Pioneer Elite VSX-21 A/V Receivers

Elite VSX-21

User Reviews (36)

Showing 1-10 of 36  
Kevin   AudioPhile [Feb 07, 2002]
Strength:

Very easy setup, plenty of inputs, great dts and dolby decoding. Even has a clipping light.

Weakness:

More power would be nice, but thats the next model. The remote is kinda crappy.

I picked this receiver up a few years back. I''ve loved it since. First off, it was very flexible for its time. Fully S-2 switching for every video input. I could run s-video for everything including my SVHS vcr. Sure, now we have component video switching, but that wasn''t around then. Also.. I''m not sure if others have read their manual. You can assign each of the digital inputs to whatever button/source you want. Aka.. assign Optical 2 to DVD. With basic a basic coax cable and cheap optical cables, I''ve never experienced any drop out of digital connections. Like most receivers, it switches to an assigned digital input whenever the digital signal is present. If not, it''ll stay with analog inputs. The bass managment works great. It isn''t the most powerful receiver, rated at 85watts/channel. We all know receivers cheat on their numbers too. I know my speakers, Klipsch with super high efficiency of 95db/w/m, so I didn''t worry about enormous power. This is an all around excellent receiver.

Similar Products Used: Comparative Yamaha Natural Sound.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
joshua   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 17, 2000]
Strength:

versatility, price, if you shop around

Weakness:

front panel display

before even listening to the VSX-21 I set a budget and looked for a receiver with all the features I wanted or will need in the near future. this model has more features than most receivers for more money. next came the listening tests. I did side-by-side tests with Denon and Yamaha models, and although the denon had more power and the yamaha had a warmer sound (to me) they were more expensive and didnt have near the features. the VSX-21 also provides for expansion with plenty of S-video and digital connections and 6 preout connections. this was the best receiver within my budget and I think will satisfy anyone that listens and uses it. shop around and get a good price, I got it for $450 shipped (uncle stereo) and the cheapest in my area was $125 more.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Jeff   Casual Listener [Jul 28, 2000]
Strength:

Price, attractive, rear panel connections

Weakness:

lack of multiple switched outlets on rear panel, slight lack of power

I bought the Pioneer Elite VSX-21 back in April 2000 and have been pretty happy with it. It is my first use of Dolby Digital, and like other listeners, it took a while to get everything set up correctly. Once done, it sounds sweet.

On the downside (only slight). Not sure if all newer receivers are doing this, but like to have seen more outlets on the rear. My old Yamaha had five and this one's only got one (maybe there's a good reason for this). Also -- on the subject of putting -dB numbers on the receiver as you crank up the volume is somewhat unsettling. Am I the only one who gets a little depressed when you have to go higher than you would "expect" to get the level you want? Just a little pet peeve.

Otherwise, the Elite looks and performs nice. Still waiting on a Sub (4ch setup now), but even without it I still have great low end when watching DVD in 5.1. Dolby Digital is sure not for novices though (lots of setup tweaks between the receiver and DVD player for various DVDs). My wife can't come close to getting everything going. Maybe that's good (!).

I really enjoy reading all the other reviews. That's my 2 cents worth.

Similar Products Used: Yamaha (replaced by VSX-21)
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
John Laurinatis   Audiophile [Apr 24, 2000]
Strength:

More than enough power for most rooms and speaker set-ups.
Plenty of low-end. Very detailed sound. Plenty of bells and whistles, will not be obsolete in one or two years. Great Value for DTS/Dolby Digital receiver.

Weakness:

Does not offer as many soundfields as Yamaha and Sony. No 5 speaker stereo settting...oh well, it still rocks!

I have mine powering Boston Acoustics CR8 mains, CR2 center, CR6 rears, and a Cerwin LW-15 sub...I don't go to the movie theater anymore! Listen folks, I spent months researching and returning receivers, this one is great, ther are better but, for around $450, good luck finding a better receiver.

Similar Products Used: Yamaha, Sony but, similar units cost hundreds more.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Andrei   Casual Listener [Jul 07, 2000]
Strength:

Sound and bang for the buck

Weakness:

Panel display and push buttons are difficult to see should be backlit.

I purchased Pioneer Elite 21 on a lark (and because it was on sale and the salesman talked me into it --I was considering the Yamaha 495) to replace my aging but still adequate NAD and start my home theater.
At first I thought the Pioneer was just an adequate replacement since I was just running it as a stereo. I eventually added Def Tech Cinema 100 sub and center kept my old KEFs and added A/D/S 100 for rears. Now the system sounds great in all modes and I'm still exploring all the possibilities. Although setup is no breeze it was worth it -- the finished product is great sound.

Similar Products Used: Yamaha 395 / 495
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Steve   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 07, 2000]
Strength:

Features, Clean Power, Ergonomics aren't all bad. Decent Remote. Great price.

Weakness:

None really for this price range.

I have had this unit for about two weeks and I love it. It took me a little while to set it up....only due to my own rather complicated maze of wires.

I have played a little of everything through it and have enjoyed it thoroughly. I just purchased the Eagles Hell Freezes Over DVD in DTS and it is wonderful. It does produce a decent amount of Bass without the Sub setup and there is plenty of room to expand in the future.

I personally am building a larger home theater in a house that we will be moving into soon and this unit will make a good foundation. The pre-amp outs are the key for me for the future.

The remote isn't bad considering the price of the unit. It does all but my cable and if you expect more from a remote at this price range you're on crack.

Similar Products Used: All Sony's, Onkyo 575, Kenwood 309
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Eric   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 05, 1999]
Strength:

Price, features, ease of use, build quality

Weakness:

Had to get creative to use both DVD and LD
My older CD player is not recognized by remote code

Bought at Uncle Stereo for a better price than the few previously listed. After much shopping and comparing, I feel this is definetely the best value in it's price range.
S-video switching is a must as my tv has only one S-video input and is eight feet away from my components. This caused me to hook up my LD player to VCR1 so that I could use both S-video and coax Digital input (with demodulator). When my DVD player gets delivered, I'll just have to get a one meter S-video cable and an optical Digital input, and I'll be golden.
Compared to others, like the Sony B-series (confusing controls, so-so remote, suspect quality), Yamaha (much more money, less power, fewer digital inputs), Denon (much more money), and other lower quality lines from Pioneer: VSX-608 (?safe at 6 ohm?, build, no RE-eq), JVC: RX-888VBK (similar price, slightly better power, not as intuitive, cluttered front panel, one less digital input (Probably would be next
choice)), Sony (crappy remote, don't really trust Sony).
Really like the remote, even if it isn't the same as the higher level Elite receivers. Extremely easy to set-up inputs, remote codes and various levels. As mentioned above, the only problem is that my old Kenwood (DP-M107R) seven-disc CD changer is not accepted by the codes given in the manual or by a service call. Overall, extremely happy with my choice and probably will be even more with an addition of sub and soon DVD player.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Mike   an Audio Enthusiast [Aug 22, 1999]

I replaced my 2 yr old Kenwook 1080VR with the VSX-21, and I am impressed. The clarity, low end and overall warmth of music reporduction just blows away the Kenwood. The Dolby Digital reproduction is right on, with a bit more spaciousness than I had with the Kenwood. The reason I had bought the Kenwood 2yrs ago, was that Stereo Review gave it a good review, and I had just purchsed a DVD player about 4 month earlier. The Kenwood was the cheapest Dolby Digital receiver at the time ($599). Now for more than $100 less than that I purchased a new Pioneer VSX-21 - and all I can say is WOW. Now I just have to get some DTS CD's and then think about a DVD player that can pass the DTS digital stream, (I have a very early DVD player that is not DTS compatible).
I would buy this over any other lower priced Dolby Digital receiver out there.


OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Robert Lamb   Audiophile [Feb 28, 2001]
Strength:

Excellent performing receiver-especially for the money!

Weakness:

I found no apparent weaknesses with this receiver.

After comparing the above receivers I found the Pioneer VSX-21 to be an excellent value. It has plenty of power, which provides a very smooth and rich sound. I have new Paradigm speakers, including a subwoofer, and this receiver really makes them shine. The entire range is accurate and clean for both two chanel music, DD and DTS. I found the system easy to hookup and achieved this fairly quickly. The VSX-21 has plenty of input/outputs for future expansion and the remote is more than adequate in this price range. If you want a fully programable learning remote with macros, etc.-buy one! Even at the suggested retail price of $650 (which I did not pay) I would rate this receiver high, although it would be less of a value.

Similar Products Used: Compared to: Onkyo TX-DS575X & 676, Pioneer Elite VSX-33TX, Denon AVR-2801, and Integra DTR 5.1.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Jay   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 31, 1999]
Strength:

Low cost, quality construction, great performance, and probably every feature an Audio/Video Enthusiast would need getting started in the DVD arena.

Weakness:

Remote Control is bulky and doesn't support Dishnetwork/Echo Star DBS setop boxes; Panasonic could learn a few things from Yamaha with regards to A/V reciever remote controls.

I have mated the VSX-21 with Klipsch KSB-3.1 main/front, Klipsch KSF-C5 center, and Klipsch KSF-S5 rear surrounds. At the present time, I have not purchased a subwoofer. I will probably purchased the Klipsch KSW-12. I have the center and rear surrounds set to SMALL speakers and the two main fronts set to large so the system sends the low bass to the front/main speakers.

My main point that I would like to make is that in a 5 speaker, no sub configuration, the VSX-21 has no problem reproducing strong, clean base.

The system provides excellent value, quality and performance. Make sure to get Saving Private Ryan on DTS.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 36  

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