VSX-82TXS DSP Modes and Remote Control
I've covered all the DSP modes used by the VSX-516 in its review and thought I could skip this section. Pioneer has added for the Elite receiver a number of additional DSP effects for almost every conceivably listening experience. Aside from the normal Dolby, DTS, and THX modes for converting a stereo signal to 5 or 7.1, Pioneer has included for movie viewing:
- Monofilm - creates a surround field from mono soundtracks
- 7-D Theater - creates a surround field from stereo source
- 7ch Stereo - Takes a stereo source and extends it on each side to all speakers
- Adv. Vir. Surr - Virtual surround using just the mains and the sub
- Phonesur - Surround through headphones.
Personally, I prefer to listen to a source the way it was recorded but I did test these out. 7ch Stereo is pretty cool if you want to listen to something loud. I didn't find a whole lot of difference between Action/Sci-Fi/Drama/Musical but I could tell it was doing something. DSP modes are heavily dependant on your personal tastes so expect to spend some time testing these out.
I preferred to use what Pioneer termed Stream Direct. Stream Direct removes as much of the DSP from the signal path as possible. There are three options under Stream Direct to choose from:
- Auto Surround - Selects the appropriate playback typology. So if you send a stereo signal, you get stereo playback. If you send a DTS 5.1 signal, you get DTS (or DTS+Neo:6 if you have surround back speakers) playback.
- Direct - The only change to the signal comes from your settings (speaker size, channel level, distance, acoustic calibration EQ, and X-Curve). If you put in a 5.1 signal and you have a 7.1 system, the surround back channels are unused.
- Pure Direct - There is no change to the input signal (any channel leves/calibration is ignored).
If I had full-ranged front speakers and was listening to a stereo source, I would probably use Pure Direct . In my current setup, I generally used Direct or Auto . Just like the VSX-516, the DSP modes can be modified via the AV Parameter menu. Unfortunately, this menu is only viewable from the front display of the unit. If you are going to provide an onscreen display for the setup menu, I felt like it the AV Parameter menu should have been accessible onscreen as well. Most of the options are just toggles but some have a 20 point range. While I don't mind some of the menu items staying where they are, the display specific options at the very least should make their way to the onscreen display.
Ok, I don't own an iPod... and not just because certain people at Audioholics seem to be allergic to Macs. I just feel like people that get iPods and MP3 players get them so they can use them when they work out. And frankly, I get enough, "Don't you think you should go to the gym?!" from my wife, I don't need it from a cute music player too. I will say that the iPod interconnectivity of the VSX-82TXS almost makes me want to get one. Almost. Basically, you can plug the iPod into the receiver through a supplied cable and the receiver can control the iPod. It displays your catalog of music on your display and you can browse by playlist, artist, album name, song name, or composer. Then you can listen to your iPodded music in all its compressed glory in your home theater! Bully for you!
A while back I reviewed the dealer-targeted Antex XM-3000 so I've had some experience with the satellite radio provider. The VSX-82TXS is XM-ready meaning all you need is an antenna and a subscription and you are set to go. After that, you can navigate the XM menu using your display. There is even an XM specific DSP to decode XM HD Surround. I'd have liked to have tested that as well but my time with the unit was limited and we had neither an antenna nor a subscription available to us.
Pioneer VSX-82TXS Remote Control
I rarely say I like a remote much less love one. I don't often say I hate a remote either. I'm about to do one of those. Wanna guess which? The VSX-82TXS remote is very reminiscent of every single VCR remote I've ever owned except it is jam packed with itty bitty buttons and it has a small ~8-character LCD near the top. The remote is color coordinated to match the functions of whatever source you are controlling. This has the added advantage of giving the same button multiple functions. Like up to three. Plus, it makes it look like Christmas threw up all over it. For some reason, selecting a source also shifts the remote to control of that source. So if you want to watch a DVD, suddenly your setup menu button doesn't work anymore. To say that I hate this remote is a grand understatement. This is the Sméagol of remotes. Luckily, I don't have to look at it very often because it isn't backlit (not even the LCD screen). Do yourself a favor, get a universal remote and burn this thing in effigy.