Excerpt: Back when Jimmy Carter was president (or was it Ford?), my first audio system featured a Pioneer SX-434 receiver. Even then, manufacturers had figured out that SX sells. My old receiver was rated at 15 watts per channel and weighed 18 pounds. Today, I'm reviewing a Pioneer VSX-816 A/V receiver (SX still sells) with 110 watts times seven. At 20.3 pounds, it's put on some weight, but what a difference a couple of pounds can make.
Conclusion: Like so many audio/video receivers in this class, the Pioneer VSX-816 houses a cornucopia of features in its standard size frame. The VSX-816 packs the requisite seven channels at a generous 100 watts each and packs all the surround-sound options you could want. If you don’t need the extra two channels of surround (most people can’t accommodate them) you can create a second zone of audio, and you can add an XM antenna for a third band of radio–both nice adds.
Pros: Reasonably priced; full of features; plenty of power; simple setup
Cons: Some operations could be smoother; remote is hard to operate in the dark