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Discussion Starter #1
Yesterday, I purchased a Pioneer Elite receiver VSX-32 after wondering if I should go with the VSX-1125-K from a Canadian retailer versus a Elite VSX-32 from a retailer at a provincial scale, meaning Quebec. I am not naming names since I don't know all the forum rules.

The VSX-1125-K is not Elite modal but has identical features in comparison to the VSX-32 and the manual is identical words for words except for the modal name.

Unfortunately, Pioneer has provided this canadian retailer, a line of products which the modal numbers can't be found on any Pioneer sites. Also being a major retailer, they play with the base price as they which and since Pioneer doesn't display thoses units, they don't have a proposed MRSP known to the public.

Today, I realized that the regular price for this major retailer has gone down considerably plus an additionnal rebate. Essentially, Pioneer is providing to this retailer a line that undermines the entire value of the trademark Elite.

I don't know yet what I am going to do, but I need to get more facts before deciding to return it.

I have checked a site from Pioneer where you can order parts. The VSX-1125-K isn't listed, but I found the VSX-32. I not really surprised to find that parts number for the VSX-32 are the same as for the VSX-1120-K which is not an Elite. At least the price difference between the two is very small.

Seing that, it means that Pioneer has provided a special line to this retailer without the Elite flag, knowing that the internal hardware is most likely to be the same.

What's the point to pretend that Elite means something when they do things like that. What's the respect towards special stores where you think you go with confidence to buy the best when it may not be true.
 

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It happens all the time. It's marketing. You need to do your own research as it appears that you are doing.

I purchased an Arcam FM tuner recently. I found that they were essentially selling the same tuner under a different model name, considered to be more of an upper end. Some of the other components might be but the tuner was the same spec for spec, the only difference being the shell casework to fit the model line yet despite being the same internally, the one model commanded a significantly higher dollar.

You're faulting Pioneer but did they say anywhere that the Elite VSX-1125-K was better than the Elite VSX-32? I suspect that it was just an assumption that you made having been convinced by marketing that Elite represented a better quality product.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The vsx-1125-k is not marketed as an Elite. And you are right, their marketing strategy worked until now with me, as I believed that Elite meant something.

This morning, it got even worst, the vsx-1325-k which is equivalent to the vsx-33, has now the same base price as the vsx-1125-k.

I will call my retailer this morning to check if the 7 days return policy with full refund applies to receivers also.

With such low price, I would even buy the extended warranty and still save money.
 

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For the record... Yamaha does the exact same thing. They have a "mass retailer" line and then a "boutique" line of model numbers yet the units themselves are identical aside from some minor cosmetic differences. I caught onto to this myself about 10 years ago when I was shopping for a new receiver.
 

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This morning, it got even worst, the vsx-1325-k which is equivalent to the vsx-33, has now the same base price as the vsx-1125-k.

I will call my retailer this morning to check if the 7 days return policy with full refund applies to receivers also.
I see that the VSX-1125-K is on sale for $799. So how much money are we talking about? What did you pay for the Elite (excluding tax)? I assume that you bought the Elite at a specialty retailer?
 

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For the record... Yamaha does the exact same thing. They have a "mass retailer" line and then a "boutique" line of model numbers yet the units themselves are identical aside from some minor cosmetic differences. I caught onto to this myself about 10 years ago when I was shopping for a new receiver.
Yes, Yamaha too. I have a Yamaha receiver and the same unit is manufactured under two different model numbers. Essentially, to the uninitiated, it allows the big box stores to sell the unit at a lower price while the specialty retailers can market a "different" unit at a higher price. It's a different model number, so in theory, not the same unit, thereby preventing price match scenarios and such.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I see that the VSX-1125-K is on sale for $799. So how much money are we talking about? What did you pay for the Elite (excluding tax)? I assume that you bought the Elite at a specialty retailer?
I initially paid $1099, regular price $1199.

I went back to my retailer and explained the situation with a manager who decided to offer another reduction of $150 for a new price of $950.

I could have just return the unit and spend only $799. But considering the after sale service and a third year of warranty, I disregarded the additionnal $100 rebate at the major retailer. Base price for vsx-1125-k at $899 versus sale price of vsx-32 at $950, that was acceptable to me.
 

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The VSX-32 and the 1125 are not identical. There are a couple of differences, the most notable being 12v triggers and a much better warranty. The 1125 is the same as the US 1120. The issue is actually Pioneer's disastrous Canadian website and that the 1125 is a FutureShop exclusive. Pioneer uses special model numbers for exclusives to prevent them being used for price-matching.

So, 1120=1120=1125. The VSX-32 is the 1120 with Elite badging, amber display, Elite warranty, and 12v triggers.

Pioneer are hardly alone in this. The Yamaha example is already noted. Denon does this across a much wider range of models (591 = 1611, 791 = 1911, 891 = 2311CI, 991 = 3311CI). Onkyo also crosses over it's Integra line at similar price points. Denon xx11 models can only be bought from Denon CI dealers, Integra can only be bought from Integra dealers, Elite can only be bought from Elite dealers. The big box lines can be bought anywhere and are much more available online. The manufacturers are actually protecting their upscale dealers by using different model numbers and minor feature differences as compared with the top end of their mainstream lines.
 

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What you consider bad business, is actually good business for Pioneer's dealers that sell Elite. They get to keep an exclusive on the Elite brand.
 

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I can see your point, but if the only difference between the Elite version and the non-Elite version is extra warranty and 12 volt triggers, then to me that cheapens the Elite brand. But it looks like everyone does it, and the consumer must beware.
 

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The Elite brand is far more than a couple of crossover products. It is a line extending upwards from those into some pretty high-end gear. The 31/32/33 give an Elite dealer a product to sell at price points that cannot be met with the SC line and allow those dealers to provide the extras they are known for to a group of customers who would otherwise shop big box. How is that bad business?

Obviously Pioneer and it's Elite dealers don't think so. Neither do Denon and their CI dealers or Onkyo and their Integra dealers.

If Pioneer didn't have these products for their Elite dealers, they would wind up being another Harman Kardon. Further, exposing their higher end products to a mainline distrbution enhances their brand and exposes customers to a range of products not normally found in big box retailers. Customers who may then get an appetite for higher end products and become true Elite customers. Lastly, should they abandon this market segment to Yamaha, Denon, and Onkyo?

It is, in my view, very good business on Pioneer's part.
 

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I remain unconvinced. The Elite brand may have excellent products, but to have their entry level models basically rebadged Pioneers is not treating the customer well. Whether or not it pads their bottom line is not what I am disagreeing with. It's how they are treating the customer by doing this.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Good or bad business, that remains to see. Before buying, I searched for the difference between vsx-32 and vsx-1125-k but didn't find much information nor a debate about branding.

That thread will probably serve others to insist on asking questions about the internals differences and make a decision on what 12v trigger and 3rd year warranty is worth to them.

Btw is a there a thread on using 12v trigger and how to use it and with what?
 

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They are used to automatically turn on other components, like an amplifier. One set up I have is a 2 channel pre-amp, cd player and amplifier. When I turn on my pre-amp with remote control, the other components turn on automatically because they are connected by cable to the 12 volt trigger.
 

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I remain unconvinced. The Elite brand may have excellent products, but to have their entry level models basically rebadged Pioneers is not treating the customer well. Whether or not it pads their bottom line is not what I am disagreeing with. It's how they are treating the customer by doing this.
IMO, you have it completely backwards. The mainline products involved are rebranded Elite models. Elite products have a very strong reputation for quality and reliability. I have a VSX-32 (12V triggers were very important for my setup) and, trust me, it measures up in every way to what I would expect from a mid-level Pioneer Elite product. What they are doing is making Elite level products available to customers of the mainline brand who shop at big box outlets. What you're getting is a product that is very clost to Elite for a non-Elite price. In other words, you are choosing to look at this as the VSX-32 is a rebadged 1120. How about the 1120 is actually a rebadged 32?
 

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Well you sound like a Pioneer enthusiast, or at least someone who follows them like I follow Onkyo. Tell you what, if you're so sure that the customer isn't getting shafted on this, then I will defer to you.

sharkman
 

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vbdino
For any other components to be turned on by a 12 volt trigger, they too must have a 12 volt input on the back of the unit to accept the jack.
 

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Actually, not necessarily a Pioneer enthusiast. Other than car audio, the VSX-32 is the first Pioneer product I've owned.

By the way, do you think an Integra customer is being shafted by identical Onkyo products in London Drugs, Best Buy, and FutureShop? Or, do you think that an Onkyo customer is getting a sweet deal by buying an Integra unit at London Drugs pricing?
 
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