"Very good receiver with some flaws..."3.5 starson by Jon Shimamoto
Pros: Great sound, lots of HDMI inputs, dual output. Lots of power, nine channels of amplification. The surround sound calibration (MCACC) is quick, easy, accurate but has a flaw (no subwoofer calibration).
Cons: Really crappy remote control, small buttons with even smaller hard to read print. Pioneer MCACC does not adjust subwoofer levels. For this price, I'd expect gold-plated inputs. Pioneer Elite's no longer have that gloss black "Urushi" finish.
Summary: I bought this receiver for a couple of reasons. My older Onkyo TX-NR906B receiver suffered the infamous and very common HDMI board failure that nearly all Onkyos are prone to (because they used low grade caps which fail prematurely). The second reason was that I needed more HDMI inputs than what the Onkyo provided.
The Pioneer SC-67 changed its looks from previos Pioneer Elites. It has a brushed black aluminum finish, gone is the glossy black "Urushi" finish of earlier Elites. The Pioneer sounds a lot cleaner and more detailed than the Onkyo, but the Onkyo sounds more robust but grainy, although both have similar power ratings. The Pioneer has two more channels of amplification and also uses their third generation Class-D design which uses less power and supposedly runs cooler than regular Class-AB AVRs.
The remote provided by Pioneer has got to be one of the worst designed I have ever seen. The buttons are minuscule and are all similar in size and shape, it is hard to diffrentiate from one buttom to another. Compunding the matter, the button labels are even smaller and the color of the labels does not have enough contrast to make them legible. You will definitely need to buy a universal programmable remote for this unit.
The inputs on the Pioneer are slow in switching from one channel to another. When watching a Blu-Ray disc, the audio comes up but the video does not appear until a few seconds later. This is one of the slower HDMI switching receivers I have seen, my older Onkyo was notably faster and that unit was not known for its speed either.
Calibrating the MCACC is quick and a lot easier than the ubiquitous Audeyssey that most other brands use. The channels provided better separation than Audeyssey did. Unfortunately, MCACC Does not correctly set subwoofer levels. Also, the Pioneer uses a flat hockey puck microphone for calibration, this usually gives a less accurate response as some of the newer eiffel tower type of mikes.
I find the Pioneer awkward to configure when trying to switch from a multi-channel mode back to plain stereo or vice versa. But it is nice to have seven channels set for my surround sound and have the other two channels drive two different speakers when using stereo mode. Programming different names on the inputs is a tedious exercise. The Pioneer allow uppercase, lowercase and enarly every character available on a keyboard in a name. Going all the way through the characters one-by-one can take a LONG time.
Overall, the Pioneer is a great sounding and featured AVR but hassome flaws in the user interface.