Article by Dick Tan
If you are familiar with the development of the home theatre side of the audio business you will recall that industry stalwart, Pioneer, contributed what is essentially the ‘lion’s share’ of the technologies that has made home entertainment as sophisticated as it is today.
In the 80s onto the early 90s if you wanted to watch a movie with all the sound effects you went to the movies. And then only to a select few theatres. There was no home theatre then, not serious ones like what we have today. Oh sure, we have the VCR (remember the video tape?) but that was at best an interim step to something better – the digital optical disc.
The optical disc did co-exist for a period with the VCR and Pioneer, pardon the pun, pioneered it. Called Laservision the Pioneer system played a 12″ optical disc offering, by far, superior audio and video when compared to the VCR. But it was expensive with the software even more so and only the true and dedicated AV-phile could afford it. Not being able to attract the mass market it died a natural death.
As it turned out Laservision did not ‘die for nothing’ for the technology that made the Laservision/Laserdisc system possible led to the development of the DVD, a much smaller 6″ digital optical disc format that offered significantly improved sound and picture.
Introduced in 1996, it is now a matter of public record that DVD went to become a phenomenal success not only because of its better AV performance but also because it was affordable. Inspite of its success the DVD remained a standard definition media. A high definition media format was required to keep up with the slew of high resolution HDTVs that was beginning to appear. Today the Blu-ray HD disc format introduced in 2006 has supplanted the DVD.
Along with the advancement in the software/source component stage the amplifier/receiver kept pace and once again Pioneer stood at the forefront of the development of this particular segment of the home theatre industry.
Today the Pioneer range of AV amplifiers/receivers is wide and varied and designed to cater to every price and performance level.
Comprising broadly 11 models, the Pioneer AV receivers are divided into two distinct price and performance categories; the high performance LX Series and the much more affordable VSX Series.
Unveiled recently, the new LX Series comprises the top of the range SC-LX 88 (RM9, 999), the SC-LX78 (RM8, 499) and the SC-LX 58 (RM5, 299).
Key feature of the new LX Series is Dolby Lab’s new Dolby Atmos digital surround decoding algorithm. Designed to improve upon current Dolby surround formats Dolby Atmos is said to offer an even higher level of surround sound steering with a greater sense of height placement. The most noticeable result being the creation of a wider sound stage that lets the listener experience a far greater sense of audio perception.
According to Pioneer, Dolby Atmos is able to create a completely new level of surround that is significantly more in sync with the screen visual, providing a much more immersive experience with unprecedented sound localisation and movement.
Dolby Atmos is said to be compatible with surround formats of 5.1 channels up. For it to work optimally, new movies will have to be encoded in the Dolby Atmos codec.
Other similar features include up to 8 HDMI 2.0 inputs, extensive network based media capabilities, the use of the highly vaunted Sabre 32 DAC with high res audio playback and 4K scaling or pass through. While all three models look and are sized identically the flagship SC-LX 88 offer the highest rated power output at 220 watts per channel x 9 at a nominal 6 ohms load.
The SC-LX 78 is rated at 210 watts per channel and the SC-LX 58 clocks in at 190 watts per channel measured under similar conditions.
For further information contact:
Pioneer Technology (M) Sdn Bhd
Tel: 03 26972920
Article by Dick Tan