Excerpt: Pioneer has already impressed us with its VSX-920 and VSX-LX53 surround sound amps over recent months. Now it's time to get to grips with the ultra-affordable, five-channel VSX-520. As you'd expect from a budget amp, the feature count isn't especially high, but all the basics have been accounted for. There's onboard decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio high-def audio formats.
Pros: Solid build, automatic speaker calibration, focused, direct sound, three 3D HDMI inputs.
Cons: Lacks the punch, scale and dynamics of the top amps at this money, speaker terminals detract from the build quality
Excerpt: Pioneer's 2010 receivers are the best looking on the market, and that applies even to the bottom-end of the range, represented in our roundup by the VSX-520. The build quality is up to Pioneer's usual impeccable standards, too.