Originally Posted by Jon S
You have to engage the second zone from the front panel (you cannot activate it from the remote). But the 7.1 system comes on and the second pair of speakers is silent.
you have a lot there to digest. as jbwitt said, you can
activate all 4 zones from the remote. if it's just a B set of speakers in another room, try the Speakers button on the remote.
if you have a 2nd amp/receiver in zone 2, 3, 4 as described on pg 37, 38, then go to pg 79 in the manual, right hand side - heading: Multizone Remote Controls. at the bottom of the remote are buttons for zones 2, 3 & 4. the manual will explain this but you hit the zone button, then select the input, and adjust vol.
you do NOT have to have sound turned on in the main room. if you have a B set of speakers in the other room, just select B speakers, and your main ones will be off. don't play anything in the main room. if you have the true multizone setup with amp/receivers in other rooms, then the main zone will be not used unless you choose to play something in it. sure, it's active but that doesn't mean it's doing anything. if you think you have to hear sound in both rooms to hear sound in the 2nd room then that's incorrect. you can independently select inputs for each zone, and they don't have to be the same...so you can play CD in 1 and have the main zone set to something else playing or not playing anything.
your other comment on lack of manual - true but false. true, there's no printed manual. false in that you're not forced to download it...there's a pdf manual on the AVNav disc. didn't find it? it's there.
and for the record, NONE of the new models from Denon, Marantz & I think Onkyo too come with printed manuals. they've been done away with. all you'll get is a quick start guide, that's it. all of them are putting pdf's on setup discs now.
your frustration seems to me more due to a lack of familiarity with Pioneer coming from a Onkyo and the way things are now in the receiver business. sounds like you have the manual but the things you complain about are in the manual & can be accomplished by the remote. so its not as bad as you think
on remotes -
I think the new Marantz AV8801 is getting good marks for its remote, but typically company supplied remotes all suck. once you get a decent programmable remote, you 1) won't need the Pioneer's & 2) won't care. they are that much superior to what comes in the box.
the best remote I ever had with Pioneer was the one that came with the flagships VSX-49TXI & VSX-59TXI, that was in the early & mid 2000's and it's been downhill ever since. both of them were comparable to a universal remote in the way they worked and what they did. the SC-68's is worse than the one I got with the super-flagship SC-09TX which was not as hi-tech as the LCD touchscreen one that came with the 59TXI. it is nearly useless in the dark, not because it's dim but because you can't read the labels. you have a valid criticism.
but hang with it, you'll catch on