Having had an opportunity to test Marantz NR1609 vs Pioneer Elite SC-LX904, I’d like to share my impression here to facilitate your choice of a new AV receiver.
The number of channels for receivers is different - 7.2 versus 11.2, respectively, for devices. In terms of power, there are differences, the NR1609 has such a ratio W/Ohm - 50/8, 70/6, while the Elite SC-LX904 has a power of 140/8. A common feature for devices is the same total harmonic distortion - 0.08%.
The manufacturer installed different DACs, the NR1609 received the model 192 KHz/24-bit, but the Elite SC-LX904 is equipped with ES9026PRO 384 KHz/32-bit. Each of the compared opponents supports Bi-amping. Both Marantz NR1609 and Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 can transmit an audio signal directly to the amplifier and bypasses any DSP processing.
These units have the same Wi-Fi modules. Each of the receivers has a Bluetooth connector. Both devices can work with such Apple Music services: AirPlay, AirPlay 2. Access to the Spotify service is on each of the competitors. The number of available streaming services varies for receivers, the Marantz NR1609 works with Deezer, Pandora, TuneIn Radio, but the Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 works with Deezer, TIDAL, Pandora. The quality of 4K/60Hz signal remains unchanged when transmitting from a source to a TV or projector via HDMI for both receivers. Signaling over HDMI in standby mode can provide the NR1609 and the Elite SC-LX904. Each of the devices can increase the resolution of the incoming video signal. Each of the participants of the comparison has a Dolby Vision.
The number of HDMI inputs/outputs varies depending on the receiver, the NR1609 has 8/1, and the Elite SC-LX904 has 7/3. HDMI Audio Return Channel is implemented in both devices. HDMI eARC is only supported by the Elite SC-LX904. When comparing receivers, it becomes clear that each of the rivals can work with HDMI CEC. The NR1609 has support for the standard HDCP 2.2, compared to the Elite SC-LX904, which supports the standard HDCP 2.3. Like most receivers, our models have a built-in phono stage for connecting a vinyl player.
Unlike the NR1609 where 2 Multi zones is provided, the Elite SC-LX904 works with 3 Multi zones. For voice control in the NR1609 is used Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, Josh.AI, but in the Elite SC-LX904 is used Amazon Alexa. There is an ECO mode in NR1609. The Marantz NR1609 and the Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 can be properly configured using the setup assistant.
A Dolby Atmos multichannel audio format is available both models. A DTS:X surround technology is supported by devices from our comparison.