Pioneer VSX-821 A/V Receiver HT Labs Measures

HT Labs Measures

Five channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 63.2 watts
1% distortion at 78.1 watts

Analog frequency response in Pure Direct mode:
–0.22 dB at 10 Hz
–0.06 dB at 20 Hz
–0.13 dB at 20 kHz
–3.46 dB at 50 kHz.

Analog frequency response with stereo signal processing:
–0.47 dB at 10 Hz
–0.17 dB at 20 Hz
–0.65 dB at 20 kHz
–61.09 dB at 50 kHz.

This graph shows that the VSX-821's left channel, from CD input to speaker output with two channels driving 8-ohm loads, reaches 0.1% distortion at 82.9 watts and 1% distortion at 110.3 watts. Into 4 ohms, the amplifier reaches 0.1% distortion at 121.3 watts and 1% distortion at 150.7 watts.

There was no multichannel analog input to measure. THD+N from the CD input to the speaker output was less than 0.092% at 1 kHz when driving 2.83 volts into an 8-ohm load. Crosstalk at 1 kHz driving 2.83 volts into an 8-ohm load was –67.03 dB left to right and –63.24 dB right to left. The signal-to-noise ratio with an 8-ohm load from 10 Hz to 24 kHz with "A" weighting was –89.11 dBrA.

From the Dolby Digital input to the loudspeaker output, the left channel measures –0.13 dB at 20 Hz and –0.53 dB at 20 kHz. The center channel measures –0.08 dB at 20 Hz and –0.40 dB at 20 kHz, and the left surround channel measures –0.08 dB at 20 Hz and –0.58 dB at 20 kHz. From the Dolby Digital input to the line-level output, the LFE channel is –0.18 dB at 20 Hz when referenced to the level at 40 Hz and reaches the upper 3-dB down point at 118 Hz and the upper 6-dB down point at 120 Hz.—MJP

Video Test Bench

N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Pass Pass Pass N/A

The Pioneer VSX-821 has passthrough video switching only, with no upconversion or deinterlacing. The resolution of the output is the same as the resolution of the input.

We are dropping our former analog tests (component in to HDMI out) from this and future Video Test Bench results. Many new source components are beginning to omit component-video outputs—or at least limiting their resolution, which means that HDMI is the only way to see full HD. Just as important, cross conversion (the component input to HDMI output signal path that our analog tests addressed) is primarily a convenience. Our tests have consistently shown that in virtually all cases, this configuration should be avoided if the best quality image is your goal.


techguy378's picture

Yamaha thought that a single position auto setup program was great too, but the results sounded like crap due to their poor choice of a 7 or 10 band parametric equalizer. To make things worse if you ran the auto setup from precisely the same position using a tripod with dual levelers you would get different results every single time. Does Pioneer's auto setup have this problem too? My old Denon AVR-788 receiver cost $350 for a brand new one and it had Audyssey MultEQ (6 measurement positions). Some may argue that the Denon AVR-788 didn't have support for Blu-Ray audio formats, but this is not an important feature for any budget receiver to have. Just about any budget Blu-Ray player currently being sold can convert the newer audio formats into a PCM audio format that is identical in every way to the original soundtrack.

manbearpig's picture

So I purchased the VSX-521-K which I assume is identical sound to this one. My problem is combined with my Tannoy speakers I find it a little hard, bright and edgy. Seems to over emphasize grain in broadcasts. At times it does not feel very impactfull as well. You describe the Onkyo 609 as having greater depth and a more delicate sound signature, would this possibly translate into a cleaner and more refined sound I may be looking for?