Pioneer VSX-519V-K

It is always nice to see level entry budget products on test, so we were more than happy when the Pioneer VSX-519V-K arrived in the offices for us to put through its paces. We are pleased because we understand that for so many people the price of some newer electronic gadgets makes them really out of reach as other more important things take priority on the cash in the wallet. However, at just under $200 this is a chance to get into the world of home cinema, so if the Pioneer VSX-519V-K lives up to the hype then it will be well worth getting out and getting yourself one. Enough of the chat. It’s time to get serious, so settle down in your favorite chair with a nice hot coffee and have a read, see what we found, and above all whether you are going to be surfing the net later to get yourself one of these AV receivers.

Pioneer VSX-519V-K AV Receiver

Pioneer VSX-519V-K AV Receiver

Design

The Pioneer VSX-519V-K looks fine and on a par with the more expensive Pioneer models, and as is their design trait has the standard fake double stack look. The top half has the display screen which is clear, and features the white LED writing plus the power button on the top left corner, whilst the bottom has the two control knobs and 7 smaller control buttons. There are two jack points on the front for the headphone jacks. The unit is finished in the classic Pioneer black, with a gloss finish on the front panel. The top is neat air filter holes in regimented form, and the back of the unit is tidy, with all connectors regimented and collected into groups. The groups are outlined in thick white lines and the labeling is clear, so overall we like the looks of the unit.

Actual user review:
“The Pioneer specs fit my bill (and my wallet) perfectly. I already had a surround sound receiver so the speakers were all mounted, I just wanted the true HD sound quality. And I got it with this baby. Blu-Ray movies through the PS3 will literally shake the house. And by running direct HDMI, you don’t have to worry about Audio settings on the Receiver (settings like Classical, Movie, Music) because that is coded in the HDMI signal. Just set it on “Direct PCM” and the Receiver does the rest.I suppose if you have a million inputs and outputs the Pioneer will not suit your tastes because it only provides 2 HDMI inputs and 1 HDMI output. There are plenty of receivers out there to satisfy that need but expect to pay $200-$300 more than this receiver. If you are a gamer, the 5.1 sound enhances every aspect of gameplay. I have actually freaked myself out playing Batman Arkham Asylum late at night. There is literally sound coming from everywhere. I also play sports games and in NHL 10 (EA) the referees whistle blows from a different speaker depending on where you are on the ice. Same goes for crowd noise. Amazing. “ – B.Berman (Michigan,USA)

 

Functionality

As you would expect for the lower end of the market, the Pioneer VSX-519V-K is not all singing and all dancing as some of its higher end relations. However, that said it is certainly not all bad. This is a smaller 5.1 channel receiver. Each of the channels features a hefty 110-watt punch, which really is comparable to others much higher up the market. This does lead to a pretty meaty performance in terms of sound, and we are looking at supporting technologies provided by Dolby Digital and Dolby Pro Logic. Considering the price band we are in, the Pioneer VSX-519V-K did well in all the tests we threw at it. The visuals were good, and there wasn’t too much picture distortion. Jaggies was kept nicely to a minimum, which is always good to see

It comes with an excellent built in radio tuner which is crystal clear. But unlike its other higher end siblings like the VSX-919AH-K and the VSX-1019AH-K, it does not have support for iPod playback. The built in Advanced Sound Retriever is an excellent little addition that cleans up your audio files and improves the output quality, which is brilliant, as you get to hear your older music in a cleaned up improved format – an excellent feature for a budget priced model. Also not included in the VSX-519V-K are the video upscaling technologies seen in some of the higher models, so whilst the sound on audio files can be cleaned up, sadly the same cannot be done with the picture playback, so you will see them at the same level of quality that they were recorded in. However, again we do have to remember that this is a budget end piece of kit, so you really are never going to find a model that has all the features of the professional end kit- but this really isn’t a bad example for the money.

Conclusion

We like the Pioneer VSX-519V-K, and for the money you are going to struggle to find anything that stands much above this. It probably isn’t the best on the market but it certainly isn’t the worst. The bottom line is that it does what it says well, and it doesn’t disappoint in terms of performance. One could only wish that there was more included, but that really would be unrealistic – so if you are looking to take your first foray into AV receivers and the home cinema experience, this is a good starting point and you will not be disappointed.

Average User Rating:

  • “I was nothing short of amazed. The biggest surprise was the FM/AM tuner. Receivers have traditionally been the merger of a FM/AM tuner and an amplifier, but due to where I live, over some hills isolated from the city’s center, where most FM/AM stations broadcast, I had settled for less than stellar reception. My favorites barely came in, KCSM and KFOG. With this receiver be prepared to be wowed. They came in CRYSTAL clear! I just love having those stations at my disposal. Next, was the surround sound options. Between the sound retriever which compensates for the sound lost due to compressed sound formats such as MP3, and the Forward Surround, which projects a virtual surround using just two speakers, which comes in handy since I lack a center and rear speakers, I was in sonic heaven. I don’t know how they do it, but everything sounds better with these settings. ” – F.Brass (CA,USA)
  • “The Pioneer VSX-519 is the entry level A/V receiver by pioneer, but this baby packs a lot of features and power for it’s price. for the price, I do not think any other brand comes even close with some of their mid level receivers.
    I own the VSX-919 pioneer and I have to say the VSX-519 has the very similar sound, very pure and powerful. I use it with polk audio speakers, the sound is unbelleivable, the VSX-919 has more decoder modes but for the every day music playing the VSX-519 does the same job, for half the price. “
    – P.Chebib (WA,USA)

 

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