Pioneer VSX-1124 AV Receiver Test Bench

0.1% THD 1.0% THD
2 Channels Continuously Driven, 8 Ohm Loads 117.4 watts 136.7 watts
5 Channels Continuously Driven, 8 Ohm Loads 73.7 watts 94.9 watts
7 Channels Continuously Driven, 8 Ohm Loads 68.3 watts 83.0 watts

Analog frequency response in Pure Direct mode:
–0.15 dB at 10 Hz
–0.04 dB at 20 Hz
–0.14 dB at 20 kHz
–3.30 dB at 50 kHz

Analog frequency response with signal processing:
–0.88 dB at 10 Hz
–0.26 dB at 20 Hz
–0.16 dB at 20 kHz
–17.26 dB at 50 kHz

The graph above shows that the VSX-1124-k’s left channel, from CD input to speaker output with two channels driving 8-ohm loads, reaches 0.1% distortion at 117.4 watts and 1% distortion at 136.7 watts. Into 4 ohms, the amplifier reaches 0.1% distortion at 125.3 watts and 1% distortion at 167.8 watts.

There was no multichannel input to measure. THD+N from the CD input to the speaker output was less than 0.062% at 1 kHz when driving 2.83 volts into an 8-ohm load. Crosstalk at 1 kHz driving 2.83 volts into an 8-ohm load was –78.72 dB left to right and –79.65 dB right to left. The signal-to-noise ratio with an 8-ohm load from 10 Hz to 24 kHz with “A” weighting was –108.91 dBrA.

From the Dolby Digital input to the loudspeaker output, the left channel measures –0.14 dB at 20 Hz and –0.30 dB at 20 kHz. The center channel measures –0.01 dB at 20 Hz and –0.30 dB at 20 kHz, and the left surround channel measures –0.01 dB at 20 Hz and –0.30 dB at 20 kHz. From the Dolby Digital input to the line-level output, the LFE channel is +0.02 dB at 20 Hz when referenced to the level at 40 Hz and reaches the upper 3-dB down point at 117 Hz and the upper 6-dB down point at 120 Hz. —Mark. J. Peterson

The Pioneer sailed through all of our 1080p-input-to-1080p-output video tests (clipping and resolution). However, its upconversion was subpar. This was most evident in the 3:2 SD and MA SD tests. On real program material (as contrasted to our special test patterns, which showed some moire on the 3:2 HD tests), problems in the Pioneer AVR’s 3:2 HD upconversion (1080i to 1080p) proved difficult to spot. But on close viewing of fast-motion 480i SD film-based material, jaggies and stuttering were quite visible. The tests indicated that the problem was in the deinterlacing step (480i to 480p), not the scaling (480p to 1080p). If your sources or display offer good upconversion, we recommend doing the upconversion there and turning the Pioneer’s video conversion off&mash;for a direct passthrough. (In comparison, the Oppo BDP-105D used in the tests upconverted cleanly.) —Tom Norton

(800) 421-1404

mi6_'s picture

I had been waiting for a review of this receiver, however, I broke down and bought it a week ago not having seen a detailed review like this. Had I waited for your review, I probably wouldn't have bought the receiver after seeing the up -scaling test. I never really use the up-scaling so it isn't a huge concern for me in hindsight.

That's said I have been very happy with it and I'm glad I purchased the receiver. It replaced a 5 year old Yamaha receiver. The sound is nothing short of amazing and the MCACC calibration worked great and was easy to use.

I use it to upscale my cable box from 1080i to my 1080p TV and have noticed absolutely no up scaling issues (though admit I haven't viewed your test material). There is an update available for this receiver that I installed. I'm wondering if you installed the update before conducting your review? If not, do you think the update may have addressed any of the up-scaling issues? Could this also have been a defective receiver? If my memory serves me correctly, last years equivalent Pioneer model faired much better in up-scaling testing.

While I agree this doesn't have HDCP 2.2 DRM, I wouldn't say that is an issue. UHD is still far from being commonly used and I personally don't beleive that it will be common place in the coming years. TV providers still don't even transmit TV signals in full HDTV 1080p (stuck with 720p or 1080i) and the amount of Internet bandwidth needed to stream UHD content is out of reach for most internet users in North America. Just because Sony and Netflix stream in UHD won't make me run out to buy an UHD TV. Even if UHD content somehow manages to become fairly common by then I'll probably be in the market for a new receiver anyhow.

If you are reading this and considering purchasing this receiver I highly recommend it. Amazing sound for not much money and I highly recommend it.

SimboSambo's picture

Hi Mark,

Thanks for a tremendous review as always. Just to expand on sathishdht's question - if a friend of yours was building a new home AV set-up from scratch, and they were deciding between the Sony STR DN1050, the Denon AVR-S900W and the Pioneer VSX-1124, all things being equal (and ignoring the *marginally* higher cost of the Denon), which would you go for yourself? (Don't sit on the fence now...!!)

I'm in precisely that position, and I'm stuck :-)

Thanks for your insight...


Mark Fleischmann's picture
As I said above, I haven't had the receivers together at the same time -- we just don't do that kind of comparative reviewing. So I can only go into previously published facts. The Sony and Denon are both triple wireless, unlike the Pioneer, which has AirPlay but requires dongles for wi-fi and Bluetooth. The Denon is voiced a little warmer than the other two, but you should probably make your decision based on features, since these three have identical performance ratings. Go to the manufacturer spec sheets and decide what you're willing to live without.
Jrod0125's picture

A review of the step up model? Either the SC-81 or SC-82? I know S&V gave a very nice review of the SC-71 last year and I'm wondering how it compares to the newest Elites.

cbetz71's picture

I just purchased this and am wondering if its possible to do a 9.1 setup? I know you can wire 9 speakers,but only 7 channels are driven. if I use the pre out and amp the front speakers,will this drive the remaining 7? also,im a long time sony guy,so I feel like im cheating on her by going the way of pioneer. if you had to choose between the vsx1124 or the sony str dn1050,which would you choose? lastly, there are a fair amount of negative reviews regarding build quality with the pioneer. lots of this or that failed after a few months,and some this or that doesn't work like its supposed to.i realize some of these are user error,but am wondering if you have noticed any of these reports or experienced any issues first hand. thanks in advance.

jdesan's picture

As usual S&V raving about a product that just doesn't work 100% of the time. Check the reviews over at Amazon ( ) This AVR has a lot of features for the price but apparently not very reliable. And so the main reason for my comments here are that it's not a good "features for Price" if they don't work. Pioneer sold to Onkyo? Another AVR I've never liked as they always run way too hot for me. Reviews from Mags are worthless to me as they never include the most important thing and that is does it work for everybody? I've even seen some reviews from S&V " had an issue with such and such, they sent me another one" hey! What does that say about the product. I know you can't live with every thing you review but You should at least check some real world consumer reviews and at least tell us that there are issues being experienced by some. The VSX 1124 is NOT a good deal at any price from what I can see all over the Internet. ( I'm sure this will be edited or thrown out )