Summary: I bought this receiver to replace an old Sony 5.1 that did not have HDMI. I choose the Pioneer VSX-520-K because it was reasonably priced and had the HDMI pass-through. When it arrived and I set up the system, the audio would not calibrate correctly. I can't explain it but the audio just seemed "Off". I read through the manual, made all the appropriate adjustments (entering distance of each speaker, the speaker size, etc.) and still it just didn't sound right.
Summary: I purchased my first of this receiver and found it had a problem sending any signal to the Subwoofer PreOut port on the rear panel. Pioneer tech support confirmed there was a short in that port. Receiver sent back to amazon for replacement. I got another a few days later and found that it not only had the same problem with the Sub out, inputs on the rear panel for dvd and tv did not pass audio signal so it wasn't possible to hear either of those.
Summary: The Pioneer receiver I purchased guaranteed it would be NEW and perfect for a people looking to start building their own Home theatre system. I awaited in anticipation for 9 days for the receiver so I could hook it up with my other Pioneer speakers and Polk Audio sub-woofer. As soon as it arrived I found it at my doorstep when I arrived from work.
Summary: I purchased this amp from Amazon in Feb. 2011. Within 3 months the signal to the subwoofer stopped working. It would work on occasion, but very seldom. I took it to a service center in NY because I happened to be visiting the area. Picked it up 2 weeks later, supposedly repaired. Got it home to TN and hooked it back up. Subwoofer worked for about two weeks, then quit again.
Summary: This is last year's model, and yesterday it was $169. Somehow it gained value today and is up to $199. Apparently they age like wine. If you are interested in this, I recommend waiting until Amazon realizes their error, whether it was intentional or not.
Summary: Got the 521-K version the other day and have had nothing but trouble. Not only are the connections difficult to figure out, but the receiver has a mind of its own - occasionally it will put out the audio but most of the time it seems not to want to, and I'm left with picture and now sound. One HMDI connection only registers on the tv as an AV input. A piece of garbage I'm returning as soon as I'm able!!!
Summary: As another reviewer here pointed it, the Pioneer VSX-520-K is a nice receiver, but it is worthless due to a serious flaw in the audio processing. There is fraction of a second cutoff of any CD or DVD that is played through this receiver. I tested it with multiple players and the HDMI, optical and coaxial inputs. If you are playing a standard CD that has 2 seconds between each track, that blank spot somehow throws off the audio processing for a fraction of a second.
Summary: Had the receiver for a few weeks before I got around to hooking it up - wouldn't you know, it doesn't power up. Nothing - dead. Bought it reconditioned from Amazon - I can only imagine how bad it was before. Thanks, Amazon.