Pioneer VSX-806RDS AV-receiver

The impression is that at the development of Pioneer VSX-806RDS for the sake of "artistry" the designers have forgotten about functional combination of controls, placing volume control in one side, loudness button in the opposite direction and tones and balance somewhere in the middle of the panel. The main power switch is as usual on the left, and the power on indicator of this mode somehow got to the Surround switches. Although, it is desirable to place everything, related to regulation of sound, nearby. However, you can get used to it and this is not so critical. From the Surround modes, in addition to Pro Logic, there are options of "coloring" of stereo sound under Studio and Arena plus two more modes, consolidated under the name of 5-D Theatre, one of which is designed to work with Dolby signal, the other - with stereo.

The remote control of Pioneer VSX-806RDS affects by the abundance of buttons; I had to spend the time to understand such fine points as switching of input selectors. This couldn't be immediately understood neither by instructions on the remote control nor by manual. There is no so-called sleep-tier in the model VSX-806RDS.

The sound picture in stereo mode tends to extensive blurring. This is not to say that determination of direction to the source was difficult, but the source itself as if was increased in size; this leads to the fact that sometimes the instruments can slightly cover each other. Soft bass has big power and can chill to the bones. But, despite of this, the sound is still quite clear and relief. We will note that mentioned increase of the scale doesn't very affect the localization in the Pro Logic mode. The direction to the virtual source (even at small sizes) was guessed quite accurately and the volume distribution in the frontal plane was uniform, without failures. Pioneer worked out screen dialogs well and the movement of characters was synced visually and aurally. The penetration of frontal signal in back loudspeakers can appear sometimes, probably because of the low channel separation in VSX-806RDS. For example, a bit stronger than the director intended sound of fallen ahead object can appear in the rear. But the large-scale scenes of natural disasters and space battles benefit and bass support of the receiver has helped to this. But this doesn't alter the recommendation to purchase an active subwoofer. Turning on the 5-D Pro Logic mode showed no advantages over Dolby-brother, if anything (sometimes a side-tone from back speaker systems appeared in the frontal ones). Some tonal and reverberation changes are felt in 5-D Surround, Studio and Arena modes, but they are pretty minor. The tuner didn't present any surprises (or whims). As we expected, it easily caught all stations of FM-range and played them with appropriate quality. Perhaps, a really convenient radio reception is a distinctive feature of Pioneer.

Pioneer VSX-806RDS AV-receiver photo