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on January 3, 2013
I have this setup in a 9.2 configuration with the front height speakers. Coming from a $300 Onkyo that burned out 2 months after warranty this receiver is a giant step forward(also a giant step in price). This giant step in price however, finally gives me what I feel is reference grade sound quality as if I were in a movie theater.

Pros: A lot. Most are already explained in it's description so I will try not to repeat those.
Easy setup and the auto calibration works well.
Quality. Despite the weak warranty you get the sense of a very high quality and refined product here.
Listening modes. There are very many listening modes to choose from and unlike my Onkyo I don't get that annoying loud click every time I choose a different mode. It is a quick and smooth transition which makes changing a much better experience. Also a nice iPhone App that lets you choose any mode without having to scroll through them like with the Pioneer remote. I experiment with many different sound modes but usually end up on one of the THX 9.2 Cinema modes.

Cons: Price fluctuations. This receiver has varied in price by 800 dollars in the last month.
Warranty is just one year. Something this expensive should have a 3 year warranty like some of it's competitors.
No built in Wifi or Bluetooth. Why not have this built in like some competitors do at half this price? It would increase their cost by $10-$20 per unit maybe? Bluetooth would be nice but I can live without it and I have a network cable plugged in but would have used Wifi if it was built in(had to steal the network cable from my that will go wireless).
Latest firmware update can't be installed with network connection. Must use USB which was a bit of a pain.

All in all this is very impressive. Ignore the product details that say this is 16 pounds. It weighs in well over 30 pounds. I don't see any reviews yet so I wanted to get something out there. I will add more later and if anyone has any questions please ask.

*Addition 4/19/2013: Still loving this receiver. I'm going to give the power usage numbers I'm seeing since I am always interested in power draw out of curiosity and so I can be aware of my electricity usage. I'm a little disappointed with it's power draw when off. It consumes 5-7 watts when off which is higher than other receivers I have had and much higher than the newer Yamaha receivers which claim to draw just 0.1 watts when off. Pioneer should look at improving this. While the receiver is on it consumes a steady 90 watts, only going over 100 if you have the volume REALLY loud with source volume that is also loud. This seems very reasonable to me and while it will get warm it stays much cooler than my other 2 receivers did.

Small issue I am having is with the HDMI cable connected to my HTPC. It seems to happen only when I have HDMI passthrough enabled where it won't pick up the Dolby 5.1 signal and will just output sound in Stereo. Restarting my computer is the fix and when I turn off HDMI passthrough I have not seen this occur.

If the reliability holds up as it did on my other Pioneer receiver(8 years and still going strong) I will be a faithful Pioneer customer as I just couldn't ask for more from this beauty. My wife and I are just thrilled with the quality of sound this thing puts out. It has great balance and clarity at reference volume and the power and control it has on the surround channels are far superior compared to the experiences with my other receivers. We have this in our bedroom with a 9.2 setup(one of the front height speakers just fell from the wall due to my horrible mounting, lol, so 7.2 at the moment).

When my wife falls asleep I switch this to the ALC sound mode which works so well! I can clearly hear everything at low volume which doesn't disturb her. With my last receiver I could never find a setting that would allow me to hear what was going on while not disturbing her sleep! Highly recommended A/V receiver.
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on June 6, 2013
Full of advanced features, more than most owners will ever use. But I've hooked up and used wireless networking, HD projector, and blue ray player. This receiver caused me to buy 10 new speakers, thank goodness. I'm running a 9.3 setup now, and plan to add front wides down the road. This receiver has performed flawlessly since day one.
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on May 15, 2013
A major disappointment--and waste. The receiver has terrific audio and video processing power, but it is available for use only in one zone. To advertise the product as allowing "advanced multi-zone configuration" seems dishonest to me. Common components, such as a DVD player, cannot take advantage of the receiver's 192kHz/32 bit audio DAC and be played outside of Zone 1.

At first glance, the SC-1522 seems an incredible buy for an extremely versatile piece of equipment. It seemed such a bargain that I was ready to abandon my plans to buy a separate preamp/processor and power amplifier. Among its appeals were its 192kHz/32 bit DAC, Qdeo video processor, and multizone operation. The DAC, at least, promised a major audio upgrade for my DVD player and Squeezebox Touch. In fact, sound and video outputs for Zone 1 were markedly superior to what I experienced previously. Unfortunately, and what will cause me to return the receiver, is its inability to down-convert HDMI, optical, and coaxial (in other words, all digital) inputs for output to Zones 2 and 3 (see page 35 of operating manual). For me, the audio quality in Zones 2 and 3 is at least as important as it is for Zone 1.

That said, I'll list what I see as a few pros and cons of the receiver:


1. Robust construction. Jacks on the back panel are solidly mounted. They are not gold plated, but it is debatable if this has an impact on sound and video. If you have concerns about conductivity or corrosion, there are several products that can keep the contacts clean..

2. Large number of digital input options, including 7 HDMI, 2 coaxial, and 2 optical inputs.

3. Ability to rename inputs as they show on the receiver's display panel.

4. Both speaker level and preamp outputs for each channel. This allows at-will use of external amplifiers as well as a seamless mix of passive and powered (or active) speakers, whether as part of a Zone 1 multichannel system, or in Zone 2 or 3.

5. High-quality audio and video upscaling. Digital audio sources played with greater depth and less edginess than I experienced with the built in DACs of my DVD player and Squeezebox. Every video source--from cable to streamed material via Roku--was sharper and brighter on my plasma screen after being fed through the Pioneer.

6. Ability to handle relatively low-impedance, high-current loads. The amplifier has ratings for 4 ohm speakers--many competitors will cite only 8 ohm specs. A few specify 6 ohm loads, implying, through omission, that the amp is not stable when faced with 4 or 2 ohm loads. (I should note that dedicated power amplifiers usually have an advantage over receivers when handling low impedance speakers. However, this is no longer something that buyers can take for granted. As part of an effort to reach lower price points, there are a number of multichannel power amplifiers on the market that have very unimpressive specs for 4 ohm loads.)

7. High-quality amplification. The receiver performed extremely well with my B&W Nautilus 805s. According to the source material and the different components preceding it, the speakers can sound hard and fatiguing, or muffled and withdrawn. With the SC-1522, the 805s sounded neutral and revealing, without showing a need to exaggerate every defect in a recording. For the first time since I have owned the speakers, I could describe their sound as dynamic and engaging. If, however, you feel that the amplifier section is lacking, but you like the switching and processing functions of the receiver, the unit is an attractive purchase as a budget, digital preamp.


1. The above mentioned benefits of the 192/32 DAC and Qdeo video processor are available only to Zone 1.

2. Bass management crossover options are limited to 200, 150, 100, 80, and 50Hz. I suspect that many sat/sub systems would do better with a 120Hz option, a large number of two-way stand mount monitors would be better at 60Hz, and some full range systems would do best with 40Hz. I ended up connecting my REL subwoofer in parallel with my 805s (which I set as "full" range speakers), bypassing the bass management system entirely. The result was very satisfying.

3. Every complex piece of equipment involves a learning curve, but the plastic, cramped Pioneer remote seems friendly only to those who own other Pioneer equipment. There is not, for example, a direct, named button for a media player such as a Roku box or Apple TV, items that users are far more likely to own than, for example, a BD recorder. The remote also seems exceptionally fiddly when you try to enter remote codes for other A/V equipment. Finally, turning on and off Zone 2 and 3 seems a needlessly complicated operation.

4. I appreciate the solid metal faceplate of the receiver, but the plainness of the slab, along with the giant plastic dials for volume and input, give the receiver a brutish, rather than minimalist appearance.

5. I don't question that the receiver has ample power to drive a wide range of speakers to a very loud volume. As mentioned above, it provides sufficient current for 4 ohm loads. But it is frustrating that Pioneer provides such limited and confusing specs for the output of the amplifier section. At least some of its competitors state continuous and peak output and distortion per channel will all channels driven, at a full frequency range of 20-20,000Hz. I am surprised that, in the $1000+ market, Pioneer can get away with providing 1kHz output at 1% distortion.

6. Despite what some say is Pioneer's conspicuous bias toward Apple products, it would have been kind if Pioneer provided its setup CD in a Mac OS format. Similarly, firmware updates should be available directly through the ethernet link, or in a form friendly to Mac users.

Summary: In its overall build and operations, the SC-1522 feels like a quality, but not luxury product. Discounted to the $600-$1000 price range, the receiver is a killer deal--if your main concern is a large, single room home theater. However, if you are thinking of the receiver for its multi-zone capabilities, I recommend you consider very carefully whether the unit genuinely meets your needs.

6/8/13: A correction: The receiver does allow firmware updates through its ethernet connection.
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on February 13, 2015
Just after the two year warranty has expired, it flashes UE22 error with no sound. Reset to factory and making sure all updated firmware
Ver 1-197-084-512-124 is in place, did not help. Has to be sent off to service centers for repairs. I went from a cheap JVC 5.1 to an Onkyo 7.2 (overheated, cheap soldering softened up) then to this Pioneer 9.2 with a UE22 error. Save your money it wasn't any more impressive than a 5.1 system, not for the price, even with 9.2 speakers 98% of the movies and even FLAC audio use 5.2 speakers. I even tried movies that state for 7.1 systems and it shows up here and there, but the whole movie is mostly in 5.1.

Update: Over the weekend I removed power and de-energized the unit (hold the power button down with no power cord). It came back up operating the way it normally does. This not documented anywhere on their support website.

From Pioneer's service manual on error UE22

Page 47

FL Display - UE22
Status - Read error of DSP firmware
Timing - Flashing
Description - Updating of DSP firmware was failed due to some reason, such as AC OFF during the updating. Or there is a possibility of communication error between DSP IC and flash ROM IC for DSP
Remarks - Update DSP firmware aging. If the error still remains after updating, replace DIGITAL MAIN ASSY.

- Disconnect power
- Remove the top cover
- Locate the DTS chip. It's on the top circuit board (the one connected to all the HDMI connectors)
- Start heating up the DTS chip with a heat gun, keep it 8" - 10" away from the top surface of the DTS chip. (extremely careful, DO NOT overheat) 30 seconds was enough for the circuit board to get heated up.
- Give it 5-10 minutes for the circuit board to cool down
- Reassemble & reconnect your receiver and you are done.

Or you can send it off for repairs, $400 for the part and several hours in labor.
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on May 22, 2013
Please note that this 5 stars rating is based on the Pioneer's ability to solve my stereo room's bass issue + the low price I got from Costco. This review is for stereo listening evaluation only.

I am very happy with the room correction software's ability to solve my bass issue. Due to limited space in my stereo music/computer/study room, I am not able to optimally place my sub-woofer. Thus, I have not been happy with the bass performance. After running the "full auto Advance MCACC" calibration, the bass performance improved significantly. The excessive frequencies of ~60Hz and ~120Hz are now fixed.

*I prefer my Emotiva amp better than the D3 amp. D3 amp high frequencies are just too bright for me. Thus, I am using Pioneer as a pre-amp instead.
*Pioneer does not seem to handle analog signal that well. I do not have time to check out other input method yet, but I prefer digital (wav music via USB hard disk via front USB input) vs analog in (connect via CD input). The sound from analog input sounded more artificial to me. May be the additional Analog to Digital conversion degraded the sound quality? The direct digital input sounded more real. The drum set's cymbals sounded live instead of digital. Also, I could hear more details that I have not heard before. For example, I could hear the "echo" of the room in a live performance more clearly than before.
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on October 14, 2013
This is a very sophisticated, powerful stereo, that can pump out 220 watts per channel at 8 ohms, 125 watts at 4 ohms. Weighing in at 33 pounds, ...this thing is a brute!

The internet radio feature is fantastic! Being able to stream music from the internet renders your old cd and/or digital music collection nearly totally useless. The advanced D amp puts out a LOT less heat than comparable models. This is a very powerful stereo in more ways than one. It's got capability to power 9 sets of speakers and 2 sub woofers, and can do multiple zones. Capability to push 4 ohm speakers of course. It's BIGGER than most stereos, so plan for that before buying. It needs 8" on top and sides to vent the heat. The remote control lights up at night which is nice. Your best sound quality will come from USB which is direct, not from a cell phone even if it is wired.

If you do buy this, and find that a feature doesn't work one day and you think it's "broken", it's probably not. It just has SO many features that even tech support people get tripped up. But then I'd call another tech, and he would know what's going on, tell me how to properly use it, then it would work. Turns out it wasn't broken or defective at all.
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on November 15, 2014
I Love this unit and I really love that I got it for half of what it usually goes for MSRP. I bought this unit because I needed a receiver that could deliver wattage as well as to 9.2 sets of speakers or more. Technically I have it set-up as a 11.3 receiver and absolutely love it and could not ask for a better receiver for my needs and would recommend to anyone thinking about buying this unit to do so, especially if it is about half or slightly over that of MSRP, because it won't be available for long at those prices. The iOS apps available for use as a remote are nothing short of stunning either and really help one to discern how the item in question functions to adjust and optimize the sound emanating from your speakers to your liking. Just be sure to update your device with the applications and the app or you might not be able to connect any longer until updated.
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on May 20, 2013
SC-1522-K has lots of versatility in the components and number of speakers that can be hooked up. Unlike a receiver I tried from another manufacturer, the Pioneer has a good manual and with a little bit of study was easy to set up. Oh, and the sound is fantastic.
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on May 12, 2013
This is one of the best receivers under 1000$. I had an Onkyo 605 and bought a Sony STR DN1030 as an upgrade. I auditioned several Pioneer,Denon receivers under 600$ before buying this.

How ever, after seeing this Pioneer D class amp online under 1K, I cannot resist myself from ordering it. Once I hooked it and started listening, I felt that the sound is amazing and musical. I am going to keep this and return my Sony receiver.

Pioneer engineers are real pioneers in designing musical receivers in a budget class.
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on February 18, 2013
This reciever is one of the best mid range on the market, i had sony and onkyo reciever in the past and this one by far better ,exellent in sound and video, set up is easy. the icontrolav app is so cool, you can conrol everything from the app with out using the remote control. Update was easy. To have the latest update u have to run two updates one through via internet and one through via usb. The usb update was simple just download the update files from the pioneer website in to your computer, unzip the files and transfer it to a usb device insert the usb device to the reciever and run the update it take less than 10 minutes... so far i have no problem and very happy with it.. buy this reciever u will not be disappointed
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