Having had an opportunity to test Pioneer SC-LX901 vs Marantz NR1608, 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 - 11.2 versus 7.2, respectively, for devices. In terms of power, there are differences, the SC-LX901 has such a ratio W/Ohm - 140/8, 200/6, while the NR1608 has a power of 50/8, 70/6. The value of total harmonic distortion is also different, and for the SC-LX901 it is 0.08%, but for the NR1608 it is 0.05%.
The manufacturer installed different DACs, the SC-LX901 received the model ESS SABRE32 Ultra 192 KHz/32-bit, but the NR1608 is equipped with AK4458 384 KHz/32-bit. Each of the compared opponents supports Bi-amping. Both Pioneer SC-LX901 and Marantz NR1608 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. The contenders have differences in the supported services from Apple - AirPlay versus AirPlay, AirPlay 2 respectively. Access to the Spotify service is on each of the competitors. The number of available streaming services varies for receivers, the Pioneer SC-LX901 works with Deezer, TIDAL, Pandora, TuneIn Radio, but the Marantz NR1608 works with Deezer, TIDAL, Pandora, Napster, SiriusXM, TuneIn Radio, iHeart Radio, Sound Cloud.
Support for the HDR function can only boast of each of the AV receivers. 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 SC-LX901 and the NR1608. 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 SC-LX901 has 8/2, and the NR1608 has 8/1. HDMI Audio Return Channel is implemented in both devices. HDMI eARC is not supported by the SC-LX901 and the NR1608. When comparing receivers, it becomes clear that each of the rivals can work with HDMI CEC. SC-LX901 and NR1608 support the standard HDCP 2.2. In the presence of a built-in phono stage for connecting a vinyl player only at Pioneer SC-LX901.
Unlike the SC-LX901 where 3 Multi zones is provided, the NR1608 works with 2 Multi zones. There is an ECO mode in NR1608. The Pioneer SC-LX901 and the Marantz NR1608 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.