"The best receiver in it's price range!!!"4.5 starson by nstewart769
Pros: Excellent sound, Great GUI, direct iPod connectivity included, looks sharp.
Cons: Remote control could be better, manual not the most user friendly, "handshaking" issues when sound from Satellite box is run through HDMI cable.
Summary: I just purchased my VSX-1019AH-K a week ago on 07/02/09 from Best Buy. I really didn?t want to pay the full $509 price if I didn?t have to so I found a listing on eBay for $450 (taxes and shipping included) and brought it with me to see if Best Buy would at least give me a bit of a discount. To my surprise they matched the price? selling me the unit for $414.99 + tax! Very happy with the deal I got, I couldn?t wait to get home and set up my new receiver!
I hooked it up to my 10 yr old full size JBL 5.1 speaker system. I was actually considering replacing these speakers with a new set (like the Aperion 4T Hybrid SD) but I have to tell you, after hearing what my JBL speakers sound like with this receiver, I think I?ll save myself the $1500. This Pioneer receiver blows away my old 10 yr old Yamaha. The sound is fuller, cleaner, and has way more depth. Everything sounds better? T.V, DVD?s, Blue Ray, games and music.
The set up was a cinch with the automatic speaker calibration. It made a mistake thinking my rear speakers were large but that was easy enough to fix. The only other thing I had to adjust was to change the subwoofer setting from ?yes? to ?plus.? This sends lower frequencies to both your large speakers and your sub at the same time, which gave my particular system a more full rounded sound. The manual isn?t the most user friendly so it took a while to figure out how to do this but I?m very happy with the end result. I was happy with the calibration of all my other speakers so I left them alone.
The direct connection option with my iPod was easy as well and very much appreciated. I can also hook my iPod up through my PS3 but the Pioneer lets me control the iPod through a menu on my T.V. with the same options as the iPod itself (searching by artist, playlist, ect.) This is actually the feature that sold my wife on agreeing to purchase a receiver at all in the first place so it holds a special place in my heart. :-)
On the Con side, I think the remote could have been a little better designed. For instance, when you switch between the different surround sound options, often times you have to hit the ?receiver? button first. This button is all the way at the bottom of the remote and isn?t noticeable enough for my taste. It?s really nit picky but there?s not much to dislike about this receiver so I had to mention it. Another nuisance is the ?handshaking? issue I have with the sound on standard digital channels (non-HD). It should first be noted that I have a Dish Network HD DVR box and run an HDMI cable from the Dish box to the receiver and then another HDMI cable from the receiver to my LCD T.V. This handshaking issue is a little difficult to explain but I?ll do my best. What happens is, if I turn my T.V. and receiver off when I?m on an HD channel, when I turn everything back on, I can only hear sound from HD channels, not the standard digital ones. To fix the issue I either have to go into the GUI menu and back out? or switch the input in the receiver to my DVD player (or any other input) and then back to HDMI. This forces the receiver to sink back up (re-handshake) with Dish Network, which kicks the sound for digital channels back on. I called Pioneer to see if the issue could be resolved and they advised it?s a common ?handshaking? issue between a Satellite box and the receiver when you run the sound through the HDMI cable. They advised me to call Dish Network thinking on my Dish box could be changed that would resolve the issue. A 30 min call to Dish Network later, the issue could not be resolved. It should be noted that both Pioneer and Dish Network advised this is a common problem for all receivers hooked up this way and isn?t specific to just Pioneer. I can?t confirm this as this is the first receiver I?ve owned with HDMI inputs, but at any rate, it?s not a deal killer for me by any means.
The bottom line is, in my opinion, the Pro?s way out weigh the Cons and I highly recommend this receiver to anybody looking in the $400-$600 price range. You will not be disappointed!