Opinion on Pioneer Elite VSX-41

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by John Brill, Nov 24, 2003.

  1. John Brill

    John Brill Supporting Actor

    Nov 3, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Argh, the more I learn the more confused I am.

    Bottom line, looking to purchase a HT System by X-Mas. I thought I was sold on the following system:

    1) System One (approx $1700 Canadian taxes included)
    Yamaha RX-V540 (approx $550)
    PSB Alpha Intro LR x4 (approx $900 for package)
    PSB Alpha Intro CLR
    PSB Subsonic Sub

    Unfortunately, [​IMG] , after reading this forum for too long, I went out initially to spec out the Onkyo 601 and noticed the dealer also carried Pioneer Elite. He put together this quote for me:

    2) System 2 ($2000 Canadian taxes included)
    Pioneer Elite VSX-41 (approx $699)
    Paradigm Atoms x4
    Paradigm CC-170 center
    Paradigm PDR-10 Sub

    So, for $300 more I appear to get a better Sub (10" vs 8") and larger speakers. But, am I getting a better receiver? I can't find any reviews on the entry Pioneer Elite and the Pioneer website sucks giving very little information on their products.

    Finally, if I chose to go cheap, my third option is:

    3) System 3 (approx $1380 Canadian taxes included)
    Denon 1603
    Mirage AVS-200 Sats x4
    Mirage AVS-100 Center
    Mirage FRx-S8 sub

    I realize that the Denon 1603 is 5.1 while the other two are 6.1 (with the Pioneer having a neat configuration for 2 rear mono centers). Also, I know I'm not comparing apples to apples with Reciever-Speaker combo's but we all know that there is more room to maneuver on a package deal...

    Final notes, my budget is $2000 max Canadian. I don't want to by on-line through a US Retailer (waranty and customs issues) but would consider a Canadian online retailer. My room size is approx 15x20 and I want A/B speaker option so H/K is out [​IMG]

    Thanks for any and all opinions.

  2. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
    HW Reviewer

    Jul 19, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Skip the Elite 41. It's simply a re-badged Pioneer 811S w/ a slightly better remote. The internals are exactly the same and they are built on the same assembly line. In that price range the Pioneer 912K would be a very good receiver to consider if you can find it in canada. It has everything the 41 you've seen does and adds automatic MCACC calibration via the included microphone (no need to buy an SPL meter).

    Of the speakers you've mentioned I personaly would go with the Paradigm Atoms. The sound great for such a small speaker. The Alpha Intros sounded very small and thin to me. I don't have any experience with the Mirage's you mentioned.

    I would forget all of the Subs you've mentioned and look at an Adire Rava. There's atleast one Canadian retailer who carries it but i'm not sure the website, someone will post it i'm sure. The subs you've mentioned all use smaller 10" or 8" drivers, not alot of amplification, and the amp headroom is limited by boost/equalization circuitry.

    Hope this helps [​IMG]
  3. Kam_A

    Kam_A Extra

    Sep 29, 2003
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    Stay away from the Yamaha lower end recievers. They have lots of features but the depth in sound is missing.
  4. Drew_W

    Drew_W Screenwriter

    Jul 2, 2003
    Likes Received:
    I don't even know how the 41TX is an Elite. The rest of the line is exceptional, but man oh man. What was Pioneer thinking.

    For the same money, you should look at a Denon 1804. This is the lowest Denon model that has pre-outs for all channels. You should consider this of great importance, because it will enable you to use your receiver as a pre/pro should you want to add an outboard amp later on. (I'm finding that one out now the hard way with my AVR225...gah!)

    I'd absolutely forget Yamaha until you get into their four-digit models. S&V test on the RXV-740: Rated 75WPC, Output at 5ch driven: 38W. Enough said.

    If you can hold out, wait until boxing day. Phenomenal savings anywhere you go, no tax, etc, etc. And remember to budget about 10% (max) for interconnects/cabling. Oh and a good surge protector wouldn't hurt too [​IMG]

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