Pioneer SC-LX86

Tested at £2200

Best home cinema amplifier £1500+, Awards 2012. A multichannel powerhouse, the SC-LX86 sets a new benchmark at this pricepoint


Got a brand new SC-LX 86, 60% off the original price!

I combined it with my Monitor Audio RX Silver 5.1 (with RX 2).  Switch the front speaker (RX2) to small and pull back the X curve by 1.5 to 2 dB and digital filter to slow (all for warmer sound and punchier bass). Got seperate setting for music and movies.

With music (stereo), pull back with subwoofer by 3 dB (after Full Automatic Calibration).  But with movies (5.1 setting), increased both subwoofer and rear speakers by 5 dB.

Both with music and movies, it was excellent.

Looking from other forums of other Pioneer users (from 2009), I able to match my SC LX 86 to my brighter MA RX2.  The problem was the bass rising fast and steeply and therefore, boosting the higher frequencies.  Apparently, I need to choose the shortest time before the bass reverb had risen too much.  I first changed the front MA RX2 speakers to small.  At the "Advanced EQ Set up", I selected 10-30ms and then, changed the front speakers back to large.  You can also increase the channel of the Subwoofer by 1 or 2 dB if you wish.   The result was excellent.  I can't hear anymore brightness without compromising details.  Now, I got addicted to listening to both music and movies alike.

I believe the SC LX86 is excellent that it can adapt and get the best from your speakers (even britgther ones).

So, if you got bright speakers try to experiment with Pioneer's "Advanced EQ Set up" and hear the difference.

Review is good. Went to listen to it at Holborn Sevenoaks with B&W CM9 & PV1D - Punchy , Crisp,Clear & Sharp. Plenty of power. Purchased and added Marantz SACD. Delighted. Just wish there were more SACD.

How has the new iphone and Ipod 5 generations affected this piece of kit?

from what i gather less than10% of highend avr's dont convert a direct stream to pcm. Its an on-paper statistic imo,as some or most av amps/receivers that "only" convert to pcm actually have digital stream capable wolfson,burr brown etc dac chips,so for how much difference it actually makes,nobody seems to know as the difference is supposedly inaudible, & considering the complete lack of sacds,its a small percentage of self proclaimed audiophiles,who mostly bring this issue up. Dont get me wrong,a potential buyer spending 2k+ is quite entitled to know if their unit is dsd capable,its just not many are bothered one way or the other...Im not sure sony & philips give a hoot either.

I have never seen any mention of how DSD is handled in any write-ups I've read here. I would like to ask the authors to do some homework and enlighten themselves as to what DSD is and how it works in equipment such as this.

It seems to me that this amp might very well be capable of dealing with DSD in the best possible way, i.e. not convert it to PCM before output to the speakers. If so, then it would be possible to send a Pure DSD signal from say a Pioneer 610 SACD player via HDMI and not have any conversion at all of DSD to PCM. The ideal scenario for SACD playback! Smile

With this amp it might also be possible to use a PC connection and playback thoses nice DSD downloads from the likes of Blue Coast, etc..

Except your review mentions these 'audio filters' that one can not turn off, except to use analogue ins in the Pure Direct mode. I don't know what these filters would do to a DSD stream, but imagine they would, almost certainly, immediately convert it to PCM before further messing with it's purity. As far as I know, it is usually the case that one needs to use HDMI to send non-converted DSD from an SACD player to another device. It is so with my Pioneer 610.

Please enlighten us on how this device deals with DSD and please, in future reprt on this as an inportant factor with any amp/SACD player that might possibly be able to deal with DSD without converting it to PCM.





This has had me curious as well (as I now have this AVR and the BDP-LX55) .  My Denon 3808a AVR from 2007 vintage did pure DSD via their propriety link, Denon Link - or any HDMI 1.2a or higher compatible player.  I had the BDP-LX55 hooked up to the Denon, which did DSD direct too, so maybe it's the PQLS that cause the conversion?  I have a 1.2a compatible Oppo DVD / SACD player that I will try for DSD direct playback.

good review,if not quite as convincing as last years sc-lx85 write up. The one im interested in is the sc-lx56. It will be interesting to know how it fares out joining the sc models with the class d3 amps. How powerfull will it be compared to the award winning vsx-lx55, 170w ch class d vs.150w ch class ab both into 6ohms..interesting...although they could have had a digital powered amp section in the vsx-lx5- as far back as the identically priced vsx-lx53,the tech was there. oh,the remote looks skimpy compared to by-gone ones too...


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