Pioneer Elite VSX-04 A/V Receivers

Elite VSX-04

User Reviews (8)

Showing 1-8 of 8  
Tanner   AudioPhile [Sep 05, 2003]
Strength:

Awsome for music. Learning remote. massive power.

Weakness:

No DTS, no bass management no level adjustment.

This is a follow up to my previous review, before I was a bit harsh on the little beauty and have since changed speakers to Klipsch reference series. I have been using the reciever for 3 years now, and can also say that I have nothin but love for the Elite. For music; phenominal. For games; excellent. for movies; there is some room for improvment here. The receiver needs some speaker level adjustments and also could use some bass management. For music this theing excels in everyway, power, clarity and depth. Power is limitless.I am going to use this receiver as my music only receievr and upgrade to a Pioneer Elite VSX-55TXi for my movies.

Similar Products Used: none.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Tanner   Casual Listener [Oct 19, 2002]
Strength:

5.1 pre out,low distorsion

Weakness:

lots to many to name!

I have previously owned a minisystem and wanted suround sound so I purchased this receiver.BAD IDEA! this receiver is the worst suround sound receiver ive ever heard. I mean the setup is horrible and no sound modes at all, 5 DSP's and prologic on a 600$ receiver? its not all that bad but if you want surround sound look somewhere else.stereo is good but I cant hear the rear speakers and you cannot set them up never mind every thing else the only thing you can set up is the sound modes which on a 1 bit dac dont make a diference they just add the C and R speakers which you cant hear them anyway whith out using a seperate amp and a seperate external decoder and when in Prologic it cuts out at 400hz forcing you to use a sub and if you dont movies sound better on a TV anyway.

Similar Products Used: Kenwood Vr-6070 which is alot better
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Kelly   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 15, 2000]
Strength:

Clear, loud, lots of inputs and outputs.

Weakness:

Very low sub out with no volume control.

For an older, pro-logic ELITE, it's good. Has worked flawlessly since purchased about 18 months ago. Bass is a little weak all the way around. If you see one hanging around or can score one used, and cheap, get it for your bedroom. Remote is awesome, and has been replaced with lame version on newer models.

Similar Products Used: Other low end Pioneer receivers.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Andy   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 10, 2000]
Strength:

Good Stereo Sound

Weakness:

Horrible Surround Sound

Bought this as a closeout at AVI, back when Dolby Digital was just starting out. Must admit sales rep warned me that if I was going to upgrade to DVD I might want to consider something else as this only played in Pro-logic. It was early 1998, why would I want DVD? VHS was king right? Now that I have my HT setup, Every time I play a DVD in 5d theater I get annoyed. The center channel Hisses, the rear channels hiss. Drives me bananas. And my wife?
My wife hears none of this..
Which then drives me bonkers!

Don't even try and play music in surround mode, bad bad bad.

Like the sales rep said-great for stereo-cds, radio
Terrible for HT/surround modes

Similar Products Used: None
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
JL   an Audio Enthusiast [Apr 08, 1998]

Having once owned a VSX-something-or-the-other back in 1989, being totally underwhelmed, I was a little skeptical when a high end audio store recommended the Elite VSX-04. I would have dismissed that suggestion anyway had the price not been so low. MSRP in '97 was $600. MSRP now is $500, and sale price at $300! "Ok," I said, "lets compare it with the Marantz", which is what I was really interested in. It sounded identical--very good for a receiver. Both have transistor amps, but the Pioneer plays loader (50w vs 100w). It plays my Deftech 8s very loud at 10 o'clock. I talked with several different shops. The comment I heard the most was it was a surprisingly good sounding receiver for the price ($500). My experience is very good prologic and good to very good music (the jury's still out on the music).
Another strong point is the remote control. I've tried several, and Pioneer has the best. Yeah, the Yamaha has more power, but, with an aluminum case, if you sit on it you're spending about $150-200 to replace it. The Yamaha is big, whereas the Pioneer is an ergonomic achievement, resembling a Startrek phaser. It is preprogrammed, but it can learn, also. It's very easy to use, and you can even scan all stations or input frequency numbers. There are also macros, but not nearly to the extent of the Yamaha.

It has pre-outs for L/R/C/SW but not surrounds. There are no main-ins, but there really is no need in this class.

Down side? Well, "studio" and "arena" surround effects are barely noticable. A useless feature in my opinion, particularly if you have speakers with good imaging. The volumn knob is not lighted. Display is too small, but it looks like they stuck the money into the chassis, which is a good thing. It has binding posts, but the spacing on the surround posts doesn't allow double banana plug--a nit, I know. But the spacing is right if you want to connect a positive or negative side together! What were they thinking? (I had to go buy some single banana plugs. That's all.)

This is a great deal ($300) if you don't have to have Dolby Digital. Oh yeah, there is a reason why it's so cheap, but, c'mon, if you don't have DVD or DSS, or plan to purchase one in the next 2 or 3 years, THIS IS A NO-BRAINER! It's chicken fajitas at a taco price--five enchiladas.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
JL   an Audio Enthusiast [May 19, 1998]

This is a followup to my previous review. When I bought the VSX-04 I also had purchased new speakers. When I finally got things figured out, I discovered the VSX-04 was out-of-balance to the right. The balance control did not correct it without attenuating the right channel. Even if it had, the direct mode was undesirable given the unbalance. To make a long story short, I tried 4 before I got a good one. Quality control at the Pioneer factory may need reevaluating!

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
Carl   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 08, 2000]
Strength:

5D-THEATER SURROUND, NICE SOUNDING AMP, NICE LEARNING REMOTE.

Weakness:

NOISY REAR SURROUND AMPLIFER/DECODER, NOISY TUNER, POOR SURROUND SETUP.

Over all the Pioneer Elite VSX-04 receiver is a good Stereo
receiver with a nice over all sound.

It also looks very nice with less used controls hidden behind a panel.

Good speaker connectors for all including surround with
outputs for left & right front, center, sub and left &
right rear. Someone else said it didn't have outputs for rear but mine does and it also shows it in the manual.
it don't explain if the internal amps are buy passed when
the outs are used.

The 5D-theater mode works well and gives a simulated dolby
digital sound from pro-logic. Great for VHS or non-dolby
digital/dts laser disc's.

On the bad side the amp is very noisy on the rear channels
even if no source is played and volume turned to min. Only
thing to do is place the rear speakers farther away and slightly above ear level OR don't use surround sound at all. I don't know why an elite receiver would have such a poor noise level on the rear channels.

The FM tuner also has a high noise level when no audio
or low level audio is played. I tried adjusting the ant.
but it made little difference. I get good reception on other tuners/receivers in the same location.

Last that I can think of is the setup for surround sound is
the worse I seen in any surround sound pro-logic receiver.
What I mean by this is what can you set up? It lets you select either phantom mode for pro-logic or 3 channel dolby
(left/right front and center) but NO settings on rear channel delay or effects (very basic stuff missing). Also
when you select 5-D theater (which gives a silulated stereo
effect on the rear channels) it looks like the center channel is enabled even if you have it turned off for pro-logic. You have control over the center channel level
which you should not if phantom mode is on. It forces you to
by a center channel speaker if you want to use this option.
I know most will say it will sound better that way but the point is you don't have control over that choice. All other
PRO-logic enhanced features on other receivers let you do this.

The Yamaha and Pioneer D-608 both have quiet rear channels
in dolby pro-logic mode.

while it's an over all good receiver I would not include it
in the Elite receiver models but more as a standard pioneer receiver. It could have been alot more. The pre-outputs gives you more control over upgrading power/amp quality but
it don't have amp inputs for DTS/Dolby digital processor.


Similar Products Used: PIONEER D608 DOLBY DIGITAL RECEIVER, YAMAHA DPS-1000A
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Thomas   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 21, 2000]
Strength:

great power and headroom, great stereo sound, easy to use, good looks

Weakness:

very few features, poor surround sound performance

i bought this on sale and now use it solely for stereo sound. i am very pleased with the sound and power output in this mode. i really think that the surround sound section got the boot for quality. i really like the system for STEREO but look elsewhere for a good quality surround sound setup.

Similar Products Used: yamaha, dennon, onkyo
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-8 of 8  

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