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The number of high performing entry level and mid-priced AV Receiver models on the market is quite astounding. As we’ve mentioned before, this plays big for a wide range of buyers taking advantage of low prices on new 4K televisions and Atmos-enabled speakers. Manufacturers easily could have entered the 2016 model cycle with plans to force buyers with 4K video and immersive sound aspirations into more expensive product categories; the fact that models in the $400-$500 range can deliver 5.1.2 sound and provide complete 4K video coverage is rather astounding.

Yesterday, Pioneer Electronics officially released two new low priced models, both offering serious punch for the dollar. Headlining the new duo is the VSX-1131, a 7.2 channel receiver capable of supplying 100 Watts per channel (8 ohms, 2 Channels) paired with a high-grade 384kHz/32bit DAC manufactured by AKM. With two channels of immersive sound coverage, the VSX-1131 ships with Dolby Atmos onboard and DTS:X-ready hardware that’s scheduled to be activated this coming fall with a Pioneer firmware update. The video side of the 1131 supports 4K/60p/4:4:4 color and 24-bit video transmission. This means it can pass-through High Dynamic Range and BT 2020 color space (the same color space experienced in commercial cinemas), in addition to properly decoding HDCP 2.2 4K content. Buyers will also be pleased to know that the VSX-1131 has built-in upscaling technologies to enhance standard HD-quality video material.

Hi-Res audio and wireless streaming are both featured on the VSX-1131, with support for FLAC, WAV, AIFF, DSD (2.8/5.6 MHz), and Apple lossless file formats. Users can also stream material from Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn, Tidal, Deezer, and personal devices using AirPlay, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi. FireConnect (streaming to speakers) is available with FireConnect compatible speakers. To further enhance the audio experience, Pioneer’s MCACC room calibration suite with ‘Reflex Optimizer’ helps to tame acoustic environments with an emphasis on optimization of Atmos-enabled speakers.



The backside of the Pioneer VSX-831.


The VSX-831 is a step-down AV Receiver that offers the same 4K video coverage as the VSX-1131, without the addition of immersive sound. It’s a 5.2-channel performer with a modest 80 Watts (8 Ohms, 2 Channels) of power and the same AKM DAC found on its older sibling.

The VSX-831 is aimed squarely at buyers looking an AVR that can play nicely with a new 4K television and future 4K video content, with less of an emphasis on fully fleshed surround sound. It does, however, offer enough audio features to power a solid two-channel system or a smaller surround set-up with the added benefits of wireless/Bluetooth streaming . The addition of MCACC (sans Reflex Optimizer) is a nice add-on feature at this price point.

The VSX-1131 is priced at $599 and the VSX-831 comes in at a very affordable $449 MSRP. Both models are available for purchase now. For more information visit Pioneer at www.pioneerelectronics.com

Image Credits: Pioneer Electronics
 

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My VSX-23 is chugging along just fine and there is no reason to even think about replacement ...... But the improved features and media support offered on the VSX-1131 are very interesting at this price point.
Plus there will be deals available off the MSRP since it will be in the regular retail chain.
 

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I've owned three Pioneers (two Pioneer, one Elite) and have nothing but great things to say about my ownership experience.

It's worthy to note that the 1131 and 8313 carry an iteration of Pioneer's Class D amplification tech called "Direct Energy." This is a trickle-down tech from the Elite series and it's great to see it arrive in the Pioneer line. Class D amps are highly efficient and run cooler than A, B, or A/B amps.
 

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I use a slightly older 1019ahk in my bedroom system. The living room it started in was too big for it but, I feel like it's an overachiever for any reasonable space with future proofing(for the time). Pioneer is a great manufacturer and these two look promising for budget shoppers. I'm curious to see how the affiliation with Onkyo pans out as we get a little further.


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I know Onkyo and an investment group bought control of Pioneer.
At the time of the acquisition I read (on the internet, so it has to be true) the Pioneer operation that was acquired was significantly larger (total sales) than the Onkyo operation.
It is probably not a fair assessment on my part since Onkyo holds many patents for technology advancements, but I see the company as second tier.
For better or worse my hope is Pioneer will influence Onkyo much more than Onkyo influences Pioneer.
 

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It's tough to say how it will ultimately shake out... As far as I can tell, the only shared technology is FireConnect for wireless speakers sold by Onkyo. There could be more going on under the hood, but I'm 100% sure.
 

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I agree.
Back in the day I figured I would always own a Sansui receiver.
LOL, now only old geezers can remember that name.
 

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That Sanyo gear was built well. The Sanyo CD player that I had from 1989 is still working. A friend has it in his shop.
 

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I'm a proud owner of Pioneer vsx 1131.......and it slams and punches hard to really annoy my neighbours......the act is truly awesome.....

Sent from my HTC Desire 816 dual sim using Tapatalk
 

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I'm a proud owner of Pioneer vsx 1131.......and it slams and punches hard to really annoy my neighbours......the act is truly awesome.....

Sent from my HTC Desire 816 dual sim using Tapatalk
Great purchase...Pioneer has forever made solid AVRs. I should have a 1131 coming for a full review, looking forward to digging into its capabilities!
 
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