Pioneer VSX-D812 versus Pioneer Elite VSX-41


Unregistered guest
I wonder why the Pioneer Elite VSX-41 ($350 or so) costs so much more than a Pioneer VSX-D812 ($225). Both have very similar looks, specs and features. They weight the same as well, so I wonder how similar they are inside.

Is the Elite line really built differently? Or is it all marketing?

As far as I can tell, the VSX-41 has better D/A converters, an extra optical input (on the front panel), a learning remote, 110W instead of 100W. The D812 has a few extra surround modes and manual MCACC delay and level calibration (which the 41 does not have)


Bronze Member
Username: Johnny

Post Number: 75
Registered: 12-2003

I am by no means an expert on the Elite line, but in my quest for a new receiver a couple of months ago, I was looking at the VSX-41 for a short time. For the most part, the Elite line is definately built much differently than the rest of the Pioneer models. The power supplies, DAC's, etc. are all MUCH better in the Elite line. In fact, I think Elite receivers have some of the best power supplies out there. However, from what I understand, the 41 is the exception to this rule. For this model, as you have found through your research, I think the "Elite" designation is probably mostly marketing. I have heard from several different sources (including many on this forum) that the 41 is basically the same as a "regular" Pioneer and is generally vastly inferior to the other monsters in the Elite line. These warnings seemed to be proven correct when I actually listened to the 41. Its sound was no where near as warm and inviting as the others in the Elite line. I came across something else when doing my research on the 41...don't believe the 110 watt power rating. I checked the online owners manual, and if I remember correctly, this rating was only with 2 channels driven and at 1kHz (as opposed to all channels driven at the entire audible spectrum). This all means that the power ratings of the 41 are much, I don't know, but I do know it won't get anywhere near 110 watts at that price. That right there tells me that it is not a true "Elite" since all of the other Elite receiver are rated much more conservatively.

Silver Member
Username: Elitefan1

Post Number: 166
Registered: 12-2003
The vsx41 really does not belong in the Elite line and IMO Pioneer has made a marketing decision to include a low priced unit in that line. The 41 is nowhere near the quality of the 53 and up which are built very differently and use only first rate components. If you want a legitimate Elite go for the vsx53 at least.
$350 is a very good price for the 41 however and I have not seen it in my local Elite dealer at anywhere near that price. I would definately buy it over the 812, but you might want to look at the 912 also.

Unregistered guest
Thanks guys,

This confirms my suspicions.

However, I was looking at the D812/Elite41 because of pre-amp outputs on all channels. I will be driving my main speakers with an old power amplifier I've had for years. Therefore I'm not too concerned that the unit can't drive full power on all channels.

The prices I quoted are off the web in the US. I'm in Canada where the MSRP is CDN$529 and $1000 for both units, but I can get them for CDN$484 and CDN$581 respectively. I'm told the large rebate on the Elite 41 is because it's at the end of its cycle.

Therefore, I'm looking at spending about $100 extra for the E41 to get: (1) a learning remote, (2) 3 year warranty instead of 1 year, (3) better D/A converters and (4) the front panel input selector is a toggle instead of individual buttons.

I'm not aware of receivers with pre-amp outputs on all channels for this price range. The D912 has a MSRP of CDN$699, so it's yet another price increase to what I wanted to spend (initially a Panasonic SA-HE75 for CDN$278! Then I saw the Pionner D812 and then the Elite 41. The price creeps up each time :-)

I could ask my dealer how much the D912 would go for... He can also get me a Denon AVR-1603 for CDN$480, but it doesn't have pre-amp outputs.

Unregistered guest
Just looked up the D912... It looks even more similar to the Elite-41. It has 110W and the same remote. It has automatic setup with microphone that the E41 doesn't have.

Interesting! Almost the same unit!

Unregistered guest
Okay, earlier I said there weren't many receivers with pre-outs on all channels...

What do people think about the NAD T742?

It's 50Wx5 or 60Wx2 (at 0.08% THD). It has pre-outs on all channels so I can still use my old power amp. 50W is only 3dB less than 100W anyway, so it seems enough for me (also considering that the 100W rated on the Pioneer may be inflated a bit).

I _think_ I could get the NAD for about CDN$600 which is the same price as the Pioneer Elite VSX-41.



Unregistered guest
Oops. I think that $600 price tag for the NAD was in US dollars after all. :-(

So... The Pioneer Elite VSX-41 looks similar to the VSX-D912. Which should I get?
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