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Pioneer 915 Operating Instructions Manual

Pioneer audio/video multi-channel receiver vsx-815 vsx-915.
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AUDIO/VIDEO MULTI-CHANNEL
RECEIVER
VSX-815
VSX-915
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Operating Instructions

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   Summary of Contents for Pioneer 915

  • Page 1: Operating Instructions

    • Receive free tips, updates and service bulletins on your new product • Improve product development Your input helps us continue to design products that meet your needs. • Receive a free Pioneer newsletter Registered customers can opt in to receive a monthly newsletter. Operating Instructions...

  • Page 2

    Thank you for buying this Pioneer product. Please read through these operating instructions so you will know how to operate your model properly. After you have finished reading the instructions, put them away in a safe place for future reference.

  • Page 3

    The lightning flash with arrowhead, within an equilateral triangle, is intended to alert the user to the presence of uninsulated "dangerous voltage" within the product's enclosure that may be of sufficient magnitude to constitute a risk of electric shock to persons. READ INSTRUCTIONS —...

  • Page 4: Table Of Contents

    AC outlet ......25 Operating other Pioneer components ..26 05 Controls and displays Front panel .

  • Page 5

    Dual Mono Setup ....67 LFE Attenuator Setup ....68 SR+ Setup for Pioneer plasma displays . . . 68 13 Additional information Troubleshooting.

  • Page 6: Before You Start

    Before you start Chapter 1: Before you start Introduction to home theater You are probably used to using stereo equipment to listen to music, but may not be used to home theater systems that give you many more options (such as surround sound) when listening to soundtracks.

  • Page 7: Loading The Batteries

    Before you start Loading the batteries Caution Incorrect use of batteries may result in such hazards as leakage and bursting. Observe the following precautions: • Never use new and old batteries together. • Insert the plus and minus sides of the batteries properly according to the marks in the battery case.

  • Page 8: 02 5 Minute Guide

    Use a video cord to connect your receiver to the TV using the jacks as shown below. Optical cable DIGITAL OUT Coaxial ¡ ¢ STANDBY/ON DVD player VIDEO OUT * The illustration shows the VSX-915, but connections for the VSX-815 are the same. cable (TV/SAT) (DVR/VCR) ASSIGNABLE COAX DIGITAL IN (TV/SAT)

  • Page 9

    AUDIO This receiver* INPUT * The illustration shows the VSX-915, but connections for the VSX-815 are the same. Caution • Make sure that all the bare speaker wire is twisted together and inserted fully into the speaker terminal. Use good quality speaker wire to connect the speakers to the receiver.

  • Page 10

    5 minute guide Make sure that the speaker cable you’re using is properly prepared with about of insulator stripped from each wire, with the exposed wire strands twisted together (fig. A). Unscrew the terminal a few turns until there is enough space to insert the exposed wire (fig.

  • Page 11: Using The Quick Setup

    5 minute guide Using the Quick Setup You can use the Quick Setup to get your system up and running with just a few button presses. The receiver automatically makes the necessary settings after you have selected your speaker setup, room size and listening position.

  • Page 12: Quick Surround Sound Setup

    Quick surround sound setup Chapter 3: Quick surround sound setup Automatically setting up for surround sound (MCACC) The Auto Multi-Channel Acoustic Calibration (MCACC) setup measures the acoustic characteristics of your listening area, taking into account ambient noise, speaker size and distance, and tests for both channel delay and channel level.

  • Page 13

    Quick surround sound setup If the noise level is too high, NOISY! blinks in the display for five seconds. To exit and check the noise levels again, press SYSTEM SETUP (see the notes about ambient noise below) or press ENTER when you’re prompted to RETRY? •...

  • Page 14: Other Problems When Using The Auto Mcacc Setup

    Quick surround sound setup Other problems when using the Auto MCACC Setup If the room environment is not optimal for the Auto MCACC Setup (too much background noise, echo off the walls, obstacles blocking the speakers from the microphone) the final settings may be incorrect.

  • Page 15: Connecting Up

    Connecting up Chapter 4: Connecting up Making cable connections Make sure not to bend the cables over the top of this unit (as shown in the illustration). If this happens, the magnetic field produced by the transformers in this unit may cause a humming noise from the speakers.

  • Page 16: About The Video Converter

    Green (Y) Blue (P Red (P About the video converter VSX-915 model only The video converter allows you to connect video sources using composite connections and the signal will be output through both the composite and S-video MONITOR OUT jacks...

  • Page 17: Connecting A Dvd Player And Tv

    (DVR/VCR) (TV/SAT) ASSIGNABLE DIGITAL IN This receiver* COAXIAL DIGITAL OUT * The illustration shows the VSX-915, but connections for the VSX-815 are the same. ANALOG AUDIO OUT VIDEO IN FM UNBAL LOOP ANTENNA CONTROL DVR/...

  • Page 18: Connecting The Multichannel Analog

    OUTPUT OUTPUT DVD/multi-channel decoder with multi-channel analog output jacks * The illustration shows the VSX-915, but connections for the VSX-815 are the same. Connecting a satellite receiver or other digital set-top box Satellite and cable receivers, and terrestrial digital TV tuners are all examples of so-called `set-top boxes'.

  • Page 19: Connecting Other Audio Components

    COAXIAL AUDIO OUT DIGITAL OUT CD-R, MD, DAT, Tape recorder, etc. * The illustration shows the VSX-915, but connections for the VSX-815 are the same. About the WMA9 Pro decoder This unit has an on-board Windows Media Audio 9 Professional (WMA9 Pro) decoder, so...

  • Page 20: Connecting Other Video Components

    DIGITAL COAX 1 (DVD/LD) input. This receiver* ® , and the Windows OPTICAL DIGITAL OUT VCR, DVR, LD player, etc. * The illustration shows the VSX-915, but connections for the VSX-815 are the same. FM UNBAL LOOP ANTENNA CONTROL DVR/...

  • Page 21: Using The Component Video Jacks

    Connecting up Using the component video jacks Component video should deliver superior picture quality when compared to composite video. A further advantage (if your source and TV are both compatible) is progressive-scan video, which delivers a very stable, flicker-free picture. See the manuals that came with your TV and source component to check whether they are compatible with progressive-scan video.

  • Page 22: Connecting Antennas

    Connecting up Connecting antennas Connect the AM loop antenna and the FM wire antenna as shown below. To improve reception and sound quality, connect external antennas (see Using external antennas below). Always make sure that the receiver is switched off and unplugged from the wall outlet before making or changing any connections.

  • Page 23: Connecting The Speakers

    AUDIO This receiver* INPUT * The illustration shows the VSX-915, but connections for the VSX-815 are the same. Caution • Make sure that all the bare speaker wire is twisted together and inserted fully into the speaker terminal. Use good quality speaker wire to connect the speakers to the receiver.

  • Page 24: Hints On Speaker Placement

    Connecting up Make sure that the speaker cable you’re using is properly prepared with about of insulator stripped from each wire, with the exposed wire strands twisted together (fig. A). Unscrew the terminal a few turns until there is enough space to insert the exposed wire (fig.

  • Page 25: Ac Outlet

    Connecting up • Make sure no exposed speaker wire is touching the rear panel, this may cause the receiver to turn off automatically. Overhead view of speaker setup You can also refer to the 3-D speaker setup illustration on page 10. Front Center left...

  • Page 26: Operating Other Pioneer Components

    Connecting up Operating other Pioneer components Many Pioneer components have SR CONTROL jacks which can be used to link components together so that you can use just the remote sensor of one component. When you use a remote control, the control signal is passed along the chain to the appropriate component.

  • Page 27: Controls And Displays

    Controls and displays Chapter 5: Controls and displays Front panel ADVANCED ST/DIRECT SIGNAL DVD/LD STANDARD SURR /AUTO SURR SELECT LISTENING MODE INPUT FL DIMMER STANDBY / ON PHONES TUNING BAND /STATION ADVANCED ST/DIRECT SIGNAL STANDARD SURR /AUTO SURR SELECT LISTENING MODE Input select buttons Press to select an input source.

  • Page 28

    Controls and displays PHONES jack Use to connect headphones. When the headphones are connected, there is no sound output from the speakers. LISTENING MODE buttons STANDARD Press for Standard decoding and to switch between the various Pro Logic IIx and Neo:6 options (page 34).

  • Page 29: Display

    Controls and displays Display SIGNAL SELECT indicators Lights to indicate the type of input signal: AUTO Lights when AUTO signal select is on. Depending on the source, this lights when a signal with surround back channel encoding is detected. DIGITAL Lights when a digital audio signal is detected.

  • Page 30: Remote Control

    Controls and displays Lights when a broadcast is being received. 11 Speaker indicators Lights to indicate the current speaker system, A and/or B (page 62). 12 Character display 13 Neo:6 When the (STANDARD) Neo:6 mode of the receiver is on, this lights to indicate Neo:6 processing.

  • Page 31

    Controls and displays MULTI CONTROL buttons Press to select control of other components (see Controlling the rest of your system on page 55). Number buttons and other receiver/ component controls Use the number buttons to directly select a radio frequency (page 51) or the tracks on a CD, DVD, etc.

  • Page 32

    Controls and displays Component control buttons The main buttons ( , , etc.) are used to control a component after you have selected it using the MULTI CONTROL buttons. The controls above these buttons can be accessed after you have selected the corresponding MULTI CONTROL button (for example DVD/LD, DVR/VCR or TV/SAT (when connected to a DTV)).

  • Page 33: Operating Range Of Remote Control Unit

    Controls and displays EFFECT/CH SEL Press repeatedly to select a channel, then use LEVEL +/– to adjust the level (see Tip on page 50). Also adjusts the level of the Advanced Surround effects (page 35) as well as Dolby Pro Logic IIx Music (page 36) and Neo:6 Music parameters (page 36).

  • Page 34: Listening To Your System

    Listening to your system Chapter 6: Listening to your system Important • Certain features explained in this section will not be possible depending on the source (for example, PCM 88.2 / 96kHz, DTS 96kHz (24 bit) or WMA 9 Pro sources). Auto playback There are many ways to listen back to sources using this receiver, but for the simplest, most...

  • Page 35: Using The Advanced Surround Effects

    Listening to your system • 2 Pro Logic IIx MUSIC – Up to 7.1 channel sound, especially suited to music sources • 2 Pro Logic IIx GAME – Up to 7.1 channel sound, especially suited for video games • 2 PRO LOGIC – 4.1 channel surround sound (sound from the surround speakers is mono) •...

  • Page 36: Dolby Pro Logic Iix Music Settings

    Listening to your system surround sound. Use with Dolby Pro Logic for a stereo surround effect. You can also use with Dolby Digital sources for a wider stereo field than the Standard modes. • 7-STEREO – This can be selected to give multichannel sound to a stereo source, using all of the speakers in your setup.

  • Page 37: Listening In Stereo

    Listening to your system With Neo:6 MUSIC mode active, press EFFECT/CH SEL repeatedly to select C. IMAGE. Use the +/– buttons to adjust the setting. Adjust the effect from 0 (all center channel sent to front right and left speakers) to 10 (center channel sent to the center speaker only).

  • Page 38: Choosing The Input Signal

    Listening to your system Choosing the input signal You need to hook up a component to both analog and digital inputs on the rear of the receiver to select between input signals. ADVANCED ST/DIRECT STANDARD SURR /AUTO SURR LISTENING MODE Press SIGNAL SELECT on the front panel to select the input signal corresponding to the source component.

  • Page 39: Using The Surround Back Channel (extended Mode)

    Listening to your system Using the surround back channel (Extended mode) • Default setting: EXT. ON You can have the receiver automatically use 6.1 or 7.1 decoding for 6.1 encoded sources (for example, Dolby Digital EX or DTS-ES), or you can choose to always use 6.1 or 7.1 decoding (for example, with 5.1 encoded material).

  • Page 40: Using The Virtual Surround Back Mode (virtualsb)

    Listening to your system Using the Virtual Surround Back mode (VirtualSB) Selecting this mode allows you to hear a virtual back channel through your surround speakers. For example, you can choose to listen to sources with no surround back channel information (for example, 5.1 encoded material) with emulated 6.1 encoding (VSB ON).

  • Page 41: Using Loudness And Midnight Listening

    Listening to your system Using Loudness and Midnight listening The Loudness listening feature can be used to get good bass and treble from music sources at low volume levels. The Midnight listening feature allows you to hear effective surround sound of movies at low volume levels.

  • Page 42: Playing Other Sources

    Listening to your system Playing other sources INPUT RECEIVER SELECT DVD/LD TV/SAT DVR/VCR MULTI CONTROL CD-R/TAPE TUNER Turn on the power of the playback component. Turn on the power of the receiver. Select the source you want to playback. Use the MULTI CONTROL buttons (or INPUT SELECT).

  • Page 43: The System Setup Menu

    The System Setup menu Chapter 7: The System Setup menu Making receiver settings from the System Setup menu The following section shows you how to make detailed settings to specify how you’re using the receiver (for example, if you want to set up two speaker systems in separate rooms), and also explains how to fine-tune individual speaker system settings to your liking.

  • Page 44: Manual Mcacc Speaker Setup

    The System Setup menu • SB 2ND Z – Select to use the (surround back) B speaker terminals to listen to stereo playback in another room (see Second Zone speaker B setup on page 62). • SB BIAMP – Select this setting if you’re bi- amping your front speakers (see Bi-amping your front speakers on page 63).

  • Page 45: Fine Channel Distance

    The System Setup menu Select ‘ CH LEVEL’ from the Manual MCACC setup menu. You’ll hear test tones from each speaker in turn. Since the left speaker is the main reference speaker, the level is fixed and cannot be changed. Caution •...

  • Page 46: Acoustic Calibration Eq

    The System Setup menu Acoustic Calibration EQ Acoustic Calibration Equalization is a kind of room equalizer for your speakers (excluding the subwoofer). It works by measuring the acoustic characteristics of your room and neutralizing the ambient characteristics that can color the original source material. This provides a ‘flat’...

  • Page 47

    The System Setup menu curve, this will give you a reference point from which to start (see Copying your Acoustic Calibration EQ settings above for how to do this). Select ‘ C1 ADJ ’ or ‘ C2 ADJ ’ from the Manual MCACC setup menu.

  • Page 48: Manual Speaker Setup

    The System Setup menu Manual speaker setup This receiver allows you to make detailed settings to optimize the surround sound performance. You only need to make these settings once (unless you change the placement of your current speaker system or add new speakers.).

  • Page 49: Crossover Network

    The System Setup menu output bass sound continuously or you want deeper bass (the bass frequencies that would normally come out the front and center speakers are also routed to the subwoofer). If you did not connect a subwoofer choose NO (the bass frequencies are output from other speakers).

  • Page 50: Speaker Distance

    The System Setup menu Adjust the level of each speaker as the test tone is emitted. When you’re finished, press RETURN. • You can change the channel levels at any time by using EFFECT/CH SEL and +/– on the remote control. You can set two channel levels: one for DVD 5.1 CH and one for the listening modes.

  • Page 51: Using The Tuner

    Using the tuner Chapter 8: Using the tuner Listening to the radio The following steps show you how to tune in to FM and AM radio broadcasts using the automatic (search) and manual (step) tuning functions. If you already know the frequency of the station you want, see Tuning directly to a station below.

  • Page 52: Saving Station Presets

    Using the tuner Saving station presets If you often listen to a particular radio station, it's convenient to have the receiver store the frequency for easy recall whenever you want to listen to that station. This saves the effort of manually tuning in each time.

  • Page 53: Listening To Station Presets

    Using the tuner • To erase a station name, simply repeat steps 1-3 and input four spaces instead of a name. • Once you have named a station preset, you can press TUNER DISPLAY when listening to a station to switch the display between name and frequency.

  • Page 54: Making Recordings

    Making recordings Chapter 9: Making recordings Making an audio or a video recording You can make an audio or a video recording from the built-in tuner, or from an audio or video source connected to the receiver (such as a CD player or TV). Keep in mind you can’t make a digital recording from an analog source or vice-versa, so make sure the components you are...

  • Page 55: Controlling The Rest Of Your System

    1 • TV codes (for example, codes for TV, CATV, Satellite TV or DTV) can only be assigned to the TV/SAT or TV CONT button. • If you assign the TUNER function to another component, you will have to reassign it to the Pioneer preset code to use this receiver’s built-in tuner.

  • Page 56: Programming Signals From Other Remote

    . If it doesn’t seem to work, select the next code from the list (if there is one). • VSX-915 only – If you can’t find or properly enter a preset code, you can still teach the remote individual commands from another remote control (see Programming signals from other remote controls below).

  • Page 57: Erasing One Of The Remote Control Button

    LOUDNESS This will erase all preset remote control preset EFFECT SLEEP DIALOG E /CH SEL codes and (VSX-915 model only) programmed buttons. RECEIVER While pressing the RECEIVER button, press and hold the 1 button. The remote LCD display shows SETUP.

  • Page 58: Confirming Preset Codes

    Controlling the rest of your system When direct function is on, any component you select (using the MULTI CONTROL buttons) will be selected by both the receiver and the remote control. When you turn direct function off, you can operate the remote control without affecting the receiver.

  • Page 59: Controls For Tvs

    Controlling the rest of your system Controls for TVs This remote control can control components after entering the proper codes or teaching the receiver the commands (see Setting the remote to control other components on page 55 for more on this). Use the MULTI CONTROL buttons to select the component •...

  • Page 60: Controls For Other Components

    Controlling the rest of your system Button(s) Function +10 button Use to add a decimal points when selecting TV channels. DTV ENTER/ Use to enter a channel. DISC MENU Select different menus from the DTV functions. Select the menu screen. &...

  • Page 61

    Controlling the rest of your system Button (s) Function REC STOP Stops recording. (SHIFT+ ) Number Directly access tracks on a program source. buttons Use the number buttons to navigate the on-screen display. DVD/DVR player +10 button Selects tracks higher than 10. (For example, press +10 then 3 to select track 13.) ENTER/ Chooses the disc.

  • Page 62: Other Connections

    Other connections Chapter 11: Other connections Caution • Before making or changing the connections, switch off the power and disconnect the power cord from the power outlet. Plugging in components should be the last connection you make with your system. •...

  • Page 63: Bi-amping Your Front Speakers

    Other connections • SP AB – Sound is output from speaker system A (up to 5 channels, depending on the source), the two speakers in speaker system B, and the subwoofer. Multichannel sources (heard through speaker system A) are downmixed for stereo output from speaker system B.

  • Page 64: Connecting Additional Amplifiers

    • To hear sound only from the pre-outs, simply disconnect any speakers that are connected directly to the receiver. • If you’re not using a subwoofer, change the front speaker setting (see Speaker setting on page 48) to large. 2 This receiver is compatible with all Pioneer plasma displays from 2003 onward. Using this receiver with a...

  • Page 65: Using The Sr+ Mode With A Pioneer Plasma Display

    • If you connect to a Pioneer plasma display using an SR+ cable, you will need to point the remote control at the plasma dis- play remote sensor to control the receiver. In this case, you won’t be able to control the receiver using the remote control if you switch the plasma display off.

  • Page 66: Other Settings

    Other Settings Chapter 12: Other Settings The Input Assign menu You only need to make settings in the Input Assign menu if you didn’t hook up your digital equipment according to the default settings for the digital inputs, or if you have connected equipment using component video cables.

  • Page 67: The Other Setup Menu

    LFE channel (see LFE Attenuator Setup below). • SR+ – Specify how you want to control your Pioneer plasma display (see SR+ Setup for Pioneer plasma displays below) Make the adjustments necessary for each setting, pressing RETURN to confirm after each menu.

  • Page 68: Lfe Attenuator Setup

    See also Using this receiver with a Pioneer plasma display on page 64 and Using the SR+ mode with a Pioneer plasma display on page 65. Select ‘SR+’ from the OTHER setup menu. (cursor up/down) and ENTER to select the ‘VOL C.’ setting you want.

  • Page 69: Additional Information

    Sometimes the trouble may lie in another component. Investigate the other components and electrical appliances being used. If the trouble cannot be rectified even after exercising the checks listed below, ask your nearest Pioneer authorized independent service company to carry out repair work.

  • Page 70

    Additional information Problem Considerable noise in radio broadcasts. Broadcast stations cannot be selected automatically. No sound from surround or center speakers. No sound from surround back speakers. No sound from subwoofer. Noise during playback of a cassette deck. Sound is produced from other components, but not from LD or DVD player.

  • Page 71

    • Avoid exposing the remote sensor on the front panel to direct light. • Unplug anything connected to the CONTROL IN jack and use remote normally (see Operating other Pioneer components on page 26). The SR cable is connected, • Reinsert the SR cable, making sure it’s connected to the right jack but the connected (see Operating other Pioneer components on page 26).

  • Page 72: Resetting The Main Unit

    Additional information Resetting the main unit Use this procedure to reset all the receiver’s settings to the factory default. Use the front panel controls to do this. Switch the receiver into standby. While holding down the TONE button, press and hold the STANDBY/ON button for about three seconds.

  • Page 73: Specifications

    MD REC ..... 200 mV/2.2 k Note 1 Continuous average power output of 100 watts (VSX-815) / 120 watts (VSX-915)* per channel, min., at 8ohms, from 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz with no more than 0.2%** total harmonic distortion (front).

  • Page 74: Power Cord Caution

    (±1 dB) a fire or give you an electrical shock. Check the power cord once in a while. When you find it damaged, ask your nearest Pioneer authorized service center or your dealer for a replacement. Cleaning the unit • Use a polishing cloth or dry cloth to wipe off dust and dirt.

  • Page 75

    Additional information Selecting fine audio equipment such as the unit you’ve just purchased is only the start of your musical enjoyment. Now it’s time to consider how you can maximize the fun and excitement your equipment offers. This manufacturer and the Electronic Industries Association’s Consumer Electronics Group want you to get the most out of your equipment by playing it at a safe level.

  • Page 76

    Should this product require service in the U.S.A. and you wish to locate the nearest Pioneer Authorized Independent Service Company, or if you wish to purchase replacement parts, operating instructions, service manuals, or accessories, please call the number shown below.

This manual also for:

Vsx-815, Vsx-815-k, Vsx-915-k, Vsx-815-s, Vsx-915

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