Pioneer VSX-S500

IWANTBLUE

Active Member
I hope you get plenty of posative feedback, as I've picked this out as the likely candidate for my mum....
But the small amount of info I have found on here , there hasn't been many supporters :(
 

Simon6776

Active Member
I am tempted, but I don't really want to be a guinea pig, and I at least want to find some reviews first. I'm intrigued at the fact that it's so slim, and if there's no compromise in sound quality, why are most other amps so huge?
 

ianscott

Standard Member
I have one of these. I got it to replace a very old Pioneer vsx c301 that was only useful for producing Dolby Digital audio for my Sky HD and Blu-ray players. All video had to go straight into the TV.

I'm no audiophile but it ticks all of the right boxes for me. Even when paired with some equally old (same age as the old receiver) Sony 5.1 speakers. Its size means it fits right into my set up and the 4 HDMI ins and HD sound is brilliant, even my Missus who couldn't care less has noticed the difference.

I was a bit put off initially by the lack of reviews but bearing in mind what it replaced, I was confident that it would do what I needed so took the plunge.

Only time will tell if the official reviews (if there ever are any) back up my thoughts but I'm happy. I just wish it had a few of the feautures of the VSX 921, such as the iControlAv app and some of the speaker connections being assignable as a second zone but neither of those were going to be deal breakers over the size.

I'm hoping to get some Boston Acoustics Soundware XS speakers from Santa and I'm expecting that to make a real difference.
 

Simon6776

Active Member
Thanks, that's somewhat reassuring. I currently have an Arcam AVR280, which this would replace. The Arcam can only handle DD5.1 and DTS, but is good all round, and produces nice CD sound, which is an Achilles heel with some AV amps. What is the Pioneer like for CD sound?
 

ianscott

Standard Member
In all honesty, I've not tried it for CDs. All of my music comes from Sky or ipod/iphone. I'll try it out over the next few days and let you know what I find. I suspect that the speakers will be a weak link when it comes down to decent stereo sound.
 

Simon6776

Active Member
No worries, thanks for your time. If I do go for one, it will be after Christmas, so no urgency. Perhaps there will be some reviews appearing by then too.
 

mattlord

Standard Member
Hi, I'm also looking at the Pioneer VSX-S500 with a set of the Boston Acoustics XS SE speakers and I'm also struggling to find any reviews what so ever, so it is refreshing that at least a couple of others have/are near to taking the plunge.
Looking at the spec of the Pioneer, it is up there with all of its bigger brothers, powerful, lots of inputs and love the sleak design. So far I havent seen it below £399. Has anyone got a better price?
 

Member 569079

Active Member
The Pioneer VSX-S500 has been designed with very efficient, low heat emission class D power amplifiers, which do not need large heatsinks to get rid of excess heat as do class B designs - hence the low height casework.
 

robbieprowler

Standard Member
There is one on eBay for £299 here: PIONEER VSX-S500 SURROUND RECEIVER USED WAS £4499 | eBay

Looks like it's ex display from Sevenoaks Sound and Vision

One point to note that may help others is that i was originally looking at the VSX-S300, but after reading the instructions i discovered that the composite input on it is not converted and output from the HDMI output. On the VSX-S500 the composite signal is converted and output on the HDMI output. :thumbsup:
 

IWANTBLUE

Active Member
Good to see some life on here :) likewise I'm about to pull the trigger... the person its for has so little space, and this reallly does seem to fit the bill, likewise I am a little dissapointed there isn't the second front channel possability, but the restrictions on size leave you with very little choice ..I had only seen £404, @ AVLAND,iirc but I have had a price match/deal price locally giving me an equivalent £400 price, matching it to the the BDP LX55 ..
I thought it was iControl2 rated though to be honest??
I've seen it both listed and not listed on different sites? again not a deal breaker, but would have been nice, and seems odd in a new -ish amp?
won't be long now.... :)
 

Neff

Standard Member
Has anyone bought this yet? If so what do you think?

i was considering the Onkyo TXNR509 but I may be tempted to spend to spend more for the compact size (the features don't seem too different).

As there's a dearth of reviews for the Pioneer (i assume it's new) I'd like to hear the opinions of any owners.
 

Simon6776

Active Member
The lack of 5.1 inputs is a bit of an issue for me, as it would limit playback of DVD-As and SACDs. I'm still considering, but would like to see some reviews before diving in.
 

ianscott

Standard Member
Would SACD not work over optical or digital coax inputs? Sorry if I'm showing my naivety and lack of idea about these formats.

My new BA Soundware speakers did arrive courtesy of the big red man. The results are fantastic. The sound is clearer and has loads more depth.

Also got a wifi adapter for the receiver and the ability to stream music directly from my pc is great. The only problem is that the GUI is a bit clunky and so it takes a minute or so to get the music source connected and playing.

I'm very happy with my set up now.

P.S iControlAV2 doesn't work. But the harmony one remote I got does all I need, perhaps just without the pretty pictures, all in all a very productive Xmas
 
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Simon6776

Active Member
Would SACD not work over optical or digital coax inputs? Sorry if I'm showing my naivety and lack of idea about these formats.

Yes, I believe it does, although, I'm not sure whether you get the full benefits of the formats using optical or digital. I'd be happily corrected on that.

I've just bought a new Mordant Short Alumni 9 subwoofer, which is a vast improvement on my old sub, so I'm enjoying that at the moment. I'm still considering the S500, but with a perfectly good Arcam AVR 280, that still sounds great, even without the HD audio formats, it's kind of hard to justify a leap into the unknown, with all due respect to your comments.
 

litapajar

Standard Member
My new BA Soundware speakers did arrive courtesy of the big red man. The results are fantastic. The sound is clearer and has loads more depth.

hi thanks for the update. I am planning a similar set up in australia. I am thinking of setting it up as 3.1 and 2 channel stereo in another room. wondering if you have or able to test BA XS speakers in this set up to see how the 2 channel stereo handles sound, given the absence of subwoofer. can these small speakers cover off the range - atleast to a quality that is ok? i am not an audiophile, btw :thumbsup:. thanks in advance
 
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IWANTBLUE

Active Member
Plumped for this too in the end it was a no-brainer on size alone...
VSX-s500 and the BDP LX55 and the old baby Kef's..

Sounds great for the very small amount of TV listening I've done, and the couple of cd's I've heard snippets of sounded great too.
Most importantly My Mum is Happy with it... I've neot had time to set anything up other than the auto routine, and her room isn't the greatest layout either, but they all seem to play nicely together, and the Tv and Amp are talking to one another even though I'm sure I turned it off LOL..

My mum was dreading the extra remote, but hasn't called me once to say she can't hear anything rofl...
each time I've been round it's been in use, allways a good sign ..

I'll try and remember to post back if I get some time with it, though the speakers and location are an obvious limitation in her installation.

Very happy with it and I got the price down to £350 as part of a package :) :)
 

ianscott

Standard Member
hi thanks for the update. I am planning a similar set up in australia. I am thinking of setting it up as 3.1 and 2 channel stereo in another room. wondering if you have or able to test BA XS speakers in this set up to see how the 2 channel stereo handles sound, given the absence of subwoofer. can these small speakers cover off the range - atleast to a quality that is ok? i am not an audiophile, btw :thumbsup:. thanks in advance


I tried it out tonight. I didn't realise quite how much difference the sub made, it really does integrate well. The satellites work OKish for stereo sound but I wouldn't want them to try and fill a big room, they start to get a bit tinny when you push too much through them. I'd suggest that if you want a 2 speaker setup, speakers with a big more low down capability would be much better.
 

drewchristx

Novice Member
My old man bought this receiver to power his B&W front, centre and rears along with a velodyne sub (ie very very good speakers). The sound is rubbish. My jamo/denon set-up in my unit sounds so much better and obviously cost me no-where near as much.

Plugged in my old full-sized Yamaha amp to see how it would perform and the difference was immediately noticeable. It turned the sound from HTIB-standard into a quality that you'd expect from very pricey B&Ws.

I know slim-lines might be unavoidable in some circumstances, but my advice would be to avoid this receiver at all costs. If you have to, get the Marantz. I'm sure the Pioneer in question would be sufficient if you had $100 speakers plugged in to it, but anything better than that is well and truly wasted. Which is crazy when you consider what they rip you off for the Pioneer!

Oh, and the remote control is rubbish and the on-screen display is woeful (although i'm used to that with my Denon....)

Hope this avoids disappointment for someone.
 

blacklion

Active Member
Any one else bought this recently? What's your experience so far?
 

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