Overview and test of the 7.2-channel Pioneer VSX-1131 receiver

The Pioneer VSX-1131 receiver is positioned in the company’s lineup as the top model in the middle segment. The following model has the index LX and refers already to the upper segment.

Pioneer VSX-1131 receiver

Pioneer VSX-1131 – price. Where is the best place to buy?

The recommended retail price of the Pioneer VSX-1131 in the US is $ 577,00. At this cost, you can order it on Amazon. I would not recommend ordering anywhere else except on Amazon. Since you are less likely to find cheaper, and if you do not take into account the fact that Amazon is probably the most reliable online store, it still very often provides free shipping.

Full model specifications:

  • DAC: AK4458 (32 bit / 384 kHz)
  • Power: 7 × 160 W (peak when measured on one channel)
  • Audio processor: Cirrus Logic Digital Core Engine
  • Codecs: DTS: X, DTS Neural: X, DTS-HD MA, DTS-HD HRA, DTS 96/24, DTS-ES, DTS-HD Express, Dolby Atmos, Dolby Surround, DolbyTrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus< / li>
  • Audio files: FLAC, ALAC, AIFF, WAV, DSD
  • Streaming services: Tidal, Spotify, TuneIn, Deezer
  • Video: 4K HDR to 60p / 24bit / 4: 4: 4 or 24p / 36bit / 4: 4: 4
  • Upscaling: Full HD to Ultra HD (4K)
  • Auto Calibration: MCACC
  • Network protocols: Google Cast, AirPlay, FireConnec
  • Inputs: 6 × HDMI, component, 2 composite, coaxial, 2 optical, linear, phono stage
  • Outputs: 2 × HDMI, 2 for the subwoofer, for the second zone
  • Additional interfaces: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, LAN, USB
  • Dimensions: 435 × 173 × 370 mm
  • Weight: 10 kg
  • Average price: $ 470

Pioneer VSX-1131 receiver
Externally, the receiver looks in full accordance with the concept of corporate identity. It has a black facade, two large knobs for selecting inputs and adjusting the volume, and in the middle is a display with large blue symbols. Pleased with the availability of headphone output – he is an infrequent guest in the receivers.
Pioneer VSX-1131 receiver
The back panel has all the necessary minimum for building the system 5.2.2 or system 5.2 with the connection of the 2nd zone or biamping for the front channels. And HDMI-switching allows to realize the overwhelming majority of scenarios of using the receiver in the home system. While there was no complete rejection of analog connections, there is even a built-in phono stage for vinyl records.
Pioneer VSX-1131 receiver
Pioneer VSX-1131 receiver
Pioneer VSX-1131 receiver
On board a modern quad-core DSP Cirrus Logic with support for Dolby Atmos. Firmware for DTS: X already out. Thus, the receiver supports both modern object-oriented sound formats.

The presence of only 7 amplification channels (in the upper LX models – 9 channels) is compensated by a variety of options for their use.

In addition to the standard schemes up to 5.1, you can choose the options for switching the speakers for the upper layer of sound. And you can use the top front speakers, which in the era before Atmos were used to expand the sound up due to the presence in the receivers of a special sound mode. Now the upper fronts can work as full-fledged Atmos-speakers, which is convenient if such speakers are already installed, and there is no desire or possibility to install special ceiling columns. Also there is a variant with upper rear speakers mounted on the wall. Of course, there are standard 3 options for ceiling speakers for the Atmos sound scheme: pairs of front, middle, rear. Only one of the pairs can be connected at a time. There is a choice of Atmos-speakers built into the front speakers. Also there is a multiroom circuit – in this case, a pair of speakers can be located in another room from the main multi-channel system, while simultaneously watching the movie you can listen to music in zone 2 and manage everything from one console. New for us was the availability of the latest wireless multi-protocol FireConnect It potentially has rich wireless connectivity for acoustics in zone 2, but we failed to test it in operation due to the lack of acoustics supporting this protocol. And the protocol is promising, you can stream up to 24 bit / 192 kHz, and the protocol supports multi-channel configurations. We will wait for more support FireConnect producers of acoustics.

In testing, we used Pioneer speakers with Dolby Atmos support.

S-BS73A– 3-way speaker with Dolby Atmos support and concentric arrangement.
S-BS73A

  • Woofer: 133 mm with aluminum diffuser
  • Tweeter: 102 mm with aluminum diffuser
  • Tweeter: 2.5 cm with soft dome
  • Enclosure: Bass reflex
  • Resistance: 4 Ohm
  • Frequency range: 50 – 20000 Hz
  • Sensitivity (2.83V / 1m): 85dB
  • Maximum power: 140W
  • Dimensions without grill (W × H × D): 188 × 376 × 221 mm
  • Dimensions with grill (W × H × D): 188 × 398 × 246 mm
  • Weight: 7.1 kg

S-C73A– 3-way center speaker with Dolby Atmos support and concentric arrangement.
S-C73A

  • Woofer: 133 mm with aluminum diffuser
  • Tweeter: 102 mm with aluminum diffuser
  • Tweeter: 2.5 cm with soft dome
  • Enclosure: Bass reflex
  • Resistance: 4 Ohm
  • Frequency range: 45 – 20000 Hz
  • Sensitivity (2.83V / 1m): 85dB
  • Maximum power: 140W
  • Dimensions without grill (W × H × D): 495 × 188 × 221 mm
  • Dimensions with grill (W × H × D): 495 × 188 × 246 mm
  • Weight: 8.0 kg

S-FS73A– 3-way floor speaker with Dolby Atmos support and concentric arrangement.
S-FS73A

  • Woofer: 3 × 133 mm with aluminum diffuser
  • Tweeter: 102 mm with aluminum diffuser
  • Tweeter: 2.5 cm with soft dome
  • Enclosure: Bass reflex
  • Resistance: 4 Ohm
  • Frequency range: 38 – 20000 Hz
  • Sensitivity (2.83 V / 1 m): 86 dB
  • Maximum power: 140W

S-FS73A S-C73A all
You can buy separately a pair of front three-way floor speakers with speakers from above, working on the reflection from the ceiling, the central three-way speaker and a pair of three-band surround speakers, equipped, like the front speakers, with a speaker for Atmos. Thus, by adding a S-71W subwoofer from the same line, it is possible to organize a multi-channel system up to 5.2.4, provided that the receiver supports simultaneous operation of the front and rear Atmos speakers. Acoustics looks and feels monumental, the same can be said about the sound. Due to the same type of speakers for each band, all the speakers are matched to the characteristics of directionality, dynamic and frequency feedback. The difference in the numbers of changes between the channels after calibration did not exceed a couple decibels, and subjectively the sound was felt to be integral and with a good margin for overload. Soft dome tweeters sound comfortable, and aluminum diffusers of midrange and woofer speakers (at the floor speakers 3 woofers) produce undistorted sound, even at reference loudness in a large room. At the same time, it is not audible by ear. The main thing is for the receiver to cope. The only noticed drawback – in accordance with the general design of the series, the upper and lower edges of the central channel column have a bend. Install the TV on top of such a column will not work.

But we were able to test the sound of multichannel tracks in the main system, and in two versions 5.2.2 with the upper fronts and with Atmos-speakers Pioneer. Both variants gave a significant increase in the realism of the sound images due to the expansion of the sound cloth upwards and the greater the sound filling of the entire room. It really works. In addition, the object-oriented decoding principle itself, when the sound is not rigidly tied to its channel, but distributed in real time, depending on the chosen acoustics scheme, gives a tremendous effect of involvement: the sound is dissolved around and positioned clearly only when it is conceived. This is also facilitated by calibration with the possibility of phase distortion compensation, which is usually deprived of entry-level receivers.

It was pleasantly surprised by the presence of a 4-band equalizer for a subwoofer. Grieved that despite having two outputs for subwoofers, they are calibrated as one. For those who need it, you should look at the top models of receivers that have separate bass management for each subwoofer. In our case, we have not experienced any problems due to this limitation. Also, for some users, it should be recognized that there are no pre-out outputs – except for subwoofers. It will not be possible to connect a separate amplifier for the front channels.

When choosing a scheme with upper speakers, you can not waste time choosing a listening mode, although there are a lot of them. It’s enough to put Auto Surround, and the receiver will determine the presence of Atmos-sound itself if it is present in the Dolby True HD track and, since we asked the receiver with the latest firmware, the presence of DTS: X-sound in the DTS HD MA track. The receiver can also decompose the sound into the upper speakers in the absence of an object-oriented sound in the track, and it turns out that this is not bad. The upper fronts received their share of the work in saturated fragments. I would like to note the availability of a mode for night listening and its correct operation.

remote Pioneer VSX-1131

The console first aroused fear of its asceticism. However, it quickly became clear that it is very convenient and everything that can be quickly needed for viewing, allows you to reach no more than 3 button presses. For example, you can quickly adjust the sound level of the subwoofer or center. The rest of the channels can not be set up so quickly, you have to go into the menu, since there are no such settings on the button of the operational settings of the parameters. But admit: how many of you have changed the level of the channels except the subwoofer or the central channel?

Conveniently implemented information about the incoming track, the listening mode and the final output of the sound. All this can be quickly seen on the screen, which is not always provided by other models. The graphic images of the menu items are pleasing to the eye, especially visually and realistically traced the interface for choosing acoustics wiring and MCACC automatic calibration. Editing the calibration results and working with the equalizer are convenient and intuitive. This applies to all other system settings via the receiver’s menu. It is very convenient that you can make up to three settings for different scenarios of using the receiver and switch between them quickly.

The mobile application iControlAV5 can duplicate all functions of the console, with this application it is convenient to get all information on parameters and modes, and also to change numerous settings in a convenient and intuitive interface. We used it also for listening to stereo recordings, because in this application all the possibilities of access to the music collection are grouped. You can play the track from a mobile device, music server or streaming service.

remote Pioneer VSX-1131
remote Pioneer VSX-1131
remote Pioneer VSX-1131

Opinion after using Pioneer VSX-1131

The musical capabilities of Pioneer VSX-1131 are very wide. The modern DAC AK4458 with 32 bit / 384 kHz resolution supports the decoding of sound, which allows the receiver to work with Hi-Res-files FLAC and WAV, as well as with DSD-stream, through the HDMI input, from the media connected to the USB input, and also Over the network.

Support for wireless protocols – at the most modern level: Bluetooth and AirPlay, as well as the latest Google Cast protocol. It’s enough to have at least one of the applications Spotify, Deezer, Tidal or TuneIn on your mobile device, so that without buying an additional source you can join the huge collection of digital sound. Needless to say, the receiver supports Wi-Fi, there are 2 antennas, there were no communication or slowdowns during the testing.

As for the video part, everything here is adult and at the level of top models, including full-fledged work with 4K content: there is support for HDR, BT.2020 color space and HDCP 2.2 coding, scaling of incoming Full HD signal in 4K, 3D is supported. In the receiver’s sleep mode, the HDMI signal passes through correctly, as well as the power management of the components connected via HDMI. There are all necessary settings for using the HDMI protocol.

We were pleased with the presence of two HDMI outputs. If desired, you can set the output signal to only one of the outputs or both. We checked: the projector and TV worked correctly and with simultaneous operation.

Overall, impressions from the appearance, sound, control and correctness of the Pioneer VSX-1131 work are positive. If you want to join the sound of Atmos and DTS: X without large financial investments – this is an excellent option. In addition, the receiver plays stereo recordings at a level sufficient for many music lovers, you can even connect a record player, and the convenience and flexibility of access to music file and streaming collections is at the highest level, and during the testing all worked without failures.
Obviously, buying is not a top-notch device, something has to be sacrificed. If you have 2 subwoofers at home and you want to calibrate them separately, if you want to connect the front channels to a separate amplifier or subsequently expand the system from 5.2.2 to 5.2.4 or to 7.2.2 – you should take a closer look at Pioneer top models, they are all It is able.

Video review

In conclusion, we suggest to see our video review of the Pioneer VSX-1131 receiver:



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