+ Video and audio processing are wonderful
+ Sound quality is crisp and clear
+ GUI is easy to use
+ iPod / airplay / iPad integration of this unit works fantastic
- Short 1-year warranty
- The remote is cryptic
This is an excellent overall receiver. The video and audio processing are wonderful and overall sound quality is crisp and clear. To those that are complaining about the difficulty in setting this receiver up....I don't know what to tell you, the GUI is easy to use and the ... Read full review
This is an excellent overall receiver. The video and audio processing are wonderful and overall sound quality is crisp and clear. To those that are complaining about the difficulty in setting this receiver up....I don't know what to tell you, the GUI is easy to use and the MCACC makes things very simple with the included microphone. Okay, on to the nitty gritty.
The Looks of the receiver:
This is a large unit, seriously, make sure you have enough room in your entertainment center for this beast. I replaced a Denon AVR 588 with this unit. The Denon fit comfortably within my entertainment centers cabinet. This unit is so large I have very little room left on the bottom shelf of the cabinet. The exterior of the unit is very clean looking with the front door closed. It has a nice and clean look to it, nothing too fancy but very functional.
The performance: Video / Audio
Someone in an earlier review mentioned how great the video processing is on this unit. I have to agree, my Denon unit that I previously had only performed HDMI switching / pass through without any conversion etc. This unit's QDeo video processing really makes the picture look beautiful. I thought standard Blu Ray's looked outstanding, they look brilliant with the processing on this unit.
The Audio of this unit is nothing short of superb, when paired with a good set of 7.1 speakers the overall sound stage is beautiful, the 110 watts per channel easily plays nearly any source crisp and loud even at very high volumes. I would give this receiver an audio video grade of A. It sounds just as clear and crisp as receivers I have sampled costing two times as much.
Just like any modern receiver with any amount of tuneabilty, this unit takes some time to get setup properly. I found the MCACC makes for a good starting point but I found myself tinkering with the Advanced MCACC settings to get the sound just how I wanted it. I had no problems tuning the unit to how I like it like some other folks. The on screen GUI is easy to use if you have ever used any type of modern interface such as an iPod.
The iPod / airplay / iPad integration of this unit works fantastic. I plugged the unit in using an Ethernet cable and without any additional tinkering the receiver showed up on my list of Airplay devices. I didn't have to do anything other than that, it was literally plug and play. The only negative I would say about the airplay is that you can't skip tracks using the Pioneer remote, you either have to do it on the computer or other airplay compatible device.
The ipad / ipod integration is also seamless using the supplied cord. Once again it is plug and play. I was also able to play videos off of my iPad on to my big screen TV using the supplied cord. Track selection capability, track skipping and playlist selection are all available right on the remote when the iPod /iPad is connected using the supplied cord.
If I am going to be nit picky, I would say the remote is somewhat confusing to use at first but once you conquer that learning curve you will be fine. The iPad app is relatively cool, but not all that useful for actual tuning of the unit itself. I picked this unit up for $429.00 earlier this month and if you can find it near this price you are getting a lot of value for money. This unit is essentially a Premier VSX-52 with a a different model number.
Note: I suggest check for best deal before you're will buy it at: Audiovideo-receiver.blogspot.com/2012/01/vsx-1121-k.html
I highly recommend this receiver!