How to Troubleshoot a Pioneer VSX

By Ross Glyn

A Pioneer VSX receiver is a tuner through which you can route all your audio components. Any problems you have with the receiver are fairly simple to troubleshoot, for example, a unit that needs to be reset or excessive noise in the radio broadcasts. There are a few steps to follow before taking your receiver in for service.

Step 1

Check that there are no loose strands of speaker wire touching the rear of the unit. This can cause the receiver to shut off automatically.

Step 2

Ensure that the speakers are set at the correct distance from the receiver for optimum sound depth. This way the receiver can add the proper delay needed for effective surround sound. Select "SP DISTN" from the "SP Set Up" menu. Use the up/down arrows on the remote to choose the speaker you want. Use the left/right arrows to adjust the distance (in 0.1-foot increments) of each speaker from the receiver.

Step 3

Route any loose cables away from the antenna terminals and wires if there is excessive noise in the radio broadcasts. Turn off other appliances that may be causing interference, such as hair dryers and neon lamps. Fully extend the FM wire antenna. If there is noise during playback from the cassette deck, move the receiver farther away from the deck until the noise diminishes.

Step 4

Press "DIMMER" repeatedly on the remote control if the receiver's display is dark or off.

Step 5

Reset the main unit if the receiver is generally not operating correctly. Switch the receiver into standby mode. Hold down the "BAND" button while pressing the "STANDYBY/ON" button for about two seconds. When "Reset?" appears in the display window, press the "AUTO SURROUND/ STREAM DIRECT" button. "OK?" appears in the display window. Press "STEREO/A.L.C." to confirm. "OK" appears in the window. The system has been reset.

Step 6

Ensure that the subwoofer is turned on and the volume dial is turned up if there is no sound from the subwoofer.

Step 7

Check that the positive/negative speaker terminals on the receiver are matched with the corresponding terminals on the speakers, if everything is set up correctly, but the playback sound is odd.

Tips & Warnings

  • Resetting the unit will reset the factory defaults.
  • Unplug the receiver during electrical storms or when not in use for prolonged periods of time.
  • Do not cover any of the ventilation slots on the receiver. This could lead to overheating.
  • Do not locate the receiver near heat sources such as a radiator or stove.