The SC-LX76 is a serious AV receiver for serious home cinema buffs. It’s one of three high-end 9.2-channel receivers in the current LX range, in between the step-up SC-LX86 and the slightly less powerful LX56. It comes equipped with all the features an enthusiast could ever want or need, backed up a frighteningly powerful spec – one that earns it THX Select2 Plus certification, no less.
In terms of design, its size and build quality is commensurate with its status. It’s an absolute beast, measuring 435mm wide by 185mm high and weighing over 17kg, and its build quality is amazing inside and out – the insulated dual chassis, ‘Trans-stabiliser’ and 3D Space Frame Construction (which separates blocks into separate compartments) gives it excellent rigidity.
On the outside, the Pioneer SC-LX76 is exceptionally stylish. The thick aluminium fascia sports a gorgeous brushed black finish, with a transparent slab in the middle housing the OLED display. This is packed with information, much of it impossible to read from a distance, but at least the information is there and the important stuff like volume and selected input are legible.
Below this is a thick, robust flap that drops down with the sort of smoothness you only get from a high-end amp like this. Likewise the large input selection and volume dials on either side, details that typify the LX76’s stunning build quality. Behind the flap lies a bevy of buttons that allow you to select sound modes, switch zones and peruse the onscreen menus. You’ll also find a few sockets, including an HDMI input, a USB port, headphone output and a port for the setup microphone. The USB port supports Apple devices, with a composite input for video playback, but it doesn’t support our iPod Nano 7G. The HDMI port supports Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL), which allows you to play 1080p video from Android smartphones and other devices.
Rear panel connectivity is extraordinary, covering all bases and leaving plenty of scope for future expansion. There are seven more HDMI inputs, with three ARC-compatible outputs (one for Zone 4). Helpfully there’s a HDMI standby pass-through mode, which means you don’t necessarily have to turn on the receiver to use connected components.
These are joined by three component video inputs, four digital audio inputs (two optical, two coaxial) and one optical output; four sets of AV (composite video/analogue stereo) inputs and one output; component and composite monitor outputs; an assignable analogue stereo input; phono input; 11.2-channel pre-outs; AV outputs for Zones 2 and 3, with a subwoofer output for Zone 2; an Ethernet port and an adapter port for Pioneer’s AS-BT200 Bluetooth receiver.
The SC-LX76 is supplied with a wireless LAN adapter, which plugs into the Ethernet port and draws its power from the dedicated SUB charge port on the back. There are 11-channel plastic speaker binding posts and a cluster of custom install sockets, including RS-232C, two 12V trigger ports, IR input and two outputs and a 5V power output.