Pioneer VSX-LX60

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Pioneer VSX-LX60
  • Pioneer VSX-LX60
  • Pioneer VSX-LX60
  • Pioneer VSX-LX60

Pros

  • Highly 'future-proof', great audio quality, video upscaling, feature packed, full list of supported surround sound formats, excellent automatic calibration tool

Cons

  • Expensive

Bottom Line

A truly fantastic AV receiver, one sure to last for a long time to come, the LX60's only major drawback is its price.

Would you buy this?

Pioneer's VSX-LX60 is the company's new, high-end AV receiver, designed primarily to take advantage of the new age of high definition. Sporting HDMI 1.3, 1080p upscaling, and full support for the new high-definition audio formats, the LX60 is supremely 'future-proof'. In addition to this, it also boasts excellent audio and video quality, and is Air Studios tuned and THX Select2 certified. It does come at a price, however, and like the rest of Pioneer's LX range, it's aimed specifically at high-end enthusiasts.

The LX60 drives 130W per channel through 7 channels at 8 ohms, making it a fairly powerful amplifier. With a total harmonic distortion of 0.09 per cent, it also delivers excellent fidelity. THX certified for rooms with viewing distances of up to approximately 4 metres, this receiver's audio capabilities are excellent. During our tests we were unable to detect any significant flaws at all, and the entire audio range was well represented and balanced. Clarity is excellent, even reaching up through the highest frequencies.

Video is equally as impressive, with full support for 1080/24p Blu-ray playback, which looks stunning. HDMI upscaling to 1080p is also present, and the quality improvements are very noticeable, with a definite improvement to clarity and definition.

The back panel is replete with more connections that you could shake an HDMI cable at. Three HDMI 1.3 inputs are present, as well as multiple component, coaxial, composite, optical, analogue audio, S-Video, and more. A single USB port for audio input is also available, as is an iPod-specific connection. Finally, cable hookups for up to seven speakers are available.

Pioneer has included a complete range of sound fields and audio codecs. In addition to a full range of Dolby and DTS formats, the LX60 is also capable of handling the new, lossless HD audio codecs, including Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, and DTS HD.

The receiver also packs a fully fledged feature list. THX sound fields, sound retriever (which improves compressed audio quality, such as that in MP3s, WMAs, and OGGs), direct sound (which bypasses unnecessary steps to increase fidelity), and customisable speaker levels are all available.

Calibration is exceptionally easy thanks to the automated MCACC technology. In addition to simply calibrating speaker levels relative to the listening position (including both delay and sound 'pressure'), MCACC also attempts to customise the sound based on the listening environment and speaker size and bass capacity. We were highly impressed with the results of this during our testing, and even after hours of fiddling, we found we were unable to surpass the settings it selected.

The remote delivers standard universal remote functionality, allowing users to control other home entertainment products connected to the system. It's a little unwieldy however, and lacks backlighting, but otherwise it's quite functional and easy to use.

The LX60 is a fantastic receiver. It's highly 'future-proof', with HDMI 1.3 and support for the latest in surround sound technology, and as well as delivering excellent audio and video performance, and a huge bundle of features. A high asking price is its major drawback, but those that can afford it will appreciate its quality.

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