Pioneer VSX-1131 AV Receiver

Tony O'Brien's avatar

by Tony O'Brien

19th August, 2016

9853 readers


I have lived with Pioneer’s 2015 SC-LX59 for the better part of a year now. Connecting it to a five channel power amplifier has, along with the extra power, given me the ability to comfortably drive more challenging speaker loads. This is what I have opted to do, with my front speakers having a nominal impedance of 4 ohms.

Having reviewed the VSX-1131’s specs, I was sorely tempted to swap out my front speakers for some more ‘amplifier friendly’ speakers. After some deliberation (and checking StereoNET’s insurance policy), I decided to put the VSX-1131 through its paces and connect them directly to my 4 ohm speakers.

The 2013 released “Oblivion” BluRay provides excellent (if not reference) video and audio quality. While of course the VSX-1131 couldn’t create the same sound levels as my own setup, it did, much to its credit, manage fill my small to medium sized listening room with sound. Placing me in the centre of the action, it delivered accurate placement of effects and conveyed a good sense of depth and imaging. Coupled with a good handle on dynamics, the VSX-1131 made sure Oblivion was an immersive movie watching experience.

Another excellent 2013 BluRay release is “The Wolverine”. Apart from being one of my favourite ‘super-hero’ movies, it offers reference quality video and audio. It also offers up a range of different material for demonstration purposes, with a mix of quieter, dialogue driven scenes (with subtle environment effects), along with the more frenetic scenes you would expect from a film in this genre. Once again, the VSX-1131 placed me in the centre of the action, managing to convey the more subtle scenes of The Wolverine with a solid grasp of placement and effects. During the more frenetic moments of the film the VSX-1131 once again dished out the dynamics needed to create an engaging home theatre experience, with voices never being lost in the mix.

I have always found Pioneer’s AVR’s to have a balanced, well- rounded sound and while this remains true of the VSX-1131, I did find it a little more forward and punchier than I remember the VSX-930K being. Where the VSX-1131 surpasses the VSX-930 is with its sense of dynamics, thanks in large part to its beefier internal amplifiers.


Much like last year’s VSX-930 (RRP $1,349) , the new VSX-1131 (RRP $1,399) offers a comprehensive list of features, including Dolby Atmos/DTS decoding, Ultra HD support, in addition to raft of network features, which should satisfy the more feature demanding consumer.

As I stated earlier, putting together a price competitive AVR with all the latest features and actually sounds good isn’t an easy task. It is a task however that Pioneer has managed to succeed at with the VSX-1131. With a price tag of $50.00 more than last year’s VSX-930, it offers a level of performance which easily surpasses the VSX-930.

While I (or Pioneer for that matter) recommends, coupling the VSX-1131 with difficult speaker loads. The VSX-1131 should be capable of driving more ‘sensibly’ speced speaker to decent enough volume levels in small to medium sized rooms to create both an immersive and dynamic home theatre experience.

For full specifications visit Pioneer Audio Australia.

Pioneer is distributed in Australia by Powermove.

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Tags: pioneer  powermove  vsx-1131 

Tony O'Brien's avatar

Written by:

Tony O'Brien

As the owner of Adelaide based 'Clarity Audio & Video Calibration', Tony is a certified ISF Calibrator. Tony is an accomplished Audio-Visual reviewer specialising in theatre and visual products.

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