Pioneer VSX-1019AH-K

The Pioneer VSX-1019AH-K AV Receiver has been on the market for some time, so by now you may well want to know more about this unit and whether or not it could be the AV receiver for you. What we have here is a midrange unit, so you immediately know that it is going to perform to a fairly high level, knocking spots off the budget range alternatives, but how does it compare to the high level top priced units that you would love to own but just can’t seem to justify the expense of?

Pioneer VSX-1019AH-K Receiver

Pioneer VSX-1019AH-K Receiver | More Details Opens in new window

Design

Well, reassuringly the majority of the features on the Pioneer VSX-1019AH-K AV Receiver are very good indeed. It starts with an impressive first impression. On removing the product from its packaging you are met by a double stack effect front, solid feeling unit that has been finished in black gloss effect, which certainly adds to the overall sleekness of the unit. When you combine this with the pretty blue lights that show the power and options, and the display screen that has good sized white lettering when connected to the power supply, you are certainly looking at a receiver you would want to have gracing your entertainment unit.

Actual user review:
“I’ve had this receiver a week now, and so far, so good. I’ve had Pioneer before and I’ve always been pleased with their receivers. I’m no Audio-phile, but I know good sound when I hear it, and this seemed like a good choice, especially with the features it has for the price. In particular, I wanted as many HDMI inputs as I could get and a good video upscaler so I only need one output to the TV. I considered a couple other receivers, namely Onkyo’s new 607 as well as last year’s models from Onkyo and Pioneer, but I picked this one for two main reasons: First, the video upscaler goes all the way to 1080p. The Onkyo 607 only goes to 1080i. Second, the Pioneer will convert the component digital signal to HDMI (needed for my Wii); the Onkyo does ONLY analog, no digital conversion, according to their specs. The 607 did have a couple more HDMI inputs, but I felt the better upscaler would suit me better in the long run. This one also had more overall features and HDMI inputs than last year’s models from either manufacturer. As of now, I would recommend this receiver to anyone looking for a new unit.” – J.Whitaker

Performance

The unit has, like most on the market, an auto set up function, which takes in all about five minutes to run through, and sounds a bit like a trip through a wildlife park with various bumps, crashes, tweets and other peculiar sounds. However, for most people this will conclude in a set up they can be satisfied with. For some speaker setups, a small adjustment may be needed on the levels, but you can use the manual controls and bring these back into line. Fundamentally, the set up gives rise to no problems worth concerning yourself with, and is a user friendly piece of kit.

The first of the features on test for performance is how the unit performs with audio functions, and again it’s looking pretty good for the VSX-1019AH-K . The system produces an excellent clarity of tone, and the bass can easily shake the room should you so desire. There is definitely a sense of being surrounded by the music as it wraps around the room seamlessly. Quality has not been compromised in terms of sounds here. There is plenty of scope for effect, whether you seek the booming full orchestral sounds or whether your mood and choice of music is better suited to a subtle, light performance. You will easily find an audio option to meet the needs of every genre of music.

In terms of video capabilities and performance this unit also scores high. The minor irritations are concerned with some levels of stability of the image, and there are some glitches where the image fluctuates slightly. However, none of these units has the ultimate quality of a stand alone DVD player, and for its class and type it is not a huge issue and certainly outperforms others in the same class, handling high definition and Blu-ray well.

We have saved one of the receiver’s truly cool features till the end, and it is something that impressed us and will hopefully impress you too. The unit is iPod ready when it comes out of the box and this is a true rarity. Most units can be converted (with add on extras) to handle our favorite toy, but this will cost you more on top of the unit price. This is not the case here, as in the box you will find the famous white cabling, trademark of ‘Apple’, and the all important iPod lead. Granted, the extra expense isn’t financially crippling but it was a nice touch to have the cable thrown in. Obviously it won’t work with all the iPod’s as ‘Apple’ have a habit of changing the connection, but the nano, touch, classic and 5th gen will all work on this cable as will the new iPhone, so most people can grin and enjoy.

Advanced Sound Retriever technology restores lost detail from compressed music for a better music experience from MP3 players.

Advanced Sound Retriever technology restores lost detail from compressed music for a better music experience from MP3 players.

And with Pioneer’s exclusive Advanced Sound Retriever technology lost data in compressed music files is restored. What this means is that when you’re playing music from your iPhone, iPod or other MP3 player, you’ll have music that sounds more like the artist originally intended. And with Auto Level Control, the VSX-1019AH-K makes sure volume stays where you want it from song to song. We found this feature extremely useful as variations in volume between songs can be very annoying which happens if you are ripping MP3s from different sources.

Conclusion

The remote control handles well, and is good quality. The only slight criticism is that it appears a bit button heavy for the size and can lead to a jumbled feel. That said the controls on the front of the unit itself are a good size, the main two buttons being the volume control and the function selection, and it has an iPod style clicker wheel selection which operates smoothly, making your selection effortless. The Pioneer VSX-1019AH-K AV Receiver is excellent, certainly one of the best midrange units on offer, and will suit the homes of most people who seek performance at a wallet friendly price.

Average User Rating:
More User Reviews:

I have to say this is a great receiver for the price. I’m no audio expert but so far this unit is performing great. The 1019 was very easy to set up with HDMI cables. Another great feature is the USB port in which you can hook your iPod up to for charging and control it on screen. That was pretty much the clincher for making the purchase. This is the perfect mid-range receiver for the HD age.” – C.Wagnon (CA,USA)

Very attractive unit with great 1080p upscaling and I must say excellent sound which puts my old JVC to shame. So, after using the unit for several days, it’s a keeper. I’ve made comparisons with similar and higher priced units from Pioneer and competitors and they all seem to have the same lack of a viable GUI. And, with the other mfgs the IPod control requires an extra cost dock. For the price, the 1019AH has an unbelievable amount of customization available and even includes a mic for auto speaker level setup. The sound is great across all inputs, the “auto” settings really work, zero problems with HDMI switching, and almost anything can be tailored to your preference. I still wish the GUI was 100% implemented though.” – J.Carmer (USA)

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