wrong, both Pioneers were well in line with their price-points and certainly packed with features the HK didn't have. You asked about sound quality however.

    In the end, I would have to say the Elite is definitely a step up. The sound is similar (laid back, warm, effortless but still dynamic). It is certainly the first receiver I would look at if I were replacing my HK (I currently use my 240 as a processor). I have a friend with similar musical tastes to mine who recently bought a 92 to drive his Thiel's which are notoriously inefficient speakers. He absolutely loves it. Whether or not the price difference is worth it (if you don't care about the added features), only you can decide.
    Sony 60'' SXRD 1080p
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  8. #8

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    You're right, I just looked it up. But the MSRP between the HK and the 92 is more than 2/1. The 92 was 1500 with a 130/channel rating. The HK can't be any more than 600 tops MSRP. With a bit lower power. I would assume the power difference would be a bit noticeable even though HK is a high current amp and more forthright with their ratings.

    In any case. It depends on what he's powering. As I said, the older Elite and LSIs, not so much.

    I also think the Elites are probably more reliable.

    cnh
    Last edited by cnh; 03-14-2009 at 03:43 PM.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by cnh View Post
    You're right, I just looked it up. But the MSRP between the HK and the 92 is more than 2/1. The 92 was 1500 with a 130/channel rating. The HK can't be any more than 600 tops MSRP. With a bit lower power. I would assume the power difference would be a bit noticeable even though HK is a high current amp and more forthright with their ratings.

    In any case. It depends on what he's powering. As I said, the older Elite and LSIs, not so much.

    I also think the Elites are probably more reliable.

    cnh
    They aren't called "Elites" for nothing! :D

    $700 shipped for a Pioneer Elite 92, that's in flawless condition, and comes with all original packaging and accessories, MCACC Micophone, Ipod Connection Cable, AM/FM Antennas, Programmable Remote, and the Owners Manual..........Is certainly a fantastic deal. :D

  10. #10

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    Derek,

    If you decide to give the Pioneer Elite a shot, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
    But even if you don't get the Elite, I wish you the best of luck in whatever you decide! ;):)




    And someone needs to buy his Rotel RB 1080, that thing looks fantastic!!!!!

  11. #11

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    Okay, guys, let me make something clear when I'm asking for a comparison here...

    Price should NOT be a factor when comparing the mid-range H/Ks to the Pioneer Elite model I'm looking at in this case.

    I am simply concerned with the differences in sound quality, not the differences in sound quality versus how much it would cost to buy each of them.

    Your input so far has been great, but I'd like to keep this thread focused on the topic at hand and steer it away from a discussion on price points.

    Thanks again!

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    Metal,

    Have you heard that Rotel, because as I said on his other post, I am in the market for a two channel amp. Just don't have much experience with Rotels. I prefer Warm sounding equipment?

    cnh

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    Do you have a Best Buy around you with a Magnolia store in it?

    If you do, you should just go check it out for yourself, my store still carries the Elite 92, so i'm willing to bet most of them do.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by cnh View Post
    Metal,

    Have you heard that Rotel, because as I said on his other post, I am in the market for a two channel amp. Just don't have much experience with Rotels. I prefer Warm sounding equipment?

    cnh
    No, unfortuntely the only experience I have as of now in regards to Power Amps is my Emotiva XPA-3.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by dbaldus View Post
    Okay, guys, let me make something clear when I'm asking for a comparison here...

    Price should NOT be a factor when comparing the mid-range H/Ks to the Pioneer Elite model I'm looking at in this case.

    I am simply concerned with the differences in sound quality, not the differences in sound quality versus how much it would cost to buy each of them.

    Your input so far has been great, but I'd like to keep this thread focused on the topic at hand and steer it away from a discussion on price points.

    Thanks again!
    Thanks for the clarification.

    Again, what are you going to run as a speaker set. The HKs, IMO are a bit warmer than the Elite. And the Elite have a bit more detail and imaging.

    The Elite definitely has the edge in raw power and 'reliability'.

    cnh

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by cnh View Post
    Thanks for the clarification.

    Again, what are you going to run as a speaker set. The HKs, IMO are a bit warmer than the Elite. And the Elite have a bit more detail and imaging.

    The Elite definitely has the edge in raw power and 'reliability'.

    cnh
    My setup will be:
    Rti70s
    Csi40
    Fxi50 (hopefully soon!)

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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by metal83 View Post
    Do you have a Best Buy around you with a Magnolia store in it?

    If you do, you should just go check it out for yourself, my store still carries the Elite 92, so i'm willing to bet most of them do.
    Unfortunately, no I do not. But maybe they will still have some Pioneer Elites there? I guess it wouldn't hurt to check as I'll probably go to BBY this weekend anyway...

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    Mantis might have something useful to add. He is a big fan of Pioneer Elite but I think he has a very positive opinion of harman/kardon too. I don't like this type of comparison without direct experience of both units, not just assumptions. I know I love h/k, but I think my entry level NAD is very much superior for what I want it to do. I have no experience with P.E., so I cannot contribute anything useful to your quest, but Mantis might have useful experience of both of these units if he reads this thread, or PM/e-mail him and direct him to it maybe ...

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kex View Post
    Mantis might have something useful to add. He is a big fan of Pioneer Elite but I think he has a very positive opinion of harman/kardon too. I don't like this type of comparison without direct experience of both units, not just assumptions. I know I love h/k, but I think my entry level NAD is very much superior for what I want it to do. I have no experience with P.E., so I cannot contribute anything useful to your quest, but Mantis might have useful experience of both of these units if he reads this thread, or PM/e-mail him and direct him to it maybe ...
    Thanks for the suggestion... I'm on it!

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  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by cnh View Post
    Thanks for the clarification.

    Again, what are you going to run as a speaker set. The HKs, IMO are a bit warmer than the Elite. And the Elite have a bit more detail and imaging.

    The Elite definitely has the edge in raw power and 'reliability'.

    cnh
    What exactly do you mean by 'reliability'?

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    dbaldus, if you're considering the VSX-92TXH, PLEASE check out the SC-05. I just got one from a BB/Magnolia for $1k, and it's worth it.
    What's weird is, they (BB) have the SC-05 for $1k, and the 92txh for $1,100?
    FWIW.
    Also, the SC-05 has got all the latest bells & whistles for HD audio.
    Good luck
    I refuse to argue with idiots, because people can't tell the DIFFERENCE!

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    Maybe I missed something, why upgrade from an HK to the Elite when you actually own a Denon?;)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Gardner View Post
    Maybe I missed something, why upgrade from an HK to the Elite when you actually own a Denon?;)
    Denon's offer nice AVR's but to me they were too laid back for my taste. I wanted the 92/94 myself since I knew I would be using external amps. I kept digging and seen the newer Elites and was impressed with my foundings. Struck a very good deal on the 07 and am very happy. I compared the 05 to the 3808 and the Elite was much more detailed, dynamic and forward. Some like it, some don't. I love it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by obieone View Post
    dbaldus, if you're considering the VSX-92TXH, PLEASE check out the SC-05. I just got one from a BB/Magnolia for $1k, and it's worth it.
    What's weird is, they (BB) have the SC-05 for $1k, and the 92txh for $1,100?
    FWIW.
    Also, the SC-05 has got all the latest bells & whistles for HD audio.
    Good luck
    Nice deal there at BBY!

    I see the SC-0x series has Class D amps... does this make any difference other than how efficient they are?

    I feel like thinking "Ooo, I want the SC-05 because it has a Class D amplifier design" would mean that I am falling into a marketing trap. What is your real-world experience between using Class A and Class D amplifiers?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sherardp View Post
    Denon's offer nice AVR's but to me they were too laid back for my taste. I wanted the 92/94 myself since I knew I would be using external amps. I kept digging and seen the newer Elites and was impressed with my foundings. Struck a very good deal on the 07 and am very happy. I compared the 05 to the 3808 and the Elite was much more detailed, dynamic and forward. Some like it, some don't. I love it.
    Sherardp - I think you are confused.

    I'm comparing the H/K 247 (not the Denon 3803 that I had listed in my signature earlier) to the Elite 92.

    I think some people have been confused about this, so you're not the only one ;)

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    If the budget allows, go for the 92 unless you dont mind spending more coin and going for the 05/07. You'll notice the improvement.
    Shoot the jumper.....................BALLIN.............!!!! !

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    Quote Originally Posted by dbaldus View Post
    What exactly do you mean by 'reliability'?
    There have been some problems and glitches in the operation of earlier model HKs, I hear those problems have been addressed in the newer models, but a lot of the earlier models had failure rates above average, especially in the lower models. Whereas I haven't heard the same about Elites. I've owned Pioneer AVRs and I've never had a problem with my older models. That's all. And this may no longer be relevant.

    cnh

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    Quote Originally Posted by dbaldus View Post
    My setup will be:
    Rti70s
    Csi40
    Fxi50 (hopefully soon!)
    Those fronts are fairly easy to drive at 8 ohms. I think I might just go with the Pioneer on that. Also those new ICEPower class D amps are not just hype...they're the real thing, have heard them...definitely worth the step-up. Might be all the power you need for now...that is? Sound is better than the HK or the 92.

    cnh

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sherardp View Post
    If the budget allows, go for the 92 unless you dont mind spending more coin and going for the 05/07. You'll notice the improvement.
    What would be the most noticeable improvement, in your opinion?

    I'm just trying to get a feel of what to expect as I've experimented with different amps in the past that have doubled or quadrupled my wattage (using my H/K as a pre) and have noticed VERY little, if any, difference in how my speakers sound. I don't want to end up in that same situation with the Pioneer Elite, which is basically why I'm asking about sound quality specifically.

    FYI... I have come to the conclusion that I haven't been noticing much of a difference with higher-powered amps due to the fact that my speakers are pretty easy to drive (RTi70s).

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    Quote Originally Posted by dbaldus View Post
    What would be the most noticeable improvement, in your opinion?

    I'm just trying to get a feel of what to expect as I've experimented with different amps in the past that have doubled or quadrupled my wattage (using my H/K as a pre) and have noticed VERY little, if any, difference in how my speakers sound. I don't want to end up in that same situation with the Pioneer Elite, which is basically why I'm asking about sound quality specifically.

    FYI... I have come to the conclusion that I haven't been noticing much of a difference with higher-powered amps due to the fact that my speakers are pretty easy to drive (RTi70s).
    Here is the reason why you are not getting the results you are looking for.
    1) You do not need more power then your receiver is puting out so adding amps will give you little to no sound quality improvement unless your running at reference levels and are looking for the Max dynamic range, unless your receiver is running out of gas at reference levels then a amp will make a differnece.
    2) The sound quality comes from the preamp or receiver not the amp. Amps make very little difference in overall sound quality, they do however make a difference if the speaker demands more power then the amp can provide.

    Many people think they understand this but really they do not. The speakers are what you have to consider before anything. Getting the right pair or system for you is huge. The sub also is a huge part of the system to make things work correctly.

    So ok you added a Rotel rmb1080 to a pair of Rti70's. Such a waste of money. Selling that amp is the correct thing to do. Selling the H/K is also a good move. Buy the Pioneer Elite vsx92txh. This is a very good match for your speaker package. It will give you more detail and clarity then the H/K. I'm not saying the H/K is not a good piece, it is actually but I feel the Elite receiver is a better match for your speakers. Thats my opinion.

    I thought I saw a 92 for sale in the Flea market, you should talk to the owner, his asking price is a steal. Grab it and then tell us how badass it is after you get everything connected.

    So another piece of advise I can give you is setup and calibration, mess this up and I don't care how good your system is, it will sound like ass. Speaker placement first off is criditical to the overall performance of the system. Room gain and echo is also something to consider. Acoustic's of a room can make or break ones system. This is another thing you can look.

    If I needed that amp, I would buy it right now. It'a a fantastic amp but there is no need in your system. If you owned LSI speakers then I would tell you to grab my amp and use it to power all 5 and use the receiver as a pre. And I would still tell you to grab the Elite as it makes for a better pre then the H/K.

    Dan
    Last edited by mantis; 03-14-2009 at 09:31 PM.
    Dan
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