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on May 10, 2015
Lots of power. Lots of options. Still not using to full potential, but was tired of the picture-sound sync issues from HDMI for the TV video vs analog sound to my old sound system. No handshake issues with HDMI so far. The remote is cluttered like others have said, and could have used a second simpler one too for the retail price it had. Still need to get the network connected to it, so I can try out the remote app from my phone.

The digital manual is OK if you have a laptop, or portable device. It would have helped to have a book at least for more of the basics.

Sound is clear, and this receiver can run equally well at low volume or at reference levels if you can tolerate it that loud.
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on September 12, 2014
Replaced a very high end yamaha reciever with this one. I had to send the Yamaha back for service twice in the last 3 years and I decided it was time for a new system.

So far it has worked flawlessly. The setup from a computer is a new thing for me. It was nice to set it up that way. I have a 7.1 system in my family room and stereo speakers set up in the back yard/pool area. Very excited to have a system that can power all at the same time.

When controlling the system I do most of it with my iphone or android tablet. the apps look the same on both platforms. It doesn't always show up right away, but after retry the system pops right up. Adjusting settings from the app is nice, but for me they stop just shy of what I would like to do. I have had other Pioneer receivers in the past and they always stand up to the time well. My last one is still at a friends house churning away. That said, The on screen settings and setup hasn't seemed to change almost at all since that system which is about 8 years old now.

For the pirce I don't think I could have gotten a better receiver than this. I am very happy with it and expect it to last many many more years to come.
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on April 4, 2015
Wow! ESS Sabre DACS. 9 channels of clean amplification. (I use an external 2 channel amp for front L/R speakers) Excellent sound quality. Great price.
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on March 14, 2015
After two weeks this receiver is going back. It is a fantastic A/V receiver but about every 10 minutes the video and sound shut down for about 5 to 7 seconds. Tech support was no help. There must have been a bad batch of these because Amazon has stopped selling them and has posted a notice that many are having issues with the unit and they are investigating.
There only refunding ,,no exchange. I originally bought a referb unit but that only lasted two days before completely dying. I like Pioneer but looks like I will have to buy some other brand because this is there top of the line and has the features I want (9.2) I do not feel the Elite series is worth the extra money.
Update 3/19/15 Amazon is again exchanging for a new one, which I jumped on. Hopefully, third time is a charm. They do not state what their investigation found but the fact that they are again selling this unit tells me they have somehow corrected the problem. Should receive the new one tomorrow and will post updated results. Amazon has great customer service.
Update 3/23, this exchange unit is working much better but it has still cut out on me twice over two days. There are no firmware/software updates. I can live with this flaw if it doesn't get any worse.
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on June 16, 2014
I purchased a Pioneer SC-1523-K AVR with D-3 amps in May 2014. It is a 2013 model released in Summer 2013. The class D-3 amps are effortless in driving 4 Ohm speakers in a 9.2 array. Plenty of power, great clarity, fine imaging and true-to-life Sound Quality. I really enjoy the Neo:X surround sound feature that handles a variety of sources and formats.

For the price Amazon dot com is currently asking for the Pioneer SC-1523-K it is a super value. I have various Martin-Logan electrostatic panels ( CLSx-z, Purity, Cinema, and Clarity) along with two M-L Grotto i sub-woffers that can reveal flaws in the equipment chain. Granted it takes some orentation and patenance to optimize the performance of the AVR. Almost all brands of AVR's take time to setup and optimize. I do not notice any flaws in the actual Pioneer SC-1523-K (D-3) AVR itself. The reason I grade it as 4 stars instead of 5 stars is due to the "flaky" and "buggy" QAV-2013-Wiri-Navi downloaded app that is intended to assist in set-up and optimization of the AVR. I speculate that something got lost in the translation to English of the Wiri-Navi Graphical User Interface. There are manual operator workarounds for that. Good deal.

I consider myself wise with $. I would not compromise on sound quality in an effort to be thrifty. At this time, June 2014 this equipment from amazon dot com offer tremendous performance, great sound quality for both movies and music at a thrifty price.

Not to knock the competition, but to offer perspective for readers and lurkers: This SC-1523-K is functionally a clone of Pioneer Elite SC-75 (2013). Other competitors I chose this SC-1523-K over are the Yamaha Adventage series of -1020, -2020 and -3020 (in second place). In third place was the 2013 and early 2014 Marantz models. At the back of field are other D&M mid-level AVR's from Denon, the HR's of Harmon Kardon, Emotiva, pricey Cambridge, NAD's and lastly the HDMI-failure prone Onkyo's. That's the order in which I see this horse race: Pioneer followed by gap to Pioneer Elite, closely followed by advantege then another gap to remainder of field.

Granted some AVSforum entusiasts knock the Pioneer room-calibration. I'm aware of that. The Pioneer does have maual operator adjustments that are valid workarounds. The D&M Audessey room-correction that is favored by many posters on AVSforum is over-rated in my humble opinion and degrades hi-rez files.

If you are a buyer that must have the latest and greatest toys, be aware of CEDIA-2014 in September 2014 with the dubious value of the unveiling of Dolby Atmos technology. I have passed on that opportunity on the horizon and am quite content with 2013 Pioneer SC-1523-K AVR.
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on April 24, 2014
UPDATE 8/13/15: I used my SC-1523-K on a daily basis for five months during the first nearly 1 1/2 years I owned it. It was always plugged into a $200 power conditioner to protect it. However, after effectively five months of daily use (a few hours per day), the receiver shut down suddenly and displayed "Power On." The first two times I had to unplug and plug back in to restore operations. The third time it was completely dead (and everything else plugged into the conditioner was fine). Two calls to Pioneer about "Power On," their own error code!, resulted in the reps telling me they had no idea what the error code meant and directing me to a service center. Fortunately, I had purchased a Square Trade warranty through Amazon. Long story short, it turns out the Main Control Assembly Board, part AWX1422, died. This part alone is $515 (plus labor) and shipping 40 pounds halfway across the country costs about $40 each way. Square Trade covered all of it but I was without a receiver for nearly three weeks (they had to order the part from Pioneer). Out of pocket, this would have cost me at least as much as I had paid for the receiver new! I find this completely unacceptable at any price and certainly for a flagship product. I switched from Onkyo with their bad HDMI boards (though it never fully failed!) to Pioneer to upgrade the reliability but this turned out to be a mistake. Maybe this was a fluke - time will tell. The receiver still rocks but now I am going to worry every time I turn it on!


I am giving this receiver five stars but it really deserves 4 1/2 because the remote is so bad.

The SC-1523-K is quite powerful and sounds outstanding. I have a 7.2 setup using Paradigm tower fronts, Definitive center and surrounds, a JBL sub and a Definitive sub. In my 20x15 finished lower level room, it really is overkill (in a good way) because the receiver rocks the entire house with crystal clear, awesome surround sound and hardly gets warm.

I did a ton of research on receivers as my Onkyo TX-SR626 (from 2008) has been repaired twice from the HDMI board getting fried (the Onkyo gets very hot without proper external cooling). I read lots of reviews and listened to Marantz, Pioneer, Denon, and Yamaha in a store. The Pioneer sounded best with the Denon close behind. I went with the Pioneer because of the Class D3 amplifier and the heavier weight.

I am completely sold on the D3 amplifier as the case of the SC-1523-K really doesn't even get warm to the touch. The receiver is fairly large and heavy (the latter being a plus with receivers) but I have the space and enjoy looking at it and its large display.

Really my only complaint is about the remote. The remote is awful. It does have a red backlight which is somewhat useful but the buttons are so small and the secondary function labels are not lit up at all. The remote is very tall and has tons of buttons, all of which are small to barely average in size. It is very difficult to read the labels as the font is so small (I have 20/20 vision). The volume buttons aren't large enough for me to easily find them in the dark. For many common functions, Pioneer requires the user to press the remote's RECEIVER button (like a function key) first before the desired function button. For example, at the bottom of the remote there are number keys 1-0. I have rarely if ever used number keys on an AVR remote but here they are the primary function. Secondary for key 1, for example, is Auto Surround Sound. I have to press RECEIVER then 1 to active the Auto Surround function. The two keys are far apart and the number keys are tiny like most of the rest of the buttons.

Apple Airplay worked fairly well for a couple weeks with several devices but then stopped (see Update below). I find Airplay to be fairly unfriendly (I guess Apple thinks it "just works") but often the Airplay icon would not appear even during the period it worked sometimes. I have no idea whether this is a Apple problem or Pioneer problem. I've read many complaints online about Airplay problems that Apple blames on network issues.

Internet Radio works fine but navigating the Pioneer interface for it is time consuming. I'd much rather use my iPad to stream content to the Pioneer.

Pioneer's MACC auto speaker setup works well. It seemed to measure distances accurately. I only wish it could handle two subs but it is not a big deal.

I love this receiver but dislike the remote. Nevertheless, I highly recommend it. By the way, the SC-1523-K is the exact same hardware as the Elite SC-75 but with a lower price, different display color, and shorter warranty (1 year vs 2 years).

Update (7/28/14): I finally figured out the problem with Airplay. I was using a Trendnet TEW-711BR router and apparently its support for Airplay is spotty. I swapped it out with a Netgear N600 router and Airplay now works almost flawlessly. Gone are the constant connection drops (even when just pausing a song).

Although I still very much dislike the remote, I still love the receiver. The only problem I have with it is my wife constantly complaining from two floors above when I watch a movie.
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on July 27, 2014
Much better then my old VSX-01TXH. Amplifiers can handle 2 OHM loads and Bi-Amping!
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on September 13, 2015
This is my second Pioneer and I could not resist the price that it shown on sale! The older model is now being used by my kids in their room. I just love Pioneer and in fact looking to upgrade again. I love the setup, the app, all very easy to use. Everything is in the box except the app which I highly recommend for set up and use! Explains everything you need to make it all work. I have all speakers set up and the sound is superb.. loud enough that I get yelled at to lower it sometimes.
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on February 17, 2015
Love it. Does exactly what it said it would. This item has enough power to handle the zones and it sounds terrific!
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on March 28, 2014
I love this receiver. I have not been a fan of Pioneer in the past but thought I would give it a try based on the abundance of outputs and HDMI inputs plus the excellent price on Amazon. I was using a Denon AVR3312CI which I enjoyed but it lacked the inputs I needed. The setup was pretty easy. The sound is crisp and it runs much cooler than my Denon used to. I am glad I made the change.
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