Pioneer VSX-LX52 review

The VSX-LX52 is a very capable machine, but it falls a touch short in the performance-per-pound stakes Tested at £950.00

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Our Verdict

A good option, especially if you're a fan of Pioneers. However, it can just be bettered in the performance-per-pound stakes

For

  • Excellent levels of clarity and detail
  • precise effects steering
  • creates an enveloping surround field
  • iPod and iPhone compatible

Against

  • A hint of brightness
  • lacks the scale and muscle of some rivals

Some amps try to impress by showering you with a gazillion inputs and fancy features. This Pioneer doesn't really buy into that approach. Instead, the 'LX52 comes at you from a more thoughtful angle.

There's no provision for fancy height or width channels, and there are only four HDMI inputs on the back of the unit. You could even accuse the 'LX52 of being stingy, if it wasn't for the fact that there's an extra HDMI input conveniently located on the front panel.

This calculated generosity appears on the rear of the amp too, where you'll find dual HDMI outputs so you can fire out a picture to both a projector and flatscreen TV.

Apple iPod/iPhone compatible
And, while other manufacturers have the cheek to make you fork out extra for a compatible iPod dock, Pioneer is generous enough to make the receiver iPod and iPhone compatible, fit it with an iPod compatible USB input – and include the necessary cable.

The remote is nice to use and works well with the Pioneer's on-screen menus. The amp's MCACC speaker calibration system doesn't need ages to take readings and the results are very accurate.

As with the others here, the 'LX52 includes video upconversion, 1080p upscaling and the opportunity to tinker with picture settings. The results are on a par with rivals.

Typical controlled Pioneer sound

Pioneer home cinema amplifiers have a reputation for producing a very focused and controlled sound and the 'LX52 doesn't venture off this well-beaten path.

Bass doesn't have the same sense of scale or muscle as the Onkyo TX-NR807, but notes still sound tight, with the edges clearly defined.

Surround effects skip from speaker to speaker with great agility and, overall, the 'LX52 creates a seamless surround field. Dialogue sounds crisp and transparent but moving further up the frequency range a hint of brightness does creep in.

It's the same story with music. As multichannel amplifiers go, the 'LX52 does a decent job, with good bass and a pleasant midrange.

This Pioneer can't quite match the Denon AVR-2310 in terms of all-round ability, but it does provide a different flavour of sound from the Onkyo. In short, it should certainly be considered.

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Specifications

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General Information

Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.eu.onkyo.com
Brand NamePioneer
Product SeriesLX
Product TypeA/V Receiver
ManufacturerOnkyo & Pioneer Corporation
Manufacturer Part NumberVSX-LX52
Product NamePioneer VSX-LX52
Product ModelVSX-LX52

Miscellaneous

Package Contents
  • VSX-LX52 A/V Receiver
  • Remote Control
Environmentally FriendlyYes
Environmental CertificationWEEE

Interfaces-Ports

HDMIYes
Number of Digital Optical Outputs1
Number of HDMI Inputs4
Number of Digital Optical Inputs5
Number of HDMI Outputs2
Number of Analog Audio Inputs6
iPod SupportedYes
USBYes

Audio

RMS Output Power150 W
Sound SystemDolby Digital, Dolby Digital EX, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Pro Logic II, Dolby Pro Logic IIx, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS-ES, DTS Neo:6, DTS 96/24, Windows Media Audio 9 Professional
Audio Channels7

Physical Characteristics

Width420 mm
Depth433 mm
Weight Approximate13.50 kg
Height173 mm
Dimensions173 mm (H): 420 mm (W): 433 mm (D)

Technical Information

Total Harmonic Distortion THD1%