Let's do some Comparisons...
The Denon 2312-3312 and the 3311 Comparisons...http://usa.denon.com/US/Product/Page...3-dbd2a1f57f63
Denon AVR 2312 Brochure.. http://usa.denon.com/DocumentMaster/...2312CI_r10.pdf
Denon AVR 3312 Brochure. http://usa.denon.com/DocumentMaster/...3312CI_r11.pdf
I don't know if the first link above takes you to the Denon Compare page, hopefully it will.
If you just compare the Denon 2312C1 to it's higher priced brothers you will see the jump that is made when you go to the Denon AVR 3312C1 @ $1099.00 to the 3311 at $1199.00
There are a lot of dashes with the 2312 when compared to the check marks of the 3311C1.
The Pioneer VSX 1121 and the Elite VSX 52 compare more to the Denon 3311C than the 2312C1 or 3312 but still has more options than the 3311.
Though like the Denon 3312 which has two HDMI Outs, the Elite VSX 53 also has two HDMI Outs.
The Pioneer VSX 1121 and the Elite VSX 52 are both THX Select Plus 2 Certified.
You have to go to the Denon AVR -5308 at $5499.99 before you will even see THX Certification.
Not to mention, that THX Certification is not just thrown out at will..otherwise ALL Receivers would be THX Certified!
There are exacting standards that have to be to met to be THX Certified, even in HDTV's that are THX Certified!
With the Elite VSX 52 at $900.00 and the VSX 1121 at $750.00 the Denon 2312 at $850.00 falls in the middle price wise,
but I do not feel (spec wise) that it is in the same category of the Elite 52 or the VSX 1121.
The Denon 2312 has more features than the VSX 1021 (which is $550.00) but at $850.00 for the Denon I would hope so.
Maybe others disagree, I don't know...put them side by side and you tell me.
Check out some Pioneer Brochures..
The Elite VSX 52.
FYI - If you have never seen a Elite VSX 52 in person, I'll tell you that the front panel with Elite on it, drops down to reveal additional Connections and Feature Adjustments.
The VSX 1121
(Bold Type Indicates Up-Dates from the VSX 1021 below) Front Panel also Drops down, it just does not have Elite on it.http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/ep...le%20Sheet.pdf
The VSX 1021http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/ep...0Sheet_v12.pdf
Then check out the Specs and Videos for the Elite VSX 52 here...http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PU...ceivers/VSX-52
I will tell you right up front that the Denon's have a GUI Overlay on your TV, in other words you can still see your TV with the Denon Screens on top,
The Pioneer's have a Dedicated GUI meaning that when opened, it is the only screen that you will see.
It is discussed in the three threads that I listed above.
I do not see it as a big deal but that is up to you!
So far, all Posts and Posters have agreed that the Pioneers Sound Very Good!
I would tell you to check the other threads (above) and also check out some Denon threads, maybe even one that specializes on the 2312 / 3312..etc.
Then see if you can check them out in person, most Best Buy "Magnolia" Stores with the dedicated "Home Theater" section will have the Pioneers and the Denons along with some others.
A regular Best Buy will not have the Elite models and maybe not the VSX 1121, all stores should have the VSX 1021.
It really depends on what you want and what is important to you..
You are on the right track though by Looking, Asking and doing your Research ahead of time!
I will usually download the Operators Manuals and look through them.
Elite VSX 52 OP Manual.http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/St...ions051911.pdf
Denon 2312 OP Manual.. http://usa.denon.com/DocumentMaster/...CD-ROM_v00.pdfIn Summary
While Investigating the Denon's for you and also for CobelAli (on the other Elite VSX 52 thread Linked above) I will say that they do look interesting.
I wish that I could have a receiver from different manufacturers in my living room side by side hooked up and ready to go, to experience the actual Setup, Use and Sound of each.
As good as that sounds on paper I know that is a lot of work (maybe more than I want) to find a receiver!
Do I really think that in 2011 and the Computer age of R & D, and with each of the well known manufacturers, how bad can they do?
Will one receiver totally BLOW away all of the others, I don't think so..They will each have different Bells & Whistles and different way's of doing the same thing.
They each will include a reference Mic and use Software to Balance and setup your System in your environment!
Software being what it is today some may be a bit more intuitive than another.
Pick a few Receivers (or any item that you are considering to Purchase..Washing Machines for example) and do as much investigating as you can..go have hands on, One on One..
Which can really be tough because some stores just have them in boxes..Go to a "Home Theater" location if you have one, rather than the local Best Buy.
Talk with the guys there that have dealt with ALL of the Mid to High end units and will probably have them actually set up correctly and with decent speakers!
You do the best that you can and then pull the trigger and go for it.
If you get it home and it is a really bad experience and the Sound Result is less than you want, then try another.
I used Sony's for years and years and then I bought My Pioneer Kuro Plasma HDTV, I really love the TV and ultimately was very impressed with Pioneer.
So when my Sony died, I looked at Pioneer for a replacement and I was impressed by the Looks, Sound and Reviews of the Pioneer receivers.
The Pioneer 1019 was out and getting rave reviews, in the "Sound + Vision" and "Home Theater" Magazines, and like the Kuro Plasma HDTV's
(determined to be THE BEST and What ALL other HDTV's were being compared to) the 1019 was getting rave reviews on the A/V receiver side.
Cnet as well ranked the 1019 as a "Best Buy" receiver..So...I went and checked them out and found that the Pioneer VSX 1020 had just come out.
With the VSX 1020 I liked what I Saw, what I Read and in the store..What I Heard!
So I bought it and like my Kuro, I have been very very happy with it!
The VSX 1020 was a Sound that I had never heard before, my Sony was a Dolby Pro Logic unit but when it came out, there was not the true "Surround" sound that is available today.
The first time I put in a Blu-Ray with 5.1 Surround, I just sat with a huge smile on my face realizing what I had been missing!
Fast forward a year and a half and the need for a receiver to go with my Pioneer Plasma HDTV in my living room....
I looked at a few receivers but it was Pioneer that I wanted and the Elite has been as rewarding to me as the VSX 1020 was.
I was not going to start bringing receiver after receiver through my living room as test cases.
Had the Elite VSX 52 really sounded bad then I would consider a change.
But it does not and because I do have the VSX 1020, I already had a leg up on the Software..Been there done that!
So everything was very comfortable...That's it!
Good Luck to you and your Search for what will ultimate lead to the future of A/V in your home.
Myself, I give two thumbs up for the Pioneer.....
PS. Sorry for the length, I get started and this is what ya get! LOL!