The "umph" (i.e. the extra ~20 watts) just isn't there.
When it comes to Power amps 20 Watts is very small.
In the Pro Audio realm (Crown Power Amps and Band PA's) it is a known fact that you almost have to Double the watts to actually hear it!
In other words if you have a Crown Power amp rated at 1000 watts per channel and you upgrade to 1200 watts per channel..do not expect to hear any difference..you really need to make a much bigger jump in power.
That's why in Home Audio you see so much made of one receiver at say 100 watts and another one at 110 or 120..10 or 20 watts is a 10% to 20% difference....How can you expect it to sound as if it was a 50% difference.
Think of how small that is 10 to 20% and really Audio is not exponential...
So it was unfortunate that you thought that 20 watts was going to wake up your speakers...
Maybe you might want to use your Pre-Outs to an actual Power Amp.
This is also why you will see actual Full Blown Home Theaters that DO have actual Power Amps either with their receivers or a Pre-Amp / Processor and a Power Amp...separate components.
They know that 120 watts will not shake their room.
I also own the VSX 1020K in my bedroom. I will say that the Elite 52 in my living room did not setup the same..but nothing IS the Same.
If your Elite 52 was installed into the exact same place as your 1020K you may want to compare the MCACC results from the 1020 to your 52 setup.
I pulled up my specs on my 52 after it ran its MCACC on Full auto to what was in my 1020's MCACC in my bedroom.
I knew that they cannot compare because of all the room differences and different speakers, it is not Apples to Apples.
I just did it for Shits and Giggles.
However if you pulled out the 1020 and slid in the E52, I would be interested in looking at the MCACC results.
Just remember that between the 1020 and the E52 they DO have different processing.
One thing that I noticed is my 1020 set the Crossover at 80Hz and my E52 set the Crossover at 150Hz, I changed the Crossover to 80Hz..
this will make a difference with your Speakers..obviously..so check this on your E52.
If you still have the 1020 you just need to run a HDMI Cable to see your MCACC, nothing else needs to be connected.
Bottom line the E52 was not as Plug and Play as my 1020 was..but again there were so many changes from my Living Room to my bedroom....
The E52 DOES Give you a lot of adjustments, so tweak it a bit and I am sure that you will find it's Sweet spot to your room.
Remember that when the 1020's came out there were more discussions in this forum about the MCACC setup than anything else!
Just like you and your E52 there were many that thought the same of your 1020 and you ended up liking it a lot!
It turned out that the reference Mic placement was very very important as well as setting the proper speaker size comparable to if you had a Sub or not!
The E52 has a different MCACC Processor so be a little patient and understanding....That is why there are so many adjustments that you can make for your individeual setup!
I'd say that hey if Auto MCACC works with your Room and Speaker setup, right out of the box then God Bless!
But if it does not, relax, You have the Technology needed to get it right!
I do like my E52 and the Surrounds and Audio is a welcome and comfortable Experience, because of my time with the 1020, which I am listening to as I type this.
I have also thought that I would like to put the E52 into my Bedroom for a Week and see what an actual comparison sounds and looks like.
I could just do a second MCACC Memory for it.
Plethora of blue lights on the front kind of annoying
The Blue lights do not bother me any more than the Blue and Red lights do on my 1020. My dimmer is setup so it goes almost dark after a remote adjustment, the same as my 1020.
Remote control D-pad does not work in the HMG.
I am not as familiar with this because I do not use the HMG!
I do know that even though I do not use "Rhapsody" I still did the Rhapsody "Firmware Update" as soon as I got my E52.
The reference to the D'Pad really threw me and I was looking in the OP Manual for this D'Pad button and then as I read further down in your post I saw you refer to it as a D'Pad / Enter button.
This does not make sense to me and something that we will see in this thread what others say about it.
You may want to actually call Pioneer Support on Monday (or sometime) and then let US know what they say..also address your other Texting issues.
The information that took you 5 minutes to Input..is that a one time affair?
If so I would not sweat it.
The rhapsody implementation is crap
Did you do the Rhapsody "Firmware Update?"
I could write text messages on a rotary phone faster than I can input into this receiver
How were you inputting the Text? Via the remote or an I-Phone App..etc...?
There is the ability to connect a Keyboard via USB...would that work better for Text?
Borrow your Computer's Keyboard..Page 23 of the OP Manual.
Really does feel just like the 1121k with the elite logo silkscreened on it. Not sure what the point of having both models is.
I did see that the 1121 does not have any 12volt Triggers, the E52 has two.
There is also a 2 Year Warranty for the Elite compared to the 1 Year Warranty for the 1121.
On Paper there is not a lot of Differences between the Elite VSX 52 and the VSX 1121.
There is obviously the looks of the units.
Again, not a lot but there is a difference!
Loose power cord does not inspire confidence
If you have an old 3 prong IEC Cable from an old Monitor or Computer etc...
Plug this into your Pioneer and you aill notice a difference!
Don't worry about the ground wire in the cord..it's just not used, but the IEC Cords whether 2 prong or 3 prong are shaped exactly the same!
My old Monitor cord plugged in nice and firmly!
The Pioneer cord went into my Cord Box and back up on the shelf!
Going to give it a few more days to play with, but I may end up returning it.
I would! I know that it did not go in like your 1020 but I think that when you get the kinks worked out...you will really like it.
If not there are more fish in the Sea LOL!