Help selecting Pioneer Elite used receiver

I am looking for used decent surround receiver under $400 (CAD). Following items available used craigslist Canada. Is there a way to understand how the Pioneer Elite VSX series are named based on high-end or low-end? Would any one of experts be able to help pick out any one or two AV receivers from the list below that is outstanding and awesome from this list below?


VSX-94TXH - $375 (CAD)

VSX-01TXH - $300 (CAD)

VSX-09TX - $250 (CAD)

 VSX-80TXV - $250 (CAD)

VSX-56TXI - $250 (CAD)

VSX-07TX - $175 (CAD)

VSX-52TX - $120 (CAD)

VSX-51 (year 1991 model) - $110 (CAD)


Thanks in advance for your advise.



the thing would stop me from buying any of these is that if something was to happen to one of them, can it still be repaired, as they are getting old and parts might not be available.

would cost you more to ship it both ways, parts / labor than it would be worth.


the thing would stop me from buying any of these is that if something was to happen to one of them, can it still be repaired as they are getting old and parts might not be available.


They are impossible to repair. The pro techs won’t touch them anymore for two reasons:

(1) Parts don’t exist other than canniblizing another unit, if one can even be sourced. AVR replacement parts are only available for their brief warranty periods , usually one year in general from new. Then the “new” model number in the next year renders the “old” one obsolete . Without prejudice to this, The cold hard fact is that the build quality for these units - even when brand new - is cheap-as-you-can-make-it made-in-China junk comparatively…. Ergo …. bad.

(2) the cost to repair receivers , even for minor fixes , exceeds their FMV, making it a no-go intuitively.

this proposed buy is for a short-term use at best until it invariably fails, and then it’s a boat anchor. These are also the reasons why dealers won’t touch them either as suitable trade-ins.

if you persist, then buy the cheapest one …full stop.



you betcha sir! You already nailed it !
I quoted your post to emphasize it with some more specific detail on to support that it is (I) lock to fail, (II) impossible to fix, and (iii) a poor purchase and no L-T investment.



another thing the OP would need to consider is with these older models , they are older technically and won’t have the same features the newer models have


think with this info we have put out there, the op might look at something newer

At these prices, You might consider buying two of a model that seems most reliable.

One now, keep your eye out for another at a great price

I bought a Yamaha Receiver, CR-1040. Enough power for my needs, and less $ than the top of the line CR-2040. Turns out there is a relay in the CR-1040 that is potential trouble, and cannot be found separately.

So, I was going to run both my garage and shop speakers together. I do that at conservative volumes, or one or the other when louder, just to avoid pushing it hard, the problem I COULD HAVE KNOWN ABOUT if I had done better research. I also left more breathing space than I might have.

That problem does not exist in the CR-2040 evidently.

fwiw i've used the 80txv in my bedroom for over 12 years--it still works flawlessly and sounds surprisingly good, with more power than you'd expect. $250 does seem pricey for it but it's a good piece. of the others, i think the 94txh was their totl model around 2008 or so--i always thought the pioneer elite ht stuff was a notch above the competition.

@nebulae ,

There are quite a few of the Pioneer Elite series showing up on EBay as refurbished, so at least someone thinks they are still repairable.

Given the constraints or your question and the relatively low cost of any of your choices, I suggest you go for the newest version of the TXH series that you can afford.  These were known for reasonably good SQ in their price range and a long (though now a bit outdated) features list.  Your cost risks ( initial and depreciation) are low and the unit may end up lasting longer than you expect.


From what I can tell the 80TXV is the latest and the 56TXI originally the most expensive. You won't be able to get them repaired unless you have a nearby hobbyist and it's something simple like a parts exchange, but all these are likely to be and stay in good order for a long time. Pioneer receivers sound good and are reliable but at some point they really began gimping the EQ; also not sure many of these will have separate speaker crossover points.

You could go through manuals.lib to compare their specs, focusing on DACs, transformers, etc. If it turns out you do require newer feature sets I'd recommend a current brand new Sony with Atmos 7.2 at about the same cost. Otherwise there's also for more choices.

Thanks a lot to everyone for the detailed responses. This is great advise. I had no idea that repairing older av receiver model is difficult and hard to find parts. How are these AV receivers different from vintage stereo units like preamp/power amp separates? I had my vintage preamp and power amp re-capped last year. How is that different from re-capping surround receivers? 

The guy selling the VSX-94 TXH said the MSRP on the unit was $2000 back in 2008, does that mean it is high end for that year? Expensive units seem to have low THD like under 0.1% for entire 20 hz to 2k hz freq response. I don't know if that something to consider for superior sound quality.

also some units they post ad saying the unit has huge toroidal transformer, I believe that is something worth considering right?

Thanks again to everyone for the feedback.

I had one of the OP choices, can’t remember which, cost me about $200 used 10 years ago.  Used it for 5 years with no issue.  My son has it now and no issues

The OP should be aware that HDMI standards have changed a lot since 2008, and make sure that whatever he or she gets will be compatible with whatever they are going to plug into it.  In fact one reason there are so many models was due to changing HDMI  standards, as well as changes in Audio and Video Codecs.  Sound wise, there isn’t much difference 



The guy selling the VSX-94 TXH said the MSRP on the unit was $2000 back in 2008, does that mean it is high end for that year? 

what else would it mean?