SC-LX81 user reviews

Pioneer SC-LX81

Tested at £1500

It’s big, beautiful and brilliantly balanced, but the Pioneer no longer sits at the very top of the pile


What differences are there between the SC-LX81 and the SC-LX71?

The LX71 has only one HDMI output, and is 300quid cheaper. If you don't need the dual outputs, it's the one to go for.

Bought this amp 2weeks ago to go with my pioneer LX-71 blu ray player. I was replacing a £3000 denon AV1SR amp so was a bit nervous about loosing quality as the denon is a great big power house of an amp.

I listen to a fair amount of music but watch a lot more movies. I was pleasently surprised to find the Stereo reproduction nearly as good as the denon only loosing a small amount of detail but having masses of drive and staying true when run at high volumes. So far so good.

My real reason for buying this amp is to listen to blu ray films in DDHD + DTS MSTR. One word, AMAZING!!!  The delivery of these soundtracks is awesome, 1 minute its quiet as a mouse, the next its sending shockwaves through your chest frieghtning the life out of you, noise and such low base everywhere in your room traveling with such speed then its all quiet again, thats when i notice my finger nails imbeded in the sofa...

I have ran the pioneer blu ray player and a panasonic DMP-50 blu ray player into my old denon via the analogue outputs and produced good results but allways only marginally better than DD or DTS. The pioneer LX-81 amp with its onboard decoders is in another league. My old denon is now out to pasture.....  

Sounds great, where can I get one for free? Smile

This should not be 4, this is worrying, it almost seems bias (not saying it is). How could you give this a 4, it should be 5 hands down, anyway, they are hard to find now, o well!

Fantastic Amp at a remarkable price. Can only see them getting more expensive in the future, hence the price rises this time. I bet they up the price next year as well.

Fantastic specification, worthy of a much higher price - an amp of this quality used to cost near £3000, fantastic achievement pioneer.

"but there is one more multichannel amplifier that could stand in its way..." And that is? The LX71? Smile

Hmmmm.  How confusing.  I no longer understand, or trust Whathifi reviews.

Last years award winner the Pioneer SCLX81 (which I bought) was knocked off its 5 star rating by the Sony STR-DA5400ES, and now rates 4 stars.

Enter the Pioneer SCLX82.  EXACTLY the same ice amplifiers, but adds a front hdmi, updated interface and other very minor updates, and around 400 pounds to the price and we are suddenly back to 5 stars and another years award thanks very much.  So the Pioneer no longer 'lacks the depth and detail of class leader' Sonys STR-DA5400ES???  Is this because it is now 400 pounds dearer and in a higher class then the previous SCLX81??? Pleaaaaaaase.

Dont get me wrong I am a huge fan of the Pioneer SCLX81, hence why I bought it and was disappointed when the Sony took its 5 star rating.  I am sure the SCLX82 is just as good, and the minor updates welcomed but its ampilifers etc are exactly the same.  Checkout other reviews on the net.

I am just very very confused by the whole rating and awards system as there appears to be absolutely no consistency or accuracy.

Anyone care to enlighten me, or am I reading all this info wrong??  I note the review of the SCLX82 on techradar as an example.

Please please whathifi return to your trustworthy glory days, when accuracy and trust was supreme.

ajharris: too right! Did you know loads of people who wanted an LX-81 in 2009 have had to wait months to get one? Don't know about UK, but on the continent the LX-81 sells for up to 40% more than the 5400ES - real-life prices not RRP. The LX-81 is expensive and yet still hard to get as supply struggles to meet demand. The 5400ES is easy to get hold of and seems to get cheaper every week where I am. The market has spoken!

The LX-81 is a god amongst receivers that cost less than two grand. Ignore What Hi-Fi's bizarre comments about the 5400ES and buy this amp before they stop making them (I heard a rumour that this will happen quite soon). It is basically a mini-Susano at (in relative terms) a mini-mini price. Supreme for movies, very impressive for stereo playback. The MCACC set-up is comprehensive, easy to tinker with and just a joy. Contrary to what the review states, this amp has more depth and detail than the Sony. I don't know about "attack", I tried out both amps and neither attacked me or anyone else. Mind you, when I tell mine the things "What Hi-Fi" has been saying it may be only a matter of time.

wilsact: Ah, brother! An LX-81 owner looking wistfully at the LX-82 and wondering what might have been in a more patient world. I agree with your reservations about the reviewing of the LX-81, but there is more to the 81/82 divide than you make out. Our beautiful machine cannot offer multi-channel PQLS, the 82 can. That of course does not explain why the 81 is a '4 star' machine though; for a simple reason, you should never try to make sense of nonsense.....


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