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Help With Receiver (1 Viewer)

Matthew Furtek

Stunt Coordinator
Nov 29, 2001
I decided to go separates on a low-budget audio system.... first purchase was the NSP-1's for $250 (did not think I could find anything comparable). Next up is the receiver and I've got about $300 to spend on it.

Hooking up

1) LD Player - Analog Video with Optical Digital Input (optical input probably overkill)

2) DVD Player - Component will be going straight to TV, need digital input. I guess I could use a CD digital input.

3) Cable / Sat - For future proofing would like S-Video with Optical Inputs

4) Sega Dreamcast - Analog inputs

5) X-Box - Analog inputs

Looking For

1) DPL 2 (Star Wars and Indy Laserdiscs).

2) At least Dolby Digital - EX (thinking about the Star Wars DVDs... drool)

The only receiver in my price range that matches any of this is the Pioneer VSX 811s. Pioneer doesn't seem to have a good reputation on the forum.

Suggetions / Comments?

Matthew Furtek


Supporting Actor
Mar 13, 2001
Matt, Pioneer is a decent enough budget brand. The 12 year old stereo Pioneer receiver I have has served me very well through the years. I actually just picked up the 811S for an upgrade in the "budget" home theater setup. I could not find my first choice, the Onkyo SR600, anywhere in my local area (I don't buy things with "moving parts" :) from e-tailers for various reasons. I like dealing with brick and mortar stores in case something bad happens). Anyway, I think the reputation of Pioneer has to do with some things based in fact and others just subjective opinions. They do seem to give liberal (some would say false) power ratings on their specs and their harmonic distortion numbers are always higher than the Yamahas, Onkyos of the world. But if you're powering a small room and small speakers such as the ones you're getting, you have to ask the question of whether or not you'll even come close to max'ing out the power on the thing. Take a look at Sound and Vision from Dec 2001, where they reviewed the Denon 2802, the Pioneer 850S (one of the predecessors to the 811S) and a Sony model, for more technical information on what the Pioneers do as far as power.
So, it really boils down to features and sound. I don't do critical listening in the literal sense and find the Pioneer to have a warm nice sound. In my opinion, the type and placement of speakers one uses affects the sound quality much more than the receiver, *especially* in this price range.
With that said, I think the Onkyo has a few more features and if my strange L/R DPLII problem isn't something I screwed up and is the receiver (see current thread by me), then I may be taking it back and picking up either the Yamaha 5560 or the Onkyo SR600 when some finally come in.
good luck,

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