Emotiva VS Pioneer

Discussion in 'Amps, Pre-Pros & Receivers' started by moves, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. moves Full Audioholic

    moves
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    How do you find the build quality of Emotiva compared to Pioneer Elite? Which do you think is the better bang for the buck?
  2. moves Full Audioholic

    moves
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    SOmeone here must have some experience with both of these products? Gene?
  3. Nomo Audioholic Samurai

    Nomo
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    Which models of each are you looking to compare?
    Nomo,
  4. moves Full Audioholic

    moves
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    Not a specific model comparison, just overall machine.
  5. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

    AcuDefTechGuy
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    Have they completely fixed the problems that plagued the Emotiva pre-pro? I would go with Pioneer personally. Emo has good amps, but I just don't have a good feeling about their pre-pros.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2013
  6. Adam Audioholic Jedi

    Adam
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    Hi, moves. I've been using a Pioneer Elite VSX-23 since 2009, and two Emotiva amps since 2007.

    The Pioneer Elite is built well and looks sharp (although they have since moved away from the shiny face plate on the Elites). I had an occasional issue with the remote control not powering the unit up, but a firmware update fixed that. My only real annoyance in regards to build quality with the Pioneer is that two rows of buttons on the remote have been difficult to use since probably after a year of use. Other than that, no complaints at all. The Elite replaced a Pioneer VSX-1015 (the top non-Elite model at the time), which also worked great for me.

    I've expressed my issues with Emotiva before, so I'll keep this brief. The chassis on the amps are built solidly and look nice. It's difficult to hear any noise at the speakers when nothing is playing, and they sound good to me. My major hardware issue is that the toroidal transformers hum. The ones in the RPA-1 aren't too bad. They've gotten louder with time, but so has my Pioneer. The ones in the IPS-1 are, IMO, just poor quality and should have been caught in production. Being able to hear an amp in standby mode from across the room just isn't right - and Emotiva never made it right. I should have eaten the return shipping and been rid of it years ago.

    So, I'd pick Pioneer Elite. If it wasn't for the bad transformers and poor CS that I experienced, I'd say it was a toss up. Others here have had real good experiences with Emotiva, and they'd probably pick them instead. I think the best advice that I can give is - if you aren't happy with whatever you get, return it. Whatever return costs you might incur, it's worth not having something around that you don't like.

    In regards to Pioneer Elite, you might find some good sales. That's one bonus of buying a product that has a lot of supply. In 2009, you couldn't buy an Elite online from an authorized dealer - but it appears that now you can.
    Adam,
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  7. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

    AcuDefTechGuy
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    Here is the Pioneer Elite VSX-52 from HTM:

    Five channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
    0.1% distortion at 88.5 watts
    1% distortion at 109.2 watts

    This graph shows that the VSX-52’s left channel, from CD input to speaker output with two channels driving 8-ohm loads, reaches 0.1 percent distortion at 108.7 watts and 1 percent distortion at 136.8 watts. Into 4 ohms, the amplifier reaches 0.1 percent distortion at 164.5 watts and 1 percent distortion at 211.2 watts.

    THD+N from the CD input to the speaker output was less than 0.045 percent at 1 kilohertz when driving 2.83 volts into an 8-ohm load. Crosstalk at 1 kHz driving 2.83 volts into an 8-ohm load was –91.98 decibels left to right and –97.12 dB right to left. The signal-to-noise ratio with an 8-ohm load from 10 hertz to 24 kHz with “A” weighting was –105.28 dBrA.

    I think just superb measurements. IMO you can't get such superb high-end measurements unless the build & internal components are high quality.
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  8. slipperybidness Audioholic Ninja

    slipperybidness
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    Note that the new Pio Elites are all class D amps. Don't assume that is a problem or concern for SQ, just so you are aware as some people don't care for class D. But read the HTM reviews.

    I have Pio Elite VSX-82TXS, been running it for 5 years. Works fine, not the latest and greatest vid or codecs, but I don't need those anyway. Generally, it seems to be pretty good build qulaity, but I have never popped the cover off of it. One note on the Pio Elites, they can be notoriously difficult to get configured and all figured out. Now that I know mine very well, I am hesitant to upgrade it

    Adam, did you find yours a bit difficult to get the hang of? And I know you don't wanna deal with it, but it would be possible to upgrade the transformers on those Emo POS. Probably not cheap, and transformer hum is pretty dang common.

    I also have Emotiva USP-1 and XDA-1 in a separate rig. The build quality on the USP-1 is definitely a notch above your average mass market component.

    In general, I say they are about the same. From a purely build quality aspect, the USP-1 does seem a little more robust. I'll put it like this: If the USP-1 goes south on me, it would be worth my time to pop it open and track down the problem (if outside of warranty) or get a friend to help me repair it. On the other hand, if my Pio Elite goes south, I would try to scrap the good parts out of it for future projects and just upgrade to a new, latest and greatest reciever.

    So, it kind of depends on your needs and what is most important to you.
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  9. Adam Audioholic Jedi

    Adam
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    The two lower end models, the VSX-42 and VSX-60, appear to not be class D. Now that I know the others are, I might just need to upgrade. :eek: :)

    I didn't. It might be because I came from another Pioneer...or more likely because I'm one of the manual-reading junkies here. :D Also, I haven't delved into the more advanced MCACC settings. I run the full auto setup, readjust my speakers to "small", and carry on.

    I was all geared up to give it a try last year, but after pulling one of the modules out again, it was obvious that it wasn't a plug-and-play operation. There was some soldering and potential risk of damaging connected components, so I gave up like the slacker that I am. :eek: It's tough to say that it hums without a number of people rolling their eyes, and I understand that - transformers hum. These are just louder than any others that I've had. It doesn't help that there are eight of them, either - seven larger ones for each individual channel, plus a smaller one to power the control circuitry. The reason I believe it to be poor construction on the transformers is because some of them aren't that loud - when I was running three channels, I cherry picked the quietest ones and disconnected the other modules, and it wasn't bad at all. Now that I'm running five channels, I had to hook some of the louder ones up, and even with just five modules, I can easily hear it humming in standby mode whenever I'm in the same room. I think it's poor architecture to supply so much power to each amp module in standby mode that they hum that loud, but I assume that their designs have progressed past that in the five plus years since I bought mine, so I expect them not to do that anymore.
    Adam,
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  10. moves Full Audioholic

    moves
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    Thanks everyone for their replies. I own an Elite SC 27 and I was just curious to what people here thought. I feel that my AVR does well but to be honest, I don't have much experience where I can compare it to another AVR or separates. I've heard of the problems with the Emotiva pre/pros and this has made me a bit skeptic. If there are issues with the pre/pros, it makes you wonder how the amps hold up in the long run. I know something in the category of a lets say, Mcintosh, could last you a life time - because of the build quality. I am thinking that Emotiva and the Elites are relatively in the same category. But then again, you will be paying for the longevity of a really good piece of equipment.

    I would love to hear Emo's new signature theatre package they got. I am sure that it would do very well for theatre application. Music, I am not sure. I would love to hear it to see.

    I guess if you need the extra headroom, Emo's amps would be a good choice for the price. If you have the room size that needs the extra headroom of course..... Tomato tomAHto.
  11. ImcLoud Audioholic Ninja

    ImcLoud
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    I have owned Pioneer products and I like them better than most, I really like the pioneer 1222K receiver for its sale price when available $550 for the avr is incredible, the elite stuff is nice...

    I now own a umc1 and a umc200 {only ben using for about a month or so} and both make me happy, one is feeding a xpa5 and the other an xpa2 and xpa3, both to 5.1 systems... I like the look and uniformity of the matching components, but you can get just as nice a system with a decent preout avr and a 3 ch amplifier, to run a complete HT system off an avr to me is going to be lacking, I like a separate amp for my fronts, I used to use bk but they were getting old and the emo is imo better quality... I own a half dozen emo amps and none of them hum or make any noise, Im happy with them all, especially for the prices..... I know a lot of people are happy with their avr driven ht's which is great, but I know I clipped my old yamaha with movies on a few occasions, and I know a lot of people say you wont notice a difference with the higher wattage, but I ran my 2.2 with my upa2 for a week before getting my xpa2 setup and it clipped once and wasnt very loud, since the xpa2 was installed I never even came close again...
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  12. Steve81 Audioholics 5-O

    Steve81
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    I'll give you ten bucks for it. If all else fails, it'll be a neat science experiment :p

    FWIW, so far my XPA-200 seems to be very well built and no problems to report. The build quality of my Onkyo TX-SR707 isn't on the same level for sure.
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  13. slipperybidness Audioholic Ninja

    slipperybidness
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    Thanks Adam for correcting my mistake on the entire line being class D. Guess that I missed those lower end units.
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  14. Adam Audioholic Jedi

    Adam
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    Yeah, slacker - what's that all about? :p

    I was just surprised by the statement, so I went to check it out. That's how I found them. :) I had forgotten that they have Elites at that low of a price point these days. I like the Class D amps, though. Tempting, tempting...
    Adam,

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