Official Pioneer VSX-521k owners thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 729 Old 03-15-2011, 03:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Just starting this (like my Onkyo 608 last year). Mine has arrived. Will test tonight or tomorrow:

1. Perfomace with Deftech 7002
2. Samsung UN55D7000 with ARC
3. Mediacenter extender (XBOX360)
4. PS3 for Blu-Ray

I will also try and program my Logitech remote and see if the codes are there. I may have to use the 520 (or 820k) temorarily.

If you want to know the price i paid just PM me (like Last year) and I will give you the name of the person at "big place" in chicagoland and make him honor the "pre-order" price and free ship etc (yes, beats Amazon)

sjc
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post #2 of 729 Old 03-16-2011, 05:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Updates: I will compile
1. Excellent design
2. Good documentation
3. More than enough power for my (self powered 12" subs") in my def tec BP-7002 (the big ones)
4. Having a hell of a time getting HDMI-CEC and ARC to work right with new Samsung UN55D7000.....
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post #3 of 729 Old 03-16-2011, 07:56 AM
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I'm wondering how the HDMI Standby Through function works. Is it just as if the source HDMI was directly connected to the TV?
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post #4 of 729 Old 03-17-2011, 04:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g4s View Post

I'm wondering how the HDMI Standby Through function works. Is it just as if the source HDMI was directly connected to the TV?

I will test tonight. To be honest, I have no real need for that but will try.

On a slight bummer the optical is not "mapable" to other HDMI inputs. Also it will not "autoswitch" if there is no HDMI signal (like on my ancient sony).

Why does this suck??? Since if the TV signal from XBOX is OFF I wanted the analog inputs from the squeezbox player to just "play music". Now I need to program it.

The Logitech Programming is good but NOT perfect yet. The descrite ON/OFF seems BACKWARD!!!
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post #5 of 729 Old 03-19-2011, 09:12 AM
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I haven't made it through the manual yet for my receiver, so thought I'd ask here first.
I have my cable box running into my Pioneer 521 via HDMI and then I have the out from the receiver to my Panasonic GT25 via HDMI.
Now, my understanding is the audio should be transmitted through this one cable. I went to the HDMI setup for the receiver and set the control to "on" and the ARC to "on". However, while I do get picture I dont get sound.
What am I doing wrong here?
Also for the video to come up, I have to turn the receiver on otherwise nothing. I thought with HDMI standby through it was supposed to still show the video and sound while on standby and not require me to turn it on.
Thanks ahead of time for any assistance.
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post #6 of 729 Old 03-20-2011, 07:42 AM
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^^^

- arc would be used to send audio from the display to the avr... you wouldn't be using this, since your source is connected to the avr...

- as far as passthrough... everything in the chain needs to be set up correctly, and i won't even attempt to parse it out... frankly, i'd just turn on the avr...

- go into your cable box and tell it to output audio over hdmi...

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post #7 of 729 Old 03-20-2011, 12:09 PM
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Thanks for the reply Chris.
The issue isn't with the DVR. When I connect the DVR directly to the TV, audio and video works perfectly.
Its when I connect it to the Pioneer first then run an HDMI from receiver to TV that audio doesn't work, but video Does.
Now, the manual for the DVR says that if the audio out on the AVR is set to Dolby then if the TV can't handle it then you wont get audio. When i switched it from HDMI to Dolby that is what happened.
So Im thinking when I go from the DVR to receiver to TV, that the receiver is sending out Dolby audio which is not compatible with the audio on the Panasonic GT25 speakers. Does this sound right?
It seems I'll have use the HDMI from DVR and run it directly to the TV. And if I want to use my theater speakers I'll have to run component cables from the DVR to the Receiver.
I was trying to simplify things with less cables and I thought the HDMI pass through would help with this, but doesnt seem I'll be able to accomplish that.
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post #8 of 729 Old 03-26-2011, 09:07 AM
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Hi all - new to the forum and also new to this receiver. Just got it yesterday and it's all hooked up and ready to go, but I'm having trouble plugging in my MacBook Pro. I'm using a mini-displayport to HDMI cable (monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10246&cs_id=1024603&p_id=5997&seq=1&format=2) and neither the Mac or the Receiver seem to even register it (usually you see the mac screen flashing blue to indicate that a new display has been plugged in).

Oddly enough my old MacBook Pro with DVI output works just fine (using DVi-HDMI cable) with the vsx-521k, as does the appleTV.

Anyone else had this issue?
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post #9 of 729 Old 04-04-2011, 07:50 PM
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Anyone else have this receiver? My Onkyo 906 just bit the dust and I am tired of buying high end receivers. I'm going lower price this time and this receiver may fit the bill. Also, has Pioneer released the AS-BT200 so you can wirelessly stream music from your ipod?
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post #10 of 729 Old 04-04-2011, 10:46 PM
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I own this unit. Set it up about a week ago which took about an hour. Very simple to operate and the instructions aren't too difficult to understand. I am quite pleased with it. Pioneer is a quality brand and it carries that quality right down to this entry level receiver.

I bought it to replace a Pioneer Elite 92 receiver my cat ruined by harfing on it. $1400 receiver down the tubes. At least I only paid $900 for it as an open box item.

The 521-K is only a 5.1 receiver but can be upgraded to 7.1 via powered speakers as it has pre-amp output for those channels. It is 3-d ready, meaning it will pass the 3-d HDMI standard when you are ready to move on to that. Only gripes I have with this model is you would be in trouble if you lost/damaged the remote since there are limited front panel controls for advanced settings/features. Also the on screen menu, while it is nice that they included it on this years entry model(last year's didn't), is analog only. No HDMI output. Not terribly bad trade offs for an affordable unit.

Most of the time when you buy top of the line you are only getting more features that you may or may not find all that useful which would describe my experience by owning the Elite 92 receiver. More features than I needed.
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post #11 of 729 Old 04-04-2011, 10:55 PM
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Thank you Miniskunk. Do you have any experience with Pioneer's Bluetooth adapters in order to stream music wirelessly from your ipod?
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post #12 of 729 Old 04-05-2011, 01:50 AM
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Nope.....Pioneer charges way too much for the adapter. Easier to just use an audio cable.
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post #13 of 729 Old 04-05-2011, 02:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miniskunk View Post

Nope.....Pioneer charges way too much for the adapter. Easier to just use an audio cable.

What cable I can use to play my iPod music in VSX-521? It has no dedicated iPod port like VSX-821 ..

Thanks
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post #14 of 729 Old 04-05-2011, 09:14 PM
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A standard stereo headphone jack to RCA(phono) plug adapter will work just fine. Radio Shacks carries them as do most stores with electronic sections. The receiver has analog inputs for non digital audio sources.
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post #15 of 729 Old 04-06-2011, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miniskunk View Post

A standard stereo headphone jack to RCA(phono) plug adapter will work just fine. Radio Shacks carries them as do most stores with electronic sections. The receiver has analog inputs for non digital audio sources.

Thanks for the reply and explanation ..


Now, I'm planning to get one of these Pioneer receiver..

I never owned receiver, so this is my first time.

Can anyone please help me to identify and understand the difference between these 2 receiver? (VSX-520 & VSX-521)

If the difference doesn't effect me much, I'll get the VSX-520-K for $179 since I'm a student with very tight budget.. (521 model is $250)

BTW, for what I understand, 521 model just add HDMI Standby pass-through and support ARC. Right? or there are some additional features in VSX-521?

Please someone clear it to me? I'll be grateful ..

Thanks a lot ..
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post #16 of 729 Old 04-06-2011, 04:57 PM
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The newer 521 also has auto MCCAC.
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post #17 of 729 Old 04-06-2011, 11:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeBack View Post
Thanks for the reply and explanation ..


Now, I'm planning to get one of these Pioneer receiver..

I never owned receiver, so this is my first time.

Can anyone please help me to identify and understand the difference between these 2 receiver? (VSX-520 & VSX-521)

If the difference doesn't effect me much, I'll get the VSX-520-K for $179 since I'm a student with very tight budget.. (521 model is $250)

BTW, for what I understand, 521 model just add HDMI Standby pass-through and support ARC. Right? or there are some additional features in VSX-521?

Please someone clear it to me? I'll be grateful ..

Thanks a lot ..
If you get the 520k you will not only lose the MCCAC, but also the on screen setup and 3D Bluray compatibility if you ever plan to upgrade to that later. These were new to 521k. 520k was last years model which is why the price difference. It sold for $250 when new.
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post #18 of 729 Old 04-29-2011, 08:36 AM
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Interested in this receiver. Does anyone know of any images of the on-screen GUI for this receiver?
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post #19 of 729 Old 04-30-2011, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by jmoe316 View Post

Interested in this receiver. Does anyone know of any images of the on-screen GUI for this receiver?

It just a basic white block text on blue background. Not terribly fancy.
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post #20 of 729 Old 05-13-2011, 11:53 AM
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I was all set to buy the 821-K to accompany some Pioneer speakers (FS51, CS21, BS21) when I looked at the 521-K and found it to be spec-for-spec identical apart from the iPod capabilities of the 821-K. Is that really the only significant difference? Since I have an Apple TV, I'd never use the iPod/iPhone/iPad capabilities of the 821-K, so I certainly don't want to pay extra for it. Thanks everybody!

Click here for my home theater setup
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post #21 of 729 Old 05-13-2011, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spanbauer View Post

I was all set to buy the 821-K to accompany some Pioneer speakers (FS51, CS21, BS21) when I looked at the 521-K and found it to be spec-for-spec identical apart from the iPod capabilities of the 821-K. Is that really the only significant difference? Since I have an Apple TV, I'd never use the iPod/iPhone/iPad capabilities of the 821-K, so I certainly don't want to pay extra for it. Thanks everybody!

...ello?

Click here for my home theater setup
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post #22 of 729 Old 05-13-2011, 10:39 PM
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The things that are in bold on the pdf sheet are the differences between the 521 and 821
http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/ep...le%20Sheet.pdf

1. Sirius radio
2. Binding post for all speaker terminals, plus B set of speaker terminals
3. USB/iPod input
4. Preset remote control

You have to decide if any of that is worth the price difference to you.

Afro GT
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post #23 of 729 Old 05-13-2011, 11:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

The things that are in bold on the pdf sheet are the differences between the 521 and 821
http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/ep...le%20Sheet.pdf

1. Sirius radio
2. Binding post for all speaker terminals, plus B set of speaker terminals
3. USB/iPod input
4. Preset remote control

You have to decide if any of that is worth the price difference to you.

Thanks! My current receiver has binding posts for all of the speakers, but I'm unclear what the advantage is. To be honest I find them to be kind of a pain in the ass.

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post #24 of 729 Old 05-14-2011, 05:29 AM
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buy some banana plugs and you'll love the binding post speaker terminals.

Afro GT
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post #25 of 729 Old 05-14-2011, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spanbauer View Post

I was all set to buy the 821-K to accompany some Pioneer speakers (FS51, CS21, BS21) when I looked at the 521-K and found it to be spec-for-spec identical apart from the iPod capabilities of the 821-K. Is that really the only significant difference? Since I have an Apple TV, I'd never use the iPod/iPhone/iPad capabilities of the 821-K, so I certainly don't want to pay extra for it. Thanks everybody!

The 521k has a beefier amp compared to last years entry level lineup, as well as mcacc (had to go to 820k for mcacc before)

If you dont need usb inputs, banana plugs or use satellite radio then opt out for the 521 over the 821.
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post #26 of 729 Old 05-21-2011, 11:41 AM
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I received my VSX-521-K yesterday, and it's pretty great. MCACC is awesome! I have a question though that i couldn't find an answer for in the manual; anybody know what t.tone is? In the setup menu there's an option to set it to A or M (I'm assuming auto or manual). Additionally, anyone know why sometimes you cannot access the setup menu, like while the receiver is outputting a bluray source? Thanks.

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post #27 of 729 Old 05-23-2011, 09:36 AM
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Wow, this thread is a ghost town. No love for the 521-K at AVSForums?

I have a question regarding power output that I have posted in the AVR FAQ but thought I'd post here as well. Pioneer publishes all three types of power output measurement in their receiver specs; for the VSX-521-K, the three measurements are:

Power Output Per Channel(20Hz-20kHz,.08%THD@8ohm) 80
Power Output Per Channel (1kHz@8ohm) 110
Power Output Per Channel (1kHz@6ohm) 125

Ok, my front left and right speakers are (nominal impedance) 6 Ohms speakers, rated at 130 Watts max input power; so is my receiver powering them at 80, 110, 0r 125 Watts? Thanks.

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post #28 of 729 Old 05-28-2011, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spanbauer View Post

Power Output Per Channel (1kHz@6ohm) 125

Ok, my front left and right speakers are (nominal impedance) 6 Ohms speakers, rated at 130 Watts max input power; so is my receiver powering them at 80, 110, 0r 125 Watts? Thanks.

I think the answer is right there. It can power them at up to 125 watts. The way I understand it -- someone can correct me -- The figure with the THD value (Total Harmonic Distortion) indicates that if you want to operate the receiver with 8 ohm speakers and attain a maximum harmonic distortion of .08%, you would only be able to turn the volume up to a point where the receiver can output 80 watts.

In other words, the receiver can handle up to what the specs say it can, but the best sound quality will be at 80 watts.
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post #29 of 729 Old 05-28-2011, 02:20 PM
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Sadly I am not as happy with this device as I thought I would be. I will keep it, though. Its definitely a quality device.

Just a couple of gripes... HDMI picture and audio sync take way too long. Forgot channel surfing on this thing, you're going to have to use a program guide.

Also, I cannot, I repeat, cannot figure out what to operate the surround on when watching the set top box. Standard, Direct or Auto Surround?

Are there any other Pioneer VSX-x21K (521, 821, 921, 1021) owners out there who could advise on this?

Sometimes, the receiver doesn't detect that it is 5.1 sound on a channel, and forces Dolby PLII, so I don't know which surround option to keep it set on. I do not want to have to keep changing it. Direct is the fastest and more assured, but I wonder what the difference is between that and Standard.
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post #30 of 729 Old 05-29-2011, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marktwothousand View Post

Sadly I am not as happy with this device as I thought I would be. I will keep it, though. Its definitely a quality device.

Just a couple of gripes... HDMI picture and audio sync take way too long. Forgot channel surfing on this thing, you're going to have to use a program guide.

Also, I cannot, I repeat, cannot figure out what to operate the surround on when watching the set top box. Standard, Direct or Auto Surround?

Are there any other Pioneer VSX-x21K (521, 821, 921, 1021) owners out there who could advise on this?

Sometimes, the receiver doesn't detect that it is 5.1 sound on a channel, and forces Dolby PLII, so I don't know which surround option to keep it set on. I do not want to have to keep changing it. Direct is the fastest and more assured, but I wonder what the difference is between that and Standard.

I keep my receiver set to "direct". I don't understand what the purpose of "auto surround" is because presumably "direct" will play surround feeds as surround when available. Assuming you've ran MCACC, you won't want to use "Pure Direct" as it disables the EQ MCACC creates to improve the sound of your speakers in your room. I just learned that one myself a few days ago.

I haven't experienced the receiver not detecting surround sources. If you just set it to "Direct" you shouldn't have any problems and should be always hearing the sound as it was produced, with MCACC doing it's magic.

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