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Pioneer Electronics VSX-23TXH 7.1 Receiver Review

by December 21, 2009
Pioneer VSX-23TXH receiver

Pioneer VSX-23TXH receiver

  • Product Name: VSX-23TXH 7.1 Receiver
  • Manufacturer: Pioneer Electronics
  • Performance Rating: StarStarStarStar
  • Value Rating: StarStarStarhalf-star
  • Review Date: December 21, 2009 04:25
  • MSRP: $ 1000
  • Buy Now

HD Audio Support: Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, dts-HD Master Audio

DSP: Digital Core

Power Ratings: 7 x 110 watts per channel (8 ohms, 20 Hz-20 kHz, <.09%THD)
Audio DAC: Wolfson WM8728 192 kHz / 24-bit DAC
Audio ADC: Burr Brown 192 kHz / 24-bit

HDMI: 1.3a with support for Deep Color, 24p and SACD/DVD-Audio support

Crossover: 50, 80, 100, 150, 200Hz

Remote: Programmable/learning remote (glow keys, not backlit)

Video Inputs: 5 x HDMI (1.3); 2 x Component Video (100MHz); 4 sets composite and S-video inputs

Video Outputs: 2 x HDMI (1.3); 100MHz Component video output, 3 composite/S-video outputs

Audio Inputs: 5.1 multi-channel inputs, 6 assignable digital inputs (4 optical, 2 coaxial), 8 analog inputs

Audio Outputs: 1 optical digital output, multi-zone stereo pre-amp level audio outputs, 7.1 preamp outputs

Additional Connections: RS-232C port for third party control Systems, remote I/O ports, 2 assignable +12V triggers
Dimensions: 16.6" x 6.8" x 17"

Weight: 37.5 lbs

Pros

  • THX Select2 Plus Certification
  • Anchor Bay VRS processing
  • 4 x HDMI 1.3a inputs
  • RS-232C control & dual 12V triggers

Cons

  • No Zone 2/3 Remote
  • Remote control w/ only partial backlight
  • No input level control

 

Pioneer VSX-23TXH Introduction

VSX-23TXH angledWhen last we looked into the Pioneer looking glass, we reviewed their top of the line model, the VSX-94TXH. This newest product under review from Pioneer isn't their top of the line, but it does have some significant improvements over even last year's top of the line VSX model. Chiefly of interest are the increased number of HDMI inputs, including a front input suitable for the newest camcorders and digital cameras, and the Anchor Bay VRS video processing. The VSX-23TXH also comes certified as one of the first THX Select2 Plus A/V receivers and supports the newest high resolution audio formats. Don't get us wrong – there's not a whole lot of new innovation in this product, but given the value and the relatively low price-to-performance ratio, this A/V receiver certainly has our rapt attention.

How does it rate to other models?

I like to compare products in an attempt to give a quick overview of the market and show areas of advancement or similarities. In the case of the VSX-23TXH, it holds up quite well in the marketplace, but of course there is some give and take:

Manufacturer

Pioneer

Marantz

Denon

Yamaha

Onkyo

Model

VSX-23TXH

SR5004

AVR-2310CI

RX-V1065

TX-NR807

MSRP

$1,000

$849

$849

$999

$1,099

Power

110Wx7

90Wx7

105Wx7

105Wx7

135Wx7

HDMI (in/out)

4/2

3/1

5/1

4/1

6/1

THX Certified

Select2 Plus

No

No

No

Select2 Plus

Room EQ

MCACC

MultEQ

MultEQ

YPAO

MultEQ

Video Process.

ABT VRS

Unspec.

ABT 2010

ABT 1012

DCDi

Networking

No

No

No

No

Yes

iPod

Yes

Optional

Optional

Optional

Optional

MultiZone

Z2/Z3 (w/pre)

Z2 (w/pre)

Z2 (w/pre)

Z2 (w/pre)

Z2/Z3 (w/pre)

Weight (lbs)

37.5

28

24.9

24.5

39.7

Pioneer seems to have the edge in video processing and is near the top in terms of its power (beaten only by the Onkyo in specs). It is also the only A/V receiver in this price class to sport dual HDMI outputs, though they are simply wired in parallel and don't offer any discrete functionality (which is fine by us at this price). The VSX-23TXH also comes equipped with an iPod connector cable that handles audio and video from an iPod or iPhone – very unusual at any price point and much appreciated since it saves the cost of a $100+ accessory. For many AV receivers, we'd almost rather they include the iPod dock and forgo the setup calibration microphone, though we'd expect a lot of contention on that point. Let's face it – out of the 10 categories we selected to compare this product against its competition, Pioneer took or matched in half of them. That's not bad since most of the competition clearly won in only one or two areas, with the exception of Onkyo.

The primary features we appreciated about the Pioneer VSX-23TXH included:

  • THX Select2 Plus Certification

  • ABT VRS video processing

  • Dual (2) HDMI outputs

  • 4 HDMI inputs (#4 duplicated on front panel)

  • Included iPod/iPhone USB cable adapter

  • 1080p Upconversion of SD signals via HDMI

  • XM and SIRIUS Satellite Radio ready

  • RS-232C control, two 12VDC triggers

  • 2nd Zone Audio/Video output; Zone 3 Audio out

About the author:
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Clint Deboer was terminated from Audioholics for misconduct on April 4th, 2014. He no longer represents Audioholics in any fashion.

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Recent Forum Posts:

Parrot_HD posts on February 15, 2010 11:27
Does the VSX-23TXH do any redigitizing of the 2-channel analog signal input?

I'm using an Oppo 83se as my cd player using the 2-channel analog outputs into the receiver and wanted to make sure the analog signal it receives doesn't go through any redigitizing process when set to the analog input signal.

I'm thinking about replacing my Anthem AVM30 with this unit.
JackT posts on December 31, 2009 13:17
The VSX-23TXH has the ABT1015 processor. The ABT2010 found in the Denons is a higher-end product.
Adam posts on December 24, 2009 10:02
bandphan, post: 664519
Huh? Im I missing something?
Apparently the best crop of shrums in a decade.


mabuhay55, post: 664814
this is the first time i've heard of using separate receiver for the sub. i would like to try, how do you connect your old to the new receiver?
bandphan, post: 664817
I have no clue what the benefit is when using a powered sub, and would see very little benefit even with a passive sub :o

Okay, for a powered sub, there would be zero benefit - how could there be? There are a number of possible negatives, though, such as having the second receiver attenuate or change the signal.

For a passive sub, an external amp (which could be an older receiver) would be necessary unless we're talking about someone buying a HTIB receiver that has powered outputs for a sub. So, it would be necessary for the VSX-23. I did that with a receiver and some old speakers for fun a couple of years ago (thread here).
bandphan posts on December 24, 2009 09:08
mabuhay55, post: 664814
this is the first time i've heard of using separate receiver for the sub. i would like to try, how do you connect your old to the new receiver?

I have no clue what the benefit is when using a powered sub, and would see very little benefit even with a passive sub :o
mabuhay55 posts on December 24, 2009 09:05
Response to bandphan blog

this is the first time i've heard of using separate receiver for the sub. i would like to try, how do you connect your old to the new receiver?
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