Firstly I am not moaning about the obvious - that is paying a "New Zealand premium" for these products. This about something I discovered on AreaDVD translated. As people might know Pioneer and Onkyo are essentially the same company. On AreaDVD they did reviews of the Onkyo TX-NR656 and the Pioneer VSX- 1131 as well as the Denon AVR X2300W. Now if you look at the reviews you will see they are all priced between 600-700 EUR (950NZD -1120NZD) With 50EUR difference between the Onkyo and the Pioneer. The images and the specifications of the Onkyo and Pioneer are very interesting. They are basically the SAME receiver. Same layout, same components, same transformers. Different front panel but same back panel. So I was interested to see if there was a difference reflected in the reviews. Not much, some software differences - Video upscaling, "pioneer sound" actually the Onkyo may come out better in terms of Home Theatre punch.
So how will the New Zealand importers deal with these two models?
I suspect the company which has the monopoly on Pioneer Av Receivers will go with the highest "New Zealand premium" they can get away with. (I don't think the company who supplies them are particularly competitive) and the company which imports the Onkyo's will be competitive (traditionally they offer good prices on their Onkyos as well as really good end of line discounts)
And the Denon? Well that is supposed to better than the other two.
Some companies will offer good promotional discounts and end of line discounts. Some companies never do! (pioneer and denon suppliers)
So if you are tempted to buy the Pioneer for $1999 ( current price on the VSX 1130) DON'T! The Onkyo is the same machine plus if you wait a bit you might get it for under $800 (Onkyo TX -NR646 discounted at $799)
If you buy the VSX 1131 you will feel badly ripped off in a year from now!!
Image of Onkyo
Image of Pioneer