Review 5 of 28|
Year / Model Reviewed:
High power, (EEQ) equalizer, built-in crossovers, AUX input, CHEAP on eBay, DFS Alarm (...has it)
non-dot-matrix alphanumeric display, smallish icons on display difficult to read, rotary volume control w/ very slow stepping, no remote control (good for tweaking), DFS Alarm (...gimmicky), unintuitive/difficult menu system to navigate
This is my first Pioneer reciever, and I am pleasantly impressed. I was fortunate enough to have my car come with this unit installed by the former owner; especially, because I left my Clarion head unit in my previous car for the next guy to have. My gut instinct told me to let the Clarion go and give the Pioneer a try...... I'm glad I did. The Pioneer is an extremely versatile unit; AUX input, built-in crossovers, EEQ equalizer, and high power make it a jack of all trades.
This unit can make just about any configuration sound it's best.... before I installed my subwoofer, I had it powering the fronts and rears; with the high-pass filter set to 50Hz your full-range speakers aren't being asked to do more than they're capable of, and thus the internal amp is working more efficiently >>>> louder and cleaner sound. Pioneer then adds many more features to make your internally amped setup sound good, i.e. Front Image Enhancer (nice if you've got 6x9s or 6 1/2 inchers in the back) and optional subwoofer-output-through-rear-outputs. This latter feature I did not try on my 2-ohm JL Audio 10w3, but it would probably have enough power for a single 4-ohm 8" (or 10"???) sub, if you were so inclined.
After installing my USX-600D sub amp and 10w3, I now see the full beauty of the Pioneer. This unit controls all of my crossovers and sub parameters. I was able to forego a multichannel amp for the mid/high ranges because the internal amp has great power.... enough for me at least. It'll blow away many much more sophisticated systems I've seen!
I would recommend this head unit to just about anyone. In any case it makes an awesome replacement to the factory stereo. Adding an amp only makes it sound better. If you want competition-grade, I would look at something else. My old Clarion beats the Pioneer in quality.... higher voltage outputs, zero-bit mute, and nicer/sturdier faceplate & mechanism, but it can't compare to the versatility and features of the DEH-P5200, which to me is more important if I'm not spending $5000+ on a system. Aside from the minor gripes below, it's near-perfect!
Similar Products Used:
Sony cass.(old/P.O.S.), Kenwood CD(OK....sufficed), Clarion CD(good quality...needed more features)