A Pioneer is regarded as one of the most famous audio brands. Every new product is accompanied with a great attention and skepticism, so it was interesting for me to test such a creation, as an SC-LX901. The receiver seemed to be a true “workhorse”. After a checking process, I can confirm this status!
Thanks to the clean and minimalistic design, the receiver looks gorgeous. It has a high-quality assembly, which protects the internal components from a negative mechanical impact. A remote control also has only the most important and useful buttons. The Pioneer SC-LX901 is complemented by a drop-down door, which hides all the additional elements. On the front panel, there was only a large input selector and easy-to-read central LCD. The mentioned screen displays the information clearly. I saw all the figures on it even on the sunny day and at a great distance. On the back panel, I found a lot of source connections, which were properly distributed and presented the ability to connect almost all possible media devices. After a visual Pioneer SC-LX901 review it was hard to say something bad, but the main disadvantage in box creation was the absence of additional openings for ventilation. The unit was overheated and I had to spend money on a cooling fan buying.
I was surprised when finding out that the SC-LX901 can pass through the latest Ultra HD video formats. A High Dynamic Range (HDR) and supporting of a BT.2020 color also can be perceived as very useful peculiarities. The device upconverted signals from 1080p to 4K and the final picture was really breath-taking. I couldn’t rename HDMI inputs and such a problem was very strange. Of course, I got over with it, but for some people, such a feature may be very important. The three-zone capability allowed me to enjoy the perfect sound in a few rooms without any complications. Among the amazing Pioneer SC-LX901 specs, the device can boast with a Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, which allowed using the great number of additional features, such as Tidal, Spotify, and Deezer. The device can reproduce all the famous audio formats with parameters up to 24 bit/192 kHz.
The DTS:X and Dolby Atmos definitely showed the possibilities of modern technologies because the sound was perfect! As for me, the main star of the show was a Pioneer control app. It gave me an access to all the basic and hidden features. It was easy to control the volume, switch tracks and FM stations, but only with the help of the iPad. I should pay attention to the fact that on the iPhone the reflection of the monitoring possibilities was poor; the iPad offered me greater access and more options. The 4K video scaler is much better than today’s TV’s internal scalers. The 11 channels of internal amplification can also be performed as a great benefit.
The device presented both clear and natural sound. The sense of detail was provided in the best way because I heard completely all the moments. At the same time, it created the whole picture of the sound and such a modern approach bribed me. Earlier I was trying to avoid all the additional tweaking, but the Pioneer SC-LX901 has changed my mind for the better. With the help of the app, I could change the sound characteristics without affecting the equalizer. The 7.2.4 effect beats were wonderful!
With the help of 2 HDMI outputs, I had an ability to send video to the main display and to the additional in the separate room. The presence of analog audio connections was a nice surprise to me. I found my legacy gear and after a quick connection, started to enjoy the music. I was able to choose from 2 modes: Direct and Pure Direct. Such special features shut down progressive processes in the Pioneer SC-LX901 to present the pure classic sound. Such connectors have been working all day and I didn’t notice anything bad about them. 7 HDMI inputs were enough for me to check almost all the possibilities of the unit. I had no complaints, except one: a bad ARC. I had to reconnect the HDMI cable to make it "come alive". The necessity to perform such action periodically made me nervous.
The setting process was as easy, as possible. The on-screen guide showed all the steps, from connecting the source component to the calibration performing. Of course, there was a manual, but I didn’t have to use it. The MCACC software and special microphone allowed detecting the speaker’s layout and their dimensions. The first trying failed, but the second was successful. I continued setting channel levels and other operations. By the way, I’ve tried to test a sound quality without calibration and after. The result was really impressive because in a first case I got was very plain sound, without emotions and fullness, and after calibration, I heard all the shades of the music and movie scenes. It’s better to spend a little time on the setup process and then enjoy the unleashing of the Pioneer’s potential.
The Pioneer SC-LX901is really great, because such a small and visually presentable unit can propose to user incredible audio and visual opportunities. I truly enjoyed the Ultra HD video formats, High Dynamic Range, supporting of a BT.2020 color, accessibility of Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Tidal, Spotify, Deezer, different popular sound formats, DTS:X, Dolby Atmos, the Pioneer control app, 7 inputs, and 2 outputs, etc. At the same time while testing there appeared some unexpected problems. I'm talking about renaming HDMI inputs, overheating of the box, iPad superiority, and issues with the ARC.