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Pioneer launches new Elite AV receivers

Pioneer has taken the wraps off four new high-end AV receivers due to hit stores in the summer of 2008.

Pioneer Elite SC-09
The $2,200 Pioneer Elite SC-07 tops today's announcements. Pioneer

Pioneer has unveiled four new AV receivers in its high-end Elite line for 2008. The VSX-01TXH ($750) and VSX-03TXH ($1,000) will be first out the door in June, followed by the SC-05 ($1,800) and SC-07 ($2,200) in August. (A 2007 model, the VSX-94TXH, remains in the lineup as well and is widely available for 25 percent off its $1,600 MSRP.) In addition to all of the cutting-edge features (HDMI 1.3; upscaling of analog video sources to 1080p HDMI output; on-board decoding for the Dolby Digital Plus, DTS-HD High Resolution, and lossless Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks found on Blu-ray Discs; multi-source output for up to three zones; Pioneer's top-notch MCACC auto-calibration), the SC-05 and SC-07 boast network connections for streaming digital media from DLNA-compatible network sources, including PC hard drives. The 05 and 07 also offer some super-tweaky features that will potentially appeal to audiophiles, including the Precision Quartz Locking System (PQLS) that's said to offer optimal CD playback from Pioneer's new Blu-ray players by eliminating audio jitter.

Pioneer Elite SC-07 rear panel
The SC-07's rear panel is bristling with jacks, including 4 HDMI inputs. Pioneer

If the Elite price tags are too rich for your blood, remember that Pioneer also offers a more affordable line of entry-level AV receivers. Those are in addition to new models recently announced by Onkyo, Yamaha, and Sony. Denon, meanwhile, should be announcing a refresh of its 2007 lineup within the next few months.