VSX-LX53 user reviews

Pioneer VSX-LX53

Tested at £1300

Best receiver £1000-£1500, Awards 2010. Excellent amplifier, and a useful upgrade.


just ordered one of these for £759.... can't wait to receive it. should be a really decent upgrade from my denon 1910... fingers crossed it'll sound good with my b&w 3.1 set up (683+htm62+610XP)

As ever, Bill Tyke, when we get a review sample. Not sure when it's due.

Both the Yamaha and Onkyo would be terrific with your MA package, fouker, although in our Nov Group Test the Onkyo just beat the Yamaha by the narrowest of margins.

john550 - we mention the budget amplifiers for the very reason you have questions: with the cheaper products offering so much, what sets the pricier ones apart? The answer, in the case of the Pioneer, is a clear step up in performance, and worthy of its comparatively premium price.

And the reason I mention spec is that the quality of components, build, and - ever more crucially - processing/software engineering - may not be instantly obvious from a basic features list.

They can only be appraised by a thorough look and listen to the products concerned: another reason for the higher-end products to be directly compared with their budget siblings in a test environment

john550 - you have misunderstood; we're certainly not saying the Pioneer is a budget amp. We're making the point that it's a clear step up from those cheaper products, and thereby justifies its premium. And remember, all our reviews are comparative, so we've put the Pioneer up against rivals in its price point as well as those at lower level; it wouldn't get five stars otherwise.

Finally, i'd caution against judging any product on spec alone, which is what you seem to be doing.

We're going to have to agree to disagree on this one - but we've spent enough time with the product (and indeed many, many AV receivers!) to be confident in our judgement here.

I think what everyone is trying to say is What have Pioneer done that has significantly made this version better over the vsx-lx52? What is that extra �500 getting the customer? Are there better PSU, better dacs etc. What physical part has given this significant jump in performance?

Anyone looking at the Pioneer LX53 should also consider the Yamaha RX-V2067 as it is cheaper and has a better looking front panel!

The choice between the two would depend on your personal listening preferences and speaker choice. I like the warmer and more natural sound of the yamaha over the Pioneeer and find it easier on the ear with my speakers especially when listening for prolonged periods.

In the end it should come down to personal choice and not some reviewers star rating.

Dandycobalt,its your reciever & your decision,as i said i'd i try to stick to all LX branded gear as it works a treat together.All i was pointing out was the price difference between the two machines.If it was'nt for this cash strapped era,i'd prob do the same.I see you got your 9.1 pro-log2z working:good for you.Smile

DandyCobalt-Hope its working out for you,fair play mate.

Fair enough,but why even mention that it stands with the best of the budget pack,when clearly its a midrange,gulp:1300 stg reciever.Im not only speaking spec alone,im also talking price per pound  which WHF strictly adheres to.Why would i be cautioned about talking about a units spec alone?Whats wrong with that?Even though if anybody reads the posts they will see i was talking about comparitive build,price per pound & spec.

Fair enough,Clare.Anyway i tried debating a point a couple of times before,and got simular total disagreement.As when it comes to a customer disagreeing with a WHF reviewer,theres only 1 opinion that matters:WHFs.Here is 1 customer who has lost confidence in WHF S&V's price per pound motto & i honestly mean no offence.Regards-John.

OK.Then look at it this way.Anyone could buy a vsx-lx70 @ less than a grand,not even 2 years ago,and that machine was their top reciever then (apart from the sc-90)I would gladly take that machine over the lx-53.More than likely better amp section,& its built like your award winner last year the sc-lx82.Fair enough slightly less specced machine,but better build quality,with a more powerful amp for approx. 1000 at the time.So IMHO the lx-53 is not worth the 1300stg pioneer is asking for a midrange reciever.Crazy money.Regards.

Please dont get me wrong as i have mostly every issue of WHF mag since early 2008 and its a great mag for kit-hunters,but some late reviews are a bit baffling in regards to your price-per-pound issue that you adhere to.regards-John.

Precisely,& i dont judge any unit on spec alone.If i done that i'd have to say its the same machine as the vsx1018 bar HDMI1.4,2 MORE INPUTS,FLASHIER GUI AND....

The review of the vsx-2020(can be gotten for 900 euros)will be an interesting review as the two machines are almost identical!

The vsx-2020 has the same THX select2 plus processing and same bluetooth adapter & i'd bet it has the same power supply,identical inputs/outputs & probably identical under the hood as the vsx-lx53.Weight:VSX2020 13.1kg vs.LX53 13.4= lx53 weighing .3kg more,which would be due to the alluminium front i'd imagine.They're the same machine bar the alluminium front & lx badge.Dont get me wrong i know its a lovely AVR,but i think i'd have saved myself a few hundred stg in going for the VSX-2020.I have all lx pio gear myself bar the BDP-320 which i got for 140stg vs. the 300stg i would have paid to have a nicer finish in the BDP LX52 but same kit under the hood so....Anyway the non-lx BDP blends in lovely anyway..i reckon you get my point:)

where did pioneer go wrong with the vsx-lx52 @800stg with same spec & more than likely same under the bonnet apart from the hdmi 1.4 3D passthrough & aluminium finish?This one costs 1399rrp stg with the lx8/73 to follow.I think WHF are being very kind with 5-stars @ 1400 compared to 4 stars for the very simular vsx-lx52 @ 8-900 stg.Wheres the price per pound that WHF adheres to?Certainly not here.

Whf says "its more than good enough to justify its price over the best of the budget pack" and your current best budget av amps are the sony str-800/onkyo 608 which both can be gotten for 250-400stg.So is the pioneer vsxlx-53 the new budget leader @1300 because we're into sony str-ES5400 territory cost here.


Will you be reviewing the LX83 anytime soon?


How about the Yamaha RX-V1067, 8 in/2 out. http://whathifi.com/Review/Yamaha-RX-V1067

I've been the proud owner of an LX53 for two weeks. The choice for me was between the VSX-2020 and the LX53 - which on paper have identical specs, except the LX53 has an aluminium front and bluetooth-enabled (not sure I'll actually use this). For me, the LX-53 is an upgrade from an excellent, but outdated, Pioneer D2011 (and I also owned a 1011 on a smaller system), since I have five different HDMI source inputs, plus two HDMI outputs needed to a Pioneer plasma and a new Sony HW15 projector (excellent, by the way!).

Why Pioneer? Same controls etc as the previous, so easier to convince wife that it simplifies life. Why 2020/LX53? - six hdmi inputs (one useful at front for HD camcorder), two hdmi outputs, plus THX audio. Why LX53 over the 2020? Partly cosmetic, partly faith in Pioneer that it will be a better-build/sounding machine (my 1011 just packed in but the 2011 still going strong with a lot more use).

) The audio and visual results are excellent - coupled with a Cambridge Audio BD Azur, the stereo and surround are magnificent with HD and SACD recordings. Even wife is happy. Just about to add some front height speakers to use the full capacity of the amp and take it to 9.1 for those helicopter moments:-).  

Just added two discrete Boston Acoustics Satellites as Front Heights, so 9.1 using ProLogicIIz through the LX53. We have a fairly small room (about 4m by 5m) but the additional speakers do seem to fill out the atmospheric sound quite nicely. I've got Q-Acoustic 1050 floorstanders and 2000C centre, so the Boston speakers might be a bit small - I'm adjusting their output via the LX53 advanced MCACC to get the right effect.

Perhaps when WhatHIfi review the VSX2020, they could also audition its 9.1 capabilities and sound? I must admit Dolby ProLogic IIz was a new one to me before I started looking at upgrading my amp. They could also get some sort of explanation directly from Pioneer for the cost difference between the 2020 and LX53, and any  performance or component differences.

Thanks John550, maybe I have too much faith in Pioneer's integrity, though would be nice if Pioneer explained the difference as very hard to find comparative tech spec of the components. Actually, the LX53 comes with the bluetooth dongle in the box, but you have to pay extra for the dongle for the 2020. However, having installed everything, I'm not sure I'll even use bluetooth, given the interactivity of the Apple ipod/ipad remote App and the new £99 Apple tv.

Oh well, in the absence of knowing whether the extra cash got me better components....I have great sound and an aluminium front to admire Smile  

This is now going at £801.19 on ebay. good buy?


I actually looking for something with at least 6 input/2 output 1.4 HDMIs. Dun need 9.1 ch. Anyone with suggestions other than LX53?

Yes I did a bit more research and it looks like the Yamaha  RX-V1067 as well as the Onkyo TX-NR808 may fit my bill. Both have sufficient 1.4 HDMI ports as well as DLNA and networking so I can hook it directly to my NAS.

I have a Monitor Audio R90HD12. Which amp goes better with these speakers?


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