I'd buy it, September 11, 2006
Reviewer: J "Smiley" (Central NC) - See all my reviews
In fact I did to try it out, got it for $220 at a retailer. I'm not one of those people that can tell huge a deference from one receiver to another with the same speakers. This receiver has all the bells and whistles you would expect in today's electronics (see pioneer web site and amazon product description). So fare I've driven a wide range of size, power and brand speakers though it and seems to do well with them all. Currently I'm using a set of the pioneer S-HF41-LR speakers and it drives them loud and clear no problem on any channel/setting. I won't dive into it's features as they will make any speaker sound better for a given apllicaiton, just the facts...
At 100 watts per channel it has plenty of power to drive reasonable 8" speakers. This receiver can handle loud sounds well (gun shots, yelling and all kinds of high impact sounds).
It has a core and coil transformer witch I know from years of messing around with electrical things are vary tough and can handle over heating quite well (provided the rest of the electronics can take it...).
It has a cooling fan (looks to be about 3"-80mm), that I would place at about 27 CFM or so just buy looking at it witch is an adequate size for auxiliary cooling if need be.
It has a remote control with nearly all the functions that the receiver has on it.
User friendly, once you figure it out it's quite simple to get the sound you want.
It's not vary efficient power consumption wise thou all pioneers I've had are like this. It gets pretty warm even with no speakers going meaning it`s wasting some power.
Not a lot of venting, most of the venting is tords the front (and may explain the fan and larg open heat-sink)
Complicated, for those used to just turning it on and messing with the treble and bass your in for a good amount of deferent settings, set ups and tweaking adjustments you can make. It's a bit much if your just after a quality 2.0 set up.
Tone (treble/bass) is not vary adjustable, though through deferent settings can probly get the sound you want.
LR balance is not vary adjustable, only enough to even it out if you have odd acoustics in the room or the speakers have to be placed un-symmetrical.
The remote control seems too busy and might have a few to many bottons on it for those not use to it or those that are just concerned with adjusting the volume.
All and all I gave it 4 stars, once your use to it and can work your way around what you want to get out of it it's a killer deal for those that want to upgrade from your basic 2.0 system.