Pioneer SC-LX85 AV-receiver

The SC-LX85 is the most recent from Pioneer in a lauded line of high performance AV receivers. It is apparently a replacement for the award winning SC-LX83, which means a revamp that is casual, but it arrives throwing a longer, more noble shadow. This can be power station of a receiver, a sumptuous - so say it does not sometimes drop the ball, but that is not.

Build quality is superb. It is not white but the fascia detail is gently classy, with metallic trim on the input signal and volume dials adding just a little sparkle.

The rear plate is not unpack but reasonable. The absolute amount of input signals ensures complex systems users will find ingress. Dual output signals are got by you, also.

New because the SC-LX83 is a characteristic dubbed HDMI Standby Through, which routes the output signal from any source that is connected, be it Sky HD, Freeview High Definition or VirginMedia TiVo, right through to your own TV with no need to engage the receiver. Given that partners often dislike powering a home cinema system up simply to keep one eye on Celebrity Big Brother, this instantly makes it a domestic appliance that is more adapting. You will likely locate your electricity bills falling at the same time.

The AVR boats having a well made, backlit RF remote control - significantly finer compared to button-strewn IR zapper provided down the Pioneer positions. My co-worker Richard Stevenson swears by it - but I am still a handset sorta man.

The inclusion of Apple AirPlay can also be big news in regards to other attribute add-ons. The SC-LX85 an iPad direct cans also charge. Not all AVRs possess the electric cojones to get this done.

The receiver can become a DLNA renderer, letting you shove on or tablet PC and music apart, having a suitable DLNA program.

This abundance of file support does not extend to playback from USB. Load music up from FLAC and an attached stick, AAC and Ogg files are deemed by the SC-LX85 to be unreadable. Given that it is generally network playback that's less versatile, it is an interesting (and unwanted) anomaly.

Obviously, all this networking does emphasize one key shortcoming of the SC-LX85. It does not offer built in Wifi. Be sure to own a LAN connection accessible when planning your install.

Power Station operation

Just how can the SC-LX85 really seem? This receiver joins and exact steerage and tremendous dynamic power.

Here is the fourth generation of high end Class D from the brand, and that I reckon it is got all the way down audiophile digital amplification into a fine art. In the event you ever want it - you will not - Pioneer quotes 810W of constant power over nine channels (the stepdown SC-LX75 offers 720W). By any measure, that is an avalanche of sound.

A reasonable amount of the refinement of the amp must be down to the painstaking tuning procedure ran at the revered AIR Studios in London; it is at this point the engineers find more inventive methods for injecting analogue sweetness into its heart that was digital.

The SC-LX85 is also THX Ultra 2 Plus. There's a continuing discussion regarding the worth of THX post-processing, but I Have consistently loved the warm homogeny it brings to soundtracks. Obviously, you can find exceptions, especially Blurays combined with home theatre at heart, but these would be the exception instead of the rule. I had rate THX Ultra 2 Plus post-processing a must have for cineastes.

For all its sophistication, having the SCLX85 set up is comparatively clear-cut, thanks to the MCACC room calibration system of the brand. Using the provided plug in mic, it takes just a couple of minutes produce a stab at correcting any acoustical room nasties, right period and to equalise degrees, like standing waves.

Yet another facet of the alchemy is a video alteration characteristic, with filters preset to fit differing screen technologies. Should you possess a projection system, plasma screen or take advantage of an LED TV, information obtained by the MCACC capture procedure can be used to control degrees and image improvement of noise reduction. There is additionally a Streaming Video Correction, but this turns out to not be effective and is left off. Using conventional test patterns, it was clear that with the latter characteristic participated, fine elements that are perpendicular were lost rather than improved. I am sure that was not the goal of Pioneer's boffins...

This receiver is not slow. Among the lovely things about ICEpower amplification is the way it can provide fast, strong transients. Explosions hit fast and hard, using a dynamic retort simply not heard on kit that was lesser. The AVR additionally plays really loud without distortion or strain.

I located recognizable hits given fresh energy by the main of Pioneer. The sequence ends when the whole 360-degree soundstage is submerged. It is a listening experience that is spectacular, enthralling.

As you'd expect for an AVR costing GBP2,000, the SC-LX85 is equally it's surround sound films, making it a natural partner for A DSD style lets you pour multichannel sound directly over HDMI, also it seems amazing.

Placement and detail is outstanding.

This needs a fitting PQLS-empowered Bluray player so that you can get rid of time mistakes.

The SC-LX85 refines other characteristics seen on previous versions. One appeal that is intriguing is Phase Control Plus. The point is you could increase the tonal balance of Blu ray content by correcting LFE delays that might happen to be created through the encoding procedure. Rather whether there are any erroneous delays in walloping huge explosions, the way you work out remains to be seen - but it might be interesting to attempt.

More useable is the fundamental Phase Control mode, which ensures that extremely disparate loudspeakers share exactly the same timbre -perfect audio panning.

The SC-LX85 is hands down the most fascinating and exhilarating AV receiver I Have auditioned in the last year; a top flight product that truly is exceptionally well constructed, and shoves the standard home theatre envelope and generously equipped.

When an item of kit sends a thrill of delight down your back each single time you turn on it, you realize it is actually quite unique.

Pioneer SC-LX85 AV-receiver photo