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Pioneer VSX-LX505 AVR Review

Rate this AVR:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 163 66.0%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 45 18.2%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 34 13.8%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 5 2.0%

  • Total voters
    247

BJL

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I have had some close friends that are musicians, have a college or university education in their chosen instrument and have some degree of formal introduction to electronics in a very very basic study. So I appreciate very much the dedication, discipline and perseverance required to learn to play a instrument. The thing is that the education they received in electronics was so basic and simple that they don't understand the workings of electronics as a discipline and they don't understand the math and physics behind electronics. I can only say to you that I hope you can trust my experience and education in electronics to believe that a musical waveform is the very thing that is not desired for empirical test, measurement and calibration purposes. It is simply impossible to use a musical waveform for those purposes. :D
I am not an instrumentalist by training. I studied theory (major) and composition. I just disagree with you, although I do appreciate your thinking and comments. You subsequently wrote "impossible" to my preference for using music to test audio electronics. My opinion is that "impossible" is far to strong a statement. It may be state of the art at this time, but I am old enough that I have heard "impossible" many times, only to subsequently find that the impossible is, in fact, possible. Of course, it may not be worth the effort. Perhaps the current testing standards are sufficient.
 

Doodski

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I am not an instrumentalist by training. I studied theory (major) and composition. I just disagree with you, although I do appreciate your thinking and comments. You subsequently wrote "impossible" to my preference for using music to test audio electronics. My opinion is that "impossible" is far to strong a statement. It may be state of the art at this time, but I am old enough that I have heard "impossible" many times, only to subsequently find that the impossible is, in fact, possible. Of course, it may not be worth the effort. Perhaps the current testing standards are sufficient.
The thing about test, measurement, calibration and electronic circuit design and AC circuit analysis is it mostly revolves around the complex number system. To use a musical waveform would be wayyy complex for calculations. There is Fourier Transform but again for musical waveforms it would be taking something that is incredibly complex and making it crazy super complex.
 

ivo.f.doma

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What's the gain and output rating of your power amp for the lcr?
I don't have a new AVR or an amplifier yet, I'm waiting for the Pioneer flagship. But the amplifier on the LR should be one of these two:
Plus one equivalent monoblock. But I prefer Ncore for performance and price.
 

ivo.f.doma

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Presently, I have five channels on a power amp with the Pioneer driving the four height speakers. I have not noticed anything amiss, including a couple blu-ray audio that have considerable music in the heights (not only ambience), eg. Kraftwerk "the Catalog" Yello "Point" although even in those recordings, which are fairly aggressive, the heights don't get the degree of signal as the main five. This seems to be a question without a definitive answer, especially that it has been drilled in (to me) that state of the art is running a sine wave, as pointed out by Doodski, music is highly variable. Have you ever listened to the height speakers with all other channels muted? I have, and it is mostly intermittent (no 35 second long blasts of sound) or relatively low level ambience. I do have a few recordings where the rear surrounds get as much signal as the fronts, e.g. Miles Davis Bitches Brew & Live Evil SACD quad reissues. I would suggest putting all five on an external amplifier.
Do you have a Pioneer 505? How satisfied are you with the AVR as a whole and with the uniform crossover frequency? I'm trying to wait for the flagship, but it's been too long, so I'm thinking about the 505 and RZ50.
 

EWL5

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I have had some close friends that are musicians, have a college or university education in their chosen instrument and have some degree of formal introduction to electronics in a very very basic study. So I appreciate very much the dedication, discipline and perseverance required to learn to play a instrument. The thing is that the education they received in electronics was so basic and simple that they don't understand the workings of electronics as a discipline and they don't understand the math and physics behind electronics. I can only say to you that I hope you can trust my experience and education in electronics to believe that a musical waveform is the very thing that is not desired for empirical test, measurement and calibration purposes. It is simply impossible to use a musical waveform for those purposes. :D
I agree that a musical waveform would just be too impractical. Music is highly subjective so if one were comparing "Receiver A" vs "Receiver B" using a musical waveform, then you are introducing the listener's bias into the mix. Someone who prefers soft piano music may find the horns of a Chicago soundtrack too harsh. Someone who prefers hard rock may find a jazz waveform too soft and blame a lack in amplifier performance.

The current sine wave sweep is as objective and scientific as it gets (ie. boring...which works for testing). There's no coloration or listener bias involved!
 
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peng

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I don't have a new AVR or an amplifier yet, I'm waiting for the Pioneer flagship. But the amplifier on the LR should be one of these two:
Plus one equivalent monoblock. But I prefer Ncore for performance and price.

The gain/sensitivity specs are:
  • Gain of + 12.5dB, for a total of 25.3dB (default) - Maximum power reached with a signal of ~ 2.2V RMS
Back to your question, there is actually no need to do much calculations as the answers are already in Amir's review:

And here the question arises, when I push the home theater to full power and the LCR will be external amplifiers, will the surond channels powered by Pioneer start to limit the power to 20W?

Amir's standard sweep test shows 20 W/35 W, 8/4 ohm, two channel driven after 35s.

At 5 W, the left and right speakers (84 dB/2.83V/m), at your 2 m listening distance, will produce 85 dB, that's reference level, that means the LX505 will not go into power limiting if you listen to 85 dB average, that is very loud as you know.

The issue is the peaks, that will push the output level to far exceed the amps you listed to their rated output or even much higher. The question is, how long will such high peaks last, I have never come across peaks of higher than 100 dB from my mlp with all speakers firing.

Clearly the answer to your question is yes, but only if you push your LCR external amp pass 140 W 8 ohm, and stay at that level for 35 seconds or longer. It won't happen if the movies you watch don't have such prolonged peaks.

If the power limiting mode is not activated, then your surround channels can output between 0 to 140 W 8 ohms all day long. So either don't listen to contents that you will end up driving your amps to 140 W or higher for anywhere near 35 s, or get an external amp for the surround channels.


index.php
 

ivo.f.doma

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Thanks for the comprehensive answer! So, if you were me (you claim that the LCR should not exceed 140W/8Ohm), you would buy Purifi-based or Ncore500OEM amplifiers for the LCR?
 

peng

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Thanks for the comprehensive answer! So, if you were me (you claim that the LCR should not exceed 140W/8Ohm), you would buy Purifi-based or Ncore500OEM amplifiers for the LCR?

The 140 W 8 ohm comment was based on the ASR measurements on the LX505. You are doing the right thing to get one of those Purifi amp that will do a better job driving the LCRs, because B&W speakers are typically not easy loads, relatively speaking, and the 705 S2 does have impedance dip to 3.5 ohm so imo a 200 W/300 W 8/4 ohm rated amp would be a good match. (B&W's recommended amp power is 30-120 W, 8 ohms)

If I were you, I would definitely consider the much cheaper Hypex NC500 or 502MP based amps as well.
 

Flak

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At 5 W, the left and right speakers (84 dB/2.83V/m), at your 2 m listening distance, will produce 85 dB, that's reference level, that means the LX505 will not go into power limiting if you listen to 85 dB average, that is very loud as you know.

The issue is the peaks, that will push the output level to far exceed the amps you listed to their rated output or even much higher. The question is, how long will such high peaks last, I have never come across peaks of higher than 100 dB from my mlp with all speakers firing.

Clearly the answer to your question is yes, but only if you push your LCR external amp pass 140 W 8 ohm, and stay at that level for 35 seconds or longer. It won't happen if the movies you watch don't have such prolonged peaks.
This :)
 

NirreFirre

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The gain/sensitivity specs are:
  • Gain of + 12.5dB, for a total of 25.3dB (default) - Maximum power reached with a signal of ~ 2.2V RMS
Back to your question, there is actually no need to do much calculations as the answers are already in Amir's review:



Amir's standard sweep test shows 20 W/35 W, 8/4 ohm, two channel driven after 35s.

At 5 W, the left and right speakers (84 dB/2.83V/m), at your 2 m listening distance, will produce 85 dB, that's reference level, that means the LX505 will not go into power limiting if you listen to 85 dB average, that is very loud as you know.

The issue is the peaks, that will push the output level to far exceed the amps you listed to their rated output or even much higher. The question is, how long will such high peaks last, I have never come across peaks of higher than 100 dB from my mlp with all speakers firing.

Clearly the answer to your question is yes, but only if you push your LCR external amp pass 140 W 8 ohm, and stay at that level for 35 seconds or longer. It won't happen if the movies you watch don't have such prolonged peaks.

If the power limiting mode is not activated, then your surround channels can output between 0 to 140 W 8 ohms all day long. So either don't listen to contents that you will end up driving your amps to 140 W or higher for anywhere near 35 s, or get an external amp for the surround channels.


index.php
Ah, at last someone actually does some math and real world "risk assessment" ("risk" is too strong of a word but my English is rusty) that could've cut this thread down significantly.

I haven't verified peng's numbers but it seems you must have something like;
a) a need for > reference level playback at extended sessions
b) a larger room than a "normal" one (European living rooms are, on average, much smaller that US ones). Is 3-5m distance normal?
c) very inefficient speakers
d) eclectic taste in the sort of content you enjoy, repeated test sweeps, "small kid on an church organ" or similar
e) parts from some or all of the above in a combination

to actually reproduce the 20/35W limiting mode. Far from impossible but perhaps not that relevant to the target AVR-consumer? Still bad practice to not meet FTC spec. And not having a LED/on screen/display message or similar notifying the user on it.
 

DavidMcRoy

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Ah, at last someone actually does some math and real world "risk assessment" ("risk" is too strong of a word but my English is rusty) that could've cut this thread down significantly.

I haven't verified peng's numbers but it seems you must have something like;
a) a need for > reference level playback at extended sessions
b) a larger room than a "normal" one (European living rooms are, on average, much smaller that US ones). Is 3-5m distance normal?
c) very inefficient speakers
d) eclectic taste in the sort of content you enjoy, repeated test sweeps, "small kid on an church organ" or similar
e) parts from some or all of the above in a combination

to actually reproduce the 20/35W limiting mode. Far from impossible but perhaps not that relevant to the target AVR-consumer? Still bad practice to not meet FTC spec. And not having a LED/on screen/display message or similar notifying the user on it.
Your point is well taken, but consumer fraud is what it is. Shoppers base their purchases on the claimed properties of the AVR. A simple asterisk next to the power rating with a disclaimer explaining what's going on would have (barely) sufficed. Ideally, the AVRs would at least give the end user the ability to turn the "feature" off.

Regarding your assessment of "real world use," I personally agree. I like that fact that my active speakers have a circuit that limits power to prevent hard clipping from ever occurring. That's graceful amplifier behavior in my book. But I knew about it before I bought them.
 
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ivo.f.doma

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The 140 W 8 ohm comment was based on the ASR measurements on the LX505. You are doing the right thing to get one of those Purifi amp that will do a better job driving the LCRs, because B&W speakers are typically not easy loads, relatively speaking, and the 705 S2 does have impedance dip to 3.5 ohm so imo a 200 W/300 W 8/4 ohm rated amp would be a good match. (B&W's recommended amp power is 30-120 W, 8 ohms)

If I were you, I would definitely consider the much cheaper Hypex NC500 or 502MP based amps as well.
Only with Ncore MP have I read that they crack the speakers when turning on and off. I can't stand it!
 

peng

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Only with Ncore MP have I read that they crack the speakers when turning on and off. I can't stand it!

My buckeye NC502MP has been silent when turning on/off, but I use the standby switch. Thanks to ASR, I read about the turn on/off pops so I insisted Dylan drill a hole to prep for the standby switch that I installed myself. Dylan offer than feature if you order one in his own case but not if you want the Ghent case.

If I turn it on/off using the power switch then yes occasionally I would get the pop. I know at least one other person who use buckeye NC5xx amps and they won't pop either when using the trigger, that's understandable because of the inherent delay with triggers, I suppose..
 

peng

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I think it doesn't matter what delay the trigger has as long as the speakers are still connected.

I tend to agree with you on this, because the pop/crack on those amps seem to be related only on the delay within the internal switching, that can only be solved with the standby feature, but this member was very clear about not hearing any pops and cracks from any of his multiple Hypex buckeye and vtv amps and the only feature he has that is not standard is the trigger.

It has been too long now, I might have looked into whether the trigger feature on the Hypex module are somehow connected/related to the standby circuitry. I suggested that this member get the standby feature when he was considering buying more vtv amps, but he saw no need based on not experiencing any pop/crack issue on his first purchase.

If you are serious, may be we can contact @Rick Sykora, or being a very helpful gentleman he may even chime in and tell us more about that apparently know issue.
 
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EWL5

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The price of the 505 has dropped $300 now whereas the RZ50 hasn't budged.


 

H2O Surfer

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The price of the 505 has dropped $300 now whereas the RZ50 hasn't budged.

Hopefully this "Elite Sale" they're currently putting on, will be a precursor to any higher-end 7/805 releases coming out by Pioneer soon.
 

dlaloum

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Hopefully this "Elite Sale" they're currently putting on, will be a precursor to any higher-end 7/805 releases coming out by Pioneer soon.
And the new flagships, assuming they follow the 8.4 lead, will be TRUE 11.2... unlike the RZ50/LX505 and co... which are actually 11.1

Their talk of "delivers up to 11.2 channels of processing" annoys me, when the sub channel is a single channel with paralleled outputs!
 

mmiller63

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Is the power limiter a real issue under intended use?
I just got into surround sound systems after 30 years of being happy with various stereo setups. I bought this end last year few $100 off msrp, and have been slowly building a 5.2.4 system. I soon bought an Emotiva Basx 5 channel amp due to concerns over the amp limits. Haven’t had a single problem using the 505 to drive just 4 height speakers. I like Dirac but I’ve nothing to compare. Yes my system is now near $2k but I’ve been good with sound. Just bought an external dac for stereo listening but haven’t had much time with. The dacs in the 505 are decent
 
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