3 months old in mint condition and fully HDMI 1.3a compatible meaning it decodes all the new lossless codecs from HD-DVD and Blu-Ray. Used very briefly in a pre/pro comparison. $1100.
Feature creatures, take note: If you like tweaking, selecting, optimizing, and customizing, read on. But the VSX-94TXH, Pioneer's latest high-range A/V receiver in the company's Elite line, boasts an options list with enough unusual, interesting, and downright useful functions.
Importantly, the basics are well represented, too: full-function HDMI 1.3a inputs (four of 'em) with Faroudja DCDi upscaling, video cross-conversion from lesser formats to HDMI output, 7 x 140 watts of rated power, THX Select 2 certification, onboard decoding of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio (given a compatible player, of course), and auto-setup and calibration with included mike. And these are still the basics.
So there you have it. Or not — because there's still more. The receiver includes Neural-THX Surround, as well as Pioneer's "Sound Retrieval" audio processing, said to improve sound quality to data-compressed MP3s (I can't say I heard any Lazarus-like reanimation, but then I rarely do). Furthermore, the receiver can integrate an iPod with full control and onscreen display via the company's IDK-80 dock ($99). It can also handle two additional zones (one powered by the surround-back speaker outputs), each with independent IR-control inputs and 12-volt triggers. And there's an RS-232 port.
It's all good, but the core of the Pioneer Elite VSX-94TXH remains its very solid audio and video performance, which can stand toe-to-toe with that of today's competing flagship-class A/V receivers. If you're looking for a receiver that does it all — and a fair bit more — and one that sounds and looks good, you may well have found it.